Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 20:3

"Remember now, O Lord , I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart and have done what is good in Your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Blessing;   Disease;   Faith;   Hezekiah;   Isaiah;   Obedience;   Prayer;   Rulers;   Truth;   Weeping;   Thompson Chain Reference - Prayer;   Walk;   Weeping;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Diseases;   Truth;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Healing;   Hezekiah;   Walk;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Heal, Health;   Miracle;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Gehazi;   Manasseh (2);   Holman Bible Dictionary - Prophecy, Prophets;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Isaiah, Book of;   Israel;   Prayer;   Text, Versions, and Languages of Ot;   Truth;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Tears;   Walk (2);   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Hezekiah;   Manasseh;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Hezekiah;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Urim and Thummim;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Good;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I beseech thee, O Lord - Hezekiah knew that, although the words of Isaiah were delivered to him in an absolute form, yet they were to be conditionally understood, else he could not have prayed to God to reverse a purpose which he knew to be irrevocable. Even this passage is a key to many prophecies and Divine declarations: see Isaiah 18:1-7; of Jeremiah.

Hezekiah pleads his uprightness and holy conduct in his own behalf. Was it impious to do so? No; but it certainly did not savor much either of humility or of a due sense of his own weakness. If he had a perfect heart, who made it such? - God. If he did good in God's sights who enabled him to do so? - God. Could he therefore plead in his behalf dispositions and actions which he could neither have felt nor practiced but by the power of the grace of God? I trow not. But the times of this ignorance God winked at. The Gospel teaches us a different lesson.

Wept sore - How clouded must his prospects of another world have been! But it is said that, as he saw the nation in danger from the Assyrian army, which was then invading it, and threatened to destroy the religion of the true God, he was greatly affected at the news of his death, as he wished to live to see the enemies of God overthrown. And therefore God promises that he will deliver the city out of the hands of the king of Assyria, at the same time that he promises him a respite of fifteen years, 2 Kings 20:6. His lamentation on this occasion may be seen in Isaiah, Isaiah 38:9-22.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-20.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Remember now - The old covenant promised temporal prosperity, including length of days, to the righteous. Hezekiah, conscious of his faithfulness and integrity 2 Kings 18:3-6, ventures to expostulate (compare also 2 Kings 21:1 note). According to the highest standard of morality revealed up to this time, there was nothing unseemly in the self vindication of the monarch, which has many parallels in the Psalms of David (Psalm 7:3-10; Psalm 18:19-26; Psalm 26:1-8, etc.).

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-kings-20.html. 1870.

Geneva Study Bible

I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a b perfect heart, and have done [that which is] good in thy sight. And Hezekiah c wept sore.

(b) Meaning, without all hypocrisy.

(c) Not so much for his own death, as for fear that idolatry would be restored which he had destroyed, and so God's Name be dishonoured.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-kings-20.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

remember now how I have walked before thee, etc. — The course of Hezekiah‘s thoughts was evidently directed to the promise made to David and his successors on the throne (1 Kings 8:25). He had kept the conditions as faithfully as human infirmity admitted; and as he had been all along free from any of those great crimes by which, through the judgment of God, human life was often suddenly cut short, his great grief might arise partly from the love of life, partly from the obscurity of the Mosaic dispensation, where life and immortality had not been fully brought to light, and partly from his plans for the reformation of his kingdom being frustrated by his death. He pleaded the fulfillment of the promise.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-kings-20.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.

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.

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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 20:3". "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 20:3 I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done [that which is] good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.

Ver. 3. I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now.] Obsecro Domine, memento quaeso. Words full of incitation. The first word Ana - affectum significat et impetum - is very affectionate and forcible.

How I have walked before thee.] Indesinenter ambulavi, I have constantly walked before thee, and not by fits, or for a few turns. One interpreter noteth that the word here used signifieth, I have made myself to walk; implying his own dulness, sluggishness, averseness to that duty.

In truth, and with a perfect heart,] i.e., In sincerity and integrity. Uprightness hath boldness; Subeo bona (per gratiam Dei) conscientia tribunal Christi, said dying Oeeolampadius, I go before Christ’s tribunal with a good conscience. This is my comfort, said Mr Deering, that I have faithfully served my Lord God, and with an upright conscience. I am neither ashamed to live, nor afraid to die, said another saint. Let him fear death who is passing from this death to the second death. (a)

And have done that which is good.] For matter, manner, and motive. I have known, said a worthy doctor, (b) now with God, some godly men, whose comfort upon their deathbeds hath been, not from the inward acts of their mind - which apart considered, might be subject to misapprehensions, - but from the course of obedience in their lives issuing from there.

