Embassy from Merodach-baladan. 1At that time Merodach-baladan,* son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and gifts to Hezekiah, when he heard that he had been sick and had recovered.a 2Hezekiah was pleased at their coming, and then showed the messengers his treasury, the silver and gold, the spices and perfumed oil, his whole armory, and everything in his storerooms; there was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them.b

3Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did these men say to you? Where did they come from?” Hezekiah replied, “They came to me from a distant land, from Babylon.” 4He asked, “What did they see in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They saw everything in my house. There is nothing in my storerooms that I did not show them.” 5Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD of hosts: 6The time is coming when all that is in your house, everything that your ancestors have stored up until this day, shall be carried off to Babylon;* nothing shall be left, says the LORD.c 7Some of your own descendants, your progeny, shall be taken and made attendants in the palace of the king of Babylon.”d 8Hezekiah replied to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good.”* For he thought, “There will be peace and stability in my lifetime.”

* [39:1] Merodach-baladan: twice king of Babylon, probably from 721 to 710 B.C., and again for nine months, in 704–703. This visit of his messengers, certainly before 701, was in reality a political one. Babylon hoped to lead an anti-Assyrian confederation composed of neighboring states and wanted Judah to join.

* [39:6] Because Judah preferred to follow a pro-Babylonian policy, instead of trusting in the Lord, it would later be exiled to Babylon.

* [39:8] Hezekiah was relieved that the disaster would not occur in his lifetime.

a. [39:1] 2 Kgs 20:12.

b. [39:2] 2 Chr 32:2531.

c. [39:6] 2 Kgs 24:13; 25:1317.

d. [39:7] Dn 1:319.

II. ISAIAH 40—55*


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