Sennacherib’s Invasion. 1But after all this and all Hezekiah’s fidelity, there came Sennacherib, king of Assyria. He invaded Judah and besieged the fortified cities, intending to breach and take them.a 2When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was coming with the intention of attacking Jerusalem, 3he took the advice of his princes and warriors to stop the waters of the springs outside the city; they promised their help. 4b A large force was gathered and stopped all the springs and also the stream running nearby. For they said, “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find an abundance of water?” 5He then looked to his defenses: he rebuilt the wall where it was broken down, raised towers upon it, and built another wall outside.c He strengthened the Millo of the City of David and made a great number of spears and shields. 6Then he appointed army commanders over the people. He gathered them together in his presence in the open space at the gate of the city and encouraged them with these words: 7“Be strong and steadfast; do not be afraid or dismayed because of the king of Assyria and all the horde coming with him, for there is more with us than with him.d 8He has only an arm of flesh, but we have the LORD, our God, to help us and to fight our battles.”e And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah, king of Judah.
Threat of Sennacherib. 9f After this, while Sennacherib, king of Assyria, himself remained at Lachish with all his forces, he sent his officials to Jerusalem with this message for Hezekiah, king of Judah, and all the Judahites who were in Jerusalem: 10“Thus says Sennacherib, king of Assyria: In what are you trusting, now that you are under siege in Jerusalem? 11Is not Hezekiah deceiving you, delivering you over to a death of famine and thirst, by his claim that ‘the LORD, our God, will rescue us from the grasp of the king of Assyria’? 12Has not this same Hezekiah removed the Lord’s own high places and altars and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You shall bow down before one altar only, and on it alone you shall offer incense’? 13Do you not know what my fathers and I have done to all the peoples of other lands? Were the gods of the nations in those lands able to rescue their lands from my hand? 14Who among all the gods of those nations which my fathers put under the ban was able to rescue their people from my hand? Will your god, then, be able to rescue you from my hand? 15Let not Hezekiah mislead you further and deceive you in any such way. Do not believe him! Since no other god of any other nation or kingdom has been able to rescue his people from my hand or the hands of my fathers, how much the less shall your god rescue you from my hand!”
16His officials said still more against the LORD God and against his servant Hezekiah, 17for he had written letters to deride the LORD, the God of Israel, speaking of him in these terms: “As the gods of the nations in other lands have not rescued their people from my hand, neither shall Hezekiah’s god rescue his people from my hand.”g 18In a loud voice they shouted in the language of Judah to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten and terrify them so that they might capture their city. 19They spoke of the God of Israel as though he were one of the gods of the other peoples of the earth, a work of human hands. 20But because of this, King Hezekiah and Isaiah the prophet, son of Amoz, prayed and cried out to heaven.h
Sennacherib’s Defeat. 21Then the LORD sent an angel, who destroyed every warrior, leader, and commander in the camp of the Assyrian king, so that he had to return shamefaced to his own country. And when he entered the temple of his god, some of his own offspring struck him down there with the sword.i 22Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib, king of Assyria, as from every other power; he gave them rest on every side. 23Many brought gifts for the LORD to Jerusalem and costly objects for Hezekiah, king of Judah, who thereafter was exalted in the eyes of all the nations.j
Hezekiah’s Later Reign. 24In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. He prayed to the LORD, who answered him by giving him a sign.k 25Hezekiah, however, did not respond with like generosity, for he had become arrogant. Therefore wrath descended upon him and upon Judah and Jerusalem. 26l But then Hezekiah humbled himself for his pride—both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and therefore the wrath of the LORD did not come upon them during the time of Hezekiah.
27m Hezekiah possessed very great wealth and glory. He made treasuries for his silver, gold, precious stones, spices, jewels, and other precious things of all kinds; 28also storehouses for the harvest of grain, for wine and oil, and barns for the various kinds of cattle and flocks. 29He built cities for himself, and he acquired sheep and oxen in great numbers, for God gave him very great riches. 30This same Hezekiah stopped the upper outlet for water from Gihon and redirected it underground westward to the City of David. Hezekiah prospered in all his works.n 31Nevertheless, in respect to the ambassadors of the Babylonian officials who were sent to him to investigate the sign that had occurred in the land, God abandoned him as a test, to know all that was in his heart.
32The rest of Hezekiah’s acts, including his good deeds, are recorded in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 33Hezekiah rested with his ancestors; he was buried at the approach to the tombs* of the descendants of David. All Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem paid him honor at his death. His son Manasseh succeeded him as king.
* [32:33] The approach to the tombs: lit., “the ascent of the tombs,” perhaps “the upper section of the tombs,” i.e., their most prominent and honored place.
a. [32:1] 2 Kgs 18:13.
d. [32:7] 2 Chr 14:10; 20:6–12.
f. [32:9–20] 2 Kgs 18:17–37; Is 36:1–22.
g. [32:17] 2 Kgs 19:9–13; Is 37:9–13.
h. [32:20] 2 Kgs 19:14–19; Is 37:14–20.
i. [32:21] 2 Kgs 19:35–37; Is 37:36–38.
j. [32:23] 2 Chr 17:10–11.
k. [32:24] 2 Kgs 20:1–11; Is 38:1–8.
l. [32:26, 31] 2 Kgs 20:12–19; Is 39:1–8.
m. [32:27–28] 2 Kgs 20:13; Is 39:2.
n. [32:30] 2 Kgs 20:20–21.