May 3
     2 Kings 18:13 — 20:21

13 And in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib the king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and proceeded to seize them. 14 So Hezekiah the king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying: “I have sinned. Turn back from against me. Whatever you may impose upon me I shall carry.” Accordingly the king of Assyria laid upon Hezekiah the king of Judah three hundred silver talents and thirty gold talents. 15 Therefore Hezekiah gave all the silver that was to be found at the house of Jehovah and in the treasures of the king’s house. 16 At that time Hezekiah cut off the doors of the temple of Jehovah and the doorposts that Hezekiah the king of Judah had overlaid and then gave them to the king of Assyria.

17 And the king of Assyria proceeded to send Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah with a heavy military force to Jerusalem, that they might go up and come to Jerusalem. So they went up and came and stood still by the conduit of the upper pool, which is at the highway of the laundryman’s field. 18 And they began to call out to the king, but there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebnah the secretary and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder.

19 Accordingly Rabshakeh said to them: “Please, say to Hezekiah, ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, has said: “What is this confidence in which you have trusted? 20 You have said (but it is the word of lips), ‘There are counsel and mightiness for the war.’ Now in whom have you put your trust, that you have rebelled against me? 21 Now, look! you have put your trust in the support of this crushed reed, Egypt, which, if a man should brace himself upon it, would certainly enter into his palm and pierce it. That is the way Pharaoh the king of Egypt is to all those putting their trust in him. 22 And in case YOU men should say to me, ‘It is Jehovah our God in whom we have put our trust,’ is he not the one whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has removed, while he says to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘Before this altar YOU should bow down in Jerusalem’?”’ 23 Now, then, make a wager, please, with my lord the king of Assyria, and let me give you two thousand horses [to see] whether you are able, on your part, to put riders upon them. 24 How, then, could you turn back the face of one governor of the smallest servants of my lord, while you, for your part, put your trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 25 Now is it without authorization from Jehovah that I have come up against this place to bring it to ruin? Jehovah himself said to me, ‘Go up against this land, and you must bring it to ruin.’”

26 At this Eliakim the son of Hilkiah and Shebnah and Joah said to Rabshakeh: “Speak with your servants, please, in the Syrian language, for we can listen; and do not speak with us in the Jews’ language in the ears of the people that are on the wall.” 27 But Rabshakeh said to them: “Is it to your lord and to you that my lord has sent me to speak these words? Is it not to the men sitting upon the wall, that they may eat their own excrement and drink their own urine with YOU men?”

28 And Rabshakeh continued to stand and call out in a loud voice in the Jews’ language; and he went on to speak and say: “HEAR the word of the great king, the king of Assyria. 29 This is what the king has said, ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive YOU people, for he is not able to deliver YOU out of my hand. 30 And do not let Hezekiah cause YOU to trust in Jehovah, saying: “Without fail Jehovah will deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah; for this is what the king of Assyria has said: “Make a capitulation to me, and come out to me, and eat each one from his own vine and each one from his own fig tree and drink each one the water of his own cistern, 32 until I come and I actually take YOU to a land like YOUR own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil-olive trees and honey; and keep living that YOU may not die. And do not listen to Hezekiah, for he allures YOU, saying, ‘Jehovah himself will deliver us.’ 33 Have the gods of the nations at all delivered each one his own land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 35 Who are there among all the gods of the lands that have delivered their land out of my hand, so that Jehovah should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?”’”

36 And the people kept silent and did not answer him a word, for the commandment of the king was, saying: “YOU must not answer him.” 37 But Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebnah the secretary and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder came to Hezekiah with their garments ripped apart and told him the words of Rabshakeh.

19 And it came about that as soon as King Hezekiah heard, he immediately ripped his garments apart and covered himself with sackcloth and came into the house of Jehovah. 2 Further, he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebnah the secretary and the older men of the priests covered with sackcloth to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. 3 And they proceeded to say to him: “This is what Hezekiah has said, ‘This day is a day of distress and of rebuke and of scornful insolence; for the sons have come as far as the womb’s mouth, and there is no power to give birth. 4 Perhaps Jehovah your God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his lord sent to taunt the living God, and he will actually call him to account for the words that Jehovah your God has heard. And you must lift up prayer in behalf of the remnant that are to be found.’”

