2 Kings 20

Hezekiah's illness and his mistake

1 At that time, Hezekiah was very ill. He nearly died. Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to Hezekiah. And Isaiah said to Hezekiah, ‘This is what the Lord says. “Make everything ready for your son, because you will die. You will not get well again.” ’ 2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and he prayed to the Lord. 3 And he said, ‘Remember, Lord, that I have been your good servant. I have always loved you very much. You have seen that I always did good things.’ And Hezekiah wept very much. 4 Then the Lord told Isaiah again what to say. This happened before he left the middle of the king's house. 5 ‘Go back! Say to Hezekiah, the leader of my people, “This is what the Lord says. The Lord is the God of your ancestor David. I have heard what you prayed. I have seen that you have cried. I will make you well again. On the third day from now you will go to the house of the Lord. 6 I will let you live for 15 more years. I will save you and this city from the power of the king of Assyria. Also, I will keep this city safe, because of my servant David.” ’ 7 And Isaiah said, ‘Make some medicine with figs in it.’ So the king's servants did what Isaiah had said. They put the medicine on the bad place on Hezekiah's skin that made him ill. And he was soon well again.

8 Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, ‘How will I know that the Lord will make me well again? How will I know that I will go up to the house of the Lord on the third day from now?’ 9 Isaiah answered, ‘This is like a sign to you from the Lord. It will show you that his words are true. The Lord will do what he has promised to do. Do you want the shadow on these stairs to go down 10 stairs? Or do you want it to go back up 10 stairs?’ 10 Hezekiah said, ‘It is easy to cause the shadow to go down 10 stairs. So cause it to go back 10 stairs.’ 11 Then the prophet prayed to the Lord. And the Lord caused the shadow to go back 10 stairs. It had already gone down 10 stairs on the stairs that Ahaz had made.

12 When this happened, Merodach-Baladan was the king of Babylon. He was the son of Baladan. Merodach-Baladan sent Hezekiah letters and a gift. He had heard that Hezekiah was ill. 13 Hezekiah met the people with the messages that the king of Babylon had sent. Hezekiah showed to them everything that he had stored. He showed them silver and gold, spices and very good oil. He showed them all his weapons and everything else that was valuable. There was nothing in his palace or in his whole country that Hezekiah did not show them. 14 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and Isaiah asked him, ‘What did these men say? And from where did they come to you?’ Then Hezekiah replied, ‘They came to me from the far country called Babylon.’ 15 The prophet asked, ‘What did they see in your palace?’ ‘They saw everything that is in my palace,’ Hezekiah replied. ‘There is nothing among my valuable things that I did not show to them.’

16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, ‘Listen to what the Lord says. 17 “This is what will surely happen. Soldiers from Babylon will take everything that is in your palace to Babylon. They will take everything that your ancestors have stored here until now. They will not leave anything here”, says the Lord. 18 “And soldiers from Babylon will take away some of your own descendants, your sons that will be born to you. And they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” ’ 19 And Hezekiah replied, ‘You have spoken good words from the Lord.’ But what he thought was, ‘There will be no war. It will be safe while I am alive.’

20 All the other events while Hezekiah ruled Judah are in a book. It is called ‘the reports about the kings of Judah’. Everything that he did is in the book. It includes the story of the pool and the aqueduct, through which he brought water into the city Jerusalem. 21 So Hezekiah died like his ancestors. And Manasseh, his son, became king after him.