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.”
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.”
8 tn Heb “That which you prayed to me concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard.” The verb “I have heard” does not appear in the parallel passage in Isa 37:21, where אֲשֶׁר (’asher) probably has a causal sense, “because.”