Sennacherib Invades Judah

36 (A)Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, (B)Sennacherib king of Assyria marched against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them. And the (C)king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to King Hezekiah with a large army. And he stood by the (D)conduit of the upper pool on the road to the [a]fuller’s field. Then (E)Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and (F)Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the secretary, went out to him.

And (G)Rabshakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria says: “What is this confidence that you have? I say, ‘Your plan and strength for the war are only [b]empty words.’ Now on whom have you relied, that (H)you have revolted against me? Behold, you have relied on the (I)staff of this broken reed, on Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his [c]hand and pierce it. (J)So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who rely on him. But if you say to me, ‘We trust in the Lord our God,’ is it not He (K)whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away and has said to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar’? Now then, come make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to put riders on them! How then can you [d]drive back even one [e]official of the least of my master’s servants and [f](L)rely on Egypt for chariots and horsemen? 10 And have I now come up [g]without the Lords approval against this land to destroy it? (M)The Lord said to me, ‘Go up against this land and destroy it.’”’”

11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in (N)Aramaic, for we [h]understand it; and do not speak to us in [i](O)Judean [j]so that the people who are on the wall hear you.” 12 But Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me only to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, doomed to eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you?”

13 Then Rabshakeh stood and (P)called out with a loud voice in Judean and said, “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! 14 This is what the king says: ‘Do not let Hezekiah (Q)deceive you, for he will not be able to save you; 15 and do not let Hezekiah lead you to (R)rely on the Lord, saying, “The Lord will certainly save us. This city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria!” 16 Do not listen to Hezekiah,’ for this is what the king of Assyria says: ‘[k]Surrender to me and come out to me, and eat, each one, of his (S)vine and each of his fig tree, and each drink of the (T)waters of his own cistern, 17 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards. 18 Beware that Hezekiah does not mislead you, saying, “(U)The Lord will save us.” Has any one of the gods of the nations saved his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of (V)Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of (W)Sepharvaim? And when have they (X)saved Samaria from my hand? 20 Who among all the (Y)gods of these lands have saved their land from my hand, that the (Z)Lord would save Jerusalem from my hand?’”

21 But they were silent and did not (AA)answer him so much as a word; for the king’s command was, “Do not answer him.” 22 Then (AB)Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and (AC)Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the secretary, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and reported to him the words of Rabshakeh.

Hezekiah Seeks Isaiah’s Help

37 Now (AD)when King Hezekiah heard the report, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and entered the house of the Lord. Then he sent (AE)Eliakim, who was in charge of the household, with (AF)Shebna the scribe and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to (AG)Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz. And they said to him, “This is what Hezekiah says: ‘This day is a (AH)day of distress, rebuke, and humiliation; for (AI)children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to [l]deliver them. Perhaps the Lord your God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to (AJ)taunt the living God, and will avenge the words which the Lord your God has heard. Therefore, offer a prayer for (AK)the remnant that is left.’”

So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah. And Isaiah said to them, “This is what you shall say to your master: ‘This is what the Lord says: “(AL)Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. Behold, I am going to put a spirit in him so that he will (AM)hear news and (AN)return to his own land. And I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.”’”

Then Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria fighting against (AO)Libnah, for he had heard that [m]the king had left (AP)Lachish. Now he (AQ)heard them say regarding Tirhakah king of [n](AR)Cush, “He has come out to fight against you,” and when he heard it he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “This is what you shall say to Hezekiah king of [o]Judah: ‘(AS)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 (AT)Behold, you yourself have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the lands, destroying them completely. So will you be saved? 12 Did the gods of the nations which my fathers destroyed save them: (AU)Gozan, (AV)Haran, Rezeph, and the sons of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, and of Hena and Ivvah?’”

Hezekiah’s Prayer in the Temple

14 Then Hezekiah took the [p]letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the Lord and [q]spread it out before the Lord. 15 Hezekiah prayed to the Lord, saying, 16 Lord of armies, God of Israel, (AW)who is enthroned above the cherubim, You are the (AX)God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. (AY)You made heaven and earth. 17 (AZ)Incline Your ear, Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, Lord, and see; and (BA)listen to all the words of Sennacherib, who sent them to (BB)taunt the living God. 18 Truly, Lord, the (BC)kings of Assyria have laid waste all the countries and their lands, 19 and have thrown their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but only the (BD)work of human hands, wood and stone. So they have (BE)destroyed them. 20 But now Lord, our God, (BF)save us from his hand, so that (BG)all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, [r]Lord, are God.”

