1King Hezekiah heard those things, and he tore his clothes and put on the rough cloth ˻that showed he was sad and upset˼. Then he went into the Lord’s temple. 2Hezekiah sent Eliakim (Eliakim was in charge of the king’s house), Shebna (the secretary), and the elders of the priests to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They wore the rough cloth ˻that showed they were sad and upset˼. 3They said to Isaiah, “Hezekiah says, 'This is a day of trouble, a day to show we are wrong. It is like the time for babies to be born, but there is no strength to give birth to them. 4The commander’s master, the king of Assyria, has sent him to say bad things about the living God. Maybe the Lord your God will hear all those things. Maybe the Lord will punish the enemy! So pray for the people that are still left alive.’” 5King Hezekiah’s officers went to Isaiah. 6Isaiah said to them, “Give your master Hezekiah this message: 'The Lord says: Don’t be afraid of the things that the officers of the king of Assyria have said to make fun of me. 7I am putting a spirit in him. He will hear a rumor. Then he will run back to his own country. And I will cause him to be killed by a sword in his own country.’” 8The commander heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish. So the commander found his king fighting against Libnah. 9The king of Assyria heard a rumor about Tirhakah king of Ethiopia. The rumor said, “Tirhakah has come to fight against you!” So the king of Assyria sent messengers to Hezekiah again. The king of Assyria gave a message to these messengers. He said these things: 10To Hezekiah, king of Judah: Don’t let the God that you trust fool you. He says, “The king of Assyria will not defeat Jerusalem!” 11You have heard the things the kings of Assyria have done to all the other countries. We destroyed them completely! Will you be saved? No! 12The gods of those nations did not save their people. My ancestors destroyed them all. They destroyed Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden in Tel Assar! 13Where is the king of Hamath? The king of Arpad? The king of the city of Sepharvaim? The kings of Hena and Ivvah? ˻They are all finished!˼ 14Hezekiah received the letters from the messengers and read them. Then Hezekiah went up to the Lord’s temple and laid the letters out in front of the Lord. 15Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said, “Lord, the God of Israel who sits as King between the Cherub angels. You are the God—you alone—of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth! 16Lord, please listen to me. Lord, open your eyes, and see ˻this letter˼. Hear the words that Sennacherib sent to insult the living God! 17It is true, Lord. The kings of Assyria did destroy all those nations! 18They did throw the gods of the nations into the fire. But those were not real gods. They were only wood and stone—statues that men made. That is why the kings of Assyria could destroy them. 19So now, Lord our God, save us from the king of Assyria. Then all the kingdoms on earth will know that you, Lord, are the only God.” 20Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah. He said, “The Lord God of Israel says this, 'You have prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria. I have heard you.’ 21“This is the Lord’s message about Sennacherib: The virgin daughter of Zion ˻(Jerusalem)˼ doesn’t think you are important. She makes fun of you! The Daughter Jerusalem shakes her head at you behind your back. 22But who did you insult and make fun of? Who did you speak against? You were against the Holy One of Israel! You acted like you were better than him! 23You sent your messengers to insult the Lord. You said, ”I came with my many chariots to the high mountains. I came deep inside Lebanon. I cut down the tallest cedar trees and the best fir trees of Lebanon. I went up to the highest part of Lebanon, up to its lush forest. 24I dug wells, and drank water from new places. I dried up the rivers of Egypt and walked on that country.” 25˻That is what you said.˼ But haven’t you heard ˻what God said˼? “I ˻(God)˼ planned it long ago, from ancient times I planned it. And now, I have made it happen. I let you tear down the strong cities and change them into piles of rocks. 26The people in the cities had no power. They people were scared and confused. They were about to be cut down like grass and plants in the field. They were like grass growing on the housetops, dying before it grows tall. 27I know when you sit down. I know when you go to war. and when you come home. And I know when you get upset at me. 28Yes, you were upset at me. I heard your proud insults. So I will put my hook in your nose. And I will put my bit in your mouth. Then I will turn you around and lead you back the way you came.” 29“This will be the sign to prove I will help you: This year you will eat ˻the grain˼ that grows by itself. Next year you will eat the grain that comes up from that seed. But in the third year you will gather the grain from the seeds that you planted. You will plant fields of grapes and eat the grapes from them. 30The people that have escaped and are left in the family of Judah will again begin to grow. 31Why? Because a few people will remain alive. They will go out from Jerusalem. People that have escaped will go out from Mount Zion. The Lord’s strong feelings will do this. 32“So the Lord says this about the king of Assyria: He will not come into this city. He will not shoot an arrow in this city. He will not bring his shields to this city. He will not build up a hill of dirt to attack the walls of this city. 33He will go back the same way he came. He will not come into this city. The Lord says this! 34I will protect this city and save it. I will do this for myself and for my servant David.” 35That night, the angel of the Lord went out and killed 185,000 people in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up in the morning, they saw all the dead bodies. 36So Sennacherib king of Assyria left and went back to Nineveh where he stayed. 37One day Sennacherib was worshiping in the temple of Nisroch, his god. His sons Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with a sword. Then Adrammelech and Sharezer escaped into the land of Ararat. And Sennacherib’s son Esarhaddon became the new king after him.
2 Kings 19