Hezekiah's sickness and his recovery
1 About that time, Hezekiah became very ill and was close to dying. So I went to see him. And I gave him this message: “This is what Yahweh says: ‘You should tell the people in your palace what you want them to do after you die, because you will not recover from this illness. You are going to die’ ”
2 Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed this:
3 “Yahweh, do not forget that I have always served you very faithfully, and I have done things that pleased you!” Then Hezekiah started to cry loudly.
4 I left his room, but Yahweh gave me this message:
5 “Go back to Hezekiah and tell him that this is what I, the God to whom your ancestor King David belonged, say: ‘I have heard what you prayed, and I have seen you crying. So listen: I will enable you to live fifteen years more.
6 And, I will rescue you and this city from the power [MTY] of the King of Assyria. I will defend this city.
7 And this is what I will do to prove that I will do what I have just now promised. I will cause the shadow of the sun to move ten steps backward on the sundial that was built by King Ahaz.’ ”
8 So the shadow of the sun on the sundial moved backward ten steps.
9 When King Hezekiah was almost well again, he wrote this:
10 I thought to myself, “Is it necessary for me to die and go to the place where the dead people are
during this time of my life when I am still strong?
Is Yahweh going to rob me of the remaining years that I should live?”
11 I said, “I will not see Yahweh again
in this world where people are alive.
I will not see my friends again,
or be with others who now are alive in this world.
12 It is as if my life has been taken away
like [SIM] a tent whose pegs have been pulled up by a shepherd and taken away.
My time to live has been cut short,
like a piece of cloth that a weaver cuts and rolls up after he has finished weaving a cloth.”
Suddenly, it seemed that my life was ending.
13 I waited patiently all during the night,
but my pain was as though [MET] I was being torn apart by lions.
It seemed that my life was finished.
14 I was delirious, and I chirped like a swift or a swallow,
and moaned like a dove.
My eyes became tired looking up toward heaven for help.
I cried out, Lord, help me, because I am distressed!'
15 But there was really nothing [RHQ] that I could say and ask him to reply to me,
because it was Yahweh who sent this illness.
So now I will live humbly during my remaining years
because I am very anguished.
16 Yahweh, the sufferings (OR, the promises) that you give are good,
because what you do and what you say bring new life and health to us.
And you restore/heal me
and allow me to continue to live!
17 Truly, my suffering was good for me;
you loved me,
and as a result you have rescued me from dying
and have also forgiven all my sins.
18 Dead people [MTY] cannot praise you;
they cannot sing to praise you.
Those who have descended to their graves
cannot confidently expect you to faithfully do things for them.
19 Only people who are still alive, like I am, can praise you.
Fathers tell their children how you are faithful,
and if I remain alive, I will do the same thing.
20 I know that Yahweh will fully heal me,
so I will sing to praise him
while others praise him playing musical instruments;
I will do that every day of my life, in the temple of Yahweh.”
21 I had previously said to Hezekiah's servants, “Prepare an ointment from mashed figs, and spread it on his boil, and then he will recover.” So they did that, and Hezekiah recovered.
22 And Hezekiah had previously asked, “What will Yahweh do to prove that I will recover and be able to go to his temple?”