2 Kings, Chapter 20

- י ל ה -

King Hezekiah Falls Ill, Is Healed by Isaiah

King Hezekiah is severely ill. He prays to God for salvation and his prayer is accepted. Isaiah comes to the palace with comforting news-Hezekiah will not only recover, he will live for another 15 years. Isaiah heals Hezekiah by applying a poultice of figs to his body. God acts kindly towards the loyal king of Judah. There is even archaeological evidence of the advanced water system that Hezekiah commissioned ahead of the Assyrian siege.

A Babylonian delegation arrives in Jerusalem. Hezekiah welcomes them warmly and shows them his riches. Isaiah is angered by this rash measure. He foretells that all the treasures of Jerusalem will be taken to Babylon, though not during Hezekiah’s reign. Though Hezekiah has sinned, God acts with leniency towards him because of Hezekiah’s kind deeds and great efforts on behalf of his people. Hezekiah’s virtues outweigh his transgressions. The forces of compassion overpower the forces of divine rigor.

“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:… And I will add unto thy days fifteen years” (2 Kings 20:5-6)

 “Behold, 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” (2 Kings 20:17)

Mercy is the empathy that inspires support for those in need.