2 Chronicles 32

Sennacherib attacks Judah

1 After Hezekiah had done all these good things, Sennacherib, the king of Assyria came into Judah. His soldiers lived in tents round all the strong cities that had walls. He hoped to win them for himself.

Hezekiah makes Jerusalem strong

2 Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come. And he saw that he wanted to fight against Jerusalem's people. 3 So he talked with his officers and with his best soldiers. They decided to stop all the water that came from streams round the city. And the officers and the soldiers helped him to do it. 4 Many people came. And they stopped the big stream that went through the land there. They said, ‘We do not want the kings of Assyria to find plenty of water here.’ 5 Then Hezekiah's men worked to do repairs to the city's walls where they needed it. All the men worked as well as they could. Hezekiah built tall buildings on the walls. And he built another wall outside the first wall. He made the wall called the Millo round the City of David stronger, too. And he made a lot of weapons and shields too.

Hezekiah prepares to fight

6 Hezekiah chose some men to be captains over the people in the fight. He asked all the captains to come together in front of him. They met in the big place by the city's gate. Then he spoke to make them braver. This is what he said: 7 ‘Be strong and brave. Do not be afraid of Assyria's king or of his large army. And do not think that they will certainly beat you. There are more soldiers with us than there are with him. 8 He has only human soldiers to help him. But we have the Lord our God to help us and to fight for us.’ And the words that Judah's King Hezekiah spoke caused the people to feel brave.

Sennacherib tells Hezekiah that Hezekiah cannot win a fight with him

9 Sennacherib, the king of Assyria and all his army were waiting round Lachish to attack it. Then he sent a message to Judah's King Hezekiah and to all Judah's people with him in Jerusalem. This is what it said:

32:9Lachish was a town about 25 miles (40 kilometres) to the south and west of Jerusalem.

10 ‘Sennacherib, king of Assyria says this to you: “You are sitting in Jerusalem and there are soldiers everywhere round you. But I do not know what you are trusting. 11 Hezekiah is saying that the Lord your God will save you from the king of Assyria. But it is not true. You will die because you will have no food or water. And he knows that. 12 Remember that Hezekiah himself removed this god's high places for worship and his altars. He told you people in Judah and Jerusalem that you should worship in front of one altar only. And he said that you should burn oils with sweet smells on that altar only.

13 You know what my ancestors and I have done to all the people in other countries. Their gods were never able to save their country from me. 14 None of the gods of the nations that my ancestors completely destroyed was able to save his people from them. So I do not know how your god can save you from me. 15 So now do not let Hezekiah cause you to believe things that are not true. Do not let him change your thoughts. 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 will not save you from me!” ’

Sennacherib says that the Lord God has no value

16 Sennacherib's servants also spoke more things against the Lord God and against his servant Hezekiah. 17 He also wrote letters that said bad things about the Lord, Israel's God. He wrote, ‘The gods of other nations could not save their people from me. So the god of Hezekiah will not save his people from me.’ 18 Then Sennacherib's servants shouted loudly in the Jewish language to the people who were standing on Jerusalem's walls. They wanted to make them very afraid so that they would be able to win the city. 19 They spoke about Jerusalem's God. They spoke as they had spoken about all the gods of the people in other countries. But those gods were only idols that men had made with their hands.

Hezekiah and Isaiah pray to the Lord

20 King Hezekiah and Amoz's son, Isaiah the prophet, prayed about this. And they shouted towards heaven. 21 Then the Lord God sent an angel. And the angel killed all the strong, brave soldiers in the camp of the king of Assyria. The angel killed the leaders and he killed the officers too. So the king of Assyria was ashamed and he returned to his own country. He went into his own god's house. There some of his own sons attacked him with swords and they killed him.

22 So the Lord saved Hezekiah and Jerusalem's people from Sennacherib, the king of Assyria and from all their other enemies. He kept them safe from the nations everywhere round their country. 23 Many people brought gifts to Jerusalem for the Lord and valuable gifts for Hezekiah, king of Judah. At that time and always after that, the people in all nations thought that Hezekiah was great.

24 Hezekiah became very ill at that time. He nearly died. He prayed to the Lord and the Lord spoke to him. And the Lord showed him that he would get better. 25 But Hezekiah did not thank the Lord for what he had done for him. The king thought that he was too great to do that. So the Lord became angry with him and with the people in Judah and in Jerusalem. 26 But then Hezekiah and the people who lived in Jerusalem made themselves humble. So the Lord did not punish the people while Hezekiah was still alive.

27 Hezekiah was very rich and people gave great honour to him. He had a lot of silver and gold and valuable stones of many colours. He had spices and shields and all kinds of other valuable things. 28 He built places to store grain and new wine and oil. He made buildings for his cows, sheep and goats and all kinds of other animals. 29 He built cities for himself. And he had many sheep and cows because God had given very many things to him.

30 Hezekiah had stopped the water coming from the higher stream that came out of the ground at Gihon. He caused the water to run down inside the west of David's City. And when he tried to do anything, good things happened. 31 But the rulers of Babylon sent some officers to Hezekiah. They came to ask him about the strange thing that had happened in his country. God let Hezekiah decide what to tell them. He wanted to see what Hezekiah would do.

People write about King Hezekiah's life

32 The prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, wrote about a vision. And he wrote down all the other things that Hezekiah did. That included the things that gave pleasure to God. Some things are in the book called ‘The Vision of Amoz's son, the prophet Isaiah’. Other things are in the ‘Book about the Kings of Judah and Israel’. 33 Hezekiah died and people buried him with David's descendants near the top of the hill. All the people in Judah and in Jerusalem gave great honour to him when he died. Then his son Manasseh became king after him.

32:33Hezekiah died in about 687 BC.