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This is a chronologically-ordered Bible site with commentary on each passage.
The daily summaries are written by Wayne D. Turner, Pastor of Fayette Bible Church in Fayetteville, Georgia

This is the October 3 reading. Select here for a new reading date:


BibleTrack Summary: October 3
Kings & Prophets
<< Isa 37
<< Psa 75

For New King James text and comment, click here.

 

 

Isaiah 38-39; Psalm 76    Listen Podcast  

 

 

Hezekiah gets sick...real sick (Isaiah 38)
Click here to see the record of this account in II Kings 20:1-11.

Isaiah 38
II Kings 20
1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live.
2 Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD,
3 And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, 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 Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying,
5 Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.
6 And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city.
7 And this shall be a sign unto thee from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that he hath spoken;
8 Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down.
9 The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness:
10 I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall go to the gates of the grave: I am deprived of the residue of my years.
11 I said, I shall not see the LORD, even the LORD, in the land of the living: I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world.
12 Mine age is departed, and is removed from me as a shepherd’s tent: I have cut off like a weaver my life: he will cut me off with pining sickness: from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me.
13 I reckoned till morning, that, as a lion, so will he break all my bones: from day even to night wilt thou make an end of me.
14 Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me.
15 What shall I say? he hath both spoken unto me, and himself hath done it: I shall go softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul.
16 O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit: so wilt thou recover me, and make me to live.
17 Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.
18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.
19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: the father to the children shall make known thy truth.
20 The LORD was ready to save me: therefore we will sing my songs to the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the LORD.
21 For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover.
22 Hezekiah also had said, What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the LORD?
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.

Hezekiah's so sick, he's about to die; he goes back to God in prayer (verses 1-3) asking that his life might be spared...at least for the immediate future.

Through Isaiah, God makes two promises to Hezekiah:

In II Kings 20:8, Hezekiah wants an immediate sign that God will fulfill his two promises here. That's where the sun dial comes into play. After a little negotiation with God regarding which way he wanted the sun to abnormally move, backward or forward, Hezekiah decides he'd like to go look at his Dad's (Ahaz) sun dial and see the sun's shadow move back 10 degrees (some specific unit of measurement) on the dial. Since we don't have the details of the construction of this sun dial, we don't know exactly how it was marked. Therefore, it is impossible to tell exactly how much of the day's sunlight was repeated on this occasion. Here's what we do know; God gave a sign of his promise to Hezekiah on the sun dial that was definitive. More details are available in the notes on II Kings 20:1-11.

In verses 9-20, Hezekiah writes down his thoughts regarding his sickness:

As a deal capper, God gives Hezekiah that special sun-dial miracle to demonstrate his ability to keep his promise regarding the extension of Hezekiah's life. In the II Kings account, we see that Hezekiah specifically only mentions this aspect of the promise. We see one more interesting fact about the healing of Hezekiah that day in II Kings 20:7; Hezekiah had a nasty-looking boil upon which Isaiah commanded a lump of figs should be laid - briefly mentioned in Isaiah's account here in verses 21-22.

Hezekiah, what have you done! (Isaiah 39)
Click here to see the record of this account in II Kings 20:12-21.

Isaiah 39
II Kings 20
1 At that time Merodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah: for he had heard that he had been sick, and was recovered.
2 And Hezekiah was glad of them, and shewed them 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.
3 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 unto me, even from Babylon.
4 Then said he, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All that is in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them.
5 Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the LORD of hosts:
6 Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD.
7 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.
8 Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days.
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.

Here's the man (Hezekiah) who went before God and pled for his city and then for his life. God honored both prayers. But Hezekiah never quite got it. You will recall that he had first tried to hedge his bets against the Assyrians by forming an alliance with Egypt. Egypt subsequently fell to the Assyrians. While Hezekiah had a firm relationship with God, he liked to cover all his bases. It was Isaiah who held Hezekiah's feet to the fire. And...to Hezekiah's credit, he gave heed to Isaiah's counsel. However, in verse 1, visitors from afar show up at Hezekiah's door - messengers from Merodachbaladan of Babylon.

