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Hezekiah Trusts God

2 Kings 18:13-19:37
2 Kings 18:13-19:37
2 Kings 18:13-19:37
2 Kings 18:13-19:37

2 Kings 18:13-19:37

13 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. 14 And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; withdraw from me. Whatever you impose on me I will bear.” And the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasuries of the king's house. 16 At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord and from the doorposts that Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid and gave it to the king of Assyria. 17 And the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rab-saris, and the Rabshakeh with a great army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. When they arrived, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway to the Washer's Field. 18 And when they called for the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebnah the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder.

19 And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? 20 Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me? 21 Behold, you are trusting now in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. 22 But if you say to me, “We trust in the Lord our God,” is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem”? 23 Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. 24 How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master's servants, when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 25 Moreover, is it without the Lord that I have come up against this place to destroy it? The Lord said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.’”

26 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebnah, and Joah, said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 27 But the Rabshakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and to drink their own urine?”

28 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! 29 Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you out of my hand. 30 Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord by saying, The Lord will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make your peace with me and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern, 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey, that you may live, and not die. And do not listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you by saying, The Lord will deliver us. 33 Has any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’”

36 But the people were silent and answered him not a word, for the king's command was, “Do not answer him.” 37 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.

19:1 As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the Lord. And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz. They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. It may be that the Lord your God heard all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the Lord your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.” When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. Behold, I will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.’”

The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he heard that the king had left Lachish. Now the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Cush, “Behold, he has set out to fight against you.” So he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11 Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, devoting them to destruction. And shall you be delivered? 12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my fathers destroyed, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?’”

14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said: “O Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 16 Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 17 Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands 18 and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. 19 So now, O Lord our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Lord, are God alone.”

20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Your prayer to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard. 21 This is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him:

“She despises you, she scorns you—
the virgin daughter of Zion;
she wags her head behind you—
the daughter of Jerusalem.

22 “Whom have you mocked and reviled?
Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted your eyes to the heights?
Against the Holy One of Israel!
23 By your messengers you have mocked the Lord,
and you have said, ‘With my many chariots
I have gone up the heights of the mountains,
to the far recesses of Lebanon;
I felled its tallest cedars,
its choicest cypresses;
I entered its farthest lodging place,
its most fruitful forest.
24 I dug wells
and drank foreign waters,
and I dried up with the sole of my foot
all the streams of Egypt.’

25 “Have you not heard
that I determined it long ago?
I planned from days of old
what now I bring to pass,
that you should turn fortified cities
into heaps of ruins,
26 while their inhabitants, shorn of strength,
are dismayed and confounded,
and have become like plants of the field
and like tender grass,
like grass on the housetops,
blighted before it is grown.

27 “But I know your sitting down
and your going out and coming in,
and your raging against me.
28 Because you have raged against me
and your complacency has come into my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
and my bit in your mouth,
and I will turn you back on the way
by which you came.

29 “And this shall be the sign for you: this year eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs of the same. Then in the third year sow and reap and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 30 And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 31 For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord will do this.

32 “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. 33 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the Lord. 34 For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”

35 And that night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 36 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went home and lived at Nineveh. 37 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword and escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.

King Sennacherib of Assyria Invades Judah

(2 Chronicles 32.1-19; Isaiah 36.1-22)

13 In the fourteenth year of Hezekiah's rule in Judah, King Sennacherib of Assyria invaded the country and captured every walled city, except Jerusalem. 14 Hezekiah sent this message to Sennacherib, who was in the town of Lachish: “I know I am guilty of rebellion. But I will pay you whatever you want, if you stop your attack.”

Sennacherib told Hezekiah to pay ten tons of silver and one ton of gold. 15 So Hezekiah collected all the silver from the Lord's temple and the royal treasury. 16 He even stripped the gold that he had used to cover the doors and doorposts in the temple. He gave it all to Sennacherib.

17 The king of Assyria ordered his three highest military officers to leave Lachish and take a large army to Jerusalem. When they arrived, the officers stood on the road near the cloth makers' shops along the canal from the upper pool. 18 They called out to Hezekiah, and three of his highest officials came out to meet them. One of them was Hilkiah's son Eliakim, who was the prime minister. The other two were Shebna, assistant to the prime minister, and Joah son of Asaph, keeper of the government records.

