Isaiah's Message of Deliverance1 On hearing [this report] , King Hezekiah tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and entered the house of the LORD. 2 He sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the scribe, and the leading priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz 3 to tell him, “This is what Hezekiah says: Today is a day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace; for children have come to the point of birth, but there is no strength to deliver them. 4 Perhaps the LORD your God will hear the words of the Rab-shakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to defy the living God, and He will rebuke him for the words that the LORD your God has heard. Therefore lift up a prayer for the remnant that still survives.” 5 So the servants of King Hezekiah went to Isaiah, 6 who replied, “Tell your master that this is what the LORD says: ‘Do not be afraid of the words you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. 7 Behold, I will put a spirit in him so that he will hear a rumor and return to his own land, where I will cause him to fall by the sword.’”
Sennacherib's Blasphemous Letter8 When the Rab-shakeh heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish, he withdrew and found the king fighting against Libnah. 9 Now Sennacherib had been warned about Tirhakah king of Cush: ▼
▼ That is, the upper Nile region“He has set out to fight against you.” On hearing this, Sennacherib sent messengers to Hezekiah with the order: 10 “Tell Hezekiah king of Judah, ‘Do not let your God, in whom you trust, deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11 Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all [the other] countries, destroying them completely. Will you then be spared? 12 Did the gods of the nations my fathers destroyed rescue them— [the gods of] Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden in Telassar? 13 Where are the kings of Hamath, Arpad, Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?’”
Hezekiah's Prayer14 So Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers, read it, and went up to the house of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: 16 “O LORD of Hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. 17 Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see. Listen to all the words that Sennacherib has sent to defy the living God. 18 Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all these countries and their lands. 19 They have cast their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods, but only wood and stone— the work of human hands. 20 And now, O LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, O LORD, are God.” ▼
▼ DSS (see also 2 Kings 19:19); MT you alone are the LORD
The Fall of Sennacherib Prophesied21 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah : “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Because you prayed to Me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word that the LORD has spoken against him: ‘The Virgin Daughter of Zion despises you and mocks you; the Daughter of Jerusalem shakes her head behind you. 23 Whom have you taunted and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel! 24 Through your servants you have taunted the Lord, and you have said: “With my many chariots I have ascended to the heights of the mountains, to the far recesses of Lebanon. I have cut down its tallest cedars, the finest of its cypress trees. I have reached its farthest heights, the densest of its forests. 25 I have dug wells and drunk [foreign] ▼
▼ DSS (see also 2 Kings 19:24); MT does not include foreignwaters. With the soles of my feet I have dried up all the streams of Egypt.” 26 Have you not heard? Long ago I ordained it; in days of old I planned it. Now I have brought it to pass, that you should crush fortified cities into piles of rubble. 27 Therefore their inhabitants, devoid of power, are dismayed and ashamed. They are plants of the field, tender green shoots, grass on the roofs, scorched ▼
▼ Some manuscripts of the MT, DSS and some LXX manuscripts (see also 2 Kings 19:26); most manuscripts of the MT on the roofs and terraced fieldsbefore it is grown. 28 But I know your sitting down, your going out and coming in, and your raging against Me. 29 Because your rage and arrogance against Me have reached My ears, I will put My hook in your nose and My bit in your mouth; I will send you back the way you came.’ 30 And this will be a sign to you, [O Hezekiah] : This year you will eat what grows on its own, and in the second year what springs from the same. But in the third year you will sow and reap; you will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 31 And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root below and bear fruit above. 32 For a remnant will go forth from Jerusalem, and survivors from Mount Zion. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts will accomplish this. 33 So this is what the LORD says about the king of Assyria: ‘He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow into it. He will not come before it with a shield or build up a siege ramp against it. 34 He will go back the way he came, and he will not enter this city, declares the LORD. 35 I will defend this city and rescue it for My own sake and for the sake of My servant David.’”
Jerusalem Delivered from the Assyrians36 Then the angel of the LORD went out and struck down 185,000 men in the camp of the Assyrians. When the people got up the next morning, there were all the dead bodies! 37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned home to Nineveh and stayed there. 38 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword and escaped to the land of Ararat. And his son Esar-haddon became king in his place.
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