2 Chronicles 32

King Sennacherib attacks Judah

1 After King Hezekiah had done all these good things, King Sennacherib of Assyria attacked Judah. He put his soldiers in camps around all the strong cities in Judah. He wanted to take the cities for himself.

2 Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come to attack Judah. He realized that Sennacherib had decided to attack Jerusalem. 3 So Hezekiah talked with his advisors and his army officers about what they should do. They decided to stop all the water that came from springs around the city. They all agreed that this was a good idea. 4 A big group of people came to help. They stopped the water that came from the springs and from the stream that went through that region. They said, ‘When the kings of Assyria arrive here, we do not want them to find plenty of water.’

5 King Hezekiah's men worked hard to repair the city's walls where they had broken. Hezekiah built towers on the walls. He also built another wall outside the first wall. He made the Millo around the City of David stronger, too. He also made many weapons and shields.

6 Hezekiah chose some men as captains to lead the men of his army. He told them to meet together in the open place near the city's gate. He said to them, 7 ‘Be strong and brave. Do not be afraid of the king of Assyria and his large army. Do not worry! We have much greater power than he has. 8 He has only the strength of human soldiers to help him. But we have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles!’

After King Hezekiah of Judah said that to his men, they felt brave and strong.

King Sennacherib warns the people of Jerusalem

9 King Sennacherib of Assyria and his army were ready to attack Lachish. While he was there, he sent some men to Jerusalem with a message. The message was for King Hezekiah and all Judah's people who were in Jerusalem with him. The message said this:

32:9Lachish was a town about 40 kilometres to the south and west of Jerusalem.

10 ‘King Sennacherib of Assyria says this to you: My soldiers have made their camp around Jerusalem. So why do you remain in the city? Why are you so sure that someone will rescue you? 11 Hezekiah tells you, “The Lord our God will save us from the power of Assyria's king.” But he is deceiving you. You will die because you will have no food or water. 12 Remember that it was Hezekiah who removed the altars and the special places where you worship the Lord your God. He told the people of Judah and Jerusalem, “You must worship God only at the altar here in Jerusalem. That is the only place that you may offer sacrifices. ”

13 You surely know what my ancestors and I have done to all the other nations. The gods of the nations around you could not save their people from my power. 14 Look at all the nations that my ancestors completely destroyed. None of their gods could rescue any of them. So do not think that your God can save you from my power. 15 Do not let Hezekiah deceive you with his lies. Do not believe him. No god of any nation or kingdom has been able to save his people from me or from my ancestors. So your God certainly cannot save you from my power! ’

16 King Sennacherib's men continued to insult the Lord God and his servant Hezekiah. 17 Sennacherib also wrote letters to insult the Lord, Israel's God, and to laugh at him. He wrote, ‘The gods of the other nations around you could not save their people from my power. So Hezekiah's God cannot rescue his people from me either.’

18 Then Sennacherib's men shouted loudly to the people who were standing on Jerusalem's walls. They spoke in the language of Judah's people. They wanted to make the people very afraid so that they could take the city for themselves. 19 They insulted the God of Jerusalem's people, as they insulted the gods of other nations. They spoke about him as if he was only a god that people had made for themselves.

32:18The people of Judah spoke the Hebrew language.

Hezekiah and Isaiah pray to the Lord

20 King Hezekiah and Amoz's son, Isaiah the prophet, prayed to God in heaven. They asked him to help. 21 The Lord God sent an angel to destroy Assyria's army. The angel killed all the soldiers and the army officers in their camp. So the king of Assyria had to return home to his own country. He was very ashamed. He went into the temple of his god. There some of his own sons used their swords to kill him.

22 That is how the Lord saved Hezekiah and Jerusalem's people from King Sennacherib of Assyria. The Lord also saved them from all their other enemies. So all Judah had a time of peace. 23 Many people brought gifts to Jerusalem to offer to the Lord. They also brought valuable gifts for King Hezekiah. From that time, all the other nations respected Hezekiah as a great king.

24 Soon after that, Hezekiah became very ill. He nearly died. He prayed to the Lord and the Lord answered him. The Lord did a miracle to show that Hezekiah would get better. 25 But Hezekiah did not thank the Lord for the kind thing that he had done for him. The king was too proud to do that. So the Lord became angry with him, and with the people of Judah and Jerusalem. 26 But then Hezekiah and the people who lived in Jerusalem made themselves humble. They stopped being proud, so the Lord did not punish them. He was not angry with them while Hezekiah continued to be king.

32:24You can read about the miracle in 2 Kings 20:8-11; Isaiah 38:7-8.

27 Hezekiah was very rich. People gave him great honour. He built rooms to store all his valuable things. They included silver, gold, jewels, spices and shields. 28 He built rooms to store grain, wine and olive oil. He also made buildings to keep all his cows, sheep and goats. 29 He built special cities for himself. He put lots of sheep and cows in them, because God had given him very many things.

30 Hezekiah had stopped the water coming out from the higher spring at Gihon. Instead, he caused the water to go down to the west side of the City of David. Hezekiah was successful in all the things that he did. 31 After that, the rulers of Babylon sent some officers to visit Hezekiah. They wanted to ask him about the miracle that had happened in Judah. God let Hezekiah decide what to tell them. He wanted to test Hezekiah, to see if he would be faithful.

King Hezekiah dies

32 The other things that happened while Hezekiah was king are written in a book. They include his faithful love for the Lord. The prophet Isaiah, Amoz's son, wrote down these things in the book of his visions. It is part of ‘The history of the kings of Judah and Israel’.

33 Hezekiah died and his people buried him beside the graves of King David's descendants, near the top of the hill. At his death, all the people of Judah and those who lived in Jerusalem gave him great honour.

32:33Hezekiah died in about 687 BC.

Hezekiah's son Manasseh became king after him.