When King Hezekiah heard this, he ripped his clothes, covered himself with mourning clothes, and went to the LORD's temple.
He sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests to the prophet Isaiah, Amoz's son. They were all wearing mourning clothes.
They said to him, "This is what Hezekiah says: Today is a day of distress, punishment, and humiliation. It's as if children are ready to be born, but there's no strength to see it through.
Perhaps the LORD your God has heard all the words of the field commander who was sent by his master, Assyria's king—how he insulted the living God—perhaps God will punish him for the words the LORD your God heard. Send up a prayer for those few people who still survive."
When King Hezekiah's servants got to Isaiah,
Isaiah said to them, "Say this to your master: ‘This is what the LORD says: Don't be afraid at the words you heard, which the officers of Assyria's king have used to insult me.
I'm about to put a spirit in him, so when he hears a rumor, he'll go back to his own country. Then I'll have him cut down by the sword in his own land.'"
Then Isaiah, Amoz's son, sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the LORD, Israel's God, says: I have heard your prayer about Assyria's King Sennacherib.
This is the message that the LORD has spoken against him: The young woman, Daughter Zion, despises you and mocks you; Daughter Jerusalem shakes her head behind your back.
Whom did you insult and ridicule? Against whom did you raise your voice and pridefully lift your eyes? It was against the holy one of Israel!
You've insulted the Lord with your messengers; you said, ‘I, with my many chariots, have gone up to the highest mountains, to the farthest reaches of Lebanon. I have cut down its tallest cedars, the best of its pine trees. I have reached its most remote lodging place, its best forest.
I have dug wells, have drunk waters in foreign lands. With my own feet, I dried up all of Egypt's streams.'
Haven't you heard? I set this up long ago; I planned it in the distant past! Now I have made it happen, making fortified cities collapse into piles of rubble.
Their citizens have lost their power. They are frightened and ashamed. They've become like plants in a field, tender green shoots, the grass on rooftops, burned up before it matures.
I know where you live, how you go out and come in, and how you rage against me.
And because you rage against me and because your pride has reached my ears, I will put my hook in your nose, and my bit in your mouth. I will make you go back the same way you came.
“Now this will be the sign for you, Hezekiah: This year you will eat what grows by itself. Next year you will eat what grows from that. But in the third year, sow seed and harvest it; plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
The survivors of the house of Judah who have escaped will take root below and bear fruit above.
Those who remain will go out from Jerusalem, and those who survive will go out from Mount Zion. The zeal of the LORD of heavenly forces will do this.
"Therefore, this is what the LORD says about Assyria's king: He won't enter this city. He won't shoot a single arrow there. He won't come near the city with a shield. He won't build a ramp to besiege it.
He will go back by the same way he came. He won't enter this city, declares the LORD.
I will defend this city and save it for my sake and for the sake of my servant David."