19 One of the Assyrian commanders told them:

I have a message for Hezekiah from the great king of Assyria. Ask Hezekiah why he feels so sure of himself. 20 Does he think he can plan and win a war with nothing but words? Who is going to help him, now that he has turned against the king of Assyria? 21 Is he depending on Egypt and its king? That's the same as leaning on a broken stick, and it will go right through his hand.

22 Is Hezekiah now depending on the Lord your God? Didn't Hezekiah tear down all except one of the Lord's altars and places of worship? Didn't he tell the people of Jerusalem and Judah to worship at that one place?

23 The king of Assyria wants to make a bet with you people. He will give you 2,000 horses, if you have enough troops to ride them. 24 How could you even defeat our lowest ranking officer, when you have to depend on Egypt for chariots and cavalry? 25 Don't forget that it was the Lord who sent me here with orders to destroy your nation!

26 Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said, “Sir, we don't want the people listening from the city wall to understand what you are saying. So please speak to us in Aramaic instead of Hebrew.”

27 The Assyrian army commander answered, “My king sent me to speak to everyone, not just to you leaders. These people will soon have to eat their own body waste and drink their own urine! And so will the three of you.”

28 Then, in a voice loud enough for everyone to hear, he shouted in Hebrew:

Listen to what the great king of Assyria says! 29 Don't be fooled by Hezekiah. He can't save you. 30 Don't trust him when he tells you that the Lord will protect you from the king of Assyria. 31 Stop listening to Hezekiah! Pay attention to my king. Surrender to him. He will let you keep your own vineyards, fig trees, and cisterns 32 for a while. Then he will come and take you away to a country just like yours, where you can plant vineyards, raise your own grain, and have plenty of olive oil and honey. Believe me, you won't starve there.

Hezekiah claims the Lord will save you. But don't be fooled by him. 33 Were any other gods able to defend their land against the king of Assyria? 34 What happened to the gods of Hamath and Arpad? What about the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Were the gods of Samaria able to protect their land against the Assyrian forces? 35 None of these gods kept their people safe from the king of Assyria. Do you think the Lord your God can do any better?

36-37 Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah had been warned by King Hezekiah not to answer the Assyrian commander. So they tore their clothes in sorrow and reported to Hezekiah everything the commander had said.

Hezekiah Asks Isaiah the Prophet for Advice

(Isaiah 37.1-13)

1 As soon as Hezekiah heard the news, he tore off his clothes in sorrow and put on sackcloth. Then he went into the temple of the Lord. 2 He told Prime Minister Eliakim, Assistant Prime Minister Shebna, and the senior priests to dress in sackcloth and tell the prophet Isaiah:

3 These are difficult and disgraceful times. Our nation is like a woman too weak to give birth, when it's time for her baby to be born. 4 Please pray for those of us who are left alive. The king of Assyria sent his army commander to insult the living God. Perhaps the Lord heard what he said and will do something, if you will pray.

5 When these leaders went to Isaiah, 6 he told them that the Lord had this message for Hezekiah:

I am the Lord. Don't worry about the insulting things that have been said about me by these messengers from the king of Assyria. 7 I will upset him with rumors about what's happening in his own country. He will go back, and there I will make him die a violent death.

8 Meanwhile, the commander of the Assyrian forces heard that his king had left the town of Lachish and was now attacking Libnah. So he went there.

9 About this same time the king of Assyria learned that King Tirhakah of Ethiopia was on his way to attack him. Then the king of Assyria sent some messengers with this note for Hezekiah:

10 Don't trust your God or be fooled by his promise to defend Jerusalem against me. 11 You have heard how we Assyrian kings have completely wiped out other nations. What makes you feel so safe? 12 The Assyrian kings before me destroyed the towns of Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and everyone from Eden who lived in Telassar. What good did their gods do them? 13 The kings of Hamath, Arpad, Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah have all disappeared.

Hezekiah Prays

(Isaiah 37.14-20)

14 After Hezekiah had read the note from the king of Assyria, he took it to the temple and spread it out for the Lord to see. 15 He prayed:

Lord God of Israel, your throne is above the winged creatures. You created the heavens and the earth, and you alone rule the kingdoms of this world. 16 But just look how Sennacherib has insulted you, the living God.

