Isaiah 37

1King Hezekiah listened to those things. Then Hezekiah tore his clothes ˻to show he was upset˼. Then Hezekiah put on the special clothes of sadness and went to the Lord’s temple. 2Hezekiah sent Eliakim the palace manager, Shebna the royal secretary, and the elders ˻(leaders)˼ of the priests to the prophet, Isaiah son of Amoz. They wore the special clothes ˻that showed they were sad and upset˼. 3These men said to Isaiah, “King Hezekiah has commanded that today will be a special day for sorrow and sadness. It will be a very sad day. It will be like a day when a child should be born, but is not strong enough to come from its mother’s body. 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 prove the enemy is wrong! So pray for the people that are still left alive.” 5King Hezekiah’s officers went to Isaiah. 6Isaiah said to them, “Give this message to your master, Hezekiah: The Lord says, 'Don’t be afraid of the things you heard from the commanders! Don’t believe the evil things those “boys” from the king of Assyria said about me. 7Look, I will send a spirit against Assyria. ˻The king of˼ Assyria will get a report warning him about a danger to his country. So, he will go back to his country. At that time, I will kill him with a sword in his own country.’” 8- 9The king of Assyria got a report. The report said, “Tirhakah, the king of Ethiopia, is coming to fight you.” So, the king of Assyria left Lachish and went to Libnah. The commander heard this, and he went to the city Libnah, where the king of Assyria was fighting. He sent messengers to Hezekiah. He said, 10“You should tell these things to Hezekiah, the king of Judah: Don’t be fooled by the god you trust. Don’t say, “God will not let Jerusalem be defeated by the king of Assyria.” 11You have heard what the kings of Assyria did to all the other countries! They destroyed them completely! Will you be saved? No! 12Did the gods of those people save them? No! My ancestors destroyed them all. They destroyed Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden living 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! They were all destroyed!˼ 14Hezekiah took the letters from the messengers and read them. Then Hezekiah went to the Lord’s temple. Hezekiah opened the letters and laid them out in front the Lord. 15Hezekiah began praying to the Lord and said: 16Lord All-Powerful, God of Israel, you sit as King on the Cherub angels. You, and only you, are the God that rules all the kingdoms on earth. You made the heavens and the earth! 17Lord, please listen to me. Lord, open your eyes and look at this message. Hear the words that Sennacherib sent to insult you, the living God! 18It is true, Lord. The kings of Assyria did destroy all those nations! 19The kings of Assyria have burned the gods of those nations. 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. 20But you are the Lord our God. So please save us from the king of Assyria. Then all the other nations will know that you are the Lord, and you are the only ˻God˼. 21Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah. Isaiah said, “The Lord, the God of Israel says, 'You prayed to me about the message that came from Sennacherib king of Assyria. I have heard you.’ 22“This is the Lord’s message about Sennacherib: ˻King of Assyria˼, The Virgin Daughter of Zion ˻(Jerusalem)˼ doesn’t think you are important. She laughs at you. The Daughter of Jerusalem makes fun of you. 23But 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! 24You sent your officers to insult the Lord my Master. You said, '˻I am very powerful!˼ I have many, many chariots. ˻With my power I defeated Lebanon.˼ I climbed the highest mountains of Lebanon. I cut down all the great trees ˻(armies)˼ of Lebanon. I have been to the highest mountain and into the deepest part of that forest. 25I dug wells, and drank water ˻from new places˼. I dried up the rivers of Egypt and walked on that country.’ 26That is what you said.˼ But haven’t you heard ˻what I said˼? 'I ˻(God)˼ planned it long ago, from ancient times I planned it. And now, I made it happen. I let you tear down the strong cities and change them into piles of rocks. 27The people in the cities had no power. Those 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. 28˻I know all about your battles.˼ I know when you rested. I know when you went out to war. I know when you came home from war. I also know when you were upset at me. 29Yes, 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.’” 30˻Then the Lord said to Hezekiah,˼ “I will give you a sign to show you that these words are true. ˻You were not be able to plant seeds.˼ So this year you will eat grain that grew wild from last year’s crop. But in three years, you will eat grain that you planted. You will harvest those crops and you will have plenty to eat. You will plant grapevines and eat their fruit. 31“The people from the family of Judah that have escaped and are left ˻alive˼ will again begin to grow. ˻These people will be like plants that˼ send their roots deep into the ground and produce fruit above the ground. 32Why? Because a few people will remain alive. They will go out from Jerusalem. There will be survivors coming from Mount Zion.” The strong love of the Lord All-Powerful will do this. 33So the Lord says this about the king of Assyria: “He will not come into this city. He will not shoot an arrow at 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. 34He will go back the same way he came. He will not come into this city. The Lord says this! 35I will protect this city and save it. I will do this for myself and for my servant David.” 36˻That 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 the dead bodies all around them. 37So Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, went back to Nineveh and stayed there. 38One day, Sennacherib was in the temple of his god, Nisroch, worshiping him. At that time his two sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, killed him with a sword. Then the sons ran away to Ararat. So Sennacherib’s son Esarhaddon became the new king of Assyria.

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