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Hezekiah Consults Isaiah

37 And this happened: When King Hezekiah heard, he tore his garments, covered himself with sackcloth, and entered the temple[a] of Yahweh. And he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of[b] the palace,[c] and Shebna the secretary, and the elders of the priests covered[d] with sackcloth to Isaiah son of Amoz, the prophet. And they said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah: ‘This day is a day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace, for children have come to the cervical opening, and there is no strength to give birth. Maybe Yahweh your God heard the words of Rabshakeh whom the king of Assyria, his master, has sent to taunt the living God, and he will rebuke the words that Yahweh your God hears. And you must lift up a prayer for the benefit of the remnant that is found.’”

When[e] the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, “You must say this to your master: ‘Thus says Yahweh: “You must not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. Look! I am about to put[f] a spirit in him so that[g] he shall hear a rumor and he shall return to his land, and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his land.”’”

And Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he had heard that he had left from Lachish. Now[h] he[i] heard concerning Tirhakah the king of Cush, saying, “He has set out to fight against[j] you.”

When[k] he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “You shall say this to Hezekiah, king of Judah: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust in him deceive you by saying, “Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 11 Look! you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands to destroy them, and you—shall you be delivered? 12 Did the gods of the nations that my predecessors[l] destroyed deliver them—Gozan, 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, Hena, or[m] Ivvah?’”

Hezekiah’s Prayer

14 And Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers, and he read[n] it. Then[o] he went up to the temple[p] of Yahweh, and Hezekiah spread it out before the presence[q] of Yahweh. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to Yahweh, saying, 16 “Yahweh of hosts, God of Israel who is enthroned on[r] the cherubim, you are the one, God by yourself, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you are the one who made the heavens and the earth. 17 Yahweh, extend your ear and hear! Yahweh, open your eyes and see, and hear all the words of Sennacherib that he has sent to taunt the living God! 18 Truly, Yahweh, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the lands[s] and their land, 19 to set[t] their gods in the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of human hands, wood and stone, and they destroyed them. 20 So[u] now, Yahweh, our God, save us from his hand so that[v] all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you are Yahweh, you alone!”

God’s Answer

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

She shows contempt for you; she derides you, virgin daughter of Zion;
    she shakes her head behind you, daughter of Jerusalem.
23 Whom have you taunted and blasphemed,
    and against whom have you raised up your voice and lifted your eyes upward?

To the holy one of Israel!

24 By the hand of your servants you have taunted the Lord,
    and you have said, “With my many chariots,[x]
I myself have gone up the height of the mountains,
    to the remote areas of Lebanon.
And I cut off its tall cedars,[y]
    the choicest of its junipers.
And I came to the height of its limit,
    the forest of its orchard.[z]
25 I myself dug and drank waters,
    and I caused all the streams of Egypt to dry up by the sole of my feet.”
26 Have you not heard from a long time ago?[aa] I have made it
    from days of primeval time, and I formed it.
Now I have brought it about,
    and it is for fortified cities to collapse into heaps of destroyed stones.
27 And their inhabitants are weak;[ab]
    they are dismayed, and they are ashamed;
they have become like plants[ac] of the field,
    and like greens of grass,
like grass on[ad] the roofs
    and a cultivated field before[ae] the standing grain.
28 And I know your sitting down and your going out,
    and your coming in, and your raging against[af] me.
29 Because you were enraged against[ag] me,
    and your noise[ah] has come up to[ai] my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
    and my bridle on your lips,
and I will turn you back
    on the way by which you came.

30 And this shall be the sign for you: the eating of volunteer plants[aj] this[ak] year, and in the second year self-seeded plants,[al] and in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 31 And the remnant of the house of Judah that remain shall grow[am] roots[an] downwards and make fruit upwards.

32 For a remnant shall go out from Jerusalem
    and survivors[ao] from mountain Zion.

The zeal of Yahweh of hosts will do this.’

33 Therefore thus says Yahweh concerning[ap] the king of Assyria:

‘He shall not come to this city,
    and he shall not shoot an arrow there,
and he shall not meet it with a shield,
    and he shall not heap a siege ramp up against her.
34 He shall return by the way that he came,
    and he shall not come to this city,’

declares[aq] Yahweh.

35 ‘And I will defend this city, to save it for my sake and for the sake of David, my servant.’”

Sennacherib’s Defeat

36 And the angel of Yahweh set out and struck one hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. When[ar] they rose in the morning, look! All of them were dead corpses. 37 Then[as] Sennacherib king of Assyria left, went, and returned and lived at Nineveh. 38 And this happened: he was bowing in worship in the house of Nisroch his god, and Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him with the sword. And they themselves escaped to the land of Ararat, and Esar-haddon his son reigned as king in his place.


  1. Isaiah 37:1 Or “house”
  2. Isaiah 37:2 Literally “over”
  3. Isaiah 37:2 Or “house”
  4. Isaiah 37:2 Literally “covering themselves”
  5. Isaiah 37:5 Or “And”
  6. Isaiah 37:7 Literally “give”
  7. Isaiah 37:7 Or “and”
  8. Isaiah 37:9 Or “And”
  9. Isaiah 37:9 That is, the king
  10. Isaiah 37:9 Or “with”
  11. Isaiah 37:9 Or “And”
  12. Isaiah 37:12 Literally “fathers”
  13. Isaiah 37:13 Or “and”
  14. Isaiah 37:14 Or “called”
  15. Isaiah 37:14 Or “And”
  16. Isaiah 37:14 Or “house”
  17. Isaiah 37:14 Literally “face”
  18. Isaiah 37:16 Literally “sitting”
  19. Isaiah 37:18 The parallel text in 2 Kings has “nations”
  20. Isaiah 37:19 Literally “give”
  21. Isaiah 37:20 Or “And”
  22. Isaiah 37:20 Or “and”
  23. Isaiah 37:21 Literally “to”
  24. Isaiah 37:24 Hebrew “chariot”
  25. Isaiah 37:24 Literally “the height of its cedars”
  26. Isaiah 37:24 Or “Carmel”
  27. Isaiah 37:26 Literally “distant”
  28. Isaiah 37:27 Literally “short of hand”
  29. Isaiah 37:27 Hebrew “plant”
  30. Isaiah 37:27 Or “of”
  31. Isaiah 37:27 Literally “before the face of”
  32. Isaiah 37:28 Literally “to”
  33. Isaiah 37:29 Literally “to”
  34. Isaiah 37:29 Or “complacency”
  35. Isaiah 37:29 Literally “in”
  36. Isaiah 37:30 Hebrew “plant”
  37. Isaiah 37:30 Literally “the”
  38. Isaiah 37:30 Hebrew “plant”
  39. Isaiah 37:31 Literally “add”
  40. Isaiah 37:31 Hebrew “root”
  41. Isaiah 37:32 Hebrew “survivor”
  42. Isaiah 37:33 Or “to”
  43. Isaiah 37:34 Literally “declaration of”
  44. Isaiah 37:36 Or “And”
  45. Isaiah 37:37 Or “And”