Isaiah 39:1
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
At that time Marduk-Baladan son of Baladan king of Babylon sent Hezekiah letters and a gift, because he had heard of his illness and recovery.

New Living Translation
Soon after this, Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent Hezekiah his best wishes and a gift. He had heard that Hezekiah had been very sick and that he had recovered.

English Standard Version
At that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered.

New American Standard Bible
At that time Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered.

King James Bible
At that time Merodachbaladan, 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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
At that time Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah since he heard that he had been sick and had recovered.

International Standard Version
At that time Merodach-baladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah, when he heard he had been sick and had survived.

NET Bible
At that time Merodach-Baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been ill and had recovered.

New Heart English Bible
At that time, Merodach Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah; for he heard that he had been sick, and had recovered.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
At that time Baladan's son, King Merodach Baladan of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah. He had heard that Hezekiah had been sick and had recovered.

JPS Tanakh 1917
At that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent a letter and a present to Hezekiah; for he heard that he had been sick, and was recovered.

New American Standard 1977
At that time Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered.

Jubilee Bible 2000
At that time Merodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and presents to Hezekiah, for he had heard that he had been sick and was recovered.

King James 2000 Bible
At that time Merodachbaladan, 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.

American King James Version
At that time Merodachbaladan, 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.

American Standard Version
At that time Merodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah; for he heard that he had been sick, and was recovered.

Douay-Rheims Bible
AT that time Merodach Baladan, the son of Baladan king of Babylon, sent letters and presents to Ezechias: for he had heard that he had been sick and was recovered.

Darby Bible Translation
At that time Merodach-Baladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent a letter and a present to Hezekiah; for he had heard that he had been sick and had recovered.

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

Webster's Bible Translation
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 had recovered.

World English Bible
At that time, Merodach Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah; for he heard that he had been sick, and had recovered.

Young's Literal Translation
At that time hath Merodach-Baladan, son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present unto Hezekiah, when he heareth that he hath been sick, and is become strong.
Study Bible
Hezekiah Shows his Treasures
1At that time Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. 2Hezekiah was pleased, and showed them all his treasure house, the silver and the gold and the spices and the precious oil and his whole armory and all that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his house nor in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.…
Cross References
2 Kings 20:12
At that time Berodach-baladan a son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been sick.

2 Chronicles 32:31
Even in the matter of the envoys of the rulers of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire of the wonder that had happened in the land, God left him alone only to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.
Treasury of Scripture

At that time Merodachbaladan, 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.

A.M. cir.

2 Kings 20:12 At that time Berodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, …

king

Isaiah 13:1,19 The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see…

Isaiah 14:4 That you shall take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, …

Isaiah 23:13 Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not, till the Assyrian …

sent letters

2 Samuel 8:10 Then Toi sent Joram his son to king David, to salute him, and to …

2 Samuel 10:2 Then said David, I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, …

2 Chronicles 32:23 And many brought gifts to the LORD to Jerusalem, and presents to …

XXXIX.

(1) Merodach-baladan.--The name is conspicuous in the Assyrian inscriptions of Sargon (Records of the Past, ix. 13), as having rebelled against him and set up an independent monarchy. He is described in them as son of Yakin, but this is, probably, a dynastic appellative, just as Jehu is described in the Assyrian records (Records of the Past, v. 41) as "the son of Khumri" (i.e., Omri). The mission had two ostensible objects: (1) congratulation on Hezekiah's recovery; (2) to inquire and report as to the phenomenon of the sun-dial (2Chronicles 32:31). Really, we may believe the object of Merdach-baladan was to open negotiations for an alliance with Judah. The "present," interpreted after the manner of the East, would seem almost like an acknowledgment of Hezekiah's hegemony, or even suzerainty, in such a confederacy.