5 So the servants of King Hezekiah came in to Isaiah. 6 Then Isaiah said to them: “This is what YOU should say to YOUR lord, ‘This is what Jehovah has said: “Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard with which the attendants of the king of Assyria spoke abusively of me. 7 Here I am putting a spirit in him, and he must hear a report and return to his own land; and I shall certainly cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.”’”

8 After that Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah; for he had heard that he had pulled away from Lachish. 9 He heard it said respecting Tirhakah the king of Ethiopia: “Here he has come out to fight against you.” Therefore he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying: 10 “This is what YOU men should say to Hezekiah the king of Judah, ‘Do not let your God in whom you are trusting deceive you, saying: “Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 11 Look! You yourself have heard what the kings of Assyria did to all the lands by devoting them to destruction; and will you yourself be delivered? 12 Have the gods of the nations that my forefathers brought to ruin delivered them, even Gozan and Haran and Rezeph and the sons of Eden that were in Tel-assar? 13 Where is he—the king of Hamath and the king of Arpad and the king of the cities of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah?’”

14 Then Hezekiah took the letters out of the hand of the messengers and read them, after which Hezekiah went up to the house of Jehovah and spread it out before Jehovah. 15 And Hezekiah began to pray before Jehovah and say: “O Jehovah the God of Israel, sitting upon the cherubs, you alone are the [true] God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You yourself have made the heavens and the earth. 16 Incline your ear, O Jehovah, and hear. Open your eyes, O Jehovah, and see, and hear the words of Sennacherib that he has sent to taunt the living God. 17 It is a fact, O Jehovah, the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their land. 18 And they have consigned their gods to the fire, because they were no gods, but the workmanship of man’s hands, wood and stone; so that they destroyed them. 19 And now, O Jehovah our God, save us, please, out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Jehovah, are God alone.”

20 And Isaiah the son of Amoz proceeded to send to Hezekiah, saying: “This is what Jehovah the God of Israel has said, ‘The prayer that you have made to me concerning Sennacherib the king of Assyria I have heard. 21 This is the word that Jehovah has spoken against him:

“The virgin daughter of Zion has despised you, she has held you in derision.

      Behind you the daughter of Jerusalem has wagged her head.

22 Whom have you taunted and spoken of abusively?

            And against whom have you lifted up your voice

      And do you raise your eyes on high?

      It is against the Holy One of Israel!

23 By means of your messengers you have taunted Jehovah and you say,

            ‘With the multitude of my war chariots I myself—

      I shall certainly ascend the height of mountainous regions,

            The remotest parts of Lebanon;

      And I shall cut down its lofty cedars, its choice juniper trees.

      And I will enter its final lodging place, the forest of its orchard.

24 I myself shall certainly dig and drink strange waters,

      And I shall dry up with the soles of my feet all the Nile canals of Egypt.’

25 Have you not heard? From remote times it is what I will do.

            From bygone days I have even formed it.

      Now I will bring it in.

      And you will serve to make fortified cities desolate as piles of ruins.

26 And their inhabitants will be feeble-handed;

            They will simply be terrified and will be ashamed.

      They must become as vegetation of the field and green tender grass,

      Grass of the roofs, when there is a scorching before the east wind.

27 And your sitting quiet and your going out and your coming in I well know,
And your exciting yourself against me,

28 Because your exciting yourself against me and your roaring have come up into my ears.

      And I shall certainly put my hook in your nose and my bridle between your lips,

      And I shall indeed lead you back by the way by which you have come.”


    29 “‘And this will be the sign for you: There will be an eating this year of the growth from spilled kernels, and in the second year grain that shoots up of itself; but in the third year sow seed, you people, and reap and plant vineyards and eat their fruitage. 30 And those who escape of the house of Judah, those who are left, will certainly take root downward and produce fruitage upward. 31 For out of Jerusalem a remnant will go forth, and those who escape from Mount Zion. The very zeal of Jehovah of armies will do this.

