2 Kings 20
New American Bible (Revised Edition)
End of Hezekiah’s Reign. 1 (A)In those days, when Hezekiah was mortally ill, the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, came and said to him: “Thus says the Lord: Put your house in order, for you are about to die; you shall not recover.” 2 He turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord: 3 “Ah, Lord, remember how faithfully and wholeheartedly I conducted myself in your presence, doing what was good in your sight!” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4 Before Isaiah had left the central courtyard, the word of the Lord came to him: 5 Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people: “Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father:
I have heard your prayer;
I have seen your tears.
Now I am healing you.
On the third day you shall go up
to the house of the Lord.
6 I will add to your life fifteen years.
I will rescue you and this city
from the hand of the king of Assyria;
I will be a shield to this city
for my own sake and the sake of David my servant.”
7 Then Isaiah said, “Bring a poultice of figs and apply it to the boil for his recovery.” 8 Hezekiah asked Isaiah, “What is the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord on the third day?” 9 Isaiah replied, “This will be the sign for you from the Lord that he will carry out the word he has spoken: Shall the shadow go forward or back ten steps?” 10 “It is easy for the shadow to advance ten steps,” Hezekiah answered. “Rather, let it go back ten steps.” 11 So Isaiah the prophet invoked the Lord. He made the shadow go back the ten steps it had descended on the staircase to the terrace of Ahaz.
12 At that time, Berodach-baladan,[a] son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and gifts to Hezekiah when he heard that he had been ill. 13 Hezekiah listened to the envoys and then showed off his whole treasury: his silver, gold, spices and perfumed oil, his armory, and everything in his storerooms; there was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. 14 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and asked him: “What did these men say to you? Where did they come from?” Hezekiah replied, “They came from a distant land, from Babylon.” 15 He asked, “What did they see in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They saw everything in my house. There is nothing in my storerooms that I did not show them.” 16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah: “Hear the word of the Lord: 17 The time is coming when all that is in your house, everything that your ancestors have stored up until this day, shall be carried off to Babylon; nothing shall be left, says the Lord. 18 Some of your own descendants, your offspring, your progeny, shall be taken and made attendants in the palace of the king of Babylon.” 19 Hezekiah replied to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and stability in my lifetime.”
20 The rest of the acts of Hezekiah, with all his valor, and how he constructed the pool and conduit[b] and brought water into the city, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah.(B) 21 Hezekiah rested with his ancestors, and his son Manasseh succeeded him as king.
- 20:12 Berodach-baladan: this famous king’s name is more correctly recorded in Is 39:1 as “Merodach-baladan.” The Babylonian form, Marduk-apal-idinna, means “Marduk has granted a son.” Historically, any embassy from him to Hezekiah must have been aimed at establishing an anti-Assyrian strategy of cooperation.
- 20:20 Pool and conduit: Hezekiah’s tunnel is described in more detail in 2 Chr 32:30.
2 Kings 20
New International Version
20 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”
2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 “Remember,(B) Lord, how I have walked(C) before you faithfully(D) and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4 Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: 5 “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard(E) your prayer and seen your tears;(F) I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the Lord. 6 I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend(G) this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.’”
7 Then Isaiah said, “Prepare a poultice of figs.” They did so and applied it to the boil,(H) and he recovered.
8 Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, “What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go up to the temple of the Lord on the third day from now?”
9 Isaiah answered, “This is the Lord’s sign(I) to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: Shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?”
10 “It is a simple(J) matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “Rather, have it go back ten steps.”
11 Then the prophet Isaiah called on the Lord, and the Lord made the shadow go back(K) the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.
12 At that time Marduk-Baladan son of Baladan king of Babylon sent Hezekiah letters and a gift, because he had heard of Hezekiah’s illness. 13 Hezekiah received the envoys and showed them all that was in his storehouses—the silver, the gold, the spices and the fine olive oil—his armory and everything found among his treasures. There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.
14 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked, “What did those men say, and where did they come from?”
“From a distant land,” Hezekiah replied. “They came from Babylon.”
15 The prophet asked, “What did they see in your palace?”
“They saw everything in my palace,” Hezekiah said. “There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.”
16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: 17 The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon.(N) Nothing will be left, says the Lord. 18 And some of your descendants,(O) your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”(P)
19 “The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?”
20 As for the other events of Hezekiah’s reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool(Q) and the tunnel(R) by which he brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 21 Hezekiah rested with his ancestors. And Manasseh his son succeeded him as king.