Verse 1. - At that time (comp. 2 Chronicles 32:31, where it appears that a part of the business of the ambassadors was to inquire concerning the astronomical marvel which had recently occurred in the land). The embassy probably followed the illness of Hezekiah within a year. Merodach-Baladan. This is a more correct form than the "Berodach-Baladan" of 2 Kings 20:12. The name is one common to several Babylonian kings, as to one who reigned about B.C. 1325, to a second who is placed about B.C. 900, and to a third who was contemporary with the Assyrian kings Sargon and Sennacherib. It is this last of whom we have a notice in the present passage. He appears first in the Assyrian inscriptions as a petty prince, ruling a small tract upon the seacoast, about the mouths of the Tigris and Euphrates. Tiglath-Pileser takes tribute front him about B.C. 744. In B.C. 721 we find him advanced to a more prominent position. Taking advantage of the troubles of the time, he shakes off the Assyrians yoke, and makes himself King of Babylon, where he has a reign of twelve years - from B.C. 721 to B.C. 709. This reign is recognized by Sargon in his inscriptions ('Records of the Past,' vol. 9. p. 14), and by the Greek chronologist, Ptolemy, in his 'Canon.' In B.C. 709 Sargon leads an expedition against him, and drives him out of Babylonia into the coast-tract, Chaldea, where he besieges him in his ancestral town Bit-Yakin, takes the city, and makes him prisoner (ibid., p. 15). On the death of Sargon, in B.C. 705, Merodach-Baladan escapes from confinement, and hastens once more to Babylon, where he is acknowledged as king, and has a second reign, which lasts six months (Alex. Polyhist. ap. Euseb., 'Chronicles Can.,' 1. 5. § 1). He is then driven from the country by Sennacherib, and, after various vicissitudes, obliged to become a refugee in Elam (G. Smith, 'Hist. of Babylonia,' pp. 125-128). The name of Merodach-Baladau is composed of the three elements, Merodach (equivalent to "Mar-duk"), the god, bal or pal, "son," and iddina, "has given," and thus signifies "Merodach has given (me) a son." The son of Baladan. "Baladan" is scarcely a possible Babylonian name. "Beladan" would, however, be quite possible, being a name formed on the model of Ishtardddin ('Eponym Canon,' p. 30), Ninip-iddin (p. 35), Ilu-iddin (p. 57), etc. And the corruption of Beladan into Baladan would be easy. Merodach-Baladan III. is called by Sargon "the son of Yakin;" but this is perhaps a tribal or local rather than a personal name. Compare Jehu's appellation of "son of Omri" (ibid., p. 114). Sent letters and a present to Hezekiah. Hezekiah's fourteenth year was B.C. 714. Merodach-Baladan had then been King of Babylon for eight years, and, knowing that he might at any time be attacked by Sargon, was naturally looking out for alliances with other powers, which Assyria equally threatened. He had recently concluded a treaty with Khumbanigas, King of Elam ('Records of the Past,' vol. 9. p. 14), and had obtained the support of several of the Aramaean tribes on the Euphrates. He now apparently thought that Judaea, which Sargon was also threatening (ch. 38:6), might be induced to join him. Hezekiah's illness and "the wonder done in the land" (2 Chronicles 32:31) furnished him with pretexts for an embassy, which probably had more serious objects than either congratulation or scientific inquiry. At that time Merodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon,.... The same is called Berodach, 2 Kings 20:12 which, according to Hillerus (z), is the same with Barmerodach, the son of Merodach; though it is generally took to be a slip of the scribe's there, or a change of letter, as is common in names; he was either afterwards made a god of, or he had his name from an idol of the Babylonians so called, Jeremiah 50:1, which signifies "a pure lord." Jerom observes it, as the opinion of the Jews, that he was the father of Nebuchadnezzar, which is not probable. Kimchi takes him to be the same with Esarhaddon, the son of Sennacherib; but he was king of Assyria, not of Babylon; it is most likely that he is the Assyrian king, whom Ptolemy in his canon calls Mardocempad; his other name Baladan, which is compounded of two words, "bal" and "adan", and both of them signify lord, he took from his father, for he is called the son of Baladan; by Josephus (a) he is called Baladas, who says that Berosus the Chaldean makes mention of a king of Babylon by this name. Bishop Usher (b) thinks he is the same that is called by profane writers Belesis, and Belessus, and Nabonasarus; his name consists of the names of three idols, Merodach, an idol of the Babylonians, as before observed, and Bal, the contraction of Baal, and Adon, the same with Adonis:

