Old Testament

Isaiah 37
Hezekiah Seeks Isaiah's Advice
371When King Hezekiah heard the report, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and went into the House of the Lord. 2He sent Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, who were wearing sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz.
3They told him what Hezekiah said: “This is a day of distress, rebuke, and humiliation, because children are about to be born, but there is no strength left to give birth. 4Perhaps the Lord your God will take note of the words of this herald, who was sent by his lord, the king of Assyria, in defiance of the living God, and perhaps the Lord your God will rebuke him for what he has heard. So please, pray for the small group that is left here.”
5When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, 6he said to them, “Tell your master that this is what the Lord says. Do not be afraid of what you have heard. The lackeys[] of the king of Assyria have blasphemed against me. 7Watch! I will put a spirit in him, so that when he hears certain news, he will return to his own land. There I will cause him to be killed.”
8Then the herald went back. He heard that the king of Assyria had already left Lachish and was fighting against Libnah.
9When Sennacherib heard that Tirhakah king of Cush[] had set out to fight against him, he sent messengers to Hezekiah 10to say this to Hezekiah king of Judah:
Do not let the God you trust deceive you, saying that Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria. 11Listen, you yourself have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the other lands, destroying them completely. And you expect to be saved? 12Did the gods of the nations whom my fathers destroyed save them—Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden, who were in Tel Assar? 13Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the kings of the cities of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?
14Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it. He went up to the House of the Lord and placed it there before the Lord. 15Then he prayed to the Lord.
16O Lord of Armies, God of Israel, seated above the cherubim, you alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. 17Turn your ear toward me, Lord, and hear. Open your eyes, Lord, and see. Listen to all of the words of Sennacherib, who has defied the living God. 18It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed all these lands and their territory. 19They have thrown their gods into the fire, for they were not gods at all, but the work of human hands, wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. 20Now, Lord our God, save us from his power, and let all the kingdoms of the earth know that you are the Lord, and you alone.
The Lord Replies to Hezekiah Through Isaiah
21Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent word to Hezekiah.
The Lord, the God of Israel, says that because you have prayed to him about Sennacherib king of Assyria, 22the Lord sends you this reply about him.
The virgin daughter of Zion[] despises you and jeers at you.
The daughter of Jerusalem shakes her head at you in scorn.
23Who is it whom you have mocked and blasphemed?
Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted up your proud eyes?
It is against the Holy One of Israel.
24You have used your servants to mock the Lord.
You have boasted, “I have driven my many chariots
up the high mountains, to the most remote parts of Lebanon.
I cut down its tallest cedars and its best fir trees.
I have reached its highest peak, its most lush forest.
25I dug wells and drank their water,
and I dried up all the rivers of Egypt with the soles of my feet.”
26Have you not heard?
I did all this long ago.
I formed all this in ancient times.
Now I caused it all to take place.
I enabled you to destroy fortified cities,
reducing them to heaps of ruins.
27Their inhabitants were powerless.
Overwhelmed and ashamed,
they were like plants in the field,
like fresh green grass, like grass on a housetop,
and like a field before it has grown.[]
28But I know when you stand and when you sit,[]
when you go out and when you come in,
and how you rage wildly against me.
29Because you rage against me,
and because your arrogance has reached my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth,
and I will make you go back by the same way that you came.
30This will be a sign for you:
This year you will eat what grows by itself.
Next year you will eat what springs up from that.
But in the third year, you will sow crops and harvest them.
You will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
31The surviving remnant of the house of Judah
will again put down roots below and bear fruit above.
32For from Jerusalem a remnant will go out,
and survivors from Mount Zion.
The zeal of the Lord of Armies will accomplish this.
33This is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:
He will not enter this city.
He will not shoot an arrow there.
He will not advance against it with a shield,
and he will not build a siege ramp against it.
34He will go back by the same route that he came,
and he will not enter this city, declares the Lord.
35For I will defend this city to save it,
for my own sake,
and for the sake of my servant David.
The Destruction of Sennacherib
36Then an angel of the Lord went and struck down one hundred eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. Early in the morning, there they were—all the dead bodies. 37Then Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and left. He returned to Nineveh and remained there. 38One day when Sennacherib was worshipping in the house of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer struck him down with the sword. They fled to the land of Ararat,[] and his son Esarhaddon became king in his place.


  • 37:6 Or junior officers, an insulting term to use for such high-ranking officers
  • 37:9 Cush is the ancient name for the territory south of the First Cataract of the Nile River. Called Ethiopia in Roman times, it included most of present-day Sudan and some of present-day Ethiopia. The Cushite or Nubian kings were the pharaohs of Egypt at this time.
  • 37:22 Daughter of Zion is a personification of Jerusalem and the people of Judah.
  • 37:27 The translation follows the main Hebrew reading of this verse. The parallel text in 2 Kings 19:26 reads scorched before it becomes a full-grown stalk. The Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah reads scorched by the east wind.
  • 37:28 The translation follows the Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah. The Hebrew does not have the words when you stand and.
  • 37:38 The region of present-day Armenia