Isaiah Chapter 37 to 38 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Hezekiah Asks God to Help

37 King Hezekiah listened to those things. Then Hezekiah tore his clothes {to show he was upset}. Then Hezekiah put on the special clothes of sadness and went to the Lord’s temple.* 2Hezekiah sent Eliakim the palace manager, Shebna the royal secretary, and the elders (leaders) of the priests* to the prophet, Isaiah son of Amoz. They wore the special clothes {that showed they were sad and upset}. 3These men said to Isaiah, “King Hezekiah has commanded that today will be a special day for sorrow and sadness. It will be a very sad day. It will be like a day when a child should be born, but is not strong enough to come from its mother’s body. 4The commander’s master, the king of Assyria, has sent him to say bad things about the living God. Maybe the Lord your God will hear all those things. Maybe the Lord will prove the enemy is wrong! So pray for the people that are still left alive.” 5–6King Hezekiah’s officers went to Isaiah. Isaiah said to them, “Give this message to your master, Hezekiah: The Lord says, ‘Don’t be afraid of the things you heard from the commanders! Don’t believe the evil things those “boys” from the king of Assyria said about me. 7Look, I will send a spirit against Assyria. {The king of} Assyria will get a report warning him about a danger to his country. So, he will go back to his country. At that time, I will kill him with a sword in his own country.’”

The Assyrian Army Leaves Jerusalem

8–9The king of Assyria got a report. The report said, “Tirhakah,* the king of Ethiopia,* is coming to fight you.” So, the king of Assyria left Lachish and went to Libnah. The commander heard this, and he went to the city Libnah, where the king of Assyria was fighting. He sent messengers to Hezekiah. He said, 10“You should tell these things to Hezekiah, the king of Judah: Don’t be fooled by the god you trust. Don’t say, “God will not let Jerusalem be defeated by the king of Assyria.” 11You have heard what the kings of Assyria did to all the other countries! They destroyed them completely! Will you be saved? No! 12Did the gods of those people save them? No! My ancestors* destroyed them all. They destroyed Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden* living in Tel Assar. 13Where is the king of Hamath? The king of Arpad? The king of the city of Sepharvaim? The kings of Hena and Ivvah? {They are all finished! They were all destroyed!}

Hezekiah Prays to God

14Hezekiah took the letters from the messengers and read them. Then Hezekiah went to the Lord’s temple.* Hezekiah opened the letters and laid them out in front the Lord. 15Hezekiah began praying to the Lord and said: 16Lord All-Powerful, God of Israel, you sit as King on the Cherub angels.* You, and only you, are the God that rules all the kingdoms on earth. You made the heavens and the earth! 17Lord, please listen to me. Lord, open your eyes and look at this message. Hear the words that Sennacherib sent to insult you, the living God! 18It is true, Lord. The kings of Assyria did destroy all those nations! 19The kings of Assyria have burned the gods of those nations. But those were not real gods. They were only wood and stone—statues that men made. That is why the kings of Assyria could destroy them. 20But you are the Lord our God. So please save us from the king of Assyria. Then all the other nations will know that you are the Lord, and you are the only {God}.

God’s Answer to Hezekiah

21Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah. Isaiah said, “The Lord, the God of Israel says, ‘You prayed to me about the message that came from Sennacherib king of Assyria. I have heard you.’ 22“This is the Lord’s message about Sennacherib: {King of Assyria}, The Virgin Daughter of Zion (Jerusalem) doesn’t think you are important. She laughs at you. The Daughter of Jerusalem makes fun of you. 23But who did you insult and make fun of? Who did you speak against? You were against the Holy One of Israel! You acted like you were better than him! 24You sent your officers to insult the Lord my Master. You said, ‘{I am very powerful!} I have many, many chariots.* {With my power I defeated Lebanon.} I climbed the highest mountains of Lebanon.* I cut down all the great trees (armies) of Lebanon. I have been to the highest mountain and into the deepest part of that forest. 25I dug wells, and drank water {from new places}. I dried up the rivers of Egypt and walked on that country.’ 26That is what you said.} But haven’t you heard {what I said}? ‘I (God) planned it long ago, from ancient times I planned it. And now, I made it happen. I let you tear down the strong cities and change them into piles of rocks. 27The people in the cities had no power. Those people were scared and confused. They were about to be cut down like grass and plants in the field. They were like grass growing on the housetops, dying before it grows tall. 28{I know all about your battles.} I know when you rested. I know when you went out to war. I know when you came home from war. I also know when you were upset at me. 29Yes, you were upset at me. I heard your proud insults. So I will put my hook in your nose. And I will put my bit* in your mouth. Then I will turn you around and lead you back the way you came.’”

