Table of Contents
Introduction to Isaiah 38:1-5
Modern commentaries on Isaiah state that Isaiah 38-39 are an introduction to the remainder of the book of Isaiah (Chapters 40-66) that discuss the Babylonian exile. In Isaiah 38 we read how Hezekiah got sick and then the Lord God extended his life 15 years. In Isaiah 39 we read how the king of Babylon heard about the illness of Hezekiah and sent letters, and then Hezekiah proceeded to show the Babylonian envoy the entirety of his kingdom and wealth. Could this boasting have led to the later invasion? John Oswalt states that Isaiah 36-37 depicts Hezekiah as the one who represents all of the people of Judah as a whole. Isaiah chapters 7-35 discuss how we are to trust in the Lord and not in anything else. The point is that we can turn to the Lord God Almighty for help with all of our needs! The Lord God Almighty and His Messiah Yeshua are trustworthy. What we note about Hezekiah is that he was משיח (a Mashiakh) of his present day, He delivered his people, trusted in the Lord, and repented for the sins of Judah, destroyed idolatry in Judah, and led the people back to the God of Israel. What Isaiah 38 speaks to us about is the mortality of man, how all of us are going to die one day and it is a gift of God the number of days that we have remaining on this earth. If we compare Yeshua, we note that He also died, and he rose again to everlasting life by the power of God. And so, our Mashiakh (Messiah) lives forever making intercession for us in heaven as Paul wrote in Romans 8:34. It says “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” This chapter (Isaiah 38) shows us how both the city, the people, and the individual men, women, and children, all are in the hands of God. When discussing the Messiah, it is interesting when we summarize Isaiah, we read a number of prophecies that were not fulfilled in the lifetime of Hezekiah. Take for example the following list of prophecies from Isaiah 7-12.
Summary of Prophecies in Isaiah 7-12
|Chapter||Prophecy||Biblical References (Hebrew)|
|7||A virgin will conceive and give birth to a son (Immanuel)||יִֽתֵּ֥ן ׀ אֲדֹנָ֖י הֽוּא־לָכֶֽם׃ (Isaiah 7:14)|
|7||The land of those opposing Judah will be deserted||יָעֹ֧ז ׀ צִבְא֛וֹ מִלְּפָנָ֖יו יַנִּ֥יחַ׃ (Isaiah 7:16)|
|8||Isaiah and his children are signs and symbols for Israel||וְאָנֹכִ֤י ׀ וְהָיוֹת֙ תִּפְתָּ֣ר אוֹתִ֔י וּלְאֹתֹ֖ות (Isaiah 8:18)|
|8||The people will stumble, but a great light will come||וְאִם־לֹ֖א יַדִּ֣בְרוּ כֵ֑ן לֹ֣א יַֽעֲבֹ֔ר לָהֶ֖ם (Isaiah 8:22-9:1)|
|9||A child will be born who will bring light and joy||כִּֽי־יֶֽלֶד יֻֽלַּד־לָ֖נוּ בֵּ֥ן נִתַּֽן־לָֽנוּ (Isaiah 9:6)|
|9||The government will be on His shoulders||וַתְּהִ֤י הַמִּשְׂרָה֙ עַל־שִׁכְמֹ֔ו (Isaiah 9:6)|
|9||He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace||פֶּ֥לֶא יֹועֵץ֮ אֵֽל־גִּבֹּ֥ור אֲבִיעַ֖ד שַׂר־שָׁלֹֽום (Isaiah 9:6)|
|9||The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish these things||קִנְאַת־יְהוָ֖ה צְבָאֹ֣ות תַּֽעֲשֶׂ֑ה־זֹּ֖את (Isaiah 9:7)|
|10||The Lord will send a destroyer against Assyria||וְשָׁלַ֚ח יְהוָה֙ בְּעַזְכֶ֔ם צַ֖ר וְכָל־מֹסְעֵ֥יו יִשְׂרָֽף׃ (Isaiah 10:16-19)|
|10||The stump of Jesse will produce a shoot (Messiah)||וְיָֽצָא֙ חֹ֣טֶר מִגֵּ֔זַע יִשָּׁ֖י (Isaiah 11:1-5)|
|11||The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord||כַּֽיְמֵי־הַיָּֽם־הַנֹּועֵ֔ם (Isaiah 11:9)|
|12||People will praise the Lord and draw water from salvation||זִ֣מְר֤וּ לַֽיהוָה֙ כִּֽי־גֵ֣אוּת עָלָ֔יו (Isaiah 12:3)|
|12||Proclaim the Lord’s name among the nations||סַפְּרוּ֙ בָּ֣עַמִּ֔ים (Isaiah 12:4)|
What is important to remember is how the antimissionaries will take these prophecies and apply them to Hezekiah as a Mashiakh. What we note about these prophecies is that these things were not fulfilled in the lifetime of Hezekiah. Therefore, more insight is necessary in order to understand to whom these prophecies are referring to. In order to properly understand, interpret, study, and discern the truth about these prophecies we must use the seven principles of interpretation (Jewish hermeneutical technique) and use PaRDeS (Heb. פַּרְדֵ״ס) which is a Jewish exegetical technique. The word PaRDeS is used as a pneumonic for the four types of biblical exegesis, an acronym for the following words:
Jewish Exegesis PaRDeS (Heb. פַּרְדֵ״ס)
- פשת – Peshat (“the simple, literal historical narrative meaning”)
- רמז – Remez (“hint,” i.e., veiled allusions such as gematria, etc)
- דרש – Drash (“homiletical interpretation”)
- סוד – Sod (“mystery,” i.e., the esoteric interpretation)
An explanation on the seven principles may be found here at https://www.matsati.com/index.php/hermeneutics/ These principles have been used and developed in the various midrashim which are an exposition on the biblical text. The purpose of the seven principles is to seek the deeper meaning and practical application of the Torah. Yeshua (Jesus) Himself used this method of interpretation which intensified the deeper meaning of the Torah. Take for example how he quoted from the Ten Commandments and then made an application through practical interpretation and application. Rabbi Hillel was the first to develop these seven principles and Rabbi Ishmael expanded these seven principles to thirteen; then Rabbi Eleazer further enlarged the scope of hermeneutical principles to include thirty-two. The point is for example using these prophecies from Isaiah 7-12, if we studied only the Peshat, the simple, literal, historical narrative on these verses, we would spin on these and essentially come to no resolution for when these would have been fulfilled if we focus only on Hezekiah. This is very important for us to be aware of since the antimissionaries will focus only on the Peshat for the purpose of confusion. Focusing only on the Peshat the antmissionaries can back someone into a corner to limit the argument and prevent a deeper discussion on the Remez, Drash, and Sod applications which relate to Yeshua the Messiah! These seven principles and PaRDeS are significant for interpretation of the Scriptures, because the Scriptures are timeless. The Scriptures are both for the people in the day they were written, and they are also for us thousands of years later. Therefore we take the cultural context in the day the text was written so that we can understand what was the intent of the author at that time. We also look at the culture of our modern day to understand how this world has changed and how the world has not changed so we can apply God’s word to our lives and live for His glory. Take for example what Moshe writes in the Torah saying the following:
