2 Kings Chapter 20 to 21 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Hezekiah Is Sick and Near Death

20 At that time, Hezekiah became sick and almost died. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to Hezekiah. Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “The Lord says, ‘Put your house in order, because you will die. You will not live!’” 2Hezekiah turned his face to the wall.* He prayed to the Lord and said, 3“Lord, remember that I have truly served you with all my heart. I have done the things that you say are good.” Then Hezekiah cried very hard. 4Before Isaiah had left the middle courtyard, the word of the Lord came to him. The Lord said, 5“Go back and speak to Hezekiah, the leader of my people. Tell him, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestor* David says: I have heard your prayer and I have seen your tears. So I will heal you. On the third day, you will go up to the temple of the Lord. 6And I will add 15 years to your life. I will save you and this city from the power of the king of Assyria. I will protect this city. I will do this for myself and because of {the promise I made to} my servant David.’” 7Then Isaiah said, “Make a mixture of figs* {and put it on the sore place}.” So they took the mixture of figs and put it on {Hezekiah’s} sore place. Then Hezekiah got well.

A Sign for Hezekiah

8Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I will go up to the temple of the Lord on the third day?” 9Isaiah said, “{Which do you want?} Should the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?* This is the sign for you from the Lord to show that the Lord will do the thing he said he would do.” 10Hezekiah answered, “It is an easy thing for the shadow to go down ten steps. No, make the shadow go back ten steps.” 11Then Isaiah prayed to the Lord, and the Lord made the shadow move back ten steps. It went back on the steps that it had already been on.

Hezekiah and the Men from Babylon

12At that time, Merodach Baladan son of Baladan was king of Babylon. He sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah. Merodach Baladan did this because he heard Hezekiah had been sick. 13Hezekiah welcomed the men from Babylon, and showed them all the valuable things in his house. He showed him the silver, the gold, the spices, the expensive perfume, the weapons, and everything in his treasuries. There was nothing in all Hezekiah’s house and kingdom that he did not show them. 14Then Isaiah the prophet came to king Hezekiah and asked him, “What did these men say? Where did they come from?” Hezekiah said, “They came from a faraway country, from Babylon.” 15Isaiah said, “What have they seen in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They have seen everything in my house. There is nothing in all my treasuries that I did not show them.” 16Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Listen to this message from the Lord. 17The time is coming when all the things in your house and all the things your ancestors* have saved until today will be carried away to Babylon. Nothing will be left! The Lord says this. 18The Babylonians will take your sons. And your sons will become eunuchs* in the palace of the king of Babylon.” 19Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “This message from the Lord is good.” Hezekiah also said, “That is fine if there will be real peace during my lifetime.” 20All the great things that Hezekiah did, including his work on the pool and the aqueduct* to bring water into the city, are written in the book The History of the Kings of Judah. 21Hezekiah died and was buried with his ancestors.* And Hezekiah’s son Manasseh became the new king after him.

face to the wall This wall probably faced the temple. ancestor Literally, “father.” This means a person that people are descended from. mixture of figs This was used like medicine. the shadow … steps This may mean the steps of a special building outside that Hezekiah used like a clock. When the sun shone on the steps, the shadows showed what time of the day it was. eunuchs Men who have had their sexual organs removed. Often important officials of the king were eunuchs. aqueduct A ditch or pipe that carries water from one place to another.

