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2 Kings 18:13-19:37; Acts 21:1-17; Psalms 149:1-9; Proverbs 18:8 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

2 Kings 18:13-19:37

The Lord Rescues Judah from the Assyrians

13 In Hezekiah’s fourteenth year as king, King Sennacherib of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. 14 Then King Hezekiah of Judah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish: “I have done wrong. Go away, and leave me alone. I’ll pay whatever penalty you give me.”

So the king of Assyria demanded that King Hezekiah of Judah pay 22,500 pounds of silver and 2,250 pounds of gold. 15 Hezekiah gave him all the silver that could be found in the Lord’s temple and in the royal palace treasury. 16 At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold off the doors and doorposts of the Lord’s temple. (Earlier Hezekiah had them covered with gold.) He gave the gold to the king of Assyria.

17 Then the king of Assyria sent his commander-in-chief, his quartermaster, and his field commander with a large army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. They came there and stood at the channel for the Upper Pool on the road to the Laundryman’s Field. 18 When they called for King Hezekiah, Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace and was the son of Hilkiah, Shebnah the scribe, and Joah, who was the royal historian and the son of Asaph, went out to the field commander.

19 The field commander said to them, “Tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: What makes you so confident? 20 You give useless advice about getting ready for war. Whom, then, do you trust for support in your rebellion against me? 21 Now, look! When you trust Egypt, you’re trusting a broken stick for a staff. If you lean on it, it stabs your hand and goes through it. This is what Pharaoh (the king of Egypt) is like for everyone who trusts him. 22 Suppose you tell me, “We’re trusting the Lord our God.” He’s the god whose places of worship and altars Hezekiah got rid of. He told Judah and Jerusalem, “Worship at this altar in Jerusalem.”’

23 “Now, make a deal with my master, the king of Assyria. I’ll give you 2,000 horses if you can put riders on them. 24 How can you defeat my master’s lowest-ranking officers when you trust Egypt for chariots and horses?

25 “Have I come to destroy this place without the Lord on my side? The Lord said to me, ‘Attack this country, and destroy it.’”

26 Then Eliakim (son of Hilkiah), Shebnah, and Joah said to the field commander, “Speak to us in Aramaic, since we understand it. Don’t speak to us in the Judean language as long as there are people on the wall listening.”

27 But the field commander asked them, “Did my master send me to tell these things only to you and your master? Didn’t he send me to the men sitting on the wall who will have to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine with you?”

28 Then the field commander stood and shouted loudly in the Judean language, “Listen to 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 me. 30 Don’t let Hezekiah get you to trust the Lord by saying, ‘The Lord will certainly rescue us, and this city will not be put under the control of the king of Assyria.’ 31 Don’t listen to Hezekiah, because this is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me! Come out and give yourselves up to me! Everyone will eat from his own grapevine and fig tree and drink from his own cistern. 32 Then I will come and take you away to a country like your own. It’s a country with grain and new wine, a country with bread and vineyards, a country with olive trees, olive oil, and honey. Live! Don’t die! Don’t listen to Hezekiah when he tries to mislead you by saying to you, ‘The Lord will rescue us.’ 33 Did any of the gods of the nations rescue their countries from the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Did they rescue Samaria from my control? 35 Did the gods of those countries rescue them from my control? Could the Lord then rescue Jerusalem from my control?”

36 But the people were silent and didn’t say anything to him because the king commanded them not to answer him.

37 Then Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace and was the son of Hilkiah, Shebna the scribe, and Joah, who was the royal historian and the son of Asaph, went to Hezekiah with their clothes torn in grief. They told him the message from the field commander.

19 When King Hezekiah heard the message, he tore his clothes in grief, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the Lord’s temple. Then he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe, and the leaders of the priests, clothed in sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz.

They said to him, “This is what Hezekiah says: Today is a day filled with misery, punishment, and disgrace. We are like a woman who is about to give birth but doesn’t have the strength to do it. The Lord your God may have heard all the words of the field commander. His master, the king of Assyria, sent him to defy the living God. The Lord your God may punish him because of the message that the Lord your God heard. Pray for the few people who are left.”

So King Hezekiah’s men went to Isaiah. Isaiah answered them, “Say this to your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Don’t be afraid of the message that you heard when the Assyrian king’s assistants slandered me. I’m going to put a spirit in him so that he will hear a rumor and return to his own country. I’ll have him assassinated in his own country.’”

The field commander returned and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah. He had heard that the king left Lachish. Now, Sennacherib heard that King Tirhakah of Sudan was coming to fight him.

Sennacherib sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Tell King Hezekiah of Judah, ‘Don’t let the god whom you trust deceive you by saying that Jerusalem will not be put under the control of the king of Assyria. 11 You heard what the kings of Assyria did to all countries, how they totally destroyed them. Will you be rescued? 12 Did the gods of the nations which my ancestors destroyed rescue Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, and the king of the cities of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?’”

14 Hezekiah took the letters from the messengers, read them, and went to the Lord’s temple. He spread them out in front of the Lord 15 and prayed to the Lord, “Lord of Armies, God of Israel, you are enthroned over the angels.[a] You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the world. You made heaven and earth. 16 Turn your ear toward me, Lord, and listen. Open your eyes, Lord, and see. Listen to the message that Sennacherib sent to defy the living God. 17 It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have leveled nations. [b] 18 They have thrown the gods from these countries into fires because these gods aren’t real gods. They’re only wooden and stone statues made by human hands. So the Assyrians have destroyed them. 19 Now, Lord our God, rescue us from Assyria’s control so that all the kingdoms on earth will know that you alone are the Lord God.”

