2 Kings 19

Jerusalem’s Deliverance Foretold

1 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the LORD.
2 He sent Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary and the leading priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.
3 They told him, “This is what Hezekiah says: This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the moment of birth and there is no strength to deliver them.
4 It may be that the LORD your God will hear all the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to ridicule the living God, and that he will rebuke him for the words the LORD your God has heard. Therefore pray for the remnant that still survives.”
5 When King Hezekiah’s officials came to Isaiah,
6 Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master, ‘This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.
7 Listen! When he hears a certain report, I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.’ ”
8 When the field commander heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish, he withdrew and found the king fighting against Libnah.
9 Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakah, the king of Cush,[a] was marching out to fight against him. So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word:
10 “Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.’
11 Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered?
12 Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my predecessors deliver them—the gods of Gozan, Harran, Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar?
13 Where is the king of Hamath or the king of Arpad? Where are the kings of Lair, Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah?”

Hezekiah’s Prayer

14 Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD.
15 And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD: “LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.
16 Give ear, LORD, and hear; open your eyes, LORD, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.
17 “It is true, LORD, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands.
18 They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands.
19 Now, LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, LORD, are God.”

Isaiah Prophesies Sennacherib’s Fall

20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I have heard your prayer concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria.
21 This is the word that the LORD has spoken against him: “ ‘Virgin Daughter Zion despises you and mocks you. Daughter Jerusalem tosses her head as you flee.
22 Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel!
23 By your messengers you have ridiculed the Lord. And you have said, “With my many chariots I have ascended the heights of the mountains, the utmost heights of Lebanon. I have cut down its tallest cedars, the choicest of its junipers. I have reached its remotest parts, the finest of its forests.
24 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.”
25 “ ‘Have you not heard? Long ago I ordained it. In days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass, that you have turned fortified cities into piles of stone.
26 Their people, drained of power, are dismayed and put to shame. They are like plants in the field, like tender green shoots, like grass sprouting on the roof, scorched before it grows up.
27 “ ‘But I know where you are and when you come and go and how you rage against me.
28 Because you rage against me and because your insolence has reached my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I will make you return by the way you came.’
29 “This will be the sign for you, Hezekiah: “This year you will eat what grows by itself, and the second year what springs from that. But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
30 Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above.
31 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. “The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
32 “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.
33 By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city, declares the LORD.
34 I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.’ ”
35 That night the angel of the LORD went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies!
36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there.
37 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king.

2 Kings 19 Commentary

Chapter 19

Hezekiah receives an answer of peace. (1-7) Sennacherib's letter. (8-19) His fall is prophesied. (20-34) The Assyrian army destroyed, Sennacherib slain. (35-37)

Verses 1-7 Hezekiah discovered deep concern at the dishonour done to God by Rabshakeh's blasphemy. Those who speak from God to us, we should in a particular manner desire to speak to God for us. The great Prophet is the great Intercessor. Those are likely to prevail with God, who lift up their hearts in prayer. Man's extremity is God's opportunity. While his servants can speak nothing but terror to the profane, the proud, and the hypocritical, they have comfortable words for the discouraged believer.

Verses 8-19 Prayer is the never-failing resource of the tempted Christian, whether struggling with outward difficulties or inward foes. At the mercy-seat of his almighty Friend he opens his heart, spreads his case, like Hezekiah, and makes his appeal. When he can discern that the glory of God is engaged on his side, faith gains the victory, and he rejoices that he shall never be moved. The best pleas in prayer are taken from God's honour.

Verses 20-34 All Sennacherib's motions were under the Divine cognizance. God himself undertakes to defend the city; and that person, that place, cannot but be safe, which he undertakes to protect. The invasion of the Assyrians probably had prevented the land from being sown that year. The next is supposed to have been the sabbatical year, but the Lord engaged that the produce of the land should be sufficient for their support during those two years. As the performance of this promise was to be after the destruction of Sennacherib's army, it was a sign to Hezekiah's faith, assuring him of that present deliverance, as an earnest of the Lord's future care of the kingdom of Judah. This the Lord would perform, not for their righteousness, but his own glory. May our hearts be as good ground, that his word may strike root therein, and bring forth fruit in our lives.

Verses 35-37 That night which followed the sending of this message to Hezekiah, the main body of their army was slain. See how weak the mightiest men are before Almighty God. Who ever hardened himself against Him and prospered? The king of Assyria's own sons became his murderers. Those whose children are undutiful, ought to consider whether they have not been so to their Father in heaven? This history exhibits a strong proof of the good of firm trust and confidence in God. He will afflict, but not forsake his people. It is well when our troubles drive us to our knees. But does it not reprove our unbelief? How unwilling are we to rest on the declaration of Jehovah! How desirous to know in what way he will save us! How impatient when relief is delayed! But we must wait for the fulfilling of his word. Lord, help our unbelief.

