- And it came to pass, when king Ezekias heard it, that he rent his clothes, and put on sackcloth, and went up to the house of the Lord.
- And he sent Heliakim the steward, and Somnas the scribe, and the elders of the priests clothed with sackcloth, to Esaias the son of Amos, the prophet. And they said to him, Thus says Ezekias,
- To-day is a day of affliction, and reproach, and rebuke, and anger: for the pangs are come upon the travailing woman, but she has not strength to bring forth.
- May the Lord thy God hear the words of Rabsaces, which the king of the Assyrians has sent, to reproach the living God, even to reproach with the words which the Lord thy God has heard: therefore thou shalt pray to thy Lord for these that are left.
- So the servants of king Ezekias came to Esaias.
- And Esaias said to them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith the Lord, Be not thou afraid at the words which thou hast heard, wherewith the ambassadors of the king of the Assyrians have reproached me,
- Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a report, and return to his own country, and he shall fall by the sword in his own land.
- So Rabsaces returned, and found the king of the Assyrians besieging Lobna: for he had heard that he had departed from Lachis.
- And Tharaca king of the Ethiopians went forth to [a] attack him. And when he heard it, he turned aside, and sent messengers to Ezekias, saying,
- Thus shall ye say to Ezekias king of Judea, Let not thy God, in whom thou trustest, deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of the Assyrians.
- Hast thou not heard what the kings of the Assyrians have done, how they have destroyed the whole earth? and shalt thou be delivered?
- Have the gods of the nations which my fathers destroyed delivered them, both Gozan, and Charrhan, and Rapheth, which are in the land of Theemath?
- Where are the kings of Emath? and where is the king of Arphath? and where is the king of the city of Eppharuaim, and of Anagugana?
- And Ezekias received the letter from the messengers, and read it, and went up to the house of the Lord, and opened it before the Lord.
- And Ezekias prayed to the Lord, saying,
- O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, who sittest upon the cherubs, thou alone art the God of every kingdom of the world: thou hast made heaven and earth.
- Incline thine ear, O Lord, hearken, O Lord; open thine eyes, O Lord, look, O Lord: and behold the words of Sennacherim, which he has sent to reproach the living God.
- For of a truth, Lord, the kings of the Assyrians have laid waste the whole world, and the countries thereof,
- and have cast their idols into the fire: for, they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone; and they have cast them away.
- But now, O Lord our God, deliver us from his hands, that every kingdom of the earth may know that thou art God alone.
- And Esaias the son of Amos was sent to Ezekias, and said to him, Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, I have heard thy prayer to me concerning Sennacherim king of the Assyrians.
- This is the word which God has spoken concerning him; The virgin daughter of Sion has despised thee, and mocked thee; the daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head at thee.
- Whom hast thou reproached and provoked? and against whom hast thou lifted up thy voice? and hast thou not lifted up thine eyes on high against the Holy One of Israel?
- For thou hast reproached the Lord by messengers; for thou hast said, With the multitude of chariots have I ascended to the height of mountains, and to the sides of Libanus; and I have [b] cropped the height of his cedars and the beauty of his cypresses; and I entered into the height of the forest region:
- and I have made a bridge, and dried up the waters, and every pool of water.
- Hast thou not heard of these things which I did of old? I appointed them from ancient times; but now have I manifested my purpose of desolating nations in their strong holds, and them that dwell in strong cities.
- I weakened their hands, and they withered; and they became as dry grass on the house-tops, and as grass.
- But now I know thy rest, and thy going out, and thy coming in.
- And thy wrath wherewith thou hast been enraged, and thy rancour has come up to me; therefore I will put a hook in thy nose, and a bit in thy lips, and will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.
- And this shall be a sign to thee, Eat this year what thou hast sown; and the second year that which is left: and the third year sow, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.
- And they that are left in Judea shall take root downward, and bear fruit upward:
- for out of Jerusalem there shall be [c] a remnant, and the saved ones out of mount Sion: the zeal of the Lord of hosts shall perform this.
- Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king of the Assyrians, He shall not enter into this city, nor cast a weapon against it, nor bring a shield against it, nor make a rampart round it.
- But by the way by which he came, by it shall he return, and shall not enter into this city: thus saith the Lord.
- I will protect this city to save it for my own sake, and for my servant David's sake.
- And the angel of the Lord went forth, and slew out of the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and eighty-five thousand: and they arose in the morning and found all these bodies dead.
- And Sennacherim king of the Assyrians turned and departed, and dwelt in Nineve.
- And while he was worshipping Nasarach his country's god in the house, Adramelech and Sarasar his sons smote him with swords; and they escaped into Armenia: and Asordan his son reigned in his stead.
[a] Gr. besiege
[b] Gr. cut
[c] Lit. the left men
[English translation of the Septuagint by Sir Lancelot Charles Lee
Brenton (1807-1862) originally published by Samuel Bagster & Sons,
Ltd., London, 1851]