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2 Kings 18:13-19:37

Sennacherib’s Invasion

13 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Assyria’s King Sennacherib attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. 14 So King Hezekiah of Judah sent word to the king of Assyria at Lachish: “I have done wrong; withdraw from me. Whatever you demand from me, I will pay.” The king of Assyria demanded eleven tons[a] of silver and one ton[b] of gold from King Hezekiah of Judah. 15 So Hezekiah gave him all the silver found in the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the king’s palace.

16 At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the Lord’s sanctuary and from the doorposts he had overlaid and gave it to the king of Assyria.

17 Then the king of Assyria sent the field marshal, the chief of staff, and his royal spokesman, along with a massive army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. They advanced and came to Jerusalem, and[c] they took their position by the aqueduct of the upper pool, by the road to the Launderer’s Field. 18 They called for the king, but Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebnah the court secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian, came out to them.

The Royal Spokesman’s Speech

19 Then the royal spokesman said to them, “Tell Hezekiah this is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: ‘What are you relying on?[d] 20 You think mere words are strategy and strength for war. Who are you now relying on so that you have rebelled against me? 21 Now look, you are relying on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff that will pierce the hand of anyone who grabs it and leans on it. This is what Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who rely on him. 22 Suppose you say to me, “We rely on the Lord our God.” Isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You must worship at this altar in Jerusalem”?’

23 “So now, make a bargain with my master the king of Assyria. I’ll give you two thousand horses if you’re able to supply riders for them! 24 How then can you drive back a single officer among the least of my master’s servants? How can you rely on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 25 Now, have I attacked this place to destroy it without the Lord’s approval? The Lord said to me, ‘Attack this land and destroy it.’”

26 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, Shebnah, and Joah said to the royal spokesman, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, since we understand it. Don’t speak with us in Hebrew[e] within earshot of the people on the wall.”

27 But the royal spokesman said to them, “Has my master sent me to speak these words only to your master and to you? Hasn’t he also sent me to the men who sit on the wall, destined with you to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?”

28 The royal spokesman stood and called out loudly in Hebrew: “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria. 29 This is what the king says: ‘Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you; he can’t rescue you from my power. 30 Don’t let Hezekiah persuade you to rely on the Lord by saying, “Certainly the Lord will rescue us! This city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.”’

31 “Don’t listen to Hezekiah, for this is what the king of Assyria says: ‘Make peace[f] with me and surrender to me. Then each of you may eat from his own vine and his own fig tree, and each may drink water from his own cistern 32 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, a land of olive trees and honey—so that you may live and not die. But don’t listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you, saying, “The Lord will rescue us.” 33 Has any of the gods of the nations ever rescued his land from the power of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?[g] Have they rescued Samaria from my power? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands has rescued his land from my power? So will the Lord rescue Jerusalem from my power?’”

36 But the people kept silent; they did not answer him at all, for the king’s command was, “Don’t answer him.” 37 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and reported to him the words of the royal spokesman.

Hezekiah Seeks Isaiah’s Counsel

19 When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the Lord’s temple. He sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and the leading priests, who were wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They said to him, “This is what Hezekiah says: ‘Today is a day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace, for children have come to the point of birth, but there is no strength to deliver them. Perhaps the Lord your God will hear all the words of the royal spokesman, whom his master the king of Assyria sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke him for the words that the Lord your God has heard. Therefore, offer a prayer for the surviving remnant.’”

So the servants of King Hezekiah went to Isaiah, who said to them, “Tell your master, ‘The Lord says this: Don’t be afraid because of the words you have heard, with which the king of Assyria’s attendants have blasphemed me. I am about to put a spirit in him, and he will hear a rumor and return to his own land, where I will cause him to fall by the sword.’”

Sennacherib’s Departing Threat

When the royal spokesman heard that the king of Assyria had pulled out of Lachish, he left and found him fighting against Libnah. The king had heard concerning King Tirhakah of Cush, “Look, he has set out to fight against you.” So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Say this to King Hezekiah of Judah: ‘Don’t let your God, on whom you rely, deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria. 11 Look, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries: They completely destroyed them. Will you be rescued? 12 Did the gods of the nations that my predecessors destroyed rescue them—nations such as Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the Edenites in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of[h] Sepharvaim, Hena, or Ivvah?’”

Hezekiah’s Prayer

14 Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers’ hands, read it, then went up to the Lord’s temple, and spread it out before the Lord. 15 Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord:

Lord God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you are God—you alone—of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. 16 Listen closely, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see. Hear the words that Sennacherib has sent to mock the living God. 17 Lord, it is true that the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but made by human hands—wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. 19 Now, Lord our God, please save us from his power so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, Lord, are God—you alone.

