2 Kings 18:9-37; 2 Kings 19; Psalm 46; Psalm 80; Psalm 135

9 Shalmaneser marched to Samaria and surrounded it. It was in the fourth year of King Hezekiah. That was the seventh year of Hoshea, the king of Israel. He was the son of Elah. Shalmaneser was king of Assyria. 10 At the end of three years the army of Assyria took Samaria. So it was captured in the sixth year of Hezekiah. That was the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Israel. 11 The king of Assyria took the people of Israel away from their own land. He sent them off to Assyria. He settled some of them in Halah. He settled others in Gozan on the Habor River. And he settled still others in the towns of the Medes. 12 Those things happened because the Israelites hadn't obeyed the LORD their God. They had broken the covenant he had made with them. They had refused to do everything Moses, the servant of the Lord, had commanded. They hadn't paid any attention to those commands. They hadn't obeyed them. 13 Sennacherib attacked and captured all of the cities of Judah that had high walls around them. It was in the 14th year of the rule of Hezekiah. Sennacherib was king of Assyria. 14 Hezekiah, the king of Judah, sent a message to the king of Assyria at Lachish. It said, "I have done what is wrong. Pull your troops back from me. Then I'll pay you anything you ask me to." The king of Assyria forced Hezekiah, the king of Judah, to give him 11 tons of silver. Hezekiah also had to give him a ton of gold. 15 So Hezekiah gave him all of the silver that was in the LORD's temple. He also gave him all of the silver that was among the treasures in the royal palace. 16 Hezekiah, the king of Judah, had covered the doors and doorposts of the LORD's temple with gold. But now he had to strip it off. He had to give it to the king of Assyria. 17 The king of Assyria sent his highest commander from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. He also sent his chief officer and his field commander along with a large army. All of them came up to Jerusalem. They stopped at the channel that brings water from the Upper Pool. It was on the road to the Washerman's Field. 18 They called for King Hezekiah. Eliakim, Shebna and Joah went out to them. Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, was in charge of the palace. Shebna was the secretary. Joah, the son of Asaph, kept the records. 19 The field commander said to them, "Give Hezekiah this message. Tell him, " 'Sennacherib is the great king of Assyria. He says, "Why are you putting your faith in what your king says? 20 You say you have a military plan. You say you have a strong army. But your words don't mean anything. Who are you depending on? Why don't you want to stay under my control? 21 " ' "You are depending on Egypt. Why are you doing that? Egypt is nothing but a broken papyrus stem. Try leaning on it. It will only cut your hand. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, is just like that to everyone who depends on him. 22 " ' "Suppose you say to me, 'We are depending on the LORD our God.' Didn't Hezekiah remove your god's high places and altars? Didn't Hezekiah say to the people of Judah and Jerusalem, 'You must worship at the altar in Jerusalem'? 23 " ' "Come on. Make a deal with my master, the king of Assyria. I'll give you 2,000 horses. But only if you can put riders on them! 24 You are depending on Egypt for chariots and horsemen. You can't drive away even the least important officer among my master's officials. 25 " ' "Besides, do you think I've come without receiving a message from the Lord? Have I come to attack and destroy this place without a message from him? The LORD himself told me to march out against your country. He told me to destroy it." ' " 26 Then Shebna, Joah and Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, spoke to the field commander. They said, "Please speak to us in the Aramaic language. We understand it. Don't speak to us in Hebrew. If you do, the people who are on the wall will be able to understand you." 27 But the commander replied, "My master sent me to say these things. Are these words only for your master and you to hear? Aren't they also for the men who are sitting on the wall? They are going to suffer just like you. They'll have to eat their own waste. They'll have to drink their own urine." 28 Then the commander stood up and spoke in the Hebrew language. He called out, "Pay attention to what the great king of Assyria is telling you. 29 He says, 'Don't let Hezekiah trick you. He can't save you from my powerful hand. 30 Don't let Hezekiah talk you into trusting in the Lord. Don't believe him when he says, "You can be sure that the LORD will save us. This city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria." ' 31 "Don't listen to Hezekiah. The king of Assyria says, 'Make a peace treaty with me. Come over to my side. Then every one of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig tree. Every one of you will drink water from your own well. 32 You will do that until I come back. Then I'll take you to a land that is just like yours. It's a land that has a lot of grain and fresh wine. It has plenty of bread and vineyards. It has olive trees and honey. So choose life! Don't choose death!' "Don't pay any attention to Hezekiah. He's telling you a lie when he says, 'The LORD will save us.' 33 "Has the god of any nation ever saved his land from the powerful hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah? Have they saved Samaria from my power? 35 "Which one of all of the gods of those countries has been able to save his land from me? So how can the LORD save Jerusalem from my power?" 36 But the people remained silent. They didn't say anything. That's because King Hezekiah had commanded, "Don't answer him." 37 Then Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, went to Hezekiah. Eliakim was in charge of the palace. The secretary Shebna went with him. So did Joah, the son of Asaph. Joah kept the records. All of them went to Hezekiah with their clothes torn. They told him what the field commander had said.
