The events of these chapters preceded Sennacherib’s invasion. Hezekiah reigned twenty-nine years (2 Kgs. 18:2). He probably fell ill in the fourteenth year of his reign. See Note on 36:1 in study 20 above.
- How does chapter 38 show:
(a) the power of prayer (cf. Jas. 5:16b),
(b) a loving purpose behind suffering (cf. Ps. 119:71, 75),
(c) the completeness of God’s forgiveness (cf. Ps. 103:12; Mic. 7:19),
(d) the duty of praise (cf. Ps. 13:6)?
- Wherein lay Hezekiah’s sin in displaying his royal treasures and military might to the envoys of Merodach-Baladan? Cf. 2 Chr. 32:25, 31. How does the incident reveal what was in his heart?
- 38:7, 8. The sign was a miraculous alteration of the shadow on the sundial, and not necessarily of the sun in the sky. It may have been caused by eclipse or reflection, and appears to have been a local phenomenon only (cf. 2 Chr. 32:31).
- 38:11 and 18. The thought that death cut them off from God made it a cause of dread to Old Testament believers. Contrast 1 Cor.15:20, 55, 56.
- 39:1. Merodach-Baladan made himself king of Babylon in defiance of Assyria in 721 BC, but was taken captive by the Assyrian king Sargon in 709. Before his downfall he sought to secure himself against Assyria by foreign alliances, one of which was with Judah in 714. Hezekiah’s sickness and remarkable recovery gave him occasion to make a first approach. Cf. 2 Chr. 32:31.