20:1 For you are going to die; you will not get well
King Chizkiyahu is told that he is going to be punished by losing his life in this world and, as Rashi explains, the next world as well. The reason for the punishment is that until now he has refrained from getting married and having children. Chizkiyahu’s intentions are pure, since he has received a prophetic revelation that his son will be evil. As a result, he wishes to refrain from having children, in order to avoid bringing such a person into the world. However, Chizkiyahu is told that his responsibility is to follow Hashem’s commandment to have children, regardless of the consequences. Rabbi Shlomo Aviner notes that Chizkiyahu’s decision to avoid having children could be particularly devastating, because his descendants represent the continuation of the Davidic dynasty. After hearing the rebuke, Chizkiyahu understands that he has erred, prays to God for forgiveness and corrects his mistake. Though his son Menashe is indeed evil, his great-grandson is the righteous King Yoshiyahu, who is responsible for creating a religious renaissance in the kingdom. Yoshiyahu gets rid of all forms of idolatry, including the altar erected by Yerovam (thus fulfilling the prophecy stated in I Kings 13:2), and renews the people’s covenant with Hashem.Comment
2 Thereupon Chizkiyahu turned his face to the wall and prayed to Hashem. He said,
ב וַיַּסֵּב אֶת־פָּנָיו אֶל־הַקִּיר וַיִּתְפַּלֵּל אֶל־יְהֹוָה לֵאמֹר׃
3 “Please, Hashem, remember how I have walked before You sincerely and wholeheartedly, and have done what is pleasing to You.” And Chizkiyahu wept profusely.
ג אָנָּה יְהֹוָה זְכָר־נָא אֵת אֲשֶׁר הִתְהַלַּכְתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ בֶּאֱמֶת וּבְלֵבָב שָׁלֵם וְהַטּוֹב בְּעֵינֶיךָ עָשִׂיתִי וַיֵּבְךְּ חִזְקִיָּהוּ בְּכִי גָדוֹל׃
4 Before Yeshayahu had gone out of the middle court, the word of Hashem came to him:
5 “Go back and say to Chizkiyahu, the ruler of My people: Thus said Hashem, the God of your father David: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears. I am going to heal you; on the third day you shall go up to the House of Hashem.
ו וְהֹסַפְתִּי עַל־יָמֶיךָ חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה וּמִכַּף מֶלֶךְ־אַשּׁוּר אַצִּילְךָ וְאֵת הָעִיר הַזֹּאת וְגַנּוֹתִי עַל־הָעִיר הַזֹּאת לְמַעֲנִי וּלְמַעַן דָּוִד עַבְדִּי׃
7 Then Yeshayahu said, “Get a cake of figs.” And they got one, and they applied it to the rash, and he recovered.
ז וַיֹּאמֶר יְשַׁעְיָהוּ קְחוּ דְּבֶלֶת תְּאֵנִים וַיִּקְחוּ וַיָּשִׂימוּ עַל־הַשְּׁחִין וַיֶּחִי׃
9 Yeshayahu replied, “This is the sign for you from Hashem that Hashem will do the thing that He has promised: Shall the shadow advance ten steps or recede ten steps?”
ט וַיֹּאמֶר יְשַׁעְיָהוּ זֶה־לְּךָ הָאוֹת מֵאֵת יְהֹוָה כִּי יַעֲשֶׂה יְהֹוָה אֶת־הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר דִּבֵּר הָלַךְ הַצֵּל עֶשֶׂר מַעֲלוֹת אִם־יָשׁוּב עֶשֶׂר מַעֲלוֹת׃
10 Chizkiyahu said, “It is easy for the shadow to lengthen ten steps, but not for the shadow to recede ten steps.”
י וַיֹּאמֶר יְחִזְקִיָּהוּ נָקֵל לַצֵּל לִנְטוֹת עֶשֶׂר מַעֲלוֹת לֹא כִי יָשׁוּב הַצֵּל אֲחֹרַנִּית עֶשֶׂר מַעֲלוֹת׃
13 Chizkiyahu heard about them and he showed them all his treasure-house—the silver, the gold, the spices, and the fragrant oil—and his armory, and everything that was to be found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his palace or in all his realm that Chizkiyahu did not show them.
14 Then the Navi Yeshayahu came to King Chizkiyahu. “What,” he demanded of him, “did those men say to you? Where have they come to you from?” “They have come,” Chizkiyahu replied, “from a far country, from Babylon.”
15 Next he asked, “What have they seen in your palace?” And Chizkiyahu replied, “They have seen everything that is in my palace. There was nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.”
טו וַיֹּאמֶר מָה רָאוּ בְּבֵיתֶךָ וַיֹּאמֶר חִזְקִיָּהוּ אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר בְּבֵיתִי רָאוּ לֹא־הָיָה דָבָר אֲשֶׁר לֹא־הִרְאִיתִם בְּאֹצְרֹתָי׃
17 A time is coming when everything in your palace which your ancestors have stored up to this day will be carried off to Babylon; nothing will remain behind, said Hashem.
יז הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים וְנִשָּׂא כָּל־אֲשֶׁר בְּבֵיתֶךָ וַאֲשֶׁר אָצְרוּ אֲבֹתֶיךָ עַד־הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה בָּבֶלָה לֹא־יִוָּתֵר דָּבָר אָמַר יְהֹוָה׃
18 And some of your sons, your own issue, whom you will have fathered, will be taken to serve as eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”
יח וּמִבָּנֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר יֵצְאוּ מִמְּךָ אֲשֶׁר תּוֹלִיד יקח [יִקָּחוּ] וְהָיוּ סָרִיסִים בְּהֵיכַל מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל׃