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2 Kings 19
Isaiah’s Message of Deliverance
1 On hearing this report, King Hezekiah tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and entered the house of the LORD. 2 And he sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the scribe, and the leading priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz 3 to tell 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. 4 Perhaps the LORD your God will hear all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to defy the living God, and He will rebuke him for the words that the LORD your God has heard. Therefore lift up a prayer for the remnant that still survives.”
5 So the servants of King Hezekiah went to Isaiah, 6 who replied, “Tell your master that this is what the LORD says: ‘Do not be afraid of the words you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. 7 Behold, I will put a spirit in him so that he will hear a rumor and return to his own land, where I will cause him to fall by the sword.’ ”
Sennacherib’s Blasphemous Letter
8 When the Rabshakeh heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish, he withdrew and found the king fighting against Libnah.
9 Now Sennacherib had been warned about Tirhakah king of Cush: a “Look, he has set out to fight against you.”
So Sennacherib again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Give this message to Hezekiah king of Judah:
‘Do not let your God, in whom you trust, deceive you by saying that Jerusalem will not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11 Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the other countries, devoting them to destruction. b Will you then be spared? 12 Did the gods of the nations destroyed by my fathers rescue those nations—the gods of Gozan, Haran, and Rezeph, and of the people of Eden in Telassar? 13 Where are the kings of Hamath, Arpad, Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?’ ”
14 So Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers, read it, and went up to the house of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. 15 And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD:
“O LORD, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. 16 Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear;open Your eyes, O LORD, and see. Listen to the words that Sennacherib has sent to defy the living God.
17 Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste these nations and their lands. 18 They have cast their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods, but only wood and stone—the work of human hands.
19 And now, O LORD our God, please save us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, O LORD, are God.”
Sennacherib’s Fall Prophesied
20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I have heard your prayer concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria. 21 This is the word that the LORD has spoken against him:
‘The Virgin Daughter of Zion
despises you and mocks you;
the Daughter of Jerusalem
shakes her head behind you.
22 Whom have you taunted and blasphemed?
Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted your eyes in pride?
Against the Holy One of Israel!
23 Through your servants you have taunted the Lord,
and you have said:
“With my many chariots
I have ascended
to the heights of the mountains,
to the remote peaks of Lebanon.
I have cut down its tallest cedars,
the finest of its cypresses. c
I have reached its farthest outposts,
24 I have dug wells
and drunk foreign waters.
With the soles of my feet
I have dried up all the streams of Egypt.”
25 Have you not heard?
Long ago I ordained it;
in days of old I planned it.
Now I have brought it to pass,
that you should crush fortified cities
26 Therefore their inhabitants, devoid of power,
are dismayed and ashamed.
They are like plants in the field,
tender green shoots,
grass on the rooftops,
scorched before it is grown.
27 But I know your sitting down,
your going out and coming in,
and your raging against Me.
28 Because your rage and arrogance against Me
have reached My ears,
I will put My hook in your nose
and My bit in your mouth;
I will send you back
the way you came.’
29 And this will be a sign to you, O Hezekiah:
This year you will eat
what grows on its own,
and in the second year
what springs from the same.
But in the third year you will sow and reap;
you will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
30 And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah
will again take root below
and bear fruit above.
31 For a remnant will go forth from Jerusalem,
and survivors from Mount Zion.
The zeal of the LORD of Hosts d
will accomplish this.
32 So this is what the LORD says about the king of Assyria:
‘He will not enter this city
or shoot an arrow into it.
He will not 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,’
declares the LORD.
34 ‘I will defend this city
and save it
for My own sake
and for the sake of My servant David.’ ”
Jerusalem Delivered from the Assyrians
(2 Chronicles 32:20–23; Isaiah 37:36–38)
35 And that very night the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 men in the camp of the Assyrians. When the people got up the next morning, there were all the dead bodies! 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.
37 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer e put him to the sword and escaped to the land of Ararat. And his son Esar-haddon reigned in his place.
9 a That is, the upper Nile region
11 b Forms of the Hebrew cherem refer to the giving over of things or persons to the LORD, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering.
23 c Or pines or junipers or firs
31 d LXX, many Hebrew manuscripts, and an alternate MT reading; the other alternate reads The zeal of the LORD .
37 e LXX and an alternate MT reading (see also Isaiah 37:38); MT lacks his sons .