1On hearing this, King Hezekiah tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and went to the Temple of Yahweh. 2He sent Eliakim master of the palace, Shebnah the secretary and the elders of the priests, wearingsackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 3They said to him, 'This is what Hezekiah says, "Today is a day of suffering, of punishment, of disgrace.Children come to birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. 4May Yahweh your God hear the words of the cupbearer-in-chief whom his master, the king of Assyria,has sent to insult the living God, and may Yahweh your God punish the words he has heard. Offer your prayerfor the remnant stil remaining." ' 5King Hezekiah's ministers went to Isaiah, 6and Isaiah said to them, 'Say to your master, "Yahweh says this: Do not be afraid of the words whichyou have heard or the blasphemies which the king of Assyria's minions have uttered against me. 7Look, I am going to put a spirit in him and, on the strength of a rumour, he wil go back to his owncountry, and in that country I shall make him fal by the sword." ' 8The cupbearer turned about and rejoined the king of Assyria, who was then attacking Libnah, as thecupbearer had learnt that the king had already left Lachish 9on hearing that Tirhakah king of Cush was on his way to attack him. 10Sennacherib again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 'Tel Hezekiah king of Judah this, "Do notlet your God on whom you are relying deceive you with the promise: Jerusalem wil not fal into the king ofAssyria's clutches. 11You have learnt by now what the kings of Assyria have done to al the other countries, devoting themto destruction. Are you likely to be saved? 12Did the gods of the nations whom my ancestors devastated save them-Gozan, Haran, Rezeph andthe Edenites who were in Tel Basar? 13Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of Lair, of Sepharvaim, of Hena, of Ivvah?" ' 14Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers' hands and read it; he then went up to the Temple ofYahweh and spread it out before Yahweh. 15Hezekiah said this prayer in the presence of Yahweh, 'Yahweh Sabaoth, God of Israel, enthroned onthe winged creatures, you alone are God of al the kingdoms of the world, you made heaven and earth. 16Give ear, Yahweh, and listen; open your eyes, Yahweh, and see! Hear the words of Sennacherib,who has sent to insult the living God. 17It is true, Yahweh, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations, 18they have thrown their gods on the fire, for these were not gods but human artefacts -- wood andstone -- and hence they have destroyed them. 19But now, Yahweh our God, save us from his clutches, I beg you, and let all the kingdoms of the worldknow that you alone are God, Yahweh.' 20Isaiah son of Amoz then sent the fol owing message to Hezekiah, 'Yahweh, God of Israel, says this, "Ihave heard the prayer which you have addressed to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria." 21Here is the pronouncement which Yahweh has made about him: "She despises you, she scorns you,the virgin daughter of Zion; she tosses her head at you, the daughter of Jerusalem! 22Whom have you insulted, whom have you blasphemed? Against whom raised your voice and liftedyour haughty eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel! 23Through your envoys you have insulted the Lord, thinking: With my many chariots I have climbed themountain-tops, the utmost peaks of Lebanon. I have fel ed its mighty cedars, its finest cypresses, have reachedits furthest recesses, its forest garden. 24Yes, I have dug and drunk of foreign waters; under the soles of my feet I have dried up al Egypt'srivers. 25"Do you hear? Long ago I prepared this, from days of old I actual y planned it, now I carry it out. Youwere to lay walled cities in heaps of ruins; 26that was why their inhabitants, feeble of hand, were dismayed and discomfited, were weak as grass,were frail as plants, were like grass of housetop and meadow under the east wind. 27But whether you stand up or you sit down, whether you go out or you come in, I know it. 28Because you have raved against me, and your arrogance has reached my ears, I shal put a hookthrough your nostrils and a muzzle on your lips, and make you return by the road by which you came. 29"And this wil be the sign for you: this year wil be eaten the self-sown grain, next year what sprouts inthe fallow; but in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 30The surviving remnant of the House of Judah wil bring forth new roots below and fruits above; 31for a remnant wil issue from Jerusalem, and survivors from Mount Zion. Yahweh Sabaoth's jealouslove wil accomplish this. 32"This, then, is what Yahweh says about the king of Assyria: "He wil not enter this city, wil shoot noarrow at it, confront it with no shield, throw up no earthwork against it. 33By the road by which he came, by that he wil return; he wil not enter this city, declares Yahweh. 34I shal protect this city and save it for my sake and my servant David's sake." ' 35That same night the angel of Yahweh went out and struck down a hundred and eighty-five thousandmen in the Assyrian camp. In the early morning when it was time to get up, there they lay, so many corpses. 36Sennacherib struck camp and left; he returned home and stayed in Nineveh. 37One day when he was worshipping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech andSharezer struck him down with the sword and escaped into the territory of Ararat. His son Esarhaddonsucceeded him.
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