2 Kings 19
New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised Catholic Edition
Hezekiah Consults Isaiah
19 When King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. 2 And he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 3 They said to him, ‘Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. 4 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.’ 5 When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, 6 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. 7 I myself will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumour and return to his own land; I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.”’
8 The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah; for he had heard that the king had left Lachish. 9 When the king[a] heard concerning King Tirhakah of Ethiopia,[b] ‘See, he has set out to fight against you’, he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying, 10 ‘Thus shall you speak to King Hezekiah of Judah: Do not let your God on whom you rely deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11 See, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, destroying them utterly. Shall you be delivered? 12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my predecessors 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; then 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, who are enthroned above the cherubim, you are 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; 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 hurled their gods into the fire, though they were no gods but the work of human hands—wood and stone—and so they were destroyed. 19 So now, O Lord our God, save us, I pray you, from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Lord, are God alone.’
20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I have heard your prayer to me about King Sennacherib of Assyria. 21 This is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him:
She despises you, she scorns you—
virgin daughter Zion;
she tosses her head—behind your back,
22 ‘Whom have you mocked and reviled?
Against whom have you raised your voice
and haughtily lifted your eyes?
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 retreat,
its densest forest.
24 I dug wells
and drank foreign waters,
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 make fortified cities
crash into heaps of ruins,
26 while their inhabitants, shorn of strength,
are dismayed and confounded;
they 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 rising[c] and your sitting,
your going out and coming in,
and your raging against me.
28 Because you have raged against me
and your arrogance has come to my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
and my bit in your mouth;
I will turn you back on the way
by which you came.
29 ‘And this shall be the sign for you: This year you shall eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs from that; then in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 30 The surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downwards, and bear fruit upwards; 31 for from Jerusalem a remnant shall go out, and from Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
32 ‘Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city, shoot an arrow there, come before it with a shield, or cast up a siege-ramp against it. 33 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return; he shall not come into this city, says the Lord. 34 For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.’
Sennacherib’s Defeat and Death
35 That very night the angel of the Lord set out and struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians; when morning dawned, they were all dead bodies. 36 Then King Sennacherib of Assyria left, went home, and lived at Nineveh. 37 As he was worshipping in the house of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped into the land of Ararat. His son Esar-haddon succeeded him.
2 Kings 19
New International Version
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. 2 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. 3 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. 4 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.”
5 When King Hezekiah’s officials came to Isaiah, 6 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. 7 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)’”
9 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)
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.”
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.
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.
- 2 Kings 19:9 That is, the upper Nile region