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S the prophet the son of Amoz. And they sakl unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day [is] a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and

4 [there is] not strength to bring forth. It may be the Lord thy God will hear the words of R'abshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God, and will reprove the words which the Lord thy God hath heard: where.

5 fore lift up [thy] prayer for the remnant that is left. So the

6 servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say unto your master, Thus saith the Lord, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.

7 Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumor, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.

8 So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah: for he had heard that he was departed

9 from Lachish. And he heard say concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, He is come forth to make war with thee. And when

10 he heard [it,] he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God, in whom thou trustest, deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem

11 shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands

12 by destroying them utterly; and shalt thou be delivered? Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed, [as] Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children

IS of Eden which [were] in Telassar? Where [is] the king of Hamath, and the king of Arphad, and the king of the city of

1 i Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah? And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the Lord, ani spread it before

15 16 the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed unto the Lord, saying, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest [between] the cherubims, thou [art] the God, [even] thou alone, of all the kingdoms

17 of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth. Incline thine ear, O Lord, and hear; open thine eyes, O Lord, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach

18 the living God. Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have

19 laid waste all the nations, and their countries, And have cast their gods into the fire: for they [were] no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed

20 them. Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou [art] the Lord, [even] thou only.

21 Then Isaiah the son of. Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Whereas thou hast prayed

22 to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria: This [is] the word which the Lord hath spoken concerning him; The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, [and] laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at the*\

23 Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed; and against whom hast thou exalted [thy] voice, and lifted up thine eyes on

24 high? [even] against the Holy One of Israel. By thy servants hast thou reproached the Lord, and hast said, By the multitude of my chariots am I come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon; and I will cut down tne tall cedars thereof, [and] the choice fir trees thereof: and I will enter into the

25 height of his border, [and] the forest of his Carmel. I have digged, and drunk water; and with the sole of my feet have I

26 dried up all the rivers of the besieged places. Hast thou not heard long ago, [how] I have done it; [and] of ancient times, that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that thoji shouldst be to lay waste defenced cities [into] ruinous heaps.

-7 Therefore their inhabitants [were] of small power, they were dismayed and confounded: they were [as] the grass of the field, and [as] the green herb, [as] the grass on the house tops, and

23 [as corn] blasted before it be grown up. But I know thy abode, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy rage against me.

29 Because thy rage against me, and thy tumult, is come up into mine ears, therefore will I put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee hack by the way by which

30 thou earnest. And this [shall be] a sign upto thee, Ye shall eat [this] year such as groweth of itself; and the second year that which springeth of the same: and in the third year sow ye, and

31 reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof. And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take

32 root downward, and bear fruit upward: For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount

33 Zion: the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this. Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come be

54 fore it with shields, nor cast a bank against it. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into

35 this city, saith the Lorp. For I will defend this city to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake,

36 Then the angel of the Lord went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and four score and five thou-, sand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they

37 [were] all dead corpses. So Sennacherib k'uig of Assyria de

38 parted, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his, god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Armenia: and; Iisarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.

CHAP. XXXVIII.

The first part of this chapter gives an account of Hezekiah's dangerous sickness and miraculous recovery; the latter part is a tender and beautiful song of thanksgiving, in ivhich this pious king breathed out the sentiments of a grateful heart when his life was as it were restored.

1 TN those days was Hezekiah sick unto death, that is, of some Jl distemper, which in the common course of nature would prove mortal.* And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house

2 in order: for thou shalt die, and not live. 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, from the apprehension that he should leave his kingdom

4 in distress, and without an heir. Then came the word of the

5 Lohd to Isaiuh, saying, Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the Lord,, the God of David thy father, whose family seemed to be in danger of extinction, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy

6 tears : behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of

7 Assyria: and I will defend this city. And this [shall be] a sign unto thee from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing

8 that he hath spoken ; Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward.t 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; or, a song of thanksgiv

10 ingfor his deliverance : 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; being but about thirty nine years old, I might naturally

11 expect a longer life. I said, I shall not see the Lord, [even] the Lord, in the land of the living, in his house and ordinances; that is, no more join in or support his worship: I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world; / shall see my subjects and friends no more; / shall have no more opportunities of doing good to the public or myself; a sentiment full of piety and

12 benevolence. Mine age is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd's tent ; a weak, frail building, that is easily taken down or removed from place to place: I have cut off like a weaver my life ; have given up all my schemes and proip,:cts: he will cut me off with pining sickness: from day [even] to night wilt

• Thii sickness happtned in the spice between Sennacherib's invasion ajid the destruo* tion of his army.

t Probably an inflection of the rays of the sua, wliisS continued for some time.

