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19 King Hezekiah tore his clothes after he heard what had been said. He then covered himself with sackcloth and entered the Eternal’s temple. Hezekiah dispatched the palace administrator, Eliakim, along with Shebna the lawyer and the priest-elders, to go meet with the prophet Isaiah (Amoz’s son). Eliakim, Shebna, and the elders all went wearing sackcloth.

Eliakim, Shebna, and the Elders (to Isaiah): This is Hezekiah’s message: “Today is filled with hours of sorrow, pain, anxiety, and reproof. Children are ready to be born, but there is no strength to deliver them. It may be that the Eternal One your God will disprove the words of Rabshakeh, whom Assyria’s king has sent to taunt the living God. So pray hard that your God, the Eternal One, will rebuke those words and save His few children who remain.”

King Hezekiah’s servants approached Isaiah, and Isaiah spoke to them.

Isaiah: Go back and tell your master, “This is the Eternal’s urgent message: ‘Have no fear of the blasphemy which the servants of Assyria’s kings have spoken. They are merely empty words. I am going to infect Assyria’s king with a spirit, and he will hear a rumor and go back to his homeland. There I will cause him to die by the sword.’”

Rabshakeh returned to the Assyrian king who was now battling against the city of Libnah because he had heard that the king had abandoned Lachish.

9-10 Sennacherib then received word about Tirhakah, Cush’s king: “He is preparing to fight you.” So Sennacherib sent a message again to Hezekiah.

Sennacherib’s Message: Hezekiah, king of Judah, I warn you not to be fooled by your God, on whom you rely, when He says, “Jerusalem will not be conquered by Assyria’s king.” 11 Surely you have heard about how the kings of Assyria demolished all the nations completely—every last one of them. Do you really think you will be rescued? 12 Were the people of those nations saved by their gods when my fathers attacked? Were Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and Eden’s sons in Telassar ever rescued? No! 13 And what happened to the kings of Hamath, Arpad, Sepharvaim’s city, Hena, and Ivvah?”

14 Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers, read it, and then placed it before the Eternal in His temple.

Hezekiah (praying to the Lord): 15 O Eternal One, Israel’s God, who sits above the winged guardians, You alone are God of all the kingdoms on earth, the One who made heaven and earth. 16 Eternal One, open up Your ears and Your eyes so You may hear and see. Listen to the words Sennacherib uses to reject the living God. 17 Eternal One, I certainly know that the Assyrian kings have destroyed the nations and lands. 18 I know how they have thrown the gods of the nations into the flames of the fire and destroyed them, but those gods were created out of wood and stones by men. 19 Eternal One, our True God, I pray You save us now from Sennacherib’s conquest—the fate that all the other nations have suffered—so that every nation on earth will know that You alone, Eternal One, are God.

20 Isaiah (Amoz’s son) sent a message to Hezekiah.

Isaiah’s Message: This is the message of the Eternal One, Israel’s God: “Because you have come to Me about Assyria’s king, Sennacherib, I have heard every word you have prayed.

21 This is the Eternal’s message against Sennacherib:

    “She has abhorred and ridiculed you,
        Zion’s virgin daughter.
    She has ridiculed you behind your back,
        Jerusalem’s daughter!
22     Whom have you rebuked and spoken blasphemies against?
        Whom do you speak loudly against?
    And arrogantly lift up your eyes
        against the Holy One, Israel’s God?
23     Your messengers have been your vessels of rebuke against the Lord;
        you have spoken, ‘In the company of my countless chariots,
    I arrived at the mountain heights.
        At the most distant lands of Lebanon,
    I chopped down the tallest cedars
        and the finest-looking cypress trees.
    I went to its most distant resting place,
        in its deepest forest.
24     I made wells in the ground
        and quenched my thirst with foreign waters;
    With the bottom of my feet I soaked up
        every last drop of Egypt’s rivers.’

25     Don’t you know?
        I did this thing a long time ago;
    From the beginning, I planned it.
        I have now done it,
    So that you might cause strong cities
        to turn into piles of rubble.
26     Those who lived there were weak;
        they were distressed and humiliated.
    They became like the grass that grows in the field
        and also like the green herb,
    Just like grass that grows on the roofs of houses
        but is burned by the sun before it gets too high and thick.
27     But I am aware of everything you do
        when you sit down, when you go out, when you return—
        and I am aware of your fury against Me.
28     Because you have raged against Me,
        because your arrogance has flooded My ears,
    I am going to insert My hook into your nose
        and harness your lips with My bridle,
    And I will send you back in the direction
        from which you came.

29 “This will be the sign for you: for the first year, you will feast on what grows on its own; for the second year, you will feast on what grows from the original source; and for the third year, you will prepare the soil, gather, plant vineyards, and feast on their fruit. 30 Whatever is left of Judah’s house will again spread its roots down into the soil and grow upward with fruit. 31 A remnant will depart from Jerusalem; survivors will depart from Mount Zion. This will all be accomplished by the intense passion of the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies.”

32 This is the Eternal’s message regarding Assyria’s king: “He will not approach this city, nor will he shoot an arrow toward it. He will not approach it with a shield in hand or construct a ramp against it. 33 He will go back the same way he came, and he will not approach this city.” This is the Eternal’s message. 34 “I will defend this city in order to preserve it for My own honor and for the honor of David, My servant.”

35 That night one of the Eternal One’s heavenly messengers invaded the Assyrian camp and struck 185,000 men. When they woke up the next morning, the camp was filled with corpses. 36 Assyria’s king, Sennacherib, went away and returned to his own land, Nineveh.

37 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god, Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with the sword. Then they fled to Ararat. Sennacherib’s son, Esarhaddon, then inherited the throne.

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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