Isaiah 39:6
Behold, the days come, that all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, said the LORD.
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(6, 7) Behold, the days come . . .—The words, it may be noted, received a two-fold fulfilment, under widely different conditions. Hezekiah’s son Manasseh, at the time when Isaiah spoke unborn, was carried as a prisoner to Babylon by Esar-haddon, king of Assyria (2Chronicles 33:11). The last lineal heir of the house of David, Jehoiachin, died there after long years of imprisonment (2Kings 25:27). Daniel and his three companions were “of the king’s seed and of the princes,” and were, probably, themselves reduced to that state, placed under the care of the master of the ennuchs” (Daniel 1:3). The actual treasures which Hezekiah showed were probably handed over to Sennacherib (2Kings 18:15-16); but looking to the fact that that king records his capture of Babylon, after defeating Merodach-baladan, and established his son Esar-haddon there (Lenormant, Ancient History, i., p. 400), it is probable enough that the treasures may have been taken thither, and displayed, as if in irony, to the king and the counsellors, who had hoped to profit by them. Sennacherib indeed boasts that he had carried off not only the king’s treasures, and his musicians to Nineveh, but his daughters also (Records of the Past, vii. 63).

39:1-8 This chapter is the same as 2Ki 20:12-19.Behold, the days come - The captivity of the Jews in Babylon commenced about one hundred and twenty years after this prediction (compare Jeremiah 20:5).

That all that is in thine house - That is, all the treasures that are in the treasure-house Isaiah 39:2.

And that which thy fathers have laid up in store - In 2 Kings 18:15-16, we are told that Hezekiah, in order to meet the demands of the king of Assyria, had cut off even the ornaments of the temple, and taken all the treasures which were in 'the king's house.' It is possible, however, that there might have been other treasures which had been accumulated by the kings before him which he had not touched.

Nothing shall be left - This was literally fulfilled (see 2 Chronicles 36:18). It is remarkable, says Vitringa, that this is the first intimation that the Jews would be carried to Babylon - the first designation of the place where they would be so long punished and oppressed. Micah M1 Corinthians 4:10, a contemporary of Isaiah, declares the same thing, but probably this was not before the declaration here made by Isaiah. Moses had declared repeatedly, that, if they were a rebellious people, they should be removed from their own to a foreign land; but he had not designated the country Leviticus 26:33-34; Deuteronomy 28:64-67; Deuteronomy 30:3. Ahijah, in the time of Jeroboam 1 Kings 14:15, had predicted that they should be carried 'beyond the river,' that is, the Euphrates; and Amos Amo 5:27 had said that God would carry them 'into captivity beyond Damascus.' But all these predictions were now concentrated on Babylon; and it was for the first time distinctly announced by Isaiah that that was to be the land where they were to suffer so long and so painful a captivity.

6. days come—one hundred twenty years afterwards. This is the first intimation that the Jews would be carried to Babylon—the first designation of their place of punishment. The general prophecy of Moses (Le 26:33; De 28:64); the more particular one of Ahijah in Jeroboam's time (1Ki 14:15), "beyond the river"; and of Am 5:27, "captivity beyond Damascus"; are now concentrated in this specific one as to "Babylon" (Mic 4:10). It was an exact retribution in kind, that as Babylon had been the instrument of Hezekiah and Judah's sin, so also it should be the instrument of their punishment. No text from Poole on this verse. Behold, the days come,.... Or, "are coming (e)"; and which quickly came; after a few reigns more, even in Jehoiakim's time:

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; as it was, when Jehoiakim king of Judah, his mother, servants, princes, and officers, were taken by the king of Babylon, and carried captive, and along with them the treasures of the king's house, and also all the treasures of the house of the Lord, 2 Kings 24:12,

nothing shall be left, saith the Lord; this was, as Jarchi says, measure for measure; as there was nothing that was not shown to the ambassadors, so nothing should be left untaken away by the Babylonians.

(e) "venientes", Montanus; "venturi sunt", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Behold, the days come, that all that is in thy house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be {e} carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD.

(e) By the grievousness of the punishment is declared how greatly God detested ambition and vain glory.

