All of these guys seem to be scary, accept maybe not Merodach-Baladan, but I don’t know.
All of these guys are powerful, but don’t they know that without faith in You what they have is only temporary? (Heb 11:6 and see v. 11, also see vv. 7-40). Don’t they know that without faith they will end up spending eternity in hell with the devil, President Obama and so many wealthy people and world leaders? (Rev 20:10, 15, 21:8, 22:12-15, 18-19).
I couldn’t have more faith in You then I already have. I mean, I believe everything about You more than I believe I live in Texas. But even though I have that much faith, I need to talk to You about it because I know that the definition of “faith” in the dictionary is correct, but it is not complete.
1 At that time Merodach-baladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah: for he had heard that he had been sick, and was recovered.
“Merodach-baladan” – reigned 721-710 B.C. and again later.
“Sent letters and a present: – Merodach-baladan probably wanted Hezekiah’s support in a campaign against Assyria. During this career he organized several revolts against his hated neighbors.
2 And Hezekiah was glad of them, and shewed them the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armor, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah shewed them not.
“Silver…gold…treasures” – Probably Hezekiah was seeking help from the Babylonians against the Assyrian threat. But the information gained during this ill-advised tour escorted by Hezekiah would be valuable to Merodach-baladan’s powerful successors.
3 Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? And from whence came they unto thee? And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country unto me, even from Babylon.
“Isaiah the prophet” – Earlier God had sent Isaiah tro confront Ahaz (7:3).
4 Then said he, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All that is in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them.
5 Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the LORD of hosts:
6 Behold, the days come, 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: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD.
“Carried to Bablylon” – the first mention of Babylon as Jerusalem’s conqueror, though 14:3-4 implied the Babylonian captivity. The wickedness of Hezekiah’s son Manasseh was a major cause of the captitivy.
7 And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.
8 Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the LORD which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days.
Did You see those poems yesterday? Oh yeah, You see everything.
In Isaiah 39:1 Merodach-Baladan (a Hebrew form of his Akkadian name, Marduck-apla-iddina), the king of Babylon, sent envoys to Hezekiah. Merodach-Baladan, a ruler without the Chaldean tribe of Bit Yakin, spend his career trying to wrest Babylon form Assyrian control.
Although he paid tribute to the Assyrian Emperor Tiglath-Pileser III, Merodach-Baladan rebelled against Sargon II with help from the neighboring Elamites. By 710 B.C. Sargon II had defeated Merodach-Baladan and forced him to flee to Elam.
Upon Sargon’s death his son Sennacherib became the Assyrian emperor and once again Merodach-Baladan rebelled. Perhaps Hezekiah’s aid was sought by Merodach-Baladan at this junction, resulting in an alliance that may have led to the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem.
To address the sedition of Sennacherib faced Merodach-Baladan at Kish and again forced him into exile. Although a seemingly loyal puppet name Bel-ibni was installed by Sennacherib over Babylon, Bel-ibni led another revolt, and Merodach-Baladan reasserted his power in the aftermath of the insurrection.
With the demise of Bel-ibni’s mutiny in Babylon and Sennacherib’s control secured yet again, the Assyrian emperor sought a final solution to the troublesome Merodach-Baladan.
In 694 B.C., Sennacherib sent his army to flush his nemesis out of the marshes in southern Babylonian. But with the Assyrian army so far south, the Elamites exploited this weakness and again seized control of Babylon.
Although Sennacherib was eventually able to oust the Elamite incursion, Merodach-Baladan escaped his grasp and apparently fled to Elam, where he lived out his days. His brief appearance within Isaiah (and in 2 Kgs 20:12) is appropriate, given the elusive nature of his career.