Isaiah 39

CHAPTER XXXIX

The Babylonish monarch sends letters of congratulation and a

present to Hezekiah, on account of his recovery from his late

dangerous illness, 1.

The king of Judah shows the messengers of Merodach-baladan all

the treasures of his house and kingdom, 2.

The prophet takes occasion from this ostentatious display of

the king to predict the captivity of the royal family, and of

the people, by the Babylonians, 3-8.

NOTES ON CHAP. XXXIX

Hitherto the copy of this history in the second book of Kings

has been much the most correct; in this chapter that in Isaiah has

the advantage. In the two first verses two mistakes in the other

copy are to be corrected from this: for hizkiyahu, read

vayechezek, and was recovered; and for vaiyishma,

he heard, read vaiyismach, he rejoiced.

Verse 1. At that time Merodach-baladan] This name is variously

written in the MSS. Berodach, Medorach, Medarech, and Medurach.

"And ambassadors"] The Septuagint add here καιπρεσβεις; that

is, umalachim, and ambassadors; which word seems to be

necessary to the sense, though omitted in the Hebrew text both

here and in the other copy, 2Ki 20:12. For the subsequent

narration refers to them all along, "these men, whence came they?"

&c.; plainly supposing them to have been personally mentioned

before. See Houbigant.

Verse 6. To Babylon] babelah, so two MSS., (one ancient;)

rightly, without doubt as the other copy (2Ki 20:17) has it. This

prediction was fulfilled about one hundred and fifty years after

it was spoken: see Da 1:2, 3-7. What a proof of Divine

omniscience!

Verse 8. Then said Hezekiah] The nature of Hezekiah's crime, and

his humiliation on the message of God to him by the prophet, is

more expressly declared by the author of the book of the

Chronicles: "But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the

benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up; therefore

there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem.

Notwithstanding, Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his

heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath

of the Lord came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah. And

Hezekiah prospered in all his works. Howbeit, in the business of

the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to

inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to

try him, that he might know all that was in his heart."

2Ch 32:25, 26, 30, 31.

There shall be peace and truth in my days.] I rather think these

words should be understood as an humble inquiry of the king,

addressed to the prophet. "Shall there be prosperity, shalom,

and truth in MY days?-Shall I escape the evil which thou

predictest?" Understood otherwise, they manifest a pitiful

unconcern both for his own family and for the nation. "So I be

well, I care not how it may go with others." This is the view I

have taken of the passage in 2Ki 21:19. Let the reader judge

whether this, or the former, should be preferred.

See Clarke on 2Ki 20:20.

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