ENNACHERIB, THE KING of Assyria, invaded the land of Judah, and threatened to lay siege to Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah took counsel with his princes and mighty men, and repaired the broken walls, and made them higher.
|HEZEKIAH LAYING THE LETTER BEFORE GOD.|
He made many other preparations for the defence of the city, and went among his people, exhorting them to trust in God, and be of good courage. But Sennacherib sent messengers to induce those that guarded the walls of the city to revolt against Hezekiah, saying, "Do not believe this Hezekiah when he tells you that your God will deliver you; hath any of the nations against which I have made war been delivered by their gods?"
When Hezekiah heard these words he went into the house of the Lord, and sent messengers to Isaiah, asking for his prayers. Isaiah said to them, "Thus saith the Lord, 'Be not afraid of the words with which the King of Assyria hath blasphemed Me. I will send a blast upon him, and he shall return and shall fall by the sword in his own land.'"
Afterwards the King of Assyria sent a letter to Hezekiah, in which he repeated his sneers at the power of God. When Hezekiah read it, he went into the house of the Lord, and spreading the letter before the Lord, prayed for His help.
God answered, by the mouth of Isaiah, that the King of Assyria should not enter Jerusalem, nor shoot over it, but be turned back the way he came. And the same night the angel of the Lord went into the camp of the Assyrians, and smote one hundred and eighty-five thousand. Then Sennacherib returned to Nineveh, and as he was worshipping in the house of his god, there came to him two of his sons, who killed him.