2 Kings 18-20 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Judah’s King Hezekiah
18 In the third year of Israel’s King Hoshea son of Elah, Hezekiah son of Ahaz became king of Judah. 2 He was 25 years old when he became king and reigned 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi[a] daughter of Zechariah. 3 He did what was right in the Lord’s sight just as his ancestor David had done. 4 He removed the high places, shattered the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake that Moses made, for the Israelites burned incense to it up to that time. He called it Nehushtan.[b]
5 Hezekiah trusted in the Lord God of Israel; not one of the kings of Judah was like him, either before him or after him. 6 He remained faithful to Yahweh and did not turn from following Him but kept the commands the Lord had commanded Moses.
7 The Lord was with him, and wherever he went he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. 8 He defeated the Philistines as far as Gaza and its borders, from watchtower to fortified city.
Review of Israel’s Fall
9 In the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Israel’s King Hoshea son of Elah, Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and besieged it. 10 The Assyrians captured it at the end of three years. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Israel’s King Hoshea, Samaria was captured. 11 The king of Assyria deported the Israelites to Assyria and put them in Halah and by the Habor, Gozan’s river, and in the cities of the Medes, 12 because they did not listen to the voice of the Lord their God but violated His covenant—all He had commanded Moses the servant of the Lord. They did not listen, and they did not obey.
13 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. 14 So Hezekiah king of Judah sent word to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; withdraw from me. Whatever you demand from me, I will pay.” The king of Assyria demanded 11 tons[c] of silver and one ton[d] of gold from King Hezekiah of Judah. 15 So Hezekiah gave him all the silver found in the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the king’s palace.
16 At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the Lord’s sanctuary and from the doorposts he had overlaid and gave it to the king of Assyria.
17 Then the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rab-saris, and the Rabshakeh, along with a massive army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. They advanced and came to Jerusalem, and[e] they took their position by the aqueduct of the upper pool, which is by the highway to the Fuller’s Field. 18 Then they called for the king, but Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebnah the court secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian, came out to them.
The Rabshakeh’s Speech
19 Then the Rabshakeh said to them, “Tell Hezekiah this is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: ‘What are you relying on?[f] 20 You think mere words are strategy and strength for war. What are you now relying on so that you have rebelled against me? 21 Look, you are now trusting in Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff that will enter and pierce the hand of anyone who leans on it. This is how Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who trust in him. 22 Suppose you say to me: We trust in the Lord our God. Isn’t He the One whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem: You must worship at this altar in Jerusalem?’
23 “So now make a bargain with my master the king of Assyria. I’ll give you 2,000 horses if you’re able to supply riders for them! 24 How then can you drive back a single officer among the least of my master’s servants and trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 25 Have I attacked this place to destroy it without the Lord’s approval? The Lord said to me, ‘Attack this land and destroy it.’”
26 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, Shebnah, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, since we understand it. Don’t speak with us in Hebrew[g] within earshot of the people on the wall.”
27 But the Rabshakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me only to your master and to you to speak these words? Hasn’t he also sent me to the men who sit on the wall, destined with you to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?”
28 The Rabshakeh stood and called out loudly in Hebrew.[h] Then he spoke: “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria. 29 This is what the king says: ‘Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you; he can’t deliver you from my hand. 30 Don’t let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord by saying: Certainly the Lord will deliver us! This city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.’
31 “Don’t listen to Hezekiah, for this is what the king of Assyria says: ‘Make peace[i] with me and surrender to me. Then every one of you may eat from his own vine and his own fig tree, and every one may drink water from his own cistern 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey—so that you may live and not die. But don’t listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you, saying: The Lord will deliver us. 33 Has any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land from the power of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?[j] Have they delivered Samaria from my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands has delivered his land from my power? So will the Lord deliver Jerusalem?’”
36 But the people kept silent; they didn’t say anything, for the king’s command was, “Don’t answer him.” 37 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and reported to him the words of the Rabshakeh.
