2 Kings 19 – “Hezekiah’s Prayer; An Angel Smites the Assyrian Camp”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Hezekiah petitions God to save him, God guarantees him salvation, and an angel kills 185,000 Assyrians in one night. Sennacherib flees and is killed by his sons in Nineveh.

II. Photo
God quotes the Assyrians: “You thought, ‘Thanks to my vast chariotry, it is I who have climbed the highest mountains, to the remotest parts of the Lebanon, and have cut down its loftiest cedars, its choicest cypresses, and have reached its remotest lodge, its densest forest.’” (v. 23b)

III. Important Verses
14-19: Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers and read it. Hezekiah then went up to the House of the LORD and spread it out before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD and said, “O LORD of Hosts, Enthroned on the Cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. O LORD, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see. Hear the words that Sennacherib has sent to blaspheme the living God! True, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have annihilated the nations and their lands, and have committed their gods to the flames and have destroyed them; for they are not gods, but man’s handiwork of wood and stone. But now, O LORD our God, deliver us from his hands, and let all the kingdoms of the earth know that You alone, O LORD, are God.”
20-25: Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah: “Thus said the LORD, the God of Israel: I have heard the prayer you have offered to Me concerning King Sennacherib of Assyria. This is the word that the LORD has spoken concerning him: “Fair Maiden Zion despises you, She mocks at you; Fair Jerusalem shakes Her head at you. Whom have you blasphemed and reviled? Against whom made loud your voice And haughtily raised your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel! Through your envoys you have blasphemed my Lord. Because you thought, ‘Thanks to my vast chariotry, It is I who have climbed the highest mountains, To the remotest parts of the Lebanon, And have cut down its loftiest cedars, Its choicest cypresses, And have reached its remotest lodge, Its densest forest. It is I who have drawn and drunk the waters of strangers; I have dried up with the soles of my feet All the streams of Egypt.’ Have you not heard? Of old I planned that very thing, I designed it long ago, And now have fulfilled it. And it has come to pass, Laying waste fortified towns In desolate heaps.”
35: That night an angel of the LORD went out and struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp, and the following morning they were all dead corpses.
36-37: So King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and retreated, and stayed in Nineveh. While he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sarezer struck him down with the sword. They fled to the land of Ararat, and his son Esarhaddon succeeded him as king.

IV. Outline
1. Hezekiah’s distress
2-4. Hezekiah sends messengers to Isaiah
5-7. Isaiah’s message of confidence
8-9. Sennacherib hears of a Nubian invader
10-13. Sennacherib’s warning to Hezekiah
14-19. Hezekiah’s prayer in the temple
20-34. God tells Isaiah that Sennacherib will fail
35. An angel kills 185,000 Assyrians
36-37. Sennacherib flees and is killed in Nineveh

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Cogan, Mordechai and Hayim Tadmor. “II Kings” The Anchor Bible v. 11 (USA: Doubleday, 1988).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Hobbs, T.R. “2 Kings” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 13 (Waco, Texas: Wordbooks, 1985).
Photo taken from http://elaney.org/wp/leslie_blackie/files/2009/05/redwood.jpg