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Envoys from Babylon Welcomed


At that time King Merodach-baladan son of Baladan of Babylon sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. 2Hezekiah welcomed them; he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. 3Then the prophet Isaiah came to King Hezekiah and said to him, “What did these men say? From where did they come to you?” Hezekiah answered, “They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon.” 4He said, “What have they seen in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.”

5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the L ord of hosts: 6Days are coming when all that is in your house, and that which your ancestors have stored up until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left, says the L ord. 7Some of your own sons who are born to you shall be taken away; they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” 8Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the L ord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my days.”


4. Then he said. Isaiah proceeds in his indirect admonition, to see if Hezekiah shall be moved by it and displeased with himself. But still he does not succeed, though it can hardly be believed that the king was so stupid as not to feel the punctures of the spur; for he knew that the Prophet had not come, as persons addicted to curiosity are wont to do, for the purpose of hunting out news; and he knew also that the Prophet had not come to jest with him, but to state something of importance. However that may be, we ought to put a favorable construction on his mild reply; for he does not break out against the Prophet, but modestly confesses the state of the fact, though he does not yet acknowledge that he has sinned, or at least is not brought to repentance; for he does not judge of his sin from that concealed disposition. Ambition deludes men so much, that by its sweetness it not only intoxicates but drives them mad, so that, even when they have been admonished, they do not immediately repent. When, therefore, we see the godly Hezekiah struck with such stupidity as not to perceive that he is reproved, or at least not to be stung by it so as to know himself, we ought carefully to guard against so dangerous a disease.

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