2 Kings 20

Hezekiah is Healed

In those days Hezekiah was stricken with a terminal illness.
Heb “was sick to the point of dying.”
The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz visited him and told him, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Give your household instructions, for you are about to die; you will not get well.’”
Heb “will not live.”
He turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, “Please, Lord. Remember how I have served you
Heb “walked before you.” For a helpful discussion of the background and meaning of this Hebrew idiom, see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 254.
faithfully and with wholehearted devotion,
Heb “and with a complete heart.”
and how I have carried out your will.”
Heb “and that which is good in your eyes I have done.”
Then Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Heb “wept with great weeping.”


Isaiah was still in the middle courtyard when the Lord told him,
Heb “and Isaiah had not gone out of the middle courtyard, and the word of the Lord came to him, saying.” Instead of “courtyard” (חָצֵר, khatser), the marginal reading, (Qere), the Hebrew consonantal text (Kethib) has הָעִיר (hair), “the city.”
“Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people: ‘This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will heal you. The day after tomorrow
Heb “on the third day.”
you will go up to the Lord’s temple.
I will add fifteen years to your life and rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will shield this city for the sake of my reputation and because of my promise to David my servant.”’”
Heb “for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.”
Isaiah ordered, “Get a fig cake.” So they did as he ordered
Heb “and they got [a fig cake].”
and placed it on the ulcerated sore, and he recovered.
Heb “and he lived.”


Hezekiah had said to Isaiah, “What is the confirming sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go up to the Lord’s temple the day after tomorrow?” Isaiah replied, “This is your sign from the Lord confirming that the Lord will do what he has said. Do you want the shadow to move ahead ten steps or to go back ten steps?”
The Hebrew הָלַךְ (halakh, a perfect), “it has moved ahead,” should be emended to הֲיֵלֵךְ (hayelekh, an imperfect with interrogative he [ה] prefixed), “shall it move ahead.”
10 Hezekiah answered, “It is easy for the shadow to lengthen ten steps, but not for it
Heb “the shadow.” The noun has been replaced by the pronoun (“it”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
to go back ten steps.”
11 Isaiah the prophet called out to the Lord, and the Lord
Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
made the shadow go back ten steps on the stairs of Ahaz.
Heb “on the steps which [the sun] had gone down, on the steps of Ahaz, back ten steps.”
These steps probably functioned as a type of sundial. See HALOT 614 s.v. מַעֲלָה and M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 256.


Messengers from Babylon Visit Hezekiah

12  At that time Merodach-Baladan
The MT has “Berodach-Baladan,” but several Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, and Latin witnesses agree with the parallel passage in Isa 39:1 and read “Merodach-Baladan.”
son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah, for he had heard that Hezekiah was ill.
13 Hezekiah welcomed
Heb “listened to.” Some Hebrew mss, as well as the LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate versions agree with the parallel passage in Isa 39:2 and read, “was happy with.”
them and showed them his whole storehouse, with its silver, gold, spices, and high quality olive oil, as well as his armory and everything in his treasuries. Hezekiah showed them everything in his palace and in his whole kingdom.
Heb “there was nothing which Hezekiah did not show them in his house and in all his kingdom.”
14 Isaiah the prophet visited King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did these men say? Where do they come from?” Hezekiah replied, “They come from the distant land of Babylon.” 15 Isaiah
Heb “he”; the referent (Isaiah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
asked, “What have they seen in your palace?” Hezekiah replied, “They have seen everything in my palace. I showed them everything
Heb “there was nothing I did not show them.”
in my treasuries.”
16 Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Listen to the word of the Lord, 17 ‘Look, a time is
Heb “days are.”
coming when everything in your palace and the things your ancestors have accumulated to this day will be carried away to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says the Lord.
18 ‘Some of your very own descendants whom you father
Heb “Some of your sons, who go out from you, whom you father.”
will be taken away and will be made eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’”
19 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The Lord’s word which you have announced is appropriate.”
Heb “good.”
Then he added,
Heb “and he said.” Many English versions translate, “for he thought.” The verb אָמַר (’amar), “say,” is sometimes used of what one thinks (that is, says to oneself). Cf. NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT.
“At least there will be peace and stability during my lifetime.”
Heb “Is it not [true] there will be peace and stability in my days?” The rhetorical question expects the answer, “Yes, there will be peace and stability.”


20  The rest of the events of Hezekiah’s reign and all his accomplishments, including how he built a pool and conduit to bring
Heb “and he brought.”
water into the city, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah.
Heb “As for the rest of the events of Hezekiah, and all his strength, and how he made a pool and a conduit and brought water to the city, are they not written on the scroll of the events of the days of the kings of Judah?”
21 Hezekiah passed away
Heb “lay down with his fathers.”
and his son Manasseh replaced him as king.

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