ספר ויקרא פרק יח
ג כְּמַעֲשֵֹה אֶרֶץ-מִצְרַיִם אֲשֶׁר יְשַׁבְתֶּם-בָּהּ לֹא תַעֲשֹוּ וּכְמַעֲשֵֹה אֶרֶץ-כְּנַעַן אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי מֵבִיא אֶתְכֶם שָׁמָּה לֹא תַעֲשֹוּ וּבְחֻקֹּתֵיהֶם לֹא תֵלֵכוּ:
Vayikra / Leviticus 18:3
18:3 After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. (KJV)
ספר דברים פרק יח
ט כִּי אַתָּה בָּא אֶל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר-יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ לֹא-תִלְמַד לַעֲשֹוֹת כְּתוֹעֲבֹת הַגּוֹיִם הָהֵם:
Devarim / Deuteronomy 18:9
18:9 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. (KJV)
We note how in Vayikra / Leviticus 18:3 the narrative narrows down to Egypt and the Land of Canaan. In Devarim / Deuteronomy 18:9 the Scriptures also reference the land of Canaan and speaks from a generalization using the word הַגּוֹיִם “the nations.” What this reveals to us is how we are not to walk in the way of the Nations, and how the Torah was given so that we can know how to live our lives for the Lord. The Mitzvot (Commandments) are what separate us from the world. To add to this I believe the scriptures are timeless that they’re made for not just the day in which they were written but also for us today and so we can’t just simply take the cultural context of the day it was written we have to also look at our cultural context especially in light of immorality of this age in this world. This is important because the Torah is what separates us from this world; it makes us unique, special, and treasured people unto God. Note that if we do not consider the wickedness of the day in which we live, we limit the interpretation and application of the Scriptures and there may be a chance of creating a loophole allowing for sin in one’s life. This is not adding to the Commandments or taking away from the commandments. This is about having the proper interpretation and application of Scripture. The interpretation and application of the Scriptures is not a violation of “do not add to nor take away,” (Devarim / Deuteronomy 4:2) this is about how the bible is lived out in our lives to bring glory to God! Yeshua came to lead us in the way of God in the proper application of the Torah in our lives. This is why the NT text is so important for us in helping us to apply the Torah to our lives. Taking all of these things into context and consideration, we have a great hope in the Lord God Almighty and in His Son Yeshua the Messiah of whom Isaiah speaks about. These things speak to our relying upon the Lord God and His Messiah for help, deliverance, truth, and life in a wicked and sinful generation!
MSS (Masoretic Text) on Isaiah 38:1-5
Isaiah begins chapter 38 saying the following according to Isaiah 38:1.
ספר ישעיה פרק לח
א בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם חָלָה חִזְקִיָּהוּ לָמוּת וַיָּבוֹא אֵלָיו יְשַׁעְיָהוּ בֶן-אָמוֹץ הַנָּבִיא וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו כֹּה-אָמַר יְהֹוָה צַו לְבֵיתֶךָ כִּי מֵת אַתָּה וְלֹא תִחְיֶה:
Isaiah 38:1 states, “In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live. (בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם חָלָה חִזְקִיָּהוּ לָמוּת וַיָּבוֹא אֵלָיו יְשַׁעְיָהוּ בֶן-אָמוֹץ הַנָּבִיא וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו כֹּה-אָמַר יְהֹוָה צַו לְבֵיתֶךָ כִּי מֵת אַתָּה וְלֹא תִחְיֶה)” Based simply upon the biblical text, it is difficult to place a date on when exactly Hezekiah got sick described here in Isaiah 38:1. According to the Tanakh in 2 Kings, chapters 18-20, Hezekiah became the king of Judah at the age of twenty-five and reigned in Jerusalem for 29 years and he lived from 721-691 B.C. Some commentators state that this illness had to have occurred after God had sent Assyria back to their country. The idea is that the Babylonian envoy that came to congratulate Hezekiah for his recovery would not have occurred if the deliverance from Assyria had been very recent. Also note that the wealth of Hezekiah had initially been sent to Sennacherib in an attempt to appease him, so there would not have been as much to show the Babylonians immediately after the war. Others suggest that this illness had come before the final Assyrian invasion, before Hezekiah had given Sennacherib his wealth. The issue with this interpretation is that if Hezekiah was sick prior to the invasion, then Isaiah 38 and 39 are out of order chronologically. Are we to believe that the chronological order of Isaiah is rearranged simply to make a theological statement? (some commentators argue this i.e. John Oswalt) Here in Isaiah 38:1 God tells Hezekiah through Isaiah צַו לְבֵיתֶךָ כִּי מֵת אַתָּה וְלֹא תִחְיֶה “Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live” the more accurate rendition of this verse is “command your house…” This statement כִּי מֵת אַתָּה “because you will die” would have been surprising and disappointing to Hezekiah, especially based upon how he lived his life leading the people in the ways of God. We read that Hezekiah turned to the wall and prayed, and then God gave him more time to live. This boldness of Hezekiah parallels what we read in the Tanakh elsewhere.
