38 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.’” 2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 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
4 The Lord told Isaiah, 6 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, 6 and rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will shield this city.”’” 7 Isaiah replied, 8 “This is your sign from the Lord confirming that the Lord will do what he has said: 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
9 This is the prayer of King Hezekiah of Judah when he was sick and then recovered from his illness:
10 “I thought, 11
‘In the middle of my life 12 I must walk through the gates of Sheol,
I am deprived 13 of the rest of my years.’
11 “I thought,
‘I will no longer see the Lord 14 in the land of the living,
I will no longer look on humankind with the inhabitants of the world. 15
12 My dwelling place 16 is removed and taken away 17 from me
like a shepherd’s tent.
I rolled up my life like a weaver rolls cloth; 18
from the loom he cuts me off. 19
You turn day into night and end my life. 20
13 I cry out 21 until morning;
like a lion he shatters all my bones;
you turn day into night and end my life. 22
14 Like a swallow or a thrush I chirp,
I coo 23 like a dove;
my eyes grow tired from looking up to the sky. 24
O sovereign master, 25 I am oppressed;
help me! 26
15 What can I say?
He has decreed and acted. 27
I will walk slowly all my years because I am overcome with grief. 28
16 O sovereign master, your decrees can give men life;
may years of life be restored to me. 29
Restore my health 30 and preserve my life.’
17 “Look, the grief I experienced was for my benefit. 31
You delivered me 32 from the pit of oblivion. 33
For you removed all my sins from your sight. 34
18 Indeed 35 Sheol does not give you thanks;
death does not 36 praise you.
Those who descend into the pit do not anticipate your faithfulness.
19 The living person, the living person, he gives you thanks,
as I do today.
A father tells his sons about your faithfulness.
20 The Lord is about to deliver me, 37
and we will celebrate with music 38
for the rest of our lives in the Lord’s temple.” 39 21 40 Isaiah ordered, “Let them take a fig cake and apply it to the ulcerated sore and he will get well.” 22 Hezekiah said, “What is the confirming sign that I will go up to the Lord’s temple?”
40 “Comfort, comfort my people,”
says your 1 God.
2 “Speak kindly to 2 Jerusalem, 3 and tell her
that her time of warfare is over, 4
that her punishment is completed. 5
For the Lord has made her pay double 6 for all her sins.”
3 A voice cries out,
“In the wilderness clear a way for the Lord;
construct in the desert a road for our God.
4 Every valley must be elevated,
and every mountain and hill leveled.
The rough terrain will become a level plain,
the rugged landscape a wide valley.
5 The splendor 7 of the Lord will be revealed,
and all people 8 will see it at the same time.
For 9 the Lord has decreed it.” 10
6 A voice says, “Cry out!”
Another asks, 11 “What should I cry out?”
The first voice responds: 12 “All people are like grass, 13
and all their promises 14 are like the flowers in the field.
7 The grass dries up,
the flowers wither,
when the wind sent by the Lord 15 blows on them.
Surely humanity 16 is like grass.
8 The grass dries up,
the flowers wither,
but the decree of our God is forever reliable.” 17
9 Go up on a high mountain, O herald Zion!
Shout out loudly, O herald Jerusalem! 18
Shout, don’t be afraid!
Say to the towns of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10 Look, the sovereign Lord comes as a victorious warrior; 19
his military power establishes his rule. 20
Look, his reward is with him;
his prize goes before him. 21
11 Like a shepherd he tends his flock;
he gathers up the lambs with his arm;
he carries them close to his heart; 22
he leads the ewes along.
12 Who has measured out the waters 23 in the hollow of his hand,
or carefully 24 measured the sky, 25
or carefully weighed 26 the soil of the earth,
or weighed the mountains in a balance,
or the hills on scales? 27
13 Who comprehends 28 the mind 29 of the Lord,
or gives him instruction as his counselor? 30
14 From whom does he receive directions? 31
Who 32 teaches him the correct way to do things, 33
or imparts knowledge to him,
or instructs him in skillful design? 34
15 Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket;
they are regarded as dust on the scales.
He lifts 35 the coastlands 36 as if they were dust.
16 Not even Lebanon could supply enough firewood for a sacrifice; 37
its wild animals would not provide enough burnt offerings. 38
17 All the nations are insignificant before him;
they are regarded as absolutely nothing. 39
18 To whom can you compare God?
To what image can you liken him?
19 A craftsman casts 40 an idol;
a metalsmith overlays it with gold
and forges silver chains for it.
20 To make a contribution one selects wood that will not rot; 41
he then seeks a skilled craftsman
to make 42 an idol that will not fall over.
21 Do you not know?
Do you not hear?
Has it not been told to you since the very beginning?
Have you not understood from the time the earth’s foundations were made?
22 He is the one who sits on the earth’s horizon; 43
its inhabitants are like grasshoppers before him. 44
He is the one who stretches out the sky like a thin curtain, 45
and spreads it out 46 like a pitched tent. 47
23 He is the one who reduces rulers to nothing;
he makes the earth’s leaders insignificant.
24 Indeed, they are barely planted;
yes, they are barely sown;
yes, they barely take root in the earth,
and then he blows on them, causing them to dry up,
and the wind carries them away like straw.
25 “To whom can you compare me? Whom do I resemble?”
says the Holy One. 48
26 Look up at the sky! 49
Who created all these heavenly lights? 50
He is the one who leads out their ranks; 51
he calls them all by name.
Because of his absolute power and awesome strength,
not one of them is missing.
27 Why do you say, Jacob,
Why do you say, Israel,
“The Lord is not aware of what is happening to me, 52
My God is not concerned with my vindication”? 53
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is an eternal God,
the creator of the whole earth. 54
He does not get tired or weary;
there is no limit to his wisdom. 55
29 He gives strength to those who are tired;
to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy.
30 Even youths get tired and weary;
even strong young men clumsily stumble. 56
31 But those who wait for the Lord’s help 57 find renewed strength;
they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, 58
they run without growing weary,
they walk without getting tired.