2 Kings 19The Message (MSG)
19 1-3 When Hezekiah heard it all, he too ripped his robes apart and dressed himself in rough burlap. Then he went into The Temple of God. He sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, all of them dressed in rough burlap, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They said to him, “A message from Hezekiah: ‘This is a black day, a terrible day—doomsday!
Babies poised to be born,
4 “‘Maybe God, your God, has been listening to the blasphemous speech of the Rabshakeh who was sent by the king of Assyria, his master, to humiliate the living God; maybe God, your God, won’t let him get by with such talk; and you, maybe you will lift up prayers for what’s left of these people.’”
5 That’s the message King Hezekiah’s servants delivered to Isaiah.
6-7 Isaiah answered them, “Tell your master, ‘God’s word: Don’t be at all concerned about what you’ve heard from the king of Assyria’s bootlicking errand boys—these outrageous blasphemies. Here’s what I’m going to do: Afflict him with self-doubt. He’s going to hear a rumor and, frightened for his life, retreat to his own country. Once there, I’ll see to it that he gets killed.’”
8-13 The Rabshakeh left and found that the king of Assyria had pulled up stakes from Lachish and was now fighting against Libnah. Then Sennacherib heard that Tirhakah king of Cush was on his way to fight against him. So he sent another envoy with orders to deliver this message to Hezekiah king of Judah: “Don’t let that god that you think so much of keep stringing you along with the line, ‘Jerusalem will never fall to the king of Assyria.’ That’s a barefaced lie. You know the track record of the kings of Assyria—country after country laid waste, devastated. And what makes you think you’ll be an exception? Take a good look at these wasted nations, destroyed by my ancestors; did their gods do them any good? Look at Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, the people of Eden at Tel Assar. Ruins. And what’s left of the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of Sepharvaim, of Hena, of Ivvah? Bones.”
14-15 Hezekiah took the letter from the envoy and read it. He went to The Temple of God and spread it out before God. And Hezekiah prayed—oh, how he prayed!
God, God of Israel, seated
16 Open your ears, God, and listen,
17 The facts are true, O God: The kings of Assyria
18 Huge bonfires they made of their gods, their
19 But now O God, our God,
20-21 It wasn’t long before Isaiah son of Amoz sent word to Hezekiah:
God’s word: You’ve prayed to me regarding Sennacherib king of Assyria; I’ve heard your prayer. This is my response to him:
The Virgin Daughter of Zion
22 Who do you think it is you’ve insulted?
23 You dispatched your errand boys
24 I’ve dug wells in faraway places
25 Did it never occur to you
26 Leaving their people dispirited,
27 I know when you sit down, when you come
28 It’s because of your temper,
29 And this, Hezekiah, will be for you the confirming sign:
This year you’ll eat the gleanings, next year
30 A remnant of the family of Judah yet again
31 The remnant will come from Jerusalem,
32 To sum up, this is what God says regarding the king of Assyria:
He won’t enter this city,
33 He’ll go home by the same road he came;
34 I’ll shield this city, I’ll save this city,
35 And it so happened that that very night an angel of God came and massacred 185,000 Assyrians. When the people of Jerusalem got up next morning, there it was—a whole camp of corpses!
36-37 Sennacherib king of Assyria got out of there fast, headed straight home for Nineveh, and stayed put. One day when he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer murdered him and then escaped to the land of Ararat. His son Esarhaddon became the next king.