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1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.

2 Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD,

3 And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.

4 Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying,

5 Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.

6 And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city.

7 And this shall be a sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he hath spoken;

8 Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.

9 The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness:

10 I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of my years.

11 I said, I shall not see the LORD, even the LORD, in the land of the living: I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world.

12 Mine age is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd's tent: I have cut off like a weaver my life: he will cut me off with pining sickness: from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me.

13 I reckoned till morning, that, as a lion, so will he break all my bones: from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me.

14 Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me.

15 What shall I say? he hath both spoken unto me, and himself hath done it: I shall go softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul.

16 O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit: so wilt thou recover me, and make me to live.

17 Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.

18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.

19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.

20 The LORD was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD.

21 For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover.

22 Hezekiah also had said, What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the LORD?

Commentary for Isaiah 38

Hezekiah's sickness and recovery. (1-8) His thanksgiving. (9-22)1-8 When we pray in our sickness, though God send not to us such an answer as he here sent to Hezekiah, yet, if by his Spirit he bids us be of good cheer, assures us that our sins are forgiven, and that, whether we live or die, we shall be his, we do not pray in vain. See #2Ki 20:1-11|.

9-22 We have here Hezekiah's thanksgiving. It is well for us to remember the mercies we receive in sickness. Hezekiah records the condition he was in. He dwells upon this; I shall no more see the Lord. A good man wishes not to live for any other end than that he may serve God, and have communion with him. Our present residence is like that of a shepherd in his hut, a poor, mean, and cold lodging, and with a trust committed to our charge, as the shepherd has. Our days are compared to the weaver's shuttle, #Job 7:6|, passing and repassing very swiftly, every throw leaving a thread behind it; and when finished, the piece is cut off, taken out of the loom, and showed to our Master to be judged of. A good man, when his life is cut off, his cares and fatigues are cut off with it, and he rests from his labours. But our times are in God's hand; he has appointed what shall be the length of the piece. When sick, we are very apt to calculate our time, but are still at uncertainty. It should be more our care how we shall get safe to another world. And the more we taste of the loving-kindness of God, the more will our hearts love him, and live to him. It was in love to our poor perishing souls that Christ delivered them. The pardon does not make the sin not to have been sin, but not to be punished as it deserves. It is pleasant to think of our recoveries from sickness, when we see them flowing from the pardon of sin. Hezekiah's opportunity to glorify God in this world, he made the business, and pleasure, and end of life. Being recovered, he resolves to abound in praising and serving God. God's promises are not to do away, but to quicken and encourage the use of means. Life and health are given that we may glorify God and do good.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Isaiah 38

  • A disciple
    "Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down." Which is easier, or which is impossible for God to do? to stop the clocks or turn back the entire ordinances of the stars and the heavens, or roll them back like a scroll at His Coming and the Day of the LORD?
  • A disciple
    Then what do you do with the Scripture that says, "He sits on the circle of the earth?" There is no conspiracy to make people think the earth is round; and the silly idea of a flat earth is really a funny thing that anyone should get distracted and upset over. The earth and the other planets revolving around the sun doesn't threaten the truth of Jesus and the Scriptures or our salvation at all!
  • Lover of GOD
    Robert, the sun rises in the east and set the west meaning the sun moves around the earth, not the earth moving around the sun. In passage of scripture the sun move back.
  • Andy
    When Jehovah throws our sins behind his back he totally forgets them and does not bring it up again
  • Irene123
    Isa. 38:19; Lk. 1: 17 - :........... turn the fathers (hearts) to the children. The Jews are the 'fathers' (they heard the word of the Lord FIRST); The apostles in the N.T. were Jews - and went to the 'children', the Gentiles. The disciples at first wanted Jesus to rebuke the Gentiles, because they were just learning and didn't understand as yet, but God 'fixed' it all in Acts ch. 2.
  • Sam
    One of my favorite chapters in the bible, God has all power and he listens to all of his children's prayers.
  • Andrew
    I believe that we should pray for the LORD 's will be done, but that does not mean that we cannot ask for anything that we THINK might be best for us, or something we desire. Just have to remember that what we ask may not be the best, and trust God 's final decision, by having a frame of mind that "this is what I think and desire, grant it if it is good, but thine will be done ".Remember the prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ in the garden of Gethsemane.
  • Insight 777
    Hezekiah was going to die because of the king of Assyria. Verse 8 might mean that the defense of Hezekiah will come from a nation in a different time zone that will fly over to help. Or this could be a symbolic turning back of time meaning his current condition will change back to a more secure position he held in the past. This could be done by negotiations with supporting countries that will stop or slow the assault. A possible but not probable cause of help to Hezekiah could be massive tectonic movement of the earths crust causing a pole shift and damage to Assyria. A compass is similar to a sundial. An aircraft compass has to be aligned with the planets northern magnetic pole.

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