Isaiah 39

Hezekiah’s Entertainment of Babylonian Envoys

Who came to visit Hezekiah after his recovery?
The Babylonians sent envoys with letters and a gift to Hezekiah after his recovery (Isaiah 39:1 and 2 Kings 20:12). These envoys were also interested in hearing about the turning back of the shadow on the sundial (see 2 Chronicles 32:31). From a practical standpoint, they were probably also interested in the prospect of an alliance to keep the Assyrians in check.

Hezekiah was so pleased by their overtures that he showed them everything in his house, armory, and treasury (Isaiah 39:2 and 4 and 2 Kings 20:13-15). Isaiah was not pleased to learn of Hezekiah’s actions and prophesied that Babylon would carry away Judah’s treasures and members of the royal family (Isaiah 39:5-7 and 2 Kings 20:16-19).

The writer of Kings noted that the rest of Hezekiah’s acts, including the tremendous engineering feat of the tunnel, are detailed in the book of Chronicles (see 2 Chronicles 29-32). After Hezekiah died, “Manasseh his son became king in his place” (2 Kings 20:21).

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