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2 Kings 20:8-21

Context

20:8 Hezekiah had said to Isaiah, “What is the confirming sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go up to the Lord’s temple the day after tomorrow?” 20:9 Isaiah replied, “This is your sign from the Lord confirming that the Lord will do what he has said. Do you want the shadow to move ahead ten steps or to go back ten steps?” 1  20:10 Hezekiah answered, “It is easy for the shadow to lengthen ten steps, but not for it 2  to go back ten steps.” 20:11 Isaiah the prophet called out to the Lord, and the Lord 3  made the shadow go back ten steps on the stairs of Ahaz. 4 

Messengers from Babylon Visit Hezekiah

20:12 At that time Merodach-Baladan 5  son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah, for he had heard that Hezekiah was ill. 20:13 Hezekiah welcomed 6  them and showed them his whole storehouse, with its silver, gold, spices, and high quality olive oil, as well as his armory and everything in his treasuries. Hezekiah showed them everything in his palace and in his whole kingdom. 7  20:14 Isaiah the prophet visited King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did these men say? Where do they come from?” Hezekiah replied, “They come from the distant land of Babylon.” 20:15 Isaiah 8  asked, “What have they seen in your palace?” Hezekiah replied, “They have seen everything in my palace. I showed them everything 9  in my treasuries.” 20:16 Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Listen to the word of the Lord, 20:17 ‘Look, a time is 10  coming when everything in your palace and the things your ancestors have accumulated to this day will be carried away to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says the Lord. 20:18 ‘Some of your very own descendants whom you father 11  will be taken away and will be made eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’” 20:19 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The Lord’s word which you have announced is appropriate.” 12  Then he added, 13  “At least there will be peace and stability during my lifetime.” 14 

20:20 The rest of the events of Hezekiah’s reign and all his accomplishments, including how he built a pool and conduit to bring 15  water into the city, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 16  20:21 Hezekiah passed away 17  and his son Manasseh replaced him as king.

1 tn The Hebrew הָלַךְ (halakh, a perfect), “it has moved ahead,” should be emended to הֲיֵלֵךְ (hayelekh, an imperfect with interrogative he [ה] prefixed), “shall it move ahead.”

2 tn Heb “the shadow.” The noun has been replaced by the pronoun (“it”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

3 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

4 tn Heb “on the steps which [the sun] had gone down, on the steps of Ahaz, back ten steps.”

sn These steps probably functioned as a type of sundial. See HALOT 614 s.v. מַעֲלָה and M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 256.

5 tc The MT has “Berodach-Baladan,” but several Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, and Latin witnesses agree with the parallel passage in Isa 39:1 and read “Merodach-Baladan.”

6 tc Heb “listened to.” Some Hebrew mss, as well as the LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate versions agree with the parallel passage in Isa 39:2 and read, “was happy with.”

7 tn Heb “there was nothing which Hezekiah did not show them in his house and in all his kingdom.”

8 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Isaiah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

9 tn Heb “there was nothing I did not show them.”

10 tn Heb “days are.”

11 tn Heb “Some of your sons, who go out from you, whom you father.”

12 tn Heb “good.”

13 tn Heb “and he said.” Many English versions translate, “for he thought.” The verb אָמַר (’amar), “say,” is sometimes used of what one thinks (that is, says to oneself). Cf. NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT.

14 tn Heb “Is it not [true] there will be peace and stability in my days?” The rhetorical question expects the answer, “Yes, there will be peace and stability.”

15 tn Heb “and he brought.”

16 tn Heb “As for the rest of the events of Hezekiah, and all his strength, and how he made a pool and a conduit and brought water to the city, are they not written on the scroll of the events of the days of the kings of Judah?”

17 tn Heb “lay down with his fathers.”



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