2 Kings 18:1 NET In the third year of the reign of Israels King Hoshea son of Elah, Ahazs son Hezekiah became king over Judah. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reignedtwenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother was Abi, the daughter of Zechariah.
3 He did what the LORD approved, just as his ancestor David had done. 4 He eliminated the high places, smashed the sacred pillars to bits, and cut down the Asherah pole. He also demolished thebronze serpent that Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been offering incense to it; it was called Nehushtan.
5 He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; inthis regard there was none like him among the kings of Judah either before or after.How about that for a “GlowInG” report!
The same words are used of Josiah. 2 Kings 23:25 NET No king before or afterrepented before the LORD as he did, with his whole heart, soul, and being inaccordance with the whole law of Moses.
At first sight there may seem to be contradiction between the two passages, since absolute preeminence over all the other kings is ascribed to Hezekiah in one of them, to Josiah in the other; but thecontext shows that the pre-eminence is not the same in the two cases.
To Hezekiah is ascribed pre-eminence in trust; to Josiah, pre-eminence in an exact observance of the Law: one excels in faith,the other in works; Josiah’s whole life is one of activity, Hezekiah’s great merit lies in his being content, in the crisis of his fate, to stand still, and see the salvation of God. (Pulpit Commentary 2 Kings 18:5)
(Pulpit Commentary 2 Kings 23:25) “No king before or after...” The writer ofKings cannot be said to place Josiah above Hezekiah, or Hezekiah above Josiah. He accords them the same degree of praise, but, in Hezekiah"s case, dwells upon his trust in God; in Josiah"s, upon his exact obedience to the Law.
On the whole, his judgment accords very closely with that of the son of Sirach (Ecc 49:4). "All, except David and Ezekias andJosias, were defective: for they forsook theLaw of the Most High." “repented before theLORD as he did, with his whole heart, soul, and being…”
This triple enumeration is intended toinclude the whole moral and mental nature of man, all the energies of his understanding, his will, and his physical vitality. Compare Deuteronomy 6:5 NET You must love the LORD your God withyour whole mind, your whole being, and all your strength.
“…and being in accordance with the wholelaw of Moses.” This is an indication that, in the writers view, the whole Law wascontained in the book found by Hilkiah. “Noking before or after...” This is but moderate praise, since the four kings who reignedafter him Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah were, one and all, wicked princes.
If only we could be found trusting The Lord like Hezekiah & repentant, using all we have, our whole heart, soul, and being to turn wholly in obedience to God, like Josiah.
Isaiah 38:1 NET In those days Hezekiah was stricken with a terminal illness. Theprophet Isaiah son of Amoz visited him andtold him, "This is what the Lord says, Giveinstructions to your household, for you are about to die; you will not get well. "
Neither mens greatness nor their goodness will exempt them from the arrests of sickness and death. Hezekiah, a mightypotentate on earth and a mighty favourite of Heaven, is struck with a disease, which, without a miracle, will certainly be mortal; and this in the midst of his days, his comforts, and usefulness.
It should seem, this sickness seized himwhen he was in the midst of his triumphsover the ruined army of the Assyrians, toteach us always to rejoice with trembling. (Matthew Henry)
2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 "Please, Lord.Remember how I have served you faithfullyand with wholehearted devotion, and how Ihave carried out your will." Then Hezekiah wept bitterly.
When we pray in our sickness, though God send not to us such an answer as he heresent to Hezekiah, yet, if by his Spirit he bids us be of good cheer, assures us that oursins are forgiven, and that, whether we live or die, we shall be his, we do not pray in vain. (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
The invasion of Judah occurred in the fourteenth year of his reign;2 Kings 18:13 NET In the fourteenth year ofKing Hezekiahs reign, King Sennacherib ofAssyria marched up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.
It is true that in the scripture Hezekiahs illness is recorded after the story of the slaughter of Sennacherib and his army. However not precisely but with a generalannotation only of the time, "In those days." For this happened before his sickness, these scriptures plainly show.
Now if we subtract from the 29 years whichHezekiah reigned, these 15 years, we shall find that the slaughter of Sennacherib and his army happened in the latter end of the14th year of his reign. (Ussher Annals of the World)
4 The Lord told Isaiah, 5 “Go and tell Hezekiah: This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: "I have heardyour prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will add fifteen years to your life, 6 and rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will shield this city." "
7 (38:21) Isaiah ordered, "Let them take a fig cake and apply it to the skin blister and he will get well." 8 (38:22) Hezekiah said,"What is the confirming sign that I will go up to the Lords temple?"
9 (38:7) Isaiah replied, "This is your signfrom the Lord confirming that the Lord willdo what he has said: 10 (38:8) Look, I willmake the shadow go back ten steps on thestairs of Ahaz." And then the shadow went back ten steps.
As concerning the retrograde motion of theSun as mentioned in, Isaiah 38:8 it is when the sun stood still at the prayer of Joshua the moon also stood still at the time. (Joshua 10:12,13)
It is apparent that with the sun the moon also, and all the frame of heaven went backward and that there was as much subtracted from the night, as there was added to the day.
There was a miraculous alteration in the parts of the normal day. By divineprovidence things were so ordered that no harm or hindrance did happen to the constant and ever self-like motion and harmony of the heavenly bodies.
