16 Oct. 2 Kings 19:1-10,19-20,32-36

16 Oct. Isaiah prophesies that the Assyrians will return home

“When King Hezekiah heard the message, he tore his clothes and put on rough cloth to show how sad he was. Then he went into the Temple of the LORD.”

“Hezekiah sent Eliakim, the palace manager and Shebna, the royal secretary, and the elders of the priests to Isaiah. They were all wearing rough cloth when they came to Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz.”

“They told Isaiah, ‘This is what Hezekiah says: “Today is a day of sorrow and punishment and disgrace, as when a child should be born, but the mother is not strong enough to give birth to it. The king of Assyria sent his field commander to make fun of the living God. Maybe the LORD your God will hear what the commander said and will punish him for it. So pray for the few of us who are left alive.”’”

“When Hezekiah’s officers came to Isaiah, he said to them, ‘Tell your master this: the LORD says, “Don’t be afraid of what you have heard. Don’t be frightened by the words the servants of the king of Assyria have spoken against me. Listen! I am going to put a spirit in the king of Assyria. He will hear a report that will make him return to his own country, and I will cause him to die by the sword there.”’”

“The field commander heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish. When he went back, he found the king fighting against the city of Libnah. The king received a report that Tirhakah, the Cushite king of Egypt, was coming to attack him. When the king of Assyria heard this, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, ‘Tell Hezekiah king of Judah: “Don’t be fooled by the god you trust. Don’t believe him when he says Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria…”’”

“When Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the Temple of the LORD. He spread the letter out before the LORD and prayed to the LORD… ‘Now LORD our God, save us from the king’s power so that all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you, LORD, are the only God.’”

“Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah that said, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I have heard your prayer to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria… He will not enter this city or even shoot an arrow here. He will not fight against it with shields or build a ramp to attack the city walls. He will return to his country the same way he came, and he will not enter this city,’ says the LORD. ‘I will defend and save this city for my sake and for the sake of David, my servant.’”

“That night the angel of the LORD went out and killed 185,000 men in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up early the next morning, they saw all the dead bodies. So Sennacherib king of Assyria left and went back to Nineveh and stayed there.”

          (2 Kings 19:1-10,14,19-20,32-36)

 

 

The Israelites were terrified at Sennacherib's threat to destroy Jerusalem. The king and his officials tore their clothes and put on rough cloth to show how worried and concerned they were.

The king sent a message to the prophet Isaiah, and Isaiah told King Hezekiah that the Assyrian king Sennacherib would return to his own country, where he would be killed.

Word then reached the Assyrian camp that the Egyptians, under Prince Taharka (Hebrew, ‘Tirhakah’) - the nephew of the Cushite (Sudanese) Pharaoh Ahabaka - were honouring their defensive treaty with Judah by sending an army from Egypt to fight the Assyrians.

We know from Egyptian records that the armies of the two super-powers clashed, but the Egyptian army of the ‘Black Pharaohs’ was unable to defeat the Assyrians and retreated back to Egypt.

Hezekiah prayed once again to the LORD for deliverance. At this vital moment, ‘the angel of the LORD’ – perhaps through an epidemic – struck the Assyrian camp and Sennacherib withdrew to Nineveh. Shortly after, he was assassinated by two of his sons.

The photo shows the Assyrian King Sennacherib on his throne (on a relief in the British Museum).

You can read more about Sennacherib @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/33-judah-after-the-fall-of-israel/sennacherib-attacks-and-destroys-lachish/


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