Hezekiah, mourning, sends to Isaiah to pray for them, 1-5. Isaiah comforts them, 6, 7. Sennacherib, going to encounter Tirhakah, sends a blasphemous letter to Hezekiah, 8-13. Hezekiah's prayer, 14-19. Isaiah's prophecy of the pride and destruction of Sennacherib and the good of Zion, 20-34. An angel slays the Assyrians, 35. Sennacherib is slain by his own sons, 36, 37.
1 And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD. 2 And he sent Eliakim who was over the household, 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 trouble, of rebuke, and blasphemy, for the children have come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. 4 It may be that the LORD your God will hear all the words of Rab-shakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master has sent to reproach the living God, and will reprove the words which the LORD your God has heard. Therefore, lift up your 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 the LORD: "Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7 Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and shall return to his own land, and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land."'"
8 So Rab-shakeh returned and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah, for he had heard that he had departed from Lachish. 9 And when he heard it said of Tirhakah king of Cush, "Behold, he has come out to fight against you," he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying, 10 "Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, 'Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, "Jerusalem shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria." 11 Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by destroying them utterly. And shall you be delivered? 12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed, as Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the children of Eden who were in Thelasar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivah?'"
14 And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it. And Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD and spread it before the LORD. 15 And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD and said, "O LORD God of Israel, dwelling between the cherubim, you are the God, even you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 LORD, bow down your ear and hear. LORD, open your eyes and see. And hear the words of Sennacherib who has sent him to reproach the living God. 17 Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands, 18 And have cast their gods into the fire, for they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore, they have destroyed them. 19 Now therefore, O LORD our God, I implore you, save us from his hand so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you are the LORD God, even you only."
20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'That which you have prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard.'
21 This is the word that the LORD has spoken concerning him: 'The virgin daughter of Zion has despised you and laughed you to scorn. The daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head at you.
22 'Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? And against whom have you exalted your voice and lifted up your eyes on high? Even against the Holy One of Israel.
23 By your messengers you have reproached the Lord and have said, "With the multitude of my chariots I have come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon, and will cut down its tall cedar trees and its choice fir trees. And I will enter into the lodgings of his borders and into the forest of his Carmel.
24 I have dug and drank strange waters, and with the sole of my feet I have dried up all the rivers of besieged places."
25 'Have you not heard long ago how I have done it, and of ancient times that I have formed it? Now I have brought it to pass, that you should be to lay waste fortified cities in ruinous heaps.
26 Therefore, their inhabitants were of small power, they were dismayed and confounded, they were as the grass of the field, as the green herb, as the grass on the house-tops, and as corn blasted before it is grown up.
27 'But I know your abode, your going out, your coming in, and your rage against me.
28 Because your rage against me and your tumult has come up into 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 by which you came.
29 'And this shall be a sign to you: you shall eat this year such things as grow of themselves, and in the second year that which springs of the same, and in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruits. 30 And the remnant that has escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 31 For out of Jerusalem a remnant shall go forth, and also those who escape from mount Zion. The zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this.
32 'Therefore, thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria: "He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a siege-mound against it. 33 By the way that he came, by the same he shall return and shall not come into this city,"' says the LORD. 34 'For I will defend this city to save it for my own sake and for my servant David's sake.'"
35 And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out and smote in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand. And when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went and returned and dwelt at Nineveh. 37 And it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword, and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esar-haddon his son reigned in his stead.
Matthew Henry Commentary - 2nd Kings, Chapter 19[➚]