2 Kings 20

1 In those days Hezekiah was sick and dying. Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “the LORD says, ‘Set your house in order; for you will die, and not live.’” 2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the LORD, saying, 3 “Remember now, LORD, I beg you, how I have walked before you in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4 Before Isaiah had gone out into the middle part of the city, the LORD’s word came to him, saying, 5 “Turn back, and tell Hezekiah the prince of my people, ‘the LORD, the God of David your father, says, “I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day, you will go up to the LORD’s house. 6 I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.”’” 7 Isaiah said, “Take a cake of figs.” They took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered. 8 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What will be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I will go up to the LORD’s house the third day?” 9 Isaiah said, “This will be the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he has spoken: should the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?” 10 Hezekiah answered, “It is a light thing for the shadow to go forward ten steps. No, but let the shadow return backward ten steps.” 11 Isaiah the prophet cried to the LORD; and he brought the shadow ten steps backward, by which it had gone down on the sundial of Ahaz. 12 At that time Berodach Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah; for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 13 Hezekiah listened to them, and showed them all the storehouse of his precious things, the silver, the gold, the spices, and the precious oil, and the house of his armor, and all that was found in his treasures. There was nothing in his house, or in all his dominion, that Hezekiah didn’t show them. 14 Then Isaiah the prophet came to king Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say? From where did they come to you?” Hezekiah said, “They have come from a far country, even from Babylon.” 15 He said, “What have they seen in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house. There is nothing amongst my treasures that I have not shown them.” 16 Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the LORD’s word. 17 ‘Behold, the days come that all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have laid up in store to this day, will be carried to Babylon. Nothing will be left,’ says the LORD. 18 ‘They will take away some of your sons who will issue from you, whom you will father; and they will be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’” 19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “the LORD’s word which you have spoken is good.” He said moreover, “Isn’t it so, if peace and truth will be in my days?” 20 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made the pool, and the conduit, and brought water into the city, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 21 Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and Manasseh his son reigned in his place.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–11

Hezekiah was sick unto death, in the same year in which the king of Assyria besieged Jerusalem. A warning to prepare for death was brought to Hezekiah by Isaiah. Prayer is one of the best preparations for death, because by it we fetch in strength and grace from God, to enable us to finish well. He wept sorely: some gather from hence that he was unwilling to die; it is in the nature of man to dread the separation of soul and body. There was also something peculiar in Hezekiah’s case; he was now in the midst of his usefulness. Let Hezekiah’s prayer, see Isa 38. interpret his tears; in that is nothing which is like his having been under that fear of death, which has bondage or torment. Hezekiah’s piety made his sick-bed easy. “O Lord, remember now;” he does not speak as if God needed to be put in mind of any thing by us; nor, as if the reward might be demanded as due; it is Christ’s righteousness only that is the purchase of mercy and grace. Hezekiah does not pray, Lord, spare me; but, Lord, remember me; whether I live or die, let me be thine. God always hears the prayers of the broken in heart, and will give health, length of days, and temporal deliverances, as much and as long as is truly good for them. Means were to be used for Hezekiah’s recovery; yet, considering to what a height the disease was come, and how suddenly it was checked, the cure was miraculous. It is our duty, when sick, to use such means as are proper to help nature, else we do not trust God, but tempt him. For the confirmation of his faith, the shadow of the sun was carried back, and the light was continued longer than usual, in a miraculous manner. This work of wonder shows the power of God in heaven as well as on earth, the great notice he takes of prayer, and the great favour he bears to his chosen.

Verses 12–21

The king of Babylon was at this time independent of the king of Assyria, though shortly after subdued by him. Hezekiah showed his treasures and armour, and other proofs of his wealth and power. This was the effect of pride and ostentation, and departing from simple reliance on God. He also seems to have missed the opportunity of speaking to the Chaldeans, about Him who had wrought the miracles which excited their attention, and of pointing out to them the absurdity and evil of idolatry. What is more common than to show our friends our houses and possessions? But if we do this in the pride of ours hearts, to gain applause from men, not giving praise to God, it becomes sin in us, as it did in Hezekiah. We may expect vexation from every object with which we are unduly pleased. Isaiah, who had often been Hezekiah’s comforter, is now is reprover. The blessed Spirit is both, Joh 16:7, 8. Ministers must be both, as there is occasion. Hezekiah allowed the justice of the sentence, and God’s goodness in the respite. Yet the prospect respecting his family and nation must have given him many painful feelings. Hezekiah was indeed humbled for the pride of his heart. And blessed are the dead who die in the Lord; for they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.

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