Hezekiah Seeks Isaiah’s Counsel
19 When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the Lord’s temple. 2 Then he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and the leading priests, who were wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 3 They said to him, “This is what Hezekiah says: ‘Today is a day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace, for children have come to the point of birth, but there is no strength to deliver them. 4 Perhaps Yahweh your God will hear all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke him for the words that Yahweh your God has heard. Therefore, offer a prayer for the surviving remnant.’”
5 So the servants of King Hezekiah went to Isaiah, 6 who said to them, “Tell your master this, ‘The Lord says: Don’t be afraid because of the words you have heard, that the king of Assyria’s attendants have blasphemed Me with. 7 I am about to put a spirit in him, and he will hear a rumor and return to his own land where I will cause him to fall by the sword.’”
Sennacherib’s Departing Threat
8 When the Rabshakeh heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish, he returned and found him fighting against Libnah. 9 The king had heard this about Tirhakah king of Cush: “Look, he has set out to fight against you.” So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Say this to Hezekiah king of Judah: ‘Don’t let your God, whom you trust, deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria. 11 Look, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries: they completely destroyed them. Will you be rescued? 12 Did the gods of the nations that my predecessors destroyed rescue them—nations such as Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the Edenites in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, or Ivvah?’”
14 Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers, read it, then went up to the Lord’s temple, and spread it out before the Lord. 15 Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord:
Lord God of Israel who is enthroned above the cherubim, You are God—You alone—of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. 16 Listen closely, Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, Lord, and see. Hear the words that Sennacherib has sent to mock the living God. 17 Lord, it is true that the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but made by human hands—wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. 19 Now, Lord our God, please save us from his hand so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God—You alone.
God’s Answer through Isaiah
20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: “The Lord, the God of Israel says: ‘I have heard your prayer to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria.’ 21 This is the word the Lord has spoken against him:
Virgin Daughter Zion
With my many chariots
25 Have you not heard?
27 But I know your sitting down,[o]
29 “This will be the sign for you: This year you will eat what grows on its own, and in the second year what grows from that. But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 30 The surviving remnant of the house of Israel will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 31 For a remnant will go out from Jerusalem and survivors, from Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this.
32 Therefore, this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:
34 I will defend this city and rescue it
Defeat and Death of Sennacherib
35 That night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. When the people got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and left. He returned home and lived in Nineveh.
37 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword and escaped to the land of Ararat. Then his son Esar-haddon became king in his place.
Hezekiah’s Illness and Recovery
20 In those days Hezekiah became terminally ill. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Put your affairs in order,[p] for you are about to die; you will not recover.’”
2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 “Please Lord, remember how I have walked before You faithfully and wholeheartedly and have done what pleases You.”[q] And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4 Isaiah had not yet gone out of the inner courtyard when the word of the Lord came to him: 5 “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of My people, ‘This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the Lord’s temple. 6 I will add 15 years to your life. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for My sake and for the sake of My servant David.’”
7 Then Isaiah said, “Bring a lump of pressed figs.” So they brought it and applied it to his infected skin, and he recovered.
8 Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, “What is the sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go up to the Lord’s temple on the third day?”
9 Isaiah said, “This is the sign to you from the Lord that He will do what He has promised: Should the shadow go ahead 10 steps or go back 10 steps?”
10 Then Hezekiah answered, “It’s easy for the shadow to lengthen 10 steps. No, let the shadow go back 10 steps.” 11 So Isaiah the prophet called out to the Lord, and He brought the shadow[r] back the 10 steps it had descended on Ahaz’s stairway.[s]
12 At that time Merodach-baladan[t] son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah since he heard that he had been sick. 13 Hezekiah gave them a hearing and showed them his whole treasure house—the silver, the gold, the spices, and the precious oil—and his armory, and everything that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his palace and in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them.
14 Then the prophet Isaiah came to King Hezekiah and asked him, “Where did these men come from and what did they say to you?”
Hezekiah replied, “They came from a distant country, from Babylon.”
15 Isaiah asked, “What have they seen in your palace?”
Hezekiah answered, “They have seen everything in my palace. There isn’t anything in my treasuries that I didn’t show them.”
