After these things and these faithful acts, Assyria's King Sennacherib invaded Judah and attacked its fortified cities, intending to capture them.
When Hezekiah realized that Sennacherib also planned on fighting Jerusalem,
he consulted with his officials and soldiers about stopping up the springs outside the city, and they supported him.
A large force gathered to stop up all the springs and the streams that flowed through the land. "Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?" they asked.
Hezekiah vigorously rebuilt all the broken sections of the wall, erected towers, constructed another wall outside the first, reinforced the terrace of David's City, and made a large supply of weapons and shields.
He appointed military officers over the troops, assembled them in the square of the city gate, and spoke these words of encouragement:
"Be brave and be strong! Don't let the king of Assyria and all those warriors he brings with him scare you or cause you dismay, because our forces are greater than his.
All he has is human strength, but we have the LORD our God, who will help us fight our battles!" The troops trusted Judah's King Hezekiah.
After this Assyria's King Sennacherib, who was attacking Lachish with all his forces, sent his servants to Jerusalem with the following message for Judah's King Hezekiah and all the people of Judah who were in Jerusalem:
This is what Assyria's King Sennacherib says: What makes you so confident that you stay put in Jerusalem while it is being attacked?
Obviously, Hezekiah has fooled you into surrendering yourselves to death by hunger and thirst when he says, "The LORD our God will rescue us from Assyria's king."
Isn't this the same Hezekiah who got rid of his shrines and altars, and then demanded of Judah and Jerusalem, "You must worship and burn incense before only one altar"?
Don't you know what I and my predecessors have done to the people of other nations? Were any of the gods of these other nations able to rescue their lands from my power?
Which one of any of the gods of these nations that my predecessors destroyed was able to rescue them from my power? So why should your god be able to rescue you from my power?
Don't let Hezekiah seduce you like fools. Don't believe him! No god of any other nation or kingdom has been able to rescue their people from me or from my predecessors. No, your gods won't rescue you from my power.
The Assyrian king's servants continued to make fun of the LORD God and his servant Hezekiah.
He wrote other letters insulting the LORD God of Israel, defying him by saying, "Just as the gods of the nations in other countries couldn't rescue their people from my power, Hezekiah's god won't be able to rescue his people from my power."
Then they shouted loudly in Hebrew at the people of Jerusalem gathered on the wall, in an attempt to frighten and demoralize them, in order to capture the city.
They spoke about the God of Jerusalem as though he were the work of human hands, like the gods of the other peoples of the earth.
King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah, Amoz's son, prayed about this, crying out to heaven.
Then the LORD sent a messenger who destroyed every warrior, leader, and officer in the camp of the Assyrian king. When Sennacherib went home in disgrace, he entered the temple of his god, and his own sons killed him with a sword.
This is how the LORD rescued Hezekiah and the citizens of Jerusalem from the power of Assyria's King Sennacherib, and all others, giving them rest on all sides.
Many people brought offerings to the LORD in Jerusalem and costly gifts to Judah's King Hezekiah, who was highly regarded by all the nations from then on.