Cross References 73

  • 1. S Genesis 37:34; S Numbers 14:6; 1 Kings 21:27; 2 Chronicles 32:20-22
  • 2. S 2 Kings 18:18
  • 3. Jeremiah 19:1
  • 4. S Genesis 37:34
  • 5. Isaiah 1:1
  • 6. Hosea 13:13
  • 7. S 1 Samuel 17:26; 2 Kings 18:35
  • 8. 2 Samuel 16:12
  • 9. S Genesis 45:7; S Jeremiah 37:3
  • 10. S Deuteronomy 3:2; S Joshua 1:9
  • 11. S 2 Kings 18:25
  • 12. S Exodus 14:24; Jeremiah 51:46
  • 13. ver 37; 2 Chronicles 32:21; Isaiah 10:12
  • 14. 2 Kings 18:14
  • 15. S Numbers 33:20; S 2 Kings 8:22
  • 16. S 2 Kings 18:5
  • 17. 2 Kings 18:29
  • 18. 2 Kings 18:33; 2 Chronicles 32:17
  • 19. 2 Kings 17:6
  • 20. S Genesis 11:31
  • 21. Isaiah 10:9-11; Jeremiah 49:23; 2 Kings 18:34
  • 22. 2 Kings 5:7
  • 23. S Genesis 3:24; S Exodus 25:22
  • 24. S Genesis 1:1; S Joshua 2:11
  • 25. Psalms 31:2; Psalms 71:2; Psalms 88:2; Psalms 102:2
  • 26. S 1 Kings 8:29
  • 27. S Exodus 3:16; ver 4; 2 Chronicles 6:40
  • 28. Isaiah 44:9-11; Jeremiah 10:3-10
  • 29. Deuteronomy 4:28; Psalms 115:4; Acts 17:29
  • 30. 1 Samuel 12:10; Job 6:23; Psalms 3:7; Psalms 71:4
  • 31. S 1 Kings 8:43; 1 Chronicles 16:8
  • 32. S Joshua 4:24; S 1 Samuel 17:46; Psalms 83:18
  • 33. S 1 Kings 9:3; 2 Kings 20:5
  • 34. Isaiah 10:5; Isaiah 33:1
  • 35. Isaiah 47:1; Jeremiah 14:17; Jeremiah 18:13; Jeremiah 31:4; Jeremiah 46:11; Lamentations 2:13; Amos 5:2
  • 36. Psalms 53:5
  • 37. Proverbs 1:26; Proverbs 3:34; Psalms 22:7-8
  • 38. Job 16:4; Psalms 44:14; Psalms 64:8; Psalms 109:25; Jeremiah 18:16
  • 39. S 2 Kings 18:25
  • 40. Leviticus 19:2; 1 Samuel 2:2; Job 6:10; Psalms 16:10; Psalms 22:3; Psalms 71:22; Psalms 78:41; Psalms 89:18; Isaiah 1:4; Isaiah 6:3; Isaiah 57:15; Hosea 11:9; Isaiah 5:24
  • 41. Isaiah 10:18; Jeremiah 21:14; Ezekiel 20:47
  • 42. Psalms 20:7; Jeremiah 50:37
  • 43. Isaiah 10:34; Isaiah 14:8; Isaiah 33:9; Ezekiel 31:3
  • 44. Isaiah 40:21,28
  • 45. Isaiah 22:11; Isaiah 10:5; Isaiah 45:7
  • 46. Micah 1:6
  • 47. Isaiah 13:7; Ezekiel 7:17; Zephaniah 3:16
  • 48. Psalms 6:10; Psalms 71:24; Psalms 83:17; Isaiah 41:23; Jeremiah 8:9
  • 49. Isaiah 4:2; Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 53:2; Jeremiah 23:5
  • 50. Job 8:12; Psalms 37:2; Psalms 129:6
  • 51. Psalms 139:1-4
  • 52. 2 Chronicles 33:11; Ezekiel 19:9; Ezekiel 29:4; Ezekiel 38:4; Amos 4:2
  • 53. Isaiah 30:28
  • 54. ver 33
  • 55. S Exodus 7:9; S Deuteronomy 13:2; 2 Kings 20:8-9; Luke 2:12
  • 56. Leviticus 25:5
  • 57. Psalms 107:37; Isaiah 65:21; Amos 9:14
  • 58. S Genesis 45:7
  • 59. Isaiah 5:24; Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 27:6; Ezekiel 17:22; Amos 2:9; 2 Chronicles 32:22-23
  • 60. S Genesis 45:7
  • 61. Isaiah 66:19; Zephaniah 2:9; Zechariah 14:16
  • 62. Isaiah 9:7
  • 63. ver 28
  • 64. 2 Kings 20:6
  • 65. S 2 Samuel 7:15; 1 Kings 11:12-13
  • 66. S Genesis 19:13; S Exodus 12:23
  • 67. Job 24:24; Isaiah 17:14; Isaiah 41:12; Nahum 3:3
  • 68. S 2 Kings 12:18
  • 69. S Genesis 10:11; John 1:2
  • 70. 2 Kings 17:31
  • 71. S ver 7
  • 72. S Genesis 8:4
  • 73. S 2 Kings 17:24; Ezra 4:2

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. That is, the upper Nile region

Chapter Summary


This chapter relates that King Hezekiah, on a report made to him of Rabshakeh's speech, sent a message to the prophet Isaiah to pray for him, who returned him a comfortable and encouraging answer, 2Ki 19:1-7 and that upon Rabshakeh's return to the king of Assyria, he sent to Hezekiah a terrifying letter, 2Ki 19:8-13, which Hezekiah spread before the Lord, and prayed unto him to save him and his people out of the hands of the king of Assyria, 2Ki 19:14-19, to which he had a gracious answer sent him by the prophet Isaiah, promising him deliverance from the Assyrian army, 2Ki 19:20-34, which accordingly was destroyed by an angel in one night, and Sennacherib fleeing to Nineveh, was slain by his two sons, 2Ki 19:35-37.

2 Kings 19 Commentaries

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