Study Guide

Book of Isaiah Chapter 38

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Chapter 38

Sun Stopper

  • King Hezekiah is sick and bedridden. Isaiah tells him that he won't be able to live any longer, that God has decreed this to be the end.
  • Hezekiah prays to God, asking him to remember how Hezekiah has served him wholeheartedly and tried to be righteous.
  • God then tells Isaiah that he'll extend Hezekiah's life by fifteen years, in return for his goodness. God proves this with a sign, making the shadow on the sundial turn back by ten steps.

Fig Newtons, Anyone?

  • Next, there's a poem of thanks Hezekiah wrote after his recovery.
  • He discusses how sick he was, how he seemed destined for the underworld, his life-span being cut off like a weaver's thread. Wracked with pain, he cried day and night.
  • He worried about life in the underworld, lost in darkness, unable to speak to God.
  • But God has restored him. Hezekiah says, "Thanks," stating that he and others will sing to God with stringed instruments in the Temple for all the days of their lives.
  • Isaiah then recommends using figs to treat the boil that's been making Hezekiah so sick.
  • Hezekiah asks what sign there will be for him to go to the Lord's House (but it ends without answering).

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