Isaiah 39

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning,
that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4

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A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2006 James Melough

39:1.  “At that time Merodach-baladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah: for he had heard that he had been sick, and was recovered.”


Merodach means thy rebellion; and Merodach-baladan means Merodach is not a lord: thy rebellion, Baal is lord, all these meanings having an evil connotation, and indicating that Baladan, king of Babylon, is a type of Satan; and that Merodach-baladan typifies all those who do the bidding of that wicked spirit.


As the sequel reveals, these seemingly friendly overtures were insincere.  The friendship was feigned; and so is it always with the malignant spirit whom he represents, Satan, who is never more dangerous than when disguised as an angel of light, as we are warned in 2 Corinthians 11:14-15, “... for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers (servants) also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness ....”


39:2.  “And Hezekiah was glad of them, and shewed them the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment (perfume, fragrant oil), and all the house of his armor, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not.”


Silver is the Biblical emblem of redemption; gold, of glory; spices, of worship; and precious ointment, of prayer, all of these being the priceless possessions and privileges of the believer; but Hezekiah’s friendship with these Babylonians represents the folly of the believer who thinks that he can have fellowship with God and also with the world.  He can’t, for they are as disparate as day and night.  God is light, and the world is darkness, hence His warning to believers, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial?  Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel (unbeliever)?  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?  For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord ....” 2 Corinthians 6:14-17. 


Babylon means confusion by mixing, and that is exactly what spiritual Babylon (Roman Catholicism) does: she mixes a deadly spiritual elixir of truth mingled with lies, which induces spiritual torpor, so that her duped votaries pass peacefully along the road to hell, unaware of the awful awakening that awaits them when their journey ends, not in heaven, but in hell and the dreadful lake of fire.


39:3.  “Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee?  And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country unto me, even from Babylon.”


The question as to what the visitors had said to Hezekiah wasn’t answered, nor was any answer necessary: God’s servant, it seems, by the revelation of God was fully aware of the ultimate evil that would result from their visit.  Is it possible that by this time Hezekiah himself was beginning to have a premonition of evil that would result from the visit of the Babylonians?  Was a gnawing fear beginning to haunt him, and was he trying to allay it by asserting that the distance between him and them precluded the possibility of their return?  If so, he was deluding himself, as are all who ignore the power of Papal Rome, which Babylon represents.


39:4.  “Then said he, What have they seen in thine house?  And Hezekiah answered, All that is in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them.”


It seems that his answer was impelled, not by honesty, but by the knowledge that nothing could be hidden from the prophet whose mind was enlightened by God Himself; and one lesson at least to be learned from this is that we too should beware of ever attempting to plead extenuating circumstances when confessing our sins to God, for only full and forthright admission will secure forgiveness, as it is written, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” 1 John 1:9.  Alternatively, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us,” 1 John 1:10.


Hezekiah had treated the Babylonians like friends, and the dire results ought to warn us against seeking to establish any friendship with Papal Rome.  It is the enemy of God and of those who are His, as is amply attested by history.


39:5.  “Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the Lord of hosts:”


There is dramatic significance in Isaiah’s describing God as “the Lord of hosts (armies)."  Hezekiah was overawed by the power of Babylon because he apparently forgot that Jehovah is omnipotent, a fact we should ever remember, for it will steel our hearts to courage no matter what the seeming might of the foe.  When our courage falters we should remember that simply by the breath of His mouth our God slew 185,000 Assyrians in one night, 2 Kings 19:35; Isaiah 37:36.


39:6.  “Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the Lord.”


History records the fulfillment of this prediction, but like much OT prophecy, it foreshadows what is still future, but imminent.  Following the rapture of the true Church, which is unquestionably near, the great Babylonian system (Papal Rome) will reign supreme over all that presently pertains to apostate Christendom.


39:7.  “And thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”


The sons, which Hezekiah was yet to beget, and who would be carried to Babylon, and there become eunuchs, represent those unconverted professors who will be left on earth following the rapture of all true believers.  They will be employed in the service of spiritual Babylon (Papal Rome), but will be incapable of begetting spiritual children because of their own lack of spiritual life.


39:8.  “Then said Hezekiah, Good is the word of the Lord which thou hast spoken.  He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days.”


In spite of failure, Hezekiah was a true believer who bowed submissively to God’s will, as should all who profess faith in Christ.


The final sentence however, does not record his assertion that there would be peace and truth during his life, but rather his desire for that special blessing.

[Isaiah 40]

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     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
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