18 Oct. 2 Kings 20:12-21

18 Oct. Isaiah prophesies the destruction of Judah

“At that time Merodach-Baladan son of Baladan was king of Babylon. He sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah, because he had heard that Hezekiah was sick.”

“Hezekiah listened to the messengers, so he showed them what was in his storehouses: the silver, gold, spices, expensive perfumes, his swords and shields, and all his wealth. He showed them everything in his palace and his kingdom.”

“Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked him, ‘What did these men say? Where did they come from?’ Hezekiah said, ‘They came from a faraway country – from Babylon.’ So Isaiah asked him, ‘What did they see in your palace?’ Hezekiah said, ‘They saw everything in my palace. I showed them all my wealth.’”

“Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, ‘Listen to the words of the LORD: “In the future everything in your palace and everything your ancestors have stored up until this day will be taken away to Babylon. Nothing will be left,” says the LORD. “Some of your own children, those who will be born to you, will be taken away. And they will become servants in the palace of the king of Babylon.”’”

“Hezekiah told Isaiah, ‘These words from the LORD are good.’ He said this because he thought, ‘There will be peace and security in my lifetime.’”

“Everything else Hezekiah did – all his victories, his work on the pool, his work on the tunnel to bring water into the city – is written in the book of the history of the kings of Judah. Then Hezekiah died, and his son Manasseh became king in his place.”

          (2 Kings 20:12-21)

 

 

Following Hezekiah’s illness, envoys arrived in Jerusalem in 712BC from Marduk II (Hebrew, ‘Merodach’), the king of Babylon.

Hezekiah welcomed the envoys into his palace where they saw the wealth of the kingdom of Judah on display. Hezekiah clearly wanted to show how wealthy and prosperous his kingdom was. But there are always problems when people ‘flaunt their wealth’, and Hezekiah seems to have been unaware of the greed and jealousy this might arouse in the king of Babylon.

When Isaiah heard about this visit, he quickly made Hezekiah aware of his concerns. Isaiah prophesied that a time would come when the Babylonians would conquer Judah and carry away all its wealth. Hezekiah’s descendants would be taken away and would become eunuchs in the palace of the King of Babylon.

This prophesy would be fulfilled 125 years later in 587BC when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon captured Jerusalem after a siege lasting a year and a half, and the inhabitants were led off to exile in Babylon (see 2 Kings 25:1-12).

The photo shows prisoners from Judah being brought before King Sennacherib of Assyria (on a relief in the British Museum).

You can read more about Hezekiah’s son Manasseh @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/33-judah-after-the-fall-of-israel/isaiah-prophesies-the-destruction-of-judah/


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