The Bible

 

Isaiah 37

King James Version         

Study the Inner Meaning

← Previous   Next →

1 And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD.

2 And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests covered with sackcloth, unto Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.

3 And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.

4 It may be the LORD thy God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God, and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that is left.

5 So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah.

6 And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say unto your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.

7 Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.

8 So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah: for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish.

9 And he heard say concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, He is come forth to make war with thee. And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,

10 Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God, in whom thou trustest, deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.

11 Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by destroying them utterly; and shalt thou be delivered?

12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed, as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which were in Telassar?

13 Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arphad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah?

14 And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.

15 And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD, saying,

16 O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.

17 Incline thine ear, O LORD, and hear; open thine eyes, O LORD, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent to reproach the living God.

18 Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their countries,

19 And 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.

20 Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD, even thou only.

21 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Whereas thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria:

22 This is the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.

23 Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel.

24 By thy servants hast thou reproached the Lord, and hast said, By the multitude of my chariots am I come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, and the choice fir trees thereof: and I will enter into the height of his border, and the forest of his Carmel.

25 I have digged, and drunk water; and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of the besieged places.

26 Hast thou not heard long ago, how I have done it; and of ancient times, that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste defenced cities into ruinous heaps.

27 Therefore their inhabitants were of small power, they were dismayed and confounded: they were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb, as the grass on the housetops, and as corn blasted before it be grown up.

28 But I know thy abode, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy rage against me.

29 Because thy rage against me, and thy tumult, is come up into mine ears, therefore will I put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.

30 And this shall be a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat this year such as groweth of itself; and the second year that which springeth of the same: and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof.

31 And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward:

32 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this.

33 Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there nor come before it with shields, nor cast a bank against it.

34 By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD.

35 For I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.

36 Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.

37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.

38 And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Armenia: and Esar-haddon his son reigned in his stead.

← Previous   Next →

   Study the Inner Meaning

Explanation of Isaiah 37      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 37

(Note: Rev. Smithson's translation of the Isaiah text is appended below the explanation)

1. AND it came to pass, that when the king Hezekiah heard it, he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of Jehovah.

2. And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah, the son of Amoz, the prophet.

VERSES 1, 2. This was done because by the "king of Assyria" is here signified the rational principle perverted, or the rational principle which perverts the Truths and Goods of the church, and destroys them by falsities; all "the words of Tartan [Rabshakeh], the captain of the king of Assyria, involving such things: and because the church was seen to be in imminent danger of desolation and devastation, therefore, to testify mourning and grief on account thereof, "they rent their clothes, and covered themselves with sackcloth." From this and from other passages, (see 2 Samuel 3:31; Daniel 9:3; Jonah 3:5, 6, 8) it is evident that grief was represented in the Jewish and Israelitish church by "the putting on of sackcloth"; and this because grief of mind and sorrow of heart, which are interior things, were at that time represented by external things, which, on account of their correspondence with spiritual things, were thus significative. That a representative of grief by "the putting on of sackcloth", signified specifically grief on account of the desolation of Truth and of the devastation of Good in the church, and, in particular, repentance and then grief of heart on account of evils might be proved from many passages. Apocalypse Explained 637. See above, Chapter 3:18-25; 15:3; 22:12, the Exposition.

3. And they said unto him, Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, and of rebuke, and of contumely: for the sons are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.

4. Perhaps Jehovah your God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom his lord the king of Assyria has sent to blaspheme the living God, and will reprove the words which Jehovah your God has heard: and do you offer up prayer for the remnant which is found.

5. And the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah.

Verse 3. That Truths from the Word may be heard and known, and yet reformation not be effected thereby, is signified by the "sons are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth", to "bring forth" signifies to make Truths fruitful by doing them, whence comes reformation. That this was a grief of heart and of mind, and disgraceful to the church, is signified by "a day of distress, and of rebuke, and of contumely." Apocalypse Explained 721.

6. And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall you say to your lord, Thus says Jehovah, Be not afraid because of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me.

Verses 6, 7, 37, 38. Because the rational mind is that which both acknowledges and denies the Divine [Being], and when it denies, it seizes upon everything false in the place of Truth, and thus perishes; wherefore this representative existed, namely, that "the king of Assyria, because he blasphemed Jehovah, was slain with the sword by his own sons, in the house of Nisroch his god", as we read in Isaiah 37:37, 38. Apocalypse Explained 131.

Verses 6, 17, 23, 24. Thus says Jehovah, Be not afraid because of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me, etc.

