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Isaiah 28 - 39

Woe to Ephraim

Woe to the proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim,
And to the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
Which is at the head of the fertile valley
Of those who are overcome with wine!
Behold, the Lord has a strong and courageous agent;
As a storm of hail, a tempest of destruction,
Like a storm of mighty overflowing waters,
He has set it down to the earth with His hand.
The proud crown of the drunkards of Ephraim is trodden under foot.
And the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
Which is at the head of the fertile valley,
Will be like the first‑ripe fig prior to summer,
Which one sees,
And as soon as it is in his hand,
He swallows it.
In that day Yahweh of hosts will become a beautiful crown
And a glorious diadem to the remnant of His people;
A spirit of just judgment for him who sits in judgment,
A might to those who turn back the onslaught at the gate.
And these also reel with wine and stagger from strong drink:
The priest and the prophet reel with strong drink;
They are swallowed up by wine, they stagger from strong drink;
They reel while having visions;
They totter when rendering a verdict.
For all the tables are full of filthy vomit, without a single clean place.

“Whom would He instruct in knowledge,
And whom would He provide understanding about the report?
Those just weaned from milk?
Those just taken from the breast?
For He says,
‘Order on order, order on order,
Line on line, line on line,
A little here, a little there.’”
Indeed, He will speak to this people
Through stammering lips and a foreign tongue,
He who said to them, “Here is rest, give rest to the weary,”
And, “Here is repose,” but they would not listen.
So the word of Yahweh to them will be,
“Order on order, order on order,
Line on line, line on line,
A little here, a little there,”
That they may go and stumble backward, be broken, snared, and taken captive.

A Cornerstone in Zion

Therefore, hear the word of Yahweh, O scoffers,
Who rule this people who are in Jerusalem,
Because you have said, “We have cut a covenant with death,
And with Sheol we have made a pact.
The overflowing scourge will not reach us when it passes by,
For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have hidden ourselves with lying.”
16 Therefore thus says Lord Yahweh,
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone,
A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.
He who believes in it will not be disturbed.
I will make justice the measuring line
And righteousness the level;
Then hail will sweep away the refuge of falsehood,
And the waters will overflow the secret place.
Your covenant with death will be canceled,
And your pact with Sheol will not stand;
When the overflowing scourge passes through,
Then you will become its trampling place.
As often as it passes through, it will take you;
For morning after morning it will pass through, anytime during the day or night,
And it will be sheer terror to understand the report.”
The bed is too short on which to stretch out,
And the blanket is too narrow to wrap oneself in.
For Yahweh will rise up as at Mount Perazim;
He will be stirred up as in the valley of Gibeon,
To work His work, His unusual work,
And to labor in His labor, His exceptional labor.
So now do not carry on as scoffers,
Lest your fetters be made stronger;
For I have heard from Lord Yahweh of hosts
Of complete destruction, one that is decreed, on all the earth.

Give ear and hear my voice,
Pay attention and hear my words.
Does the farmer plow continually to plant seed?
Does he continually turn and harrow his ground?
Does he not level its surface
And sow dill and scatter cumin
And plant wheat in rows,
Barley in its place and rye within its area?
For his God disciplines and teaches him proper judgment.
For dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
Nor is the wheel of a cart driven over cumin;
But dill is beaten out with a staff, and cumin with a rod.
Grain for bread is crushed,
But he does not continue to thresh it forever.
Because the wheel of his cart and his horses eventually disturb it,
He does not crush it longer.
This also comes from Yahweh of hosts,
Who has made His counsel wonderful and His wisdom great.

Woe to Ariel

Woe, O Ariel, Ariel the city where David once camped!
Add year to year, observe your feasts on schedule.
I will bring distress to Ariel,
And she will be a city of mourning and moaning;
And she will be like an Ariel to me.
And I will camp against you encircling you,
And I will fortify siegeworks against you,
And I will raise up fortifications against you.
Then you will be brought low;
From the earth you will speak,
And from the dust where you are prostrate
Your words will come.
Your voice will also be like that of a spirit from the ground,
And your speech will whisper from the dust.

But it will be that the multitude of your enemies will become like fine dust,
And the multitude of the ruthless ones like the chaff which blows away;
And it will happen instantly, suddenly.
From Yahweh of hosts you will be punished with thunder and earthquake and loud noise,
With whirlwind and tempest and the flame of a consuming fire.
And it will be that the multitude of all the nations who wage war against Ariel,
Even all who wage war against her and her stronghold, and who distress her,
Will be like a dream, a vision of the night.
And it will be as when a hungry man dreams—
And behold, he is eating;
But he awakens, and his soul is empty,
Or as when a thirsty man dreams—
And behold, he is drinking,
But he awakens, and behold, he is faint,
And his soul is not quenched.
Thus the multitude of all the nations will be
Who wage war against Mount Zion.