Isaiah’s Prophecy against King Sennacherib of Assyria

20 Then Isaiah, son of Amoz, sent a message to Hezekiah, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: You prayed to me about King Sennacherib of Assyria. I have heard you. 21 This is the message that the Lord speaks to him,

‘My dear people in Zion despise you and laugh at you.
My people in Jerusalem shake their heads behind your back.
22     Whom are you defying and slandering?
        Against whom are you shouting?
            Who are you looking at so arrogantly?
            It is the Holy One of Israel!
23 Through your servants[c] you defy the Lord and say,
    “With my many chariots I’ll ride up the high mountains,
        up the slopes of Lebanon.
            I’ll cut down its tallest cedars and its finest cypresses.
            I’ll come to its most distant borders
                and its most fertile forests.
24             I’ll dig wells and drink foreign water.
            I’ll dry up all the streams of Egypt
                with the trampling of my feet.”

25 “‘Haven’t you heard? I did this long ago.
    I planned it in the distant past.
        Now I make it happen so that you will turn fortified cities
            into piles of rubble.
26 Those who live in these cities are weak, discouraged, and ashamed.
They will be like plants in the field,
    like fresh, green grass on the roofs,
        scorched before it sprouted.
27 I know when you get up and sit down,
    when you go out and come in,
        and how you rage against me.
28 Since you rage against me and your boasting has reached my ears,
    I will put my hook in your nose
        and my bridle in your mouth.
    I will make you go back the way you came.

29 “‘And this will be a sign for you, Hezekiah: You will eat what grows by itself this year and next year. But in the third year you will plant and harvest, plant vineyards, and eat what is produced. 30 Those few people from the nation of Judah who escape will again take root and produce crops. 31 Those few people will go out from Jerusalem, and those who escape will go out of Mount Zion. The Lord is determined to do this.’

32 “This is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:

He will never come into this city,
    shoot an arrow here,
    hold a shield in front of it,
        or put up dirt ramps to attack it.
33 He will go back the way he came,
    and he won’t come into this city,”
        declares the Lord of Armies.
34 “I will shield this city to rescue it for my sake
    and for the sake of my servant David.”

35 It happened that night. The Lord’s angel went out and killed 185,000 soldiers in the Assyrian camp. When the Judeans got up early in the morning, they saw all the corpses.

36 Then King Sennacherib of Assyria left. He went home to Nineveh and stayed there. 37 While he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, Adrammelech and Sharezer assassinated him and escaped to the land of Ararat. His son Esarhaddon succeeded him as king.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Kings 19:15 Or “cherubim.”
  2. 2 Kings 19:18 Greek; Masoretic Text “nations and their country.”
  3. 2 Kings 19:23 Isaiah 37:24; Masoretic Text “kings.”
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Acts 21:1-17

Paul in Tyre

21 When we finally left them, we sailed straight to the island of Cos. The next day we sailed to the island of Rhodes and from there to the city of Patara. In Patara, we found a ship that was going to Phoenicia, so we went aboard and sailed away. We could see the island of Cyprus as we passed it on our left and sailed to Syria. We landed at the city of Tyre, where the ship was to unload its cargo.

In Tyre we searched for the disciples. After we found them, we stayed there for seven days. The Spirit had the disciples tell Paul not to go to Jerusalem. When our time was up, we started on our way. All of them with their wives and children accompanied us out of the city. We knelt on the beach, prayed, and said goodbye to each other. Then we went aboard the ship, and the disciples went back home.

Paul in Caesarea

Our sea travel ended when we sailed from Tyre to the city of Ptolemais. We greeted the believers in Ptolemais and spent the day with them. The next day we went to Philip’s home in Caesarea and stayed with him. He was a missionary and one of the seven men who helped the apostles. Philip had four unmarried daughters who had the ability to speak what God had revealed.

10 After we had been there for a number of days, a prophet named Agabus arrived from Judea. 11 During his visit he took Paul’s belt and tied his own feet and hands with it. Then he said, “The Holy Spirit says, ‘This is how the Jews in Jerusalem will tie up the man who owns this belt. Then they will hand him over to people who are not Jewish.’”

12 When we heard this, we and the believers who lived there begged Paul not to go to Jerusalem.

13 Then Paul replied, “Why are you crying like this and breaking my heart? I’m ready not only to be tied up in Jerusalem but also to die there for the sake of the Lord, the one named Jesus.”

14 When Paul could not be persuaded, we dropped the issue and said, “May the Lord’s will be done.”

Paul in Jerusalem

15 After that, we got ready to go to Jerusalem. 16 Some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us. They took us to Mnason’s home, where we would be staying. Mnason was from the island of Cyprus and was one of the first disciples. 17 When we arrived in Jerusalem, the believers welcomed us warmly.

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Psalm 149

Psalm 149

Hallelujah!

Sing a new song to the Lord.
Sing his praise in the assembly of godly people.
Let Israel find joy in their creator.
Let the people of Zion rejoice over their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing.
Let them make music to him with tambourines and lyres,
    because the Lord takes pleasure in his people.
        He crowns those who are oppressed with victory.
Let godly people triumph in glory.
Let them sing for joy on their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their throats
    and two-edged swords in their hands
        to take vengeance on the nations,
        to punish the people of the world,
        to put their kings in chains
            and their leaders in iron shackles,
        to carry out the judgment that is written against them.
            This is an honor that belongs to all his godly ones.

Hallelujah!

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Proverbs 18:8

The words of a gossip are swallowed greedily,
    and they go down into a person’s innermost being.

Read More
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

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