2 Kings 20:20
And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made a pool, and a conduit, and brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) His might.—See 2 Chronicles 32; Isaiah 33:18; Psalm 48:12-13.

A pool . . . a conduit . . . water.—Rather, the pool . . . the conduit . . . the water. The pool of Hezekiah is now the Birket-Hammâm-el-Batrak. (See Notes on 2Chronicles 32:4; 2Chronicles 32:30, and Isaiah 7:3.)

20:12-21 The king of Babylon was at this time independent of the king of Assyria, though shortly after subdued by him. Hezekiah showed his treasures and armour, and other proofs of his wealth and power. This was the effect of pride and ostentation, and departing from simple reliance on God. He also seems to have missed the opportunity of speaking to the Chaldeans, about Him who had wrought the miracles which excited their attention, and of pointing out to them the absurdity and evil of idolatry. What is more common than to show our friends our houses and possessions? But if we do this in the pride of ours hearts, to gain applause from men, not giving praise to God, it becomes sin in us, as it did in Hezekiah. We may expect vexation from every object with which we are unduly pleased. Isaiah, who had often been Hezekiah's comforter, is now is reprover. The blessed Spirit is both, Joh 16:7,8. Ministers must be both, as there is occasion. Hezekiah allowed the justice of the sentence, and God's goodness in the respite. Yet the prospect respecting his family and nation must have given him many painful feelings. Hezekiah was indeed humbled for the pride of his heart. And blessed are the dead who die in the Lord; for they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.Consult the marginal references. 20. pool and a conduit—(See on [350]2Ch 32:30). No text from Poole on this verse.

And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might,.... Which he exerted in his wars with his enemies, and in the reformation of religion, and abolition of idolatry:

and how he made a pool, and a conduit, and brought water into the city; at the same time that he cut it off from the enemy without, see 2 Chronicles 32:3,

are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? a book often referred to in this history, but since lost; many of his acts are recorded in the canonical book of Chronicles, 2 Chronicles 29:1.

And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made a pool, and a conduit, and brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. And [R.V. Now] the rest of the acts of Hezekiah] The Chronicler enlarges somewhat on Hezekiah’s prosperity, ‘The Lord guided [the king and his people] on every side. And many brought gifts unto the Lord to Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah, so that he was magnified in the sight of all nations from thenceforth’. This may account for the abundance of treasure which was ready to be shewn to the Babylonian embassy.

all his might] He seems among other things to have had much cattle, which was one of the chief forms of wealth in those days. He had (2 Chronicles 32:28-29) ‘stalls for all manner of beasts, and cotes for flocks. Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance: for God had given him substance very much’.

he made a [R.V. the] pool, and a [R.V. the] conduit] What Hezekiah did is more definitely described by the Chronicler. ‘He stopped’, it is said, ‘the upper water course of Gihon’. By this is most likely meant what the king did before the invasion of Sennacherib. In some way, by covering over, or diverting, he conveyed the waters of this spring into the city, and made a pool or reservoir to hold a supply for the city at a much lower level, in the valley between the two hills on which Jerusalem was mainly built. This operation the Chronicler describes by ‘he brought it (the water) straight down to the west side of the city of David’. This would be done by an underground passage.

in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah] The sources of Hezekiah’s history are called in 2 Chronicles ‘the vision of Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz, and the book of the kings of Judah and Israel’. How far these are identical with what is meant by the verse before us is not clear. But from the history which is produced in the prophecy of Isaiah, we feel sure that there cannot have been much difference in the sources whence the accounts were derived, though the Chronicler has dwelt much more fully on the religious reforms of the king, than suited the plan of the compiler of Kings.

Verses 20, 21. - The great works of Hezekiah, and his decease. Hezekiah was known, not only as a pious king, and the king in whose reign the pride of the Assyrians was dashed to the ground, but also as one who, by works of great importance, conferred permanent benefit on Jerusalem (see 2 Chronicles 32:3-5 and 30; Ecclus. 48:17). The writer feels that he cannot conclude his notice of Hezekiah's reign without some mention of these works. He enters, however, into no description, but, having referred the reader for details to the "book of the chronicles," notes in the briefest possible way the decease of Hezekiah, and the accession of his son and successor. Verse 20. - And the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might. Hezekiah's "might" was chiefly shown in the earlier portion of his reign, when he "smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza, and the borders thereof" (2 Kings 18:8). Against Assyria he was unsuccessful, and must have succumbed, but for the miraculous destruction of Sennacherib's host. And how he made a pool; rather, the pool, or the reservoir. The writer of Kings either knows of one pool only in the neighborhood of Jerusalem, or regards one as so superior that it deserves to be called κατ ἐξοχήν, "the pool." Recent discoveries make it highly probable that the "pool" intended is that of Siloam, or, if not the present Siloam reservoir, a larger one, a little below it, now known as Birket el Hamra (see the 'Quarterly Statement' of the Palestine Exploration Fund for April, 1886, p. 88). That there was at least one other pool in Hezekiah's time is evident from Isaiah 22:9, 11. And a conduit; rather, the conduit. If "the pool" is Siloam, "the conduit" must almost certainly be that which was excavated under Ophel for the purpose of conveying the water from the Well of the Virgin in the Kedron valley to the Siloam reservoir on the western side of the spur. This conduit, which is curiously twisted, has a length of 1708 feet, with a height varying from two feet to four or five, and a width of about two feet. The roof is flat, the sides perpendicular, and the floor hollowed into a groove for the more rapid passage of the water. About nineteen feet from the southern extremity, where the channel opens upon the Siloam pool, a niche has been cut in the right-hand wall in the shape of a square tablet, and smoothed to receive an inscription of six lines, the greater part of which has been recovered. The letters are of the old Hebrew or Phoenician type, and by their forms indicate a date "between the eighth and the sixth centuries" (Sayce). The inscription, so far as it is legible, appears to have run as follows: "Behold the tunnel! Now, this is the history of the tunnel. As the excavators were lifting up the pick, each towards the other, and while there were yet three cubits to be broken through... the voice of the one called to his neighbor, for there was an excess (?) of the rock on the right. Then they rose up... they struck on the west of the excavators; the excavators struck, each to meet the other, pick to pick. And the waters flowed from their outlet to the pool for a distance of a thousand cubits; and three-fourths (?) of a cubit was the height of the rock over the head of the excavation here." We learn from it that the workmen began at either end, and tunnelled through the rock until they met in the middle - a result which their previous divergences from the straight line force us to attribute more to good fortune than to engineering science. And brought water into the city. The Well of the Virgin was without, the Pool of Siloam within, the city - the wall of the town being carried across the Tyropoeon valley from the extreme point of Ophel to the opposite hilt (see Nehemiah 3:15). Are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? Hezekiah's fame rested very much upon these works, as we see by what is said of him by the son of Sirach (see the comment on vers. 20, 21). 2 Kings 20:20Close of Hezekiah's reign. - On the basin (בּרכח) and the aqueduct constructed by him, see at 2 Kings 18:17.
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