God extends Hezekiah's life by 15 years in 2 Kings 20:6. After that, bad things happen to him.

16Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: 17The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord. 18And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”

When he dies:
21Hezekiah rested with his ancestors. And Manasseh his son succeeded him as king.

His son is born 3 years after God has extended his life:

2 Kings 21

1Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. 2He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, following the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. 3He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them.

Wouldn't Hezekiah be better off if God has not extended his life by 15 years?

  • In OT theology, there's no real concept of heaven. Just Sheol. So most forms of life beat that. Of course, in our day and age, with our resurgence of Stoic philosophy, as Iain Provan points out, we value life itself less than high-quality life. But in OT theology life itself is sacred. Commented Aug 20, 2021 at 4:32
  • And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God. You need to take into account Manasseh's repentance. 2 Chronicles 33:12,13. (Up-voted in the hope that you do so.)
    – Nigel J
    Commented Aug 20, 2021 at 14:53

2 Answers 2


Technically, I do not think it made much different to the deceased Hezekiah whether Manasseh was good or bad. Therefore, the question might be better phrased, was Judah better or worse for Hezekiah's extended life?

There is almost no answer to this question. Consider the following.

On the Minus Side:

2 Kings 24: 2 And the LORD sent Chaldean, Aramean, Moabite, and Ammonite raiders against Jehoiakim in order to destroy Judah, according to the word that the LORD had spoken through His servants the prophets. 3 Surely this happened to Judah at the LORD’s command, to remove them from His presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all that he had done, 4 and also for the innocent blood he had shed. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the LORD was unwilling to forgive.

That is, one of the reasons cited for Judah's captivity by Babylon was the great sins of Manasseh. This is confirmed by several earlier references such as 2 Chron 33:1-9 and 2 Kings 21:1-9.

On the Plus Side:

  • Joseph, the step-father of Jesus, descended from Hezekiah via his son Manasseh, 2 Kings 21:18, 2 Chron 33:20, Matt 1:10, 16, 18.

Are we better or worse for Hezekiah's extension of life during which his evil son Manasseh was born? Yes and No. Manasseh did repent of his great evil (2 Chron 33:10-19), but that does not excuse the great evil that flowed from his cruel reign. However, we are blessed with Joseph, who took care of Mary through whom our Messiah was born.


Wouldn't Hezekiah be better off if God has not extended his life by 15 years?

Hezekiah might have been better off provided he would receive eternal life either way. However, as Dottard pointed out: Is history better off?

This is a complex question. It is like asking: If you can go back in time and change something, what would you change? In science, there is a phenomenon called the Butterfly Effect. The wing flapping of a tiny butterfly in Hong Kong could eventually cause a hurricane in the USA. More accurately, in terms of chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state.

Only God knows everything and knows exactly how things could have turned out in all different possibilities. I trust God made the right decision for good when he let Hezekiah live for another 15 years.

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