Isaiah 38
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1  In those days was Chizkiyahu sick unto death. And Yeshayahu the Navi the son of Amotz came to him, and said unto him: ‘Thus saith Hashem: Set thy house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.’

ba-ya-MEEM ha-HAYM kha-LAH khiz-ki-YA-hu la-MUT va-ya-VO ay-LAV y’-sha-ya-HU ven a-MOTZ ha-na-VEE va-YO-mer ay-LAV koh a-MAR a-do-NAI tzav l’-vay-TE-kha kee mayt a-TAH v’-LO tikh-YEH

א  בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם חָלָה חִזְקִיָּהוּ לָמוּת וַיָּבוֹא אֵלָיו יְשַׁעְיָהוּ בֶן אָמוֹץ הַנָּבִיא וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צַו לְבֵיתֶךָ כִּי מֵת אַתָּה וְלֹא תִחְיֶה.

38:1   For thou shalt die, and not live

The Talmud relates an ancient tradition regarding the exchange between Isaiah and Hezekiah. When Hezekiah became sick, Isaiah came and said “You shall die and not live – meaning you shall die in this world and not live in the world to come. Hezekiah said: Why so harsh a decree? Isaiah: Because you did not try to have children. He said: I saw through prophecy that my children would be evil (referring to Menassah). Isaiah said: Why did you meddle with God’s secrets? You should have done what you were commanded! … Now, the decree is final! Said Hezekiah: Son of Amoz, finish your prophecy and go. One tradition I received from my ancestor (King David): Even if a sharp sword rests upon a man’s neck he should not desist from prayer. Hezekiah prayed and he was saved.” King David’s teaching applies to everyone. It is never to late to return to the Lord and call out to Him in sincere prayer.

Comment

2  Then Chizkiyahu turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto Hashem,

ב  וַיַּסֵּב חִזְקִיָּהוּ פָּנָיו אֶל הַקִּיר וַיִּתְפַּלֵּל אֶל יְהוָה.

3  and said: ‘Remember now, O Hashem, I beseech Thee, how I have walked before Thee in truth and with a whole heart, and have done that which is good in Thy sight.’ And Chizkiyahu wept sore.

ג  וַיֹּאמַר אָנָּה יְהוָה זְכָר נָא אֵת אֲשֶׁר הִתְהַלַּכְתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ בֶּאֱמֶת וּבְלֵב שָׁלֵם וְהַטּוֹב בְּעֵינֶיךָ עָשִׂיתִי וַיֵּבְךְּ חִזְקִיָּהוּ בְּכִי גָדוֹל.

4  Then came the word of Hashem to Yeshayahu, saying:

ד  וַיְהִי דְּבַר יְהוָה אֶל יְשַׁעְיָהוּ לֵאמֹר.

5  ‘Go, and say to Chizkiyahu: Thus saith Hashem, 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.

ה  הָלוֹךְ וְאָמַרְתָּ אֶל חִזְקִיָּהוּ כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי דָּוִד אָבִיךָ שָׁמַעְתִּי אֶת תְּפִלָּתֶךָ רָאִיתִי אֶת דִּמְעָתֶךָ הִנְנִי יוֹסִף עַל יָמֶיךָ חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה.

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

ו  וּמִכַּף מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר אַצִּילְךָ וְאֵת הָעִיר הַזֹּאת וְגַנּוֹתִי עַל הָעִיר הַזֹּאת.

7  And this shall be the sign unto thee from Hashem, that Hashem will do this thing that He hath spoken:

ז  וְזֶה לְּךָ הָאוֹת מֵאֵת יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשֶׂה יְהוָה אֶת הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר דִּבֵּר.

8  behold, I will cause the shadow of the dial, which is gone down on the sun-dial of Achaz, to return backward ten degrees.’ So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.

ח  הִנְנִי מֵשִׁיב אֶת צֵל הַמַּעֲלוֹת אֲשֶׁר יָרְדָה בְמַעֲלוֹת אָחָז בַּשֶּׁמֶשׁ אֲחֹרַנִּית עֶשֶׂר מַעֲלוֹת וַתָּשָׁב הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ עֶשֶׂר מַעֲלוֹת בַּמַּעֲלוֹת אֲשֶׁר יָרָדָה.

9  The writing of Chizkiyahu king of Yehudah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness.

ט  מִכְתָּב לְחִזְקִיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה בַּחֲלֹתוֹ וַיְחִי מֵחָלְיוֹ.

