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Isaiah 37:11-18

Context
37:11 Certainly you have heard how the kings of Assyria have annihilated all lands. 1  Do you really think you will be rescued? 2  37:12 Were the nations whom my predecessors 3  destroyed – the nations of Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden in Telassar – rescued by their gods? 4  37:13 Where are the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, and the kings of Lair, 5  Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?’”

37:14 Hezekiah took the letter 6  from the messengers and read it. 7  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! 8  You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the sky 9  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! 10  37:18 It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all the nations 11  and their lands.

Isaiah 37:29-36

Context

37:29 Because you rage against me

and the uproar you create has reached my ears, 12 

I will put my hook in your nose, 13 

and my bridle between your lips,

and I will lead you back

the way you came.”

37:30 14 “This will be your reminder that I have spoken the truth: 15  This year you will eat what grows wild, 16  and next year 17  what grows on its own. But the year after that 18  you will plant seed and harvest crops; you will plant vines and consume their produce. 19  37:31 Those who remain in Judah will take root in the ground and bear fruit. 20 

37:32 “For a remnant will leave Jerusalem;

survivors will come out of Mount Zion.

The intense devotion of the Lord who commands armies 21  will accomplish this.

37:33 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. 22 

He will not attack it with his shielded warriors, 23 

nor will he build siege works against it.

37:34 He will go back the way he came –

he will not enter this city,’ says the Lord.

37:35 I will shield this city and rescue it for the sake of my reputation and because of my promise to David my servant.”’” 24 

37:36 The Lord’s messenger 25  went out and killed 185,000 troops 26  in the Assyrian camp. When they 27  got up early the next morning, there were all the corpses! 28 

1 tn Heb “Look, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the lands, annihilating them.”

2 tn Heb “and will you be rescued?” The rhetorical question expects the answer, “No, of course not!”

3 tn Heb “fathers” (so KJV, NAB, NASB); NIV “forefathers”; NCV “ancestors.”

4 tn Heb “Did the gods of the nations whom my fathers destroyed rescue them – Gozan and Haran, and Rezeph and the sons of Eden who are in Telassar?”

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

6 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).

7 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”).

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

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

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

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

12 tc Heb “and your complacency comes up into my ears.” The parallelism is improved if שַׁאֲנַנְךָ (shaanankha, “your complacency”) is emended to שְׁאוֹנְךָ (shÿonÿkha, “your uproar”). See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 237-38. However, the LXX seems to support the MT and Sennacherib’s cavalier dismissal of Yahweh depicts an arrogant complacency (J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah [NICOT], 1:658, n. 10).

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

14 tn At this point the word concerning the king of Assyria (vv. 22-29) ends and the Lord again addresses Hezekiah and the people directly (see v. 21).

15 tn Heb “and this is your sign.” In this case the אוֹת (’ot, “sign”) is a future reminder of God’s intervention designated before the actual intervention takes place. For similar “signs” see Exod 3:12 and Isa 7:14-25.

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

17 tn Heb “and in the second year” (so ASV).

18 tn Heb “in the third year” (so KJV, NAB).

19 tn The four plural imperatival verb forms in v. 30b are used rhetorically. The Lord commands the people to plant, harvest, etc. to emphasize the certainty of restored peace and prosperity.

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

21 tn Heb “the zeal of the Lord who commands armies [traditionally, the Lord of hosts].” 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.

22 tn Heb “there” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV). In terms of English style “here” is expected in collocation with “this” in the previous line.

23 tn Heb “[with] a shield” (so ASV, NASB, NRSV).

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

25 tn Traditionally, “the angel of the Lord” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).

26 tn The word “troops” is supplied in the translation for smoothness and clarity.

27 tn This refers to the Israelites and/or the rest of the Assyrian army.

28 tn Heb “look, all of them were dead bodies”; NLT “they found corpses everywhere.”



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