This is evident by those three solareclipses, of which I (Ussher) spoke earlier, from Ptolemy. The account of these ifcalculated from our times backward yields the same result of the times as was formerly observed by the Chaldeans (Babylonians)
and in the same manner as if no suchretrogradation or going back of the sun had ever happened. (Ussher Annals of the World) The important thing to note is that the earlier eclipse data was not disturbed by the events in Hezekiah’s day.
Whatever happened, effected at the veryleast the sun, earth and moon system. God made time go backward not just have the earth rotate backward. Otherwise the eclipse data would be thrown off for eclipses that occurred before Hezekiah’s event happened. An undesigned coincidence in the scriptures verifies their authority.
Of all the people in the world, it is onlyrecorded that the Chaldeans, (Babylonians)visited Hezekiah. They were very careful innoting astronomical events and had noticedsomething strange as far away as Babylon.
They no doubt heard that Hezekiah hadsomething to do with it and hence they wentto him to learn more of this event. In 331BC they turned over 1903 years of astronomical observations to Callisthenes when Alexander the Great was in Babylon.
In response to this gracious provision ofextended life, Hezekiah recorded his song of thanksgiving for that answer to prayer.The last two verses record what Hezekiahhad done for the healing, and what he hadasked as a sign. (21,22) Any expositionof the song will have to provide the historic background for the situation.
To capture the tone of the song and get theproper interpretation of the lines, the literary genre must be established. This is a classic declarative praise song, a todah song that would be offered in the Sanctuary, accompanied by the giving of the peace offering. (Allen Ross , Th.D., Ph.D.)
13 (38:11) "I thought, I will no longer see the Lord in the land of the living, I will nolonger look on mankind with the inhabitantsof the world. 14 (38:12) My dwelling place is removed and taken away from me like a shepherds tent. I rolled up my life like a weaver rolls cloth; from the loom he cuts me off. You turn day into night and end my life.
11 (38:9) This is the prayer of King Hezekiah of Judah when he was sick andthen recovered from his illness: 12 (38:10) "I thought, In the middle of my life I must walk through the gates of Sheol, I am deprived of the rest of my years.
15 (38:13) I cry out until morning; like a lionhe shatters all my bones; you turn day into night and end my life. 16 (38:14) Like a swallow or a thrush I chirp, I coo like adove; my eyes grow tired from looking up to the sky.
O sovereign master, I am oppressed; help me! 17 (38:15) What can I say? He hasdecreed and acted. I will walk slowly all my years because I am overcome with grief. 18 (38:16) O sovereign master, yourdecrees can give men life; may years of life be restored to me.
Restore my health and preserve my life. 19 (38:17) "Look, the grief I experiencedwas for my benefit. You delivered me fromthe pit of oblivion. For you removed all my sins from your sight.
20 (38:18) Indeed Sheol does not give you thanks; death does not praise you. Those who descend into the pit do not anticipateyour faithfulness. 21 (38:19) The living one,the living one, he gives you thanks, as I do today.
A father tells his sons about yourfaithfulness. 22 (38:20) The Lord is about to deliver me, and we will celebrate with music for the rest of our lives in the Lords temple."We have here Hezekiahs thanksgiving. It is well for us to remember the mercies we receive in sickness. Hezekiah records the condition he was in.
He dwells upon this; I shall no more see theLord. A good man wishes not to live for anyother end than that he may serve God, and have communion with him. Our present residence is like that of ashepherd in his hut, a poor, mean, and cold lodging, and with a trust committed to our charge, as the shepherd has.
Our days are compared to the weaversshuttle, passing and repassing very swiftly,every throw leaving a thread behind it; andwhen finished, the piece is cut off, taken out of the loom, and showed to our Master to be judged of.
A good man, when his life is cut off, hiscares and fatigues are cut off with it, and he rests from his labours. But our times are inGods hand; he has appointed what shall be the length of the piece.
When sick, we are very apt to calculate ourtime, but are still at uncertainty. It should be more our care how we shall get safe toanother world. And the more we taste of the loving-kindness of God, the more will our hearts love him, and live to him. It was in love to our poor perishing souls that Christ delivered them.
The pardon does not make the sin not tohave been sin, but not to be punished as it deserves. It is pleasant to think of our recoveries from sickness, when we see them flowing from the pardon of sin.
Hezekiahs opportunity to glorify God in thisworld, he made the business, and pleasure, and end of life. Being recovered, heresolves to abound in praising and serving God. Gods promises are not to do away, but to quicken and encourage the use of means. Life and health are given that we may glorify God and do good. (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
What have we learned from Hezekiah byreading Isaiah 38? The Lord, with all His power to create or destroy loves humans that are faithful to Him.
His power not only prolonged Hezekiah’slife, but also, on a great, vast, immense, and enormous scale made time go backwards. And he did it all without throwing our universe out of sync.
We learned to praise The Lord by repeatingback to Him the goodness He’s done for us. Things we think insignificant are wonderful miracles. The fact that we aren’t thrown off this spinning globe is outstanding. Even food, water, & sleep, keep these earthly bodies functioning. Marvelous!
Such wisdom and power displayed in ourdaily lives. But the greatest of all, God TheSon left paradise to became a human, died,and rose from the dead so our sins may be forgiven and we be drawn to The Father.