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Isaiah 38:1-8

Context
The Lord Hears Hezekiah’s Prayer

38:1 In those days Hezekiah was stricken with a terminal illness. 1  The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz visited him and told him, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Give instructions to your household, for you are about to die; you will not get well.’” 38:2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 38:3 “Please, Lord. Remember how I have served you 2  faithfully and with wholehearted devotion, 3  and how I have carried out your will.” 4  Then Hezekiah wept bitterly. 5 

38:4 The Lord told Isaiah, 6  38:5 “Go and tell Hezekiah: ‘This is what the Lord God of your ancestor 7  David says: “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will add fifteen years to your life, 38:6 and rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will shield this city.”’” 38:7 Isaiah replied, 8  “This is your sign from the Lord confirming that the Lord will do what he has said: 38:8 Look, I will make the shadow go back ten steps on the stairs of Ahaz.” 9  And then the shadow went back ten steps. 10 

1 tn Heb “was sick to the point of dying”; NRSV “became sick and was at the point of death.”

2 tn Heb “walked before you.” For a helpful discussion of the background and meaning of this Hebrew idiom, see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 254.

3 tn Heb “and with a complete heart”; KJV, ASV “with a perfect heart.”

4 tn Heb “and that which is good in your eyes I have done.”

5 tn Heb “wept with great weeping”; NCV “cried loudly”; TEV “began to cry bitterly.”

6 tn Heb “and the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, saying.”

7 tn Heb “father” (so KJV, NAB, NIV).

8 tn The words “Isaiah replied” are supplied in the translation for clarification. In the present form of the Hebrew text v. 7 is joined directly to v. 6, but vv. 21-22, if original to Isaiah 38, must be inserted here. See 2 Kgs 20:7-8.

9 tn Heb “the shadow on the steps which [the sun] had gone down, on the steps of Ahaz, with the sun, back ten steps.”

sn These steps probably functioned as a type of sundial. See HALOT 614 s.v. מַעֲלָה and M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 256.

10 tn Heb “and the sun returned ten steps on the steps which it had gone down.”



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