2 Kings 19

The Lord saves Jerusalem

1  When King Hezekiah heard the report of his servants, he tore his clothes. Then he put on sackcloth and he went into the house of the Lord. 2 And he sent Eliakim and Shebna and the leaders of the priests to Isaiah who was a prophet. Isaiah was the son of Amoz. Eliakim was the most important servant in the king's palace. Shebna was the leader of the king's government. And Eliakim, Shebna and the priests all wore sackcloth. 3 And they told Isaiah, ‘Hezekiah says, “There are many problems at this time. And the words I have heard make me ashamed. The problems are like a child that is ready to be born. But its mother is not strong enough for it to be born. 4 Perhaps the Lord, your God will do something about all the words of the leader of the army. His master is the king of Assyria. The king sent him to laugh in a bad way at the God who really is alive. Maybe the Lord your God will tell him that his words were wrong. God has heard them. So, pray about the people that remain in Jerusalem.” ’ 5 So Hezekiah's servants came to Isaiah. 6 Isaiah said to them, ‘Tell your master that the Lord says, “Do not be afraid of the words that you have heard. The servants of the king of Assyria are not important. They have said very bad things about me. 7 Listen to me! I will put a spirit into the king of Assyria. Then, he will hear a certain report. When he hears it, he will return to his own country. And there, I will cause someone to kill him with a sword.” ’

19:1This chapter is almost the same as Isaiah chapter 37.

8 Then, the leader of the army heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish. So he left Jerusalem and he found the king of Assyria. The king was fighting against Libnah. 9 But the king of Assyria heard this report about Tirhakah. Tirhakah was the king of Ethiopia. The report said, ‘He has come out from Ethiopia to fight against you.’ So again he sent people to Jerusalem with a message. They had this message for Hezekiah. 10 ‘Say this to King Hezekiah of Judah. Say, “You are hoping that your God will help you. But do not let him tell you what is not true. Your God says that the king of Assyria will not destroy Jerusalem. 11 But you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the other countries. They destroyed them completely. And your God will not save you. 12 The gods of these other countries did not save them. My fathers destroyed Gozan, Haran and Rezeph. And they have killed the people of Eden that lived in Tel Assar. 13 The kings of Hamath and Arpad have gone. The king of the city called Sepharvaim has gone. The kings of Hena and Ivvah have gone.” ’

14 Hezekiah received the letter from the people that brought the message. He read it and then he went up to the house of the Lord. He opened the letter in front of the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord. He said, ‘Lord, you are the God of Israel. You sit on a seat between the special angels. Only you are the God of all the countries in the world. You have made the skies and the earth. 16 Lord, turn your ears to me and hear me. Lord, open your eyes and look at this letter. listen to the words of Sennacherib. He sent them to laugh in a bad way at the God who really is alive. 17 It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have made empty places of many countries and their lands. 18 They threw their gods into the fire. They destroyed them because they are not really God. Human hands made them from wood and stone. 19 So now, our Lord and our God, save us from the power of the king of Assyria! Then all the people and all the kings in the world will know that only you are the Lord.’

20 Then Isaiah, the son of Amoz, sent a message to Hezekiah. ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, says, “I heard when you prayed to me about Sennacherib, the king of Assyria.” So,

21 this is what the Lord says about him.

“The people who live in Zion

do not like you.

They laugh at you.

The people who live in Jerusalem

move the head about behind you.

22 Whom have you said bad things about?

They were not true!

Who is it that you have shouted at?

Who is it that you have looked at proudly?

The answer is the Holy God of Israel!

23 You have used your servants to say bad things about the Lord.

You have said, ‘With many of my chariots

I have gone up very high mountains,

the highest mountains in Lebanon.

I have cut its tallest cedars down,

and the best of its pine trees.

I went to its highest places and to its best forests.

24 I dug wells in other countries and I drank the water from the wells.

I made all the rivers in Egypt dry with my feet.’

25 Surely, you have heard this!

I decided what to do a long time ago!

I decided what to do in past times!

Now it has happened.

You have caused strong cities to become mountains of stones.

26 The people in them are not strong.

They are not happy. And they are confused.

They are like plants in a field.

They are like the new parts of young green plants.

They are like grass on the roof of a house.

The hot winds burn them before they can grow.

27 I know everything about you.

I know when you sit down.

And I know when you go out.

And I know when you come in.

And I know when you shout proudly at me.

28 You have shouted proudly at me

and you have said bad things about me.

So I will put my hook in your nose.

I will tie your mouth to a rope to lead you.

Then I will take you back home by the same way that you came.”

29 This will show it to you, Hezekiah:

“This year, you will eat what grows from its own seeds.

And in the second year, you will eat what grows from the first year's seeds.

But in the third year you will plant seeds. And you will pick what grows from them.

And you will plant again the vineyards and you will enjoy their fruit.

30 And this will happen also to the people that remain in Judah.

They will be like plants.

They put roots down below the ground and they grow fruit above it.

The people will be like that.

31 That will happen because a remnant will come out from Jerusalem.

And the people that remain will come out from Mount Zion.

The great love that the Lord Almighty has for his people will cause that to happen!”

32 This is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria.

“He will not come into this city,

and he will not shoot an arrow here.

He will not stand in front of it with a shield.

He will not build mountains of earth against it.

33 He will return to Assyria by the way that he came,

and he will not come into this city.”

This is the promise of the Lord.

34 “So I will make this city safe and I will save it.

I will do this to keep my good name.

I promised my servant David that I would do it. That is why I will do it.” ’

35 That night, the Lord's angel went and he killed 185,000 men in the army from Assyria. When people got up in the morning, they saw all those dead bodies! 36 So Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, took his army away. He returned to Assyria and he stayed there in Nineveh. 37 After that time he was worshipping his god Nisroch in the house of Nisroch. Two of his sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, killed him with their swords. Then, they ran away into the country called Ararat. So Esarhaddon, who was another of his sons, ruled instead of Sennacherib.

19:37Students think that this happened about 20 years after verse 36.