ספר שמות פרק לב
ז וַיְדַבֵּר יְהֹוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה לֶךְ-רֵד כִּי שִׁחֵת עַמְּךָ אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלֵיתָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם: ח סָרוּ מַהֵר מִן-הַדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִם עָשֹוּ לָהֶם עֵגֶל מַסֵּכָה וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ-לוֹ וַיִּזְבְּחוּ-לוֹ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלֶּה אֱלֹהֶיךָ יִשְֹרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱלוּךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם: ט וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה רָאִיתִי אֶת-הָעָם הַזֶּה וְהִנֵּה עַם-קְשֵׁה-עֹרֶף הוּא: י וְעַתָּה הַנִּיחָה לִּי וְיִחַר-אַפִּי בָהֶם וַאֲכַלֵּם וְאֶעֱשֶֹה אוֹתְךָ לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל: יא וַיְחַל מֹשֶׁה אֶת-פְּנֵי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהָיו וַיֹּאמֶר לָמָה יְהוָֹה יֶחֱרֶה אַפְּךָ בְּעַמֶּךָ אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בְּכֹחַ גָּדוֹל וּבְיָד חֲזָקָה: יב לָמָּה יֹאמְרוּ מִצְרַיִם לֵאמֹר בְּרָעָה הוֹצִיאָם לַהֲרֹג אֹתָם בֶּהָרִים וּלְכַלֹּתָם מֵעַל פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה שׁוּב מֵחֲרוֹן אַפֶּךָ וְהִנָּחֵם עַל-הָרָעָה לְעַמֶּךָ: יג זְכֹר לְאַבְרָהָם לְיִצְחָק וּלְיִשְֹרָאֵל עֲבָדֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתָּ לָהֶם בָּךְ וַתְּדַבֵּר אֲלֵהֶם אַרְבֶּה אֶת-זַרְעֲכֶם כְּכוֹכְבֵי הַשָּׁמָיִם וְכָל-הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת אֲשֶׁר אָמַרְתִּי אֶתֵּן לְזַרְעֲכֶם וְנָחֲלוּ לְעֹלָם: יד וַיִּנָּחֶם יְהוָֹה עַל-הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר לַעֲשֹוֹת לְעַמּוֹ:
Shemot / Exodus 32:7-14
32:7 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: 32:8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 32:9 And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: 32:10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. 32:11 And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand? 32:12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. 32:13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. 32:14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people. (KJV)
4:2 And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. (KJV, ב וַיִּתְפַּלֵּ֨ל אֶל־יְהוָ֜ה וַיֹּאמַ֗ר אָנָּ֤ה יְהוָה֙ הֲלוֹא־זֶ֣ה דְבָרִ֗י עַד־הֱיוֹתִי֙ עַל־אַדְמָתִ֔י עַל־כֵּ֥ן קִדַּ֖מְתִּי לִבְרֹ֣חַ תַּרְשִׁ֑ישָׁה כִּ֣י יָדַ֗עְתִּי כִּ֤י אַתָּה֙ אֵֽל־חַנּ֣וּן וְרַח֔וּם אֶ֤רֶךְ אַפַּ֙יִם֙ וְרַב־חֶ֔סֶד וְנִחָ֖ם עַל־הָרָעָֽה׃)
In these two references, we read that Moshe believed something about who God was to deliver His people. Notice how Moshe prays for the people concerning their sin, and even offers himself to be blotted out if the Lord God would not forgive their sin. Also in Jonah 4:2 we read about the mercy of God to forgive the sin of the gentiles. The point is turning to God with Kavanah, having the proper intention and intensity of faith to seek the Lord for His help, to trust and rely upon Him alone! So, in a similar manner, Hezekiah sought the Lord for help in this matter regardless of what Isaiah the prophet had said to him! This reveals to us the power of prayer, how prayer can change the course of events. This means that when we do not pray, we fail to demonstrate our will to submit to God’s will, and our failure to seek Him for His help in whatever situation that we are seeking help for. Note how prayer is a matter of wrestling with our faith in God and seeking the Lord for help no matter how long it may take!
Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 38:2-3.
ספר ישעיה פרק לח
ב וַיַּסֵּב חִזְקִיָּהוּ פָּנָיו אֶל-הַקִּיר וַיִּתְפַּלֵּל אֶל-יְהֹוָה: ג וַיֹּאמַר אָנָּה יְהֹוָה זְכָר-נָא אֵת אֲשֶׁר הִתְהַלַּכְתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ בֶּאֱמֶת וּבְלֵב שָׁלֵם וְהַטּוֹב בְּעֵינֶיךָ עָשִֹיתִי וַיֵּבְךְּ חִזְקִיָּהוּ בְּכִי גָדוֹל:
Isaiah 38:2 states, “Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, (וַיַּסֵּב חִזְקִיָּהוּ פָּנָיו אֶל-הַקִּיר וַיִּתְפַּלֵּל אֶל-יְהֹוָה)” Isaiah 38:3 “And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. (וַיֹּאמַר אָנָּה יְהֹוָה זְכָר-נָא אֵת אֲשֶׁר הִתְהַלַּכְתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ בֶּאֱמֶת וּבְלֵב שָׁלֵם וְהַטּוֹב בְּעֵינֶיךָ עָשִֹיתִי וַיֵּבְךְּ חִזְקִיָּהוּ בְּכִי גָדוֹל)” Here we read how imediately after Hezekiah heard the news, he turned towards the wall on his bed and prayed. Note how he calls upon how he had tried to walk in righteousness through his passion for the Lord by the destruction of idolatry. He states הִתְהַלַּכְתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ בֶּאֱמֶת וּבְלֵב שָׁלֵם “I have walked before you in truth and with a perfect heart.” We note that there are not many men in the bible whom we get this imagery of crying and praying to the Lord for compassion. We note how Ahab behaved in 1 Kings 21:4 in a similar manner, but he did not pray to the Lord.
