Hezekiah sends Eliakim and Shebna to the prophet Isaiah, and he says to tell Hezekiah that the Lord will cause Sennacherib to hear a rumor and return to his own land. He further says that the Lord will make him fall by the sword there (verse 7). Sennacherib again sends messengers to Hezekiah – this time more blatantly mocking and blaspheming the Lord. Hezekiah’s prayer in verses 14-19 are an appeal to God not to let this blasphemer defeat them.
Isaiah’s next response in verse 20-34 in great detail predict the wrath of the Lord toward the prideful Sennacherib, declaring that he will neither come into the city, nor shoot a single arrow there. Sennacherib and his army had been used as the “rod” of God for exacting His punishment on the people of Israel for their apostasy. But the Assyrian king had compared himself to a god because of his vanity. Verse 35 tells us that the angel of the Lord struck down 185,000 of the Assyrians in one night; and Sennacherib did in fact return to his land – where two of his sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, killed him with a sword. His other son, Esarhaddon then took the throne.
Assyrian records of Esarhaddon, who reigned from 680-669 BC, state that he had to fight his brothers for the throne after the murder of Sannacherib – after which they fled to another country.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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