Did King Hezekiah do something wrong in showing off his wealth?

Posted by in Facebook's Pentecostal Theology Group View the Original Post

The Hezekiah (Heb: Chizkiyahu) narrative in II Kings (chapters 17 – 20) and Isaiah (36 – 39) concludes on a dissonant and haunting confrontation between King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah. Hezekiah has just shown his kingdom’s wealth to messengers of Brodach Baladan, King of Babylonia. Isaiah asks Hezekiah about his guests, and when Hezekiah tells him where they are from, Isaiah proclaims:

Behold, days are coming and everything in your house and what your
ancestors have collected until this day will be carried off to
Babylonia, nothing will remain saith the Lord. And the children that
you will beget will be taken to be eunuchs in the palace of the King
of Babylonia. And Hezekiah responded to Isaiah, the word of the Lord
that you have spoken is good, insomuch as there will be peace and
truth in my days. (II Kings 20:17-18, JPS translation).

This prophecy of doom is devastating and perplexing. Does Isaiah mean to say that Hezekiah is literally responsible for the future exile and destruction at the hands of Babylonians? If so, what did he do wrong? How should Hezekiah have known it was bad to receive foreign emissaries from Babylonia?

10 Comments

  • Reply January 14, 2019

    Neil Short

    2 Kings 20:17 (NRSV)
    17 Days are coming when all that is in your house, and that which your ancestors have stored up until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left, says the Lord.

    Just because God sent Sennacherib back to Nineveh with his tail between his legs does not mean Jerusalem is eternally secure. The righteousness of Hezekiah is not sufficient to save the city. (Consider, after all, the next king of Judah will be Manasseh).
    We must not forget that this account is a look-back from the perspective of Babylonian exile. The symptoms were already there in the history of Judah that betrayed a rejection of God’s favor.

  • Reply January 14, 2019

    Neil Short

    Also…
    2 Kings 20:19 (NRSV)
    19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days?”

    Is Hezekiah insane? He has seen the effectiveness of prayer. Shouldn’t he pray about this oracle?

  • Reply January 15, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    so did he?

  • Reply January 15, 2019

    Steve Losee

    of course. He opened the door for the Babylonian captivity.

  • Reply January 16, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    So did many other kings to other captivities Steve Losee

    • Reply January 16, 2019

      Steve Losee

      true, but that doesn’t excuse him.

    • Reply January 16, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      oh not at all – I was just wondering WHY was his case was so special – maybe because of Babylon?

    • Reply January 16, 2019

      Steve Losee

      possibly. Manasseh’s sins prevented Josiah’s revival from diverting the judgment; Hezekiah’s might have opened the door to Neb. specifically.

    • Reply January 16, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      do you remember WHO put the 2 golden cows in a under ground river and worshiped them there ? Which river was it

    • Reply January 16, 2019

      Steve Losee

      sounds like Jeroboam, but that’s it off the top of my head. Sorry; it’s almost dinner time & I can’t research right now. 🙂

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