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2 Kings 19:20-34

Context

19:20 Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I have heard your prayer concerning King Sennacherib of Assyria. 1  19:21 This is what the Lord says about him: 2 

“The virgin daughter Zion 3 

despises you, she makes fun of you;

Daughter Jerusalem

shakes her head after you. 4 

19:22 Whom have you taunted and hurled insults at?

At whom have you shouted, 5 

and looked so arrogantly? 6 

At the Holy One of Israel! 7 

19:23 Through your messengers you taunted the sovereign master, 8 

‘With my many chariots 9 

I climbed up the high mountains,

the slopes of Lebanon.

I cut down its tall cedars,

and its best evergreens.

I invaded its most remote regions, 10 

its thickest woods.

19:24 I dug wells and drank

water in foreign lands. 11 

With the soles of my feet I dried up

all the rivers of Egypt.’

19:25 12 Certainly you must have heard! 13 

Long ago I worked it out,

In ancient times I planned 14  it;

and now I am bringing it to pass.

The plan is this:

Fortified cities will crash

into heaps of ruins. 15 

19:26 Their residents are powerless, 16 

they are terrified and ashamed.

They are as short-lived as plants in the field,

or green vegetation. 17 

They are as short-lived as grass on the rooftops 18 

when it is scorched by the east wind. 19 

19:27 I know where you live,

and everything you do. 20 

19:28 Because you rage against me,

and the uproar you create has reached my ears; 21 

I will put my hook in your nose, 22 

and my bridle between your lips,

and I will lead you back the way

you came.”

19:29 23 This will be your confirmation that I have spoken the truth: 24  This year you will eat what grows wild, 25  and next year 26  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. 27  19:30 Those who remain in Judah will take root in the ground and bear fruit. 28 

19:31 For a remnant will leave Jerusalem;

survivors will come out of Mount Zion.

The intense devotion of the sovereign Lord 29  to his people 30  will accomplish this.

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. 31 

He will not attack it with his shield-carrying warriors, 32 

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.

19:34 I will shield this city and rescue it for the sake of my reputation and because of my promise to David my servant.’” 33 

1 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.”

2 tn Heb “this is the word which the Lord has spoken about him.”

3 sn Zion (Jerusalem) is pictured here as a young, vulnerable daughter whose purity is being threatened by the would-be Assyrian rapist. The personification hints at the reality which the young girls of the city would face if the Assyrians conquer it.

4 sn Shaking the head was a mocking gesture of derision.

5 tn Heb “have you raised a voice.”

6 tn Heb “and lifted your eyes on high?”

7 sn This divine title pictures the Lord as the sovereign king who rules over his covenant people and exercises moral authority over them.

8 tn The word is אֲדֹנָי (’adonai), “lord,” but some Hebrew mss have יְהוָה (yehvah), “Lord.”

9 tc The consonantal text (Kethib) has בְּרֶכֶב (bÿrekhev), but this must be dittographic (note the following רִכְבִּי [rikhbi], “my chariots”). The marginal reading (Qere) בְּרֹב (bÿrov), “with many,” is supported by many Hebrew mss and ancient versions, as well as the parallel passage in Isa 37:24.

10 tn Heb “the lodging place of its extremity.”

11 tn Heb “I dug and drank foreign waters.”

12 tn Having quoted the Assyrian king’s arrogant words in vv. 23-24, the Lord now speaks to the king.

13 tn Heb “Have you not heard?” The rhetorical question expresses the Lord’s amazement that anyone might be ignorant of what he is about to say.

14 tn Heb “formed.”

15 tn Heb “and it is to cause to crash into heaps of ruins fortified cities.” The subject of the third feminine singular verb תְּהִי (tÿhi) is the implied plan, referred to in the preceding lines with third feminine singular pronominal suffixes.

16 tn Heb “short of hand.”

17 tn Heb “they are plants in the field and green vegetation.” The metaphor emphasizes how short-lived these seemingly powerful cities really were. See Ps 90:5-6; Isa 40:6-8, 24.

18 tn Heb “[they are] grass on the rooftops.” See the preceding note.

19 tc The Hebrew text has “scorched before the standing grain” (perhaps meaning “before it reaches maturity”), but it is preferable to emend קָמָה (qamah), “standing grain,” to קָדִים (qadim), “east wind” (with the support of 1Q Isaa in Isa 37:27).

20 tc Heb “your going out and your coming in.” The MT also has here, “and how you have raged against me.” However, this line is probably dittographic (note the beginning of the next line).

21 tc Heb “and your complacency comes up into my ears.” The parallelism is improved if שַׁאֲנַנְךְ (shaanankh), “your complacency,” is emended to שַׁאֲוַנְךְ (shaavankh), “your uproar.” See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 237-38.

22 sn The word picture has a parallel in Assyrian sculpture. See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 238.

23 tn At this point the word concerning the king of Assyria (vv. 21-28) ends and the Lord again directly addresses Hezekiah and the people (see v. 20).

24 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.

25 sn This refers to crops that grew up on their own (that is, without cultivation) from the seed planted in past years.

26 tn Heb “and in the second year.”

27 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.

28 tn Heb “The remnant of the house of Judah that is left will add roots below and produce fruit above.”

29 tn Traditionally “the Lord of hosts.”

30 tn Heb “the zeal of the Lord.” In this context the Lord’s “zeal” refers to his intense devotion to and love for his people which prompts him to protect and restore them. The Qere, along with many medieval Hebrew mss and the ancient versions, has “the zeal of the LORD of hosts” rather than “the zeal of the LORD” (Kethib). The translation follows the Qere here.

31 tn Heb “there.”

32 tn Heb “[with] a shield.” By metonymy the “shield” stands for the soldier who carries it.

33 tn Heb “for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.”



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