Sennacherib Invades Judah
1 After these faithful deeds were accomplished, King Sennacherib of Assyria invaded Judah. He besieged the fortified cities, intending to seize them.#tn Heb “and he said to break into them for himself.” 2 When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had invaded and intended to attack Jerusalem,#tn Heb “and his face was for war against Jerusalem.”map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4. 3 he consulted with his advisers and military officers about stopping up the springs#tn Heb “the waters of the springs.” outside the city, and they supported him. 4 A large number of people gathered together and stopped up all the springs and the stream that flowed through the district.#tn Heb “and they closed up all the springs and the stream that flows in the midst of the land.” Here אָרֶץ (’arets, “land”) does not refer to the entire land, but to a smaller region like a district. They reasoned,#tn Heb “land, saying.” “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?” 5 Hezekiah#tn Heb “he”; the referent (Hezekiah) has been specified in the translation for clarity. energetically rebuilt#tn Heb “strengthened himself and built.” every broken wall. He erected towers and an outer wall,#tn Heb “and outside the wall another one.” and fortified the terrace of the City of David.#sn The phrase the City of David refers here to the fortress of Zion in Jerusalem, not to Bethlehem. See 2 Sam 5:7. He made many weapons and shields.
6 He appointed military officers over the army#tn Heb “and he placed officers of war over the people.” and assembled them in the square at the city gate. He encouraged them,#tn Heb “he spoke to their heart[s].” saying, 7 “Be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic#tn Or perhaps, “and don’t be discouraged.” because of the king of Assyria and this huge army that is with him! We have with us one who is stronger than those who are with him.#tn Heb “for with us [is] a greater [one] than with him.” 8 He has with him mere human strength,#tn Heb “With him is an arm of flesh.” but the Lord our God is with us to help us and fight our battles!” The army#tn Or “people.” was encouraged by the words of King Hezekiah of Judah.
9 Afterward King Sennacherib of Assyria, while attacking Lachish with all his military might, sent his messengers#tn Heb “servants.” to Jerusalem. The message was for King Hezekiah of Judah and all the people of#tn Heb “all Judah.” The words “the people of” are supplied in the translation for clarity. The Hebrew text uses the name “Judah” here by metonymy for the people of Judah. Judah who were in Jerusalem. It read: 10 “This is what King Sennacherib of Assyria says: ‘Why are you so confident that you remain in Jerusalem while it is under siege?#tn Heb “On what are you trusting that [you] are living during the siege in Jerusalem.” 11 Hezekiah says, “The Lord our God will rescue us from the power#tn Heb “hand.” of the king of Assyria.” But he is misleading you and you will die of hunger and thirst!#tn Heb “Is not Hezekiah misleading you to give you over to die by hunger and thirst, saying, ‘The Lord our God will rescue us from the hand of the king of Assyria’?’ 12 Hezekiah is the one who eliminated#tn Heb “Did not he, Hezekiah, eliminate…?” This rhetorical question presupposes a positive reply (“yes, he did”) and so has been translated here as a positive statement. the Lord’s#tn Heb “his”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity. high places and altars and then told Judah and Jerusalem, “At one altar you must worship and offer sacrifices.” 13 Are you not aware of what I and my predecessors#tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 14, 15), but in this context the term does not necessarily refer to Sennacherib’s ancestors, but to his predecessors on the Assyrian throne. have done to all the nations of the surrounding lands? Have the gods of the surrounding lands actually been able to rescue their lands from my power?#tn Heb “hand.” 14 Who among all the gods of these nations whom my predecessors annihilated was able to rescue his people from my power?#tn Heb “hand.” 15 Now don’t let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you like this. Don’t believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to rescue his people from my power or the power of my predecessors. So how#tn Heb “how much less.” can your gods rescue#tn The verb is plural, suggesting that the preceding אֱלֹהֵיכֶם (’elohekhem) be translated “your gods,” rather than “your God.” you from my power?’”
16 Sennacherib’s#tn Heb “his”; the referent (Sennacherib) has been specified in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons. servants further insulted#tn Heb “spoke against.” the Lord God and his servant Hezekiah. 17 He wrote letters mocking the Lord God of Israel and insulting him with these words:#tn Heb “and speaking against him, saying.” “The gods of the surrounding nations could not rescue their people from my power. Neither can Hezekiah’s god rescue his people from my power.”#tn Heb “Like the gods of the nations of the lands who did not rescue their people from my hand, so the god of Hezekiah will not rescue his people from my hand.” 18 They called out loudly in the Judahite dialect to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, trying to scare and terrify them so they could seize the city. 19 They talked about the God of Jerusalem as if he were one of the man-made gods of the nations of the earth.
