Isaiah 38-39: Hezekiah's Illnesses of Body and Heart

The story of Hezekiah in Is 38-39 is also covered in two other places:

  • 2 Kings 20 - nearly identical minus Hezekiah's "song"
  • 2 Chr 32:24-33 - a shorter summary, but with vital extra details regarding Hezekiah and the Babylonian envoys

Dr. Chris Miller from Cedarville University presents it like this (view from 32:10 - 36:30):

When was Hezekiah's illness?

  • Prior to Assyria's defeat (Is 38:6)
  • Hezekiah reigned from 715 B.C. to 686 B.C., and Sennacherib invaded in the 14th year of his reign (701 B.C.)
  • His life was extended 15 years, so if he died in 686, his illness would have been in the same year as Sennacherib's invasion in 701

Hezekiah's response to Isaiah's prophecy about him (Is 38:2-3)
  • Does Hezekiah have a good response or a bad response? 
    • Faith?
    • Humility?
    • Pride?
    • Honesty?

Prayer changes things!

  • Is 38:4-6
  • Is 37:21
But we need to pray rightly.  Other passages in Isaiah remind us of our place with regards to prayer
  • God will not share is glory with anyone or anything else - therefore we need to honor him and glorify him in our prayers (Is 42:8, Is 24:15)

How might we do this well, or fail to do this well?

And sometimes also be faithful to do our part in carrying out God's work in obedience

  • Isaiah still commanded the use of figs to heal Hezekiah (a common remedy at the time)

"Yah" (Is 38:11)

  • Shortened form of Yahweh (Yehova (Jehova) in Latin) - "The Lord"

Dr. Miller presents some extra commentary of dialogue between Isaiah and Hezekiah that is not directly recorded in Isaiah 39

  • While the conversation is imagined, the content comes from 2 Chr 32:31
  • Hezekiah's immediate response to God's extending his life was right - that the purpose was to glorify God and honor Him (Is 38:18-19).  But then he seems to have forgotten this by the time the Babylonian envoys come and he merely glorifies himself.
How does Hezekiah respond Isaiah's second prophecy about his life in Is 39:5-7?
  • Same or different to his first response?
  • Should we emulate this or not?