Here's the entry regarding "Merodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon" of Isaiah 39:1 taken from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:

The son of Baladan, is mentioned in Isa 39:1, as a king of Babylon who sent an embassy to Hezekiah, king of Judah, apparently shortly after the latter’s illness, in order to congratulate him on his recovery of health, and to make with him an offensive and defensive alliance. This Merodach-baladan was a king of the Chaldeans of the house of Yakin, and was the most dangerous and inveterate foe of Sargon and his son Sennacherib, kings of Assyria, with whom he long and bitterly contested the possession of Babylon and the surrounding provinces. Merodach-Baladan seems to have seized Babylon immediately after the death of Shalmaneser in 721 BC; and it was not till the 12th year of his reign that Sargon succeeded in ousting him. From that time down to the 8th campaign of Sennacherib, Sargon and his son pursued with relentless animosity Merodach-Baladan and his family until at last his son Nabushumishkun was captured and the whole family of Merodach-Baladan was apparently destroyed. According to the monuments, therefore, it was from a worldly point of view good politics for Hezekiah and his western allies to come to an understanding with Merodach-Baladan and the Arameans, Elamites, and others, who were confederated with him. From a strategical point of view, the weakness of the allied powers consisted in the fact that the Arabian desert lay between the eastern and western members of the confederacy, so that the Assyrian kings were able to attack their enemies when they pleased and to defeat them in detail.

But where was Isaiah when these envoys show up to visit Hezekiah? They said they came to pay their respects because they heard that Hezekiah had been sick. That sounds suspicious. Although, as a vassal state of Assyria at the time, Merodachbaladan must have admired the fact that Jerusalem alone had withstood the Assyrian assault - something he had failed to do up to this point. Hezekiah wanted to make their trip worthwhile, so he showed them everything he owned. After all, they had a common enemy - Assyria.

Then Isaiah shows up and says something to the effect of, "You did what?!" Isaiah breaks some bad news to Hezekiah. These people will be back. They'll return one day as conquerors...and lead your descendants into captivity. Some good news though - you'll die before this happens; all this will happen to your kids, not you. News that I think I would find depressing seems to please Hezekiah (verse 8) - "at least it won't happen to me!"

The miracle of Isaiah's prophecy...revisited
The prophecy issued by Isaiah to King Hezekiah here is so remarkable, it should be emphasized again.

Following are the essential components of Isaiah's prophecy:

What a prophet of God! In the face of impossible odds, Isaiah correctly prophesies that Jerusalem will not fall. Yet, Isaiah prophesies that Jerusalem will fall 115 years later to an empire that in 701 B.C. was not even an empire - just a vassal state of Assyria. Just as I said, "REMARKABLE!"

God's a glorious and majestic judge (Psalm 76)

To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm or Song of Asaph.
1 In Judah is God known: his name is great in Israel.
2 In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion.
3 There brake he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle. Selah.
4 Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey.
5 The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep: and none of the men of might have found their hands.
6 At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep.
7 Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?
8 Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still,
9 When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth. Selah.
10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.
11 Vow, and pay unto the LORD your God: let all that be round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared.
12 He shall cut off the spirit of princes: he is terrible to the kings of the earth.

This Psalm is chronologically inserted here on BibleTrack along with Isaiah 38-39 because several of the references contained herein seem to describe the Assyrian threat on Jerusalem. It was quite possibly written during this time period. In this Psalm, we find an enemy who is supernaturally defeated because they fall into a deep sleep. And...that's what happened to the Assyrians in 701 B.C. outside of Jerusalem during the reign of King Hezekiah.

In the subtitle of this Psalm we find the word "Neginoth" which identifies songs with instrumental accompaniment.


For commentary on another passage, click here.


Copyright 2003-2011 by Wayne D. Turner