17 It is true, our Lord, that Assyrian kings have turned nations into deserts. 18 They destroyed the idols of wood and stone that the people of those nations had made and worshiped. 19 But you are our Lord and our God! We ask you to keep us safe from the Assyrian king. Then everyone in every kingdom on earth will know that you are the only God.

The Lord's Answer to Hezekiah

(Isaiah 37.21-35)

20 Isaiah went to Hezekiah and told him that the Lord God of Israel had said:

Hezekiah, I heard your prayer about King Sennacherib of Assyria. 21 Now this is what I say to that king:

The people of Jerusalem

hate and make fun of you;

they laugh

behind your back.

22 Sennacherib, you cursed,

shouted, and sneered at me,

the holy God of Israel.

23 You let your officials

insult me, the Lord.

And this is how you

bragged about yourself:

“I led my chariots

to the highest heights

of Lebanon's mountains.

I went deep into its forest,

cutting down the best cedar

and cypress trees.

24 I dried up every stream

in the land of Egypt,

and I drank water

from wells I had dug.”

25 Sennacherib, now listen

to me, the Lord.

I planned all this long ago.

And you don't even realize

that I alone am the one

who decided that you

would do these things.

I let you make ruins

of fortified cities.

26 Their people became weak,

terribly confused.

They were like wild flowers

or tender young grass

growing on a flat roof,

scorched before it matures.

27 I know all about you,

even how fiercely angry

you are with me.

28 I have seen your pride

and the tremendous hatred

you have for me.

Now I will put a hook

in your nose,

a bit in your mouth,

then I will send you back

to where you came from.

29 Hezekiah, I will tell you what's going to happen. This year you will eat crops that grow on their own, and the next year you will eat whatever springs up where those crops grew. But the third year you will plant grain and vineyards, and you will eat what you harvest. 30 Those who survive in Judah will be like a vine that puts down deep roots and bears fruit. 31 I, the Lord All-Powerful, will see to it that some who live in Jerusalem will survive.

32 I promise that the king of Assyria won't get into Jerusalem, or shoot an arrow into the city, or even surround it and prepare to attack. 33 As surely as I am the Lord, he will return by the way he came and will never enter Jerusalem. 34 I will protect it for myself and for my servant David.

The Death of King Sennacherib

(Isaiah 37.36-38)

35 That same night the Lord sent an angel to the camp of the Assyrians, and he killed 185,000 of them. And so the next morning, the camp was full of dead bodies. 36 After this King Sennacherib went back to Assyria and lived in the city of Nineveh. 37 One day he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, when his sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, killed him with their swords. They escaped to the land of Ararat, and his son Esarhaddon became king.

The Assyrians Threaten Jerusalem

(2 Chronicles 32.1-19; Isaiah 36.1-22)

13 In the fourteenth year of the reign of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib, the emperor of Assyria, attacked the fortified cities of Judah and conquered them. 14 Hezekiah sent a message to Sennacherib, who was in Lachish: “I have done wrong; please stop your attack, and I will pay whatever you demand.” The emperor's answer was that Hezekiah should send him ten tons of silver and one ton of gold. 15 Hezekiah sent him all the silver in the Temple and in the palace treasury; 16 he also stripped the gold from the temple doors and the gold with which he himself had covered the doorposts, and he sent it all to Sennacherib. 17 The Assyrian emperor sent a large army from Lachish to attack Hezekiah at Jerusalem; it was commanded by his three highest officials. When they arrived at Jerusalem, they occupied the road where the cloth makers work by the ditch that brings water from the upper pool. 18 Then they sent for King Hezekiah, and three of his officials went out to meet them: Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace; Shebna, the court secretary; and Joah son of Asaph, who was in charge of the records. 19 One of the Assyrian officials told them that the emperor wanted to know what made King Hezekiah so confident. 20 He demanded, “Do you think that words can take the place of military skill and might? Who do you think will help you rebel against Assyria? 21 You are expecting Egypt to help you, but that would be like using a reed as a walking stick—it would break and jab your hand. That is what the king of Egypt is like when anyone relies on him.”