Astonish yourselves and be astonished,
Blind yourselves and be blind;
They become drunk, but not with wine;
They stagger, but not with strong drink.
For Yahweh has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep;
He has shut your eyes, the prophets;
And He has covered your heads, the seers.
11 The entire vision will be to you like the words of a sealed book, which when they give it to the one who is literate, saying, “Please read this,” he will say, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” 12 Then the book will be given to the one who does not know how to read a book, saying, “Please read this.” And he will say, “I do not know how to read a book.” 13 Then the Lord said,
“Because this people draw near with their mouth
And honor Me with their lips,
But they remove their hearts far from Me,
And their fear of Me is in the command of men learned by rote,
Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous;
And the wisdom of their wise men will perish,
And the discernment of their discerning men will be hidden.”

Woe to those who deeply hide their counsel from Yahweh,
And whose deeds are done in a dark place,
And they say, “Who sees us?” or “Who knows us?”
You turn things around!
Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay,
That what is made would say to its maker, “He did not make me”;
Or what is formed say to him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?

The Afflicted Will Rejoice

Is it not yet just a little while
Before Lebanon will be turned into a fruitful orchard,
And the fruitful orchard will be counted as a forest?
On that day the deaf will hear words of a book,
And out of darkness and thick darkness the eyes of the blind will see.
The afflicted also will increase their gladness in Yahweh,
And the needy of mankind will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
For the ruthless will come to an end and the scoffer will be finished,
Indeed all who are watching out to do evil will be cut off;
Who cause a person to sin by a word,
And ensnare him who reproves at the gate,
And defraud the one in the right with meaningless arguments.

22 Therefore thus says Yahweh, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:
“Jacob shall not now be ashamed, and now his face shall not turn pale;
But when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst,
They will sanctify My name;
Indeed, they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob
And will stand trembling before the God of Israel.
Those who err in spirit will know discernment,
And those who criticize will gain learning.

Alliance with Egypt Condemned

“Woe to the rebellious children,” declares Yahweh,
“Who execute counsel, but not Mine,
And make an alliance, but not of My Spirit,
In order to add sin to sin,
Who go down to Egypt—
But did not ask Me—
To find strength in the strong defense of Pharaoh
And to take refuge in the shadow of Egypt!
Therefore the strong defense of Pharaoh will be your shame
And the refuge in the shadow of Egypt, your dishonor.
For their princes are at Zoan
And their messengers reach Hanes.
Everyone will be ashamed because of a people who cannot profit them,
Who are not for help or profit, but for shame and also for reproach.”

6 The oracle concerning the beasts of the Negev.
Through a land of distress and anguish,
From where come lioness and lion, viper and flying fiery serpent,
They carry their wealth on the backs of young donkeys
And their treasures on camels’ humps,
To a people who cannot profit them;
Even Egypt, whose help is vain and empty.
Therefore, I have called her
“Rahab who has ceased.”
Now go, write it on a tablet before them
And inscribe it on a scroll,
That it may be in the time to come
As a witness forever.
For this is a rebellious people, false sons,
Sons who are not willing to listen
To the law of Yahweh,
Who say to the seers, “You must not see,”
And to those who have visions, “You must not behold visions for us of what is right,
Speak to us pleasant words,
Behold visions of illusions.
Get out of the way, turn aside from the path,
Cease speaking before us about the Holy One of Israel.”
12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel,
“Since you have rejected this word
And have put your trust in oppression and deviousness and have relied on them,
Therefore this iniquity will be to you
Like a breach about to fall,
A bulge in a high wall,
Whose breaking comes suddenly in an instant,
Whose breaking is like the breaking of a potter’s jar,
So ruthlessly shattered
That a potsherd will not be found among its pieces
To take fire from a hearth
Or to scoop water from a cistern.”
15 For thus Lord Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel, has said,
“In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your might.”
But you were not willing,
And you said, “No, for we will flee on horses,”
Therefore you shall flee!
“And we will ride on swift horses,”
Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift.
One thousand will flee at the threat of one man;
You will flee at the threat of five,
Until you are left as a flag on a mountain top
And as a standard on a hill.

