Hezekiah Seeks Isaiah’s Counsel

19 When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth,(A) and went into the Lord’s temple.(B) He sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary,(C) and the leading priests, who were wearing sackcloth,(D) to the prophet Isaiah(E) son of Amoz. They said to him, “This is what Hezekiah says: ‘Today is a day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace, for children have come to the point of birth,(F) but there is no strength to deliver them. Perhaps the Lord your God(G) will hear(H) all the words of the royal spokesman, whom his master the king of Assyria sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke(I) him for the words that the Lord your God has heard. Therefore, offer a prayer for the surviving remnant.’”(J)

So the servants of King Hezekiah went to Isaiah, who said to them, “Tell your master, ‘The Lord says this: Don’t be afraid(K) because of the words you have heard, with which the king of Assyria’s attendants(L) have blasphemed(M) me. I am about to put a spirit in him, and he will hear a rumor and return to his own land,(N) where I will cause him to fall by the sword.’”(O)

Sennacherib’s Departing Threat

When(P) the royal spokesman heard that the king of Assyria had pulled out of Lachish,(Q) he left and found him fighting against Libnah.(R) The king had heard concerning King Tirhakah of Cush, “Look, he has set out to fight against you.” So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Say this to King Hezekiah of Judah: ‘Don’t let your God, on whom you rely,(S) deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.(T) 11 Look, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries: They completely destroyed them. Will you be rescued? 12 Did the gods of the nations(U) that my predecessors destroyed rescue them—nations such as Gozan,(V) Haran,(W) Rezeph, and the Edenites(X) in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of[a] Sepharvaim, Hena, or Ivvah?’” (Y)

Hezekiah’s Prayer

14 Hezekiah took(Z) the letter(AA) from the messengers’ hands, read it, then went up to the Lord’s temple, and spread it out before the Lord.(AB) 15 Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord:

Lord God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim,(AC) you are God—you alone—of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth.(AD) 16 Listen closely, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see.(AE) Hear the words that Sennacherib has sent to mock the living God.(AF) 17 Lord, it is true that the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands.(AG) 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but made by human hands—wood and stone.(AH) So they have destroyed them. 19 Now, Lord our God, please save us from his power so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, Lord, are God—you alone.(AI)

God’s Answer through Isaiah

20 Then(AJ) Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “The Lord, the God of Israel says, ‘I have heard your prayer(AK) to me about King Sennacherib of Assyria.’(AL) 21 This is the word the Lord has spoken against him:

Virgin Daughter Zion(AM)
despises you and scorns you;
Daughter Jerusalem
shakes her head behind your back.(AN)
22 Who is it you mocked and blasphemed?(AO)
Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted your eyes in pride?
Against the Holy One of Israel!(AP)
23 You have mocked the Lord[b] through[c] your messengers.(AQ)
You have said, ‘With my many chariots(AR)
I have gone up to the heights of the mountains,
to the far recesses of Lebanon.
I cut down its tallest cedars,
its choice cypress trees.
I came to its farthest outpost,
its densest forest.
24 I dug wells
and drank water in foreign lands.
I dried up all the streams of Egypt(AS)
with the soles of my feet.’

25 Have you not heard?(AT)
I designed it long ago;
I planned it in days gone by.
I have now brought it to pass,(AU)
and you have crushed fortified cities
into piles of rubble.
26 Their inhabitants have become powerless,
dismayed, and ashamed.
They are plants of the field,
tender grass,
grass on the rooftops,(AV)
blasted by the east wind.[d]

27 But I know your sitting down,(AW)
your going out and your coming in,
and your raging against me.
28 Because your raging against me
and your arrogance have reached my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose(AX)
and my bit in your mouth;
I will make you go back
the way you came.

29 “This will be the sign(AY) for you: This year you will eat what grows on its own, and in the second year what grows from that. But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 30 The surviving remnant(AZ) of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 31 For a remnant will go out from Jerusalem, and survivors, from Mount Zion.(BA) The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.(BB)

32 Therefore, this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:
He will not enter this city,
shoot an arrow here,
come before it with a shield,
or build up a siege ramp against it.(BC)
33 He will go back
the way he came,
and he will not enter this city.

This is the Lord’s declaration.

34 I will defend this city and rescue it
for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.”(BD)

Defeat and Death of Sennacherib

35 That night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies!(BE) 36 So King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and left. He returned home and lived in Nineveh.(BF)

37 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech(BG) and Sharezer struck him down with the sword and escaped to the land of Ararat.(BH) Then his son Esar-haddon(BI) became king in his place.

