19:14 Hezekiah took the letter 1 from the messengers and read it. 2 Then Hezekiah went up to the Lord’s temple and spread it out before the Lord. 19:15 Hezekiah prayed before the Lord: “Lord God of Israel, who is enthroned on the cherubs! 3 You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the sky 4 and the earth. 19:16 Pay attention, Lord, and hear! Open your eyes, Lord, and observe! Listen to the message Sennacherib sent and how he taunts the living God! 5 19:17 It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands. 19:18 They have burned the gods of the nations, 6 for they are not really gods, but only the product of human hands manufactured from wood and stone. That is why the Assyrians could destroy them. 7 19:19 Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power, so that all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you, Lord, are the only God.”
2 Kings 19:29-36Context
19:29 8 This will be your confirmation that I have spoken the truth: 9 This year you will eat what grows wild, 10 and next year 11 what grows on its own from that. But in the third year you will plant seed and harvest crops; you will plant vines and consume their produce. 12 19:30 Those who remain in Judah will take root in the ground and bear fruit. 13
19:31 For a remnant will leave Jerusalem;
survivors will come out of Mount Zion.
19:32 So this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:
“He will not enter this city,
nor will he shoot an arrow here. 16
He will not attack it with his shield-carrying warriors, 17
nor will he build siege works against it.
19:33 He will go back the way he came.
He will not enter this city,” says the Lord.
19:35 That very night the Lord’s messenger went out and killed 185,000 men in the Assyrian camp. When they 19 got up early the next morning, there were all the corpses. 20 19:36 So King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and went on his way. He went home and stayed in Nineveh. 21
1 tc The MT has the plural, “letters,” but the final mem is probably dittographic (note the initial mem on the form that immediately follows). Some Greek and Aramaic witnesses have the singular.
2 tc The MT has the plural suffix, “them,” but this probably reflects a later harmonization to the preceding textual corruption (of “letter” to “letters”). The parallel passage in Isa 37:14 has the singular suffix.
3 sn This refers to the cherub images that were above the ark of the covenant.
4 tn Or “the heavens.”
5 tn Heb “Hear the words of Sennacherib which he sent to taunt the living God.”
6 tn Heb “and they put their gods in the fire.”
7 tn Heb “so they destroyed them.”
9 tn Heb “and this is your sign.” In this case the אוֹת (’ot), “sign,” is a future confirmation of God’s intervention designated before the actual intervention takes place. For similar “signs” see Exod 3:12 and Isa 7:14-25.
10 sn This refers to crops that grew up on their own (that is, without cultivation) from the seed planted in past years.
11 tn Heb “and in the second year.”
12 tn The four plural imperatival verb forms in v. 29b are used rhetorically. The Lord commands the people to plant, harvest, etc. to emphasize the certainty of restored peace and prosperity. See IBHS 572 §34.4.c.
13 tn Heb “The remnant of the house of Judah that is left will add roots below and produce fruit above.”
14 tn Traditionally “the
15 tn Heb “the zeal of the
16 tn Heb “there.”
17 tn Heb “[with] a shield.” By metonymy the “shield” stands for the soldier who carries it.
18 tn Heb “for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.”
19 tn This refers to the Israelites and/or the rest of the Assyrian army.
20 tn Heb “look, all of them were dead bodies.”
21 tn Heb “and Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went and returned and lived in Nineveh.”