ספר מלכים א פרק כא
ד וַיָּבֹא אַחְאָב אֶל-בֵּיתוֹ סַר וְזָעֵף עַל-הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר-דִּבֶּר אֵלָיו נָבוֹת הַיִּזְרְעֵאלִי וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא-אֶתֵּן לְךָ אֶת-נַחֲלַת אֲבוֹתָי וַיִּשְׁכַּב עַל-מִטָּתוֹ וַיַּסֵּב אֶת-פָּנָיו וְלֹא-אָכַל לָחֶם:
1 Kings 21:4
21:4 And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread. (KJV)
Here Ahab wanted the vineyard of Naboth and Naboth would not sell the land to him, so he went home and laid down and cried over the situation. Note that his turning his face and not eating bread meant that he laid there on his bed for a very long time. Ahab was a wicked man, and his wife Jezabel was also a wicked woman who was a false prophetess of Baal, she got the land for him using deceit, murder, and blood shed killing Naboth. For Hezekiah the word of the Lord from Isaiah led him to righteously seek the God of Israel for help. For Ahab, his wickedness led to death, destruction, and theft. We see the significant difference here between these two people, Hezekiah seeking the Lord in prayer led to life, while Ahab walking in the ways of the nations and wickedness led to the curse and death. Notice the difference here how God’s blessing comes to those who do not consume the desires of the hearts in lust or covetousness. Some commentators on Isaiah 38 suggest the messianic leader Hezekiah being healed leads us to the messianic expectation of resurrection. The point is the healing of Hezekiah, God giving him 15 more years is evidence for the hope that we have in the Lord God Almighty for eternal life. Something we note about Hezekiah, he was 39 years old at this time, and his son who ascended to the throne did so at the age of 12 years old (see 2 Kings 21:1). The significance of this point is that Manasseh was born within these 15 years that were added to Hezekiah, and so if Hezekiah would have died at 39 yo, he would have been cut off without having children. This context that we have here on the life of Hezekiah reveals to us the way in which we should respond when something happens in our lives. Regardless of the situation, or how we perceive our situation, we do as Hezekiah did and continue to seek the Lord for help in faith and remain faithful to God and His holy Word. (Philippians 3:7–15, 1 Thessalonians. 5:23) This is similar to what Paul says in Philippians 3:7–15 on pressing forward toward the mark and the high calling in the Messiah that we are called to. The point is that we do not live with divided loyalties to this world and to God. We are called to remain faithful directing our hearts towards God. The good news of the Messiah is that our Father in heaven seeks for all men to repent, turn from their sins, and seek Him by faith in Yeshua the Messiah!
Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 38:4-5.
ספר ישעיה פרק לח
ד וַיְהִי דְּבַר-יְהֹוָה אֶל-יְשַׁעְיָהוּ לֵאמֹר: ה הָלוֹךְ וְאָמַרְתָּ אֶל-חִזְקִיָּהוּ כֹּה-אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי דָּוִד אָבִיךָ שָׁמַעְתִּי אֶת-תְּפִלָּתֶךָ רָאִיתִי אֶת-דִּמְעָתֶךָ הִנְנִי יוֹסִף עַל-יָמֶיךָ חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְֹרֵה שָׁנָה:
Isaiah 38:4 states, “Then came the word of the LORD to Isaiah, saying, (וַיְהִי דְּבַר-יְהֹוָה אֶל-יְשַׁעְיָהוּ לֵאמֹר)” Isaiah 38:5 “Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. (הָלוֹךְ וְאָמַרְתָּ אֶל-חִזְקִיָּהוּ כֹּה-אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי דָּוִד אָבִיךָ שָׁמַעְתִּי אֶת-תְּפִלָּתֶךָ רָאִיתִי אֶת-דִּמְעָתֶךָ הִנְנִי יוֹסִף עַל-יָמֶיךָ חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְֹרֵה שָׁנָה)” Here we see something very unusual, that God responded immediately to Hezekiah’s prayers giving Isaiah a word to speak to him. When we read 2 Kings 20:4 we note that Isaiah had not gotten out of Hezekiah’s palace before the word from God had spoken to him to return to Hezekiah and tell him that he gets 15 more years of life. Here we note the faithfulness of God to Hezekiah to heal him of his illness because of his willingness to keep the faith and be committed to God’s holy ways. We note the high calling that we have according to the Torah from Devarim / Deuteronomy 4:36-38.
ספר דברים פרק ד
לו מִן-הַשָּׁמַיִם הִשְׁמִיעֲךָ אֶת-קֹלוֹ לְיַסְּרֶךָּ וְעַל-הָאָרֶץ הֶרְאֲךָ אֶת-אִשּׁוֹ הַגְּדוֹלָה וּדְבָרָיו שָׁמַעְתָּ מִתּוֹךְ הָאֵשׁ: לז וְתַחַת כִּי אָהַב אֶת-אֲבֹתֶיךָ וַיִּבְחַר בְּזַרְעוֹ אַחֲרָיו וַיּוֹצִאֲךָ בְּפָנָיו בְּכֹחוֹ הַגָּדֹל מִמִּצְרָיִם: לח לְהוֹרִישׁ גּוֹיִם גְּדֹלִים וַעֲצֻמִים מִמְּךָ מִפָּנֶיךָ לַהֲבִיאֲךָ לָתֶת-לְךָ אֶת-אַרְצָם נַחֲלָה כַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה:
Devarim / Deuteronomy 4:36–38
4:36 Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice, that he might instruct thee: and upon earth he shewed thee his great fire; and thou heardest his words out of the midst of the fire. 4:37 And because he loved thy fathers, therefore he chose their seed after them, and brought thee out in his sight with his mighty power out of Egypt; 4:38 To drive out nations from before thee greater and mightier than thou art, to bring thee in, to give thee their land for an inheritance, as it is this day. (KJV)
Here Moshe recalls the glory of God in His revealing Himself to His people, how He chose them for a specific purpose and how He drives the nations out from before His people. Notice how this is exactly what God had done for Hezekiah and Judah with Sennacherib and his army. The willingness of Hezekiah to keep his faith and commit himself to the Lord is what is so significant here in these Scriptures. There is a great abundant life for those who do these things just as the Scriptures say that faithfulness will reach a thousand generations (Shemot / Exodus 34:6-7) and this is for those who are moving forward in their faith and not moving backwards. These things are as a reminder for us to continue to move forward and not backwards, and to remain faithful and seek God’s help to remain faithful Him always!
