Hezekiah Becomes Sick
1In those days Hezekiah became very sick. He was about to die. Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him. Isaiah told Hezekiah, “The Lord says, ‘Put everything in order. Make out your will. You are going to die soon. You will not get well again.’ ”
2 Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall. He prayed to the Lord. He said, 3 “Lord, please remember how faithful I’ve been to you. I’ve lived the way you wanted me to. I’ve served you with all my heart. I’ve done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4 Isaiah was leaving the middle courtyard. Before he had left it, a message came to him from the Lord. He said, 5 “Go back and speak to Hezekiah. He is the ruler of my people. Tell him, ‘The Lord, the God of King David, says, “I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. And I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to my temple. 6 I will add 15 years to your life. And I will save you and this city from the power of the king of Assyria. I will guard this city. I will do it for myself. And I will do it for my servant David.” ’ ”
7 Then Isaiah said, “Press some figs together. Spread them on a piece of cloth.” So that’s what they did. Then they applied it to Hezekiah’s boil. And he got well again.
8 Hezekiah had said to Isaiah, “You say the Lord will heal me. You say that I’ll go up to his temple on the third day from now. What will the sign be to prove he’ll really do that?”
9 Isaiah answered, “The Lord will do what he has promised. Here is his sign to you. Do you want the shadow the sun makes to go forward ten steps? Or do you want it to go back ten steps?”
10 “It’s easy for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “So have it go back ten steps.”
11 Then Isaiah the prophet called out to the Lord. And the Lord made the shadow go back ten steps. It went back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway Ahaz had made.
Messengers Come From Babylon to Hezekiah
12 At that time Marduk-Baladan, the king of Babylon, sent Hezekiah letters and a gift. He had heard that Hezekiah had been sick. Marduk-Baladan was the son of Baladan. 13 Hezekiah received the messengers. He showed them everything in his storerooms. He showed them the silver and gold. He showed them the spices and the fine olive oil. He showed them where he kept his weapons. And he showed them all his treasures. In fact, he showed them everything in his palace and in his whole kingdom.
14 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah. He asked him, “What did those men say? Where did they come from?”
“They came from a land far away,” Hezekiah said. “They came from Babylon.”
15 The prophet asked, “What did they see in your palace?”
“They saw everything in my palace,” Hezekiah said. “I showed them all my treasures.”
16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Listen to the Lord’s message. He says, 17 ‘You can be sure the time will come when everything in your palace will be carried off to Babylon. Everything the kings before you have stored up until this day will be taken away. There will not be anything left,’ says the Lord. 18 ‘Some of the members of your family line will be taken away. They will be your own flesh and blood. They will include the children who will be born into your family line in years to come. And they will serve the king of Babylon in his palace.’ ”
19 “The message the Lord has spoken through you is good,” Hezekiah replied. He thought, “There will be peace and safety while I’m still living.”
20 The other events of the rule of Hezekiah are written down. That includes how he made the pool and the tunnel. He used them to bring water into Jerusalem. Everything he accomplished is written in the official records of the kings of Judah. 21 Hezekiah joined the members of his family who had already died. Hezekiah’s son Manasseh became the next king after him.