Hezekiah Seeks Isaiah’s Counsel 37 1When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and went to the Lord’s temple. 2Then he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and the leading priests, who were wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 3They said to him, “This is what Hezekiah says: ‘Today is a day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace, for children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to deliver them. 4Perhaps Yahweh your God will hear all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke him for the words that Yahweh your God has heard. Therefore offer a prayer for the surviving remnant.’ ” 5So the servants of King Hezekiah went to Isaiah, 6who said to them, “Tell your master this, ‘The Lord says: Don’t be afraid because of the words you have heard, which the king of Assyria’s attendants have blasphemed Me with. 7I am about to put a spirit in him and he will hear a rumor and return to his own land, where I will cause him to fall by the sword.’ ”   Sennacherib’s Letter   8When the Rabshakeh heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish, he returned and found him fighting against Libnah. 9The king had heard this about Tirhakah king of Cush: “He has set out to fight against you.” So when he heard this, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10“Say this to Hezekiah king of Judah: ‘Don’t let your God, whom you trust, deceive you by promising that Jerusalem won’t be handed over to the king of Assyria. 11Look, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries: they completely destroyed them. Will you be rescued? 12Did the gods of the nations that my predecessors destroyed rescue them—Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the Edenites in Telassar? 13Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, or Ivvah?’ ”   Hezekiah’s Prayer   14Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers, read it, then went up to the Lord’s temple and spread it out before the Lord. 15Then Hezekiah prayed to the Lord:   16Lord of Hosts, God of Israel, who is enthroned above the cherubim, You are God—You alone—of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. 17Listen closely, Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, Lord, and see. Hear all the words that Sennacherib has sent to mock the living God. 18Lord, it is true that the kings of Assyria have devastated all these countries and their lands. 19They have thrown their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but made by human hands—wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. 20Now, Lord our God, save us from his power so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord—You alone.     God’s Answer through Hezekiah   21Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “The Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Because you prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22this is the word the Lord has spoken against him:   Virgin Daughter Zion despises you and scorns you: Daughter Jerusalem shakes her head behind your back.[U] 23Who is it you have mocked and blasphemed? Who have you raised your voice against and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel! 24You have mocked the Lord through[V] your servants. You 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 tallest cedars, its choice cypress trees. I came to its distant heights, its densest forest. 25I dug wells[W] and drank water. I dried up all the streams of Egypt with the soles of my feet.”   26Have you not heard? I designed it long ago; I planned it in days gone by. I have now brought it to pass, and you have crushed fortified cities into piles of rubble. 27Their inhabitants have become powerless, dismayed, and ashamed. They are plants of the field, tender grass, grass on the rooftops, blasted by the east wind.[X]   28But I know[Y] your sitting down, your going out and your coming in, and your raging against Me. 29Because your raging against Me and your arrogance have reached My ears, I will put My hook in your nose and My bit in your mouth; I will make you go back the way you came.   30“ ‘This will be the sign for you: This year you will eat what grows on its own, and in the second year what grows from that. But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 31The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 32For a remnant will go out from Jerusalem and survivors, from Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.’ 33“Therefore, this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:   He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or build up an assault ramp against it. 34He will go back the way he came, and he will not enter this city.   This is the Lord’s declaration.   35I will defend this city and rescue it because of Me and because of My servant David.”   Defeat and Death of Sennacherib   36Then the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 37So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and left. He returned home and lived in Nineveh. 38One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword and escaped to the land of Ararat. Then his son Esar-haddon became king in his place.
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