Rabbinic Commentary on Isaiah 38:1-5
The Targum Jonathan is an Aramaic and Rabbinic translation of the book of Isaiah and therefore is a valuable resource for continuing to study the book of Isaiah!
תרגום יונתן בן עוזיאל אל ישעיה פרק לח:א-ה
א בְיֹומַיָא הָאִינוּן מְרַע חִזקִיָה לִממָת וַאְתָא לְוָתֵיה יְשַעיָה בַר אָמֹוץ נְבִיָא וַאְמַר לֵיה כִדנָן אְמַר יוי פַקֵיד עַל אְנָש בֵיתָך אְרֵי מָאִית אַת וְלָא תֵיחֵי מִמַרעָך׃ ב וְאַסחַר חִזקִיָה אַפֹוהִי לְכֹותַל בֵית מַקדְשָא וְצַלִי קֳדָם יוי׃ ג וַאְמַר קַבֵיל בָעוּתִי יוי אִדְכַר כְעַן יָת דִפלַחִית קֳדָמָך בִקשֹוט וּבלֵב שְלִים וּדתָקֵין קֳדָמָך עְבַדִית וּבכָא חִזקִיָה בְכִי סַגִיאָה׃ ד וַהְוָה פִתגָם נְבוּאָה מִן קֳדָם יוי עִם יְשַעיָה לְמֵימַר׃ ה אִיזֵיל וְתֵימַר לְחִזקִיָה כִדנָן אְמַר יוי אְלָהֵיה דְדָוִיד אְבוּך שְמִיעָא קֳדָמַי צְלֹותָך גַליָא קֳדָמַי דִמעְתָך הָאְנָא מֹוסֵיף עַל יֹומָך חְמֵיש עַסרֵי שְנִין׃
Targum Jonathan son of Uziel Isaiah 38:1-5
38:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Order thy household, for thou art dying, and shalt not live. 38:2 Then Hezekiah turned his face towards the wall of the house of the sanctuary, and prayed before the Lord, 38:3 And said, Hear my prayer, O Lord, remember, I beseech thee, how I have served before Thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, and I have done that which is right in Thy eyes. And Hezekiah wept sore. 38:4 Then the words of prophecy came from before the Lord to Isaiah, saying, 38:5 Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, Thy prayer hath been heard by me, thy tears are observed by me: behold, I will add to thy days fifteen years; (TgJ)
Both the MSS and the Targum translation have organized these events in sequential order, that the army of Sennacherib went throughout Judah destroying the fortified cities, and then ended finally on Jerusalem the capital city of Israel. The purpose of this was again so that Jerusalem would not receive help from the fortified cities and outflank the army. Here in Chapter 38, we read of Hezekiah’s illness. Note how these events are provided in a sequential order. Note also how we had mentioned that the death of Sennacherib by his sons at the end of Chapter 37 was approximately 20 years later from the event of God destroying his army and driving them back to their own land. So there is a considerable amount of time that is squeezed between these events where the biblical narrative suggests a much shorter time frame. When looking at the rabbinic literature, the rabbis place Hezekiah’s illness and impending death at just before the impending doom of Jerusalem and prior to God striking the army. So when Hezekiah prayed, God answered his prayer, gave him 15 more years to live, and then struck the army delivering Judah and Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib. The biblical narrative however places these events as separated by time. The TgJ states, א בְיֹומַיָא הָאִינוּן מְרַע חִזקִיָה לִממָת וַאְתָא לְוָתֵיה יְשַעיָה בַר אָמֹוץ נְבִיָא וַאְמַר לֵיה כִדנָן אְמַר יוי פַקֵיד עַל אְנָש בֵיתָך אְרֵי מָאִית אַת וְלָא תֵיחֵי מִמַרעָך׃ 38:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Order thy household, for thou art dying, and shalt not live. ב וְאַסחַר חִזקִיָה אַפֹוהִי לְכֹותַל בֵית מַקדְשָא וְצַלִי קֳדָם יוי׃ 38:2 The opening word בְיֹומַיָא means “in those days” suggests a timeframe much later than at the moment of Jerusalem’s impending doom. Hezekiah turned his face towards the wall of the house of the sanctuary, and prayed before the Lord (TgJ) Here Hezekiah demonstrates wisdom by turning and seeking the Lord God in prayer. Prayer is very significant, for it is through prayer that we communicate with God and we are able to hear Him speaking to us. Prayer is very important as we read in the Scripture that we are to pray with others (Luke 9:28), for others (Matthew 19:13-14), and on our own (Luke 5:16, Luke 6:12). Prayer is a fundamental part of how we are to approach each day and every decision. We also need to spend time with our Father in heaven in prayer each day. This is how the rabbis understood prayer and the Midrash Rabbah on Devarim 8:1 expands on this understanding of prayer in the following way.
