Isaiah 37

Listen to Isaiah 37

Hezekiah Seeks Isaiah's Help

1 1As soon as King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the LORD.
2 And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet 2Isaiah the son of Amoz.
3 They said to him, "Thus says Hezekiah, 'This day is a 3day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; 4children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth.
4 5It may be that the LORD your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the LORD your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for 6the remnant that is left.'"
5 When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah,
6 Isaiah said to them, "Say to your master, 'Thus says the LORD: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the young men of the king of Assyria have reviled me.
7 Behold, 7I will put a spirit in him, so that 8he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and 9I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.'"
8 The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against 10Libnah, for he had heard that the king had left 11Lachish.
9 Now the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of 12Cush,[a]"He has set out to fight against you." And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,
10 "Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: 13'Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.
11 Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, devoting them to destruction. And shall you be delivered?
12 14Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my fathers destroyed, 15Gozan, 16Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar?
13 17Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?'"

Hezekiah's Prayer for Deliverance

14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.
15 And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD:
16 "O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, 18enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; 19you have made heaven and earth.
17 20Incline your ear, O LORD, and hear; open your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear 21all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God.
18 Truly, O LORD, 22the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands,
19 and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed.
20 So now, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the LORD."

Sennacherib's Fall

21 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Because you have prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria,
22 this is the word that the LORD has spoken concerning him: "'She despises you, she scorns you-- 23the virgin daughter of Zion; she wags her head behind you-- the daughter of Jerusalem.
23 "'Whom have you mocked and reviled? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes to the heights? Against 24the Holy One of Israel!
24 By your servants you have mocked the Lord, and you have said, 25With my many chariots I have gone up the heights of the mountains, to the far recesses of Lebanon, 26to cut down its tallest cedars, its choicest cypresses, to come to its remotest height, its most fruitful forest.
25 I dug wells and drank waters, to dry up with the sole of my foot all 27the streams 28of Egypt.
26 29"'Have you not heard that I determined it long ago? I planned from days of old what now I bring to pass, that you should make fortified cities crash into heaps of ruins,
27 while their inhabitants, shorn of strength, are dismayed and confounded, and have become like plants of the field and like tender grass, like grass on the housetops, blighted[b] before it is grown.
28 "'I know your sitting down and your going out and coming in, and your raging against me.
29 30Because you have raged against me and your complacency has come to my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and 31I will turn you back on the way by which you came.'
30 "And this shall be the sign for you: this year you shall eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs from that. Then in the third year sow and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit.
31 And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah 32shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward.
32 33For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. 34The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
33 "Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or 35cast up a siege mound against it.
34 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the LORD.
35 36For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for 37the sake of my servant David."
36 38And the angel of the LORD went out and struck down a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.
37 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home and lived at 39Nineveh.
38 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword. And after they escaped into the land of 40Ararat, 41Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.

Isaiah 37 Commentary

Chapter 37

( 2 Kings 19 )

Cross References 41

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Probably Nubia
  • [b]. Some Hebrew manuscripts and 2 Kings 19:26; most Hebrew manuscripts like a field

Chapter Summary


In this chapter are contained Hezekiah's message to Isaiah, desiring his prayer for him and his people, in this time of sore distress, Isa 37:1-5, the comforting and encouraging answer returned by the prophet to him, Isa 37:6,7, the king of Assyria's letter to Hezekiah, to terrify him into a surrender of the city of Jerusalem to him, Isa 37:8-13 which Hezekiah spread before the Lord, and prayed unto him for deliverance, Isa 37:14-20, upon which he received a gracious answer by the hand of the prophet, promising safety and deliverance to him, and destruction to the king of Assyria, of which a sign was given, Isa 37:21-35 and the chapter is closed with the slaughter of the Assyrian army by an angel, the flight of the king, and his death by the hands of his sons, Isa 37:36-38.

Isaiah 37 Commentaries

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