A Prophet Who Saved A Great City

Once the king of Assyria sent a high official with a great army to

Jerusalem. When they arrived at Jerusalem, they called for Hezekiah the

ruler of Judah, Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, Shebnah, the scribe, and

Joah, the son of Asaph, and they came out to them. And the high official

said to them, "Why are you so confident? To whom do you look for help

that you have rebelled against me? You count on Egypt to help you.

aoh, king of Egypt, is as weak as a broken reed. But if you say, 'We

trust in Jehovah our God,' is not he the one whose high places and

altars Hezekiah has destroyed? Now therefore make a bargain with my

master, the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if

you are able on your part to set riders upon them. How then can you

conquer one of the least of my master's servants? Have I now come up

against this place to destroy it without Jehovah's approval? Jehovah it

was who said to me, 'Go up against this land and destroy it.'"

Then Eliakim and Shebnah and Joah said to the high official, "Speak, I

pray you, to your servants in the Aramaic language, for we understand

it; but do not speak with us in the Jewish language in the hearing of

the people who are on the wall." But the high official said to them,

"Has my master sent me to your master and to you to speak these words?

Is it not rather to the men who sit on the wall, who will suffer most

from the siege?"

Then the high official stood and cried with a loud voice, in the Jewish

language, saying, "Hear the message of the great king, the king of

Assyria. 'Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you; for he will

not be able to save you from my hand. Neither let Hezekiah make you

trust in Jehovah by saying, Jehovah will surely save us, and this city

shall not be given into the power of the king of Assyria.'"

"Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria, 'Make

your peace with me and come over to me; then each one of you shall eat

from his own vine and his own fig-tree and drink the waters of his own

cistern, until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a

land full of grain and new wine, a land full of bread and vineyards, a

land full of olive-trees and honey, that you may live and not die. But

do not listen to Hezekiah, when he deceives you by saying, Jehovah will

save us. Has any of the gods of the nations ever saved his land from the

power of the king of Assyria? Have the gods of the land of Samaria saved

Samaria from my power? Who are they among all the gods of the countries,

that have saved their country from my power, that Jehovah should save

Jerusalem from my power?'"

Then the people were silent and made no answer; for the ruler's command

was, "Do not answer him." But Eliakim, the steward of the palace, and

Shebnah, the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, came to Hezekiah with

torn clothes and told him the words of the high official. And as soon as

Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes and covered himself with

sackcloth and went into the temple of Jehovah. And he sent Eliakim, who

was in charge of the palace, and Shebnah, the scribe and the oldest of

the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah, the prophet. And they

said to him, Hezekiah says, "This is a day of trouble, of discipline and

of shame. It may be Jehovah your God will hear all the words of the high

official, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to defy the

living God, and will punish him for them; therefore lift up your prayer

for the people."

When the servants of Hezekiah came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, "Take

back this answer to your master: Jehovah says, 'Do not be afraid of the

words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of

Assyria have insulted me. I will put a spirit in him, so that he will

hear bad news and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall

by the sword in his own land.'"

So the high official returned and found the king of Assyria making war

against Libnah, for he had heard that he had gone from Lachish. But the

king of Assyria had heard that Tirkakah, king of Ethiopia, had come out

to fight against him. Now that very night the angel of Jehovah went out

and struck down in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and eighty-five

thousand. And when men arose early the next morning, these were all


Then Sennacherib, king of Assyria, went away and returned to Nineveh.

While he was worshipping in the temple of Nisroch his god, his sons

struck him down with the sword; and they escaped into the land of

Ararat. And Esarhaddon, his son, became king in his place.