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2 Chronicles 32:1-33

Context
Sennacherib Invades Judah

32:1 After these faithful deeds were accomplished, King Sennacherib of Assyria invaded Judah. He besieged the fortified cities, intending to seize them. 1  32:2 When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had invaded and intended to attack Jerusalem, 2  32:3 he consulted with his advisers and military officers about stopping up the springs 3  outside the city, and they supported him. 32:4 A large number of people gathered together and stopped up all the springs and the stream that flowed through the district. 4  They reasoned, 5  “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?” 32:5 Hezekiah 6  energetically rebuilt 7  every broken wall. He erected towers and an outer wall, 8  and fortified the terrace of the City of David. 9  He made many weapons and shields.

32:6 He appointed military officers over the army 10  and assembled them in the square at the city gate. He encouraged them, 11  saying, 32:7 “Be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic 12  because of the king of Assyria and this huge army that is with him! We have with us one who is stronger than those who are with him. 13  32:8 He has with him mere human strength, 14  but the Lord our God is with us to help us and fight our battles!” The army 15  was encouraged by the words of King Hezekiah of Judah.

32:9 Afterward King Sennacherib of Assyria, while attacking Lachish with all his military might, sent his messengers 16  to Jerusalem. The message was for King Hezekiah of Judah and all the people of 17  Judah who were in Jerusalem. It read: 32:10 “This is what King Sennacherib of Assyria says: ‘Why are you so confident that you remain in Jerusalem while it is under siege? 18  32:11 Hezekiah says, “The Lord our God will rescue us from the power 19  of the king of Assyria.” But he is misleading you and you will die of hunger and thirst! 20  32:12 Hezekiah is the one who eliminated 21  the Lord’s 22  high places and altars and then told Judah and Jerusalem, “At one altar you must worship and offer sacrifices.” 32:13 Are you not aware of what I and my predecessors 23  have done to all the nations of the surrounding lands? Have the gods of the surrounding lands actually been able to rescue their lands from my power? 24  32:14 Who among all the gods of these nations whom my predecessors annihilated was able to rescue his people from my power? 25  32:15 Now don’t let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you like this. Don’t believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to rescue his people from my power or the power of my predecessors. So how 26  can your gods rescue 27  you from my power?’”

32:16 Sennacherib’s 28  servants further insulted 29  the Lord God and his servant Hezekiah. 32:17 He wrote letters mocking the Lord God of Israel and insulting him with these words: 30  “The gods of the surrounding nations could not rescue their people from my power. Neither can Hezekiah’s god rescue his people from my power.” 31  32:18 They called out loudly in the Judahite dialect to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, trying to scare and terrify them so they could seize the city. 32:19 They talked about the God of Jerusalem as if he were one of the man-made gods of the nations of the earth.

32:20 King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz prayed about this and cried out to heaven. 32:21 The Lord sent a messenger 32  and he wiped out all the soldiers, princes, and officers in the army of the king of Assyria. So Sennacherib 33  returned home humiliated. 34  When he entered the temple of his god, some of his own sons 35  struck him down with the sword. 32:22 The Lord delivered Hezekiah and the residents of Jerusalem from the power of King Sennacherib of Assyria and from all the other nations. 36  He made them secure on every side. 37  32:23 Many were bringing presents 38  to the Lord in Jerusalem and precious gifts to King Hezekiah of Judah. From that time on he was respected by 39  all the nations.

Hezekiah’s Shortcomings and Accomplishments

32:24 In those days Hezekiah was stricken with a terminal illness. 40  He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a sign confirming that he would be healed. 41  32:25 But Hezekiah was ungrateful; he had a proud attitude, provoking God to be angry at him, as well as Judah and Jerusalem. 42  32:26 But then Hezekiah and the residents of Jerusalem humbled themselves and abandoned their pride, and the Lord was not angry with them for the rest of Hezekiah’s reign. 43 

32:27 Hezekiah was very wealthy and greatly respected. He made storehouses for his silver, gold, precious stones, spices, and all his other valuable possessions. 44  32:28 He made storerooms for the harvest of grain, wine, and olive oil, and stalls for all his various kinds of livestock and his flocks. 45  32:29 He built royal cities 46  and owned a large number of sheep and cattle, for God gave him a huge amount of possessions.

32:30 Hezekiah dammed up the source of the waters of the Upper Gihon and directed them down to the west side of the City of David. 47  Hezekiah succeeded in all that he did. 32:31 So when the envoys arrived from the Babylonian officials to visit him and inquire about the sign that occurred in the land, 48  God left him alone to test him, in order to know his true motives. 49 

32:32 The rest of the events of Hezekiah’s reign, including his faithful deeds, are recorded in the vision of the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz, included in the Scroll of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 50  32:33 Hezekiah passed away 51  and was buried on the ascent of the tombs of the descendants of David. All the people of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem buried him with great honor. 52  His son Manasseh replaced him as king.