he sent letters and a present to Hezekiah; by his ambassadors, which was always usual in embassies and visits, and still is in the eastern countries; the purport of which embassy was to congratulate him upon his recovery, and to inquire concerning the miracle that was wrought in his land; either the destruction of the Assyrian army in one night by an angel, or rather the sun's going back ten degrees, 2 Chronicles 32:31 and, as Josephus (c) says, to enter into an alliance with him; and this seems to be the true reason of sending these ambassadors; or the king of Babylon had lately fallen off from the Assyrian monarch, and therefore was desirous of entering into a league with Hezekiah the king of Assyria's enemy, in order to strengthen himself against him, and secure his liberty he had just gained:

for he had heard that he had been sick, and was recovered; which both gives a reason of the embassy, and points at the time when it was; very probably the same year of his sickness and recovery.

(z) Onomast. Sacr. p, 603. (a) Antiqu. l. 10. c. 2. sect. 2.((b) Annales Vet. Test. p. 87, 88. (c) Ibid. CHAPTER 39

Isa 39:1-8. Hezekiah's Error in the Display of His Riches to the Babylonian Ambassador.

1. Merodach-baladan—For a hundred fifty years before the overthrow of Nineveh by Cyaxares the Mede, a succession of rulers, mostly viceroys of Assyria, ruled Babylon, from the time of Nabonassar, 747 B.C. That date is called "the Era of Nabonassar." Pul or Phallukha was then expelled, and a new dynasty set up at Nineveh, under Tiglath-pileser. Semiramis, Pul's wife, then retired to Babylon, with Nabonassar, her son, whose advent to the throne of Babylon, after the overthrow of the old line at Nineveh, marked a new era. Sometimes the viceroys of Babylon made themselves, for a time, independent of Assyria; thus Merodach-baladan at this time did so, encouraged by the Assyrian disaster in the Jewish campaign. He had done so before, and was defeated in the first year of Sennacherib's reign, as is recorded in cuneiform characters in that monarchs palace of Koyunjik. Nabopolassar was the first who established, permanently, his independence; his son, Nebuchadnezzar, raised Babylon to the position which Nineveh once occupied; but from the want of stone near the Lower Euphrates, the buildings of Babylon, formed of sun-dried brick, have not stood the wear of ages as Nineveh has.

Merodach—an idol, the same as the god of war and planet Mars (Jer 50:2). Often kings took their names from their gods, as if peculiarly under their tutelage. So Belshazzar from Bel.

Baladan—means "Bel is his lord." The chronicle of Eusebius contains a fragment of Berosus, stating that Acises, an Assyrian viceroy, usurped the supreme command at Babylon. Merodach- (or Berodach-) baladan murdered him and succeeded to the throne. Sennacherib conquered Merodach-baladan and left Esar-haddon, his son, as governor of Babylon. Merodach-baladan would naturally court the alliance of Hezekiah, who, like himself, had thrown off the yoke of the Assyrian king, and who would be equally glad of the Babylonian alliance against Assyria; hence arose the excessive attention which he paid to the usurper.

sick—An additional reason is given (2Ch 32:31). "The princes of Babylon sent to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land"; namely, the recession of the shadow on Ahaz' sundial; to the Chaldean astronomers, such a fact would be especially interesting, the dial having been invented at Babylon.39:1-8 This chapter is the same as 2Ki 20:12-19.
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