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Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at

4 Kings (2 Kings) Chapter 20

4 Kings (2 Kings) 20:1

kg2 20:1

Those days - In the year of the Assyrian invasion. Set, &c. - Make thy will, and settle the affairs of thy family and kingdom. Not live - Such threatenings, though absolutely expressed, have often secret conditions.

4 Kings (2 Kings) 20:2

kg2 20:2

Turned his face - As he lay in his bed. He could not retire to his closet, but he retired as well as he could, turned from the company, to converse with God.

4 Kings (2 Kings) 20:3

kg2 20:3

In truth - Sincerely with an honest mind. I am not conscious to myself of any gross exorbitances, for which thou usest to shorten mens days. Wept - For that horror of death which is and was common to men, especially, in the times of the Old Testament, when the grace of God in Christ was not so fully manifested, as now it is: and, for the distracted condition in which the church and state were then likely to be left, through the uncertainty of the succession to the crown.

4 Kings (2 Kings) 20:4

kg2 20:4

Court - Of the king's palace. This is noted to shew God's great readiness to hear the prayers of his children.

4 Kings (2 Kings) 20:5

kg2 20:5

God of, &c. - I am mindful of my promise made to David and his house, and will make it good in thy person. Shalt go - To give me solemn praise for this mercy.

4 Kings (2 Kings) 20:6

kg2 20:6

Fifteen years - We have not an instance of any other, who was told before - hand just how long, he should live. God has wisely kept us at uncertainties, that we may be always ready.

4 Kings (2 Kings) 20:10

kg2 20:10

Go down - In an instant: for that motion of the sun is natural for the kind of it, though miraculous for the swiftness of it; but the other would be both ways miraculous.

4 Kings (2 Kings) 20:11

kg2 20:11

Degrees - These degrees were lines in the dial: but whether each of these lines or degrees noted an hour, or half an hour, or a quarter of an hour, is uncertain. But the sun itself went back, and the shadow with it. This miracle was noted by the Babylonians, who, having understood that it was done for Hezekiah's sake, sent to enquire into the truth and manner of it, Ch2 32:31. Of Ahaz - Which Ahaz had made in the king's palace. This dial he mentions, because the truth of the miracle might be best and soonest discovered there, this dial possibly being visible out of the king's chamber, and the degrees being most distinct and conspicuous in it.

4 Kings (2 Kings) 20:12

kg2 20:12

Berodach - baladan - He seems to have been the king of Assyria's vice - roy in Babylon, and upon that terrible slaughter in the Assyrian host, and the death of Sennacherib, and the differences among his sons, to have usurped absolute sovereignty over Babylon. And either himself or his son destroyed the Assyrian monarchy, and translated the empire to Babylon. Sent - Partly, for the reasons mentioned, Ch2 32:31, and partly, to assure himself of the assistance of Hezekiah against the Assyrians, their common enemy.

4 Kings (2 Kings) 20:13

kg2 20:13

His treasures - For though his country had lately been harassed by the Assyrians, yet he had reserved all his treasures and precious things, which he and his fathers had gathered in Jerusalem. Besides, he had considerable spoils out of the Assyrian camp. Also he had many presents sent to him, Ch2 32:23. Shewed - Which he did through pride of heart, Ch2 32:25-26, being lifted up by the great honour which God had done him, in working such glorious miracles for his sake, and by the great respects rendered to him from divers princes, and now by this great Babylonian monarch. So hard a matter is it even for a good man to be high and humble.

4 Kings (2 Kings) 20:17

kg2 20:17

Behold - This judgment is denounced against him for his pride; for his ingratitude, whereby he took that honour to himself which he should have given entirely to God; and for his carnal confidence in that league which he had now made with the king of Babylon, by which, it is probable, he thought his mountain to be so strong, that it could not be removed.

4 Kings (2 Kings) 20:18

kg2 20:18

Thy sons - Of thy grand - children. Eunuchs - They shall be servants to that heathen monarch, whereby both their bodies will be subject to slavery, and their souls exposed to the peril of idolatry, and all sorts of wickedness.

4 Kings (2 Kings) 20:19

kg2 20:19

Good is, &c. - I heartily submit to this sentence, as being both just, and merciful. True penitents, when they are under divine rebukes, call them not only just, but good. Not only submit to, but accept of the punishment of their iniquity. So Hezekiah did, and by this it appeared, he was indeed humbled for the pride of his heart.

Next: 4 Kings (2 Kings) Chapter 21