Hezekiah’s Cry of Desperation
1When King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the House of Adonai.
2Then he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe and the senior kohanim, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet son of Amoz.
3Then they said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah: This day is a day of distress, rebuke and contempt. For children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength for giving birth.
4Perhaps Adonai your God, hearing all the words of the Rab-shakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master has sent to mock the living God, will rebuke the words which Adonai your God has heard. So offer prayer for the remnant that is left.”
5When the officials of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah,
6Isaiah said to them: “Thus you will say to your master, ‘Thus says Adonai: Do not be afraid of the words you have heard, with which the boys of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me.
7Behold, I am putting a spirit in him, and he will hear a rumor, and will return to his own country; then I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.’”
8Then the Rab-shakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he had heard that he had withdrawn from Lachish.
9Now he heard a report of Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia saying, “Behold, he has come out to fight against you.” When he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah saying:
10“Thus will you speak to King Hezekiah of Judah saying: ‘You will say to King Hezekiah of Judah, saying, do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying: Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.
11Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands—utterly destroying them—so will you be delivered?
12Have the gods of the nations delivered those my fathers destroyed—Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the children of Eden who were in Tel Assar?
13Where is the king of Hamath, or the king of Arpad, or the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, or Ivvah?’”
14Then Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it. Then Hezekiah went up to the House of Adonai and spread it before Adonai.
15Hezekiah prayed before Adonai, saying, “Adonai, God of Israel, who is enthroned upon the cheruvim. You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made heaven and earth.
16Incline Your ear, Adonai, and hear! Open Your eyes, Adonai, and see! Listen to the words of Sennacherib that he has sent to mock the living God.
17It is true, Adonai, the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands,
18and have cast their gods into the fire—for they were not gods, but the work of human hands—wood and stone. So they have destroyed them.
19Now, Adonai our God, save us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, Adonai, are God.”
20Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent word to Hezekiah saying, “Thus says Adonai, God of Israel: ‘Because you prayed to Me about King Sennacherib of Assyria, I have heard you.
21This is the word that Adonai has spoken about him: “The virgin Daughter of Zion will despise you and mock you. The Daughter of Jerusalem will shake her head at you.
22Whom did you taunt and blaspheme? Against whom did you raise your voice and haughtily lift up your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel!
23Through your servants, you have blasphemed my Lord and said: ‘With my many chariots I have climbed to the heights of the mountains, to the remotest parts of Lebanon! I cut down its tall cedars and choice cypress trees. I have gone to its farthest lodge, its thickest forest.
24I have dug wells and drunk foreign waters, and with the soles of my feet I dried up all the streams of Egypt.’
25Have you not heard? I did it long ago! From ancient times I planned it. Now I have brought it to pass— that you should turn fortified cities into heaps of rubble.
26Their inhabitants are weak-handed, shattered and ashamed They are like the grass of the field and green herb, like grass on roofs, scorched before it is grown up.
27But I know your sitting down, your going out, and your coming in, and your raging against Me.
28Because your raging against Me and your arrogance reached My ears, I will put My hook in your nose, and My bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way you came.”
29‘“So this shall be the sign to you: This year you will eat what grows by itself, in the second year what springs from that. But in the third year, you will sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit.
30“‘The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will take root downward and bear fruit upward.
31For from Jerusalem a remnant will go out, and survivors from Mount Zion. The zeal of Adonai-Tzva’ot will accomplish this.’”
32Therefore thus says Adonai concerning the king of Assyria: “He will not come to this city, or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield, or throw up a siege-ramp against it.
33By the way that he came, by the same he will return, and he will not come into this city” —it is a declaration of Adonai.
34“For I will defend this city to save it, for My own sake, and for My servant David’s sake.”
35Then it came about that night that the angel of Adonai went out and struck down 185,000 men in the Assyrian camp. When the men arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.
36So King Sennacherib of Assyria withdrew, went away, and returned home, and stayed in Nineveh.
37One day, as he was worshipping in the house of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sarezer struck him down with the sword, and escaped to the land of Ararat. Then his son Esarhaddon became king in his place.