Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 20:10

So Hezekiah answered, "It is easy for the shadow to decline ten steps; no, but let the shadow turn backward ten steps."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Degrees;   Disease;   Faith;   Hezekiah;   Isaiah;   Miracles;   Rulers;   Symbols and Similitudes;   Time;   Thompson Chain Reference - Hezekiah;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Time;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Hezekiah;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Heal, Health;   Kings, First and Second, Theology of;   Miracle;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Dial;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Jehizkiah;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Dial;   Isaiah, Book of;   Israel;   Text, Versions, and Languages of Ot;   Time;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Dial, Sun-Dial;   Merodachbaladan ;   Miracles;   Sun;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Hezekiah;   Manasseh;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Dial;   Hezekiah;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Dial;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Day;   Urim and Thummim;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Ahaz;   Decline;   Degree;   Dial of Ahaz, the;   Hezekiah (2);   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Church Fathers;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

It is a light thing - It seemed to Hezekiah comparatively easy that the shadow, which had already begun to lengthen, should merely make a sudden jump in the same direction; but, wholly contrary to all experience that it should change its direction, advancing up the steps again when it had once begun to descend them.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:10". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-kings-20.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Hezekiah answered, it is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees,.... That is, it was comparatively so, otherwise to go down ten degrees at once would be extraordinary and miraculous; but that was more agreeable to the nature and course of it to go forward, and so the miracle would be less apparent:

nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees; which was directly contrary to its natural order and course, whereby the miracle would appear more clear and manifest: these degrees are by some saidF24Weemse's Christ. Synagog. l. 1. c. 6. sect. 6. p. 167. See his Exposition of the Judicial Laws, c. 25. p. 90. &c. to be half hours, and not full ones, since it is observed the sun shines not twenty full hours on any dial, unless under the pole; the sun is supposed to have been now at the fifth full hour; the sun was brought back five whole hours, then came forward five, then came forward two degrees, or one hour, to the sixth hour; which made sixteen; then it was six hours to sunset; so that day was prolonged twenty two hours: the ChineseF25Martin. Sinic. Hist. l. 4. p. 138. relate, that, in the time of Kingcungus, the planet Mars, for sake of the king, went back three degrees.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-20.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow g return backward ten degrees.

(g) Let the sun go so many degrees back, that the hours may be fewer in the king's dial.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:10". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-kings-20.html. 1599-1645.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.

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.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:10". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-kings-20.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 20:10 And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.

Ver. 10. It is a light thing,] viz., In comparison of the sun’s retrogradation, wherein both the substance of the thing and the manner were wholly miraculous, whether it were done in an instant, or in the set course of time, or its ordinary continual motion. See on 2 Kings 20:9.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:10". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-20.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

To go down ten degrees, to wit, in an instant; for that course or 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.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:10". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-kings-20.html. 1685.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Kings 20:10. It is a light thing for the sun to go down — Namely, in an instant: for that motion of the sun is natural as to the kind of it, though miraculous for the swiftness of it; but the motion backward would be both ways miraculous.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:10". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-20.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Lines, according to the usual course of the sun. An instantaneous motion of this kind would, in reality, be as difficult, as the retrogradation. But it might not strike the people so much. (Haydock) --- Some take the lines to designate hours. But the sun is never up twenty hours in that country; and it must have been at such a height, as that it might appear visibly to recede, or to go forward, ten lines. We may therefore suppose, that they consisted only of half hours, (Tirinus) or less. (Calmet) --- If the retrograde motion were instantaneous, as Cajetan believes, the day would only be five hours longer than usual; (Menochius) but if otherwise, it would be ten; as the sun would occupy five hours in going back, and as many to regain its former station. (Tirinus) --- Usher supposes that the night was as much shortened, that so astronomical observations may still be verified without any confusion. But that would introduce a fresh miracle. Some assert that only the shadow went back, without any derangement in the heavenly bodies. Spinosa laughs at the ignorance of those people, who mistook the effects of a parhelion for a miracle. This author may boast of his superior knowledge. But how came the sages of Babylon (ver. 12.) to be unacquainted with such a natural cause? How came it so opportunely (Calmet) at the time appointed by the prophet? What improbable explanations are not those forced to admit, who deny to the Almighty the power of changing his own works! (Haydock) --- The silence of profane historians respecting this miracle, is of little consequence. Herodotus (ii. 142.) seems to hint at it, as well as at that under Josue; (x.) being informed "by the Egyptians, that during 10340 years, the sun had risen four times in an extraordinary manner. It had risen twice where it ought naturally to set, and had set as often where it should rise." He might have said more simply, that the sun had twice gone back. See Solin, 45. (Calmet) --- St. Dion. Areop. ep. 7. ad Polycarp. --- This last author thinks that this day was twenty hours longer than usual, supposing that the lines designate so many hours, and that the sun kept going back for ten hours. (Worthington)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:10". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-20.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

down = forward (2 Kings 20:9).

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:10". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-kings-20.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(10) It is a light thing for the shadow to go down.—Because that was the ordinary course of things. As a natural phenomenon, of course, the sudden extension of the shadow would have been as wonderful as its retrogression; but what is in any way a familiar occurrence must needs seem easier than what has never fallen under observation.

To go down.—Rather, to spread. The LXX. has κλῖναι, another use of the Hebrew verb. The Targum, Syriac, and Arabic render “to go forward” (march).

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:10". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-20.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees.
2:10; 3:18; Isaiah 49:6; Mark 9:28,29; John 14:12
Reciprocal: Joshua 10:14 - there was

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:10". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-20.html.