1 When King Hezekiah heard what the field commander had said, he tore his clothes. He put on black clothes. Then he went into the LORD's temple. 2 Hezekiah sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, to the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz. He also sent the leading priests and the secretary Shebna to him. All of them were wearing black clothes. 3 They told Isaiah, "Hezekiah says, 'Today we're in great trouble. The LORD is warning us. He's bringing shame on us. Sometimes babies come to the moment when they should be born. But their mothers aren't strong enough to allow them to be born. Today we are like those mothers. We aren't strong enough to save ourselves. 4 " 'Perhaps the LORD your God will hear everything the field commander has said. His master, the king of Assyria, has sent him to make fun of the living God. Maybe the LORD your God will punish him for what he has heard him say. So pray for the remaining people who are still alive here.' " 5 King Hezekiah's officials came to Isaiah. 6 Then Isaiah said to them, "Tell your master, 'The LORD says, "Do not be afraid of what you have heard. The officers who are under the king of Assyria have spoken evil things against me. 7 Listen! I will send him news from his own country. It will upset him so much that he will return home. There I will have him cut down with a sword." ' " 8 The field commander heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish. So the commander pulled his troops back from Jerusalem. He went to join the king. He found out that the king was fighting against Libnah. 9 During that time Sennacherib received a report. He was told that Tirhakah was marching out to fight against him. Tirhakah was the king of Egypt. He was from the land of Cush. Sennacherib sent messengers again to Hezekiah with a letter. It said, 10 "Tell Hezekiah, the king of Judah, 'Don't let the god you depend on trick you. He says, "Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria." But don't believe him. 11 " 'I'm sure you have heard about what the kings of Assyria have done to all of the other countries. They have destroyed them completely. So do you think you will be saved? 12 The kings who ruled before me destroyed many nations. Did the gods of those nations save them? Did the gods of Gozan, Haran or Rezeph save them? What about the gods of the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath? Where is the king of Arpad? Where is the king of the city of Sepharvaim? Where are the kings of Hena or Ivvah?' " 14 When Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers, he read it. Then he went up to the LORD's temple. There he spread the letter out in front of the Lord. 15 Hezekiah prayed to the Lord. He said, "Lord, you are the God of Israel. You sit on your throne between the cherubim. You alone are God over all of the kingdoms on earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Listen, Lord. Hear us. Open your eyes, Lord. Look at the trouble we're in. Listen to what Sennacherib is saying. You are the living God. And he dares to make fun of you! 17 "Lord, it's true that the kings of Assyria have completely destroyed many nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown the statues of the gods of those nations into the fire. And they have destroyed them. That's because they weren't really gods at all. They were nothing but statues that were made out of wood and stone. They were made by the hands of men. 19 "LORD our God, save us from the powerful hand of Sennacherib. Then all of the kingdoms on earth will know that you alone are God." 20 Isaiah sent a message to Hezekiah. Isaiah was the son of Amoz. Isaiah said, "The LORD is the God of Israel. He says, 'I have heard your prayer about Sennacherib, the king of Assyria.' 21 "Here is the message the LORD has spoken against him. The LORD says, " 'You will not win the battle over Zion. Its people hate you and make fun of you. The people of Jerusalem lift up their heads proudly as you run away. 22 Who have you laughed at? Who have you spoken evil things against? Who have you raised your voice against? Who have you looked at so proudly? You have done it against me. I am the Holy One of Israel! 23 Through your messengers you have laughed at me again and again. And you have said, "I have many chariots. With them I have climbed to the tops of the mountains. I've climbed the highest mountains in Lebanon. I've cut down its tallest cedar trees. I've cut down the best of its pine trees. I've reached its farthest parts. I've reached its finest forests. 24 I've dug wells in strange lands. I've drunk the water from them. I've walked through all of Egypt's streams. I've dried up every one of them." 25 " 'But I, the Lord, say, "Haven't you heard what I have done? Long ago I arranged for you to do all of that. In days of old I planned it. Now I have made it happen. You have turned cities with high walls into piles of stone. 26 Their people do not have any power left. They are troubled and put to shame. They are like plants in the field. They are like new green plants. They are like grass that grows on a roof. It dries up before it is completely grown. 27 " ' "But I know where you live. I know when you come and go. I know how very angry you are with me. 28 You roar against me and brag. And I have heard your bragging. So I will put my hook in your nose. I will put my bit in your mouth. And I will make you go home by the same way you came." ' " 29 The LORD said, "Hezekiah, here is a miraculous sign for you. "This year you will eat what grows by itself. In the second year you will eat what grows from that. But in the third year you will plant your crops and gather them in. You will plant your grapevines and eat their fruit. 30 The people of Judah who are still alive will be like plants. Once more they will put down roots and produce fruit. 31 Out of Jerusalem will come those who remain. Out of Mount Zion will come those who are still left alive. "My great love will make sure that happens. I rule over all. 32 "Here is a message from me about the king of Assyria. It says, " 'He will not enter this city. He will not even shoot an arrow at it. He will not come near it with a shield. He will not build a ramp in order to climb over its walls. 33 By the same way he came he will go home. He will not enter this city,' announces the Lord. 34 " 'I will guard this city and save it. I will do it for myself. And I will do it for my servant David.' " 35 That night the angel of the LORD went into the camp of the Assyrians. He put to death 185,000 soldiers there. The people of Jerusalem got up the next morning. They looked out and saw all of the dead bodies. 36 So Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, took the army tents down. Then he left. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there. 37 One day Sennacherib was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch. His sons Adrammelech and Sharezer cut him down with their swords. Then they escaped to the land of Ararat. Esarhaddon became the next king after his father Sennacherib.
