2 Kings 19

1 And when king Hezekiah had heard these things, he rent his clothes, and was covered with a sackcloth; and he entered into the house of the Lord. (And when King Hezekiah had heard these things, he tore his clothes, and was covered with a sackcloth; and he went to the House of the Lord.)
2 And he sent Eliakim, [the] sovereign of the house, and Shebna, the scribe, and [the] eld men of the priests, covered with sackcloths, to Isaiah, the prophet, the son of Amoz.
3 The which said to him, Hezekiah saith these things, This day is a day of tribulation, and of blaming, and of blasphemy; (for the) sons came unto the birth, and the mother travailing hath not strength thereto (for we be like a woman come to the childbirth, but who hath no strength to bring forth her child).
4 If peradventure thy Lord God hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyrians, his lord hath sent, that he should despise the Lord living, and reprove by words, which thy Lord God (hath) heard; and (so) make thou prayer for these remnants of the people, that be found. (Perhaps the Lord thy God hath heard all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria, his lord, hath sent, his insulting words towards the living Lord; and he shall rebuke him for those words, that he, the Lord thy God, hath heard; so pray thou for these remnants of the people, who be found here.)
5 Therefore the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah; (And so the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah;)
6 and Isaiah said to them, Say ye these things to your lord, The Lord saith these things, Do not thou dread of the face, or (the) showing, of the words, that thou heardest (Do not thou fear the words which thou hast heard), by which the servants of the king of Assyrians blasphemed me.
7 Lo! I shall send to him a spirit, and he shall hear a messenger, and he shall turn again into his land; and I shall cast him down by sword in his own land. (Lo! I shall send a spirit to him, and he shall hear a message, and he shall return to his own land; and then I shall throw him down by the sword in his own land.)
8 Therefore Rabshakeh turned again (And so Rabshakeh returned), and found the king of Assyrians fighting against Libnah; for he had heard, that the king had gone away from Lachish.
9 And when he had heard of Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia, men saying, Lo! he went out, that he fight against thee; that he should go against that king, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, and said, (And when he had heard men saying of Tirhakah, the king of Ethiopia, Lo! he went out, so that he could fight against thee; then before he went out against Tirhakah, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, and said,)
10 Say ye these things to Hezekiah, king of Judah, Thy Lord God, in whom thou hast trust, deceive not thee (deceive thee not), neither say thou, Jerusalem shall not be betaken into the hands of the king of Assyrians;
11 for thou thyself hast heard what things the kings of Assyrians have done in all lands, how they have wasted them; whether therefore thou alone mayest be delivered? (and so can thou alone escape?)
12 Whether the gods of heathen men delivered all (the) men which my fathers destroyed, that is, Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the sons of Eden, that were in Thelasar? (who were in Thelasar?)
13 Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad? and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and of Ivah?
14 Therefore when Hezekiah had taken the letters from the hand of the messengers, and had read them, he went up into the house of the Lord, and spreaded abroad those letters before the Lord;
15 and prayed in his sight, and said, Lord God of Israel, that sittest upon cherubim, thou art (the) God alone of all kings of [the] earth; thou madest heaven and earth. (and prayed before him, and said, Lord God of Israel, who sittest above the cherubim, thou alone art the God of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou madest heaven and earth.)
16 Bow [down] thine ear, (Lord,) and hear; open thine eyes, Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, the which (he) hath sent to us, that he would despise the living God (yea, his insulting words toward the living God).
17 Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyrians have destroyed heathen men, and the lands of all men,
18 and they have sent the gods of them into (the) fire; for they were not gods, but [the] works of men's hands, of wood and of stone; and they destroyed them.
19 Now therefore, our Lord God, make us safe from the hand of them, that all the realms of [the] earth (may) know that thou art the Lord God alone. (And so now, Lord our God, make us safe from them, so that all the kingdoms of the earth can know that thou alone art the Lord God.)
20 Forsooth Isaiah, the son of Amoz, sent to Hezekiah, and said, The Lord God of Israel saith these things, I have heard those things, which thou prayedest (to) me on Sennacherib, king of Assyrians.
