The Message

2 Kings 19

11-3 When Hezekiah heard it all, he too ripped his robes apart and dressed himself in rough burlap. Then he went into The Temple of God. He sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, all of them dressed in rough burlap, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. They said to him, “A message from Hezekiah: ‘This is a black day, a terrible day—doomsday!

Babies poised to be born,
No strength to birth them.

“‘Maybe God, your God, has been listening to the blasphemous speech of the Rabshakeh who was sent by the king of Assyria, his master, to humiliate the living God; maybe God, your God, won’t let him get by with such talk; and you, maybe you will lift up prayers for what’s left of these people.’”

That’s the message King Hezekiah’s servants delivered to Isaiah.

6-7 Isaiah answered them, “Tell your master, ‘God’s word: Don’t be at all concerned about what you’ve heard from the king of Assyria’s bootlicking errand boys—these outrageous blasphemies. Here’s what I’m going to do: Afflict him with self-doubt. He’s going to hear a rumor and, frightened for his life, retreat to his own country. Once there, I’ll see to it that he gets killed.’”

8-13 The Rabshakeh left and found that the king of Assyria had pulled up stakes from Lachish and was now fighting against Libnah. Then Sennacherib heard that Tirhakah king of Cush was on his way to fight against him. So he sent another envoy with orders to deliver this message to Hezekiah king of Judah: “Don’t let that god that you think so much of keep stringing you along with the line, ‘Jerusalem will never fall to the king of Assyria.’ That’s a barefaced lie. You know the track record of the kings of Assyria—country after country laid waste, devastated. And what makes you think you’ll be an exception? Take a good look at these wasted nations, destroyed by my ancestors; did their gods do them any good? Look at Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, the people of Eden at Tel Assar. Ruins. And what’s left of the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of Sepharvaim, of Hena, of Ivvah? Bones.”

14-15 Hezekiah took the letter from the envoy and read it. He went to The Temple of God and spread it out before God. And Hezekiah prayed—oh, how he prayed!

God, God of Israel, seated
    in majesty on the cherubim-throne.
You are the one and only God,
    sovereign over all kingdoms on earth,
Maker of heaven,
    maker of earth.

16 Open your ears, God, and listen,
        open your eyes and look.
    Look at this letter Sennacherib has sent,
        a brazen insult to the living God!

17 The facts are true, O God: The kings of Assyria
    have laid waste countries and kingdoms.

18 Huge bonfires they made of their gods, their
    no-gods hand-made from wood and stone.

19 But now O God, our God,
        save us from raw Assyrian power;
    Make all the kingdoms on earth know
        that you are God, the one and only God.

20-21 It wasn’t long before Isaiah son of Amoz sent word to Hezekiah:

God’s word: You’ve prayed to me regarding Sennacherib king of Assyria; I’ve heard your prayer. This is my response to him:

The Virgin Daughter of Zion
    holds you in utter contempt;
Daughter Jerusalem
    thinks you’re nothing but scum.

22 Who do you think it is you’ve insulted?
        Who do you think you’ve been bad-mouthing?
    Before whom do you suppose you’ve been strutting?
        The Holy One of Israel, that’s who!

23 You dispatched your errand boys
        to humiliate the Master.
    You bragged, “With my army of chariots
        I’ve climbed the highest mountains,
        snow-peaked alpine Lebanon mountains!
    I’ve cut down its giant cedars,
        chopped down its prize pine trees.
    I’ve traveled the world,
        visited the finest forest retreats.

24 I’ve dug wells in faraway places
        and drunk their exotic waters;
    I’ve waded and splashed barefoot
        in the rivers of Egypt.”

25 Did it never occur to you
    that I’m behind all this?
Long, long ago I drew up the plans,
    and now I’ve gone into action,
Using you as a doomsday weapon,
    reducing proud cities to piles of rubble,

26 Leaving their people dispirited,
        slumped shoulders, limp souls.
    Useless as weeds, fragile as grass,
        insubstantial as wind-blown chaff.

27 I know when you sit down, when you come
        and when you go;
    And, yes, I’ve marked every one
        of your temper tantrums against me.

28 It’s because of your temper,
        your blasphemous foul temper,
    That I’m putting my hook in your nose
        and my bit in your mouth
    And turning you back
        to where you came from.

29 And this, Hezekiah, will be for you the confirming sign:

This year you’ll eat the gleanings, next year
    whatever you can beg, borrow, or steal;
But the third year you’ll sow and harvest,
    plant vineyards and eat grapes.

30 A remnant of the family of Judah yet again
    will sink down roots and raise up fruit.

31 The remnant will come from Jerusalem,
        the survivors from Mount Zion.
    The Zeal of God
        will make it happen.

32 To sum up, this is what God says regarding the king of Assyria:

He won’t enter this city,
    nor shoot so much as a single arrow there;
Won’t brandish a shield,
    won’t even begin to set siege;

33 He’ll go home by the same road he came;
    he won’t enter this city. God’s word!

34 I’ll shield this city, I’ll save this city,
    for my sake and for David’s sake.

35 And it so happened that that very night an angel of God came and massacred 185,000 Assyrians. When the people of Jerusalem got up next morning, there it was—a whole camp of corpses!