God’s Answer through Isaiah

20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “The Lord, the God of Israel says, ‘I have heard your prayer to me about King Sennacherib of Assyria.’ 21 This is the word the Lord has spoken against him:

Virgin Daughter Zion
despises you and scorns you;
Daughter Jerusalem
shakes her head behind your back.
22 Who is it you mocked and blasphemed?
Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted your eyes in pride?
Against the Holy One of Israel!
23 You have mocked the Lord[i] through[j] your messengers.
You have said, ‘With my many chariots
I have gone up to the heights of the mountains,
to the far recesses of Lebanon.
I cut down its tallest cedars,
its choice cypress trees.
I came to its farthest outpost,
its densest forest.
24 I dug wells
and drank water in foreign lands.
I dried up all the streams of Egypt
with the soles of my feet.’

25 Have you not heard?
I designed it long ago;
I planned it in days gone by.
I have now brought it to pass,
and you have crushed fortified cities
into piles of rubble.
26 Their inhabitants have become powerless,
dismayed, and ashamed.
They are plants of the field,
tender grass,
grass on the rooftops,
blasted by the east wind.[k]

27 But I know your sitting down,
your going out and your coming in,
and your raging against me.
28 Because your raging against me
and your arrogance have reached my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
and my bit in your mouth;
I will make you go back
the way you came.

29 “This will be the sign for you: This year you will eat what grows on its own, and in the second year what grows from that. But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 30 The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 31 For a remnant will go out from Jerusalem, and survivors, from Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.

32 Therefore, this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:
He will not enter this city,
shoot an arrow here,
come before it with a shield,
or build up a siege ramp against it.
33 He will go back
the way he came,
and he will not enter this city.

This is the Lord’s declaration.

34 I will defend this city and rescue it
for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.”

Defeat and Death of Sennacherib

35 That night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 36 So King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and left. He returned home and lived in Nineveh.

37 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword and escaped to the land of Ararat. Then his son Esar-haddon became king in his place.

Footnotes:

  1. 18:14 Lit 300 talents
  2. 18:14 Lit 30 talents
  3. 18:17 LXX, Syr, Vg; MT reads and came and
  4. 18:19 Lit ‘What is this trust which you trust
  5. 18:26 Lit Judahite, also in v. 28
  6. 18:31 Lit a blessing
  7. 18:34 Some LXX mss, Old Lat read Sepharvaim? Where are the gods of the land of Samaria?
  8. 19:13 Or king of Lair,
  9. 19:23 Many mss read Lord
  10. 19:23 Lit by the hand of
  11. 19:26 DSS; MT reads blasted before standing grain; Is 37:27
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Acts 21:1-17

Warnings on the Journey to Jerusalem

21 After we tore ourselves away from them, we set sail straight for Cos, the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. Finding a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we boarded and set sail. After we sighted Cyprus, passing to the south of it,[a] we sailed on to Syria and arrived at Tyre, since the ship was to unload its cargo there. We sought out the disciples and stayed there seven days. Through the Spirit they told Paul not to go to Jerusalem. When our time had come to an end, we left to continue our journey, while all of them, with their wives and children, accompanied us out of the city. After kneeling down on the beach to pray, we said farewell to one another and boarded the ship, and they returned home.

When we completed our voyage[b] from Tyre, we reached Ptolemais, where we greeted the brothers and sisters and stayed with them for a day. The next day we left and came to Caesarea, where we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the Seven, and stayed with him. This man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.

10 After we had been there for several days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11 He came to us, took Paul’s belt, tied his own feet and hands, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews in Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him over to the Gentiles.’” 12 When we heard this, both we and the local people pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem.

13 Then Paul replied, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

14 Since he would not be persuaded, we said no more except, “The Lord’s will be done.”

Conflict over the Gentile Mission

15 After this we got ready and went up to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea also went with us and brought us to Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we were to stay.

17 When we reached Jerusalem, the brothers and sisters welcomed us warmly.

Footnotes:

  1. 21:3 Lit leaving it on the left
  2. 21:7 Or As we continued our voyage
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Psalm 149

Psalm 149

Praise for God’s Triumph

Hallelujah!
Sing to the Lord a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel celebrate its Maker;
let the children of Zion rejoice in their King.
Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music to him with tambourine and lyre.
For the Lord takes pleasure in his people;
he adorns the humble with salvation.
Let the faithful celebrate in triumphal glory;
let them shout for joy on their beds.

Let the exaltation of God be in their mouths[a]
and a double-edged sword in their hands,
inflicting vengeance on the nations
and punishment on the peoples,
binding their kings with chains
and their dignitaries with iron shackles,
carrying out the judgment decreed against them.
This honor is for all his faithful people.
Hallelujah!

Footnotes:

  1. 149:6 Lit throat
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Proverbs 18:8

A gossip’s words are like choice food
that goes down to one’s innermost being.[a]

Footnotes:

  1. 18:8 Lit to the chambers of the belly
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The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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