1 tn Heb “and he said to break into them for himself.”

2 tn Heb “and his face was for war against Jerusalem.”

map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

3 tn Heb “the waters of the springs.”

4 tn Heb “and they closed up all the springs and the stream that flows in the midst of the land.” Here אָרֶץ (’arets, “land”) does not refer to the entire land, but to a smaller region like a district.

5 tn Heb “land, saying.”

6 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Hezekiah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 tn Heb “strengthened himself and built.”

8 tn Heb “and outside the wall another one.”

9 sn The phrase the City of David refers here to the fortress of Zion in Jerusalem, not to Bethlehem. See 2 Sam 5:7.

10 tn Heb “and he placed officers of war over the people.”

11 tn Heb “he spoke to their heart[s].”

12 tn Or perhaps, “and don’t be discouraged.”

13 tn Heb “for with us [is] a greater [one] than with him.”

14 tn Heb “With him is an arm of flesh.”

15 tn Or “people.”

16 tn Heb “servants.”

17 tn Heb “all Judah.” The words “the people of” are supplied in the translation for clarity. The Hebrew text uses the name “Judah” here by metonymy for the people of Judah.

18 tn Heb “On what are you trusting that [you] are living during the siege in Jerusalem.”

19 tn Heb “hand.”

20 tn Heb “Is not Hezekiah misleading you to give you over to die by hunger and thirst, saying, ‘The Lord our God will rescue us from the hand of the king of Assyria’?’

21 tn Heb “Did not he, Hezekiah, eliminate…?” This rhetorical question presupposes a positive reply (“yes, he did”) and so has been translated here as a positive statement.

22 tn Heb “his”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

23 tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 14, 15), but in this context the term does not necessarily refer to Sennacherib’s ancestors, but to his predecessors on the Assyrian throne.

24 tn Heb “hand.”

25 tn Heb “hand.”

26 tn Heb “how much less.”

27 tn The verb is plural, suggesting that the preceding אֱלֹהֵיכֶם (’elohekhem) be translated “your gods,” rather than “your God.”

28 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Sennacherib) has been specified in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

29 tn Heb “spoke against.”

30 tn Heb “and speaking against him, saying.”

31 tn Heb “Like the gods of the nations of the lands who did not rescue their people from my hand, so the god of Hezekiah will not rescue his people from my hand.”

32 tn Or “an angel.”

33 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Sennacherib) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

34 tn Heb “and he returned with shame of face to his land.”

35 tn Heb “and some from those who went out from him, from his inward parts.”

36 tn Heb “and from the hand of all.”

37 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “and he led him from all around.” However, the present translation assumes an emendation to וַיָּנַח לָהֶם מִסָּבִיב (vayyanakh lahem missaviv, “and he gave rest to them from all around”). See 2 Chr 15:15 and 20:30.

38 tn Or perhaps, “offerings.”

39 tn Heb “lifted up in the eyes of.”

40 tn Heb “was sick to the point of dying.”

41 tn Heb “and he spoke to him and a sign he gave to him.”

42 tn Heb “but not according to the benefit [given] to him did Hezekiah repay, for his heart was high, and there was anger against him and against Judah and Jerusalem.”

map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

43 tn Heb “and Hezekiah humbled himself in the height of his heart, he and the residents of Jerusalem, and the anger of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.”

44 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “and shields and all the desirable items.” The present translation assumes an emendation of מָגִנִּים (maginnim, “shields”) to מִגְדָּנִים (migdanim, “precious items”). See v. 23.

45 tn Heb “and stalls for all beasts and beasts, and flocks for the stalls.” The repetition of בְהֵמָה (bÿhemah, “beast”) here indicates various kinds of livestock.

46 tn Heb “and cities he made for himself.”

47 sn The phrase the City of David refers here to the fortress of Zion in Jerusalem, not to Bethlehem. See 2 Sam 5:7.

48 tn Heb “and when the envoys of the officials of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire concerning the sign which was in the land, [arrived].”

49 tn Heb “to know all [that was] in his heart.”

50 tn Heb “and the rest of the deeds of Hezekiah and his faithful acts, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah son of Amoz the prophet upon the scroll of the kings of Judah and Israel.”

51 tn Heb “lay down with his fathers.”

52 tn Heb “and honor they did to him in his death, all Judah and the residents of Jerusalem.”



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