Isaiah 39 Commentary

Warning concerning Babylon (39:1-8)

At this time Babylon was increasing in power and was looking for allies to help it resist Assyria.

Hezekiah’s illness gave the Babylonian king an excuse to send representatives to Jerusalem with the aim of encouraging Hezekiah to join with Babylon against Assyria. Hezekiah’s faith, which had been strengthened through his miraculous recovery from death, soon weakened. He could not resist the temptation of yet another anti-Assyrian alliance. He was proud of the prosperity he had brought to his kingdom (see 2 Chron 32:25,31), and he was pleased at the opportunity to impress Babylon. He therefore gladly showed his willingness to cooperate in the anti-Assyrian plot (39:1-2).

Isaiah seems to have suspected that Hezekiah was preparing the way for another alliance against Assyria (3-4). Once again the prophet condemned this willingness to enter foreign alliances. He saw that it would only result in conquest by the allied power. Judah would be conquered and its people carried captive to Babylon (5-8).

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