Hezekiah’s Illness and Recovery
1 In those days [when Sennacherib first invaded Judah] Hezekiah became deathly ill. The prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not recover.’”(A) 2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying, 3 “Please, O Lord, remember now [with compassion] how I have walked before You in faithfulness and truth and with a whole heart [entirely devoted to You], and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4 Before Isaiah had gone out of the middle courtyard, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 5 “Go back and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father (ancestor): “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears. Behold, I am healing you; on the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. 6 I will add fifteen years to your life and save you and this city [Jerusalem] from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will protect this city for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.”’” 7 Then Isaiah said, “Bring a cake of figs. And they brought it and placed it on the [painful] inflammation, and he recovered.”
8 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What will be the sign that the Lord will [completely] heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord on the third day?” 9 Isaiah said, “This will be the sign to you from the Lord, that He will do the thing that He has spoken: shall the shadow [indicating the time of day] go forward ten steps, or go backward ten steps?” 10 Hezekiah answered, “It is easy for the shadow to go forward ten steps; no, but let the shadow turn backward ten steps.” 11 So Isaiah the prophet called out to the Lord, and He brought the shadow on the steps ten steps backward by which it had gone down on the (a)sundial of Ahaz.
Hezekiah Shows Babylon His Treasures
12 At that time (b)Berodach-baladan a son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah, for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick.(B) 13 Hezekiah listened to and welcomed them and [(c)foolishly] showed them all his treasure house—the silver and gold and spices and precious oil and his armory and everything that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his house (palace) nor in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. 14 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and said to him, “What did these men say [that would cause you to do this for them]? From where have they come to you?” Hezekiah said, “They have come from a far country, from Babylon.” 15 Isaiah said, “What have they seen in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They have seen everything that is in my house (palace). There is nothing in my treasuries that I have not shown them.”
16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord. 17 ‘Behold, the time is coming when everything that is in your house, and that your fathers have stored up until this day, will be carried to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says the Lord. 18 ‘And some of your sons (descendants) who will be born to you will be (d)taken away [as captives]; and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’” 19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “Is it not good, if [at least] there will be peace and security in my lifetime?”
20 The rest of the acts of Hezekiah and all his might, and how he made the [Siloam] pool and the aqueduct and brought water into the city, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 21 Hezekiah slept with his fathers [in death], and Manasseh his son became king in his place.
a. 2 Kings 20:11: Or stairway; lit steps.
b. 2 Kings 20:12: Many mss and ancient versions read Merodach-baladan; cf Is 39:1.
c. 2 Kings 20:13: Hezekiah was showing off his wealth to the Babylonians, in disregard of the mercy God had just granted him.
d. 2 Kings 20:18: Isaiah predicted the Babylonian captivity about a hundred and fifteen years before it occurred.