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31 Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith departed not from following him: he kept the king of Assyria, " 16 Make an agreement his commandments; and the Lord was with with me by a present, and come out to me,
him. He prospered whithersoever he went; and then eat ye every man of his own vine,
and cast off the yoke of the king of Assyria. and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye
What a delightful character is here! How every one the waters of his " cistern: 32 Until I come and take you away to a
few are like Hezekiah! (v. 4-8.) land like your own land, a land of corn and
More than this, he was, also, a great wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land reformer. He removed the high places; of oil olive and of honey, that ye may live, brake the images; cut down the groves; and and not die: and hearken not unto Hezekiah, brake in pieces the brasen serpent that when he 18 persuadeth you, saying, The LORD
Moses had made, because they burned inwill deliver us.
cense, unto it (v. 4). Thus it was manifest 33 Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered at all his land out of the hand of that he was not a mere professor; but that the king of Assyria ?
he was a truly practical and devoted servant 34 Where are the gods of Hamath, and of of the Lord; and he proved the reality of Arpad ? where are the gods of Sepharvaim, his godliness by the course he pursued. And Hiena, and Ivah? have they delivered Sama
will not this always be the case, where the ria out of mine hand ?
grace of God in the faith of Jesus Christ, 35 Who are they among all the gods of
exists in deed and in truth? Will not every the countries, that have delivered their country out of mine hand, that the LORD such person follow the Lord fully? Will he should deliver Jerusalem out of mine hand? not cast off, and put aside, every thing that is
36 But the people held their peace, and displeasing to the Lord; and aim to do so enanswered him not a word: for the king's tirely? But what made this difference in him commandment was, saying, Answer him not.
from others? Humanly speaking, there was 37 Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah,
every thing in his case to have produced the which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the opposite character. He had a most wicked recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and ungodly father. He was brought up in the and told him the words of Rab-shakeh.
midst of the greatest abominations. He had (11) Or, but counsel and strength every bad example constantly set before his (2) That is, A piece of brass.
eyes. Yet he proved to be such a holy and (13) Or, hostages. (14) Heb. the water of their feet. devoted man. How so? Clearly he was (15) Or, Seek my favour.
(16) Heb. Make with me a bless. “ born not of blood; nor of the will of the (8) Or, secretary,
ing. (9) Or, talkest. (17) Or, pit.
flesh; nor of the will of man; but of God.” (18) Or, deceiveth.
God, by his rich grace, made him to differ.
That grace can make you and others to differ A CHARACTER of a very different description also; and enable you to follow the Lord as meets our attention in this chapter. The he did. (John i. 12, 13.) spirit, conduct, prosperity, and trials of good But he had many trials. Some of his Hezekiah require some remarks and im- greatest difficulties arose from the proud and provement.
victorious king of Assyria, whose yoke he Ilis character. He was young; but he
had cast off. Because that haughty prince evidently had the grace of God. He did had conquered other nations, he thought that which was right in the sight of the he could subdue Judah also. Because he Lord, according to all that David his father had carried away Israel captive for their had done (v. 1–3). Pray observe this
Pray observe this sins, he imagined he might crush Hezekiah, commendation. There is no drawback, no though he trusted in the Lord. Being a qualification to the testimony given of his blind, besotted idolater himself, he thought piety. He loved the Lord sincerely. He all gods were much alike; and that even the followed the Lord fully. He trusted in the Lord, in whom Hezekiah confided, was inLord heartily. Among all the kings of
ferior to his own dumb stocks of stone. Judah there was none like him either before This will account for the proud, arrogant, or after him. He clave to the Lord : he insulting, and blasphemous language made
(1) Heb. statues.
are for the war.
(3) Heb. from after him.
(10) Heb. word of the lips.
use of by his servants on this occasion. But
ye say to your master, Thus saith the LORD, boasters are not always right, nor safe. God Be not afraid of the words which thou hast would soon teach this haughty worm that heard, with which the servants of the king of while his enemies shall surely be confounded,
Assyria have blasphemed me.
7 Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he will as surely bless them that trust in
he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to him. This we shall soon see.