And Hezekiah wept sore.] Heb., With a great weeping. See on 2 Kings 20:2. Now if the message of death made this good man weep sore, and the approach of it was mar mar, bitter bitterness, [Isaiah 38:17] what marvel if such a one as Saul swoon quite away at it, and fall to the earth in his full length, as in 1 Samuel 28:20? Death is dreadful in his best looks, as is the lion, though his teeth and claws be beaten out; or as the hawk to the partridge; or as a serpent’s skin, though but stuffed with straw. To the wicked, death is a trap door to hell: they may say of it, as once Elisha did, [2 Kings 6:32] Behold, the murderer is at hand; and is not the sound of his master’s feet - the devil - behind him? hence their loath to depart, &c. But why should a saint be fond of life, or afraid of death, since to him it is but as his father’s horse, to carry him to his father’s house, or as Joseph’s chariot rattling with its wheels, to carry old Jacob to his son Joseph, so him to Christ?

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:3". 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

In truth, i.e. sincerely, with an honest mind, as the following words explain it. I have in some measure (human frailty excepted) kept the condition which thou didst require, 1 Kings 8:25, and therefore do humbly beg of thee that the promise made to David and to his posterity upon that condition may not fail in my person, for as yet thou hast not given me a son. See Poole "2 Kings 20:1". I am not conscious to myself of any gross exorbitances in the course of my life, for which thou usest to shorten men’s days, and cut off my life in thy displeasure, which by this sharp message thou threatenest to do.

Hezekiah wept sore; partly 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 principally for the distracted and miserable condition in which the church and state were then likely to be left, through the uncertainty of the succession to the crown, and the great proneness of the people to backslide to their false worship and evil practices; which he easily perceived, and which he knew would bring far worse calamities upon them if he were removed, as afterwards it came to pass.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-kings-20.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3.I have walked before thee in truth — He appeals to his piety and zeal for Jehovah, as evinced by his destruction of idolatry and trust in God, which were matters of record. Compare 2 Kings 18:3-7. This language of the king is not to be regarded as self-praise. “Hezekiah stood in the economy of the Old Testament, that is, in the economy of legal righteousness; the entire revelation of the Old Testament is concentrated in the Law of Moses, as that of the New Testament is concentrated in the Gospel; so that to walk according to this law is not to be morally pure and free from sin, but to serve Jehovah as the only God, to fear him, to trust him, and to love him with all the heart. Hezekiah could say all this without pharisaical self-praise, just as well as Paul could say, without self-righteousness, ‘I have fought a good fight; I have kept the faith.’” — Bahr.

Wept sore — Wept greatly, or violently. Josephus says, he was afflicted because he had no heir to succeed him in the kingdom. Such a fact may have increased his grief, for it appears from 2 Kings 20:6, compared with 2 Kings 21:1, that his son and successor, Manasseh, was born three years after this; but his chief agony seems to have been that he was about to be cut off in the midst of life, and such a calamity was looked upon as a stroke of Divine anger, and evidence of great wickedness. See Job 15:32; Job 22:16; Psalms 55:23; Proverbs 10:27; Ecclesiastes 7:17. It is easy to see, then, why Hezekiah appeals so earnestly to his righteous acts. It is not in self-praise, but in self-vindication.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-20.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Kings 20:3. Remember how I have walked before thee in truth — Sincerely, with an honest mind. I am not conscious to myself of any exorbitances, for which thou art wont to shorten men’s days. And Hezekiah wept sore — “Under the law, long life and uninterrupted health were promised as the rewards of obedience, and premature death was denounced as a punishment; see Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:33; and Deuteronomy 30:16. When we reflect on this, we need not be surprised at the sorrow which this good king expressed at his approaching dissolution. He looked upon it as a punishment, and consequently as a mark of the divine displeasure. Other reasons too might strongly operate upon a good mind. The suddenness of this terrible and unexpected denunciation; the unsettled state both of his public and domestic affairs; and the natural dread of death inherent in the human mind, which might in this case possibly be augmented from a sense of his own defects, and from a thorough persuasion that God was displeased at him, by cutting him off in such a manner, in the very flower of his age, and when his kingdom and family particularly required his best assistance. However, be the reasons what they might, it behooves us certainly to judge with great candour of a prince, whose character is so good as that of Hezekiah: and, perhaps, blessed as we are, with a clearer knowledge of a future state than Hezekiah enjoyed, there are but few who can look upon death, awful as it is even to the best, without some degree of very serious concern.” — Dodd.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:3". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-20.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Before thee. The saints of the old law frequently mention their good works, (Psalm vii. 9., &c., and 2 Esdras xiii. 14.) which is less common in those of the new. When God rewards our good works, he only crowns his own gifts. (Calmet) --- Ezechias had sincerely desired to please God, though he might have given way to some imperfections, ver. 1. (Haydock) --- Weeping; because he thought that the Messias would not be one of his posterity, as he had yet no children, chap. xxi. 1. (St. Jerome) --- The saints of the Old Testament could only be received into Abraham's bosom. We may be with Christ immediately after death; so that it is far less terrible, Philippians i. 23. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-20.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

