The Gemara in Sanhedrin 94a says that the reason Chizkiyahu was not the Mashiach is that he didn't sing after Hashem did miracles for him (Rashi adds that this refers to saving Yerushalayim from Sancheriv and healing Chizkiyahu):

אמרה מדת הדין לפני הקב"ה רבש"ע ומה דוד מלך ישראל שאמר כמה שירות ותשבחות לפניך לא עשיתו משיח חזקיה שעשית לו כל הנסים הללו ולא אמר שירה לפניך תעשהו משיח לכך נסתתם

The attribute of justice said before the Holy One, Blessed be He: Master of the Universe, and if with regard to David, king of Israel, who recited several songs and praises before You, You did not designate him as the Messiah, then with regard to Hezekiah, for whom You performed all these miracles, delivering him from Sennacherib and healing his illness, and he did not recite praise before You, will You designate him as the Messiah? It is for that reason that the mem was closed, because there was an opportunity for redemption that was thwarted.

Yet we find in Yishayahu that Chizkiyahu seemingly does sing! (Isaiah 38:9-20). He even promises to sing to Hashem his whole life:

יְהוָ֖ה לְהוֹשִׁיעֵ֑נִי וּנְגִנוֹתַ֧י נְנַגֵּ֛ן כָּל־יְמֵ֥י חַיֵּ֖ינוּ עַל־בֵּ֥ית יְהוָֽה׃

“[It has pleased] the LORD to deliver us, That is why we offer up music All the days of our lives At the House of the LORD.”

Does anyone have a good resolution of these sources?

  • 1
    Does he follow through on that promise?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 15:45
  • No matter how much singing he did, the fact remained that after the confrontation w/Assyria, he was a tribute-paying vassal with a greatly reduced kingdom and subject population. Not exactly a worldwide-recognized candidate for Moshiach. Unlike the residents of Lachish and all the other lost cities, they were still alive and in Jerusalem, or its suburbs, in contrast to so many other kingdoms that revolted and were totally destroyed, so they had good reason to sing.
    – Gary
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 16:01
  • @DoubleAA The "michtav" found in Yishayahu itself seems to be such a song.
    – Gabriel
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 18:13
  • @Gary I'm not asking about why he wasn't Mashiach. I'm asking about the Gemara's reason.
    – Gabriel
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 18:13
  • True. Your first sentence mentioned a possible reason our ancestors thought he wasn't Moshiach. I was just trying to add some more background context to the historical situation.
    – Gary
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 20:00

1 Answer 1


The shirah he sang was about his recovery, not about the defeat of Sancheriv. Yalkut Shimoni (Nach 243, end) actually says that Hashem had to force the issue by making Chizkiyahu fall sick, so that at least he would say shirah for that:

כשעלה סנחריב עליו הפילו האלקים לפניו הוה ליה למימר שירה על מפלתו ולא אמר, ומה היה לו הפילו האלקים במטה וחלה כדי שיאמר שירה שנאמר מכתב לחזקיהו:

  • Thanks for this! I'm wondering how to fit this in with the fact that Chizkiyahu fell sick before Sancheriv was actually defeated (Isaiah 38:6).
    – Gabriel
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 19:20
  • Also, Rashi's comment on Sanhedrin is still difficult to understand, because he did at least sing about his recovery
    – Gabriel
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 19:21

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