In the mean
his own land; and I will cause him to fall by time, let us learn from Hezekiah how to the sword in his own land. bear with the insulting language of railers 8 [ So Rab-shakeh returned, and found and opposers. “Answer them not.” Leave the king of Assyria warring against Libnah : it with God to assert his right, and vindicate
for he had heard that he was departed from
Lachish. your cause. Let us also learn, what we must
9 And when he heard say of Tirhakah king expect if we follow the Lord fully. As wicked men can never love the righteous; so
of Ethiopia, Behold, he is come out to fight
against thee: he sent messengers again unto bad men can never love that which is good. Hezekiah, saying, The experience of all ages has proved, that 10 Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king idolaters are some of the bitterest foes of the of Judah, saying, Let not thy God in whom truth; and the more so, in proportion as
thou trustest deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem their false religion has been upheld by the
shall not be delivered into the hand of the
king of Assyria. conquering arm, or the ruling power. This
ii Behold, thou hast heard what the kings proud Assyrian was a mighty conqueror; but of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroyhis end would come. Let us pray, then, that ing them utterly: and shalt thou be delivered? the truth of Christ may more largely be ex 12 Have the gods of the nations delivered tended; then will all false religion be done them which my fathers have destroyed; as away; and love and harmony will reign. Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the
children of Eden which were in Thelasar?
13 Where is the king of Hamath, and the CHAPTER XIX.
king of Arpad, and the king of the city of
Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivah? 1 Hezekiah mourning sendeth to Isaiah to pray for them. 0 Isaiah comforteth them.
14 | And Hezekiah received the letter of 8 Sennacherib, going to encounter Tirhukah, sendeth a blasphemous letter to Heze.
the hand of the messengers, and read it: and kiah. 14 Hezekiah's prayer.. 20 Isaiah's prophecy of Hezekiah went up into the house of the the pride and destruction of Sennacherib, and the good of Zion. 36 An angel slayeth the Assyrians. 36 Sen.
LORD, and spread it before the LORD. nacherib is slain at Nineveh by his own sons.
15 And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, ND it came to pass, when king Hezekiah
and said, O LORD God of Israel, which heard it, that he rent his clothes, and
dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the covered himself with sackcloth, and went
God, eren thou alone, of all the kingdoms of into the house of the LORD.
the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth. 2 And he sent Eliakim, which was over
16 LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear : the household, and Shebna the scribe, and open, Lord, thine eyes, and see: and hear the elders of the priests, covered with sack the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent cloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. him to reproach the living God.
3 And they said unto him, Thus saith 17 Of à truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and
have destroyed the nations and their lands, of rebuke, and 'blasphemy: for the children 18 And have cast their gods into the fire : are come to the birth, and there is not strength for they were no gods, but the work of men's to bring forth.
hands, wood and stone: therefore they have 4 It may be the Lord thy God will hear destroyed them. all the words of Rab-shakeh, whom the king
19 Now therefore, O LORD our God, I of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, the living God; and will reprove the words
that all the kingdoms of the earth may know which the LORD thy God hath heard: where
that thou art the LORD God, even thou only. fore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that 20 ST Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to are ?left.
Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD God 5 So the servants of king Hezekiah came of Israel, That which thou hast prayed to me to Isaiah.
against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have 6 And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall heard.
(2) Heb. found.
and formed it of ancient times ? should I now bring it to be laid waste, and fenced cities to be ruinous
(4) Heb. By the hand of.
(9) Heb. short of hand.
of Judah that remaineth.
(13) Heb. Ararat.
21 This is the word that the Lord hath 34 For I will defend this city, to save it, spoken concerning him; The virgin the for mine own sake, and for my servant daughter of Zion hath despised thee, and David's sake. laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jeru- 35 And it came to pass that night, that salem hath shaken her head at thee.
the angel of the Lord went out, and smote 22 Whom hast thou reproached and blas- in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred and phemed ? and against whom hast thou exalted fourscore and five thousand: and when they thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? arose early in the morning, behold, they were eren against the Holy One of Israel.
all dead corpses. 23 "By thy messengers thou hast re- 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria deproached the LORD, and hast said, With the parted, and went and returned, and dwelt at multitude of my chariots I am come up to
Nineveh. the height of the mountains, to the sides of 37 And it came to pass, as he was worLebanon, and will cut down the tall cedar shipping in the house of Nisroch his god, trees thereof, and the choice fir trees thereof: that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons and I will enter into the lodgings of his bor- smote him with the sword: and they escaped ders, and into the forest of his Carmel. into the land of 13 Armenia And Esarhaddon 24 I have digged and drunk strange waters,
his son reigned in his stead. and with the sole of my feet have I dried up (1) Or, provocation. all the rivers of besieged places.
