2 Kings 20 – “Hezekiah’s Illness; The Babylonians Visit Jerusalem”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Hezekiah prays to God and recovers from his illness. The Babylonians send messengers to Jerusalem and Hezekiah shows them his treasurehouses. Isaiah warns Hezekiah that the Babylonians will raid Jerusalem and plunder its wealth.

II. Photo
An ailing Hezekiah prays for recovery: “Thereupon Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord.” (v. 2a)

III. Important Verses
1-6: In those days Hezekiah fell dangerously ill. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came and said to him, “Thus said the LORD: Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die; you will not get well.” Thereupon Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD. He said,  “Please, O LORD, remember how I have walked before You sincerely and wholeheartedly, and have done what is pleasing to You.” And Hezekiah wept profusely. Before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: “Go back and say to Hezekiah, the ruler of My people: Thus said the LORD, the God of your father David: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears. I am going to heal you; on the third day you shall go up to the House of the LORD. And I will add fifteen years to your life. I will also rescue you and this city from the hands of the king of Assyria. I will protect this city for My sake and for the sake of My servant David.”
9-11: Isaiah replied, “This is the sign for you from the LORD that the LORD will do the thing that He has promised: Shall the shadow advance ten steps or recede ten steps?” Hezekiah said, “It is easy for the shadow to lengthen ten steps, but not for the shadow to recede ten steps.” So the prophet Isaiah called to the LORD, and He made the shadow which had descended on the dial of Ahaz recede ten steps.
16-18: Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD: A time is coming when everything in your palace which your ancestors have stored up to this day will be carried off to Babylon; nothing will remain behind, said the LORD. And some of your sons, your own issue, whom you will have fathered, will be taken to serve as eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”

IV. Outline
1a. Hezekiah falls ill
1b. Isaiah informs him of his coming death
2-3. Hezekiah’s prayer
4-6. God tells Isaiah that he will save Hezekiah
7. Isaiah heals Hezekiah
8-11. A sign of recovery: a shadow recedes 10 steps
12. Berodach-baladan of Babylon sends a gift to Hezekiah
13. Hezekiah shows the messengers his riches
14-18. Isaiah predicts a Babylonian raid of Jerusalem
19. Hezekiah accepts the decree
20-21. Summary statement: Hezekiah king of Judah

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Cogan, Mordechai and Hayim Tadmor. “II Kings” The Anchor Bible v. 11 (USA: Doubleday, 1988).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Hobbs, T.R. “2 Kings” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 13 (Waco, Texas: Wordbooks, 1985).
Photo taken from http://munfitnessblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/sad-man-forehead-on-the-wall.JPG