Footnotes

  1. 19:13 Or king of Lair,
  2. 19:23 Many mss read Lord
  3. 19:23 Lit by the hand of
  4. 19:26 DSS; MT reads blasted before standing grain; Is 37:27

Jerusalem’s Deliverance Foretold(A)

19 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore(B) his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord. He sent Eliakim(C) the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary and the leading priests,(D) all wearing sackcloth,(E) to the prophet Isaiah(F) son of Amoz. They told him, “This is what Hezekiah says: This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the moment(G) of birth and there is no strength to deliver them. It may be that the Lord your God will hear all the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to ridicule(H) the living God, and that he will rebuke(I) him for the words the Lord your God has heard. Therefore pray for the remnant(J) that still survives.”

When King Hezekiah’s officials came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid(K) of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed(L) me. Listen! When he hears a certain report,(M) I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.(N)’”

When the field commander heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish,(O) he withdrew and found the king fighting against Libnah.(P)

Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakah, the king of Cush,[a] was marching out to fight against him. So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word: 10 “Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend(Q) on deceive(R) you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.’ 11 Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered? 12 Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my predecessors deliver(S) them—the gods of Gozan,(T) Harran,(U) Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath or the king of Arpad? Where are the kings of Lair, Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah?”(V)

Hezekiah’s Prayer(W)

14 Hezekiah received the letter(X) from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim,(Y) you alone(Z) are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Give ear,(AA) Lord, and hear;(AB) open your eyes,(AC) Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.

17 “It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods(AD) but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands.(AE) 19 Now, Lord our God, deliver(AF) us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms(AG) of the earth may know(AH) that you alone, Lord, are God.”

Isaiah Prophesies Sennacherib’s Fall(AI)(AJ)

20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I have heard(AK) your prayer concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria. 21 This is the word that the Lord has spoken against(AL) him:

“‘Virgin Daughter(AM) Zion
    despises(AN) you and mocks(AO) you.
Daughter Jerusalem
    tosses her head(AP) as you flee.
22 Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed?(AQ)
    Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted your eyes in pride?
    Against the Holy One(AR) of Israel!
23 By your messengers
    you have ridiculed the Lord.
And you have said,(AS)
    “With my many chariots(AT)
I have ascended the heights of the mountains,
    the utmost heights of Lebanon.
I have cut down(AU) its tallest cedars,
    the choicest of its junipers.
I have reached its remotest parts,
    the finest of its forests.
24 I have dug wells in foreign lands
    and drunk the water there.
With the soles of my feet
    I have dried up all the streams of Egypt.”

25 “‘Have you not heard?(AV)
    Long ago I ordained it.
In days of old I planned(AW) it;
    now I have brought it to pass,
that you have turned fortified cities
    into piles of stone.(AX)
26 Their people, drained of power,(AY)
    are dismayed(AZ) and put to shame.
They are like plants in the field,
    like tender green shoots,(BA)
like grass sprouting on the roof,
    scorched(BB) before it grows up.

27 “‘But I know(BC) where you are
    and when you come and go
    and how you rage against me.
28 Because you rage against me
    and because your insolence has reached my ears,
I will put my hook(BD) in your nose
    and my bit(BE) in your mouth,
and I will make you return(BF)
    by the way you came.’

29 “This will be the sign(BG) for you, Hezekiah:

“This year you will eat what grows by itself,(BH)
    and the second year what springs from that.
But in the third year sow and reap,
    plant vineyards(BI) and eat their fruit.
30 Once more a remnant(BJ) of the kingdom of Judah
    will take root(BK) below and bear fruit above.
31 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant,(BL)
    and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors.(BM)

“The zeal(BN) of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

32 “Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria:

“‘He will not enter this city
    or shoot an arrow here.
He will not come before it with shield
    or build a siege ramp against it.
33 By the way that he came he will return;(BO)
    he will not enter this city,
declares the Lord.
34 I will defend(BP) this city and save it,
    for my sake and for the sake of David(BQ) my servant.’”

35 That night the angel of the Lord(BR) went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies!(BS) 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew.(BT) He returned to Nineveh(BU) and stayed there.

37 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek(BV) and Sharezer killed him with the sword,(BW) and they escaped to the land of Ararat.(BX) And Esarhaddon(BY) his son succeeded him as king.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Kings 19:9 That is, the upper Nile region

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