16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord: 17 ‘The time will certainly come when everything in your palace and all that your fathers have stored up until this day will be carried off to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says the Lord. 18 ‘Some of your descendants who come from you will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs[u] in the palace of the king of Babylon.’”
19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good,” for he thought: Why not, if there will be peace and security during my lifetime?
20 The rest of the events of Hezekiah’s reign, along with all his might and how he made the pool and the tunnel and brought water into the city, are written in the Historical Record of Judah’s Kings. 21 Hezekiah rested with his fathers, and his son Manasseh became king in his place.
2 Chronicles 29-32 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Judah’s King Hezekiah
29 Hezekiah was 25 years old when he became king and reigned 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah[a] daughter of Zechariah. 2 He did what was right in the Lord’s sight just as his ancestor David had done.
3 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the Lord’s temple and repaired them. 4 Then he brought in the priests and Levites and gathered them in the eastern public square. 5 He said to them, “Hear me, Levites. Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of Yahweh, the God of your ancestors. Remove everything impure from the holy place. 6 For our fathers were unfaithful and did what is evil in the sight of the Lord our God. They abandoned Him, turned their faces away from the Lord’s tabernacle, and turned their backs on Him.[b] 7 They also closed the doors of the portico, extinguished the lamps, did not burn incense, and did not offer burnt offerings in the holy place of the God of Israel. 8 Therefore, the wrath of the Lord was on Judah and Jerusalem, and He made them an object of terror, horror, and mockery,[c] as you see with your own eyes. 9 Our fathers fell by the sword, and our sons, our daughters, and our wives are in captivity because of this. 10 It is in my heart now to make a covenant with Yahweh, the God of Israel so that His burning anger may turn away from us. 11 My sons, don’t be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand in His presence, to serve Him, and to be His ministers and burners of incense.”
Cleansing the Temple
12 Then the Levites stood up:
Mahath son of Amasai and Joel son of Azariah from the Kohathites;
15 They gathered their brothers together, consecrated themselves, and went according to the king’s command by the words of the Lord to cleanse the Lord’s temple.
16 The priests went to the entrance of the Lord’s temple to cleanse it. They took all the unclean things they found in the Lord’s sanctuary to the courtyard of the Lord’s temple. Then the Levites received them and took them outside to the Kidron Valley. 17 They began the consecration on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the portico of the Lord’s temple. They consecrated the Lord’s temple for eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished.
18 Then they went inside to King Hezekiah and said, “We have cleansed the whole temple of the Lord, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the table for the rows of the bread of the Presence and all its utensils. 19 We have set up and consecrated all the utensils that King Ahaz rejected during his reign when he became unfaithful. They are in front of the altar of the Lord.”
Renewal of Temple Worship
20 King Hezekiah got up early, gathered the city officials, and went to the Lord’s temple. 21 They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats as a sin offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary, and for Judah. Then he told the descendants of Aaron, the priests, to offer them on the altar of the Lord. 22 So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests received the blood and sprinkled it on the altar. They slaughtered the rams and sprinkled the blood on the altar. They slaughtered the lambs and sprinkled the blood on the altar. 23 Then they brought the goats for the sin offering right into the presence of the king and the congregation, who laid their hands on them. 24 The priests slaughtered the goats and put their blood on the altar for a sin offering, to make atonement for all Israel, for the king said that the burnt offering and sin offering were for all Israel.
25 Hezekiah stationed the Levites in the Lord’s temple with cymbals, harps, and lyres according to the command of David, Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet. For the command was from the Lord through His prophets. 26 The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.
27 Then Hezekiah ordered that the burnt offering be offered on the altar. When the burnt offerings began, the song of the Lord and the trumpets began, accompanied by the instruments of David king of Israel. 28 The whole assembly was worshiping, singing the song, and blowing the trumpets—all of this continued until the burnt offering was completed. 29 When the burnt offerings were completed, the king and all those present with him bowed down and worshiped. 30 Then King Hezekiah and the officials told the Levites to sing praise to the Lord in the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with rejoicing and bowed down and worshiped.
