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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 37

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1 a 37:1–38 Cp. 2 Kgs. 19:1–37 ; 2 Chr. 32:20–22 . When King Hezekiah heard their report, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD. 2He sent Eliakim comptroller of the household, Shebna the adjutant-general, and the senior priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz, 3to give him this message from the king: ‘Today is a day of trouble for us, a day of reproof and contumely. We are like a woman who lacks the strength to bring to birth the child she is carrying. 4It may be that the LORD your God will give heed to the words of the chief officer whom his master the king of Assyria sent to taunt the living God, and will confute the words which the LORD your God heard. Offer a prayer for those who still survive.’

5When King Hezekiah's officials came to Isaiah, 6they were given this answer for their master: ‘Here is the word of the LORD: Do not be alarmed at what you heard when the Assyrian king's minions blasphemed me. 7I shall sap his morale till at a mere rumour he will withdraw to his own country; and there I shall make him fall by the sword.’

8Meanwhile the chief officer went back, and, having heard that the king of Assyria had moved camp from Lachish, he found him attacking Libnah. 9But when the king learnt that King Tirhakah of Cush was on the way to engage him in battle, he sent messengers again b 37:9 again: prob. rdg, cp. 2 Kgs. 19:9 ; Heb. and he heard. to King Hezekiah of Judah 10to say to him, ‘How can you be deluded by your God on whom you rely when he promises that Jerusalem will not fall into the hands of the king of Assyria? 11You yourself must have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all countries: they utterly destroyed them. Can you then hope to escape? 12Did their gods save the nations which my predecessors wiped out: Gozan, Harran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden living in Telassar? 13Where are the kings of Hamath, of Arpad, and of Lahir, Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?’

14Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and, having read it, he went up to the temple and spread it out before the LORD 15with this prayer: 16‘LORD of Hosts, God of Israel, enthroned on the cherubim, you alone are God of all the kingdoms of the world; you made heaven and earth. 17Incline your ear, LORD, and listen; open your eyes, LORD, and see; hear all the words that Sennacherib has sent to taunt the living God. 18 LORD, it is true that the kings of Assyria have laid waste every country c 37:18 every country: so Scroll; Heb. adds and their country. , 19and have consigned their gods to the flames. They destroyed them, because they were no gods but the work of men's hands, mere wood and stone. 20Now, LORD our God, save us from his power, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, LORD, are God d 37:20 are God: so Scroll; Heb. omits God. .’

21Isaiah son of Amoz sent Hezekiah the following message: ‘This is the word of the LORD the God of Israel: I have heard e 37:21 I have heard: so Gk; Heb. omits. your prayer to me concerning King Sennacherib of Assyria, 22and this is the word which the LORD has spoken against him:

The virgin daughter of Zion disdains you, she laughs you to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem tosses her head as you retreat. 23Whom have you taunted and blasphemed? Against whom did you raise an outcry, casting haughty glances at the Holy One of Israel? 24You sent your servants to taunt the Lord; you said: “With my countless chariots I have ascended the mountain heights, gone to the remote recesses of Lebanon. I have felled its tallest cedars, the finest of its pines; I have reached the highest peak, the most luxuriant forest. 25I have dug wells and drunk the waters of a foreign land f 37:25 of a foreign land: so Scroll; Heb. omits. , and with the sole of my foot I have dried up all the streams of Egypt.”

26‘Have you not heard? Long ago I did it all. In days gone by I planned it and now I have brought it about, till your fortified cities have crashed into heaps of rubble. 27Their inhabitants, shorn of strength, disheartened and put to shame, were but as plants in the field, frail as green herbs, as grass on the rooftops blasted by the east wind g 37:27 blasted … east wind: so Scroll; Heb. obscure. . 28I know your rising up h 37:28 your rising up: so Scroll; Heb. omits. and your sitting down, your going out and your coming in. 29The frenzy of your rage against me i 37:29 The frenzy … me: cp. Scroll; Heb. repeats the frenzy of your rage against me. and your arrogance have come to my ears. I shall put a ring in your nose and a bridle in your mouth, and I shall take you back by the way on which you came.

30‘This will be the sign for you: this year you will eat the leavings of the grain and in the second year what is self-sown; but in the third year you will sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 31The survivors left in Judah will strike fresh root below ground and yield fruit above ground, 32for a remnant will come out of Jerusalem and survivors from Mount Zion. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts will perform this.

33‘Therefore, this is the word of the LORD about the king of Assyria:

He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow there; he will not advance against it with his shield or cast up a siege-ramp against it. 34By the way he came he will go back; he will not enter this city. This is the word of the LORD. 35I shall shield this city to deliver it for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.’

36The angel of the LORD went out and struck down a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp; when morning dawned, there they all lay dead. 37King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and marched away; he went back to Nineveh and remained there. 38One day, while he was worshipping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer assassinated him and made their escape to the land of Ararat. His son Esarhaddon succeeded him.

Notes:

a 37:1–38 Cp. 2 Kgs. 19:1–37 ; 2 Chr. 32:20–22 .

b 37:9 again: prob. rdg, cp. 2 Kgs. 19:9 ; Heb. and he heard.

c 37:18 every country: so Scroll; Heb. adds and their country.

d 37:20 are God: so Scroll; Heb. omits God.

e 37:21 I have heard: so Gk; Heb. omits.

f 37:25 of a foreign land: so Scroll; Heb. omits.

g 37:27 blasted … east wind: so Scroll; Heb. obscure.

h 37:28 your rising up: so Scroll; Heb. omits.

i 37:29 The frenzy … me: cp. Scroll; Heb. repeats the frenzy of your rage against me.

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