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Hezekiah's life prolonged

In his October 1964 general conference address, Presiding Bishop John H. Vandenberg said:

"There have been some noble men who unwittingly sought to counsel the Lord. One such man was Hezekiah, king of Judah, who began to reign when he was 25 years old."Hezekiah did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to the scriptures. Among his deeds, he tore down the places of idol worship and "trusted in the Lord God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him." (2 Kings 18:5.)

In about the 15th year of his reign, "Hezekiah [was] sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah . . . came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live." (2 Kings 20:1.)

When Hezekiah pleaded that his life would be prolonged, the Lord said, "I will heal thee: . . . And I will add unto thy days fifteen years. . . ." (2 Kings 20:5-6.)

Bishop Vandenberg said: "Thus the Lord granted Hezekiah's request to extend his life. This, no doubt, was enjoyed by Hezekiah, for during these additional years he did many things. But there was one unforeseen occurrence that destroyed much of the good he had accomplished. Hezekiah sired a son who was 12 years of age when his father passed away. This son, whose name was Manasseh, became king and `did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, after the abominations of the heathen . . . [and] filled Jerusalem . . . in doing that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.' (2 Kings 21:2-3, 6, 16.)

"As one reviews this account," Bishop Vandenberg said, "one wonders [if] it would not have been better for Hezekiah to have submissively accepted the Lord's first decree, `Set thine house in order; for thou shalt die.' "

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