31 Hezekiah concluded, “Now you are consecrated[e] to the Lord. Come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the Lord’s temple.” So the congregation brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all those with willing hearts brought burnt offerings. 32 The number of burnt offerings the congregation brought was 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs; all these were for a burnt offering to the Lord. 33 Six hundred bulls and 3,000 sheep were consecrated.
34 However, since there were not enough priests, they weren’t able to skin all the burnt offerings, so their Levite brothers helped them until the work was finished and until the priests consecrated themselves. For the Levites were more conscientious[f] to consecrate themselves than the priests were. 35 Furthermore, the burnt offerings were abundant, along with the fat of the fellowship offerings and with the drink offerings for the burnt offering.
So the service of the Lord’s temple was established. 36 Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over how God had prepared the people, for it had come about suddenly.
Celebration of the Passover
30 Then Hezekiah sent word throughout all Israel and Judah, and he also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh to come to the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem to observe the Passover of Yahweh, the God of Israel. 2 For the king and his officials and the entire congregation in Jerusalem decided to observe the Passover of the Lord in the second month, 3 because they were not able to observe it at the appropriate time. Not enough of the priests had consecrated themselves and the people hadn’t been gathered together in Jerusalem. 4 The proposal pleased the king and the congregation, 5 so they affirmed the proposal and spread the message throughout all Israel, from Beer-sheba to Dan, to come to observe the Passover of Yahweh, the God of Israel in Jerusalem, for they hadn’t observed it often,[g] as prescribed.[h]
6 So the couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the hand of the king and his officials, and according to the king’s command, saying, “Israelites, return to Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel so that He may return to those of you who remain, who have escaped from the grasp of the kings of Assyria. 7 Don’t be like your fathers and your brothers who were unfaithful to Yahweh, the God of their ancestors so that He made them an object of horror as you yourselves see. 8 Don’t become obstinate[i] now like your fathers did. Give your allegiance[j] to Yahweh, and come to His sanctuary that He has consecrated forever. Serve the Lord your God so that He may turn His burning anger away from you, 9 for when you return to Yahweh, your brothers and your sons will receive mercy in the presence of their captors and will return to this land. For Yahweh your God is gracious and merciful; He will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.”
10 The couriers traveled from city to city in the land of Ephraim and Manasseh as far as Zebulun, but the inhabitants[k] laughed at them and mocked them. 11 But some from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 Also, the power of God was at work in Judah to unite them[l] to carry out the command of the king and his officials by the word of the Lord.
13 A very large assembly of people was gathered in Jerusalem to observe the Festival of Unleavened Bread in the second month. 14 They proceeded to take away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and they took away the incense altars and threw them into the Kidron Valley. 15 They slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and Levites were ashamed, and they consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings to the Lord’s temple. 16 They stood at their prescribed posts, according to the law of Moses, the man of God. The priests sprinkled the blood received from the hand of the Levites, 17 for there were many in the assembly who had not consecrated themselves, and so the Levites were in charge of slaughtering the Passover lambs for every unclean person to consecrate the lambs to the Lord. 18 A large number of the people—many from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun—were ritually unclean, yet they had eaten the Passover contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah had interceded for them, saying, “May the good Lord provide atonement on behalf of 19 whoever sets his whole heart on seeking God, Yahweh, the God of his ancestors, even though not according to the purification rules of the sanctuary.” 20 So the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people. 21 The Israelites who were present in Jerusalem observed the Festival of Unleavened Bread seven days with great joy, and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day after day with loud instruments. 22 Then Hezekiah encouraged[m] all the Levites who performed skillfully before the Lord. They ate at the appointed festival for seven days, sacrificing fellowship offerings and giving thanks to Yahweh, the God of their ancestors.
