Isaiah 36:1-37:38 Reading the Passage

What to Do When They Defy God – Isaiah 36:1-10; 37:1-7,36-38

36 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. (2) Then the king of Assyria sent his field commander with a large army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. When the commander stopped at the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Washerman’s Field, (3) Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace administrator, Shebna, the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the recorder, went out to meet him.

(4) The field commander said to them, Tell Hezekiah, This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says, In what do you place your confidence? (5) I say that your counsel and your claim to have strength to wage war are only empty words. Now on whom are you depending, so that you are so bold as to rebel against me? (6) Listen. You are depending on a staff that is nothing more than a splintered reed; namely, the nation of Egypt. If a man leans upon that staff, it will pierce his hand and wound him—such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him. (7) But if you tell me, We are trusting in Jehovah our God. I ask you, Is not he the god whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, commanding Judah and Jerusalem, You must only worship before this altar in Jerusalem? (8) Now therefore, make a deal with my master, the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses—if you can supply riders for them. (9) How can you repel even so much as one officer of the least of my master’s commanders, even though you are depending on Egypt for chariots and horsemen? (10) Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this land without the help of Jehovah? Jehovah commanded me, Attack this land and destroy it.

37 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of Jehovah. (2) He sent Eliakim, the palace administrator, Shebna, the secretary, and the leading priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. (3) And they said to him, This is what Hezekiah says, This is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace; it is like infants coming to the point of birth, but there is no strength to deliver them. (4) Perhaps Jehovah your God will take note of the words of the Assyrian field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to defy the living God, and that he will rebuke him for the words that Jehovah your God has heard. Therefore, lift up your prayer for the remnant of Judah that is still left.

(5) When King Hezekiah’s officials came to Isaiah, (6) Isaiah said to them, This is what you shall report back to your master, This is what Jehovah says, Do not be afraid of the words you have heard, the words with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. (7) Listen! I am going to put a spirit into him that will cause him, when he hears a certain report, to return to his own country. Furthermore, I will cause him to be killed with the sword in his own country…

(36) Then the angel of Jehovah went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. When the Assyrians got up the next morning—there were all the dead bodies! (37) So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and withdrew from Jerusalem. He returned to Nineveh and stayed there. (38) One day, as he was worshiping in the temple of Nisroch his god, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer assassinated him with the sword; then they escaped to the land of Ararat. Esarhadon his son succeeded him as king.

Now proceed to the next section of this study, entitled, Exploring the Passage.