Isaiah 36

Listen to Isaiah 36

Sennacherib Invades Judah

1 1In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, 2Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.
2 3And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh[a] from 4Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. And he stood 5by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer's Field.
3 And there came out to him 6Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and 7Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder.
4 And the Rabshakeh said to them, "Say to Hezekiah, 'Thus says the 8great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours?
5 Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me?
6 9Behold, you are trusting in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him.
7 But if you say to me, "We trust in the LORD our God," is it not he 10whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, "You shall worship before this altar"?
8 Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them.
9 How then can you repulse 11a single captain among the least of my master's servants, when 12you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
10 Moreover, is it without the LORD that I have come up against this land to destroy it? 13The LORD said to me, Go up against this land and destroy it.'"
11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, "Please speak to your servants 14in Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall."
12 But the Rabshakeh said, "Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and drink their own urine?"
13 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: "Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria!
14 Thus says the king: 15'Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you.
15 Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD by saying, "The LORD will surely deliver us. This city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria."
16 Do not listen to Hezekiah. For thus says the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me[b] and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern,
17 until 16I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.
18 Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you by saying, "The LORD will deliver us." Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
19 17Where are the gods of 18Hamath and 19Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? 20Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand?
20 21Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?'"
21 But they were silent and answered him not a word, for the king's command was, "Do not answer him."
22 22Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.

Isaiah 36 Commentary

Chapter 36

( 2 Kings. 18:17-37 )

Cross References 22

  • 1. For ver. 1-22, see 2 Kings 18:13, 17-37
  • 2. [2 Chronicles 32:1]
  • 3. 2 Chronicles 32:9
  • 4. Joshua 15:20, 39
  • 5. Isaiah 7:3
  • 6. Isaiah 22:15, 20, 21
  • 7. Isaiah 22:15, 20, 21
  • 8. [Isaiah 10:8]
  • 9. Ezekiel 29:6, 7
  • 10. 2 Kings 18:4; See Deuteronomy 12:2-5
  • 11. [Isaiah 10:8]
  • 12. [Isaiah 20:5; Isaiah 30:3, 7; Isaiah 31:1]
  • 13. Isaiah 10:5, 6
  • 14. Ezra 4:7; Daniel 2:4
  • 15. [Isaiah 37:10; 2 Chronicles 32:6-8]
  • 16. 2 Kings 18:11
  • 17. Isaiah 37:13
  • 18. Jeremiah 49:23
  • 19. Jeremiah 49:23
  • 20. [2 Kings 17:6]
  • 21. [2 Chronicles 32:19]
  • 22. ver. 3; [Isaiah 33:7]

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Rabshakeh is the title of a high-ranking Assyrian military officer
  • [b]. Hebrew Make a blessing with me

Chapter Summary


In this chapter we have an account of the king Assyria's invasion of Judea, and of the railing speech of Rabshakeh his general, to discourage the ministers and subjects of the king of Judah. The time and success of the invasion are observed in Isa 36:1 the messenger the former king sent to the latter, and from whence, and with whom, he conferred, Isa 36:2,3, the speech of the messenger, which consists of two parts; the first part is directed to the ministers of Hezekiah, showing the vain confidence of their prince in his counsels and strength for war, in the king of Egypt, and in his chariots and horsemen, and even in the Lord himself, pretending that he came by his orders to destroy the land, Isa 36:4-10. The other part is directed to the common people on the wall, he refusing to speak in the Syrian language, as desired, Isa 36:11,12, dissuading them from hearkening to Hezekiah to their own deception; persuading them to come into an agreement with him for their own safety and good; observing to them that none of the gods of the nations could deliver them out of his master's hands, and therefore it was in vain for them to expect deliverance from the Lord their God, Isa 36:13-20, to which neither ministers nor people returned any answer; but the former went with their clothes rent to Hezekiah, and reported what had been said, Isa 36:21,22.

Isaiah 36 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.