32 “‘That is why this is what Jehovah has said concerning the king of Assyria: “He will not come into this city nor will he shoot an arrow there nor confront it with a shield nor cast up a siege rampart against it. 33 By the way by which he proceeded to come, he will return, and into this city he will not come, is the utterance of Jehovah. 34 And I shall certainly defend this city to save it for my own sake and for the sake of David my servant.”’”

35 And it came about on that night that the angel of Jehovah proceeded to go out and strike down a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. When people rose up early in the morning, why, there all of them were dead carcasses. 36 Therefore Sennacherib the king of Assyria pulled away and went and returned, and he took up dwelling in Nineveh. 37 And it came about that as he was bowing down at the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, themselves struck him down with the sword, and they themselves escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esar-haddon his son began to reign in place of him.

20 In those days Hezekiah got sick to the point of dying. Accordingly Isaiah the son of Amoz the prophet came in to him and said to him: “This is what Jehovah has said, ‘Give commands to your household, for you yourself will indeed die and will not live.’” 2 At that he turned his face to the wall and began to pray to Jehovah, saying: 3 “I beseech you, O Jehovah, remember, please, how I have walked before you in truthfulness and with a complete heart, and what was good in your eyes I have done.” And Hezekiah began to weep profusely.

4 And it came about that Isaiah himself had not yet gone out to the middle court when Jehovah’s word itself came to him, saying: 5 “Go back, and you must say to Hezekiah the leader of my people, ‘This is what Jehovah the God of David your forefather has said: “I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. Here I am healing you. On the third day you will go up to the house of Jehovah. 6 And I shall certainly add fifteen years to your days, and out of the palm of the king of Assyria I shall deliver you and this city, and I will defend this city for my own sake and for the sake of David my servant.”’”

7 And Isaiah went on to say: “YOU men, take a cake of pressed dried figs.” So they took and put it upon the boil, after which he gradually revived.

8 Meantime, Hezekiah said to Isaiah: “What is the sign that Jehovah will heal me and I shall certainly go up on the third day to the house of Jehovah?” 9 To this Isaiah said: “This is the sign for you from Jehovah that Jehovah will perform the word that he has spoken: Shall the shadow actually go forward ten steps [of the stairs] or should it go back ten steps?” 10 Then Hezekiah said: “It is an easy thing for the shadow to extend itself ten steps, but not that the shadow should go backward ten steps.” 11 At that Isaiah the prophet began to call out to Jehovah; and he made the shadow that had gone down gradually go back on the steps, that is, on the steps [of the stairs] of Ahaz, ten steps backward.

12 At that time Berodach-baladan the son of Baladan the king of Babylon sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah; for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 13 And Hezekiah proceeded to listen to them and show them all his treasure-house, the silver and the gold and the balsam oil and the good oil and his armory and all that was to be found in his treasures. There proved to be nothing that Hezekiah did not show them in his own house and in all his dominion.

14 After that Isaiah the prophet came in to King Hezekiah and said to him: “What did these men say and from where did they proceed to come to you?” So Hezekiah said: “From a distant land they came, from Babylon.” 15 And he went on to say: “What did they see in your house?” To this Hezekiah said: “Everything that is in my house they saw. There proved to be nothing that I did not show them in my treasures.”

16 Isaiah now said to Hezekiah: “Hear the word of Jehovah, 17 ‘“Look! Days are coming, and all that is in your own house and that your forefathers have stored up down to this day will actually be carried to Babylon. Nothing will be left,” Jehovah has said. 18 “And some of your own sons that will come forth from you to whom you will become father will themselves be taken and actually become court officials in the palace of the king of Babylon.”’”

19 At that Hezekiah said to Isaiah: “The word of Jehovah that you have spoken is good.” And he went on to say: “Is it not so, if peace and truth themselves will continue in my own days?”

20 As for the rest of the affairs of Hezekiah and all his mightiness and how he made the pool and the conduit and then brought the water into the city, are they not written in the book of the affairs of the days of the kings of Judah? 21 Finally Hezekiah lay down with his forefathers; and Manasseh his son began to reign in place of him.