Listen! I am going to put a spirit1 in him so that when he hears a certain report,2 he will return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down3 with the sword.' "
When the field commander heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish,4 he withdrew and found the king fighting against Libnah.59
Now Sennacherib6 received a report7 that Tirhakah, the Cushitea8 king [of Egypt], was marching out to fight against him. When he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word:
"Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive9 you when he says, 'Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.'1011
Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered?1112
Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my forefathers12 deliver them--the gods of Gozan, Haran,13 Rezeph and the people of Eden14 who were in Tel Assar?
Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad,15 the king of the city of Sepharvaim,16 or of Hena or Ivvah?"17
Hezekiah received the letter18 from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple19 of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD.
And Hezekiah prayed20 to the LORD:
"O LORD Almighty, God of Israel, enthroned21 between the cherubim,22 you alone are God23 over all the kingdoms24 of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.2517
Give ear, O LORD, and hear;26 open your eyes, O LORD, and see;27 listen to all the words Sennacherib28 has sent to insult29 the living God.3018
"It is true, O LORD, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste all these peoples and their lands.3119
They have thrown their gods into the fire32 and destroyed them,33 for they were not gods34 but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands.3520
Now, O LORD our God, deliver36 us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth37 may know that you alone, O LORD, are God.b38"
Then Isaiah son of Amoz39 sent a message to Hezekiah: "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria,
this is the word the LORD has spoken against him: "The Virgin Daughter40 of Zion41 despises and mocks you. The Daughter of Jerusalem tosses her head42 as you flee.
Who is it you have insulted and blasphemed?43 Against whom have you raised your voice44 and lifted your eyes in pride?45 Against the Holy One46 of Israel!
By your messengers you have heaped insults on the Lord. And you have said, 'With my many chariots47 I have ascended the heights of the mountains, the utmost heights48 of Lebanon.49 I have cut down its tallest cedars, the choicest of its pines.50 I have reached its remotest heights, the finest of its forests.
I have dug wells in foreign landsc and drunk the water there. With the soles of my feet I have dried up51 all the streams of Egypt.52'
"Have you not heard? Long ago I ordained53 it. In days of old I planned54 it; now I have brought it to pass, that you have turned fortified cities into piles of stone.5527
Their people, drained of power, are dismayed and put to shame. They are like plants in the field, like tender green shoots, like grass56 sprouting on the roof,57 scorchedd before it grows up.
"But I know where you stay and when you come and go58 and how you rage59 against me.
Because you rage against me and because your insolence60 has reached my ears, I will put my hook61 in your nose62 and my bit in your mouth, and I will make you return by the way you came.6330
"This will be the sign64 for you, O Hezekiah: "This year65 you will eat what grows by itself, and the second year what springs from that. But in the third year66 sow and reap, plant vineyards67 and eat their fruit.6831
Once more a remnant of the house of Judah will take root69 below and bear fruit70 above.
For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant,71 and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors.72 The zeal73 of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
"Therefore this is what the LORD says concerning the king of Assyria: "He will not enter this city74 or shoot an arrow here. He will not come before it with shield or build a siege ramp75 against it.
By the way that he came he will return;76 he will not enter this city," declares the LORD.
"I will defend77 this city and save it, for my sake78 and for the sake of David79 my servant!"
Then the angel80 of the LORD went out and put to death81 a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian82 camp. When the people got up the next morning--there were all the dead bodies!
So Sennacherib83 king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh84 and stayed there.
One day, while he was worshiping in the temple85 of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer cut him down with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat.86 And Esarhaddon87 his son succeeded him as king.88