The King of Assyria Attacks Judah
1After Hezekiah had faithfully done everything the Lord commanded, King Sennacherib of Assyria came to attack the country of Judah. Sennacherib and his army camped outside the fortresses. He did this so that he could make plans to defeat these towns. Sennacherib wanted to win them for himself. 2Hezekiah knew that Sennacherib came to Jerusalem to attack it. 3Then Hezekiah talked to his officials and army officers. They all agreed to stop the waters of the water springs outside the city. The officials and army officers helped Hezekiah. 4Many people came together and stopped all the springs and the stream that flowed through the middle of the country. They said, “The king of Assyria will not find much water when he comes here!” 5Hezekiah made Jerusalem stronger. This is how he did it: He rebuilt all the parts of the wall that were broken down. He also built towers on the wall. He also built another wall outside the first wall. He rebuilt the strong places on the east side of the old part of Jerusalem. He made many weapons and shields. 6-7Hezekiah chose officers of war to be in charge of the people. He met with these officers at the open place near the city gate. He talked to the officers and encouraged them. He said, “Be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid or worry about the king of Assyria or the large army with him. There is a greater power with us than the king of Assyria has with him! 8The king of Assyria only has men. But we have the Lord our God with us! Our God will help us. He will fight our battles!” So King Hezekiah of Judah encouraged the people and made them feel stronger.
9King Sennacherib of Assyria and all his army were camped near the town of Lachish so that they could defeat it. Then Sennacherib sent his officers to King Hezekiah of Judah and to all the people of Judah in Jerusalem. His officers had a message for Hezekiah and all the people in Jerusalem.
10They said, “King Sennacherib of Assyria says this: ‘What do you trust in that makes you stay under attack in Jerusalem? 11Hezekiah is fooling you. You are being tricked into staying in Jerusalem so that you will die from hunger and thirst. Hezekiah says to you, “The Lord our God will save us from the king of Assyria.” 12But Hezekiah himself took away the high places and altars that belonged to that god. He told you people of Judah and Jerusalem that you must worship and burn incense on only one altar. 13Of course, you know what my ancestors and I have done to all the peoples in other countries. The gods of the other countries could not save their people. Those gods could not stop me from destroying their people. 14My ancestors destroyed those countries. There is no god that can stop me from destroying his people. So you think your god can save you from me? 15Don’t let Hezekiah fool you or trick you. Don’t believe him because no god of any nation or kingdom has ever been able to keep his people safe from me or my ancestors. Don’t think your god can stop me from destroying you.’”
16The officers of the king of Assyria said worse things against the Lord God and against Hezekiah, God’s servant. 17The king of Assyria also wrote letters that insulted the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what the king of Assyria said in those letters: “The gods of the other nations could not stop me from destroying their people. In the same way Hezekiah’s god will not be able to stop me from destroying his people.” 18Then the Assyrian officers shouted loudly to the people of Jerusalem who were on the city wall. They spoke in the language of Judah so that the people on the wall could understand and be frightened enough that the Assyrians could capture the city of Jerusalem. 19Then they insulted the God of Jerusalem just as they had insulted all the gods of the people from other nations—even though those gods are only things people made with their hands.
20Hezekiah the king and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz prayed about this problem. They prayed very loudly to heaven. 21Then the Lord sent an angel to the king of Assyria’s camp. That angel killed all the soldiers, leaders, and officers in the Assyrian army. So the king of Assyria went back home to his own country, and his people were ashamed of him. He went into the temple of his god and some of his own sons killed him there with a sword. 22So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the people in Jerusalem from King Sennacherib of Assyria and from all other people. He cared for Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem. 23Many people brought gifts for the Lord to Jerusalem. They brought valuable things to King Hezekiah of Judah. From that time on, all the nations respected Hezekiah.
24It was in those days that Hezekiah became very sick and near death. He prayed to the Lord, and he spoke to Hezekiah and gave him a sign.#32:24 he spoke … sign See Isa. 38:1-8 for the story about Hezekiah and how the Lord gave him 15 more years to live. 25But Hezekiah’s heart was proud, so he did not give God thanks for his kindness. This is why God was angry with Hezekiah and with the people of Judah and Jerusalem. 26But Hezekiah and the people living in Jerusalem changed their hearts and lives. They became humble and stopped being proud. So the Lord’s anger didn’t come on them while Hezekiah was alive.
27Hezekiah had many riches and much honor. He made places to keep silver, gold, valuable jewels, spices, shields, and all kinds of things. 28Hezekiah had storage buildings for the grain, new wine, and oil that people sent to him. He had stalls for all the cattle and stalls for the sheep. 29Hezekiah also built many towns, and he got many flocks of sheep and cattle. God gave him much wealth. 30It was Hezekiah who stopped up the upper source of the waters of the Gihon Spring in Jerusalem and made the waters flow straight down on the west side of the City of David. And he was successful in everything he did.
31One time the leaders of Babylon sent messengers to Hezekiah. The messengers asked about a strange sign that had happened in the nations.#32:31 a strange sign … nations See Isa. 38:1-8. When they came, God left Hezekiah alone to test him and to know everything that was in Hezekiah’s heart.#32:31 in Hezekiah’s heart See 2 Kings 20:12-19.
32Everything else Hezekiah did as king and the ways he served God faithfully are written in the book, The Vision of the Prophet Isaiah Son of Amoz and in the book, The History of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 33Hezekiah died and was buried with his ancestors. The people buried him on the hill where the graves of David’s ancestors are. All the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem gave honor to Hezekiah when he died. Hezekiah’s son Manasseh became the new king in his place.