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Isaiah 37:13-20

Context
37:13 Where are the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, and the kings of Lair, 1  Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?’”

37:14 Hezekiah took the letter 2  from the messengers and read it. 3  Then Hezekiah went up to the Lord’s temple and spread it out before the Lord. 37:15 Hezekiah prayed before the Lord: 37:16 “O Lord who commands armies, O God of Israel, who is enthroned on the cherubim! 4  You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the sky 5  and the earth. 37:17 Pay attention, Lord, and hear! Open your eyes, Lord, and observe! Listen to this entire message Sennacherib sent and how he taunts the living God! 6  37:18 It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all the nations 7  and their lands. 37:19 They have burned the gods of the nations, 8  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. 9  37:20 Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power, so all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord.” 10 

1 sn Lair was a city located in northeastern Babylon. See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 235.

2 tc The Hebrew text has the plural, “letters.” The final mem (ם) may be dittographic (note the initial mem on the form that immediately follows). Some Greek and Aramaic witnesses have the singular. If so, one still has to deal with the yod that is part of the plural ending. J. N. Oswalt refers to various commentators who have suggested ways to understand the plural form (Isaiah [NICOT], 1:652).

3 tn In the parallel text in 2 Kgs 19:14 the verb has the plural suffix, “them,” but this probably reflects a later harmonization to the preceding textual corruption (of “letter” to “letters”).

4 sn Cherubim (singular “cherub”) refers to the images of winged angelic creatures that were above the ark of the covenant.

5 tn Or “the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “sky” depending on the context.

6 tn Heb “Hear all the words of Sennacherib which he sent to taunt the living God.”

7 tn The Hebrew text here has “all the lands,” but the parallel text in 2 Kgs 19:17 has “the nations.”

8 tn Heb “and they put their gods in the fire.”

9 tn Heb “so they destroyed them” (NASB similar).

10 tn The parallel text in 2 Kgs 19:19 reads, “that you, Lord, are the only God.”



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