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CHAPTER 19 Sep. 13 
Isaiah Prophesies Deliverance
It happened, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of Yahweh. 2He sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. 3They said to him, Thus says Hezekiah, ‘This day is a day of trouble, of rebuke, and of rejection; for the children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to deliver them. 4It may be Yahweh your God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master has sent to defy the living God, and will rebuke the words which Yahweh your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left’. So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. 6Isaiah said to them, Thus you shall tell your master, ‘Thus says Yahweh, Don’t be afraid of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. 7Behold, I will put a spirit in him, and he will hear news, and will return to his own land. I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land’. 8So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah; for he had heard that he had departed from Lachish. 9When he heard it said of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, Behold, he has come out to fight against you, he sent messengers again to Hezekiah saying, 10Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah saying, Don’t let your God in whom you trust deceive you saying, Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly. Will you be delivered? 12Have the gods of the nations delivered them, which my fathers have destroyed, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph and the children of Eden that were in Telassar? 13Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena and Ivvah?
Hezekiah’s Prayer and God’s Response
14Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it. Then Hezekiah went up to the house of Yahweh, and spread it before Yahweh. 15Hezekiah prayed before Yahweh and said, Yahweh, the God of Israel, Who sits above the cherubim, You are the God, even You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16Incline Your ear, Yahweh, and hear. Open your eyes, Yahweh, and see. Hear the words of Sennacherib, with which he has sent to defy the living God. 17Truly, Yahweh, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, 18and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they have destroyed them. 19Now therefore, Yahweh our God, save us, I beg You, out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You, Yahweh, are God alone. 20Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah saying, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘Whereas you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard you. 21This is the word that Yahweh has spoken concerning him: The virgin daughter of Zion has despised you and ridiculed you. The daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head at you. 22Whom have you defied and blasphemed? Against whom have you exalted your voice and lifted up your eyes on high? Against the Holy One of Israel. 23By your messengers you have defied the Lord, and have said, ‘With the multitude of my chariots I have come up to the height of the mountains, to the innermost parts of Lebanon; and I will cut down its tall cedars, and its choice fir trees; and I will enter into His deepest dwelling place, the forest of His fruitful field. 24I have dug and drunk strange waters, and with the sole of my feet will I dry up all the rivers of Egypt’. 25Haven’t you heard how I have done it long ago, and formed it of ancient times? Now have I brought it to pass, that it should be yours to lay waste fortified cities into ruinous heaps. 26Therefore their inhabitants were of small power. They were dismayed and confounded. They were like the grass of the field, and like the green herb, like the grass on the housetops, and like grain blasted before it has grown up. 27But I know your sitting down, and your going out, and your coming in, and your raging against Me. 28Because of your raging against Me, and because your arrogance has come up into My ears, therefore will I put my hook in your nose and My bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way by which you came. 29This shall be the sign to you: You shall eat this year that which grows of itself, and in the second year that which springs of the same; and in the third year sow, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat its fruit. 30The remnant that has escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. 31For out of Jerusalem a remnant will go out, and out of Mount Zion those who shall escape. The zeal of Yahweh will perform this’. 32Therefore thus says Yahweh concerning the king of Assyria, ‘He shall not come to this city, nor shoot an arrow there, neither shall he come before it with shield, nor cast up a mound against it. 33By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and he shall not come to this city’, says Yahweh. 34‘For I will defend this city to save it, for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake’. 35It happened that night, that the angel of Yahweh went out and struck one hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. When men arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 36So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and lived at Nineveh. 37It happened, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Esar Haddon his son reigned in his place.


19:1,2 Our response to crisis should be like Hezekiah’s- to turn to God in prayer, and to His word and His people, rather than to desperate worldly alternatives.
19:3 A day of trouble- The phrase in the Greek Septuagint version is that also used in Dan. 12:1 and Mt. 24:21 about the latter day “time of trouble” for Israel. There will therefore be an equivalent of the Assyrian invader in the last days, and Jerusalem’s deliverance will be by means of God’s dramatic intervention in the return of Christ to earth to save Israel from their Middle Eastern invaders. The whole incident can be read as a detailed type of the latter day invasion of Israel before Christ returns.
19:4 The words which Yahweh your God has heard- God hears every word and is fully aware of the detail of every situation which we face. Isaiah picks up this sentence and rephrases it by telling Hezekiah to not “be afraid of the words that you have heard” (:6). The words we hear which so frighten us are in fact heard by God
19:7 I will put a spirit in him- The Hebrew word translated “spirit” in the Old Testament has a wide range of meaning, but here it refers to the mind. God can give people an attitude of mind; He can give us a holy spirit or mindset if we seek it. And He can just as easily give people a spirit of fear, making them turn away from doing what is the humanly obvious thing to do, as He did here with Rabshakeh.
19:14 Whilst God sees and knows all things, it can be psychologically good for us to place the documents which are causing us grief ‘before the Lord’ and pray over them. God hears and reads those words just as much as we do (see on :4).
19:16 Hear the words of Sennacherib- On one level, Hezekiah knew that Yahweh had heard those words (:4), but he still asks God to hear them and respond to them. And God patiently assures him, that He has indeed heard (:20). Our faith is rarely if ever total; we know of God’s possibilities on one level, and yet doubt them in practice. When the disciples prayed “Look upon their threatenings…” (Acts 4:29), they were surely inspired by the praying of Hezekiah here, and used the same words. Daniel seems to also have paraphrased Hezekiah’s prayer in his prayer of Dan. 9:18. And these examples ought to specifically fire our prayer life, too, quoting words of Biblical prayers as part of ourprayers. And yet Hezekiah’s prayer had been inspired by the prayers of those who had in turn gone before him- he is alluding to the prayers of repentant Israel (1 Kings 18:39), Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. 20:6) and Solomon (2 Chron. 6:40). 
19:19 That all the kingdoms of the earth may know- The motivation for our prayer requests should always be the ultimate glory of God.
19:21 The “daughter of Zion” refers to the faithful remnant within Jerusalem, centred around Hezekiah. But they hardly appeared to be confidently ridiculing the Assyrians; they were scared and doubting whether God really could save them (see on :16). But because they did have some faith, God counted this as total faith, in the same way as He imputes righteousness to those in Christ. Their weak faith was counted by God as utter confidence.
19:22 That attitudes are read as prayers is reflected in the way that Rabshakeh’s arrogance against Yahweh is described as him lifting up his eyes against God. By contrast, Hezekiah prayed at the same time: “Unto you do I lift up my eyes” (Ps. 123:1). ‘Lifting up eyes’ is therefore an idiom for prayer. Rabshakeh didn’t consciously pray blasphemous words to God, but his attitude was counted as a prayer.