23 The whole congregation decided to observe seven more days, so they observed seven days with joy, 24 for Hezekiah king of Judah contributed 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep for the congregation. Also, the officials contributed 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep for the congregation, and many priests consecrated themselves. 25 Then the whole assembly of Judah with the priests and Levites, the whole assembly that came from Israel, the foreigners who came from the land of Israel, and those who were living in Judah, rejoiced. 26 There was great rejoicing in Jerusalem, for nothing like this was known since the days of Solomon son of David, the king of Israel.
27 Then the priests and the Levites stood to bless the people, and God heard their voice, and their prayer came into His holy dwelling place in heaven.
Removal of Idolatry
31 When all this was completed, all Israel who had attended went out to the cities of Judah and broke up the sacred pillars, chopped down the Asherah poles, and tore down the high places and altars throughout Judah and Benjamin, as well as in Ephraim and Manasseh, to the last one.[n] Then all the Israelites returned to their cities, each to his own possession.
Offerings for Levites
2 Hezekiah reestablished the divisions of the priests and Levites for the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, for ministry, for giving thanks, and for praise in the gates of the camp of the Lord, each division corresponding to his service among the priests and Levites. 3 The king contributed[o] from his own possessions for the regular morning and evening burnt offerings, the burnt offerings of the Sabbaths, of the New Moons, and of the appointed feasts, as written in the law of the Lord. 4 He told the people who lived in Jerusalem to give a contribution for the priests and Levites so that they could devote their energy to the law of the Lord. 5 When the word spread, the Israelites gave liberally of the best of the grain, new wine, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field, and they brought in an abundance, a tenth of everything. 6 As for the Israelites and Judahites who lived in the cities of Judah, they also brought a tenth of the cattle and sheep, and a tenth of the dedicated things that were consecrated to the Lord their God. They gathered them into large piles. 7 In the third month they began building up the piles, and they finished in the seventh month. 8 When Hezekiah and his officials came and viewed the piles, they praised the Lord and His people Israel.
9 Hezekiah asked the priests and Levites about the piles. 10 Azariah, the chief priest of the household of Zadok, answered him, “Since they began bringing the offering to the Lord’s temple, we eat and are satisfied and there is plenty left over because the Lord has blessed His people; this abundance is what is left over.”
11 Hezekiah told them to prepare chambers in the Lord’s temple, and they prepared them. 12 The offering, the tenth, and the dedicated things were brought faithfully. Conaniah the Levite was the officer in charge of them, and his brother Shimei was second. 13 Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, Mahath, and Benaiah were deputies under the authority of Conaniah and his brother Shimei by appointment of King Hezekiah and of Azariah the chief official of God’s temple.
14 Kore son of Imnah the Levite, the keeper of the East Gate, was over the freewill offerings to God to distribute the contribution to the Lord and the consecrated things. 15 Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah in the cities of the priests were to faithfully distribute it under his authority to their brothers by divisions, whether large or small. 16 In addition, they distributed it to males registered by genealogy three[p] years old and above; to all who would enter the Lord’s temple for their daily duty, for their service in their responsibilities according to their divisions. 17 They distributed also to those recorded by genealogy of the priests by their ancestral families and the Levites 20 years old and above, by their responsibilities in their divisions; 18 to those registered by genealogy—with all their infants, wives, sons, and daughters—of the whole assembly (for they had faithfully consecrated themselves as holy); 19 and to the descendants of Aaron, the priests, in the common fields of their cities, in each and every city. There were men who were registered by name to distribute a portion to every male among the priests and to every Levite recorded by genealogy.
20 Hezekiah did this throughout all Judah. He did what was good and upright and true before the Lord his God. 21 He was diligent in every deed that he began in the service of God’s temple, in the instruction and the commands, in order to seek his God, and he prospered.
32 After these faithful deeds, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and entered Judah. He laid siege to the fortified cities and intended[q] to break into them. 2 Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that he planned[r] war on Jerusalem, 3 so he consulted with his officials and his warriors about stopping up the waters of the springs that were outside the city, and they helped him. 4 Many people gathered and stopped up all the springs and the stream that flowed through the land; they said, “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?” 5 Then Hezekiah strengthened his position by rebuilding the entire broken-down wall and heightening the towers and the other outside wall. He repaired the supporting terraces of the city of David, and made an abundance of weapons and shields.
