1. About then Hezekiah fell ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came and said to him, 'Yahweh says this, "Put your affairs in order, for you are going to die, you will not live." '

2. Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and addressed this prayer to Yahweh,

3. 'Ah, Yahweh, remember, I beg you, that I have behaved faithfully and with sincerity of heart in your presence and done what you regard as right.' And Hezekiah shed many tears.

4. Isaiah had not left the middle court, before the word of Yahweh came to him,

5. 'Go back and say to Hezekiah, prince of my people, "Yahweh, the God of your ancestor David, says this: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I shall cure you: in three days' time you will go up to the Temple of Yahweh.

6. I shall add fifteen years to your life. I shall save you and this city from the king of Assyria's clutches and defend this city for my sake and my servant David's sake." '

7. 'Bring a fig poultice,' Isaiah said; they brought one, applied it to the ulcer, and the king recovered.

8. Hezekiah said to Isaiah, 'What is the sign to tell me that Yahweh will cure me and that I shall be going up to the Temple of Yahweh in three days' time?'

9. 'Here', Isaiah replied, 'is the sign from Yahweh that he will do what he has said; would you like the shadow to go forward ten steps, or to go back ten steps?'

10. 'It is easy for the shadow to lengthen ten steps,' Hezekiah replied. 'No, I would rather the shadow went back ten steps.'

11. The prophet Isaiah then called on Yahweh, who made the shadow cast by the declining sun on the steps -- the steps to Ahaz's roof-room -- go back ten steps.

12. At that time the king of Babylon, Merodach-Baladan son of Baladan, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah, for he had heard of his illness and his recovery.

13. Hezekiah was delighted at this and showed the ambassadors his entire treasury, the silver, gold, spices, precious oil, his armoury too, and everything to be seen in his storehouses. There was nothing in his palace or in his whole domain that Hezekiah did not show them.

14. The prophet Isaiah then came to King Hezekiah and asked him, 'What have these men said, and where have they come from?' Hezekiah answered, 'They have come from a distant country, from Babylon.'

15. Isaiah said, 'What have they seen in your palace?' 'They have seen everything in my palace,' Hezekiah answered. 'There is nothing in my storehouses that I have not shown them.'

16. Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, 'Listen to the word of Yahweh,

17. "The days are coming when everything in your palace, everything that your ancestors have amassed until now, will be carried off to Babylon. Not a thing will be left," Yahweh says.

18. "Sons sprung from you, sons fathered by you, will be abducted to be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon." '

19. Hezekiah said to Isaiah, 'This word of Yahweh that you announce is reassuring,' for he was thinking, 'And why not? So long as there is peace and security during my lifetime.'

20. The rest of the history of Hezekiah, all his prowess, how he constructed the pool and the conduit to bring water into the city, is this not recorded in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah?

21. Then Hezekiah fell asleep with his ancestors; his son Manasseh succeeded him.



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