37:1 When King Hezekiah heard this, 1 he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and went to the Lord’s temple. 37:2 Eliakim the palace supervisor, Shebna the scribe, and the leading priests, 2 clothed in sackcloth, sent this message to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz: 37:3 “This is what Hezekiah says: 3 ‘This is a day of distress, insults, 4 and humiliation, 5 as when a baby is ready to leave the birth canal, but the mother lacks the strength to push it through. 6 37:4 Perhaps the Lord your God will hear all these things the chief adviser has spoken on behalf of his master, the king of Assyria, who sent him to taunt the living God. 7 When the Lord your God hears, perhaps he will punish him for the things he has said. 8 So pray for this remnant that remains.’” 9
37:5 When King Hezekiah’s servants came to Isaiah, 37:6 Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master this: ‘This is what the Lord says: “Don’t be afraid because of the things you have heard – these insults the king of Assyria’s servants have hurled against me. 10 37:7 Look, I will take control of his mind; 11 he will receive a report and return to his own land. I will cut him down 12 with a sword in his own land.”’”
2 tn Heb “elders of the priests” (so KJV, NAB, NASB); NCV “the older priests”; NRSV, TEV, CEV “the senior priests.”
3 tn In the Hebrew text this verse begins with “they said to him” (cf. NRSV).
4 tn Or “rebuke” (KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV), or “correction.”
5 tn Or “contempt”; NAB, NIV, NRSV “disgrace.”
6 tn Heb “when sons come to the cervical opening and there is no strength to give birth.”
7 tn Heb “all the words of the chief adviser whom his master, the king of Assyria, sent to taunt the living God.”
8 tn Heb “and rebuke the words which the Lord your God hears.”
9 tn Heb “and lift up a prayer on behalf of the remnant that is found.”
10 tn Heb “by which the servants of the king of Assyria have insulted me.”
11 tn Heb “I will put in him a spirit.” The precise sense of רוּחַ (ruakh, “spirit”) is uncertain in this context. It may refer to a spiritual being who will take control of his mind (see 1 Kgs 22:19), or it could refer to a disposition of concern and fear. In either case the Lord’s sovereignty over the king is apparent.
12 tn Heb “cause him to fall” (so KJV, ASV, NAB), that is, “kill him.”