God Answers through Isaiah

21 Then (BH)Isaiah the son of Amoz sent word to Hezekiah, saying, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: ‘Because you have prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word that the Lord has spoken against him:

“She has shown contempt for you and derided you,
The (BI)virgin (BJ)daughter of Zion;
The daughter of Jerusalem has (BK)shaken her head behind you!
23 Whom have you (BL)taunted and blasphemed?
And against whom have you raised your voice
And [s]haughtily (BM)raised your eyes?
Against the (BN)Holy One of Israel!
24 Through your servants you have taunted the Lord,
And you have said, ‘With my many chariots I came up to the heights of the mountains,
To the remotest parts of (BO)Lebanon;
And I cut down its tall (BP)cedars and its choice junipers.
And I will come to its [t]highest peak, its thickest (BQ)forest.
25 I dug wells and drank waters,
And (BR)with the sole of my feet I dried up
All the canals of [u]Egypt.’
26 (BS)Have you not heard?
Long ago I did it,
From ancient times I (BT)planned it.
Now (BU)I have brought it about
That (BV)you would turn fortified cities into (BW)ruined heaps.
27 Therefore their inhabitants were [v]powerless,
They were shattered and put to shame;
They were like the (BX)vegetation of the field and the green grass,
Like (BY)grass on the housetops [w]that is scorched before it has grown.
28 But I (BZ)know your sitting down,
Your going out, your coming in,
And your raging against Me.
29 Because of your raging against Me
And because your (CA)complacency has come up to My ears,
I will put My (CB)hook in your nose
And My (CC)bridle in your lips,
And I will turn you back (CD)by the way that you came.

30 “Then this shall be the sign for you: [x]you will eat this year what (CE)grows of itself, in the second year what grows from the same, and in the third year sow, harvest, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 31 The (CF)survivors that are (CG)left of the house of Judah will again (CH)take root downward and bear fruit upward. 32 For out of Jerusalem a (CI)remnant will go, and out of Mount Zion survivors. The (CJ)zeal of the Lord of armies will perform this.”’

33 “Therefore, this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria: ‘He will not come to this city nor shoot an arrow there; and he will not come before it with a shield, nor heap up an (CK)assault ramp against it. 34 (CL)By the way that he came, by the same he will return, and he will not come to this city,’ declares the Lord. 35 ‘For I will (CM)protect this city to save it (CN)for My own sake, and for My servant David’s sake.’”

Assyrians Destroyed

36 Then the (CO)angel of the Lord went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when the rest got up early in the morning, behold, all of [y]the 185,000 were [z]dead. 37 So Sennacherib the king of Assyria departed and [aa]returned home and lived in (CP)Nineveh. 38 Then it came about, as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with the sword; and they escaped to the land of (CQ)Ararat. And his son (CR)Esarhaddon became king in his place.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 36:2 I.e., launderer’s
  2. Isaiah 36:5 Lit a word of lips
  3. Isaiah 36:6 Lit palm
  4. Isaiah 36:9 Lit turn away the face of
  5. Isaiah 36:9 Or governor
  6. Isaiah 36:9 Lit rely on for yourself
  7. Isaiah 36:10 Lit without the Lord
  8. Isaiah 36:11 Lit hear
  9. Isaiah 36:11 I.e., Hebrew
  10. Isaiah 36:11 Lit in the ears of...wall
  11. Isaiah 36:16 Lit Make with me a blessing
  12. Isaiah 37:3 Lit give birth
  13. Isaiah 37:8 Lit he
  14. Isaiah 37:9 Or Ethiopia
  15. Isaiah 37:10 Lit Judah, saying
  16. Isaiah 37:14 Lit letters
  17. Isaiah 37:14 Lit Hezekiah spread
  18. Isaiah 37:20 As in DSS and 2 Kin 19:19; MT are the Lord
  19. Isaiah 37:23 Lit on high
  20. Isaiah 37:24 Lit farthest height
  21. Isaiah 37:25 Or the besieged place
  22. Isaiah 37:27 Lit short of hand
  23. Isaiah 37:27 As in DSS and 2 Kin 19:26; MT and as a terraced field
  24. Isaiah 37:30 Lit eating
  25. Isaiah 37:36 Lit them
  26. Isaiah 37:36 Lit dead bodies
  27. Isaiah 37:37 Lit went and returned