Hezekiah Seeks Isaiah’s Counsel
1When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the Lord’s temple. 2He sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and the leading priests, who were covered with 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, but there is no strength to deliver them. 4Perhaps the Lord your God will hear all the words of the royal spokesman, whom his master the king of Assyria sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke him for the words that the Lord 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, ‘The Lord says this: Don’t be afraid because of the words you have heard, with which the king of Assyria’s attendants have blasphemed me. 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 Departing Threat
8When the royal spokesman heard that the king of Assyria had pulled out of Lachish, he left and found him fighting against Libnah. 9The king had heard concerning King Tirhakah of Cush, “Look, he has set out to fight against you.” So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10“Say this to King Hezekiah of Judah: ‘Don’t let your God, on whom you rely, deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not 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 — nations such as 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?’”
14Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers’ hands, read it, then went up to the Lord’s temple, and spread it out before the Lord. 15Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord:
Lord God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you are God — you alone — of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. 16Listen closely, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see. Hear the words that Sennacherib has sent to mock the living God. 17Lord, it is true that the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands. 18They 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. 19Now, Lord our God, please save us from his power so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, Lord, are God — you alone.
God’s Answer through Isaiah
20Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “The Lord, the God of Israel says, ‘I have heard your prayer to me about King Sennacherib of Assyria.’ 21This is the word the Lord has spoken against him:
Virgin Daughter Zion
despises you and scorns you;
shakes her head behind your back.
22Who is it you mocked and blasphemed?
Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted your eyes in pride?
Against the Holy One of Israel!
23You have mocked the Lord through your messengers.
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 farthest outpost,
its densest forest.
24I dug wells
and drank water in foreign lands.
I dried up all the streams of Egypt
with the soles of my feet.’
25Have 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.
26Their inhabitants have become powerless,
dismayed, and ashamed.
They are plants of the field,
grass on the rooftops,
blasted by the east wind.
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 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.
29“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. 30The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 31For a remnant will go out from Jerusalem, and survivors, from Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.
32Therefore, this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:
He will not enter this city,
shoot an arrow here,
come before it with a shield,
or build up a siege ramp against it.
33He will go back
the way he came,
and he will not enter this city.
This is the Lord’s declaration.
34I will defend this city and rescue it
for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.”
Defeat and Death of Sennacherib
35That night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. When the people got up the next morning — there were all the dead bodies! 36So King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and left. He returned home and lived in Nineveh.
37One 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.