1 WHEN KING Hezekiah heard it, he rent his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the Lord. [Isa. 37:1-13.]
2 And he sent Eliakim, who was over his household, Shebna the scribe, and the older priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.
3 They said to him, Hezekiah says: This is a day of [extreme danger and] distress, of rebuke and chastisement, and blasphemous and insolent insult; for children have come to the birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth.
4 It may be that the Lord your God will hear all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria has sent to mock, reproach, insult, and defy the living God, and will rebuke the words which the Lord your God has heard. So raise your prayer for the remnant [of His people] that is left.
5 So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah.
6 Isaiah said to them, Say to your master, Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled and blasphemed Me.
7 Behold, I will put a spirit in him so that he will hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own country.
8 So the Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah [a fortified city of Judah]; for he had heard that the king had left Lachish.
9 And Sennacherib king of Assyria heard concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, He has come to make war against you. And when he heard it, he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying,
10 Say this to Hezekiah king of Judah: Let not your God on Whom you rely deceive you by saying, Jerusalem shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.
11 Behold, you have heard what the Assyrian kings have done to all lands, destroying them utterly. And shall you be delivered?
12 Have the gods of the nations delivered those whom my ancestors have destroyed, as Gozan, Haran [of Mesopotamia], Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar?
13 Where are the kings of Hamath, of Arpad [of northern Syria], of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivvah?
14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it. And he went up into the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord. [Isa. 37:14-20.]
15 And Hezekiah prayed: O Lord, the God of Israel, Who [in symbol] is enthroned above the cherubim [of the ark in the temple], You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made the heavens and the earth.
16 Lord, bow down Your ear and hear; Lord, open Your eyes and see; hear the words of Sennacherib which he has sent to mock, reproach, insult, and defy the living God.
17 It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste the nations and their lands
18 And have cast the gods of those peoples into the fire, for they were not gods but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. So they [could destroy and] have destroyed them.
19 Now therefore, O Lord our God, I beseech You, save us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know and understand that You, O Lord, are God alone.
20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Your prayer to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard. [Isa. 37:21-38.]
21 This is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him: The Virgin Daughter of Zion has despised you and laughed you to scorn; the Daughter of Jerusalem has wagged her head behind you.
22 Whom have you mocked and reviled and insulted and blasphemed? Against Whom have you raised your voice and haughtily lifted your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel!
23 By your messengers you have mocked, reproached, insulted, and defied the Lord, and have said, With my many chariots I have gone up to the heights of the mountains, to the far recesses of Lebanon. I cut down its tall cedar trees and its choicest cypress trees. I entered its most distant retreat, its densest forest.
24 I dug wells and drank foreign waters, and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all [the defense and] the streams of Egypt.
25 [But, says the God of Israel] Have you not heard how I ordained long ago what now I have brought to pass? I planned it in olden times, that you [king of Assyria] should [be My instrument to] lay waste fortified cities, making them ruinous heaps.
26 That is why their inhabitants had little power, they were dismayed and confounded; they were like plants of the field, the green herb, the grass on the housetops, blasted before it is grown up.
27 But [O Sennacherib] I [the Lord] know your sitting down, your going out, your coming in, and your raging against Me.
28 Because your raging against Me and your arrogance and careless ease have come to My ears, therefore 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, O king of Assyria.
29 And [Hezekiah, says the Lord] this shall be the sign [of these things] to you: you shall eat this year what grows of itself, also in the second year what springs up voluntarily. But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
30 And the remnant that has survived of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward.
31 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and a band of survivors out of Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord of hosts shall perform this.
32 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow here or come before it with shield or cast up a siege mound against it.
33 By the way that he came, by that way shall he return, and he shall not come into this city, says the Lord.
34 For I will defend this city to save it, for My own sake and for My servant David's sake.
35 And it all came to pass, for that night the Angel of the Lord went forth and slew 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when [the living] arose early in the morning, behold, all these were dead bodies.
36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned and dwelt at Nineveh.
37 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Armenia or Ararat. Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.
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1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation