Assyria Attacks Judah
1After Hezekiah did all these things to serve the Lord, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and attacked Judah. He and his army surrounded and attacked the strong, walled cities, hoping to take them for himself. 2Hezekiah knew that Sennacherib had come to Jerusalem to attack it. 3So Hezekiah and his officers and army commanders decided to cut off the water from the springs outside the city. So the officers and commanders helped Hezekiah. 4Many people came and cut off all the springs and the stream that flowed through the land. They said, “The king of Assyria will not find much water when he comes here.” 5Then Hezekiah made Jerusalem stronger. He rebuilt all the broken parts of the wall and put towers on it. He also built another wall outside the first one and strengthened the area that was filled in on the east side of the old part of Jerusalem. He also made many weapons and shields.
6Hezekiah put army commanders over the people and met with them at the open place near the city gate. Hezekiah encouraged them, saying, 7“Be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid or worried because of the king of Assyria or his large army. There is a greater power with us than with him. 8He only has men, but we have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” The people were encouraged by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
9After this King Sennacherib of Assyria and all his army surrounded and attacked Lachish. Then he sent his officers to Jerusalem with this message for King Hezekiah of Judah and all the people of Judah in Jerusalem:
10Sennacherib king of Assyria says this: “You have nothing to trust in to help you. It is no use for you to stay in Jerusalem under attack. 11Hezekiah says to you, ‘The Lord our God will save us from the king of Assyria,’ but he is fooling you. If you stay in Jerusalem, you will die from hunger and thirst. 12Hezekiah himself removed your Lord’s places of worship and altars. He told you people of Judah and Jerusalem that you must worship and burn incense on only one altar.
13“You know what my ancestors and I have done to all the people in other nations. The gods of those nations could not save their people from my power. 14My ancestors destroyed those nations; none of their gods could save them from me. So your god cannot save you from my power. 15Do not let Hezekiah fool you or trick you, and do not believe him. No god of any nation or kingdom has been able to save his people from me or my ancestors. Your god is even less able to save you from me.”
16Sennacherib’s officers said worse things against the Lord God and his servant Hezekiah. 17King Sennacherib also wrote letters insulting the Lord, the God of Israel. They spoke against him, saying, “The gods of the other nations could not save their people from me. In the same way Hezekiah’s god won’t be able to save his people from me.” 18Then the king’s officers shouted in Hebrew, calling out to the people of Jerusalem who were on the city wall. The officers wanted to scare the people away so they could capture Jerusalem. 19They spoke about the God of Jerusalem as though he were like the gods the people of the world worshiped, which are made by human hands.
20King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz prayed to heaven about this. 21Then the Lord sent an angel who killed all the soldiers, leaders, and officers in the camp of the king of Assyria. So the king went back to his own country in disgrace. When he went into the temple of his god, some of his own sons killed him with a sword.
22So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the people in Jerusalem from Sennacherib king of Assyria and from all other people. He took care of them on every side. 23Many people brought gifts for the Lord to Jerusalem, and they also brought valuable gifts to King Hezekiah of Judah. From then on all the nations respected Hezekiah.
Hezekiah Dies
24At that time Hezekiah became so sick he almost died. When he prayed to the Lord, the Lord spoke to him and gave him a sign. 25But Hezekiah did not thank God for his kindness, because he was so proud. So the Lord was angry with him and the people of Judah and Jerusalem. 26But later Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem were sorry and stopped being proud, so the Lord did not punish them while Hezekiah was alive.
27Hezekiah had many riches and much honor. He made treasuries for his silver, gold, gems, spices, shields, and other valuable things. 28He built storage buildings for grain, new wine, and oil and stalls for all the cattle and pens for the sheep. 29He also built many towns. He had many flocks and herds, because God had given Hezekiah much wealth.
30It was Hezekiah who cut off the upper pool of the Gihon spring and made those waters flow straight down to the west side of the older part of Jerusalem. And Hezekiah was successful in everything he did. 31But one time the leaders of Babylon sent messengers to Hezekiah, asking him about a strange sign that had happened in the land. When they came, God left Hezekiah alone to test him so he could know everything that was in Hezekiah’s heart.
32Hezekiah’s love for God and the other things he did as king are written in the vision of the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. This is in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 33Hezekiah died and was buried on a hill, where the graves of David’s ancestors are. All the people of Judah and Jerusalem honored Hezekiah when he died, and his son Manasseh became king in his place.
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.