21 This is the word, that the Lord hath spoken of him, Thou virgin the daughter of Zion, the king of Assyria hath despised thee, and scorned thee; thou daughter of Jerusalem, he moved his head after thy back. (This is the word that the Lord hath spoken about him, saying, The virgin daughter of Zion hath despised thee, and scorned thee; the daughter of Jerusalem hath moved her head behind thy back.)
22 O! Sennacherib, whom hast thou despised, and whom hast thou blasphemed? Against whom hast thou raised thy voice, and hast raised (up) thine eyes on high? Against the Holy (One) of Israel.
23 By the hand of thy servants thou hast despised the Lord, and saidest, In the multitude of my chariots I went up into the high things of (the) hills, in the highness of Lebanon, and [I] cutted down the high cedars thereof, and the chosen box trees thereof; and I entered unto the terms, or uttermost coasts, thereof, and I cutted down the forest of Carmel thereof; (By the words of thy servants thou hast despised the Lord, and saidest, With the multitude of my chariots I went up into the high places of the hills, into the heights of Lebanon, and I cut down its tall cedars, and its chosen pine trees; and I entered unto its uttermost coasts, and I cut down the fartherest forest there;)
24 and I drank alien waters, and I made dry with the steps of my feet all [the] waters enclosed. (and I drank foreign waters, and with the steps of my feet I made dry all the rivers and streams.)
25 Whether thou heardest not, what I made at the beginning? From eld days I made it, and now I have brought it forth; and strengthened cities of fighters shall be into (the) falling of hills (and thou shalt bring down fortified cities into heaps of rubble).
26 And they that sit meek in hand in those cities, trembled together, and be shamed; they be made as the hay of the field, and as green herb of roofs, which dried, or withered, before that it came to ripeness. (And they who sit in those cities, be made meek, or weak, and shake and tremble, and be ashamed; they be made like the hay of the field, and like the green herb of the roofs, which dried, or withered, before that it became ripe.)
27 And I knew thy dwelling [place], and thy going out, and thine entering/and thy going in, and thy way, and thy strong vengeance against me. (And I know thy dwelling place, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy way, and thy strong vengeance against me.)
28 Thou were wroth against me, and thy pride went up into mine ears; therefore I shall put a ring in thy nostrils, and a barnacle in thy lips (and a bit between thy lips), and I shall lead thee again into the way by which thou camest.
29 Forsooth Hezekiah, this shall be a sign to thee; eat thou in this year that, that thou findest; forsooth in the second year, those things that grow by their own will; soothly in the third year, sow ye, and reap ye, and plant ye vineries, and eat the fruits of those.
30 And whatever thing shall be residue, or left over, of the house of Judah, it shall send (a) root downward, and shall make fruit upward.
31 For the relics, or folk left, shall go out of Jerusalem, and those who shall be saved, shall go out of the hill of Zion (For those who be left shall go out from Jerusalem, and those who shall be saved, shall go forth from Mount Zion); the fervent love of the Lord of hosts shall do this.
32 Wherefore the Lord saith these things of the king of Assyrians, He shall not enter into this city (of) Jerusalem, neither he shall send an arrow into it, neither shield of him shall occupy it, neither strong hold, either besieging, shall compass it.
33 He shall turn again by the way by which he came, and he shall not enter into this city, saith the Lord;
34 and I shall defend this city, and I shall save it for myself, and for David, my servant. (and I shall defend this city, and I shall save it for my sake, and for the sake of my servant David.)
35 Therefore it was done, in that night the angel of the Lord came, and smote in the castles of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand (And so it was done that night, that the angel of the Lord came, and killed a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the tents, or the camp, of the Assyrians). And when Sennacherib had risen early, he saw all the bodies of [the] dead men;
36 and he departed, and went away. And Sennacherib, king of Assyrians, turned again, and dwelled in Nineveh (And Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, returned home, and lived in Nineveh).
37 And when he worshipped in the temple (of) Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, killed him with (the) sword; and (then) they fled into the land of Armenia; and Esarhaddon, his son, reigned for him.

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.

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

Copyright © 2001 by Terence P. Noble. For personal use only.