Isaiah Reassures Hezekiah

19 (A)As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, (B)he tore his clothes and (C)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, (D)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. (E)It may be that the Lord your God heard all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent (F)to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the Lord your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for (G)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 (H)the servants of the king of Assyria have (I)reviled me. Behold, I will put a spirit in him, so that (J)he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will make him (K)fall by the sword in his own land.’”

Sennacherib Defies the Lord

The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against (L)Libnah, for he heard that the king had left (M)Lachish. (N)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 (O)in whom you trust deceive you by promising that (P)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 (Q)Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my fathers destroyed, (R)Gozan, (S)Haran, Rezeph, and the people of (T)Eden who were in Telassar? 13 (U)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?’”

Hezekiah's Prayer

14 Hezekiah received (V)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, (W)enthroned above the cherubim, (X)you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 16 (Y)Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; (Z)open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent (AA)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, (AB)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, (AC)that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that (AD)you, O Lord, are God alone.”

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Hezekiah Seeks Isaiah's Help

37 (A)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 (B)Isaiah the son of Amoz. They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, ‘This day is a (C)day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; (D)children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. (E)It may be that the Lord your God will hear 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 (F)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 young men of the king of Assyria have reviled me. Behold, (G)I will put a spirit in him, so that (H)he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and (I)I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.’”

The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against (J)Libnah, for he had heard that the king had left (K)Lachish. Now the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of (L)Cush,[a] “He has set out to fight against you.” And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: (M)‘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 (N)Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my fathers destroyed, (O)Gozan, (P)Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 (Q)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?’”

Hezekiah's Prayer for Deliverance

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 to the Lord: 16 “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, (R)enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; (S)you have made heaven and earth. 17 (T)Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear (U)all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 18 Truly, O Lord, (V)the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, 19 and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. 20 So now, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord.”

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Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 37:9 Probably Nubia

Sennacherib Blasphemes

After this, Sennacherib king of Assyria, who was besieging Lachish with all his forces, sent his servants to Jerusalem to Hezekiah king of Judah and to all the people of Judah who were in Jerusalem, saying, 10 “Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria, ‘On what are you trusting, that you endure the siege in Jerusalem? 11 Is not Hezekiah misleading you, that he may give you over to die by famine and by thirst, when he tells you, “The Lord our God will deliver us from the hand of the king of Assyria”? 12 (A)Has not this same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, “Before one altar you shall worship, and on it you shall burn your sacrifices”? 13 Do you not know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of other lands? Were the gods of the nations of those lands at all able to deliver their lands out of my hand? 14 Who among all the gods of those nations that my fathers devoted to destruction was able to deliver his people from my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you from my hand? 15 Now, therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you in this fashion, and do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand or from the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you out of my hand!’”

16 And his servants said still more against the Lord God and against his servant Hezekiah. 17 And he wrote letters to cast contempt on the Lord, the God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, “Like the gods of the nations of the lands who have not delivered their people from my hands, so the God of Hezekiah will not deliver his people from my hand.” 18 And they shouted it with a loud voice in the language of Judah to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten and terrify them, in order that they might take the city. 19 And they spoke of the God of Jerusalem as they spoke of the gods of the peoples of the earth, which are the work of men's hands.

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Isaiah Prophesies Sennacherib's Fall

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 (A)I have heard. 21 This is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him:

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

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

25 “Have you not heard
    that (L)I determined it long ago?
I planned from days of old
    what (M)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 (N)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
    (O)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 (P)put my hook in your nose
    and my bit in your mouth,
and (Q)I will turn you back on the way
    by which you came.

29 “And this shall be (R)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 (S)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 (T)a band of survivors. (U)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 (V)cast up a siege mound against it. 33 (W)By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the Lord. 34 (X)For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake (Y)and for the sake of my servant David.”

35 And that night (Z)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 (AA)Nineveh. 37 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, (AB)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.

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Sennacherib's Fall

21 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him:

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

23 “‘Whom have you mocked and reviled?
    Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted your eyes to the heights?
    Against (B)the Holy One of Israel!
24 By your servants you have mocked the Lord,
    and you have said, (C)With my many chariots
I have gone up the heights of the mountains,
    to the far recesses of Lebanon,
(D)to cut down its tallest cedars,
    its choicest cypresses,
to come to its remotest height,
    its most fruitful forest.
25 I dug wells
    and drank waters,
to dry up with the sole of my foot
    all (E)the streams (F)of Egypt.

26 (G)“‘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,
27 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[a] before it is grown.

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

30 “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 and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 31 And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah (J)shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 32 (K)For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. (L)The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

33 “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 (M)cast up a siege mound against it. 34 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the Lord. 35 (N)For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for (O)the sake of my servant David.”

36 (P)And 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. 37 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at (Q)Nineveh. 38 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword. And after they escaped into the land of (R)Ararat, (S)Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.

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Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 37:27 Some Hebrew manuscripts and 2 Kings 19:26; most Hebrew manuscripts a field

The Lord Delivers Jerusalem

20 Then Hezekiah the king and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, prayed because of this and cried to heaven. 21 And the Lord sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty warriors and commanders and officers in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with (A)shame of face to his own land. And when he came into the house of his god, some of his own sons struck him down there with the sword. 22 So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria and from the hand of all his enemies, and he provided for them on every side. 23 And many (B)brought gifts to the Lord to Jerusalem and precious things to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations from that time onward.

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