Midrash Devarim Rabbah 8:1
הֲלָכָה, אָדָם מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁלֹא הִתְפַּלֵּל תְּפִלַּת הַשַּׁחַר אוֹ תְּפִלַּת מוּסַף אוֹ תְּפִלַּת הַמִּנְחָה, הַרְבֵּה פְּעָמִים שֶׁלֹא פָּנָה לְהִתְפַּלֵּל אוֹ מִקֹּצֶר שֶׁהָיָה עוֹשֶׂה צְרָכָיו, אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה מְהַלֵּךְ בַּדֶּרֶךְ וְשָׁכַח לְהִתְפַּלֵּל, אֵי זוֹ שָׁעָה מֻתָּר לוֹ לְהִתְפַּלֵּל וְיֵצֵא בָהּ יְדֵי חוֹבָתוֹ, כֵּיצַד הוּא צָרִיךְ לַעֲשׂוֹת, כָּךְ שָׁנוּ חֲכָמִים תְּפִלַּת הַשַּׁחַר עַד חֲצוֹת, תְּפִלַּת הַמִּנְחָה עַד הָעֶרֶב, תְּפִלַּת הָעֶרֶב אֵין לָהּ קֶבַע, אֲבָל שֶׁל מוּסָפִין כָּל הַיּוֹם. אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר שָׁכַח וְלֹא הִתְפַּלֵּל תְּפִלַּת הַמּוּסַף וּבָא לְהִתְפַּלֵּל תְּפִלַּת הַמִּנְחָה, מִתְפַּלֵּל תְּפִלַּת הַמִּנְחָה, וְאַחַר כָּךְ תְּפִלַּת הַמּוּסַף, לָמָּה, הַכֹּל בְּעִתָּהּ מִתְבָּרֵאת, וּתְפִלַּת הָעֶרֶב אֵין לָהּ קֶבַע עַד שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה עַמּוּד הַשָּׁחַר, לָמָּה, שֶׁכֵּן כְּתִיב (משלי ח, יז): אֲנִי אֹהֲבַי אֵהָב וּמְשַׁחֲרַי יִמְצָאֻנְנִי, וְכָל מִי שֶׁמִּתְפַּלֵּל וּמְכַוֵּן לִבּוֹ בַּתְּפִלָּה, סִימָן טוֹב לוֹ שֶׁתְּפִלָּתוֹ נִתְקַבְּלָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים י, יז): תַּאֲוַת עֲנָוִים שָׁמַעְתָּ ה’, גְּדוֹלָה הִיא הַתְּפִלָּה לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, אָמַר רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר רְצוֹנְךָ לֵידַע כֹּחָהּ שֶׁל תְּפִלָּה, אִם אֵינָהּ עוֹשָׂה כֻּלָּה חֶצְיָהּ הִיא עוֹשָׂה, קַיִן עָמַד עַל הֶבֶל אָחִיו וַהֲרָגוֹ, יָצְאָה גְּזֵרָה (בראשית ד, יב): נָע וָנָד תִּהְיֶה בָאָרֶץ, מִיָּד עָמַד וְנִתְוַדָּה לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית ד, יג): גָּדוֹל עֲוֹנִי מִנְשׂוֹא, אָמַר לְפָנָיו רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם כָּל הָעוֹלָם אַתָּה סוֹבֵל וְלַעֲוֹנִי אִי אַתָּה סוֹבֵל, כָּתַבְתָּ (מיכה ז, יח): נֹשֵׂא עָוֹן וְעֹבֵר עַל פֶּשַׁע, סְלַח לַעֲוֹנִי שֶׁהוּא גָדוֹל, מִיָּד מָצָא חֶסֶד לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא וְנִמְנַע מִמֶּנּוּ נָע חֲצִי הַגְּזֵרָה, שֶׁכֵּן כְּתִיב (בראשית ד, טז): וַיֵּשֶׁב בְּאֶרֶץ נוֹד, מִכָּאן אַתָּה לָמֵד שֶׁגְּדוֹלָה הַתְּפִלָּה לִפְנֵי הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא. וְכֵן חִזְקִיָּהוּ הַנָּבִיא בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁאָמַר לוֹ (ישעיה לח, א): צַו לְבֵיתְךָ כִּי מֵת אַתָּה, מִיָּד (ישעיה לח, ב): וַיַּסֵּב חִזְקִיָּהוּ פָּנָיו אֶל הַקִּיר, אָמַר לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא (ישעיה לח, ה ו): שָׁמַעְתִּי אֶת תְּפִלָּתֶךָ וגו’ [והוספתי] הִנְנִי יוֹסִף עַל יָמֶיךָ חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה, שֶׁכֵּן כְּתִיב (תהלים קמה, יט): רְצוֹן יְרֵאָיו יַעֲשֶׂה וְאֶת שַׁוְעָתָם יִשְׁמַע וְיוֹשִׁיעֵם.
Law: A Jewish person who does not pray the morning prayer, or the Musaf prayer, or the afternoon prayer, many times; that he didn’t have time for prayer, or he abridged it to take care of his [toilet] needs, or he had traveled and forgot to pray: Which time is permitted for him to pray and fulfill his obligation? What is he required to do? So taught the sages: The morning prayer is til midday, the afternoon prayer til nightfall, evening prayer has no fixed [time]. But for the Musaf [prayers], all day. Rabbi Elazar said: [If] he forgot and did not pray the Musaf prayer, and he came to pray the afternoon prayer, he should pray the afternoon prayer and afterward the Musaf prayer. Why? For everything was created for its time. The evening prayer has no fixed [time], until dawn. Why? As it is written, (Proverbs 8:17), “I love those who love me and those who seek me find me.” And all those who pray and set their hearts [in concentration] for prayer, it is a good sign that his prayer is accepted, as it says, (Psalms 10:17) “You hear the desire of the afflicted…” Great is prayer before the Holy One, blessed be He. Rabbi Elazar said, “Do you want to know the power of prayer? If it does not accomplish the whole [request], it accomplishes half of it. [To illustrate, when] Cain overtook his brother Abel and murdered him, a [divine] decree went out, (Genesis 4:12) ‘You will be a restless wanderer (na v’nad) on earth.’ Immediately, he stood and confessed before the Holy One, blessed be He, as it says, (Genesis 4:13) ‘My punishment is more than one can bear.’ He said before Him: Master of the World! You bear the whole world, yet my sin You cannot bear? You wrote, (Micah 7:18) ‘Who bears sin and forgives the transgression,’ forgiving the great sinner. Immediately, he found kindness before the Holy One, blessed be He, and He held back the “restlessness” (na), half the decree, and so it is written (Genesis 4:16) ‘And he dwelled in the land of Nod [wandering, but not na, restlessness]. From here you learn that prayer is held great before the Holy One, blessed be He. And so for Hezekiah, when He told him, (II Kings 20:1) ‘Put your house in order, because you are going to die…’ immediately (II Kings 20:2) ‘Hezekiah turned his face to the wall [and prayed to God]…’ The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him: (II Kings 20:5-6) ‘I have heard your prayer… I have added 15 years for your life…’ So is it written, (Psalms 145:19) ‘He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.'”