36-37 Sennacherib king of Assyria got out of there fast, headed straight home for Nineveh, and stayed put. One day when he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer murdered him and then escaped to the land of Ararat. His son Esarhaddon became the next king.

New American Standard Bible

2 Kings 19

Isaiah Encourages Hezekiah

1And when King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth and entered the house of the Lord. Then he sent Eliakim who was over the household with Shebna the scribe and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, ‘This day is a day of distress, rebuke, and rejection; for children have come to birth and there is no strength to deliver. Perhaps the Lord your God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to reproach the living God, and will rebuke the words which the Lord your God has heard. Therefore, offer a prayer for the remnant that is left.’” So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah. Isaiah said to them, “Thus you shall 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 blasphemed Me. Behold, I will put a spirit in him so that he will hear a rumor and return to his own land. And I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.”’”

Sennacherib Defies God

Then Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he had heard that [a]the king had left Lachish. When he heard them say concerning Tirhakah king of [b]Cush, “Behold, he has come out to fight against you,” he sent messengers again to Hezekiah saying, 10 “Thus you shall say to Hezekiah king of [c]Judah, ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you saying, “Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 11 Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the lands, destroying them completely. So will you be [d]spared? 12 Did the gods of [e]those nations which my fathers destroyed deliver them, even Gozan and Haran and Rezeph and the sons of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, and of Hena and Ivvah?’”

Hezekiah’s Prayer

14 Then Hezekiah took the [f]letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the Lord and [g]spread it out before the Lord. 15 Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said, “O Lord, the God of Israel, who are [h]enthroned above the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and listen to the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. 17 Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands 18 and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. 19 Now, O Lord our God, I pray, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, O Lord, are God.”

God’s Answer through Isaiah

20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Because you have prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard you.’ 21 This is the word that the Lord has spoken against him:

‘She has despised you and mocked you,
The virgin daughter of Zion;
She has shaken her head behind you,
The daughter of Jerusalem!
22 ‘Whom have you reproached and blasphemed?
And against whom have you raised your voice,
And [i]haughtily lifted up your eyes?
Against the Holy One of Israel!
23 ‘Through your messengers you have reproached the Lord,
And you have said, “With my many chariots
I came up to the heights of the mountains,
To the remotest parts of Lebanon;
And I [j]cut down its tall cedars and its choice cypresses.
And I [k]entered its farthest lodging place, its thickest forest.
24 “I dug wells and drank foreign waters,
And with the sole of my feet I [l]dried up
All the rivers of [m]Egypt.”

25 ‘Have you not heard?
Long ago I did it;
From ancient times I planned it.
Now I have brought it to pass,
That you should turn fortified cities into ruinous heaps.
26 ‘Therefore their inhabitants were short of strength,
They were dismayed and put to shame;
They were as the vegetation of the field and as the green herb,
As grass on the housetops is scorched before it is grown up.
27 ‘But I know your sitting down,
And your going out and your coming in,
And your raging against Me.
28 ‘Because of your raging against Me,
And because your [n]arrogance has come up to My ears,
Therefore I will put My hook in your nose,
And My bridle in your lips,
And I will turn you back by the way which you came.

29 ‘Then this shall be the sign for you: [o]you will eat this year what grows of itself, in the second year what springs from the same, and in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 30 The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 31 For out of Jerusalem will go forth a remnant, and out of Mount Zion [p]survivors. The zeal of [q]the Lord will perform this.

32 ‘Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, “He will not come to this city or shoot an arrow there; and he will not come before it with a shield or throw up a siege ramp against it. 33 By the way that he came, by the same he will return, and he shall not come to this city,”’ declares the Lord. 34 ‘For I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’”

35 Then it happened that night that the angel of the Lord went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when [r]men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were [s]dead. 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home, and lived at Nineveh. 37 It came about as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that [t]Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son became king in his place.

Notas al pie

  1. 2 Kings 19:8 Lit he
  2. 2 Kings 19:9 Or Ethiopia
  3. 2 Kings 19:10 Lit Judah, saying,
  4. 2 Kings 19:11 Lit delivered
  5. 2 Kings 19:12 Lit the
  6. 2 Kings 19:14 Lit letters...read them
  7. 2 Kings 19:14 Lit Hezekiah spread
  8. 2 Kings 19:15 Lit seated
  9. 2 Kings 19:22 Lit on high
  10. 2 Kings 19:23 So with some ancient versions; M.T. will cut...will enter
  11. 2 Kings 19:23 So with some ancient versions; M.T. will cut...will enter
  12. 2 Kings 19:24 So with some ancient versions; M.T. will dry up
  13. 2 Kings 19:24 Lit the besieged place
  14. 2 Kings 19:28 Lit complacency
  15. 2 Kings 19:29 Lit eating
  16. 2 Kings 19:31 Lit those who escape
  17. 2 Kings 19:31 Some ancient mss read the Lord of hosts
  18. 2 Kings 19:35 Lit they
  19. 2 Kings 19:35 Lit dead bodies
  20. 2 Kings 19:37 Some ancient mss read Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him