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2 Chronicles 32:1-21

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.

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.”

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