God Saves Judah from the Assyrians—2
Kings 18:13–19:37; Isaiah 36:1–37:38
1 After everything Hezekiah had done so faithfully, King Sennacherib of Assyria came to invade Judah. He set up camp ⌊to attack⌋ the fortified cities. He intended to conquer them himself.
2 When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come to wage war against Jerusalem, 3 he, his officers, and his military staff made plans to stop the water from flowing out of the springs outside the city. They helped him do it. 4 A large crowd gathered as they stopped all the springs and the brook that flowed through the land. They said, “Why should the kings of Assyria find plenty of water?”
5 Hezekiah worked hard. He rebuilt all the broken sections of the wall, made the towers taller, built another wall outside ⌊the city wall⌋, strengthened the Millo #The exact place referred to as “the Millo” is unknown. in the City of David, and made plenty of weapons and shields. 6 He appointed military commanders over the troops and gathered the commanders in the square by the city gate. He spoke these words of encouragement: 7 “Be strong and courageous. Don’t be frightened or terrified by the king of Assyria or the crowd with him. Someone greater is on our side. 8 The king of Assyria has human power on his side, but the Lord our God is on our side to help us and fight our battles.” So the people were encouraged by what King Hezekiah of Judah said.
9 After this, while King Sennacherib of Assyria and all his royal forces were attacking Lachish, he sent his officers to King Hezekiah of Judah and to all of the people in Judah who were in Jerusalem to say: 10 “This is what King Sennacherib of Assyria says: Why are you so confident as you live in Jerusalem while it is blockaded? 11 Isn’t Hezekiah misleading you and abandoning you to die from hunger and thirst when he says, ‘The Lord our God will rescue us from the king of Assyria?’ 12 Isn’t this the same Hezekiah who got rid of the Lord’s places of worship and altars and told Judah and Jerusalem, ‘Worship and sacrifice at one altar?’ 13 Don’t you know what I and my predecessors have done to the people of all other countries? Were any of the gods of these other nations ever able to rescue their countries from me? 14 Were the gods of these nations able to rescue their people from my control? My predecessors claimed and destroyed those nations. Is your God able to rescue you from my control? 15 Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you or persuade you like this. Don’t believe him. No god of any nation or kingdom could save his people from me or my ancestors. Certainly, your God will not rescue you from me!”
16 Sennacherib’s officers said more against the Lord God and his servant Hezekiah. 17 Sennacherib wrote letters cursing the Lord God of Israel. These letters said, “As the gods of the nations in other countries couldn’t rescue their people from me, Hezekiah’s God cannot rescue his people from me.” 18 Sennacherib’s officers shouted loudly in the Judean language to the troops who were on the wall of Jerusalem. They tried to frighten and terrify the troops so that they could capture the city. 19 They spoke about the God of Jerusalem as if he were one of the gods made by human hands and worshiped by the people in other countries.
20 Then King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, prayed about this and called to heaven. 21 The Lord sent an angel who exterminated all the soldiers, officials, and commanders in the Assyrian king’s camp. Humiliated, Sennacherib returned to his own country. When he went into the temple of his god, some of his own sons killed him with a sword. 22 So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the people living in Jerusalem from King Sennacherib of Assyria and from everyone else. The Lord gave them peace with all their neighbors.
23 Many people still went to Jerusalem to bring gifts to the Lord and expensive presents to King Hezekiah of Judah. From then on, he was considered important by all the nations.
Other Events in Hezekiah’s Life—2
Kings 20:1–21; Isaiah 38:1–8, 21–22; 39:1–8
24 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was about to die. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. 25 But Hezekiah was conceited, so he didn’t repay the Lord for his kindness. The Lord became angry with him, with Judah, and with Jerusalem. 26 Hezekiah and the people living in Jerusalem humbled themselves when they realized they had become conceited. So the Lord didn’t vent his anger on them during Hezekiah’s time.
27 Hezekiah became richer and was highly honored. He prepared storerooms for himself to hold silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields, and all kinds of valuables. 28 He made sheds to store his harvests of grain, new wine, and fresh olive oil, and he made barns for all his cattle and stalls for his flocks. 29 He made cities for himself because he had many sheep and cattle. God had given him a lot of property. 30 Hezekiah was the one who stopped the water from flowing from the upper outlet of Gihon. He channeled the water directly underground to the west side of the City of David. Hezekiah succeeded in everything he did.
31 When the leaders of Babylon sent ambassadors to ask him about the miraculous sign that had happened in the land, God left him. God did this to test him, to find out everything that was in Hezekiah’s heart.
32 Everything else about Hezekiah, including his devotion to God, is written in the vision of the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, and in the records of the kings of Judah and Israel. 33 Hezekiah lay down in death with his ancestors. He was buried in the upper tombs of David’s descendants. When Hezekiah died, all of Judah and the people in Jerusalem honored him. His son Manasseh succeeded him as king.
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