THE RIGHTEOUS PERISH: Hezekiah: "In those days Hezekiah
became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to
him and said, 'This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you
are going to die; you will not recover' " (Isa 38:1). Cp Abijah the son of
Jeroboam, the only righteous of his family (1Ki 14:13), and Josiah (2Ki
THE RIGHTEOUS ARE TAKEN AWAY TO BE SPARED FROM EVIL:
(1) For the righteous individual, an evil may await that is so terrible it can
make death look like a blessing in disguise -- if only we would know. Only the
LORD knows for certain, and He "is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all
his works" (Psa 145:17). Accordingly, we can believe and take comfort in the
fact that all His choices are right. (2) Or poss "because of wickedness" (cp
NET) -- ie, the wickedness of the nation. "The Lord has laid on him the iniquity
of us all" (Isa 53:6).
"For all his burning enthusiasm, Hezekiah had not been able to
carry more than a fraction of the nation with him: 'The godly man is perished
out of the land: and there is none upright among men' (Mic 7:2)" (WIsa
OFFSPRING OF ADULTERERS: "An evil and adulterous
generation" (Mat 16:4).
PROSTITUTES: Cp Jezebel, priestess of the Phoenician
YOU BURN WITH LUST: Heb "inflame yourselves". This
verse alludes to the practice of ritual sex that accompanied pagan fertility
YOU SACRIFICE YOUR CHILDREN: "It is even possible that
Hezekiah only came to the throne because his older brothers died in this way
(2Ki 16:3)" (WIsa 497). Child sacrifice: Jer 7:3; 32:35; Lev 18:21; 20:2-4; 2Ki
THE SMOOTH STONES: Used, poss, for images of phallus --
sym the god's sexual prowess.
YOU UNCOVERED YOUR BED, YOU CLIMBED INTO IT AND OPENED IT
WIDE: More graphically, "You have uncovered yourself, mounted your bed, and
spread it wide" (Anchor Bible).
YOU LOOKED ON THEIR NAKEDNESS: "Gaze longingly on their
genitals" (NET). The Heb is lit "[at] a hand you gaze." The term "hand,"
probably has the sense of "power, manhood" here, where it is used, as in
Ugaritic, as a euphemism for the genitals (HAL).
YOU WENT TO MOLECH: To the idol, Moloch, not to the
YOU SENT YOUR AMBASSADORS FAR AWAY: For example, to
Egypt (Isa 30:1-5; 31:1).
YOUR WORKS... WILL NOT BENEFIT YOU: The failure of
works to justify; salvation is to be acquired without price (Isa 55:1; cp 1Co
THE WIND WILL CARRY ALL OF THEM OFF: As happened to the
residue of Nebuchadnezzar's image in Dan 2:35.
THE MAN WHO MAKES ME HIS REFUGE: Hezekiah, with
allusions to a Passover deliverance.
THE OBSTACLES: Cp Christ crucified (Isa 53), to the
Jews a stumbling block (1Co 1:23). Yet believers glory in the cross (Gal
Vv 15-17: // Isa 6: the vision of Yahweh in the temple: high
and lifted up, contrition, and purging of iniquity.
HE WHO LIVES FOREVER: The Most Holy, entered only on
Day of Atonement.
Vv 17,18: "Hezekiah, dazzled by the allurements of an
influential political alliance and egged on by his less godly advisors, signed a
treaty of friendship and mutual aid with the men sent by the wily king of
Babylon. Hezekiah should have known better" (WIsa 499): Isa 39.
Jesus' encounter with the rich young ruler (Barnabas?): " 'For
the iniquity of his covetousness ('great possessions': Luke 18:23) for a little
while (ie until Act 4:36) I grieved him (sw Mar 10:22)... and he went (away)
sorrowful (sw Mar 10:22)... I have seen his ways (Luk 18:24), and I healed him,
and exhorted him, and have given him true exhortation (Act 4:36 sw); peace upon
peace to them that are far off (Gentiles: Eph 2:17... the gospel preached to
Gentiles by Barnabas and Paul), and to them that are nigh (to Jews also)' (vv
17-19)" (WIsa 500).
PEACE, PEACE... AND I WILL HEAL THEM: " 'The word of
the LORD you have spoken is good,' Hezekiah replied. For he thought, 'There will
be peace and security in my lifetime' " (Isa 39:8).
THE WICKED ARE LIKE THE TOSSING SEA: The chaotic waters
are perhaps intended to conjure up the picture -- familiar in Canaanite and
Babylonian mythology -- of the god's (ie, in this case, Yahweh's) primordial
victory over Leviathan the "god" of the sea: see Lesson, Leviathan -- esp "OT
THE WICKED: (1) Sennacherib, and/or (2) Merodach king
of Babylon (Isa 39).
Cp Isa 48:22. These two similar references to the wicked
divide the last portion of Isaiah (40-66) into three equal divisions of 9
chapters each (40-48; 49-57; 58-66).
Contrast with Isa 66:24: "the dead bodies of those who
rebelled against me". Thus the three-fold division of this section of Isaiah:
ending with wicked... wicked again... and finally, NO wicked! -- for they have
Thus, there is no peace for the wicked (Isa 48:22), and still
no peace for the wicked (Isa 57:20,21)... until, finally, they all perish. Then,
at last, they find "peace": the peace of death!