22 The Assyrian official went on, “Or will you tell me that you are relying on the Lord your God? It was the Lord's shrines and altars that Hezekiah destroyed, when he told the people of Judah and Jerusalem to worship only at the altar in Jerusalem. 23 I will make a bargain with you in the name of the emperor. I will give you two thousand horses if you can find that many men to ride them! 24 You are no match for even the lowest ranking Assyrian official, and yet you expect the Egyptians to send you chariots and cavalry! 25 Do you think I have attacked your country and destroyed it without the Lord's help? The Lord himself told me to attack it and destroy it.”

26 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah told the official, “Speak Aramaic to us, sir. We understand it. Don't speak Hebrew; all the people on the wall are listening.”

27 He replied, “Do you think you and the king are the only ones the emperor sent me to say all these things to? No, I am also talking to the people who are sitting on the wall, who will have to eat their excrement and drink their urine, just as you will.”

28 Then the official stood up and shouted in Hebrew, “Listen to what the emperor of Assyria is telling you! 29 He warns you not to let Hezekiah deceive you. Hezekiah can't save you. 30 And don't let him persuade you to rely on the Lord. Don't think that the Lord will save you and that he will stop our Assyrian army from capturing your city. 31 Don't listen to Hezekiah. The emperor of Assyria commands you to come out of the city and surrender. You will all be allowed to eat grapes from your own vines and figs from your own trees, and to drink water from your own wells— 32 until the emperor resettles you in a country much like your own, where there are vineyards to give wine and there is grain for making bread; it is a land of olives, olive oil, and honey. If you do what he commands, you will not die, but live. Don't let Hezekiah fool you into thinking that the Lord will rescue you. 33 Did the gods of any other nations save their countries from the emperor of Assyria? 34 Where are they now, the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Did anyone save Samaria? 35 When did any of the gods of all these countries ever save their country from our emperor? Then what makes you think the Lord can save Jerusalem?”

36 The people kept quiet, just as King Hezekiah had told them to; they did not say a word. 37 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah tore their clothes in grief, and went and reported to the king what the Assyrian official had said.

The King Asks Isaiah's Advice

(Isaiah 37.1-7)

1 As soon as King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes in grief, put on sackcloth, and went to the Temple of the Lord. 2 He sent Eliakim, the official in charge of the palace, Shebna, the court secretary, and the senior priests to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They also were wearing sackcloth. 3 This is the message which he told them to give Isaiah: “Today is a day of suffering; we are being punished and are in disgrace. We are like a woman who is ready to give birth, but is too weak to do it. 4 The Assyrian emperor has sent his chief official to insult the living God. May the Lord your God hear these insults and punish those who spoke them. So pray to God for those of our people who survive.”

5 When Isaiah received King Hezekiah's message, 6 he sent back this answer: “The Lord tells you not to let the Assyrians frighten you with their claims that he cannot save you. 7 The Lord will cause the emperor to hear a rumor that will make him go back to his own country, and the Lord will have him killed there.”

The Assyrians Send Another Threat

(Isaiah 37.8-20)

8 The Assyrian official learned that the emperor had left Lachish and was fighting against the nearby city of Libnah; so he went there to consult him. 9 Word reached the Assyrians that the Egyptian army, led by King Tirhakah of Ethiopia, was coming to attack them. When the emperor heard this, he sent a letter to King Hezekiah of Judah 10 to tell him, “The god you are trusting in has told you that you will not fall into my hands, but don't let that deceive you. 11 You have heard what an Assyrian emperor does to any country he decides to destroy. Do you think that you can escape? 12 My ancestors destroyed the cities of Gozan, Haran, and Rezeph, and killed the people of Betheden who lived in Telassar, and none of their gods could save them. 13 Where are the kings of the cities of Hamath, Arpad, Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?”

14 King Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went to the Temple, placed the letter there in the presence of the Lord, 15 and prayed, “O Lord, the God of Israel, seated on your throne above the winged creatures, you alone are God, ruling all the kingdoms of the world. You created the earth and the sky. 16 Now, Lord, look at what is happening to us. Listen to all the things that Sennacherib is saying to insult you, the living God. 17 We all know, Lord, that the emperors of Assyria have destroyed many nations, made their lands desolate, 18 and burned up their gods—which were no gods at all, only images of wood and stone made by human hands. 19 Now, Lord our God, rescue us from the Assyrians, so that all the nations of the world will know that only you, O Lord, are God.”

