2 Kings 19 International Standard Version (ISV)
Isaiah Encourages Hezekiah
19 When King Hezekiah heard Eliakim’s report,[a] he tore his clothes, put on a sackcloth covering, entered the Lord’s Temple, 2 and sent Eliakim the household supervisor, Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests—all of them covered in sackcloth—to Amoz’s son, the prophet Isaiah. 3 They announced to him:
“This is what Hezekiah says: ‘Today is a day of trouble, rebuke, and blasphemy,[b] because children are about to be born, but there is no strength to bring them to birth. 4 Perhaps the Lord your God will take note of everything that Rab-shakeh has said, whom his master the king of Assyria sent to taunt the living God, and then he will rebuke the words that the Lord your God has heard. Therefore offer a prayer for the survivors who remain.’”
5 That is how the King Hezekiah’s servants approached Isaiah.
6 In reply, Isaiah responded to them, “Here’s how you’re to report to your master:
‘This is what the Lord says: “Never be afraid of the words that you have heard by which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7 Look! I’m going to cause an attitude[c] to grow within him so that he’ll hear a rumor and return to his own territory, where I’ll make him die by the sword in his own land!”’”
Sennacherib Defies God
8 So Rab-shakeh returned and found the king of Assyria at war with Libnah, because Rab-shakeh had heard that the king had left Lachish. 9 When he heard that it was being said about King Tirhakah of Ethiopia,[d] “Look! He has come out to attack you!” he again sent messengers to Hezekiah.
The messengers were told, 10 “This is what you are to say to King Hezekiah of Judah: ‘Don’t let your God in whom you trust deceive you by telling you[e] “Jerusalem won’t be turned over to the control[f] of Assyria’s king.” 11 ‘Look! you’ve heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the lands—they completely destroyed them! Will you be spared? 12 Did the gods of those nations whom my ancestors destroyed deliver them, including Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and Eden’s descendants in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sephar-vaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?’”
Hezekiah’s Prayer for Help
14 Hezekiah took the messages from the couriers, read them, went up to the Lord’s Temple, and laid them out in the presence of the Lord. 15 Then Hezekiah prayed in the presence of the Lord, “Lord God of Israel! You live between the cherubim! You alone are the God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have fashioned the heavens and the earth. 16 Turn[g] your ear, Lord, and listen! Open your eyes, Lord, and observe! Listen to the message sent by Sennacherib to insult the living God! 17 Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria have devastated nations and their territories, 18 throwing their gods into the fire, since they weren’t gods but rather were the product of men’s handiwork—wood and stone. And so they destroyed them. 19 Now, Lord our God, I’m praying that you will deliver us from his control, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God!”
God’s Answer through Isaiah the Prophet
20 Then Amoz’s son Isaiah sent word to Hezekiah, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: ‘Because you have prayed to me about King Sennacherib of Assyria, I have listened.’”
21 “This is what the Lord has spoken against him:
‘She despises and mocks you,
25 ‘Didn’t you hear?
27 ‘But when you sit down,
29 “This will serve as a sign for you: you’ll eat this year from what grows by itself, in the second year what grows from that, and in the third year you’ll sow, reap, plant vineyards, and enjoy[j] their fruit. 30 Those who survive from Judah’s household will again put down deep roots and bear fruit extensively,[k] 31 because a remnant will go out from Jerusalem, and survivors from Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord[l] will bring this about.”
32 “Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria: ‘Not only will he not approach this city or shoot an arrow in its direction, he won’t approach it with so much as a shield, nor will he throw up a siege ramp against it. 33 He’ll return on the same route by which he came—he won’t come to this city,’ declares the Lord. 34 ‘I will defend this city and preserve it for my own reasons, and because of my servant David.’”
God Destroys the Assyrian Army
35 That very night, the angel of the Lord went out to the camp of the Assyrian army and killed 185,000 men. Early the next morning, when the army of Israel[m] arose, all 185,000 soldiers[n] were dead. 36 As a result, King Sennacherib of Assyria left and returned to Nineveh where he lived. 37 Later on, as he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, Adrammelech[o] and Sharezer killed him with a sword and fled into the territory of Ararat. Then Sennacherib’s[p] son Esarhaddon became king in his place.
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