Manasseh Begins His Evil Rule Over Judah

21 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to rule. He ruled 55 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. 2Manasseh did the things that the Lord said were wrong. Manasseh did the terrible things the other nations did. (And the Lord forced those nations to leave their country when the Israelites came.) 3Manasseh built again the high places* that his father Hezekiah had destroyed. Manasseh also built altars* for Baal* and made an Asherah pole,* just like Ahab king of Israel. Manasseh worshiped and served the stars of heaven. 4Manasseh built altars {to honor false gods} in the Lord’s temple. (This is the place the Lord was talking about when he said, “I will put my name in Jerusalem.”) 5Manasseh built altars for the stars of heaven in the two courtyards of the Lord’s temple. 6Manasseh sacrificed his own son and burned him on the altar.* Manasseh used different ways of trying to know the future. He visited mediums* and wizards.* Manasseh did more and more things that the Lord said were wrong. This caused the Lord to be angry. 7Manasseh made a carved statue of Asherah.* He put this statue in the temple. The Lord had said to David and to David’s son Solomon about this temple: “I have chosen Jerusalem from all the cities in Israel. I will put my name in the temple in Jerusalem forever. 8I will not cause the people of Israel to leave the land that I gave to their ancestors.* I will let the people stay in their land if they obey all the things I commanded them and all the teachings that my servant Moses gave them.” 9But the people did not listen to God. Manasseh did more evil things than all the nations {that lived in Canaan before Israel came}. And the Lord destroyed those nations when the people of Israel {came to take their land}. 10The Lord used his servants the prophets to say these things: 11“Manasseh king of Judah has done these hated things and has done more evil than the Amorites before him. Manasseh also has caused Judah to sin because of his idols.* 12So the Lord of Israel says, ‘Look! I will bring so much trouble against Jerusalem and Judah that any person who hears about it will be shocked.* 13I will stretch the measuring line of Samaria* and the plumb bob* of Ahab’s family over Jerusalem. A man wipes a dish, and then he turns it upside down. I will do that to Jerusalem. 14There will still be a few of my people left. But I will leave those people. I will give them to their enemies. Their enemies will take them prisoners—they will be like the valuable things soldiers take in war. 15Why? Because my people did the things that I said were wrong. They have made me angry with them since the day their ancestors* came up out of Egypt. 16And Manasseh killed many innocent people. He filled Jerusalem from one end to another with blood. And all those sins are in addition to the sins that caused Judah to sin. Manasseh caused Judah to do the things that the Lord said were wrong.’” 17All the things that Manasseh did, including the sins that he did, are written in the book The History of the Kings of Judah. 18Manasseh {died and} was buried with his ancestors.* Manasseh was buried in the garden at his house. It was called, “the Garden of Uzza.” Manasseh’s son Amon became the new king after him.

Amon’s Short Rule

19Amon was 22 years old when he began to rule. He ruled two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth daughter of Haruz from Jotbah. 20Amon did the things the Lord said were wrong, just like his father Manasseh. 21Amon lived just like his father. Amon worshiped and served the same idols* his father did. 22Amon left the Lord, the God of his ancestors*, and did not live the way the Lord wanted. 23Amon’s servants made plans against him and killed him in his own house. 24The common people killed all the officers that made plans against King Amon. Then the people made Amon’s son Josiah the new king after him. 25The other things that Amon did are written in the book The History of the Kings of Judah. 26Amon was buried in his grave at the Garden of Uzza. Amon’s son Josiah became the new king.

high places Places for worshiping God or false gods. These places were often on the hills and mountains. altar(s) A stone table used for burning sacrifices offered as gifts to God. Baal The Canaanite people believed that this false god brought the rain and storms. They also thought that he made the land produce good crops. Asherah pole These poles were used to honor the female god Asherah that the Canaanite people worshiped. sacrificed his son and burned him on the altar Literally, “Made his son pass through the fire. medium(s) A person that tries to communicate with the spirits of dead people. wizard(s) A person that tries to use evil spirits to do magic. Asherah An important Canaanite goddess. At this time, the people thought she was the wife of Baal. ancestors Literally, “fathers.” This means a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from. idols Statues of false gods that people worshiped. will be shocked Literally, “both his ears will tingle.” measuring line of Samaria Workers used a string with a weight to mark a straight line at the end of a stone wall. The pieces of stone that were outside the line were chipped off and thrown away. This shows that God was “throwing away” Samaria and Ahab’s family of kings. plumb bob A weight tied to a string and used to prove that something was straight up and down (vertical).

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