Hezekiah seeks the LORD God. Isaiah prophesies victory.
VERSE 1. When king Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the LORD’s house.
When king Hezekiah heard it. This refers to the previous chapter.
Rabshakeh, commander of the mighty Assyrian army, had spoke scathing words to the people against their trust in the LORD God.
covered himself with sackcloth. Sackcloth is clothing made from coarse goat hair. It is an outward sign of self-affliction and despair.
went into the LORD’s house. Upon hearing this terrible news, king Hezekiah goes straight to the temple.
VERSE 2. He sent Eliakim, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.
covered with sackcloth. Sackcloth is clothing made from coarse goat hair. It is an outward sign of self-affliction and despair.
to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. In the biblical narrative, this is the first time we encounter the great prophet Isaiah.
VERSE 3. They said to him, “Hezekiah says, ‘Today is a day of trouble, of rebuke, and of rejection; for the children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to deliver them.
a day of trouble, of rebuke. They were rebuked by the LORD God for their sins.
and of rejection. They were disgraced before their enemies.
there is no strength to deliver them. It seems as if the whole nation will die.
VERSE 4. It may be the LORD your God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master has sent to defy the living God, and will rebuke the words which the LORD your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.’ ”
VERSE 5. So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah.
VERSE 6. Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master this: ‘The LORD says, “Don’t be afraid of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.
your master. The king is their master. But not Isaiah’s master.
Don’t be afraid. The prophets of the LORD God often say this.
VERSE 7. Behold, I will put a spirit in him, and he will hear news, and will return to his own land. I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.” ’ ”
he will hear news, and will return to his own land. This solution is so simple. Nobody but the LORD God could have come up with it.
Upon heard a report, Sennacherib will leave.
to fall by the sword in his own land. The king of Assyria will die a violent death.
VERSE 8. So Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah; for he had heard that he had departed from Lachish.
VERSE 9. When he heard it said of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, “Behold, he has come out to fight against you,” he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying,
VERSE 10. “Tell Hezekiah king of Judah this: ‘Don’t let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.
Don’t let your God in whom you trust deceive you. Somehow king Sennacherib knows the king of Judah had been told the LORD God will deliver them.
VERSE 11. Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly. Will you be delivered?
Sennacherib boasts of his previous victories in all the surrounding countries
VERSE 12. Have the gods of the nations delivered them, which my fathers have destroyed—Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the children of Eden who were in Telassar?
the gods of the nations. Sennacherib obviously granted the LORD God no greater respect than the idols of the nations
VERSE 13. Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivvah?’ ”
VERSE 14. Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it. Then Hezekiah went up to the LORD’s house, and spread it before the LORD.
Hezekiah went up to the LORD’s house. As he did in verse 1 above, king Hezekiah goes straight to the temple.
VERSE 15. Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, “LORD, the God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, even you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.
all the kingdoms of the earth. In those days people believed their god was the god of their territory, but nowhere else.
However, king Hezekiah knows that the LORD God is not just the god of a territory. Rather, the LORD is God of all.
VERSE 16. Incline your ear, LORD, and hear. Open your eyes, LORD, and see. Hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to defy the living God.
to defy the living God. The last time we heard words like this was from young David.
He said them right before slaying Goliath the giant:
1 Samuel 17:45. Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin; but I come to you in the name of the LORD of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
VERSE 17. Truly, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands,
VERSE 18. 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 have destroyed them.
VERSE 19. Now therefore, LORD our God, save us, I beg you, out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, LORD, are God alone.”
that all the kingdoms of the earth may know. Hezekiah asks that his nation may be saved. It is not for their own sake. Rather, it is so they will evangelize the whole world!
The Old Testament foresee Gentiles coming to faith in the One God of Israel and bringing gifts to Jerusalem. Here are the key Bible verses about this »
VERSE 20. Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “The LORD, the God of Israel, says ‘You have prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, and I have heard you.
I have heard you. God heard the prayer of Hezekiah. Now it will be answered.
VERSE 21. This is the word that the LORD has spoken concerning him: ‘The virgin daughter of Zion has despised you and ridiculed you. The daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head at you.
The virgin daughter of Zion. This suggests Jerusalem has never been conquered since it was taken by Israel.
VERSE 22. Whom have you defied and blasphemed? Against whom have you exalted your voice and lifted up your eyes on high? Against the Holy One of Israel!
VERSE 23. By your messengers, you have defied the Lord, and have said, “With the multitude of my chariots, I have come up to the height of the mountains, to the innermost parts of Lebanon, and I will cut down its tall cedars and its choice cypress trees; and I will enter into his farthest lodging place, the forest of his fruitful field.
I will cut down its tall cedars. Though Sennacherib may have cut down trees, this probably represents his destruction of the leaders of nations.
VERSE 24. I have dug and drunk strange waters, and I will dry up all the rivers of Egypt with the sole of my feet.”
VERSE 25. Haven’t you heard how I have done it long ago, and formed it of ancient times? Now I have brought it to pass, that it should be yours to lay waste fortified cities into ruinous heaps.
VERSE 26. Therefore their inhabitants had little power. They were dismayed and confounded. They were like the grass of the field and like the green herb, like the grass on the housetops and like grain blasted before it has grown up.
VERSE 27. But I know your sitting down, your going out, your coming in, and your raging against me.
VERSE 28. Because of your raging against me, and because your arrogance has come up into my ears, therefore I will put my hook in your nose, and my bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way by which you came.’
your raging against me. The Lord God knows Sennacherib and his proud raging.
Just as Sennacherib had taken so many people captive, the LORD God will now take Sennacherib captive.
VERSE 29. “This will be the sign to you: This year, you will eat that which grows of itself, and in the second year that which springs from that; and in the third year sow and reap, and plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
VERSE 30. The remnant that has escaped of the house of Judah will again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.
The remnant. The Bible describes a uniquely faithful group of believers called “the remnant.” Are they Jewish or Christians? Now or in the future? Who are they really? Read more »
VERSE 31. For out of Jerusalem a remnant will go out, and out of Mount Zion those who shall escape. The LORD’s zeal will perform this.
VERSE 32. “Therefore the LORD says concerning the king of Assyria, ‘He will not come to this city, nor shoot an arrow there. He will not come before it with shield, nor cast up a mound against it.
VERSE 33. He will return the same way that he came, and he will not come to this city,’ says the LORD.
VERSE 34. ‘For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for my servant David’s sake.’ ”
I will defend this city to save it. The Assyrian army was the most powerful military force on earth.
They have at least 185,000 soldiers, and they have completely surrounded Jerusalem.
Any onlooker would have said things were hopeless.
But then, the LORD God spoke.
VERSE 35. That night, the LORD’s angel went out and struck one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. When men arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.
the LORD’s angel went out. How does the LORD God save his people from this desperate situation?
By sending one angel.
With that, the enemy is annihilated. Right there on the battlefield are 185,000 dead bodies.
VERSE 36. So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, went home, and lived at Nineveh.
VERSE 37. As he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Esar Haddon his son reigned in his place.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.