20 King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz prayed about this and cried out to heaven. 21 The Lord sent a messenger#tn Or “an angel.” and he wiped out all the soldiers, princes, and officers in the army of the king of Assyria. So Sennacherib#tn Heb “he”; the referent (Sennacherib) has been specified in the translation for clarity. returned home humiliated.#tn Heb “and he returned with shame of face to his land.” When he entered the temple of his god, some of his own sons#tn Heb “and some from those who went out from him, from his inward parts.” struck him down with the sword. 22 The Lord delivered Hezekiah and the residents of Jerusalem from the power of King Sennacherib of Assyria and from all the other nations.#tn Heb “and from the hand of all.” He made them secure on every side.#tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “and he led him from all around.” However, the present translation assumes an emendation to וַיָּנַח לָהֶם מִסָּבִיב (vayyanakh lahem missaviv, “and he gave rest to them from all around”). See 2 Chr 15:15 and 20:30. 23 Many were bringing presents#tn Or perhaps, “offerings.” to the Lord in Jerusalem and precious gifts to King Hezekiah of Judah. From that time on he was respected by#tn Heb “lifted up in the eyes of.” all the nations.
Hezekiah’s Shortcomings and Accomplishments
24 In those days Hezekiah was stricken with a terminal illness.#tn Heb “was sick to the point of dying.” He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a sign confirming that he would be healed.#tn Heb “and he spoke to him and a sign he gave to him.” 25 But Hezekiah was ungrateful; he had a proud attitude, provoking God to be angry at him, as well as Judah and Jerusalem.#tn Heb “but not according to the benefit [given] to him did Hezekiah repay, for his heart was high, and there was anger against him and against Judah and Jerusalem.”map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4. 26 But then Hezekiah and the residents of Jerusalem humbled themselves and abandoned their pride, and the Lord was not angry with them for the rest of Hezekiah’s reign.#tn Heb “and Hezekiah humbled himself in the height of his heart, he and the residents of Jerusalem, and the anger of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.”
27 Hezekiah was very wealthy and greatly respected. He made storehouses for his silver, gold, precious stones, spices, and all his other valuable possessions.#tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “and shields and all the desirable items.” The present translation assumes an emendation of מָגִנִּים (maginnim, “shields”) to מִגְדָּנִים (migdanim, “precious items”). See v. 23. 28 He made storerooms for the harvest of grain, wine, and olive oil, and stalls for all his various kinds of livestock and his flocks.#tn Heb “and stalls for all beasts and beasts, and flocks for the stalls.” The repetition of בְהֵמָה (bÿhemah, “beast”) here indicates various kinds of livestock. 29 He built royal cities#tn Heb “and cities he made for himself.” and owned a large number of sheep and cattle, for God gave him a huge amount of possessions.
30 Hezekiah dammed up the source of the waters of the Upper Gihon and directed them down to the west side of the City of David.#sn The phrase the City of David refers here to the fortress of Zion in Jerusalem, not to Bethlehem. See 2 Sam 5:7. Hezekiah succeeded in all that he did. 31 So when the envoys arrived from the Babylonian officials to visit him and inquire about the sign that occurred in the land,#tn Heb “and when the envoys of the officials of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire concerning the sign which was in the land, [arrived].” God left him alone to test him, in order to know his true motives.#tn Heb “to know all [that was] in his heart.”
32 The rest of the events of Hezekiah’s reign, including his faithful deeds, are recorded in the vision of the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz, included in the Scroll of the Kings of Judah and Israel.#tn Heb “and the rest of the deeds of Hezekiah and his faithful acts, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah son of Amoz the prophet upon the scroll of the kings of Judah and Israel.” 33 Hezekiah passed away#tn Heb “lay down with his fathers.” and was buried on the ascent of the tombs of the descendants of David. All the people of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem buried him with great honor.#tn Heb “and honor they did to him in his death, all Judah and the residents of Jerusalem.” His son Manasseh replaced him as king.