Yahweh Is Gracious and Just

Therefore Yahweh waits with longing to be gracious to you,
And therefore He is on high to have compassion on you.
For Yahweh is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who wait for Him.
19 O people in Zion, inhabitant in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you. 20 The Lord has given you bread of distress and water of oppression; He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will see your Teacher. 21 And your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left. 22 And you will defile your graven images overlaid with your silver, and your molten images plated with your gold. You will scatter them as an impure thing and say to them, “Be gone!” 23 Then He will give you rain for the seed which you will sow in the ground, and bread from the produce of the ground, and it will be rich and fat; on that day your livestock will graze in a roomy pasture. 24 Also the oxen and the donkeys which work the ground will eat salted fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. 25 And it will be that on every lofty mountain and on every lifted up hill there will be streams running with water on the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26 And the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven days, on the day Yahweh binds up the fracture of His people and heals the bruise He has inflicted. 27
Behold, the name of Yahweh comes from afar;
Burning is His anger and heavy is His smoke;
His lips are filled with indignation
And His tongue is like a consuming fire;
His breath is like an overflowing torrent,
Which reaches to the neck,
To shake the nations back and forth in a sieve of worthlessness,
And to put in the jaws of the peoples the bridle which staggers one to ruin.
You will have songs as in the night when you set yourself apart as holy for the festival,
And gladness of heart as when one marches to the sound of the flute,
To go to the mountain of Yahweh, to the Rock of Israel.
And Yahweh will cause His splendid voice to be heard,
And the descending of His arm to be seen in raging anger,
And in the flame of a consuming fire
In cloudburst, downpour, and hailstones.
For at the voice of Yahweh Assyria will be dismayed,
When He strikes with the rod.
And every blow of the appointed staff,
Which Yahweh will cause to rest upon him,
Will be with the music of tambourines and lyres;
And in battles, waving weapons He will fight them.
For Topheth has long been ready,
Indeed, it has been prepared for the king.
He has made it deep and large,
A pyre of fire with plenty of wood;
The breath of Yahweh, like a torrent of brimstone, sets it afire.

Woe to Those Who Go down to Egypt

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help
And rely on horses,
And trust in chariots because they are many
And in horsemen because they are very mighty,
But they do not regard at the Holy One of Israel, nor seek Yahweh!
Yet He also is wise and will bring about an evil demise
And does not turn His words aside,
But will arise against the house of evildoers
And against the help of the workers of iniquity.
Now the Egyptians are men and not God,
And their horses are flesh and not spirit;
So Yahweh will stretch out His hand,
And he who helps will stumble,
And he who is helped will fall,
And all of them will come to an end together.

4 For thus says Yahweh to me,
“As the lion or the young lion growls over its prey,
Against which a multitude of shepherds is called out,
And it will not be dismayed at their voice nor afflicted at their noise,
So will Yahweh of hosts come down to wage war on Mount Zion and on its hill.”
Like flying birds so Yahweh of hosts will defend Jerusalem.
He will defend and deliver it;
He will pass over and provide a way of escape.
6 Return to Him against whom you have deeply rebelled, O sons of Israel. 7 For in that day every man will reject his silver idols and his gold idols, which your hands have made for you as a sin. 8
And the Assyrian will fall by a sword not of man,
And a sword not of man will devour him.
So he will flee from the sword,
And his choice men will become forced laborers.
“His rock will pass away because of terror,
And his princes will be dismayed at the standard,”
Declares Yahweh, whose fire is in Zion and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.

A King Will Reign Righteously

Behold, a king will reign righteously
And princes will rule justly.
Each will be like a refuge from the wind
And a shelter from the storm,
Like streams of water in a dry country,
Like the shade of a huge rock in a weary land.
Then the eyes of those who see will not be blinded,
And the ears of those who hear will pay attention.
And the heart of the hasty will discern knowledge,
And the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak clearly.
No longer will the wicked fool be called noble,
Or the rogue be spoken of as generous.
For a wicked fool speaks wicked folly,
And his heart does wickedness:
To do ungodliness and to speak error against Yahweh,
In order to make the hungry person empty;
He even causes the thirsty to lack a drink.
As for a rogue, his weapons are evil;
He counsels wicked schemes
To wreak destruction on the afflicted with lying words,
Even though the needy one speaks justly.
But the noble man counsels noble plans;
And by noble plans he rises up.

Rise up, you women who are at ease,
And hear my voice;
Give ear to my word,
You complacent daughters.
Within a year and a few days
You will quake, O complacent daughters;
For the grape harvest is ended,
And the fruit gathering will not come.
Tremble, you women who are at ease;
Quake, you complacent daughters;
Strip, undress, and put sackcloth on your waist,
Beat your breasts for the desirable fields, for the fruitful vine,
For the land of my people in which thorns and briars shall come up,
Indeed, against all the joyful houses and the exultant city.
Because the palace has been abandoned, the populated city forsaken.
Hill and watchtower have become caves forever,
A joy for wild donkeys, a pasture for flocks,
Until the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high,
And the wilderness becomes a fruitful orchard,
And the fruitful orchard is counted as a forest.
Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
And righteousness will live in the fruitful orchard.
And the work of righteousness will be peace,
And the service of righteousness, quietness and security forever.
Then my people will live in a peaceful abode,
And in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places;
And it will hail when the forest comes down,
And the city will be utterly laid low.
How blessed will you be, you who sow beside all waters,
Who let out freely the ox and the donkey.

The King in His Beauty

Woe to you, O destroyer,
While you were not destroyed;
And he who is treacherous, while others did not deal treacherously with him.
As soon as you finish destroying, you will be destroyed;
As soon as you cease to deal treacherously, others will deal treacherously with you.
O Yahweh, be gracious to us; we have hoped in You.
Be their strength every morning,
Our salvation also in the time of distress.
At the sound of the tumult peoples flee;
At the lifting up of Yourself nations scatter.
Your spoil is gathered as the caterpillar gathers;
As locusts rushing about men rush about on it.
Yahweh is exalted, for He dwells on high;
He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness.
And He will be the stability of your times,
A wealth of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
The fear of Yahweh is his treasure.
Behold, their brave men cry in the streets;
The messengers of peace weep bitterly.
The highways are desolate, the traveler has ceased;
He has broken the covenant, he has rejected the cities;
He has no regard for man.
The land mourns and languishes,
Lebanon is humiliated and withers;
Sharon is like a desert plain,
And Bashan and Carmel lose their foliage.
“Now I will be on high,” says Yahweh,
“Now I will be lifted up, now I will be lifted up.
You have conceived chaff, you will give birth to stubble;
My breath will consume you like a fire.
The peoples will be burned to lime,
Like cut thorns which are burned in the fire.

“You who are far away, hear what I have done;
And you who are near, acknowledge My might.”
Sinners in Zion are in dread;
Trembling has seized the godless.
“Who among us can sojourn with the consuming fire?
Who among us can sojourn with continual burning?”
He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly;
He who rejects greedy gain of oppression,
And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe;
He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed
And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil;
He will dwell on the heights,
His refuge will be the strongholds of the cliffs;
His bread will be given him,
His water will be sure.

Your eyes will behold the King in His beauty;
They will see a far‑distant land.
Your heart will meditate on terror:
“Where is he who counts?
Where is he who weighs?
Where is he who counts the towers?”
You will no longer see a fierce people,
A people of unintelligible speech which no one comprehends,
Of a stammering tongue which no one understands.
Behold Zion, the city of our appointed times;
Your eyes will see Jerusalem, an abode at ease,
A tent which will not be folded;
Its stakes will never be pulled up,
Nor any of its cords ever be torn apart.
But there the Mighty One, Yahweh, will be for us
A place of rivers and wide canals
On which no boat with oars will go,
And on which no mighty ship will pass—
For Yahweh is our judge,
Yahweh is our lawgiver,
Yahweh is our king;
He will save us—
Your cords hang slack;
They cannot hold the base of their mast firmly,
Nor spread out the sail.
Then the prey of an abundant spoil will be divided;
The lame will take the plunder.
And no one who dwells there will say, “I am sick”;
The people who inhabit there will be forgiven their iniquity.

Yahweh’s Wrath Against the Nations

Draw near, O nations, to hear; and pay attention, O peoples!
Let the earth hear, as well as its fullness, the world and all that springs from it.
For the indignation of Yahweh is against all the nations,
And His wrath against all their hosts;
He has devoted them to destruction;
He has given them over to slaughter.
So their slain will be cast out,
And their corpses will give off their stench,
And the mountains will be drenched with their blood.
And all the host of heaven will rot away,
And the sky will be rolled up like a scroll;
All their hosts will also wither away
As a leaf withers from the vine,
Or as one withers from the fig tree.
For My sword is satiated in heaven;
Behold, it shall descend for judgment upon Edom
And upon the people whom I have devoted to destruction.
The sword of Yahweh is filled with blood;
It is sated with fat, with the blood of lambs and goats,
With the fat of the kidneys of rams.
For Yahweh has a sacrifice in Bozrah
And a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
And wild oxen will also fall with them,
And young bulls with strong ones;
Thus their land will be soaked with blood,
And their dust become greasy with fat.
For Yahweh has a day of vengeance,
A year of recompense for the cause of Zion.
And its streams will be turned into pitch,
And its dust into brimstone,
And its land will become burning pitch.
It will not be quenched night or day;
Its smoke will go up forever.
From generation to generation it will be laid waste;
None will pass through it forever and ever.
But pelican and hedgehog will possess it,
And owl and raven will dwell in it;
And He will stretch over it the line of utter formlessness
And the plumb line of utter void.
Its nobles—there is no one there
Whom they may proclaim king—
And all its princes will be non‑existent.
And thorns will come up in its fortified towers,
Weeds and thistles in its fortified cities;
It will also be a haunt of jackals
And an abode of ostriches.
And the desert creatures will meet with the wolves;
The hairy goat also will cry to its kind;
Surely, the night creature will obtain relief there
And will find itself a resting place.
The owl will make its nest and find its escape there,
And it will hatch its eggs and gather them in its shade.
Surely, the falcons will be gathered there,
Every one with its kind.

16 Seek from the book of Yahweh, and read:
Not one of these will be missing;
None will lack its mate.
For His mouth has commanded,
And His Spirit has gathered them.
He has cast the lot for them,
And His hand has divided it to them by line.
They shall possess it forever;
From generation to generation they will dwell in it.

The Joy of the Redeemed

The wilderness and the desert will be delighted,
And the Arabah will rejoice and flourish;
Like the crocus
It will flourish profusely
And rejoice with rejoicing and shout of joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
The majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the glory of Yahweh,
The majesty of our God.
Strengthen limp hands, and give courage to the knees of the stumbling.
Say to those with an anxious heart,
“Be strong, fear not.
Behold, your God will come with vengeance;
The recompense of God will come,
But He will save you.”
Then the eyes of the blind will be opened,
And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.
Then the lame will leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy.
For waters will break forth in the wilderness
And streams in the Arabah.
Then the scorched land will become a pool
And the thirsty ground springs of water;
In the haunt of jackals, its resting place,
Grass becomes reeds and rushes.
And a roadway will be there, a highway,
And it will be called the Highway of Holiness.
The unclean will not pass by on it,
But it will be for him who walks in that way,
And ignorant fools will not wander on it.
No lion will be there,
Nor will any vicious beast go up on it;
These will not be found there.
But the redeemed will walk there,
And the ransomed of Yahweh will return
And come with joyful shouting to Zion,
With everlasting gladness upon their heads.
They will attain delight and gladness,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Sennacherib Invades Judah

Now it happened in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them.
2 And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to King Hezekiah with a heavy military force. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway of the fuller’s field. 3 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to him. 4 Then Rabshakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria, “What is this trust that you have? 5 I say, ‘Your counsel and might for the war are only empty words.’ Now in whom do you trust, that you have rebelled against me? 6 Behold, you trust in the staff of this crushed reed, even on Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. 7 But if you say to me, ‘We trust in Yahweh our God,’ is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away and has said to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar’? 8 So now, come make a bargain with my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to give riders for them. 9 How then can you turn away one official of the least of my master’s servants and trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 10 So now, have I come up without the approval of Yahweh against this land to make it a ruin? Yahweh said to me, ‘Go up against this land and make it a ruin.’”’” 11 Then Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to Rabshakeh, “Speak now to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and do not speak with us in Judean in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 12 But Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me only to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, doomed to eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you?” 13 Then Rabshakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in Judean and said, “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. 14 Thus says the king, ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you; 15 and do not let Hezekiah make you trust in Yahweh, saying, “Yahweh will surely deliver us, this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 16 Do not listen to Hezekiah,’ for thus says the king of Assyria, ‘Make your peace with me and come out to me, and eat each of his vine and each of his fig tree, and drink each of the waters of his own cistern, 17 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards. 18 Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you, saying, “Yahweh will deliver us.” Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? And when have they delivered Samaria from my hand? 20 Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their land from my hand, that Yahweh would deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’” 21 But they were silent and answered him not a word, for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.” 22 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and told him the words of Rabshakeh.

