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Hezekiah Consults Isaiah


When King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the L ord. 2And he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 3They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. 4It may be that the L ord your God heard the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the L ord your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.”

5 When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, 6Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the L ord: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. 7I myself will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor, and return to his own land; I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.’ ”

8 The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah; for he had heard that the king had left Lachish. 9Now the king heard concerning King Tirhakah of Ethiopia, “He has set out to fight against you.” When he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10“Thus shall you speak to King Hezekiah of Judah: Do not let your God on whom you rely deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11See, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, destroying them utterly. Shall you be delivered? 12Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my predecessors destroyed, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?”

Hezekiah’s Prayer

14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; then Hezekiah went up to the house of the L ord and spread it before the L ord. 15And Hezekiah prayed to the L ord, saying: 16“O L ord of hosts, God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, you are God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 17Incline your ear, O L ord, and hear; open your eyes, O L ord, and see; hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 18Truly, O L ord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, 19and have hurled their gods into the fire, though they were no gods, but the work of human hands—wood and stone—and so they were destroyed. 20So now, O L ord our God, save us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the L ord.”

21 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying: “Thus says the L ord, the God of Israel: Because you have prayed to me concerning King Sennacherib of Assyria, 22this is the word that the L ord has spoken concerning him:

She despises you, she scorns you—

virgin daughter Zion;

she tosses her head—behind your back,

daughter Jerusalem.



“Whom have you mocked and reviled?

Against whom have you raised your voice

and haughtily lifted your eyes?

Against the Holy One of Israel!


By your servants you have mocked the Lord,

and you have said, ‘With my many chariots

I have gone up the heights of the mountains,

to the far recesses of Lebanon;

I felled its tallest cedars,

its choicest cypresses;

I came to its remotest height,

its densest forest.


I dug wells

and drank waters,

I dried up with the sole of my foot

all the streams of Egypt.’



“Have you not heard

that I determined it long ago?

I planned from days of old

what now I bring to pass,

that you should make fortified cities

crash into heaps of ruins,


while their inhabitants, shorn of strength,

are dismayed and confounded;

they have become like plants of the field

and like tender grass,

like grass on the housetops,

blighted before it is grown.



“I know your rising up and your sitting down,

your going out and coming in,

and your raging against me.


Because you have raged against me

and your arrogance has come to my ears,

I will put my hook in your nose

and my bit in your mouth;

I will turn you back on the way

by which you came.


30 “And this shall be the sign for you: This year eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs from that; then in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 31The surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward; 32for from Jerusalem a remnant shall go out, and from Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the L ord of hosts will do this.

33 “Therefore thus says the L ord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city, shoot an arrow there, come before it with a shield, or cast up a siege ramp against it. 34By the way that he came, by the same he shall return; he shall not come into this city, says the L ord. 35For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.”


Sennacherib’s Defeat and Death

36 Then the angel of the L ord set out and struck down one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians; when morning dawned, they were all dead bodies. 37Then King Sennacherib of Assyria left, went home, and lived at Nineveh. 38As he was worshiping in the house of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped into the land of Ararat. His son Esar-haddon succeeded him.

20. And now, O Jehovah our God. At the conclusion of his prayer, the pious king now rises above that fear with which he had struggled; for the aids by which he had hitherto fortified himself undoubtedly encouraged him boldly to add this short clause. Although God does not always deliver his people from temporal evils, yet as he had promised that he would be the protector of the city, Hezekiah could firmly believe that all the efforts of that wicked tyrant, which were directed to the destruction of that city, would be fruitless.

May know that thou alone art Jehovah. When he pleads it as an argument with God that the deliverance of the city will be an occasion of promoting his glory, we conclude that nothing is more desirable than to make his name glorious in every possible way; and this is even the chief design of our salvation, from which we are not at liberty to depart, if we desire that God should be gracious to us. Hence we conelude that those men are unworthy of his assistance, who, satisfied with their own salvation, disregard or forget the reason why God chooses to preserve them. Not only do they dishonor God by this ingratitude, but they likewise inflict grievous injury on themselves, by separating those things which God had joined; for in saving his people he glorifies his name, which must be, as we have already said, our highest consolation. Besides, Hezekiah does not only desire that the God of Israel shall hold a certain rank, but that all idols shall be abolished, and that he shall reign alone; for at that time many idolaters would have allowed him to be worshipped along with others, but, since he does not admit companions, every deity framed by the hand of man must be destroyed, that He may hold the undivided sovereignty.

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