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Isaiah 38-40 NET

38:1 In those days Hezekiah was stricken with a terminal illness. 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 faithfully and with wholehearted devotion, and how I have carried out your will.” Then Hezekiah wept bitterly.

4 The Lord’s message came to Isaiah, 5 “Go and tell Hezekiah: ‘This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will add 15 years to your life. 6 I will also rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will shield this city.”’” 7 Isaiah replied, “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 10 steps on the stairs of Ahaz.” And then the shadow went back 10 steps.

9 This is the prayer of King Hezekiah of Judah when he was sick and then recovered from his illness:

10 “I thought,

‘In the middle of my life I must walk through the gates of Sheol,

I am deprived of the rest of my years.’

11 “I thought,

‘I will no longer see the Lord in the land of the living,

I will no longer look on humankind with the inhabitants of the world.

12 My dwelling place is removed and taken away from me

as a shepherd’s tent.

I rolled up my life like a weaver rolls cloth;

from the loom he cuts me off.

You turn day into night and end my life.

13 I cry out until morning;

like a lion he shatters all my bones;

you turn day into night and end my life.

14 Like a swallow or a thrush I chirp,

I coo like a dove;

my eyes grow tired from looking up to the sky.

O Lord, I am oppressed;

help me!

15 What can I say?

He has decreed and acted.

I will walk slowly all my years because I am overcome with grief.

16 O Lord, your decrees can give men life;

may years of life be restored to me.

Restore my health and preserve my life.’

17 “Look, the grief I experienced was for my benefit.

You delivered me from the Pit of oblivion.

For you removed all my sins from your sight.

18 Indeed Sheol does not give you thanks;

death does not 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,

and we will celebrate with music

for the rest of our lives in the Lord’s temple.”

21 (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?”)

39:1 At that time Merodach Baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been ill and had recovered. 2 Hezekiah welcomed them and showed them his storehouse with its silver, gold, spices, and high-quality olive oil, as well as his whole armory and everything in his treasuries. Hezekiah showed them everything in his palace and in his whole kingdom. 3 Isaiah the prophet visited King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did these men say? Where do they come from?” Hezekiah replied, “They come from the distant land of Babylon.” 4 Isaiah asked, “What have they seen in your palace?” Hezekiah replied, “They have seen everything in my palace. I showed them everything in my treasuries.” 5 Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Listen to the message of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: 6 ‘Look, a time is coming when everything in your palace and the things your ancestors have accumulated to this day will be carried away to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says the Lord. 7 ‘Some of your very own descendants whom you father will be taken away and will be made eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’” 8 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The Lord’s message that you have announced is appropriate.” Then he thought, “For there will be peace and stability during my lifetime.”

40:1 “Comfort, comfort my people,”

says your God.

2 “Speak kindly to Jerusalem and tell her

that her time of warfare is over,

that her punishment is completed.

For the Lord has made her pay double for all her sins.”

3 A voice cries out,

“In the wilderness clear a way for the Lord;

build a level road through the rift valley 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 of the Lord will be revealed,

and all people will see it at the same time.

For the Lord has decreed it.”

6 A voice says, “Cry out!”

Another asks, “What should I cry out?”

The first voice responds: “All people are like grass,

and all their promises are like the flowers in the field.

7 The grass dries up,

the flowers wither,

when the wind sent by the Lord blows on them.

Surely humanity is like grass.

8 The grass dries up,

the flowers wither,

but the decree of our God is forever reliable.”

9 Go up on a high mountain, O herald Zion.

Shout out loudly, O herald Jerusalem!

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;

his military power establishes his rule.

Look, his reward is with him;

his prize goes before him.

11 Like a shepherd he tends his flock;

he gathers up the lambs with his arm;

he carries them close to his heart;

he leads the ewes along.

12 Who has measured out the waters in the hollow of his hand,

or carefully measured the sky,

or carefully weighed the soil of the earth,

or weighed the mountains in a balance,

or the hills on scales?

13 Who comprehends the mind of the Lord,

or gives him instruction as his counselor?

14 From whom does he receive directions?

Who teaches him the correct way to do things,

or imparts knowledge to him,

or instructs him in skillful design?

15 Look, the nations are like a drop in a bucket;

they are regarded as dust on the scales.

He lifts the coastlands as if they were dust.

16 Not even Lebanon could supply enough firewood for a sacrifice;

its wild animals would not provide enough burnt offerings.

17 All the nations are insignificant before him;

they are regarded as absolutely nothing.

18 To whom can you compare God?

To what image can you liken him?

19 A craftsman casts 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;

he then seeks a skilled craftsman

to make 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;

its inhabitants are like grasshoppers before him.

He is the one who stretches out the sky like a thin curtain,

and spreads it out like a pitched tent.

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.

26 Look up at the sky!

Who created all these heavenly lights?

He is the one who leads out their ranks;

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;

my God is not concerned with my vindication”?

28 Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The Lord is an eternal God,

the Creator of the whole earth.

He does not get tired or weary;

there is no limit to his wisdom.

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.

31 But those who wait for the Lord’s help find renewed strength;

they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings,

they run without growing weary,

they walk without getting tired.

The Scriptures quoted are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996, 2019 used with permission from Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved