And when King Hezekiah heard [it], he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth and entered the house of the LORD.
Then he sent Eliakim who was over the household with Shebna the scribe and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz.
They said to him, "Thus says Hezekiah, 'This day is a day of distress, rebuke and rejection; for children have come to birth, and there is no strength to deliver.
'Perhaps the LORD your God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to reproach the living God, and will rebuke the words which the LORD your God has heard. Therefore, offer a prayer for the remnant that is left.'"
So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah.
Isaiah said to them, "Thus you shall say to your master, 'Thus says the LORD, "Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me.
"Behold, I will put a spirit in him so that he will hear a rumor and return to his own land. And I will make him fall by the sword in his own land."'"
Then Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he had heard that the king had left Lachish.
When he heard [them] say concerning Tirhakah king of Cush, "He has come out to fight against you," and when he heard [it] he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,
"Thus you shall say to Hezekiah king of Judah, 'Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, "Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria."
'Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the lands, destroying them completely. So will you be spared?
'Did the gods of those nations which my fathers have destroyed deliver them, [even] Gozan and Haran and Rezeph and the sons of Eden who [were] in Telassar?
'Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, [and of] Hena and Ivvah?'"
Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD.
Hezekiah prayed to the LORD saying,
"O LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, who is enthroned [above] the cherubim, You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.
"Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and listen to all the words of Sennacherib, who sent [them] to reproach the living God.
"Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have devastated all the countries and their lands,
and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. So they have destroyed them.
"Now, O LORD our God, deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone, LORD, are God."
Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent [word] to Hezekiah, saying, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'Because you have prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria,
this is the word that the LORD has spoken against him: "She has despised you and mocked you, The virgin daughter of Zion; She has shaken [her] head behind you, The daughter of Jerusalem!
"Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? And against whom have you raised [your] voice And haughtily lifted up your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel!
"Through your servants you have reproached the Lord, And you have said, 'With my many chariots I came up to the heights of the mountains, To the remotest parts of Lebanon; And I cut down its tall cedars [and] its choice cypresses. And I will go to its highest peak, its thickest forest.
'I dug [wells] and drank waters, And with the sole of my feet I dried up All the rivers of Egypt.'
"Have you not heard? Long ago I did it, From ancient times I planned it. Now I have brought it to pass, That you should turn fortified cities into ruinous heaps.
"Therefore their inhabitants were short of strength, They were dismayed and put to shame; They were [as] the vegetation of the field and [as] the green herb, [As] grass on the housetops is scorched before it is grown up.
"But I know your sitting down And your going out and your coming in And your raging against Me.
"Because of your raging against Me And because your arrogance has come up to My ears, Therefore I will put My hook in your nose And My bridle in your lips, And I will turn you back by the way which you came.
"Then this shall be the sign for you: you will eat this year what grows of itself, in the second year what springs from the same, and in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
"The surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward.
"For out of Jerusalem will go forth a remnant and out of Mount Zion survivors. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."'
"Therefore, thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, 'He will not come to this city or shoot an arrow there; and he will not come before it with a shield, or throw up a siege ramp against it.
'By the way that he came, by the same he will return, and he will not come to this city,' declares the LORD.
'For I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David's sake.'"
Then the angel of the LORD went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men arose early in the morning, behold, all of these were dead.
So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned [home] and lived at Nineveh.
It came about as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons killed him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son became king in his place.
In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, "Thus says the LORD, 'Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.'"
Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD,
and said, "Remember now, O LORD, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Your sight." And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
Then the word of the LORD came to Isaiah, saying,
"Go and say to Hezekiah, 'Thus says the LORD, the God of your father David, "I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will add fifteen years to your life.
"I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city."'
"This shall be the sign to you from the LORD, that the LORD will do this thing that He has spoken:
"Behold, I will cause the shadow on the stairway, which has gone down with the sun on the stairway of Ahaz, to go back ten steps." So the sun's [shadow] went back ten steps on the stairway on which it had gone down.
A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah after his illness and recovery:
I said, "In the middle of my life I am to enter the gates of Sheol; I am to be deprived of the rest of my years."
I said, "I will not see the LORD, The LORD in the land of the living; I will look on man no more among the inhabitants of the world.
"Like a shepherd's tent my dwelling is pulled up and removed from me; As a weaver I rolled up my life. He cuts me off from the loom; From day until night You make an end of me.
"I composed [my soul] until morning. Like a lion-- so He breaks all my bones, From day until night You make an end of me.
"Like a swallow, [like] a crane, so I twitter; I moan like a dove; My eyes look wistfully to the heights; O Lord, I am oppressed, be my security.
"What shall I say? For He has spoken to me, and He Himself has done it; I will wander about all my years because of the bitterness of my soul.
"O Lord, by [these] things [men] live, And in all these is the life of my spirit; O restore me to health and let me live!
"Lo, for [my own] welfare I had great bitterness; It is You who has kept my soul from the pit of nothingness, For You have cast all my sins behind Your back.
"For Sheol cannot thank You, Death cannot praise You; Those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your faithfulness.
"It is the living who give thanks to You, as I do today; A father tells his sons about Your faithfulness.
"The LORD will surely save me; So we will play my songs on stringed instruments All [the] days of our life at the house of the LORD."
Now Isaiah had said, "Let them take a cake of figs and apply it to the boil, that he may recover."
Then Hezekiah had said, "What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the LORD?"
At that time Merodach-baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered.
Hezekiah was pleased, and showed them [all] his treasure house, the silver and the gold and the spices and the precious oil and his whole armory and all that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his house nor in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.
Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and said to him, "What did these men say, and from where have they come to you?" And Hezekiah said, "They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon."
He said, "What have they seen in your house?" So Hezekiah answered, "They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasuries that I have not shown them."
Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the LORD of hosts,
'Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house and all that your fathers have laid up in store to this day will be carried to Babylon; nothing will be left,' says the LORD.
'And [some] of your sons who will issue from you, whom you will beget, will be taken away, and they will become officials in the palace of the king of Babylon.'"
Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good." For he thought, "For there will be peace and truth in my days."