Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem
1In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, King Sennacherib of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.
2The king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. He stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Fuller's Field.
3And there came out to him Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the recorder.
4The Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah: Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you base this confidence of yours?
5Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? On whom do you now rely, that you have rebelled against me?
6See, you are relying on Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of anyone who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who rely on him.
7But if you say to me, ‘We rely on the Lord our God,’ is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar’?
8Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them.
9How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master's servants, when you rely on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
10Moreover, is it without the Lord that I have come up against this land to destroy it? The Lord said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.”
11Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.”
12But the Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the people sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and drink their own urine?”
13Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah, “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria!
14Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you.
15Do not let Hezekiah make you rely on the Lord by saying, The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’
16Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make your peace with me and come out to me; then everyone of you will eat from your own vine and your own fig tree and drink water from your own cistern,
17until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.
18Do not let Hezekiah mislead you by saying, The Lord will save us. Has any of the gods of the nations saved their land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
19Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand?
20Who among all the gods of these countries have saved their countries out of my hand, that the Lord should save Jerusalem out of my hand?’ ”
21But they were silent and answered him not a word, for the king's command was, “Do not answer him.”
22Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.
Hezekiah Consults Isaiah
1When King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord.
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 Lord 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 Lord your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.”
5When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah,
6Isaiah said to them, “Say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: 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.’ ”
8The 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?”
14Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; then Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord.
15And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord, saying:
16“O Lord 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 Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God.
18Truly, O Lord, 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 Lord our God, save us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord.”
21Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying: “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Because you have prayed to me concerning King Sennacherib of Assyria,
22this is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him:
‘She despises you, she scorns you—
virgin daughter Zion;
she tosses her head—behind your back,
23‘Whom have you mocked and reviled?
Against whom have you raised your voice
and haughtily lifted your eyes?
Against the Holy One of Israel!
24By 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.
25I dug wells
and drank waters,
I dried up with the sole of my foot
all the streams of Egypt.”
26‘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,
27while 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.
28‘I know your rising up and your sitting down,
your going out and coming in,
and your raging against me.
29Because 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 Lord of hosts will do this.
33“ ‘Therefore thus says the Lord 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 Lord.
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
36Then the angel of the Lord 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.