10  I said: In the noontide of my days I shall go, even to the gates of the nether-world; I am deprived of the residue of my years.

י  אֲנִי אָמַרְתִּי בִּדְמִי יָמַי אֵלֵכָה בְּשַׁעֲרֵי שְׁאוֹל פֻּקַּדְתִּי יֶתֶר שְׁנוֹתָי.

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

יא  אָמַרְתִּי לֹא אֶרְאֶה יָהּ יָהּ בְּאֶרֶץ הַחַיִּים לֹא אַבִּיט אָדָם עוֹד עִם יוֹשְׁבֵי חָדֶל.

12  My habitation is plucked up and carried away from me as a shepherd’s tent; I have rolled up like a weaver my life; He will cut me off from the thrum; from day even to night wilt Thou make an end of me.

יב  דּוֹרִי נִסַּע וְנִגְלָה מִנִּי כְּאֹהֶל רֹעִי קִפַּדְתִּי כָאֹרֵג חַיַּי מִדַּלָּה יְבַצְּעֵנִי מִיּוֹם עַד לַיְלָה תַּשְׁלִימֵנִי.

13  The more I make myself like unto a lion until morning, the more it breaketh all my bones; from day even to night wilt Thou make an end of me.

יג  שִׁוִּיתִי עַד בֹּקֶר כָּאֲרִי כֵּן יְשַׁבֵּר כָּל עַצְמוֹתָי מִיּוֹם עַד לַיְלָה תַּשְׁלִימֵנִי.

14  Like a swallow or a crane, so do I chatter, I do moan as a dove; mine eyes fail with looking upward. O Hashem, I am oppressed, be Thou my surety.

יד  כְּסוּס עָגוּר כֵּן אֲצַפְצֵף אֶהְגֶּה כַּיּוֹנָה דַּלּוּ עֵינַי לַמָּרוֹם אֲדֹנָי עָשְׁקָה לִּי עָרְבֵנִי.

15  What shall I say? He hath both spoken unto me, and Himself hath done it; I shall go softly all my years for the bitterness of my soul.

טו  מָה אֲדַבֵּר וְאָמַר לִי וְהוּא עָשָׂה אֶדַּדֶּה כָל שְׁנוֹתַי עַל מַר נַפְשִׁי.

16  O Lord, by these things men live, and altogether therein is the life of my spirit; wherefore recover Thou me, and make me to live.

טז  אֲדֹנָי עֲלֵיהֶם יִחְיוּ וּלְכָל בָּהֶן חַיֵּי רוּחִי וְתַחֲלִימֵנִי וְהַחֲיֵנִי.

17  Behold, for my 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.

יז  הִנֵּה לְשָׁלוֹם מַר לִי מָר וְאַתָּה חָשַׁקְתָּ נַפְשִׁי מִשַּׁחַת בְּלִי כִּי הִשְׁלַכְתָּ אַחֲרֵי גֵוְךָ כָּל חֲטָאָי.

18  For the nether-world cannot praise Thee, death cannot celebrate Thee; they that go down into the pit cannot hope for Thy truth.

יח  כִּי לֹא שְׁאוֹל תּוֹדֶךָּ מָוֶת יְהַלְלֶךָּ לֹא יְשַׂבְּרוּ יוֹרְדֵי בוֹר אֶל אֲמִתֶּךָ.

19  The living, the living, he shall praise Thee, as I do this day; the father to the children shall make known Thy truth.

יט  חַי חַי הוּא יוֹדֶךָ כָּמוֹנִי הַיּוֹם אָב לְבָנִים יוֹדִיעַ אֶל אֲמִתֶּךָ.

20  Hashem is ready to save me; therefore we will sing songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of Hashem.

כ  יְהוָה לְהוֹשִׁיעֵנִי וּנְגִנוֹתַי נְנַגֵּן כָּל יְמֵי חַיֵּינוּ עַל בֵּית יְהוָה.

21  And Yeshayahu said: ‘Let them take a cake of figs, and lay it for a plaster upon the boil, and he shall recover.’

כא  וַיֹּאמֶר יְשַׁעְיָהוּ יִשְׂאוּ דְּבֶלֶת תְּאֵנִים וְיִמְרְחוּ עַל הַשְּׁחִין וְיֶחִי.

22  And Chizkiyahu said. ‘What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of Hashem?’

כב  וַיֹּאמֶר חִזְקִיָּהוּ מָה אוֹת כִּי אֶעֱלֶה בֵּית יְהוָה.

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Isaiah 37
Isaiah 39

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Isaiah 38