Dave Burnette's Commentary

2 Kings Chapter 20

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Jeremiah
Date Penned: (586 BC)
Overview: A History of the Kings of Israel and Judah (c 1-25)
Theme: The Surviving Kingdom (c 18-25)
Message: Hezekiah's Illness (v 1-21)

2 Kings 20 Commentary 

(20:5-6) Faith And Prayer - Over a 100-year period of Judah's history (732-640 BC), Hezekiah was the only faithful king. But what a difference he made! Because of Hezekiah's faith and prayer, God healed him and saved his city from the Assyrians. You can make a difference, too, even if your faith puts you in the minority. Faith and prayer, if they are sincere and directed toward the one true God, can change any situation.

(20:1) The Steps of Ahaz - The "dial of Ahaz" was a sundial. It could also be translated as "the steps of Ahaz." Egyptian sundials in this period were sometimes made in the form of miniature staircases so that the shadows moved up and down the steps, indicating the time of day. Ahaz might have built such a stairway sundial.

(20:12-19) Resist Pride in Our Lives - Hezekiah had been a good and faithful king. But when Isaiah asked him what he had shown the messengers from Babylon, he replied, "All the things that are in mine house have they seen." From the account in 2 Chronicles 32:24-31, it appears that Hezekiah's prosperity, success, and deliverance from sickness had made him proud. Rather than giving credit to God for all his blessings, he tried to impress the foreigners. When God helps us, we must not use his blessings to impress others. A testimony of victory can quickly degenerate into vanity and self-congratulation.

(20:14) The Rise of Babylon - Babylon, a city that had rebelled against the Assyrian Empire, was destroyed by Sennacherib in 689 BC. This event probably occurred shortly before that date. When Sennacherib died in 681 BC, his son Esar-haddon foolishly rebuilt the city of Babylon. Assyria, whose rulers at that time were weak, allowed Babylon plenty of opportunity to become strong. As the Assyrian army marched off to conquer and oppress faraway lands, the city of Babylon grew and expanded into a small nation. After some years, Babylon was strong enough to rebel again. It eventually crushed Assyria (612 BC and became the next world power.

(20:19) A Delayed Prophesy - Hezekiah was saying that it was good that these terrible events foretold by Isaiah wouldn't happen during his lifetime. Hezekiah's statement seems selfish, shortsighted, and proud. He knew that his nation would be punished for their sins, so he may have been acknowledging God's justice and thanking him for choosing not to destroy Judah during his lifetime.

(20:20) The Conduit - The pool and the conduit refer to a 1,777-foot tunnel built from the upper outlet of the Gihon Spring to the pool of Siloam (see 2 Chronicles 32:30). It began at a water source outside the wall of Jerusalem and went to a secure reservoir inside the city. This was designed so the Assyrian army would not be able to cut off the city's water supply.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

The Lord Rewards Our Faith


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Today we continue the book of 2 Kings with Chapter 20.  In our text, we see Hezekiah's illness, the Ambassadors from Babylon visit Hezekiah, and the end of Hezekiah's life. What catches my eye is how Hezekiah was a faithful King and made a huge difference as he stood for God being a true leader. The Lord acknowledged his faithfulness by answering his prayer adding 15 years to his life and delivering him from the hand of the king of Assyria. In making application, we see that the Lord does reward our faithfulness both here on earth and in Heaven to come. Today that same truth is available to us, which should motivate us to be obedient and faithful. How about you? Are you obedient and faithful to God? Let us learn from our text today and the life of Hezekiah to remember that God rewards our faithfulness.


2 Kings 20

2 Kings 20

 1In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.

 2Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying,

 3I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.

 4And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying,

 5Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD.

 6And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.

 7And Isaiah said, Take a lump of figs. And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.

 8And Hezekiah said unto Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the LORD will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the LORD the third day?

 9And Isaiah said, This sign shalt thou have of the LORD, that the LORD will do the thing that he hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees?

 10And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.

 11And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.

 12At that time Berodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present unto Hezekiah: for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick.

 13And Hezekiah hearkened unto them, and shewed them all the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armour, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not.

 14Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country, even from Babylon.

 15And he said, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All the things that are in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them.

 16And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah, Hear the word of the LORD.

 17Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD.

 18And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.

 19Then said Hezekiah unto Isaiah, Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. And he said, Is it not good, if peace and truth be in my days?

 20And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made a pool, and a conduit, and brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

 21And Hezekiah slept with his fathers: and Manasseh his son reigned in his stead.