(3) Heb. given. 25 Hast thou not heard long ago horo I
(5) Heb. the tallness, &c.
heaps ? have done it, and of ancient times that I have (6) Or, the forest and his fruitful
(10) Or, sitting. formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that
(11) Heb. the escaping of the house thou shouldest be to lay waste fenced cities I have made it long ago, I (12) Hey, the escaping. into ruinous heaps.
26 Therefore their inhabitants were 'of small power, they were dismayed and con- You are here told what Hezekiah did, when founded; they were as the grass of the field, he heard of the wicked and insulting language and as the green herb, as the grass on the
which had been spoken against him. He house tops, and as corn blasted before it be
was greatly alarmed and humbled. He went grown up.
27 But I know thy o abode, and thy going up to the house of the Lord. He sent word out, and thy coming in, and thy rage against me. to the prophet Isaiah to engage him on his
28 Because thy rage against me and thy behalf; to lift up his prayer for the remnant tumult is come up into mine ears, therefore I that was left (v. 1-3). will put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle
May you not hence learn a very important in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the
lesson? Are you not hereby taught what to way by which thou camest. 29 And this shall be a sign unto thee, Ye
do in all your troubles ? Should you not shall eat this year such things as grow of
cast all your burdens upon the Lord? While, themselves, and in the second year that like Hezekiah, you are greatly humbled for which springeth of the same; and in the third your sins, and alarmed at your danger, ought year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, you not, like him, to go to the throne of and eat the fruits thereof.
grace; and ask for grace and mercy to help 30 And "the remnant that is escaped of in time of need? What a precious privilege the house of Judah sball yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.
is prayer! How great is the encouragement 31 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a
to pray! If ye ask any thing in my name, remnant, and "2 they that escape out of mount
says Christ, the Father will give it you. Zion: the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do
Ask, then, and receive, that your joy may this.
be full. In every thing, by prayer and sup32 Therefore thus saith the Lord concern- plication with thanksgiving, let your requests ing the king of Assyria, He shall not come be made known unto God; and the peace of into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor
God, which passeth all understanding, shall come before it with shield, nor cast a bank
keep your hearts and minds through Christ against it. 33 By the way that he came, by the same
Jesus. (John xiv. 13, 14; xvi. 23, 24; Phil. shall he return, and shall not come into this
iv. 6.) city, saith the LORD.
Nor did Hezekiah pray in vain. Soon
was the prophet commissioned to give him king of Assyria himself, fleeing for safety to an answer of peace. Soon would the Lord his idolatrous temple, was slain by his own defeat the counsel of his foes; and cause sons, while kneeling before the idols he them to return, disappointed and in disgrace, adored! “So let all thine enemies perish, to their own land (v. 6, 7). And when the Lord; but let them that love him be as Assyrian prince soon after repeated the at the sun when he goeth forth in his might!” tempt, the good king again renewed his (Judges v. 31.) supplications, spread all his case before the Nor let us fail to observe what recent disLord, and again received such an answer of
coveries have brought to light. In all ages, peace, as assured him both of his own safety, infidels have been ready to throw discredit and the utter destruction of his enemies upon holy Scripture, as if it were not true. (v. 9-34). Is it not good to call upon the
But let them read the relation of this invaLord ? When you ask the Lord to under sion and inglorious defeat, written on the take your cause, you engage omnipotence on walls of Nineveh, lately brought to light, your behalf; and when God is on your side, after the lapse of two thousand years, and who or what can be against you? (Rom. learn, that the Word of God is true from the viii. 31.)
