Hezekiah King of Judah – Continued from 2 Kings 18:1-12


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King Hezekiah, 2 Kings 18:13-37 — 20:21

18:13 During the fourteenth year of the reign off King Hezekiah, King Sennacherib of Assyria approached all of the walled cities of Judah and seized them. 14 So Hezekiah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish: “I have offended you. Withdraw from me, and I’ll accept whatever tribute you impose.” So the king of Assyria required Hezekiah to pay him 300 talents of silver and 30 talents of gold. 15 Hezekiah gave him all the silver that could be removed from the LORD’s Temple and from the treasuries in the king’s palace. 16 At that time, Hezekiah removed the doors to the LORD’s Temple and the doorposts that he had overlaid with gold, and gave the gold to the king of Assyria.

Assyria’s King Taunts Hezekiah

17 Sometime later, the king of Assyria sent Tartan, Rab-saris, and Rab-shakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem, accompanied with a large army. 18 When they called for the king, Hilkiah’s son Eliakim, who managed the household, Shebnah the scribe, and Asaph’s son Joah the recorder went out to them. 19 Rab-shakeh told them, “Tell Hezekiah right now, ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria says:

‘“Why are you so confident? 20 You’re saying—but they’re only empty words—‘I have enough advice and resources to conduct warfare!’

‘“Now who are you relying on, that you have rebelled against me? 21 Look, you’re trusting on Egypt to lean on like a staff, but it’s a crushed reed, and if you lean on it, it will collapse and pierce your hand. Pharaoh, king of Egypt, is just like that to everyone who relies on him!

22 ‘“Of course, you might tell me, “We rely on the LORD our God!” But isn’t it he whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has demolished, all the while telling Jerusalem, “You’re to worship in front of this altar in Jerusalem?”’

23 ‘“Come now, and make a deal with my master, the king of Assyria, and I’ll give you 2,000 horses, if you can furnish them with riders. 24 How can you refuse even one official from the least of my master’s servants and rely on Egypt for chariots and horsemen? 25 “Now then, haven’t I come up—apart from the LORD—to attack and destroy this place? The LORD told me, ‘Go up against this land and destroy it!’”’”

26 At this, Hilkiah’s son Eliakim, Shebnah, and Joah asked Rab-shakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, because we understand it, but don’t speak the language of Judah to us within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.”

27 But Rab-shakeh spoke to them, “Has my master sent me to talk about this just to your master and to you, and not also to the men who are sitting on the wall, who will soon be eating their own feces and drinking their own urinel —along with you?” 28 Then Rab-shakeh stood up and cried out loud, “Listen to what the great king, the king of Assyria has to say. 29 This is what the king says:

‘Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, because he will prove to be unable to deliver you from my control. 30 And don’t let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD by telling you, “The LORD will certainly deliver us and this city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.” 31 Don’t listen to Hezekiah, because this is what the king of Assyria says: “Make peace with me and come out to me! Each of you will eat from his own vine. Each will eat from his own fig tree. And each of you will drink water from his own cistern 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, one overflowing with grain and new wine, a land filled with bread and vineyards, with olive trees and honey, so you may live and not die.”

‘But don’t listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you by saying, “The LORD will deliver us!” 33 Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land from control by the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sephar-vaim, of Hena, and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria from my control? 35 Who among all the gods of these lands has delivered their land from my control , so that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem from me?’”

36 But the people remained silent and did not answer with even so much as a word, because the king’s order was, “Don’t answer him.”

37 But Hilkiah’s son Eliakim, who managed the household, Shebna the scribe, and Asaph’s son Joah the recorder came back to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and told him what Rab-shakeh had said.
2 Kings 18:13-37

Jerusalem’s Deliverance Foretold

19:1 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the LORD. 2 He sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary and the leading priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 3 They told him, “This is what Hezekiah says: This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the moment of birth and there is no strength to deliver them. 4 It may be that the LORD your God will hear all the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to ridicule the living God, and that he will rebuke him for the words the LORD your God has heard. Therefore pray for the remnant that still survives.”

5 When King Hezekiah’s officials came to Isaiah, 6 Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master, ‘This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7 Listen! When he hears a certain report, I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.’”

8 When the field commander heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish, he withdrew and found the king fighting against Libnah.

