The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Isaias
Chapter 38
And now Ezechias fell sick, and was at death’s door; indeed, the prophet Isaias, son of Amos, visited him with this message from the Lord, Put thy affairs in order; it is death that awaits thee, not recovery.
At this Ezechias turned his face towards the wall, and prayed to the Lord thus:
Remember, Lord, I entreat thee, a life that has kept true to thee, an innocent heart; how I did ever what was thy will. And Ezechias wept bitterly.
And thereupon the word of the Lord came to Isaias,
Go and tell Ezechias, Here is a message to thee from the Lord, the God of thy father David. I have listened to thy prayer, and marked thy tears; be it so, I will add fifteen years to thy life.
And I will save thee and thy city from the power of the Assyrian king; I will be its protector.
This sign, too, the Lord gives thee, in proof that he will make his promise good;
see how low the shadow has fallen, with sun-down, where the dial of Achaz marks the hours! I will make it go ten hours back. And with that the sun retraced ten hours of its descent.

These are the words Ezechias king of Juda wrote, upon falling sick and recovering of his illness.
It seemed as if I must go down to the gates of the world beneath, in the noontide of my years; the remnant of life that I hoped for, hoped for in vain.
No more (thought I) to lift up my eyes to the Lord God in this land of the living, to see men’s faces, and quiet homes, no more!
This familiar world taken away from me, folded up like a shepherd’s tent, my life cut short like the weaver’s thread! And he had cut me off while the web was still in the making; before the day reached its evening, he would make an end of me.
All night long I lay still, as if he had been a lion that had broken all my bones; before the day reached its evening he would make an end of me.
My voice was as feeble as the voice of a nestling swallow or murmuring dove; my eyes wearied out with ever straining upwards. Lord, I am in hard straits; win my release for me!
And yet, what words can I use, what answer can I expect, when it is he himself that has brought this upon me? With bitter heart I pass all my years in review.
Lord, so frail a thing is life; on so little does my mortal breath depend! Thou canst chastise me, thou canst make me live.
Bitter, bitter the discipline that brings me peace!

And now thou hast saved the life that was in peril, thrusting away all my sins out of thy sight.
Thou hast no praise in the world beneath, death cannot honour thee; those who go down into the grave have no promise of thine to hope for;
it is living men, as I am a living man to-day, that give thee thanks, pass on from father to son the story of thy faithfulness.
Lord, be my saviour still; so, all day long, the Lord’s house shall ring with the music of our psalms.

Note that Isaias bade them take a lump of figs, and make a plaster of it for the king’s ulcer, and this is how he was healed.
And note that Ezechias had asked what sign should be given him, in proof that he would set foot in the Lord’s house again.