The Lord’s Message for Hezekiah

30{Then the Lord said to Hezekiah,} “I will give you a sign to show you that these words are true. {You were not be able to plant seeds.} So this year you will eat grain that grew wild from last year’s crop. But in three years, you will eat grain that you planted. You will harvest those crops and you will have plenty to eat. You will plant grapevines and eat their fruit. 31“The people from the family of Judah that have escaped and are left {alive} will again begin to grow. {These people will be like plants that} send their roots deep into the ground and produce fruit above the ground. 32Why? Because a few people will remain alive. They will go out from Jerusalem. There will be survivors coming from Mount Zion.*” The strong love* of the Lord All-Powerful will do this. 33So the Lord says this about the king of Assyria: “He will not come into this city. He will not shoot an arrow at this city. He will not bring his shields to this city. He will not build up a hill of dirt to attack the walls of this city. 34He will go back the same way he came. He will not come into this city. The Lord says this! 35I will protect this city and save it. I will do this for myself and for my servant David.” 36{That night,} the angel of the Lord went out and killed 185,000 people in the Assyrian camp. When the people got up in the morning, they saw the dead bodies all around them. 37So Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, went back to Nineveh and stayed there. 38One day, Sennacherib was in the temple of his god, Nisroch, worshiping him. At that time his two sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, killed him with a sword. Then the sons ran away to Ararat.* So Sennacherib’s son Esarhaddon became the new king of Assyria.

temple A special building for worshiping God. God commanded the Jews to worship him at the temple in Jerusalem. priests Special religious leaders that made sacrifices for the people. Tirhakah This is probably Taharqa, the pharaoh of Egypt about 690–664 B.C. Ethiopia Literally, “Cush,” a country in Africa by the Red Sea. ancestors Literally, “fathers.” This means a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from. Eden Beth Eden, an area in the country of Aram (Syria). Cherub angels Special angels God used as messengers. Statues of these angels were on the top of the Box of the Agreement. chariot(s) Small wagons used in war. Lebanon A country north of Israel. It was famous for its great cedar and pine trees. bit A piece of metal people put in a horse’s mouth to control the horse. Zion The southeast part of the mountain Jerusalem is built on. Sometimes it means the people of God living in Jerusalem. strong love This Hebrew word means strong feelings like love, hate, anger, zeal, or jealousy. Ararat The ancient country of Urartu, an area in Eastern Turkey.

Hezekiah’s Illness

38 At that time, Hezekiah became sick and almost died. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to see him. Isaiah told the king, “The Lord told me to tell you these things: ‘You will die soon. So you should tell your family what they should do when you die. You will not become well again.’” 2Hezekiah turned toward the wall {that faced the temple} and began praying. He said: 3“Lord, remember that I have truly served you with all my heart. I have done the things that you say are good.” Then Hezekiah cried very hard. 4Isaiah received this message from the Lord: 5“Go to Hezekiah and tell him that the Lord, the God of your ancestor* David says, ‘I heard your prayer, and I saw your tears. I will add 15 years to your life. 6I will save you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will protect this city.’” 22* But Hezekiah asked Isaiah, “What is the sign from the Lord that proves {I will become well? What is the sign that proves} I will be able to go to the Lord’s temple?*” 7This is the sign from the Lord to show you that he will do the things he says: 8“Look, I am causing the shadow that is on the steps of Ahaz* to move back ten steps. The sun’s shadow will go back up the ten steps that it has already been on.” 21* Then Isaiah told Hezekiah, “You should crush figs together and put them on your sore, then you will become well.” 9This is the letter from Hezekiah when he became well from the sickness: 10I told myself I would live to be old. But then it was my time to go through the gates of Sheol.* Now I will spend all of my time there. 11So I said, “I will not see the Lord Yah* in the land of the living again. I will not see the people living on earth. 12My home, my shepherd’s tent, is being pulled down and taken from me. I am finished like the cloth a man rolls up and cuts from the loom.* You finished my life in such a short time! 13All night I cried loud like a lion. But my hopes were crushed like a lion eating bones. You finished my life in such a short time! 14I cried like a dove. I cried like a bird. My eyes became tired, but I continued looking to the heavens. My Master, I am so depressed. Promise to help me.” 15What can I say? My Master told me what will happen. And my Master will cause that to happen. I have had these troubles in my soul. So now I will be humble all my life. 16My Master, use this hard time to make my spirit live again. Help my spirit become strong and healthy. Help me become well! Help me live again! 17Look! My troubles are gone! I now have peace. You love me very much. You did not let me rot in the grave. {You forgave all my sins.} You threw my sins far away. 18Dead people don’t sing praises to you. People in Sheol* don’t praise you. Dead people don’t trust you to help them. They go into a hole in the ground, {and never speak again}. 19People that are alive—like me today—are the people that praise you. A father should tell his children that you can be trusted. 20{So I say:} “The Lord saved me. So we will sing and play songs in the Lord’s temple all our lives.”  

ancestor Literally, “father.” This means a person that people are descended from. Verse 22 This verse is at the end of the chapter in the printed Hebrew text. temple A special building for worshiping God. God commanded the Jews to worship him at the temple in Jerusalem. steps of Ahaz The steps of a special building that Hezekiah used like a clock. When the sun shone on the steps, the shadows showed what time of the day it was. Verse 21 This verse is at the end of the chapter in the printed Hebrew text. Sheol This is the place where all people go when they die. Usually this means the grave, but it can mean the place where our spirits go. Lord Yah Or, “YAH YAHWEH,” a Hebrew name for God. loom A machine used for making cloth.

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