2 Kings 19

Isaiah Encourages Hezekiah

1 1And when King Hezekiah heard it, he 2tore his clothes, 3covered himself with sackcloth and entered the house of the LORD.
2 Then he sent Eliakim who was over the household with Shebna the scribe and the elders of the priests, 4covered with sackcloth, to 5Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.
3 They said to him, "Thus says Hezekiah, 'This day is a day of distress, rebuke, and rejection; for children have come to birth and there is no strength to deliver.
4 '6Perhaps the LORD your God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent 7to reproach the living God, and will rebuke the words which the LORD your God has heard. Therefore, offer a prayer for 8the remnant that is left.' "
5 So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah.
6 Isaiah said to them, "Thus you shall say to your master, 'Thus says the LORD, "Do not be afraid because * of the words that you have heard, with which the 9servants of the king of Assyria 10have blasphemed Me.
7 "Behold, I will put a spirit in him so that 11he will hear a rumor and return to his own land. And 12I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.""'

Sennacherib Defies God

8 Then Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria fighting against 13Libnah, for he had heard that the king had left 14Lachish.
9 When he heard them say concerning Tirhakah king of Cush, "Behold, he has come out to fight against you," he sent messengers again to Hezekiah saying,
10 "Thus you shall say to Hezekiah king of Judah, 'Do not 15let your God in whom you trust deceive you saying, "16Jerusalem 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 the lands, destroying them completely. So will you be spared?
12 '17Did the gods of those nations which my fathers destroyed deliver them, even 18Gozan and 19Haran and Rezeph and 20the sons of Eden who were in Telassar?
13 '21Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, and of Hena and Ivvah?' "

Hezekiah's Prayer

14 Then 22Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD.
15 Hezekiah prayed before the LORD and said, "O LORD, the God of Israel, 23who are enthroned above the cherubim, 24You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.
16 "25Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; 26open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and listen to the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent 27to reproach the living God.
17 "Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands
18 and have cast their gods into the fire, 28for they were not gods but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. So they have destroyed them.
19 "Now, O LORD our God, I pray, deliver us from his hand 29that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, O 30LORD, are God."

God's Answer through Isaiah

20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah saying, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'Because you have prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria, 31I have heard you.'
21 "This is the word that the LORD has spoken against him: 'She has despised you and mocked you, 32The virgin daughter of Zion; She 33has shaken her head behind you, The daughter of Jerusalem!
22 'Whom have you 34reproached and 35blasphemed? And against whom have you raised your voice, And haughtily lifted up your eyes? Against the 36Holy One of Israel!
23 '37Through your messengers you have reproached the Lord, And you have said, "With my many chariots I came up to the heights of the mountains, To the remotest parts of Lebanon; And I cut down its tall cedars and its choice cypresses. And I entered its farthest lodging place, its 38thickest forest.
24 "I dug wells and drank foreign waters, And with the sole of my feet I 39dried up All the rivers of Egypt."
25 '40Have you not heard? Long ago I did it; From ancient times I planned it. 41Now I have brought it to pass, That you should turn * fortified cities into ruinous heaps.
26 'Therefore their inhabitants were short of strength, They were dismayed and put to shame; They were 42as the vegetation of the field and as the green herb, As grass on the housetops is scorched before it is grown up.
27 'But 43I know your sitting down, And your going out and your coming in, And your raging against Me.
28 'Because of your raging against Me, And because your arrogance has come up to My ears, Therefore I 44will put My hook in your nose, And My bridle in your lips, And 45I will turn you back by the way which you came.
29 'Then this shall be 46the sign for you: you will eat this year what grows of itself, in the second year what springs from the same, and in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit.
30 '47The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward.
31 'For out of Jerusalem will go forth a remnant, and 48out of Mount Zion survivors. 49The zeal of the LORD will perform this.
32 'Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, "50He will not come to this city or shoot an arrow there; and he will not come before it with a shield or throw up a siege ramp against it.
33 "51By the way that he came, by the same he will return, and he shall not come to this city,"' declares the LORD.
34 '52For I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and 53for My servant David's sake.' "
35 54Then it happened that night that the angel of the LORD went out and struck 185,000 * * * in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead *.
36 So 55Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned home, and lived at 56Nineveh.
37 It came about as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that 57Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with the sword; and they escaped into 58the land of Ararat. And 59Esarhaddon his son became king in his place.

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 59

Footnotes 20

  • [a]. Lit "he"
  • [b]. Or "Ethiopia"
  • [c]. Lit "Judah, saying,"
  • [d]. Lit "delivered"
  • [e]. Lit "the"
  • [f]. Lit "letters...read them"
  • [g]. Lit "Hezekiah spread"
  • [h]. Lit "seated"
  • [i]. Lit "on high"
  • [j]. So with some ancient versions; M.T. "will cut...will enter"
  • [k]. So with some ancient versions; M.T. "will cut...will enter"
  • [l]. So with some ancient versions; M.T. "will dry up"
  • [m]. Lit "the besieged place"
  • [n]. Lit "complacency"
  • [o]. Lit "eating"
  • [p]. Lit "those who escape"
  • [q]. Some ancient mss read "the LORD of hosts"
  • [r]. Lit "they"
  • [s]. Lit "dead bodies"
  • [t]. Some ancient mss read "Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him"

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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