2 Kings Chapter 20 is about Hezekiah’s sickness. The prophet Isaiah, who was the son of Amoz, visited him and told him that the Lord said Hezekiah should put his house in order because he will not recover from his sickness. Hezekiah then turned away from him and prayed to God. While doing this, he wept bitterly.
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Hezekiah Asks for a Sign
As Isaiah was leaving, he told him to go back and tell Hezekiah that he will soon be healed. He will also deliver his city from the king of Assyria. Hezekiah then asked for a sign. Isaiah said that the Lord will do as he promises. He asked if the shadow should go back or forward ten steps. Hezekiah said back, and it did just as he asked.
Touring Hezekiah’s Palace
The king of Babylon, Marduk-Baladan, heard of Hezekiah’s illness, so he sent him gifts. When he received them, he showed the men who brought them around the palace. There was nothing in the kingdom that Hezekiah concealed. Isaiah asked where those people were from and what they saw in the palace. Hezekiah said that the men who entered the palace were from Babylon and that he showed them everything.
The Future of Hezekiah’s Kingdom
Isaiah then told him the words of the Lord, which said that there will come a day when everything he owned, everything that he showed those men will be stored up and taken to Babylon. The Lord says that there will be nothing in their kingdom which will be left alone as everything will be carried off to Babylon.
Even people who are born to Hezekiah will be taken there. Hezekiah listened to Isaiah and said that the word he has spoken is good. However, he worried that there would never be any security during his lifetime and his reign. When he passed, his son Manasseh took the throne.
2 Kings 20 (King James Version)
1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.
2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying,
3 I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
4 And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying,
5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD.
6 And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.
7 And Isaiah said, Take a lump of figs. And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.
8 And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the LORD the third day?
9 And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?
10 And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.
11 And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.
12 At that time Berodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present unto Hezekiah: for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick.
13 And Hezekiah hearkened unto them, and shewed them all the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not.
14 Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country, even from Babylon.
15 And he said, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All the things that are in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them.
16 And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah, Hear the word of the LORD.
17 Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD.
18 And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.
19 Then said Hezekiah unto Isaiah, Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. And he said, Is it not good, if peace and truth be in my days?
20 And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made a pool, and a conduit, and brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
21 And Hezekiah slept with his fathers: and Manasseh his son reigned in his stead.