Bible Commentaries

Isaiah 38

Verses 1-22

In this chapter we have the story of the sickness of Hezekiah. That sickness would seem to have been intimately connected with the invasion of Sennacherib, for in Isaiah's message to Hezekiah that his prayer was heard it was promised, "I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city."

The last verse of the chapter tells us that Hezekiah had asked a sign that he should go up to the house of the Lord, this in explanation of the account of the sign of the dial given in verses Isaiah 38:7-8. The going up to the house referred to is in all probability that described in chapter 37, when he went there penitently in the hour of Rabshakeh's taunting. All this would indicate that his sickness was due to some failure on his part. Turning to the Lord, he sought deliverance, and his life was lengthened by fifteen years. In the middle of the chapter we have the psalm of praise which Hezekiah wrote to celebrate his deliverance. It first describes the days of darkness in which he found himself in the noontide of life, approaching the gates of death. In the second part he breaks out in praise of God for deliverance, and throughout the whole of it there is evident his consciousness that the affliction itself had wrought good in his life. After the deliverance he consecrated himself anew to Jehovah, to His praise, and to His service.