2 KINGS 20
Historically, verses 1-11 should appear after ch. 19:34 for it occurred before the destruction of the Assyrians.*
Sickness strikes down the king
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 Yahweh, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.
24 In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the Lord: and he spake unto him, and he gave him a sign.
25 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.
26 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. 2Chron 32
He was "sick unto death," a physical malady that was in a very virulent and incurable form, implying the living death of leprosy (v. 7). It typified the cause of physical defilement in mankind: the "law of sin and death" which afflicts all mankind, and from which there is no cure apart from the divine redemption.*
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. Isa 38
..."In those days" relate to the eve of the Assyrian attack (cp. v. 6). It would add to the consternation and confusion of the crisis, and thrust the city into further gloom. His sickness was of a very virulent and incurable form, laying the basis for Isa. 53:4. *
2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto Yahweh, saying,
The Prayer of Faith
3 I beseech thee, O Yahweh, 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.
He was without a successor, and his death would weaken the attitude of the people in resistance of the Sin-power Sennacherib. It would mean the end of all hopes to establish the fulness of the divine worship (cp. Isa. 38:9-20). *
An answer of peace
4 And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of Yahweh came to him, saying,
5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith Yahweh, the Elohim 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 Yahweh.
It was clearly "a sign" (2Chr. 32:24), foreshadowing the death and resurrection of the Lord. It was this condition that drove the king to prayer: v3...as Christ came from the darkness of the earth in three days. *
6 And I will add unto thy days 15 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.
The Nature of the Sickness
7 And Isaiah said, Take a lump of figs. And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.
Isaiah the prophet became an inspired physician "in the Truth" to him. Luke, was "the beloved physician" (Col. 4:14) Paul also was a physician by the power of the spirit of Yahweh (Acts 28:8, 9). In the apostolic times there was room for physicians of both sorts, natural and by holy spirit power (selected)
We will go to the doctor (who, like Luke, may perchance be "in Christ"), but we will not expect him to do what Christ alone can accomplish.
It is a mistake to suppose that "the Truth" apart from the doctor can deliver us in cases of nervous or mental breakdown. That very condition is liable to give distorted views of "the Truth." We have known some very sad cases. A competent "outside" diagnosis is of very great value, even apart from remedial treatment, and is by no means to be despised.
Bro CC Walker
The Christadelphian, Sept 1917
Hezekiah requests a sign
8 And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that Yahweh will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of Yahweh the third day?
9 And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of Yahweh, that Yahweh 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 Yahweh: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.
Congratulations from Babylon
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.
Hezekiah's miraculous restoration was hailed by the nations round about. Congratulations were received from Merodach-Balaam, but Hezekiah's folly in sharing such things with Babylon was condemned by Isaiah v17*
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.
Hezekiah's folly - too close to the world
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.
Results of Hezekiah's folly
16 And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah, Hear the word of Yahweh.
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 Yahweh.
.How important that we do not associate with the World in any respect as far as the Truth we uphold is concerned.*
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.
Hezekiah's meek acquiescence
19 Then said Hezekiah unto Isaiah, Good is the word of Yahweh 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.