9 Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakah, the king of Cush, was marching out to fight against him. So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word: 10 “Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.’ 11 Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered? 12 Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my predecessors deliver them—the gods of Gozan, Harran, Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath or the king of Arpad? Where are the kings of Lair, Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah?”

Hezekiah’s Prayer

14 Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: “LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Give ear, LORD, and hear; open your eyes, LORD, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.

17 “It is true, LORD, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. 19 Now, LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, LORD, are God.”

God’s Answer through Isaiah the Prophet – Isaiah Prophesies Sennacherib’s Fall

20 Then Amoz’s son Isaiah sent word to Hezekiah, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel says: ‘Because you have prayed to me about King Sennacherib of Assyria, I have listened.’”

21 “This is what the LORD has spoken against him:
‘She despises and mocks you,
this virgin daughter of Zion!
Behind your back she shakes her head,
this daughter of Jerusalem!
22 Who are you reproaching and blaspheming?
Against whom have you raised your voice?
And against whom have you lifted up your eyes in arrogance?
Against the Holy One of Israel!
23 By your messengers you have insulted the LORD.
You have claimed,
“With my many chariots
I ascended the heights of the mountains,
including the remotest regions of Lebanon;
I cut down its tall cedars
and the best of its cypress trees.
I entered its most remote lodging place
and its most fruitful forest.
24 I myself dug for and drank foreign water.
With the sole of my foot I dried up all the streams of Egypt!”

25 ‘Didn’t you hear?
I determined it years ago!
I planned this from ancient times,
and now I’ve brought it to pass,
to turn fortified cities
into piles of ruins
26 while their inhabitants, lacking strength,
stand dismayed and confused.
They were like vegetation out in the fields,
and like green herbs—
just as grass that grows on a housetop
dries out before it can grow.

27 ‘But when you sit down,
when you go out,
and when you come in,
I’m aware of it!
28 Because of your rage against me,
your complacency has reached my ears.
I’ll put my hook into your nostrils
and my bit into your mouth.
Then I’ll turn you back on the road
by which you came.’

29 “This will serve as a sign for you: you’ll eat this year from what grows by itself, in the second year what grows from that, and in the third year you’ll sow, reap, plant vineyards, and enjoy their fruit. 30 Those who survive from Judah’s household will again put down deep roots and bear fruit extensively, 31 because a remnant will go out from Jerusalem, and survivors from Mount Zion. The zeal of the LORD will bring this about.”

32 “Therefore this is what the LORD says concerning the king of Assyria: ‘Not only will he not approach this city or shoot an arrow in its direction, he won’t approach it with so much as a shield, nor will he throw up a siege ramp against it. 33 He’ll return on the same route by which he came—he won’t come to this city,’ declares the LORD. 34 ‘I will defend this city and preserve it for my own reasons, and because of my servant David.’”

God Destroys the Assyrian Army

35 That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.

37 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king.
2 Kings 19:1-37

Hezekiah’s Illness

20:1 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”

2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, 3 “Remember, LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

4 Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: 5 “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. 6 I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.’”

7 Then Isaiah said, “Prepare a poultice of figs.” They did so and applied it to the boil, and he recovered.

8 Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, “What will be the sign that the LORD will heal me and that I will go up to the temple of the LORD on the third day from now?”

9 Isaiah answered, “This is the LORD’s sign to you that the LORD will do what he has promised: Shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?”

10 “It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “Rather, have it go back ten steps.”

11 Then the prophet Isaiah called on the LORD, and the LORD made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.

Envoys From Babylon

12 At that time Marduk-Baladan son of Baladan king of Babylon sent Hezekiah letters and a gift, because he had heard of Hezekiah’s illness. 13 Hezekiah received the envoys and showed them all that was in his storehouses—the silver, the gold, the spices and the fine olive oil—his armory and everything found among his treasures. There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.

14 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked, “What did those men say, and where did they come from?”

“From a distant land,” Hezekiah replied. “They came from Babylon.”

15 The prophet asked, “What did they see in your palace?”

“They saw everything in my palace,” Hezekiah said. “There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.”

16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD: 17 The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD. 18 And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”

19 “The word of the LORD you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?”

20 As for the other events of Hezekiah’s reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 21 Hezekiah rested with his ancestors. And Manasseh his son succeeded him as king.
2 Kings 20:1-21


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