beginning; and will be so for ever; and that How easily can the Lord defeat the plots even the testimony of his enemies, in recordand devices of his enemies! In the present ing their own exploits, though they mean not case, the Lord says, “I will send a blast so, shall serve to confirm the truth of that upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and Word, and to shew forth his glory and praise. shall return to his own land” (v. 7). There would be no need of Hezekiah's moving a step; no need of mustering his forces, or
CHAPTER XX. sending a single soldier against the Assyrians 1 Hezekiah, having received a message of death, by prayer to battle. The victory was gained, and the hath his life lengthened. 8 The sun goeth ten degrees
backward for a sign of that promise. Berodach-baladan deliverance was secured, when he sent up sending to visit Hezekiah, because of the wonder, hath that earnest cry to heaven. A blast, a
notice of his treasures. 14 Isaiah understanding thereof
foretelleth the Babylonian captivity. 20 Manasseh sucrumour, a report, a noise in the air, at God's ceedeth Hezekiah. bidding, shall do the work; and they, who
N those days was Hezekiah sick unto put their trust in him, shall stand and see death. And the prophet Isaiah the son the salvation of the Lord. He would fight of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, for them; and they should behold and
Thus saith the LORD, 'Set thine house in admire his unutterable goodness and love!
order; for thou shalt die, and not live.
2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and Oh, how precious are such testimonies of
prayed unto the Lord, saying, the Lord's watchful care over all them that
3 I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now truly confide in him! How many can say, how I have walked before thee in truth and “ This poor man cried, and the Lord heard with a perfect heart, and have done that him; and saved him out of all his troubles !" which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah (Ps. xxxiv. 6.)
wept 'sore. And, as the Lord can easily disappoint
4 And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was the schemes of his enemies; so can he as
gone out into the middle court, that the
word of the LORD came to him, saying, easily and effectually overthrow and destroy 5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the capthem. This you may see literally exempli tain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the fied at the close of this chapter (v. 35—37). God of David thy father, I have heard thy What became of all that mighty host which prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will the king of Assyria had sent for the conquest
heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up
unto the house of the Lord. of Jerusalem ? Cut off in one night by the
6 And I will add unto thy days fifteen sword of an angel of the Lord sent forth for
years; and I will deliver thee and this city that purpose, one hundred and eighty five
out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and thousand men, when the morning arose, were I will defend this city for mine own sake, and stretched lifeless on the ground. And the for my servant David's sake.
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. (1) Heb. Give charge concerning (6) Or, spicery.
(7) Or, jewels. (2) Heb. with a great weeping. (8) Heb. vessels. (3) Or, city.
(9) Fulfilled, Dan. i. 3. (4) Heb. degrees.
(10) Or, Shall there not be (5) Or, Merodach-baladan.
and truth, &c.
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 Berodach-baladan, 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 7 8 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
HEZEKIAH's history is here carried on to its conclusion. Many useful and very instructive matters are brought before us for observation and improvement.
Let us begin with the first: his sickness unto death. All sickness, properly speaking, is unto death. In its own nature, it has that direct tendency; and it would certainly be unto death, were not the Lord, for a time, pleased to mitigate its violence and arrest its progress; and finally it will assuredly be so unto all. Let us think of this in time. The day of sickness will soon come.
Our great business is to stand prepared for its arrival; and pray for its working for our good.
Let us, next, notice the solemn message the Lord sent him, and the state of his mind at that time. The message was,
“ Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live" (v. 1). The effect produced thereby was, he was greatly troubled (v. 2, 3). He immediately began to pray; and he soon received an answer of peace. Is not this the way in which the Lord speaks to us in all our sicknesses, and in all our afflictions? Is not this the voice of every visitation : “Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live?” What is the meaning of this address ? Consider the state of your soul. Pray for mercy and forgiveness. Ask the Lord to turn your heart. Apply to Jesus for pardon and peace. Beseech the Lord to give you a good hope, through grace; to bow your spirit in humble submission to his heavenly will; to enable you to rejoice in his salvation, and to receive you into his eternal glory.
But what was the state of his mind on hearing this solemn address ? Evidently he was greatly troubled. He was much grieved and distressed. He began to weep bitterly, and to pray fervently. How came this to pass ? Was not Hezekiah a truly pious man? Un
the things that are in mine house have they is
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,
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,