2 Kings 20

Hezekiah's illness and his mistake

1 At that time, Hezekiah became very ill. He nearly died. Then Amoz's son, Isaiah the prophet, went to Hezekiah. He said to Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord says: “You will soon die. You will not get better. So you must tell your family what to do after your death.” ’ 2 Then Hezekiah turned his face towards the wall and he prayed to the Lord. 3 He said, ‘Lord, please remember that I have served you well. I have always obeyed you. You could trust me to do the things that you told me to do.’ Hezekiah wept very much.

4 While Isaiah was still in the middle yard of the palace, the Lord gave him this message: 5 ‘Go back! Say to Hezekiah, the leader of my people, “This is what the Lord says, the God that your ancestor David worshipped. I have heard your prayer and I have seen your tears. I will make you well again. On the third day from now you will go to the Lord's temple. 6 I will let you live for 15 more years. I will rescue you and this city from the power of the king of Assyria. I will keep Jerusalem safe, because I do what is right and I made a promise to my servant David.” ’

7 Then Isaiah said, ‘Take some figs to make a medicine.’ So the king's servants did what Isaiah had said. They put the medicine on Hezekiah's boil. He became well again.

8 Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, ‘What will show me that the Lord will make me well again? How will I know that I will go up to the Lord's temple on the third day from now?’ 9 Isaiah answered, ‘The Lord will do a miracle to show you that he will do what he has promised. Do you want the shadow on these stairs to move down ten steps? Or do you want the shadow to go back up ten steps?’ 10 Hezekiah said, ‘It is easy to cause the shadow to move down ten steps. So I want it to go back up ten steps.’ 11 Then Isaiah the prophet asked the Lord to do this. The Lord caused the shadow to go back up ten steps on the stairs that King Ahaz had made.

20:10The shadow would move further down the steps during the day, so that would not be a miracle. Hezekiah wanted to see something special that showed the Lord's power.

12 At that time, Baladan's son, Merodach-Baladan, was the king of Babylon. Merodach-Baladan sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah. He had heard the news that Hezekiah had been ill. 13 Hezekiah was happy to meet the officers who came from the king of Babylon. Hezekiah showed them the places where he stored his valuable things. He showed them his silver and gold things, his spices and very valuable olive oil. He also showed them all his weapons. Hezekiah showed them all his valuable things. There was nothing in his palace or in his whole kingdom that he did not show to the king of Babylon's officers.

14 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah. Isaiah asked the king, ‘What did those men say? Where did they come from?’ Hezekiah replied, ‘They came from Babylon, far away.’ 15 Isaiah asked, ‘What did they see in your palace?’ Hezekiah said, ‘They saw everything that is in my palace. I showed all my valuable things to them.’

16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, ‘Listen to this message from the Lord: 17 “Understand this! One day, soldiers from Babylon will carry away all your valuable things. Everything that you and your ancestors have stored here until now will go to Babylon. They will leave nothing here. 18 Some of your own descendants will also go to Babylon. Soldiers from Babylon will take them away from here. Your descendants will become eunuchs in the king of Babylon's palace.” That is what the Lord says. ’

19 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, ‘The Lord's message that you have spoken to me is good.’ But he was thinking, ‘While I am still alive, people will live safely without any trouble.’

20 The other things that happened while Hezekiah was king are written in a book. The book is called ‘The history of Judah's kings’. It tells about the things that Hezekiah did. It includes a report about the pool and the stream that he built to bring water into the city of Jerusalem. 21 So Hezekiah died and they buried him beside his ancestors. His son Manasseh became king after him.