Isaiah's Message to the King

(Isaiah 37.21-38)

20 Then Isaiah sent a message telling King Hezekiah that in answer to the king's prayer 21 the Lord had said, “The city of Jerusalem laughs at you, Sennacherib, and makes fun of you. 22 Whom do you think you have been insulting and ridiculing? You have been disrespectful to me, the holy God of Israel. 23 You sent your messengers to boast to me that with all your chariots you had conquered the highest mountains of Lebanon. You boasted that there you cut down the tallest cedars and the finest cypress trees and that you reached the deepest parts of the forests. 24 You boasted that you dug wells and drank water in foreign lands and that the feet of your soldiers tramped the Nile River dry.

25 “Have you never heard that I planned all this long ago? And now I have carried it out. I gave you the power to turn fortified cities into piles of rubble. 26 The people who lived there were powerless; they were frightened and stunned. They were like grass in a field or weeds growing on a roof when the hot east wind blasts them.

27 “But I know everything about you, what you do and where you go. I know how you rage against me. 28 I have received the report of that rage and that pride of yours, and now I will put a hook through your nose and a bit in your mouth, and take you back by the same road you came.”

29 Then Isaiah said to King Hezekiah, “Here is a sign of what will happen. This year and next you will have only wild grain to eat, but the following year you will be able to plant your grain and harvest it, and plant vines and eat grapes. 30 Those in Judah who survive will flourish like plants that send roots deep into the ground and produce fruit. 31 There will be people in Jerusalem and on Mount Zion who will survive, because the Lord is determined to make this happen.

32 “And this is what the Lord has said about the Assyrian emperor: ‘He will not enter this city or shoot a single arrow against it. No soldiers with shields will come near the city, and no siege mounds will be built around it. 33 He will go back by the same road he came, without entering this city. I, the Lord, have spoken. 34 I will defend this city and protect it, for the sake of my own honor and because of the promise I made to my servant David.’”

35 That night an angel of the Lord went to the Assyrian camp and killed 185,000 soldiers. At dawn the next day there they lay, all dead! 36 Then the Assyrian emperor Sennacherib withdrew and returned to Nineveh. 37 One day, when he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, two of his sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, killed him with their swords and then escaped to the land of Ararat. Another of his sons, Esarhaddon, succeeded him as emperor.

Sennacherib Invades Judah

18:13 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign, King Sennacherib of Assyria marched up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. 14 King Hezekiah of Judah sent this message to the king of Assyria, who was at Lachish, “I have violated our treaty. If you leave, I will do whatever you demand.” So the king of Assyria demanded that King Hezekiah of Judah pay three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 Hezekiah gave him all the silver in the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the royal palace. 16 At that time King Hezekiah of Judah stripped the metal overlays from the doors of the Lord’s temple and from the posts which he had plated and gave them to the king of Assyria.

17 The king of Assyria sent his commanding general, the chief eunuch, and the chief adviser from Lachish to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem, along with a large army. They went up and arrived at Jerusalem. They went and stood at the conduit of the upper pool which is located on the road to the field where they wash and dry cloth. 18 They summoned the king, so Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace supervisor, accompanied by Shebna the scribe and Joah son of Asaph, the secretary, went out to meet them.

19 The chief adviser said to them, “Tell Hezekiah: ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: “What is your source of confidence? 20 Your claim to have a strategy and military strength is just empty talk. In whom are you trusting that you would dare to rebel against me? 21 Now look, you must be trusting in Egypt, that splintered reed staff. If a man leans for support on it, it punctures his hand and wounds him. That is what Pharaoh king of Egypt does to all who trust in him. 22 Perhaps you will tell me, ‘We are trusting in the Lord our God.’ But Hezekiah is the one who eliminated his high places and altars and then told the people of Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship at this altar in Jerusalem.’ 23 Now make a deal with my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, provided you can find enough riders for them. 24 Certainly you will not refuse one of my master’s minor officials and trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen. 25 Furthermore it was by the command of the Lord that I marched up against this place to destroy it. The Lord told me, ‘March up against this land and destroy it.’”’”

