Steve Gregg teaches Isaiah chapters 36-39 on the reign of King Hezekiah and his faith and surrender to God amidst threats from King Sennacherib and the powerful Assyrians.
New King James Version (NKJV)
Sennacherib Boasts Against the Lord
36 Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. 2 Then the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh[a] with a great army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. And he stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool, on the highway to the Fuller’s Field. 3 And Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to him.
7 “But if you say to me, ‘We trust in the Lord our God,’ is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar’?”’ 8 Now therefore, I urge you, give a pledge to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses—if you are able on your part to put riders on them! 9 How then will you repel one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put your trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen? 10 Have I now come up without the Lord against this land to destroy it? The Lord said to me, ‘Go up against this land, and destroy it.’”
11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and do not speak to us in Hebrew[b] in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.”
12 But the Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, who will eat and drink their own waste with you?”
13 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out with a loud voice in Hebrew, 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 nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, “The Lord 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 peace with me by a present and come out to me; and every one of you eat from his own vine and every one from his own fig tree, and every one of you drink 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 persuade you, saying, “The Lord will deliver us.” Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered its land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Indeed, have they delivered Samaria from my hand? 20 Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their countries from my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’”
21 But they held their peace 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, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.
New King James Version (NKJV)
Isaiah Assures Deliverance
37 And so it was, when King Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. 2 Then 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 and rebuke and blasphemy; for the children have come to birth, but there is no strength to bring them forth. 4 It may be that the Lord your God will hear the words of the 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 lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.’”
Sennacherib’s Threat and Hezekiah’s Prayer
8 Then the Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah, for he heard that he had departed from Lachish. 9 And the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, “He has come out to make war with you.” So when he heard it, he sent messengers 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 given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 11 Look! You have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by utterly destroying them; and shall you be delivered? 12 Have the gods of the nations delivered those whom my fathers have destroyed, Gozan and Haran and Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah?’”
14 And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. 15 Then Hezekiah prayed to the Lord, saying: 16 “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 17 Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. 18 Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations 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. Therefore they destroyed them. 20 Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord, You alone.”
The Word of the Lord Concerning Sennacherib
21 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22 this is the word which the Lord has spoken concerning him:
“The virgin, the daughter of Zion,
Has despised you, laughed you to scorn;
The daughter of Jerusalem
Has shaken her head behind your back!23 “Whom have you reproached and blasphemed?
Against whom have you raised your voice,
And lifted up your eyes on high?
Against the Holy One of Israel.
24 By your servants you have reproached the Lord,
And said, ‘By the multitude of my chariots
I have come up to the height of the mountains,
To the limits of Lebanon;
I will cut down its tall cedars
And its choice cypress trees;
I will enter its farthest height,
To its fruitful forest.
25 I have dug and drunk water,
And with the soles of my feet I have dried up
All the brooks of defense.’
26 “Did you not hear long ago
How I made it,
From ancient times that I formed it?
Now I have brought it to pass,
That you should be
For crushing fortified cities into heaps of ruins.
27 Therefore their inhabitants had little power;
They were dismayed and confounded;
They were as the grass of the field
And the green herb,
As the grass on the housetops
And grain blighted before it is grown.28 “But I know your dwelling place,
Your going out and your coming in,
And your rage against Me.
29 Because your rage against Me and your tumult
Have 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 “This shall be a sign to you:
You shall eat this year such as grows of itself,
And the second year what springs from the same;
Also in the third year sow and reap,
Plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them.
31 And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah
Shall again take root downward,
And bear fruit upward.
32 For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant,
And those who escape from Mount Zion.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
33 “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 build a siege mound against it.
34 By the way that he came,
By the same shall he return;
And he shall not come into this city,’
Says the Lord.
35 ‘For I will defend this city, to save it
For My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’”
Sennacherib’s Defeat and Death36 Then the angel[a] of the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. 37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh. 38 Now it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Then Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.
- Isaiah 37:36 Or Angel
New King James Version (NKJV)
Hezekiah’s Life Extended
38 In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’”
4 And the word of the Lord came to Isaiah, saying, 5 “Go and tell Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will add to your days fifteen years. 6 I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city.”’ 7 And this is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing which He has spoken: 8 “Behold, I will bring the shadow on the sundial, which has gone down with the sun on the sundial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward.” So the sun returned ten degrees on the dial by which it had gone down.
9 This is the writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness:
10 I said,
“In the prime of my life
I shall go to the gates of Sheol;
I am deprived of the remainder of my years.”
11 I said,
“I shall not see Yah,
The Lord[a] in the land of the living;
I shall observe man no more among the inhabitants of the world.[b]
12 My life span is gone,
Taken from me like a shepherd’s tent;
I have cut off my life like a weaver.
He cuts me off from the loom;
From day until night You make an end of me.
13 I have considered until morning—
Like a lion,
So He breaks all my bones;
From day until night You make an end of me.
14 Like a crane or a swallow, so I chattered;
I mourned like a dove;
My eyes fail from looking upward.
O Lord,[c] I am oppressed;
Undertake for me!15 “What shall I say?
He has both spoken to me,[d]
And He Himself has done it.
I shall walk carefully all my years
In the bitterness of my soul.
16 O Lord, by these things men live;
And in all these things is the life of my spirit;
So You will restore me and make me live.
17 Indeed it was for my own peace
That I had great bitterness;
But You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption,
For You have cast all my sins behind Your back.
18 For Sheol cannot thank You,
Death cannot praise You;
Those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your truth.
19 The living, the living man, he shall praise You,
As I do this day;
The father shall make known Your truth to the children.20 “The Lord was ready to save me;
Therefore we will sing my songs with stringed instruments
All the days of our life, in the house of the Lord.”
21 Now Isaiah had said, “Let them take a lump of figs, and apply it as a poultice on the boil, and he shall recover.”
- Isaiah 38:11 Hebrew Yah, Yah
- Isaiah 38:11 Following some Hebrew manuscripts; Masoretic Text and Vulgate read rest; Septuagint omits among the inhabitants of the world; Targum reads land.
- Isaiah 38:14 Following Bomberg; Masoretic Text and Dead Sea Scrolls read Lord.
- Isaiah 38:15 Following Masoretic Text and Vulgate; Dead Sea Scrolls and Targum read And shall I say to Him; Septuagint omits first half of this verse.
New King James Version (NKJV)
The Babylonian Envoys
39 At that time Merodach-Baladan[a] the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. 2 And Hezekiah was pleased with them, and showed them the house of his treasures—the silver and gold, the spices and precious ointment, and all his armory—all that was found among his treasures. There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them.
So Hezekiah said, “They came to me from a far country, from Babylon.”
4 And 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 treasures that I have not shown them.”
5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: 6 ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord. 7 ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’”
8 So Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good!” For he said, “At least there will be peace and truth in my days.”