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2 Kings

Hezekiah seeks advice from the prophet Isaiah.  2Kgs.19.1-7 - Is.37.1-7

1When King Hezekiah heard it, he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of Yahweh. 2And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz. 3They said to him, "Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. 4It may be that Yahweh your God heard all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words which Yahweh your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left." 5When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, 6Isaiah said to them, "Say to your master, 'Thus says Yahweh: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. 7Behold, I will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.' "

The Assyrians send a further threat.  2Kgs.19.8-19 - Is.37.8-20

8The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah; for he heard that the king had left Lachish. 9And when the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, "Behold, he has set out to fight against you," he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying, 10"Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: 'Do not let your God on whom you rely deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, destroying them utterly. And shall you be delivered? 12Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations which my fathers destroyed, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Tel-assar? 13Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?"

14Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of Yahweh, and spread it before Yahweh. 15And Hezekiah prayed before Yahweh, and said: " O Yahweh the God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 16Incline your ear, O Yahweh, and hear; open your eyes, O Yahweh, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 17Of a truth, O Yahweh, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, 18and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone; therefore they were destroyed. 19So now, O Yahweh our God, save us, I beseech you, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Yahweh, are God alone."

Isaiah's message to king Hezekiah.  2Kgs.19.20-37

20Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, "Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: Your prayer to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard. 21This is the word that Yahweh has spoken concerning him:

"She despises you, she scorns you - the virgin daughter of Zion;
she wags her head behind you - the daughter of Jerusalem.

22"Whom have you mocked and reviled?
Against whom have you raised your voice
and haughtily lifted your eyes?
Against the Holy One of Israel!
23By your messengers you have mocked Yahweh,
and you have said, 'With my many chariots
I have gone up the heights of the mountains,
to the far recesses of Lebanon;
I felled its tallest cedars,
its choicest cypresses;
I entered its farthest retreat,
its densest forest.
24I dug wells and drank foreign waters,
and I dried up with the sole of my foot
all the streams of Egypt.'

25"Have you not heard that I determined it long ago?
I planned from days of old
what now I bring to pass,
that you should turn fortified cities
into heaps of ruins,
26while their inhabitants, shorn of strength,
are dismayed and confounded,
and have become like plants of the field,
and like tender grass,
like grass on the housetops;
blighted before it is grown?

27"But I know your sitting down
and your going out and coming in,
and your raging against me.
28Because you have raged against me
and your arrogance has come into my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
and my bit in your mouth,
and I will turn you back
on the way by which you came.

29"And this shall be the sign for you: this year you shall eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs of the same; then in the third year sow, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 30And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward; 31for out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of Yahweh will do this.

32"Therefore thus says Yahweh concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield or cast up a siege mound against it. 33By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, says Yahweh. 34For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David."

35And that night the angel of Yahweh went forth, and slew a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 36Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went home, and dwelt at Nineveh. 37And as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, slew him with the sword, and escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.


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The katapi New Standard Bible is a very light revision of the RSV. The changes are: (1) In places where 'the LORD', 'O LORD' occurs in the RSV, (it represents the tetragrammaton - YHWH - which is in the hebrew text), I have used the name 'Yahweh'.
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Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971], Apocrypha, copyright 1957; The Third and Fourth Books of the Maccabees and Psalm 151, copyright 1977, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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