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. Then the word of Yahweh came to Isaiah,

5. 'Go and say to Hezekiah, "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. I shall add fifteen years to your life.

6. 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. 'Here', Isaiah replied, 'is the sign from Yahweh that he will do what he has said.

8. Look, I shall make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the steps -- the steps to Ahaz's roof-room-go back ten steps.' And the sun went back the ten steps by which it had declined.

9. Canticle of Hezekiah king of Judah after his illness and recovery.

10. I thought: In the noon of my life I am to depart. At the gates of Sheol I shall be held for the rest of my days.

11. I thought: I shall never see Yahweh again in the land of the living, I shall never see again a single one of those who live on earth.

12. My home has been pulled up, and thrown away like a shepherd's tent; like a weaver, I have rolled up my life, he has cut me from the loom. From dawn to dark, you have been making an end of me;

13. till daybreak, I cried for help; like a lion, he has crushed all my bones, from dawn to dark, you have been making an end of me.

14. I twitter like a swallow, I moan like a dove, my eyes have grown dim from looking up. Lord, I am overwhelmed, come to my help.

15. How can I speak and what can I say to him? He is the one to act. I must eke out the rest of my years in bitterness of soul.

16. The Lord is over them; they live, and everything in them lives by his spirit. You will cure me. Restore me to life.

17. At once, my bitterness turns to well-being. For you have preserved my soul from the pit of nothingness, you have thrust all my sins behind you.

18. For Sheol cannot praise you, nor Death celebrate you; those who go down to the pit can hope no longer in your constancy.

19. The living, the living are the ones who praise you, as I do today. Fathers tell their sons about your constancy.

20. Yahweh, come to my help and we will make our harps resound all the days of our life in the Temple of Yahweh.

21. 'Bring a fig poultice,' Isaiah said, 'apply it to the ulcer and he will recover.'

22. Hezekiah said, 'What is the sign to tell me that I shall be going up to the Temple of Yahweh?'



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