6 He set military commanders over the people and gathered the people in the square of the city gate. Then he encouraged them,[s] saying, 7 “Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged before the king of Assyria or before the large army that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. 8 He has only human strength,[t] but we have Yahweh our God to help us and to fight our battles.” So the people relied on the words of King Hezekiah of Judah.
Sennacherib’s Servant’s Speech
9 After this, while Sennacherib king of Assyria with all his armed forces besieged[u] Lachish, he sent his servants to Jerusalem against King Hezekiah of Judah and against all those of Judah who were in Jerusalem, saying, 10 “This is what King Sennacherib of Assyria says: ‘What are you relying on that you remain in Jerusalem under siege? 11 Isn’t Hezekiah misleading you to give you over to death by famine and thirst when he says, “Yahweh our God will deliver us from the power of the king of Assyria”? 12 Didn’t Hezekiah himself remove His high places and His altars and say to Judah and Jerusalem, “You must worship before one altar, and you must burn incense on it”?
13 “‘Don’t you know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of the lands? Have any of the national gods of the lands been able to deliver their land from my power? 14 Who among all the gods of these nations that my predecessors completely destroyed was able to deliver his people from my power, that your God should be able to do the same for you? 15 So now, don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, and don’t let him mislead you like this. Don’t believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my power or the power of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you from my power!’”
16 His servants said more against the Lord God and against His servant Hezekiah. 17 He also wrote letters to mock Yahweh, the God of Israel, saying against Him:
Just like the national gods of the lands that did not deliver their people from my power, so Hezekiah’s God will not deliver His people from my power.
18 Then they called out loudly in Hebrew[v] to the people of Jerusalem, who were on the wall, to frighten and discourage them in order that he might capture the city. 19 They spoke against the God of Jerusalem like they had spoken against the gods of the peoples of the earth, which were made by human hands.
Deliverance from Sennacherib
20 King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz prayed about this and cried out to heaven, 21 and the Lord sent an angel who annihilated every brave warrior, leader, and commander in the camp of the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria returned in disgrace to his land. He went to the temple of his god, and there some of his own children struck him down with the sword.
22 So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the power of King Sennacherib of Assyria and from the power of all others. He gave them rest[w] on every side. 23 Many were bringing an offering to the Lord to Jerusalem and valuable gifts to King Hezekiah of Judah, and he was exalted in the eyes of all the nations after that.
Hezekiah’s Illness and Pride
24 In those days Hezekiah became sick to the point of death, so he prayed to the Lord, and He spoke to him and gave him a miraculous sign. 25 However, because his heart was proud, Hezekiah didn’t respond according to the benefit that had come to him. So there was wrath on him, Judah, and Jerusalem. 26 Then Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart—he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem—so the Lord’s wrath didn’t come on them during Hezekiah’s lifetime.
Hezekiah’s Wealth and Works
27 Hezekiah had abundant riches and glory, and he made himself treasuries for silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields, and every desirable item. 28 He made warehouses for the harvest of grain, new wine, and oil, and stalls for all kinds of cattle, and pens for flocks. 29 He made cities for himself, and he acquired herds of sheep and cattle in abundance, for God gave him abundant possessions.
30 This same Hezekiah blocked the outlet of the water of the Upper Gihon and channeled it smoothly downward and westward to the city of David. Hezekiah succeeded in everything he did. 31 When the ambassadors of Babylon’s rulers were sent[x] to him to inquire about the miraculous sign that happened in the land, God left him to test him and discover what was in his heart.
32 As for the rest of the events of Hezekiah’s reign and his deeds of faithful love, note that they are written in the Visions of the Prophet Isaiah son of Amoz, and in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 33 Hezekiah rested with his fathers and was buried on the ascent to the tombs of David’s descendants. All Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem paid him honor at his death. His son Manasseh became king in his place.
Micah 1:1 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
1 The word of the Lord that came to Micah the Moreshite—what he saw regarding Samaria and Jerusalem in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.