Isaiah 36-39 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
G. Historical Appendix[a]
Invasion of Sennacherib. 1 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, went up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.[b] 2 From Lachish the king of Assyria sent his commander with a great army to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. When he stopped at the conduit of the upper pool, on the highway of the fuller’s field, 3 there came out to him the master of the palace, Eliakim, son of Hilkiah, and Shebna the scribe, and the chancellor, Joah, son of Asaph. 4 The commander said to them, “Tell Hezekiah: Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you base this trust of yours? 5 Do you think mere words substitute for strategy and might in war? In whom, then, do you place your trust, that you rebel against me? 6 Do you trust in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it? That is what Pharaoh, king of Egypt, is to all who trust in him. 7 Or do you say to me: It is in the Lord, our God, we trust? Is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed,[c] commanding Judah and Jerusalem, ‘Worship before this altar’?
8 “Now, make a wager with my lord, the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able to put riders on them. 9 How then can you turn back even a captain, one of the least servants of my lord, trusting, as you do, in Egypt for chariots and horses? 10 Did I come up to destroy this land without the Lord? The Lord himself said to me, Go up and destroy that land!”
11 Then Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to the commander, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic; we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within earshot of the people who are on the wall.”[d]
12 But the commander replied, “Was it to your lord and to you that my lord sent me to speak these words? Was it not rather to those sitting on the wall, who, with you, will have to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?” 13 Then the commander stepped forward and cried out in a loud voice in the language of Judah, “Listen to the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. 14 Thus says the king: Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he cannot rescue you. 15 And do not let Hezekiah induce you to trust in the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord will surely rescue us, and this city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.’ 16 Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria:
Make peace with me
18 Do not let Hezekiah seduce you by saying, ‘The Lord will rescue us.’ Has any of the gods of the nations rescued his land from the power of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Where are the gods of Samaria? Have they saved Samaria from my power? 20 Who among all the gods of these lands ever rescued their land from my power, that the Lord should save Jerusalem from my power?” 21 But they remained silent and did not answer at all, for the king’s command was, “Do not answer him.”
22 Then the master of the palace, Eliakim, son of Hilkiah, Shebna the scribe, and the chancellor Joah, son of Asaph, came to Hezekiah with their garments torn, and reported to him the words of the commander.
1 [e]When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his garments, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. 2 He sent Eliakim, the master of the palace, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to tell the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz,
3 “Thus says Hezekiah:
4 Perhaps the Lord, your God, will hear the words of the commander, whom his lord, the king of Assyria, sent to taunt the living God, and will rebuke him for the words which the Lord, your God, has heard. So lift up a prayer for the remnant that is here.”
5 When the servants of King Hezekiah had come to Isaiah, 6 he said to them: “Tell this to your lord: Thus says the Lord: Do not be frightened by the words you have heard, by which the deputies of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.
7 I am putting in him such a spirit
8 When the commander, on his return, heard that the king of Assyria had withdrawn from Lachish, he found him besieging Libnah. 9 The king of Assyria heard a report: “Tirhakah,[g] king of Ethiopia, has come out to fight against you.” Again he sent messengers to Hezekiah to say: 10 “Thus shall you say to Hezekiah, king of Judah: Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by saying, ‘Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.’ 11 You, certainly, have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the lands: they put them under the ban! And are you to be delivered? 12 Did the gods of the nations whom my fathers destroyed deliver them—Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the Edenites in Telassar? 13 Where are the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, or a king of the cities Sepharvaim, Hena or Ivvah?”
14 Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; then he went up to the house of the Lord, and spreading it out before the Lord, 15 Hezekiah prayed to the Lord:
16 “Lord of hosts, God of Israel,
21 [i]Then Isaiah, son of Amoz, sent this message to Hezekiah: “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you have prayed concerning Sennacherib, king of Assyria: I have listened! 22 This is the word the Lord has spoken concerning him:
She despises you, laughs you to scorn,
33 Therefore, thus says the Lord about the king of Assyria:
He shall not come as far as this city,
36 Then the angel of the Lord went forth and struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. Early the next morning, there they were, all those corpses, dead![k] 37 So Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, broke camp, departed, returned home, and stayed in Nineveh.
38 When he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword and fled into the land of Ararat.[l] His son Esarhaddon reigned in his place.
Sickness and Recovery of Hezekiah. 1 [m]In those days,[n] when Hezekiah was mortally ill, the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, came and said to him: “Thus says the Lord: Put your house in order, for you are about to die; you shall not recover.” 2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord:
3 “Ah, Lord, remember how faithfully and wholeheartedly I conducted myself in your presence, doing what was good in your sight!” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4 Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: 5 Go, tell Hezekiah:[o] Thus says the Lord, the God of your father David: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Now I will add fifteen years to your life. 6 I will rescue you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; I will be a shield to this city.
7 This will be the sign for you from the Lord that the Lord will carry out the word he has spoken: 8 See, I will make the shadow cast by the sun on the stairway to the terrace of Ahaz[p] go back the ten steps it has advanced. So the sun came back the ten steps it had advanced.
Hezekiah’s Hymn of Thanksgiving. 9 The song of Hezekiah, king of Judah, after he had been sick and had recovered from his illness:
10 In the noontime of life[q] I said,
21 [w]Then Isaiah said, “Bring a poultice of figs and apply it to the boil for his recovery.” 22 Hezekiah asked, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord?”
Embassy from Merodach-baladan. 1 At that time Merodach-baladan,[x] son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and gifts to Hezekiah, when he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. 2 Hezekiah was pleased at their coming, and then showed the messengers his treasury, the silver and gold, the spices and perfumed oil, his whole armory, and everything in his storerooms; there was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them.
3 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did these men say to you? Where did they come from?” Hezekiah replied, “They came to me from a distant land, from Babylon.” 4 He asked, “What did they see in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They saw everything in my house. There is nothing in my storerooms that I did not show them.” 5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: 6 The time is coming when all that is in your house, everything that your ancestors have stored up until this day, shall be carried off to Babylon;[y] nothing shall be left, says the Lord. 7 Some of your own descendants, your progeny, shall be taken and made attendants in the palace of the king of Babylon.” 8 Hezekiah replied to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good.”[z] For he thought, “There will be peace and stability in my lifetime.”