The Midrash speaks of those who do not pray and lists the various types of prayer: the morning prayer, the musaf prayer, the prayer of thanksgiving for being able to goto the bathroom and for travel. The Midrash also speaks of praying three times daily, morning, noon, and evening, this is derived from the book of Daniel (Daniel 6:10-28). The rabbis say that if one misses a prayer time, he should fulfill the next one, and so forth. Rabbi Elazar asks, “Do you want to know the power of prayer?” This is significant because the Scriptures demonstrate for us that there is power in prayer because we are communicating with the Almighty God! We note how forgiveness of sin is coupled to prayer, and how we are blessed when we seek the righteousness of God and fear him, and it is then that we receive an answer to our prayers! We note that prayer is a major component of Judaism. It is a way of speaking to and thanking God, as well as a Torah-based commandment. Torah commands us to pray to God with our hearts and this is one of only two prayers that are specifically commanded in Torah (the other is Birkat Ha-Mazon – grace after meals). According to Rambam, there is a biblical commandment to pray daily, based on the verse “serve God with all our heart and all our soul” according to Devarim / Deuteronomy 10:12. This is also listed as one of the 613 commandments by Maimonides. However, the Torah does not specify the details of how, when or what to pray. These were developed later by the rabbis and sages, based on the traditions and customs of the Jewish people. The Shema, which is recited twice a day, is derived from verses in Devarim / Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Bamidbar / Numbers 15:37-41. The Amidah, which is the core of the prayer service, is based on the blessings that the Patriarchs uttered in their prayers. These are verses from the Torah that affirm the oneness of God, the covenant with God’s people, the obligation to follow the mitzvot, and the commandment to wear tzitzit. The Shema is recited twice a day, in the morning and in the evening, as well as before going to sleep. The prayers, along with instructions and commentary, are found in the Siddur, the traditional Jewish prayer book. Prayer has three different categories: (i) prayers of thanksgiving, (ii) prayers of praise, and (iii) prayers that ask for things. We believe based upon the Scriptures that God will take action in response to prayer, and a teaching from the rabbis tells us that the more we ask the Lord God to help us, the more He will love us. Prayer is described by the sages as the quintessential “service of the heart.” The scripture references for the Amidah are not as clear, since the Amidah is a rabbinic composition that is based on various sources from the Torah and the Prophets. The Amidah consists of 19 blessings, each of which has a different theme and origin. Some of the blessings are derived from the prayers of the Patriarchs, such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Some of the blessings are based on verses from Psalms, such as “Heal us, O L-rd, and we will be healed” (Jeremiah 17:14). Some of the blessings are based on prophetic visions, such as “Sound the great shofar for our freedom” (Isaiah 27:13). The rules governing the composition and recital of the Amidah are discussed primarily in the Talmud, in Chapters 4–5 of Berakhot; in the Mishneh Torah, in chapters 4–5 of Hilkhot Tefilah; and in the Shulchan Aruch, Laws 89–127 of Orach Chaim.
We also note something from the NT text when Peter was put in prison due to his teaching on the name of Yeshua for salvation. We read this in Acts 12:5-7, how his imprisonment was such a serious matter that they had imprisoned him with two guards sitting on either side of him. This emphasizes for us how dangerous the leaders thought Peter was keeping him in chains and between the two guards who were to keep watch all night long. This was not normal since all prisoners would not have been treated this way due to a limitation on the number of soldiers or officers available. This kind of treatment was for the most dangerous of criminals so that they would not be able to escape. Was this how Peter was thought to be a most dangerous man that he had to be chained and guarded in this way? It is unclear how long Peter was held in prison, but we are told that the angel who visited him did so on the night before his trial. The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists (Acts 12:5–7). So the angel led him out of the prison and into the open to safety and this is where the narrative picks up in Acts 12:11-12.
12:11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. 12:12 And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. (KJV 11 Καὶ ὁ Πέτρος ἐν ⸀ἑαυτῷ γενόμενος εἶπεν· νῦν οἶδα ἀληθῶς ὅτι ἐξαπέστειλεν* ⸂[ὁ] κύριος⸃ τὸν ἄγγελον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐξείλατό με ἐκ χειρὸς Ἡρῴδου καὶ πάσης τῆς προσδοκίας τοῦ λαοῦ τῶν Ἰουδαίων.* 12 συνιδών τε ἦλθεν ἐπὶ τὴν οἰκίαν* °τῆς Μαρίας τῆς μητρὸς Ἰωάννου τοῦ ἐπικαλουμένου Μάρκου, οὗ ἦσαν ἱκανοὶ συνηθροισμένοι καὶ προσευχόμενοι.*)
So here what is significant about these verses is how we are told that there were many who gathered together praying. What we note is that these verses are how God answers prayer, how He is powerful to deliver, and He did so here using an angel were a number of miraculous things occurred, the soldiers were put in a deep sleep, Peter’s chains just fell off, and the doors opened by themselves as Peter followed the angel out of prison. Peter demonstrates his own humility by acknowledging that it was the Lord God who delivered him, and these verses also demonstrate the power of prayer. Note how in Acts 12:12 there were a number of people gathered praying together. The number of the people is not specified, but it says “many were gathered together praying” which suggests that these people were supporting each other and seeking the Lord for help to deliver Peter. The question for us today: “why is gathering together to pray, such as a prayer meeting, like what we see here in Acts 12:12 not done so often anymore?” One of the reasons could be due to people not realizing the biblical basis and importance of corporate prayer. This is also not taught today or encouraged. It is easy to become complacent in prayer, to skip prayer, or to have a busy schedule such that prayer takes a second seat to everything else. This is related to prioritizing, when one needs to prioritize schedules so as to make time for prayer. Note that for others the motivation may not be there, which leads back to the idea of not knowing the scriptural importance of prayer, or simply undervaluing spiritual fellowship with others in prayer. The problem today may be that people do not appreciate the benefits and blessings of praying with other believers. In other cases, some may not have had the support or example from their spouses or parents to attend a prayer meeting, or even may have faced discouragement or opposition to doing this. The major point is based on these Scriptures is the emphasis on the importance of prayer and time spent with God in prayer. We all need help to spend more time in prayer, and we need to seek the wisdom of God to find time for prayer and for fellowship with others in prayer. Note that praying together provides encouragement and growth, we have discouragements in our lives, and we need others to help lift us up to remind us of God’s promises and faithfulness. The Lord God is so faithful, even in the midst of our own frailties and failures! In this we can find hope and joy in the Lord and renew our strength and zeal for Him when we remember the love of God and the power of God to deliver us!
