Hezekiah shows Babylon his treasure
Babylon sends “Get well soon” gift1Babylon’s King Merodach-baladan, son of Baladan, heard Hezekiah was sick. So, he sent ambassadors to deliver letters and a gift.
2Hezekiah welcomed the officials. He gave them a royal tour of the treasury: silver, gold, spices, and rare perfumes. Then he showed off his armory—the whole shebang. If there was anything to see in Hezekiah’s palace or in the royal storage buildings, they saw it.
3The prophet Isaiah went to Hezekiah and asked, “Where did these men come from and what did they say to you?” Hezekiah said, “They came a long way, from Babylon.”
4Isaiah said, “What did they see in your palace?” Hezekiah answered, “Everything. I gave them the full tour. I showed them everything in my home and in my warehouses.”
5Isaiah said, “Well then, here’s what the LORD of people everywhere has to say about that: 6There’s a day coming when Babylonians will take everything in your house and everything your ancestors have collected and treasured throughout the years. They won’t leave anything valuable. 7They will even take some of your own sons and turn them into eunuchs who will serve in Babylon’s palace.”
8Hezekiah replied, “Those are good words from the LORD.” But he was thinking, “At least we can count on peace and safety while I’m king.”
Merodach-baladan II ruled from 721-710 BC and for nine months in 703. Earlier, Assyria claimed the land of Babylonia, in what is now southern Iraq. But during Assyria’s transition to a new king, Sargon II, in 722, Merodach-baladan declared himself king of Babylon and revolted against Assyria. Assyrians took back the area in 710 BC and then again in 703 BC. He died in 694 BC.
Eunuchs were men who were often castrated and appointed to guard women of kings and of other families rich enough to own slaves. They could perform the manly duties of an employee, without endangering the family tree by grafting in an alien twig or two.
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