Second Kings


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Hezekiah and Assyria 

Second Kings 18–19

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • March 15, In the year of our Lord, 2017

  1. Second Kings 18.1–8 | The King God’s People Needed

    1 Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. 3 And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father David had done. 4 He removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan. 5 He trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him. 6 For he held fast to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses. 7 The LORD was with him; he prospered wherever he went. And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. 8 He subdued the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city.

    1. How old was Hezekiah when he died?
      1. In the Book of Isaiah (Isa 38), we learn that he should have died earlier.
      2. At what age should he have died?
        1. What could have caused his early death?
        2. Why did the Lord add 15 years to his life?
    2. The Scriptures pictured other Judean kings as being like David with what exception?
      1. Did that exception apply to Hezekiah?
      2. To what had Israel burned incense?
        1. What did Hezekiah call it?
        2. What does Nehushtan mean?
    3. What made him unique among the kings of Judah?
    4. How was it obvious that the Lord was with Hezekiah?
      1. He prospered wherever he went.
      2. He rebelled against the king of Assyria.
      3. He did not serve the king of Assyria.
      4. He subdued the Philistines.
  2. Second Kings 18.9–12 | During Hezekiah’s Reign Assyrian Took Israel Captive

    9 Now it came to pass in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it. 10 And at the end of three years they took it. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is, the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11 Then the king of Assyria carried Israel away captive to Assyria, and put them in Halah and by the Habor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, 12 because they did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed His covenant and all that Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded; and they would neither hear nor do them.

    1. Hezekiah watched Assyria attack Samaria.
    2. Judah also saw why the Lord sent Assyria against Israel.
  3. Second Kings 18.13–16 | Assyria Attacks Judah Next

    13 And in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. 14 Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; turn away from me; whatever you impose on me I will pay.” And the king of Assyria assessed Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 So Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD and in the treasuries of the king’s house. 16 At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.

    1. This was a new king of Assyria.
    2. How many of the fortified cities of Judah did Sennacherib take?
      1. He took all of them.
      2. The lone exception was Jerusalem.
    3. What confession did Hezekiah made to Sennacherib?
      1. To what wrong did Hezekiah confess?
      2. What was Hezekiah willing to do?
    4. From where did Hezekiah get what he needed to pay off Sennacherib?
  4. Second Kings 18.17–25 | Sennacherib’s Threat Against Hezekiah

    17 Then the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rabsaris, and the Rabshakeh from Lachish, with a great army against Jerusalem, to King Hezekiah. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. When they had come up, they went and stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool, which was on the highway to the Fuller’s Field. 18 And when they had called to the king, Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to them. 19 Then the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, “Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: ‘What confidence is this in which you trust? 20 You speak of having plans and power for war; but they are mere words. And in whom do you trust, that you rebel against me? 21 Now look! You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. 22 But if you say to me, “We trust in the LORD our God,” is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem”?’ 23 Now therefore, I urge you, give a pledge to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses—if you are able on your part to put riders on them! 24 How then will you repel one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put your trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen? 25 Have I now come up without the LORD against this place to destroy it? The LORD said to me, ‘Go up against this land, and destroy it.’”

    1. That earlier pay off did not seem to last long!
    2. What message did Sennacherib send by the hand of his commanders?
      1. What is your confidence?
      2. Trusting in Egypt is useless.
      3. Hezekiah has taken away Yahweh’s high places and altars.
      4. He wanted pledges and he would give 2000 horses.
      5. Judah could not repel one of the least of Sennacherib’s captains.
      6. He claimed to have the Lord’s authority.
    3. How many of these things were true?
      1. Hezekiah and Judah did not trust in Egypt, but in the Lord.
      2. Hezekiah restored the proper worship of the Lord.
      3. Sennacherib did not have the Lord’s authority.
  5. Second Kings 18.26–35 | The Rabshakeh’s Mockery of Hezekiah

    26 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and do not speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 27 But the Rabshakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, who will eat and drink their own waste with you?” 28 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out with a loud voice in Hebrew, and spoke, saying, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! 29 Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he shall not be able to deliver you from his hand; 30 nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, “The LORD will surely deliver us; this city shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: “Make peace with me by a present and come out to me; and every one of you eat from his own vine and every one from his own fig tree, and every one of you drink the waters of his own cistern; 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive groves and honey, that you may live and not die. But do not listen to Hezekiah, lest he persuade you, saying, “The LORD will deliver us.” 33 Has any of the gods of the nations at all delivered its land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim and Hena and Ivah? Indeed, have they delivered Samaria from my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their countries from my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’”

    1. Why did the leading Jews tell Sennacherib’s messengers to speak in Aramaic?
      1. They did not want their fellow-Jews to hear the frightening words of the Assyrians.
      2. How did the Assyrians respond to that request?
    2. What then did he say to the Jews?
      1. Do not let Hezekiah deceive you.
      2. Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord.
      3. Bring a present to Sennacherib and he will let you live peacefully.
      4. Later Sennacherib will take you to a good land.
      5. The gods of the other nations did not deliver their nations from Assyria.
      6. Yahweh God would lose just like those other gods.
    3. What serious mistakes did the Assyrians make with these words?
      1. They believed that trusting in the Lord was futile.
      2. They equated Jehovah God with the gods of the nations.
  6. Second Kings 18.36–37 | Answer Not a Fool in His Folly

    36 But the people held their peace and answered him not a word; for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.” 37 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.