1 God is our place of safety. He gives us strength. He is always there to help us in times of trouble. 2 The earth may fall apart. The mountains may fall into the middle of the sea. But we will not be afraid. 3 The waters of the sea may roar and foam. The mountains may shake when the waters rise. But we will not be afraid. "Selah" 4 God's blessings are like a river. They fill the city of God with joy. That city is the holy place where the Most High God lives. 5 Because God is there, the city will not fall. God will help it at the beginning of the day. 6 Nations are in disorder. Kingdoms fall. God speaks, and the people of the earth melt in fear. 7 The LORD who rules over all is with us. The God of Jacob is like a fort to us. "Selah" 8 Come and see what the LORD has done. See the places he has destroyed on the earth. 9 He makes wars stop from one end of the earth to the other. He breaks every bow. He snaps every spear. He burns every shield with fire. 10 He says, "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be honored among the nations. I will be honored in the earth." 11 The LORD who rules over all is with us. The God of Jacob is like a fort to us. "Selah"
1 Shepherd of Israel, hear us. You lead the people of Joseph like a flock. You sit on your throne between the cherubim. Show your glory 2 to the people of Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh. Call your strength into action. Come and save us. 3 God, make us new again. Let your face smile on us with favor. Then we will be saved. 4 LORD God who rules over all, how long will your anger burn against the prayers of your people? 5 You have given us tears as our food. You have made us drink tears by the bowlful. 6 You have let our neighbors fight against us. Our enemies laugh at us. 7 God who rules over all, make us new again. Let your face smile on us with favor. Then we will be saved. 8 You brought Israel out of Egypt. Israel was like a vine. After you drove the nations out of Canaan, you planted the vine in their land. 9 You prepared the ground for it. It took root and spread out over the whole land. 10 The mountains were covered with its shade. The shade of its branches covered the mighty cedar trees. 11 Your vine sent its branches out all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. They reached as far as the Euphrates River. 12 Why have you broken down the walls around your vine? Now all who pass by it can pick its grapes. 13 Wild pigs from the forest destroy it. The creatures of the field feed on it. 14 God who rules over all, return to us! Look down from heaven and see us! Watch over your vine. 15 Guard the root you have planted with your powerful right hand. Take care of the branch you have raised up for yourself. 16 Your vine has been cut down. Fire has burned it up. You have been angry with us, and we are dying. 17 May you honor the people at your right hand. May you honor the nation you have raised up for yourself. 18 Then we won't turn away from you. Give us new life. We will worship you. 19 LORD God who rules over all, make us new again. Let your face smile on us with favor. Then we will be saved.
1 Praise the Lord. Praise the name of the Lord. You who serve the Lord, praise him. 2 You who serve in the house of the Lord, praise him. You who serve in the courtyards of the temple of our God, praise him. 3 Praise the Lord, because he is good. Sing praise to his name, because that is pleasant. 4 The LORD has chosen the people of Jacob to be his own. He has chosen Israel to be his special treasure. 5 I know that the LORD is great. I know that our Lord is greater than all gods. 6 The LORD does anything he wants to do in the heavens and on the earth. He does it even in the deepest parts of the oceans. 7 He makes clouds rise from one end of the earth to the other. He sends lightning with the rain. He brings the wind out of his storerooms. 8 He killed the oldest son of each family in Egypt. He struck down the oldest males that were born to people and animals. 9 He did miraculous signs in Egypt. He did wonders against Pharaoh and everyone who served him. 10 He destroyed many nations. He killed mighty kings. 11 He killed Sihon, the king of the Amorites, and Og, the king of Bashan. He killed all of the kings of Canaan. 12 He gave their land as a gift to his people Israel. 13 Lord, your name continues forever. Lord, your fame will last for all time to come. 14 When the LORD hands down his sentence, it will be in his people's favor. He will show deep concern for those who serve him. 15 The statues of the gods of the nations are made of silver and gold. They are made by the hands of men. 16 They have mouths, but they can't speak. They have eyes, but they can't see. 17 They have ears, but they can't hear. They have mouths, but they can't breathe. 18 Those who make statues of gods will be like them. So will all those who trust in them. 19 People of Israel, praise the Lord. Priests of Aaron, praise the Lord. 20 Tribe of Levi, praise the Lord. You who have respect for the Lord, praise him. 21 Give praise to the LORD in Zion. Give praise to the One who lives in Jerusalem. Praise the Lord.
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