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Isaiah 37

37
XXXVII
1And it came to pass when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of Jehovah. 2And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests covered with sackcloth, unto Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz. 3And they said unto him: Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, and of rebuke, and of contumely: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. 4It may be that Jehovah, thy God, will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria hath sent to reproach the living God, and will reprove the words which Jehovah, thy God, hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that is yet left.
5And the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. 6And Isaiah said unto them: Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith Jehovah: Be not afraid because of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7Behold, I will bring a tremour upon him; and he shall hear a rumour, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.
8So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyriah warring against Libnah: for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish. 9And he heard say concerning Tirhakah, king of Cush, He is come forth to make war with thee. And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying: 10Thus shall ye speak unto Hezekiah, king of Judah, saying Let not thy God, in whom thou trustest, deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all these lands by destroying them utterly; and shalt thou be delivered? 12Have the gods of the nations delivered those, whom my father have destroyed? as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which were in Telassar? 13Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Henah, and of Ivah?
14And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and he went up unto the house of Jehovah, and Hezekiah spread it before Jehovah. 15And Hezekiah prayed unto Jehovah, saying: 16O Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, who dwellest between the Cherubims, Thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: Thou hast made the heavens, and the earth. Incline thine ear, O Jehovah, and hear; 17open thine eyes, O Jehovah, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he hath sent to reproach the living God. 18In truth, O Jehovah, the kings of Assyria have destroyed all the nations, and their lands; 19and have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. 20And now, O Jehovah, our God! save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art Jehovah, even thou only.
21Then Isaiah, the son of Amoz, sent unto Hezekiah, saying: Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel: Whereas thou hast prayed unto me, concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria: 22This is the word which Jehovah hath spoken against him:
The virgin daughter of Zion hath despised thee, she hath laughed thee to scorn;
The daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.
23Whom hast thou reproached, and blasphemed;
And against whom hast thou exalted thy voice?
And hast lifted up thine eyes on high?
Even against the Holy One of Israel.
24By thy servants hast thou reproached the Lord, and hast said:
By the multitude of my chariots have I ascended
The height of the mountains, the sides of Lebanon;
And I will cut down his tallest cedars, his choicest fir-trees;
And I will enter into his extreme height, into the forests of his fruitful field.
25I have digged, and drunk water;
And with, the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of the besieged places.
26Hast thou not heard, that, from of old, I had disposed it?
And that, from ancient times, I had formed it?
Now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste defenced cities into ruinous heaps.
27Therefore were their inhabitants of small power,
They were dismayed and confounded:
They were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb,
As the grass of the house-tops; and as the corn blasted before it be grown up.
28But thy sitting down, and thy going out, and thy coming in, have I known;
And thy rage against me.
29Because thy rage against me, and thy insolence,
Is come up into mine ears;
Therefore will I put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips;
And I will turn thee back by the way by which thou earnest.
30And this shall be a sign unto thee:
Eat this year that which groweth up of itself,
And the second year that which groweth up of the same;
And in the third year sow ye, and reap,
And plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof.
31And the escaped of the house of Judah, which remain,
Shall again strike root downward, and bear fruit upward.
32For from Jerusalem shall go forth the remnant,
And they that have escaped from mount Zion:
The zeal of Jehovah of hosts shall do this.
33Therefore thus saith Jehovah concerning the king of Assyria:
He shall not come into this city,
Nor shall he shoot an arrow there;
Nor shall he present a shield before it,
Nor shall he cast up a mound against it.
34By the way through which he came, by the same shall he return;
And into this city shall he not come, saith Jehovah.
35And I will protect this city to deliver it,
For mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.
36Then an angel of Jehovah went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred and fourscore and five thousand men; and when man arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. 37Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went, and returned; and dwelt at Nineveh. 38And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, smote him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat: and Esarhaddon, his son, reigned in his stead.