    1. Would responding to Sennacherib’s commander have done any good?
    2. Why did the men of Hezekiah return to him with their clothes torn?
  7. VII.Second Kings 19.1–4 | Hezekiah’s Humility

    1 And so it was, when King Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD. 2 Then he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz. 3 And they said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah: ‘This day is a day of trouble, and rebuke, and blasphemy; for the children have come to birth, but there is no strength to bring them forth. 4 It may be that the LORD your God will hear all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to reproach the living God, and will rebuke the words which the LORD your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.’”

    1. Why did Hezekiah tear his clothes, cover himself with sackcloth, and go to the temple?
    2. Why did Hezekiah send his men to Isaiah?
    3. What did Hezekiah want from Isaiah?
  8. VIII.Second Kings 19.5–7 | The Lord’s Reassurance to Hezekiah

    5 So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah. 6 And Isaiah said to them, “Thus you shall say to your master, Thus says the LORD: ‘Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. 7 Surely I will send a spirit upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.’”

    1. Undoubtedly Hezekiah did fear that is why Lord told him not to fear.
    2. What would the Lord do to assuage Hezekiah’s fears?
  9. Second Kings 19.8–13 | No Gods Have Stood Before Assyria

    8 Then the Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah, for he heard that he had departed from Lachish. 9 And the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, “Look, he has come out to make war with you.” So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 “Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ 11 Look! You have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by utterly destroying them; and shall you be delivered? 12 Have the gods of the nations delivered those whom my fathers have destroyed, Gozan and Haran and Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah?’”

    1. Both towns were southwest of Jerusalem, but close to one another.
    2. What is with the reference to the king of Ethiopia?
      1. The Rabshakeh thought that Hezekiah had hired the Ethiopians.
      2. Again the Rabshakeh reminded Hezekiah that no nation with their gods had been able to withstand Assyria.
      3. So he asked Hezekiah where the kings of those places were.
        1. What was the implication?
        2. That Assyrians had dispatched all of them, and Assyria would do the same with Hezekiah and Judah, or Jerusalem.
  10. Second Kings 19.14–19 | Hezekiah’s Prayer to God

    14 And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD. 15 Then Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said: “O LORD God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. 17 Truly, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, 18 and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands—wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. 19 Now therefore, O LORD our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD God, You alone.”

    1. Break down the parts of Hezekiah’s prayer:
      1. He acknowledged the Lord God.
      2. He acknowledged the Lord’s creatorship.
      3. He asked the Lord to hear and to see the words of Sennacherib.
      4. He said that Sennacherib had reproached the living God.
      5. Did Hezekiah acknowledge part of the words of Sennacherib?
        1. Hezekiah confessed that Sennacherib had defeated the others.
        2. Why did Hezekiah say that Sennacherib defeated them?
      6. For what did Hezekiah make request?
        1. That God would save them.
        2. That God would save them so that every nation would know that Yahweh is God alone.
    2. What do you think of that prayer?
  11. Second Kings 19.20–34 | The Lord’s Message to Hezekiah

    20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard.’ 21 This is the word which the LORD has spoken concerning him:

    ‘The virgin, the daughter of Zion,
    Has despised you, laughed you to scorn;
    The daughter of Jerusalem
    Has shaken her head behind your back!
    22 Whom have you reproached and blasphemed?
    Against whom have you raised your voice,
    And lifted up your eyes on high?
    Against the Holy One of Israel.
    23 By your messengers you have reproached the Lord,
    And said: ‘By the multitude of my chariots
    I have come up to the height of the mountains,
    To the limits of Lebanon;
    I will cut down its tall cedars
    And its choice cypress trees;
    I will enter the extremity of its borders,
    To its fruitful forest.
    24 I have dug and drunk strange water,
    And with the soles of my feet I have dried up
    All the brooks of defense.
    25 Did you not hear long ago
    How I made it,
    From ancient times that I formed it?
    Now I have brought it to pass,
    That you should be
    For crushing fortified cities into heaps of ruins.
    26 Therefore their inhabitants had little power;
    They were dismayed and confounded;
    They were as the grass of the field
    And the green herb,
    As the grass on the housetops
    And grain blighted before it is grown.
    27 But I know your dwelling place,
    Your going out and your coming in,
    And your rage against Me.
    28 Because your rage against Me and your tumult
    Have come up to My ears,
    Therefore I will put My hook in your nose
    And My bridle in your lips,
    And I will turn you back
    By the way which you came.
    29 This shall be a sign to you:
    You shall eat this year such as grows of itself,
    And in the second year what springs from the same;
    Also in the third year sow and reap,
    Plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them.
    30 And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah
    Shall again take root downward,
    And bear fruit upward.
    31 For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant,
    And those who escape from Mount Zion.
    The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
    32 Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria:
    ‘He shall not come into this city,
    Nor shoot an arrow there,
    Nor come before it with shield,
    Nor build a siege mound against it.
    33 By the way that he came,
    By the same shall he return;
    And he shall not come into this city,’
    Says the LORD.
    34 ‘For I will defend this city, to save it
    For My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’”

    1. Now we can reverse the words of Sennacherib.
      1. Where is Assyria?
      2. What happened to God’s people?
    2. You do not mock God and His people without paying the ultimate price.
  12. XII.Second Kings 19.35–37 | The Defeat of Assyria

    35 And it came to pass on a certain night that the angel of the LORD went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses—all dead. 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh. 37 Now it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the temple of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Then Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.

    1. Did Judah have to do any fighting to maintain control of Jerusalem?
    2. How many Assyrians did the angel kill?
    3. Sennacherib thought no one, including any gods, could stand before him, but then his own sons killed him while he was worshiping his god!