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thou make an end of me; / thought this would be the case etery

13 morning and evening. I reckoned till morning, [that,] as a lion, so will he broak all my bones: from day [even] to night wilt thou make an end of me; / thought the violence of my pain would destroy me before morning, like a lion breaking my bones.

14 Like a crane [or] a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove; my voice was weak and broken, so that I could only sigh and bemoan myself: mine eyes fail [with looking] upward ; or rather, mine eyes are so weak that I cannot look up: O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me; lam sinking under this heavy affliction; O Lord, appear for me, before death seizes upon me.

15 What shall I say ? an expression of God's great goodness, and of Ms own thankfulness; how shall I find words to express my gratitude? he hath both spoken unto me, and himself hath done [it l] he promised health, and it immediately came: I shall go softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul; / shall all my days remember the bitterness of my soul; or it may refer to walking humbly and circumspectly be

16 fore God after it. O Lord, by these [things,] thy power and goodness, [men] live, and I in particular, and in all these [things is] the life of my spirit: so wilt thou recover me, and make

17 me to live ; by thee I shall still be supported. Beholdy for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul [delivered it] from the pit of corruption: for tfcou hast Cast all my sins behind thy back; thou hast forgiven my sins which brought this distemper upon me, and hast shown thy favour to me by thus

f8 recovering me. For the grave cannot praise thee, death can [not] celebrate (hee: they that go down into (he pit cannot hope for thy truth ; they cannot glori/ y thee on earth and serve man-, kind, or expect to see thy promises to thy church and peoplefulfilled.

'i9 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I [do] this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth ; they that have been recovered shall praise thee themselves, and relate thy goodness to their children, to encourage them to trust in thee.

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 ; not otdy this song, but other devout compositions; not merely in one visit paid to the sanctuary, but as long as

21 mit recovered life nhall continue. For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay [it] for a plaister upon the boil,

22 and he shall recover.* Hezekiah also had said, What [is] the sign, that I shall go up to the house of the Lord ? that was the

first place he designed to visit, and therefore he put the question with particular reference to it.

• Perhapi the,e mif*ht have a natur:d virrue to ripen the lmposthume^ but could not heart it 10 BOOti without extraordinary interpositions

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useful instructions to the sick

J. and infirm; and such any of us may very soon be. We should therefore set our houses in order, make our wills, settle our affairs, and contrive for the peace of survivors. Especially should we set our souls in order; renew the exercise of repentance and faith, and make our peace with God, with men, and our own consciences. Let the sick pray, and humble themselves; acknowledge the hand of God in the visitation, and seek help from him ; but they should not neglect the assistance of physicians and medicines, lest thel) temftf the Lord their God. Though Hezekiah's recovery was in a great measure miraculous, yet natural means were used, to teach us the use of them. Let us not think our fears of d-ath signs of our being in a sinful state, for even Hezekiah wept sore at its approach, though he could appeal to God that he had walked before him in truth, and with a perfect heart, and had done that ivhich was good in his sight.

2. Those who have been recovered from sickness may see what should be their temper and conduct. It is proper to recollect, and keep written memorials of their danger and deliverance ; of the workings of their thoughts and affections ; their views of God, themselves, and another world ; and of their resolutions and Vows. Let them be very thankful for their escapes from death; remembering, that it was the Lord that healed them, that recovered them from the pit of corruption, when just sinking into it; they should express their thankfulness in their addresses to God, and in their conversation with others, for their encouragement. It should be our care to walk humbly with God; to proceed with caution and watchfulness in the way of duty; to be zealous for his honour, and" diligent and serious in our attendance upon his ordinances. Hezekiah's love to God's house showed itself very remarkably during his sickness; he lamented his being deprived of attendance there, and resolved to frequent it constantly while he lived. Thus should we improve our recoveries from sickness, or our continued health; remembering, that life is short, and that there is no knowledge, wisdim, or device, in the grave, whither we are all going.

1 J\ T that time Merodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of X\. Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah: for lie

2 had heard that he had been sick, and was recovered. And Hezekiah was glad of them, and showed them the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that

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• For the il!utiruiun and improvement of this chapter, lee 2 Kings, xx. iI— ;o.

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