Hezekiah Seeks Isaiah’s Help

Now it happened that when King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and entered the house of Yahweh.
2 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. 3 And they said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, ‘This day is a day of distress, reproof, and rejection; for children have come to the point of breaking forth, but there is no strength to give birth. 4 Perhaps Yahweh your God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to reproach the living God, and will reprove the words which Yahweh your God has heard. Therefore, lift up a prayer for the remnant that is left.’” 5 So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah. 6 And Isaiah said to them, “Thus you shall say to your master, ‘Thus says Yahweh, “Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the young men of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. 7 Behold, I will put a spirit in him so that he will hear a report and return to his own land. And I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.”’” 8 Then Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he had heard that the king had set out from Lachish. 9 Then he heard them say concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, “He has come out to fight against you.” So he heard it and sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “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.” 11 Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the lands, devoting them to destruction. So will you be delivered? 12 Did the gods of those nations, which my fathers have brought to ruin, deliver them, even Gozan and Haran and Rezeph and the sons of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, and of Hena and Ivvah?’”

Hezekiah’s Prayer in the Temple

14 Then Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and he went up to the house of Yahweh and spread it out before Yahweh.
15 And Hezekiah prayed to Yahweh saying, 16 “O Yahweh 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. 17 Incline Your ear, O Yahweh, and hear; open Your eyes, O Yahweh, and see; and listen to all the words of Sennacherib, who sent them to reproach the living God. 18 Truly, O Yahweh, the kings of Assyria have laid waste to all the countries and their lands 19 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. 20 But now, O Yahweh our God, save us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are Yahweh, You alone.”

Yahweh’s Answer Through Isaiah

21 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent word to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘Because you have prayed to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria,
22 this is the word that Yahweh 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 heightened 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 days of old I formed it.
Now I have brought it to pass,
That you should devastate fortified cities into ruinous heaps.
So their inhabitants were short of power;
They were dismayed and put to shame;
They were as the plant of the field and as the green herb,
As grass on the rooftops is scorched before it rises.
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 presumptuousness 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.
30 “Then this shall be the sign for you: you will eat this year what grows of its own accord, in the second year what springs from the same, and in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 31 And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 32 For out of Jerusalem will go forth a remnant and out of Mount Zion survivors. The zeal of Yahweh of hosts will do this.”’ 33 “Therefore, thus says Yahweh 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. 34 By the way that he came, by the same he will return, and he will not come to this city,’ declares Yahweh. 35 ‘Indeed I will defend this city to save it for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’”

The Defeat and Death of Sennacherib

36 Then the angel of Yahweh went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And the men arose early in the morning, and behold, all of them were dead bodies.
37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria set out and returned home and lived at Nineveh. 38 Now it happened that as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons struck him down with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son became king in his place.

Hezekiah’s Illness and Recovery

In those days Hezekiah became ill to the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says Yahweh, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’”
2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to Yahweh 3 and said, “Remember now, O Yahweh, 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 greatly. 4 Then the word of Yahweh came to Isaiah, saying, 5 “Go and say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says Yahweh, 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. 6 And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city.”’ 7 “Now this shall be the sign to you from Yahweh, that Yahweh will do this word that He has spoken: 8 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. 9 A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah after his illness and recovery: 10
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 Yah,
Yah 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 soothed my soul until morning.
Like a lion—so He shatters all my bones;
From day until night You make an end of me.
Like a swallow, like a crane, so I chirped;
I moan like a dove;
My eyes look wistfully to the heights;
O Lord, I am oppressed, be my security.

“What shall I say?
Indeed, 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!

Behold, for my own well‑being I had great bitterness;
But it is You who has held back 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 keep watch for Your truth.
It is the living, the living who give thanks to You, as I do today;
A father makes known to his sons about Your truth.
Yahweh is here to save me;
So we will play my songs on stringed instruments
All the days of our life at the house of Yahweh.”
21 Now Isaiah had said, “Let them take up a cake of figs and apply it to the boil, that he may live.” 22 Then Hezekiah had said, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of Yahweh?”

Hezekiah Shows His Treasures to Babylon

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 was growing stronger.
2 And Hezekiah was glad about these things and showed them all his treasure house, the silver and the gold and the spices and the good 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. 3 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.” 4 And he said, “What have they seen in your house?” So Hezekiah said, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasuries that I have not shown them.” 5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of Yahweh of hosts, 6 ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house and all that your fathers have treasured up to this day will be carried to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says Yahweh. 7 ‘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.’” 8 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of Yahweh which you have spoken is good.” For he said, “For there will be peace and truth in my days.”