1 As soon as Hezekiah the king heard this, he tore his clothes, dressed himself in sackcloth, and went into the LORD's Temple. 2 Then he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, all wearing sackcloth, to Amoz's son, the prophet Isaiah. 3 "Here is what Hezekiah says," they told him. "This day is a day of trouble, rebuke, and disgrace, as when children come to the point of birth and there is no energy to deliver them. 4 Perhaps the LORD your God will hear the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, sent to mock the living God, and perhaps he will rebuke the words that the LORD your God has heard. So lift up a prayer for the remnant that still survives in this city."
5 That's why King Hezekiah's officials came to Isaiah. 6 "Here is what to tell your master," Isaiah told them. "This is what the LORD says: "Don't be afraid of the words you've heard those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have insulted me. 7 Watch this! I'm going to place an attitude within him, so that when he hears a certain report, he'll return to his own country. Then I'll have him cut down by the sword in his own land."
8 So the field commander returned and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, since he had heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish. 9 Now King Sennacherib had received this report concerning King Tirhakah of Cush: "He has marched out to fight against you." 10 When he heard it, he returned and sent messengers to Hezekiah: "Say this to Hezekiah king of Judah: "Don't let your God on whom you depend deceive you when he says, "Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria." 11 Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all countries, dooming them to destruction. So do you think you will be saved? 12 Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my ancestors save them the nations of Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden, who were in Tel-assar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sephar-vaim, or of Hena, or of Ivvah, or of Samaria?'"
14 Hezekiah received the letters from the messengers, and read them. Then he went up to the LORD's Temple and spread the letters in front of the LORD. 15 Hezekiah prayed to the LORD:
16 "O LORD of the Heavenly Armies, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you alone are the God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made heaven and earth. 17 Extend your ear, LORD, and listen! Open your eyes, LORD, and look! Listen to all the words Sennacherib has sent to mock the living God. 18 It is true, LORD, that Assyrian kings have devastated all these countries, 19 and have thrown their gods into the fire but they are not gods, but rather the products of human hands, mere wood and stone. So the Assyrians destroyed them. 20 So now, LORD our God, save us from his oppressive hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O LORD, are God."
21 Then Amoz's son Isaiah sent this message to Hezekiah: "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says, to whom you prayed concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria. 22 This is the message that the LORD has spoken in opposition to him: ""The Virgin Daughter of Zion despises and mocks you; the Daughter of Jerusalem she tosses her head behind you as you flee. 23 Whom have you insulted and reviled? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel! 24 By your messengers you have insulted the LORD, and you have said, "With my many chariots I have climbed the heights of mountains, the utmost heights of Lebanon. I cut down its tallest cedars, the choicest of its pines; I reached its remotest heights, the most verdant of its forests. 25 I myself dug wells and drank foreign waters; with the soles of my feet I dried up all the streams of Egypt."
26 ""Didn't you hear how in the distant past I decided to do it, how I planned from days of old? Now I've made it happen that fortified cities become devastated, besieged heaps. 27 Their inhabitants are devoid of power, and are terrified and put to shame. They've become like plants in the field, like green shoots, like grass on rooftops, scorched by the east wind.
28 ""I know when you rise up and when you sit down, your comings and goings and how you've become enraged at me. 29 Your insolence has reached my ears, so I'll put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth, and I'll make you turn back on the road by which you came.
30 "And this will be your sign, Hezekiah: Eat this year what grows on its own, and in the second year what springs from that. But in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 31 Then the ones belonging to the house of Judah who have escaped will gather, and those who are found will take root downward and bear fruit upward. 32 For a remnant will come out of Zion, and a band of survivors from Jerusalem. The zeal of the LORD of the Heavenly Armies will accomplish this.
33 "Therefore this what the LORD says concerning the king of Assyria: "He won't enter this city, build up a siege ramp against it, shoot an arrow here, or threaten it with a shield. 34 By the same way that he came, he will return; he won't enter this city,' declares the LORD,
35 "because I will defend this city and deliver it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David!'"
36 After this, the angel of the LORD went out and put to death 185,000 men in the Assyrian camp. When Hezekiah's army awakened in the morning there were all the dead bodies! 37 King Sennacherib broke camp, retreated, returned home to Nineveh, and remained there.