Isaiah 39
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1  At that time, Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, the king of Babylon, sent [envoys with] a letter and a gift to Chizkiyahu, for he had heard about his illness and recovery.

א  בָּעֵת הַהִוא שָׁלַח מְרֹדַךְ בַּלְאֲדָן בֶּן־בַּלְאֲדָן מֶלֶךְ־בָּבֶל סְפָרִים וּמִנְחָה אֶל־חִזְקִיָּהוּ וַיִּשְׁמַע כִּי חָלָה וַיֶּחֱזָק׃

2  Chizkiyahu was pleased by their coming, and he showed them his treasure house—the silver, the gold, the spices, and the fragrant oil—and all 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.

ב  וַיִּשְׂמַח עֲלֵיהֶם חִזְקִיָּהוּ וַיַּרְאֵם אֶת־בֵּית נכתה [נְכֹתוֹ] אֶת־הַכֶּסֶף וְאֶת־הַזָּהָב וְאֶת־הַבְּשָׂמִים וְאֵת הַשֶּׁמֶן הַטּוֹב וְאֵת כָּל־בֵּית כֵּלָיו וְאֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר נִמְצָא בְּאֹצְרֹתָיו לֹא־הָיָה דָבָר אֲשֶׁר לֹא־הֶרְאָם חִזְקִיָּהוּ בְּבֵיתוֹ וּבְכָל־מֶמְשַׁלְתּוֹ׃

3  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 to me,” replied Chizkiyahu, “from a far country, from Babylon.”

ג  וַיָּבֹא יְשַׁעְיָהוּ הַנָּבִיא אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ חִזְקִיָּהוּ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו מָה אָמְרוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים הָאֵלֶּה וּמֵאַיִן יָבֹאוּ אֵלֶיךָ וַיֹּאמֶר חִזְקִיָּהוּ מֵאֶרֶץ רְחוֹקָה בָּאוּ אֵלַי מִבָּבֶל׃

4  Next he asked, “What have they seen in your palace?” And Chizkiyahu replied, “They have seen everything there is in my palace. There was nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.”

ד  וַיֹּאמֶר מָה רָאוּ בְּבֵיתֶךָ וַיֹּאמֶר חִזְקִיָּהוּ אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר בְּבֵיתִי רָאוּ לֹא־הָיָה דָבָר אֲשֶׁר לֹא־הִרְאִיתִים בְּאוֹצְרֹתָי׃

5  Then Yeshayahu said to Chizkiyahu, “Hear the word of the lord of Hosts:

ה  וַיֹּאמֶר יְשַׁעְיָהוּ אֶל־חִזְקִיָּהוּ שְׁמַע דְּבַר־יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת׃

6  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 be left behind, said Hashem.

ו  הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים וְנִשָּׂא כָּל־אֲשֶׁר בְּבֵיתֶךָ וַאֲשֶׁר אָצְרוּ אֲבֹתֶיךָ עַד־הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה בָּבֶל לֹא־יִוָּתֵר דָּבָר אָמַר יְהֹוָה׃

7  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.”

ז  וּמִבָּנֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר יֵצְאוּ מִמְּךָ אֲשֶׁר תּוֹלִיד יִקָּחוּ וְהָיוּ סָרִיסִים בְּהֵיכַל מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל׃

8  Chizkiyahu declared to Yeshayahu, “The word of Hashem that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “It means that safety is assured for my time.”

va-YO-mer khiz-ki-YA-hu el y’-sha-YA-hu TOV d’-var a-do-NAI a-SHER di-BAR-ta va-YO-mer KEE yih-YEH sha-LOM ve-e-MET b’-ya-MAI

ח  וַיֹּאמֶר חִזְקִיָּהוּ אֶל־יְשַׁעְיָהוּ טוֹב דְּבַר־יְהֹוָה אֲשֶׁר דִּבַּרְתָּ וַיֹּאמֶר כִּי יִהְיֶה שָׁלוֹם וֶאֱמֶת בְּיָמָי׃

39:8 ‘The word of Hashem that you have spoken is good.’

King Chizkiyahu’s response to Yeshayahu’s prophecy, that future calamities that would befall his people do not matter as long as “safety is assured for my time,” appears callous and out of character for the righteous king. However, it actually reflects Chizkiyahu’s ability to see the good within the message delivered to him by Yeshayahu. It assured him of offspring, sons to sit upon his throne, and respite for his people. Most importantly, he understood that the period of peace would give the Children of Israel another chance to repent and erase the decree against them entirely. One should never underestimate the opportunity to make meaningful changes when given a second chance.1 comment

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Isaiah 39

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