26 Eliakim son of Hilkiah, Shebna, and Joah said to the chief adviser, “Speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Don’t speak with us in the Judahite dialect in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 27 But the chief adviser said to them, “My master did not send me to speak these words only to your master and to you. His message is also for the men who sit on the wall, for they will eat their own excrement and drink their own urine along with you.”

28 The chief adviser then stood there and called out loudly in the Judahite dialect, “Listen to the message of the great king, the king of Assyria. 29 This is what the king says: ‘Don’t let Hezekiah mislead you, for he is not able to rescue you from my hand! 30 Don’t let Hezekiah talk you into trusting in the Lord when he says, “The Lord will certainly rescue us; this city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.” 31 Don’t listen to Hezekiah!’ For this is what the king of Assyria says, ‘Send me a token of your submission and surrender to me. Then each of you may eat from his own vine and fig tree and drink water from his own cistern, 32 until I come and take you to a land just like your own – a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Then you will live and not die. Don’t listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, “The Lord will rescue us.” 33 Have any of the gods of the nations actually rescued his land from the power of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Indeed, did any gods rescue Samaria from my power? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands has rescued their lands from my power? So how can the Lord rescue Jerusalem from my power?’” 36 The people were silent and did not respond, for the king had ordered, “Don’t respond to him.”

37 Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace supervisor, accompanied by Shebna the scribe and Joah son of Asaph, the secretary, went to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and reported to him what the chief adviser had said. 19:1 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and went to the Lord’s temple. 2 He sent Eliakim the palace supervisor, Shebna the scribe, and the leading priests, clothed in sackcloth, with this message to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz: 3 “This is what Hezekiah says: ‘This is a day of distress, insults, and humiliation, as when a baby is ready to leave the birth canal, but the mother lacks the strength to push it through. 4 Perhaps the Lord your God will hear all these things the chief adviser has spoken on behalf of his master, the king of Assyria, who sent him to taunt the living God. When the Lord your God hears, perhaps he will punish him for the things he has said. So pray for this remnant that remains.’”

5 When King Hezekiah’s servants came to Isaiah, 6 Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master this: ‘This is what the Lord says: “Don’t be afraid because of the things you have heard – these insults the king of Assyria’s servants have hurled against me. 7 Look, I will take control of his mind; he will receive a report and return to his own land. I will cut him down with a sword in his own land.”’”

8 When the chief adviser heard the king of Assyria had departed from Lachish, he left and went to Libnah, where the king was campaigning. 9 The king heard that King Tirhakah of Ethiopia was marching out to fight him. He again sent messengers to Hezekiah, ordering them: 10 “Tell King Hezekiah of Judah this: ‘Don’t let your God in whom you trust mislead you when he says, “Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.” 11 Certainly you have heard how the kings of Assyria have annihilated all lands. Do you really think you will be rescued? 12 Were the nations whom my ancestors destroyed – the nations of Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden in Telassar – rescued by their gods? 13 Where are the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, and the king of Lair, Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?’”

14 Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers and read it. Then Hezekiah went up to the Lord’s temple and spread it out before the Lord. 15 Hezekiah prayed before the Lord: “Lord God of Israel, who is enthroned on the cherubs! You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the sky and the earth. 16 Pay attention, Lord, and hear! Open your eyes, Lord, and observe! Listen to the message Sennacherib sent and how he taunts the living God! 17 It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands. 18 They have burned the gods of the nations, for they are not really gods, but only the product of human hands manufactured from wood and stone. That is why the Assyrians could destroy them. 19 Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power, so that all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you, Lord, are the only God.”

20 Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I have heard your prayer concerning King Sennacherib of Assyria. 21 This is what the Lord says about him:

“The virgin daughter Zion

despises you, she makes fun of you;

Daughter Jerusalem

shakes her head after you.

22 Whom have you taunted and hurled insults at?

At whom have you shouted,

and looked so arrogantly?

At the Holy One of Israel!

23 Through your messengers you taunted the sovereign master,

‘With my many chariots

I climbed up the high mountains,

the slopes of Lebanon.

