Isaiah 36-39 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
Sennacherib threatens Jerusalem
36 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. 2 Then the king of Assyria sent his field commander with a large army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. When the commander stopped at the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field, 3 Eliakim son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went out to him.
4 The field commander said to them, ‘Tell Hezekiah:
‘“This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: on what are you basing this confidence of yours? 5 You say you have counsel and might for war – but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me? 6 Look, I know you are depending on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff, which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him. 7 But if you say to me, ‘We are depending on the Lord our God’– isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship before this altar’?
8 ‘“Come now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses – if you can put riders on them! 9 How then can you repulse one officer of the least of my master’s officials, even though you are depending on Egypt for chariots and horsemen[a]? 10 Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this land without the Lord? The Lord himself told me to march against this country and destroy it.”’
11 Then Eliakim, Shebna and Joah said to the field commander, ‘Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, since we understand it. Don’t speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people on the wall.’
12 But the commander replied, ‘Was it only to your master and you that my master sent me to say these things, and not to the people sitting on the wall – who, like you, will have to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?’
13 Then the commander stood and called out in Hebrew, ‘Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! 14 This is what the king says: do not let Hezekiah deceive you. He cannot deliver you! 15 Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord when he says, “The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.”
16 ‘Do not listen to Hezekiah. This is what the king of Assyria says: make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig-tree and drink water from your own cistern, 17 until I come and take you to a land like your own – a land of corn and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards.
18 ‘Do not let Hezekiah mislead you when he says, “The Lord will deliver us.” Have the gods of any nations ever delivered their lands from the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they rescued Samaria from my hand? 20 Who of all the gods of these countries have been able to save their lands from me? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’
21 But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, ‘Do not answer him.’
22 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went to Hezekiah, with their clothes torn, and told him what the field commander had said.
Jerusalem’s deliverance foretold
37 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord. 2 He sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and the leading priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 3 They told him, ‘This is what Hezekiah says: this day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the moment of birth and there is no strength to deliver them. 4 It may be that the Lord your God will hear the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to ridicule the living God, and that he will rebuke him for the words the Lord your God has heard. Therefore pray for the remnant that still survives.’
5 When King Hezekiah’s officials came to Isaiah, 6 Isaiah said to them, ‘Tell your master, “This is what the Lord says: do not be afraid of what you have heard – those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7 Listen! When he hears a certain report, I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.”’
8 When the field commander heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish, he withdrew and found the king fighting against Libnah.
9 Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakah, the king of Cush,[b] was marching out to fight against him. When he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word: 10 ‘Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, “Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.” 11 Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered? 12 Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my predecessors deliver them – the gods of Gozan, Harran, Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath or the king of Arpad? Where are the kings of Lair, Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah?’
14 Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: 16 ‘Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 17 Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to all the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.
18 ‘It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste all these peoples and their lands. 19 They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. 20 Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, Lord, are the only God.[c]’
21 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word the Lord has spoken against him:
‘Virgin Daughter Zion
26 ‘Have you not heard?
28 ‘But I know where you are
30 ‘This will be the sign for you, Hezekiah:
‘This year you will eat what grows by itself,
33 ‘Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria:
‘He will not enter this city
36 Then the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning – there were all the dead bodies! 37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.
38 One day, while he was worshipping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king.
38 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, ‘This is what the Lord says: put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.’
2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 ‘Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.’ And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4 Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: 5 ‘Go and tell Hezekiah, “This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. 6 And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city.
7 ‘“This is the Lord’s sign to you that the Lord will do what he has promised: 8 I will make the shadow cast by the sun go back the ten steps it has gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.”’ So the sunlight went back the ten steps it had gone down.
9 A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah after his illness and recovery:
10 I said, ‘In the prime of my life
15 But what can I say?
20 The Lord will save me,
21 Isaiah had said, ‘Prepare a poultice of figs and apply it to the boil, and he will recover.’
22 Hezekiah had asked, ‘What will be the sign that I will go up to the temple of the Lord?’
Envoys from Babylon
39 At that time Marduk-Baladan son of Baladan king of Babylon sent Hezekiah letters and a gift, because he had heard of his illness and recovery. 2 Hezekiah received the envoys gladly and showed them what was in his storehouses – the silver, the gold, the spices, the fine olive oil – his entire armoury and everything found among his treasures. There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.
3 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked, ‘What did those men say, and where did they come from?’
‘From a distant land,’ Hezekiah replied. ‘They came to me from Babylon.’
4 The prophet asked, ‘What did they see in your palace?’
‘They saw everything in my palace,’ Hezekiah said. ‘There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.’
5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord Almighty: 6 the time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord. 7 And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’
8 ‘The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,’ Hezekiah replied. For he thought, ‘There will be peace and security in my lifetime.’