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Isaiah’s Message to Hezekiah

19 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth. Then he went into the House of the Lord. He sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and the elders of the priests, dressed in sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz.

They said to him, “This is what Hezekiah says. Today is a day of distress and rebuke and humiliation because children have come to the point of birth, but there is no strength to deliver them. Perhaps the Lord your God will hear all the words of the herald,[a] whom his lord, the king of Assyria, sent to mock the living God, and he will rebuke him for the words which the Lord your God has heard, and you will lift up a prayer on behalf of the remnant who are left.”

When the servants of King Hezekiah went to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, “Say this to your lord: This is what the Lord says. Do not be afraid of these words which you heard, with which the lackeys[b] of the king of Assyria blasphemed me. See, I am going to put him into such a frame of mind that when he hears a certain report, he will return to his country, and I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.”

Hezekiah’s Prayer

Because the herald heard that the king of Assyria had withdrawn from Lachish, he went back and found the king fighting against Libnah. For he had heard this report about Tirhakah king of Cush: “Watch out! He has come out to fight with you.” So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah 10 to say this to Hezekiah king of Judah: “Don’t let your God, whom you trust, deceive you, saying, ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ 11 Listen, you have heard what the kings of Assyria did to all the lands which they completely destroyed. And you expect to be saved? 12 Did the gods of the nations which my fathers destroyed save them—Gozen and Haran and Rezeph and the people of Eden, who are in Tel Assar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath and the king of Arpad and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, and Hena and Ivvah?”

14 Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the House of the Lord, and Hezekiah spread it out before the Lord. 15 Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord:

O Lord, God of Israel, you are seated above the cherubim. You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. 16 Bend your ear, O Lord, and hear. Open your eyes, Lord, and see. Hear Sennacherib’s words, which he sent to taunt the living God. 17 It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed these nations and their lands. 18 They have burned their gods, because they were not gods but only the works of human hands, just wood and stone, so they destroyed them. 19 But now, O Lord our God, please save us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you, O Lord, are God, you alone.

God’s Answer to Hezekiah

20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah:

This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says. I have heard what you have prayed to me about Sennacherib, the king of Assyria. 21 This is the message which the Lord has spoken about him:

The Virgin Daughter Zion despises you. She jeers at you.
The Daughter Jerusalem tosses her head at you.
22 Whom have you taunted and blasphemed?
Against whom have you lifted up your voice and raised your eyes
    to heaven?
Against the Holy One of Israel!
23 By your messengers you have taunted the Lord.
You have said, “With my many chariots I have gone up
    to the heights of the mountains,
    to the most remote part of Lebanon.
I cut down its tall cedars and the best of its fir trees.
I went in to its farthest dwelling place, the most lush of its forests.
24 I dug wells and drank water in foreign lands.
I dried up all the streams of Egypt with the soles of my feet.”

25 Have you not heard?
From long ago I, the Lord, did this.
From days of eternity I formed it,
and now I have brought it about
    that fortified cities crash into piles of ruined stones.
26 Their inhabitants, powerless, are dismayed and ashamed.
They are like plants in the field and fresh green grass,
like grass on the roof, scorched before it becomes a full-grown stalk.
27 I know when you sit down, and when you go out,
and when you come in again, and how you rage against me.
28 Because you rage against me,
because your arrogance has reached my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth,
and I will make you go back by the way you came.
29 This will be a sign for you:
This year you will eat what grows naturally,
next year what grows naturally from that,
but in the third year, you will sow and harvest.
You will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
30 The surviving remnant of the house of Judah
    will again take root below and produce fruit above.
31 For a remnant will go out from Jerusalem,
and survivors from Mt. Zion.
The zeal of the Lord will do this.

32 Therefore, this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:
He will not come into this city.
He will not shoot an arrow there.
He will not advance against it with a shield,
and he will not build up a siege ramp against it.
33 By the same way he came he will go back,
but he will not come into this city.
A declaration of the Lord:
34 I will protect and save this city for my own sake
and for the sake of my servant David.

The Destruction of Sennacherib

35 That night, the angel of the Lord went out and struck down one hundred eighty-five thousand men in the camp of Assyria. When it was time to wake up in the morning, there they were—all the dead bodies! 36 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and returned and lived in Nineveh. 37 One day when he was worshipping in the house of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword. They fled to the land of Ararat, and his son Esarhaddon became king in his place.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Kings 19:4 Hebrew rab shakeh (also in verse 8). The exact equivalent of this foreign title is uncertain.
  2. 2 Kings 19:6 Or junior officers

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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