Isaiah goes on according to the TgJ to say, ג וַאְמַר קַבֵיל בָעוּתִי יוי אִדְכַר כְעַן יָת דִפלַחִית קֳדָמָך בִקשֹוט וּבלֵב שְלִים וּדתָקֵין קֳדָמָך עְבַדִית וּבכָא חִזקִיָה בְכִי סַגִיאָה׃ 38:3 And said, Hear my prayer, O Lord, remember, I beseech thee, how I have served before Thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, and I have done that which is right in Thy eyes. And Hezekiah wept sore. ד וַהְוָה פִתגָם נְבוּאָה מִן קֳדָם יוי עִם יְשַעיָה לְמֵימַר׃ 38:4 Then the words of prophecy came from before the Lord to Isaiah, saying, ה אִיזֵיל וְתֵימַר לְחִזקִיָה כִדנָן אְמַר יוי אְלָהֵיה דְדָוִיד אְבוּך שְמִיעָא קֳדָמַי צְלֹותָך גַליָא קֳדָמַי דִמעְתָך הָאְנָא מֹוסֵיף עַל יֹומָך חְמֵיש עַסרֵי שְנִין׃38:5 Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, Thy prayer hath been heard by me, thy tears are observed by me: behold, I will add to thy days fifteen years; (TgJ) Here Hezekiah weeps while he prays to the Lord God Almighty for his life, and brings to memory how he walked in the way of God to destroy idolatry in Judah and Jerusalem and lead the people back to HaShem in truth and faithfulness. Because of this the Lord God said through Isaiah, הָאְנָא מֹוסֵיף עַל יֹומָך חְמֵיש עַסרֵי שְנִין “behold, I will add to thy days fifteen years.” When we seek to live our lives for the Lord, He will abundantly multiple our life. We note that sometimes our past choices continue to linger and cause us problems. We note how the rabbinic literature attests that Hezekiah trusted in Hashem and Shaarei Kedusha, Part 2 8:4 states that there were no other kings like Hezekiah, there were not like him among the kings of Judah. The rabbis point out that Hezekiah did not have children at this time, and the rabbis discuss the idea of his not having children, and the Lord God giving him 15 more years was mercy such that he could have children and keep the command of circumcision. The issue here is that by not having children he was nullifying the command on circumcision. This is assuming that he had intentionally not had children so that he could nullify this specific command. What we note about this is concerning one’s intention. Whether a person chooses to not have children or to have children for the purpose specifically for nefarious reasons. This concept was brought to attention recently by a news piece that talked about how a “trans” woman, which means this is a man who wants to be a woman, said that he wants to have a uterus transplant so that he could go down in history as the first trans woman to abort a baby. Now it is very important to recognize something here in regards to righteousness and unrighteousness. The LGBTQ community, of which this person is a member, does not promote life and wellbeing. This is why suicide rates are so high in this community, and we recognize the unrighteousness of the members of this community using this as an example where one has the goal to transition to the opposite sex for the purpose of ending an innocent life! This is the highest level of wickedness and rebellion to the truth. The outcome of this kind of wickedness and rebellion is very serious as the Scriptures warn us of the wrath and judgment of God that comes to those who do these things in both this world and in the world to come. We note what the Scriptures say, the ultimate outcome of sin is death, which means separation from God and His blessings. This includes physical death, spiritual death, and eternal death. God is holy and righteous, and He cannot tolerate sin or let it go unpunished. God is also the Judge of all the earth, and He will bring every deed into account on the day of judgment. He will expose every secret thing, whether good or evil, and He will render to each one according to his works. Those who have done wickedness, unrighteousness, and rebellion will face His condemnation (see Daniel 12:1-4) and wrath, while those who have done righteousness by faith in Christ will receive His commendation and reward. Ecclesiastes 12:14 says, “For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” God’s wrath is His intense anger and indignation against sin and evil. It is His holy response to the violation of His law and character. It is also His righteous vengeance against those who oppose Him and His wrath is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men (Romans 1:18). It is also stored up for the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed (Romans 2:5). Those who experience God’s wrath will face His fierce fury and terrible tribulation. Revelation 14:10 states, “He also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.” We note how the Lamb of God is Yeshua the Messiah! We can see according to the Scriptures the seriousness of sin and wickedness and so this should be very sobering and frightening to consider. These things from the Scriptures written thousands of years ago should make us realize how serious sin is in God’s sight, especially in light of what is taking place today in society and in countries around the world! This is why it is imperative that we seek the God of Israel for the forgiveness of sins, and to walk in His holy and righteous ways turning from sin and wickedness. Thank you Lord for sending your Son Yeshua so that we can have these things in Your mercy, grace, and truth, and sending your Spirit to dwell within to help us to walk in your ways and to remain faithful to you! Amen!