6, 7. This is the only occasion on which a prophecy of the Babylonian Exile appears to be attributed to Isaiah. It is not easy to reconcile such a prediction with the particular circumstances in which it is reported to have been uttered. The announcement naturally left on Hezekiah’s mind the impression that his own days would be spent in peace, whereas in reality the most critical juncture of his reign still lay before him, and it is hardly credible that Isaiah should have disclosed to him the remote fate of his descendants, without warning him of the more immediate and personal consequences of his folly. This difficulty would be removed if we could hold that the prophecy was uttered after the deliverance from Sennacherib; but we have seen that this supposition is inadmissible on historical grounds. A more serious consideration is that Isaiah’s Messianic ideal leaves no room for a transference of the world-power from Assyria to Babylon, or the substitution of the latter for the former as the instrument of Israel’s chastisement. He uniformly regards the intervention of Jehovah in the Assyrian crisis as the supreme moment of human history and the turning point in the destinies of the kingdom of God, to be succeeded immediately by the glories of the Messianic age. The prediction, moreover, is without a parallel in the prophetic literature of Isaiah’s age (in Micah 4:10 the clause “and thou shalt go to Babylon” is inconsistent with the context, and in all probability a gloss). These objections are partly neutralised by the hypothesis that some nearer and more limited judgment is referred to, such as the imprisonment of Manasseh in Babylon (2 Chronicles 33:11) in the reign of Asshurbanipal. The terms of the prophecy fall short of a deportation of the people and a destruction of the city, only the fate of the treasures and the royal family being indicated. No great stress, however, can be laid on this limitation (comp. a somewhat similar case in Amos 7:17) and the suggestion fails to harmonise the prediction with Isaiah’s known anticipation of the course of events. It is possible that the prophet’s actual communication had reached the late writer of this narrative in a form coloured by subsequent events.Verse 6. - Behold, the days come; literally, the days [are] coming, or [are] approaching. Of the exact "times and seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power" (Acts 1:7), the prophets generally knew nothing. They were mouth-pieces, to declare the Divine will, not keen-witted politicians, forecasting results by the exercise of sharp-sightedness and sagacity. To suppose that Isaiah foresaw by mere human wisdom the Babylonian conquest of Judaea, as Charles the Great did the ravages of the Northmen (R. Williams, 'Hebrew Prophets,' vol. 1. p. 429), is to give him credit for a sagacity quite unexampled and psychologically impossible. The kingdom of Babylon was one among many that were struggling hard to maintain independence against the grasping and encroaching Assyria. From the time of Tiglath-Pileser IX. she had been continually losing ground. Both Sargon and Sennacherib trampled her underfoot, overran her territory, captured her towns, and reduced her under direct Assyrian government. Till Assyria should be swept away, a Babylonian conquest of Palestine was impossible. To suppose it was like supposing a Russian conquest of Holland, while Germany bars the way. Nothing short of the true prophetic afflatus, which is God the Holy Ghost speaking by the mouth of his servants, could have made such an anticipation. And with Isaiah, as Mr. Cheyne says, it is "not a mere presentiment; it is a calm and settled conviction, based on a direct revelation, and confirmed by a deep insight into the laws of the Divine government." All that is in thine house. Not, of course, exactly all that was there when Isaiah spoke, but all the wealth that should be in the royal palace when the time of the Babylonian captivity arrived. (For the fulfilment, see 2 Chronicles 36:18.) That which thy fathers have laid up in store. A portion of this was carried off by Sennacherib in his first expedition (2 Kings 18:14-16); but the bulk of the temple treasures - the gifts of many kings - remained untouched until they were removed to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 1:2; Daniel 5:2; 2 Kings 24:13; 2 Kings 25:13-17). The text of Isaiah is not only curtailed here in a very forced manner, but it has got into confusion; for Isaiah 38:21 and Isaiah 38:22 are removed entirely from their proper place, although even the Septuagint has them at the close of Hezekiah's psalm. They have been omitted from their place at the close of Isaiah 38:6 through an oversight, and then added in the margin, where they now stand (probably with a sign, to indicate that they were supplied). We therefore insert them here, where they properly belong. "Then Isaiah said they were to bring (K. take) a fig-cake; and they plaistered (K. brought and covered) the boil, and he recovered. And Hizkiyahu said (K. to Isaiah), What sign is there that (K. Jehovah will heal me, so that I go up) I shall go up into the house of Jehovah?" As shechı̄n never signifies a plague-spot, but an abscess (indicated by heightened temperature), more especially that of leprosy (cf., Exodus 9:9; Leviticus 13:18), there is no satisfactory ground, as some suppose, for connecting Hezekiah's illness (taken along with Isaiah 33:24) with the pestilence which broke out in the Assyrian army. The use of the figs does not help us to decide whether we are to assume that it was a boil (bubon) or a carbuncle (charbon). Figs were a well-known emmoliens or maturans, and were used to accelerate the rising of the swelling and the subsequent discharge. Isaiah did not show any special medical skill by ordering a softened cake of pressed figs to be laid upon the boil, nor did he expect it to act as a specific, and effect a cure: it was merely intended to promote what had already been declared to be the will of God. על ויּמרהוּ is probably more original than the simpler but less definite על ויּשׂימוּ. Hitzig is wrong in rendering ויּהי, "that it (the boil) may get well;" and Knobel in rendering it, "that he may recover." It is merely the anticipation of the result so common in the historical writings of Scripture (see at Isaiah 7:1 and Isaiah 20:1), after which the historian goes back a step or two.

Isaiah 38:21On Isaiah 38:21, Isaiah 38:22, see the notes at the close of Isaiah 38:4-6, where these two vv. belong.

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