Isaiah 37

37
Hezekiah Asks Isaiah for Advice
(2 Kings 19.1-13)
1As soon as Hezekiah heard the news, he tore off his clothes in sorrow and put on sackcloth. Then he went into the temple of the Lord. 2He told Prime Minister Eliakim, Assistant Prime Minister Shebna, and the senior priests to dress in sackcloth and tell me:
3Isaiah, these are difficult and disgraceful times. Our nation is like a woman too weak to give birth, when it's time for her baby to be born. 4Please pray for those of us who are left alive. The king of Assyria sent his army commander to insult the living God. Perhaps the Lord heard what he said and will do something, if you will pray.
5When these leaders came to me, 6I told them that the Lord had this message for Hezekiah:
I am the Lord. Don't worry about the insulting things that have been said about me by these messengers from the king of Assyria. 7I will upset him with rumors about what's happening in his own country. He will go back, and there I will make him die a violent death.
8Meanwhile the commander of the Assyrian forces heard that his king had left the town of Lachish and was now attacking Libnah. So he went there.
9About this same time, the king of Assyria learned that King Tirhakah of Ethiopia#37.9 Ethiopia: See the note at 11.11. was on his way to attack him. Then the king of Assyria sent some messengers with this note for Hezekiah:
10Don't trust your God or be fooled by his promise to defend Jerusalem against me. 11You have heard how we Assyrian kings have completely wiped out other nations. What makes you feel so safe? 12The Assyrian kings before me destroyed the towns of Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and everyone from Eden who lived in Telassar. What good did their gods do them? 13The kings of Hamath, Arpad, Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah have all disappeared.
Hezekiah Prays
(2 Kings 19.14-19)
14After Hezekiah had read the note from the king of Assyria, he took it to the temple and spread it out for the Lord to see. 15Then he prayed:
16 # Ex 25.22. Lord God All-Powerful of Israel, your throne is above the winged creatures.#37.16 winged creatures: Two winged creatures made of gold were on the top of the sacred chest and were symbols of the Lord's throne on earth (see Exodus 25.18; 2 Samuel 6.2). You created the heavens and the earth, and you alone rule the kingdoms of this world. 17Just look and see how Sennacherib has insulted you, the living God.
18It is true, our Lord, that Assyrian kings have turned nations into deserts. 19They destroyed the idols of wood and stone that the people of those nations had made and worshiped. 20But you are our Lord and our God! We ask you to keep us safe from the Assyrian king. Then everyone in every kingdom on earth will know that you are the only Lord.
Isaiah Gives the Lord's Answer to Hezekiah
(2 Kings 19.20-34)
21-22I went to Hezekiah and told him that the Lord God of Israel had said:
Hezekiah, you prayed to me about King Sennacherib of Assyria.#37.21,22 Hezekiah, you prayed … Assyria: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. Now this is what I say to that king:
The people of Jerusalem
hate and make fun of you;
they laugh behind your back.
23Sennacherib, you cursed,
shouted and sneered at me,
the holy One of Israel.
24You let your officials
insult me, the Lord.
And here is what you
have said about yourself,
“I led my chariots
to the highest heights
of Lebanon's mountains.
I went deep into its forest,
cutting down the best cedar
and cypress trees.
25I dried up every stream
in the land of Egypt,
and I drank water
from wells I had dug.”
26Sennacherib, now listen
to me, the Lord.
I planned all of this long ago.
And you don't even know
that I alone am the one
who decided that you
would do these things.
I let you make ruins
of fortified cities.
27Their people became weak,
terribly confused.
They were like wild flowers
or like tender young grass
growing on a flat roof
or like a field of grain
before it matures.#37.27 tender young grass … matures: The Standard Hebrew Text; the Dead Sea Scrolls and some Hebrew manuscripts “tender young grass, growing on a flat roof and scorched by the heat.” Many of the houses had roofs made of packed earth. Grass would sometimes grow on the roof, but would die quickly because of the sun and hot winds.
28I know all about you,
even how fiercely angry
you are with me.
29I have seen your pride
and the tremendous hatred
you have for me.
Now I will put a hook
in your nose,
a bit in your mouth,#37.29 I will put … your mouth: This is how the Assyrians treated their prisoners, and now the Lord will treat Sennacherib the same way.
then I will send you back
to where you came from.
30Hezekiah, I will tell you what's going to happen. This year you will eat crops that grow on their own, and the next year you will eat whatever springs up where those crops grew. But the third year, you will plant grain and vineyards, and you will eat what you harvest. 31Those who survive in Judah will be like a vine that puts down deep roots and bears fruit. 32I, the Lord All-Powerful, will see to it that some who live in Jerusalem will survive.
33I promise that the king of Assyria won't get into Jerusalem, or shoot an arrow into the city, or even surround it and prepare to attack. 34As surely as I am the Lord, he will return by the way he came and will never enter Jerusalem. 35I will protect it for the sake of my own honor and because of the promise I made to my servant David.
The Death of King Sennacherib
(2 Kings 19.35-37)
36The Lord sent an angel to the camp of the Assyrians, and he killed 185,000 of them all in one night. The next morning, the camp was full of dead bodies. 37After this, King Sennacherib went back to Assyria and lived in the city of Nineveh. 38One day he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, when his sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, killed him with their swords. They escaped to the land of Ararat, and his son Esarhaddon became king.#37.38 Esarhaddon became king: He ruled Assyria 681–669 b.c.