Isaiah 39:4 Commentaries: He said, "What have they seen in your house?" So Hezekiah answered, "They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasuries that I have not shown them."
Isaiah 39:4
Then said he, What have they seen in your house? And Hezekiah answered, All that is in my house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not showed them.
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(4) What have they seen in thine house?—The question was pressed home. Had the king contented himself with such hospitality as would have satisfied the demands of the code of Eastern ethics? or had he, as the prophet rightly suspected, done more than that, in his vain-glorious hope of figuring among the “great powers” of the East? On the minds of the ambassadors, we may well believe the impression left was like that made on Blucher as he passed through London: that it would be “a grand city to plunder.”

39:1-8 This chapter is the same as 2Ki 20:12-19.What have they seen? - It is probable that the fact that Hezekiah had showed them the treasures of his kingdom was known in Jerusalem. Such a fact would be likely to attract attention, and to produce inquiry among the people into the cause.

All that is in mine house - Here was the confessions of a frank, an honest, and a pious man. There was no concealment; no disguise. Hezekiah knew that he was dealing with a man of God - a man too to whom he had been under great obligations. He knew that Isaiah had come commissioned by God, and that it would be in vain to attempt to conceal anything. Nor does he seem to have wished to make any concealment. If he was conscious that what he had done had been improper, he was willing to confess it; and at any rate he was willing that the exact truth should be known. Had Hezekiah been like Ahaz, he might have spurned Isaiah from his presence as presenting improper inquiries. But Hezekiah was accustomed to regard with respect the messengers of God, and he was therefore willing to submit his whole conduct to the divine adjudication and reproof. Piety makes a man willing that all that he has done should be known. It saves him from double-dealing and subterfuges, and a disposition to make vain excuses; and it inclines him to fear God, to respect his ambassadors, and to listen to the voice of eternal truth.

4. All—a frank confession of his whole fault; the king submits his conduct to the scrutiny of a subject, because that subject was accredited by God. Contrast Asa (2Ch 16:7-10). No text from Poole on this verse. Then said he, what have they seen in thine house?.... Coming nearer to the point he had in view, and which was the thing that was displeasing to the Lord; not that he had received the ambassadors, and used them in such a manner as persons in such a quality ought to be used; but that he had shown them what he ought not to have done, and especially from such a principle of pride and vanity as he did:

and Hezekiah answered without any reserve, very openly, not suspecting that the prophet was come with a reproof to him, or to blame him, or would blame him for what he had done:

all that is in my house have they seen; the several royal apartments, and the furniture of them:

there is nothing among my treasures that I have not showed them: which were more secret, laid up in cabinets, under lock and key; his gold, silver, jewels, and precious stones, spices, and ointments. Jerom thinks he showed them the furniture and vessels of the temple, though he does not mention them.

Then said he, What have {d} they seen in thy house? And Hezekiah answered, All that is in my house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not showed them.

(d) He asks him of the particulars, to make him understand the craft of the wicked, which he before being overcome with their flattery and blinded with ambition, could not see.

Verse 4. - What have they seen? Isaiah had, no doubt, heard of what Hezekiah had done (ver. 2); but he wished to have the confession of it from his own mouth before delivering his sentence. Hezekiah tells him the truth, since he is not ashamed of his act, but rather glories in it. He has shown the ambassadors everything, and has thereby made them eager to secure his alliance. In strophe 4 he rejoices in the preservation of his life as the highest good, and promises to praise God for it as long as he lives.

"For Hades does not praise Thee; death does not sing praises to Thee:

They that sink into the grave do not hope for Thy truth.

The living, the living, he praises Thee, as I do today;

The father to the children makes known Thy truth.

Jehovah is ready to give me salvation;

Therefore will we play my stringed instruments all the days of my life

In the house of Jehovah."

We have here that comfortless idea of the future state, which is so common in the Psalms (vid., Psalm 6:6; Psalm 30:10; Psalm 88:12-13, cf., Psalm 115:17), and also in the book of Ecclesiastes (Ecclesiastes 9:4-5, Ecclesiastes 9:10). The foundation of this idea, notwithstanding the mythological dress, is an actual truth (vid., Psychol. p. 409), which the personal faith of the hero of Job endeavours to surmount (Comment. pp. 150-153, and elsewhere), but the decisive removal of which was only to be effected by the progressive history of salvation. The v. is introduced with "for" (kı̄), inasmuch as the gracious act of God is accounted for on the ground that He wished to be still further glorified by His servant whom He delivered. לא, in Isaiah 38:18, is written only once instead of twice, as in Isaiah 23:4. They "sink into the grave," i.e., are not thought of as dying, but as already dead. "Truth" ('ĕmeth) is the sincerity of God, with which He keeps His promises. Isaiah 38:19 reminds us that Manasseh, who was twelve years old when he succeeded his father, was not yet born (cf., Isaiah 39:7). The להושׁיעני יהוה, μέλλει σώζειν με, is the same as in Isaiah 37:26. The change in the number in Isaiah 38:20 may be explained from the fact that the writer thought of himself as the choral leader of his family; ay is a suffix, not a substantive termination (Ewald, 164, p. 427). The impression follows us to the end, that we have cultivated rather than original poetry here. Hezekiah's love to the older sacred literature is well known. He restored the liturgical psalmody (2 Chronicles 29:30). He caused a further collection of proverbs to be made, as a supplement to the older book of Proverbs (Proverbs 25:1). The "men of Hezekiah" resembled the Pisistratian Society, of which Onomacritos was the head.

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