When the field commander heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish,1 he withdrew and found the king fighting against Libnah.29
Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakah, the Cushitea king [of Egypt], was marching out to fight against him. So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word:
"Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend3 on deceive4 you when he says, 'Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.'
Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered?
Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my forefathers deliver5 them: the gods of Gozan,6 Haran,7 Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar?
Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, or of Hena or Ivvah?"8
Hezekiah received the letter9 from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD.
And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: "O LORD, God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim,10 you alone11 are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.
Give ear,12 O LORD, and hear;13 open your eyes,14 O LORD, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to insult the living God.
"It is true, O LORD, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands.
They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods15 but only wood and stone, fashioned by men's hands.1619
Now, O LORD our God, deliver17 us from his hand, so that all kingdoms18 on earth may know19 that you alone, O LORD, are God."
Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I have heard20 your prayer concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria.
This is the word that the LORD has spoken against21 him: " 'The Virgin Daughter22 of Zion despises23 you and mocks24 you. The Daughter of Jerusalem tosses her head25 as you flee.
Who is it you have insulted and blasphemed?26 Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One27 of Israel!
By your messengers you have heaped insults on the Lord. And you have said,28 "With my many chariots29 I have ascended the heights of the mountains, the utmost heights of Lebanon. I have cut down30 its tallest cedars, the choicest of its pines. I have reached its remotest parts, the finest of its forests.
I have dug wells in foreign lands and drunk the water there. With the soles of my feet I have dried up all the streams of Egypt."
" 'Have you not heard?31 Long ago I ordained it. In days of old I planned32 it; now I have brought it to pass, that you have turned fortified cities into piles of stone.3326
Their people, drained of power,34 are dismayed35 and put to shame. They are like plants in the field, like tender green shoots,36 like grass sprouting on the roof, scorched37 before it grows up.
" 'But I know38 where you stay and when you come and go and how you rage against me.
Because you rage against me and your insolence has reached my ears, I will put my hook39 in your nose and my bit40 in your mouth, and I will make you return41 by the way you came.'
"This will be the sign42 for you, O Hezekiah: "This year you will eat what grows by itself,43 and the second year what springs from that. But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards44 and eat their fruit.
Once more a remnant45 of the house of Judah will take root46 below and bear fruit above.
For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant,47 and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors.48 The zeal49 of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
"Therefore this is what the LORD says concerning the king of Assyria: "He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here. He will not come before it with shield or build a siege ramp against it.
By the way that he came he will return;50 he will not enter this city, declares the LORD.
I will defend51 this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David52 my servant."