When King Hezekiah heard [their report], he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and went to the house of the Lord.
Then he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe, and the older priests, wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.
They said to him, "Hezekiah says: 'Today is a day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace, [as] when children come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to deliver them.
Perhaps the Lord your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master, the king of Assyria, sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke [him for] the words that the Lord your God has heard. Therefore offer a prayer for the surviving remnant.' "
When King Hezekiah's servants came to Isaiah,
Isaiah said to them, "Say this to your master, 'The Lord says: Don't be afraid because of the words you have heard, which the king of Assyria's attendants have blasphemed Me with.
Look! I am putting a spirit in him and he will hear a rumor and return to his own land, where I will cause him to fall by the sword.' "
When the Rabshakeh heard that the king had left Lachish, he returned and discovered that the king of Assyria was fighting against Libnah.
The king had heard this about Tirhakah, king of Cush: "He has set out to fight against you." So when he heard this, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,
"Say this to Hezekiah king of Judah: 'Don't let your God, whom you trust, deceive you by saying that Jerusalem won't be handed over to the king of Assyria.
Look, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries; they destroyed them completely. Will you be rescued?
Did the gods of the nations that my predecessors destroyed rescue them-Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the Edenites in Telassar?
Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, or Ivvah?'"
Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers, read it, then went up to the Lord's house and spread it out before the Lord.
Hezekiah prayed to the Lord:
"Lord of Hosts, God of Israel, who is enthroned above the cherubim, You are God-You alone-of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth.
Listen closely, Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, Lord, and see; hear all the words that Sennacherib has sent to mock the living God.
Lord, it is true that the kings of Assyria have devastated all these countries and their lands
and have thrown their gods into the fire; for they were not gods but made by human hands-wood and stone. So they have destroyed them.
Now, Lord our God, save us from his hand so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord-You alone."
Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent [a message] to Hezekiah: "The Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'Because you prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria,
this is the word the Lord has spoken against him: The young woman, Daughter Zion, despises you and scorns you: Daughter Jerusalem shakes [her] head behind your back.
Who is it you have mocked and blasphemed? Who have you raised [your] voice against and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel!
You have mocked the Lord through your servants. You have said: With my many chariots I have gone up to the heights of the mountains, to the far recesses of Lebanon. I cut down its tallest cedars, its choice cypress trees. I came to its remotest heights, its densest forest.
I dug [wells] and drank water. I dried up all the streams of Egypt with the soles of my feet.
Have you not heard? I designed it long ago; I planned it in days gone by. I have now brought it to pass, and you have crushed fortified cities into piles of rubble.
Their inhabitants have become powerless, dismayed, and ashamed. They are plants of the field, tender grass, grass on the rooftops, blasted by the east wind.
But I know your sitting down, your going out and your coming in, and your raging against Me.
Because your raging against Me and your arrogance 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 way you came.
" 'This will be the sign for you: This year you will eat what grows on its own, and in the second year what grows from that. But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward.
For a remnant will go out from Jerusalem, and survivors from Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.'
" 'Therefore, this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria: He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or build up an assault ramp against it.
He will go back on the road that he came and he will not enter this city. [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration.
I will defend this city and rescue it, because of Me and because of My servant David.' "
Then the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. When the people got up the [next] morning-there were all the dead bodies!
So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and left. He returned [home] and lived in Nineveh.
One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword and escaped to the land of Ararat. Then his son Esar-haddon became king in his place.
Holman Christian Standard Bible ® Copyright © 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.