walked = walked to and fro: i.e. habitually walked.

a perfect = whole, or undivided.

wept sore. Hebrew "wept with a great weeping" = wept bitterly. Figure of speech Polyptoton. App-6. See note on Genesis 26:28.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-kings-20.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.

Remember ... how I have walked ... The course of Hezekiah's thoughts was evidently directed to the promise made to David and his successors on the throne (1 Kings 8:25). He had kept the conditions as faithfully as human infirmity admitted; and as he had been all along free from any of those great crimes by which through the judgment of God, human life was often suddenly cut short, his great grief might arise partly from the love of life, and the promise of long life and temporal prosperity made to the pious and godly, which would not be fulfilled to him if be were cut off in the midst of his days; partly from the obscurity of the Mosaic dispensation, where life and immortality had not been fully brought to light; and partly from his plans for the reformation of his kingdom being frustrated by his death, and from his having as yet, which was most probably the case, no son whom he could leave heir to his work and his throne. He pleaded the fulfillment of the promise.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-kings-20.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(3) Remember now how I have walked . . .—Hezekiah deprecates an untimely death—the punishment of the wicked (Proverbs 10:27)—on account of his zeal for Jehovah and against the idols. As Thenius remarks, there is nothing surprising in his apparent self-praise if we remember such passages as Psalms 18:20; Psalms 7:8; Nehemiah 13:14. Josephus sets down the poignancy of his sorrow to childlessness, and makes him pray to be spared until he get a son; but this is merely an instance of that “midrashitic” enlargement of the narrative which we find elsewhere in that historian.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-20.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
remember
Genesis 8:1; Nehemiah 5:19; 13:14,22,31; Psalms 25:7; 89:47,50; 119:49; Isaiah 63:11
I have walked
18:3-6; Genesis 5:22,24; 17:1; 1 Kings 2:4; 3:6; Job 1:1,8; Luke 1:6
in truth
2 Chronicles 31:20,21; Psalms 32:2; 145:18; Jeremiah 4:2; John 1:47; 2 Corinthians 1:12; 1 John 3:21,22
a perfect heart
1 Kings 8:61; 11:4; 15:14; 2 Chronicles 16:9
wept sore
Heb. wept with a great weeping.
2 Samuel 12:21,22; Psalms 6:6; 102:9; Isaiah 38:14; Hebrews 5:7
Reciprocal: Genesis 20:5 - in the integrity;  Genesis 24:40 - before;  Genesis 45:2 - wept aloud;  Joshua 24:14 - serve;  1 Samuel 1:10 - wept sore;  1 Kings 8:23 - walk before;  1 Kings 15:3 - and his heart;  1 Chronicles 12:38 - with a perfect heart;  1 Chronicles 28:9 - serve him;  Job 4:6 - thy fear;  Job 23:10 - he knoweth;  Psalm 26:1 - for;  Psalm 26:3 - and;  Psalm 51:6 - Behold;  Psalm 119:1 - undefiled;  Psalm 119:159 - Consider;  Jeremiah 12:3 - knowest;  John 21:15 - thou knowest;  Acts 20:37 - wept;  3 John 1:4 - walk

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 20:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-20.html.