I cut down its tall cedars,

and its best evergreens.

I invaded its most remote regions,

its thickest woods.

24 I dug wells and drank

water in foreign lands.

With the soles of my feet I dried up

all the rivers of Egypt.’

25

Certainly you must have heard!

Long ago I worked it out,

In ancient times I planned it;

and now I am bringing it to pass.

The plan is this:

Fortified cities will crash

into heaps of ruins.

26 Their residents are powerless,

they are terrified and ashamed.

They are as short-lived as plants in the field,

or green vegetation.

They are as short-lived as grass on the rooftops

when it is scorched by the east wind.

27 I know where you live,

and everything you do.

28 Because you rage against me,

and the uproar you create has reached my ears;

I will put my hook in your nose,

and my bridle between your lips,

and I will lead you back the way

you came.”

29

This will be your confirmation that I have spoken the truth: This year you will eat what grows wild, and next year what grows on its own from that. But in the third year you will plant seed and harvest crops; you will plant vines and consume their produce. 30 Those who remain in Judah will take root in the ground and bear fruit.

31 For a remnant will leave Jerusalem;

survivors will come out of Mount Zion.

The intense devotion of the sovereign Lord to his people will accomplish this.

32 So this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:

“He will not enter this city,

nor will he shoot an arrow here.

He will not attack it with his shield-carrying warriors,

nor will he build siege works against it.

33 He will go back the way he came.

He will not enter this city,” says the Lord.

34 I will shield this city and rescue it for the sake of my reputation and because of my promise to David my servant.’”

35 That very night the Lord’s messenger went out and killed 185,000 men in the Assyrian camp. When they got up early the next morning, there were all the corpses. 36 So King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and went on his way. He went home and stayed in Nineveh. 37 One day, as he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword. They escaped to the land of Ararat; his son Esarhaddon replaced him as king.

The Creation
Adam and Eve
Cain and Abel
The Great Flood
The Tower of Babel
God Calls Abraham
Sodom and Gomorrah
Abraham's Obedience
Isaac Marries Rebekah
Esau's Birthright
Isaac Blesses Jacob
Jacob and Laban
Jacob Wrestles
Revenge against Shechem
Joseph in Prison
Joseph as a Ruler
Family Reunion
Moses' Birth
The Burning Bush
The Ten Plagues
The Exodus
The Red Sea
The Gold Calf
Exploring the Land
Rebellion in the Ranks
Balak and Balaam
Rahab and the Spies
Jericho Falls
Gibeon's Con Artists
Deborah and Barak
Gideon as Judge
Abimelech's Ambition
Samson as Judge
Ruth, Naomi and Boaz
Samuel is Born
Samuel the Prophet
Saul Becomes King
Jonathan's Bravery
Saul's Disobedience
David Kills Goliath
David and Jonathan
Nabal and Abigail
Saul's Death
David's Success
David and Bathsheba
Amnon and Tamar
Absalom
Solomon's Wisdom
Jeroboam and Rehoboam
Elijah's Challenge
God Speaks to Elijah
Micaiah the Prophet
Chariot of Fire
Elisha Heals Naaman
Famine and Unbelief
Joash and Jehoiada
Hezekiah Trusts God
Josiah's Reign
Fall of Jerusalem
David's Power
David's Census
Jehoshaphat and Ahab
Ezra Rebuilds the Altar
Nehemiah Builds the Wall
Enemy Opposition
Nehemiah's Justice
Esther Saves the Jews
Job is Tested
Ezekiel's Vision
The Fiery Furnace
The Lions' Den
Jonah
Jesus is Born
Wise Men and King Herod
Jesus is Tempted
Jesus Feeds 5,000
The Bread of Life
Jesus Walks on Water
The Good Samaritan
The Lost Son
Jesus Raises Lazarus
Jesus and Zacchaeus
The Triumphal Entry
The Last Supper
Jesus' Trial
Jesus' Crucifixion
Jesus' Resurrection
Jesus' Ascension
The Holy Spirit Comes
The Apostles' Courage
Ananias and Sapphira
Philip and the Eunuch
Saul Encounters Jesus
Peter and Cornelius
Paul in Corinth
Paul in Ephesus
Paul Goes to Rome