Isaiah 39

 

בָּעֵת הַהִוא שָׁלַח מְרֹדַךְ בַּלְאֲדָן בֶּן־בַּלְאֲדָן מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל סְפָרִים וּמִנְחָה אֶל־חִזְקִיָּהוּ וַיִּשְׁמַע כִּי חָלָה   39:1 וַיֶּחֱזָק׃

Isai. 39:1   At that time Merodach-baladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent writings and a gift to Hezekiah when he heard that he had been ill and had recovered.

This chapter with minor variations echoes part of 2Kings Chapter 20,, namely 2Kin. 20:12 to 20:19.

וַיִּשְׂמַח עֲלֵיהֶם חִזְקִיָּהוּ וַיַּרְאֵם אֶת־בֵּית (נְכֹתָה) [נְכֹתֹו] אֶת־הַכֶּסֶף וְאֶת־הַזָּהָב וְאֶת־הַבְּשָׂמִים וְאֵת   39:2 הַשֶּׁמֶן הַטֹּוב וְאֵת כָּל־בֵּית כֵּלָיו וְאֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר נִמְצָא בְּאֹצְרֹתָיו לֹא־הָיָה דָבָר אֲשֶׁר לֹא־הֶרְאָם חִזְקִיָּהוּ בְּבֵיתֹו וּבְכָל־מֶמְשַׁלְתֹּו׃

Isai. 39:2   And Hezekiah so rejoiced over them that he showed them the house of his treasure, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious oil, and the entire house of his armor, and all that was found in his treasury.  There was not a thing that Hezekiah did not show them in his household or in all his dominion.

There must be something missing in one of these two verses.  I’m sure Hezekiah didn’t show everything to the writings or the gift.  He must have shown everything to the servants who carried the writings and gift to Hezekiah.  A slip of the mind by Isaiah?  If so, it’s a rare one.  Interesting, though, that the same lapse is present in this episode as told in 2Kings as well.  Did Isaiah copy this chapter from there?  I wonder.  I doubt it, though.  I imagine he would have corrected the oversight if he had.  Nevertheless, I have to ask, how did the identical oversight appear in both books?

Then there is an error in the verse.  The word in parentheses should have a vav suffix instead of a heh.  The corrected spelling is in the brackets.

וַיָּבֹא יְשַׁעְיָהוּ הַנָּבִיא אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ חִזְקִיָּהוּ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו מָה אָמְרוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה וּמֵאַיִן יָבֹאוּ אֵלֶיךָ   39:3 וַיֹּאמֶר חִזְקִיָּהוּ מֵאֶרֶץ רְחֹוקָה בָּאוּ אֵלַי מִבָּבֶל׃

Isai. 39:3   And Isaiah, the prophet, came to king Hezekiah and said to him, “What said these men, and from where might they have come to you?”  And Hezekiah said, “From a far land they came to me, from Babylon.”

וַיֹּאמֶר מָה רָאוּ בְּבֵיתֶךָ וַיֹּאמֶר חִזְקִיָּהוּ אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר בְּבֵיתִי רָאוּ לֹא־הָיָה דָבָר אֲשֶׁר לֹא־הִרְאִיתִים   39:4 בְּאֹוצְרֹתָי׃

Isai. 39:4   Then he said, “What did they see in your household?”  And Hezekiah said, “All that is in my household they saw.  There is not a thing in my treasury that I did not show them.”

וַיֹּאמֶר יְשַׁעְיָהוּ אֶל־חִזְקִיָּהוּ שְׁמַע דְּבַר־יְהוָה צְבָאֹות׃   39:5

Isai. 39:5   Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts:

הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים וְנִשָּׂא כָּל־אֲשֶׁר בְּבֵיתֶךָ וַאֲשֶׁר אָצְרוּ אֲבֹתֶיךָ עַד־הַיֹּום הַזֶּה בָּבֶל לֹא־יִוָּתֵר דָּבָר   39:6 אָמַר יְהוָה׃

Isai. 39:6   ‘Behold, The days are coming when Babylon shall carry away all that is in your household and what your fathers stored up until this day.’ ‘Not a thing shall be left,’ says the Lord.”

וּמִבָּנֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר יֵצְאוּ מִמְּךָ אֲשֶׁר תֹּולִיד יִקָּחוּ וְהָיוּ סָרִיסִים בְּהֵיכַל מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל׃   39:7

Isai. 39:7   “And of your sons, who shall come forth from you, whom you shall beget, they shall be taken away, and they shall be officers in the palace of the king of Babylon.”

וַיֹּאמֶר חִזְקִיָּהוּ אֶל־יְשַׁעְיָהוּ טֹוב דְּבַר־יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתָּ וַיֹּאמֶר כִּי יִהְיֶה שָׁלֹום וֶאֱמֶת בְּיָמָי׃   39:8

Isai. 39:8   And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good,” and he added, “that there will be peace and truth in my days.”

From this verse, as well as from v. 39:2, we can surmise that Hezekiah was a vain and self-centered, perhaps even foolish, person.  Maybe that’s the way kings are or get to be.

 

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