Isaiah 38:2
Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD,
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(2) Turned his face toward the wall . . .—The royal couch was in the corner, as the Eastern place of honour, the face turned to it, as seeking privacy and avoiding the gaze of men. (Comp. Ahab in 1Kings 21:4.)

38:1-8 When we pray in our sickness, though God send not to us such an answer as he here sent to Hezekiah, yet, if by his Spirit he bids us be of good cheer, assures us that our sins are forgiven, and that, whether we live or die, we shall be his, we do not pray in vain. See 2Ki 20:1-11.Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall - The wall of the room in which he was lying He was probably lying on a couch next the wall of his room. Eastern houses usually have such couches or ottomans running along on the sides of the room on which they recline, and on which they lie when they are sick. Hezekiah probably turned his face to the wall in order that his emotion and his tears might not be seen by the bystanders, or in order that he might compose himself the better for devotion. His prayer he wished, doubtless, to be as secret as possible. The Chaldee renders this, 'Turned his face to the wall of the house of the sanctuary;' that is, of the temple, so that it might appear that be prayed toward the temple. Thus Daniel; when in Babylon, is said to have prayed with his windows opened toward Jerusalem Daniel 6:10. The Mahometans pray everywhere with their faces turned toward Mecca. But there is no evidence in the Hebrew text that Hezekiah prayed in that manner. The simple idea is, that he turned over on his couch toward the wall of his room, doubtless, for the greater privacy, and to hide his deep emotion. 2. The couches in the East run along the walls of houses. He turned away from the spectators to hide his emotion and collect his thoughts for prayer. No text from Poole on this verse. Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall,.... Not figuratively to the wall of his heart, as Jerom; but literally, either to the wall of his bedchamber where he lay sick, that his tears might not be seen, and his prayers interrupted, and that he might deliver them with more privacy, freedom, and fervency; or else to the wall of the temple, as the Targum, towards which good men used to look when they prayed, 1 Kings 8:38, which was a type of Christ, to whom we should have respect in all our petitions, as being the only Mediator between God and man: and prayed unto the Lord; as follows: Then Hezekiah {b} turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD,

(b) For his heart was touched with fear of God's judgment, seeing he had appointed him to die so quickly after his deliverance from so great calamity, as one unworthy to remain in that estate, and also foreseeing the great change that would come in the Church, as he left no son to reign after him: for as yet Manasseh was not born, and when he reigned, we see what a tyrant he was.

2. turned his face toward the wall] (cf. 1 Kings 21:4) an instinctive expression of the feeling that he was alone with God in this bitter moment.Verse 2. - Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall. The action resembles that of Ahab (1 Kings 21:4); but the spirit is wholly different. Ahab turned away in sullenness, Hezekiah that he might pray undisturbed Beds seem to have been placed in the corners of rooms, with the head against one wall of the room, and one side against another. The prophecy concerning the protection of Jerusalem becomes more definite in the last turn than it ever has been before. "Therefore thus saith Jehovah concerning the king of Asshur, He will not enter into this city, nor shoot off an arrow there; nor do they assault it with a shield, nor cast up earthworks against it. By the way by which he came (K. will come) will he return; and he will not enter into this city, saith Jehovah. And I shield this city (על, K. אל), to help it, for mine own sake, and for the sake of David my servant." According to Hitzig, this conclusion belongs to the later reporter, on account of its "suspiciously definite character." Knobel, on the other hand, sees no reason for disputing the authorship of Isaiah, inasmuch as in all probability the pestilence had already set in (Isaiah 33:24), and threatened to cripple the Assyrian army very considerably, so that the prophet began to hope that Sennacherib might now be unable to stand against the powerful Ethiopian king. To us, however, the words "Thus saith Jehovah" are something more than a flower of speech; and we hear the language of a man exalted above the standard of the natural man, and one how has been taken, as Amos says (Amos 3:7), by God, the moulder of history into "His secret." Here also we see the prophecy at its height, towards which it has been ascending from Isaiah 6:13 and Isaiah 10:33-34 onwards, through the midst of obstacles accumulated by the moral condition of the nation, but with the same goal invariably in view. The Assyrian will not storm Jerusalem; there will not even be preparations for a siege. The verb qiddēm is construed with a double accusative, as in Psalm 21:4 : sōlelâh refers to the earthworks thrown up for besieging purposes, as in Jeremiah 32:24. The reading יבא instead of בּא has arisen in consequence of the eye having wandered to the following יבא. The promise in Isaiah 37:35 sounds like Isaiah 31:5. The reading אל for על is incorrect. One motive assigned ("for my servant David's sake") is the same as in 1 Kings 15:4, etc.; and the other ("for mine own sake") the same as in Isaiah 43:25; Isaiah 48:11 (compare, however, Isaiah 55:3 also). On the one hand, it is in accordance with the honour and faithfulness of Jehovah, that Jerusalem is delivered; and, on the other hand, it is the worth of David, or, what is the same thing, the love of Jehovah turned towards him, of which Jerusalem reaps the advantage.
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