- From these words it is evident that "blasphemy" is predicated of false speaking against God, for by the "king of Assyria", who then was Sennacherib, is signified the rational principle, but perverted, which speaks against Divine Truth, and treats it opprobriously, and perverts it by falsities, which also is to falsify it, The falsities which he spake against Divine Truth are signified by the things mentioned in verses 10, 11, 12, 13, 24, 25; all of which were not only blasphemies against God, but also falsifications of Divine Truth. Apocalypse Explained 778.

The "blasphemies" which they spake were against God, and against the king and Jerusalem, thus against Divine Truth, as is more clearly evident from the internal sense; hence, from grief, they "tore their garments." Arcana Coelestia 4763.

To "blaspheme" and "blasphemy" signifies to deny the Divinity of the Lord, as the Socinians do, and to deny the Word; for they who deny the Divinity of the Lord cannot enter into heaven, for the Divine of the Lord is the all in all of heaven; and he who denies the Word, denies all things of religion. Apocalypse Revealed 571.

7. Behold, I will infuse a spirit into him; and he shall hear a report, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.

8. And Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah: for he heard that he had departed from Lachish.

Verse 7. The term "spirit" has various significations in the Word. Since the life of man varies according to his state, therefore by the term "spirit" is also signified the peculiar affection of his life. As:

1) a life of wisdom; as "Bezaleel was filled with the spirit of wisdom"; etc. (Exodus 31:3; see also Deuteronomy 34:9; Dan. 5:12)

2) the excitement of life; as "Jehovah has raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes." (Jeremiah 51:11) "Behold, I will infuse [or give] a spirit into the king of Assyria, and he shall hear a report", etc. (Isaiah 37:7)

The term "spirit" also signifies

3) liberty of life. (Ezekiel 1:20)

4) Life in fear, pain, and. anger. (Ezekiel 21:7; Psalm 143:4, 7; Daniel 7:15; Genesis 41:8)

5) a life of various evil affections; as "the spirit of whoredoms has caused them to err." (Hosea 4:12; 5:4) "The spirit of jealousy", etc. (Numbers 4:14)

6) infernal life; as "I will cause the unclean spririt to pass out of the land." (Zechariah 13:2)

7) The term "spirit" further signifies the infernal spirits themselves, by whom mankind are troubled, as in Matthew 8:16, and in many other passages. Doctrine of the Lord 48.

9. And he heard concerning Tirhakah, king of Cush, saying, He is come forth to make war with you. And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,

10. Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah, king of Judah, saying, Let not your God, in whom you confide, deceive you, saying, That Jerusalem shall not: be given up into the hand of the king of Assyria.

11. Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly; and shalt you be delivered?

Verse 9. King of Ethiopia, or Cush. - See above, Chapter 18:1, 2, the Exposition.

To make war with you. - As to the "wars" mentioned in the Word, see Chapter 7:1, the Exposition.

12. Have the gods of the nations delivered those which my fathers have destroyed? Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph; and the sons of Eden which were in Telassar?

13. Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Henah, and of Ivah?

Verses 12, 13. See the Exposition of Isaiah Chapter 36:19.

14. And Hezekiah received the letters from the hand of the messengers, and read them; and he went up to the house of Jehovah: and Hezekiah spread them before the face of Jehovah.

15. And Hezekiah prayed to Jehovah, saying,

Verses 14, 15 And Hezekiah spread the letters before the face of Jehovah, and prayed, etc. - [To "spread the letters full of blasphemy before Jehovah in the temple", was an act which, by correspondence, signifies the acknowledgement and confession, before the Lord, of the evils to which the church is exposed; and it also shows, on the part of the church, full confidence in Him as the only Protector and Saviour against the evils which would destroy it. It may here be observed that this act of "showing the blasphemous letters to Jehovah is the direct opposite to that of "showing to the messengers from Babylon all the precious things, silver, gold, spices, etc. in his dominion"; (see Chapter 39:2) which act signified the exposure of all the Truths, Goods, and Sanctities of the Word and of the church to the influence of Babylon, which is that of adulteration and profanation. (See Chapters 13 and 14, the Exposition.) For which act of Hezekiah the prophet Isaiah was sent to declare that "everything of the church would be taken captive to Babylon", that is, would be adulterated and profaned.]

And Hezekiah prayed, etc.

- As to the true nature of "prayer" see Chapter 1:11-19; 18:7, the Exposition.

16. O Jehovah of Hosts, You God of Israel, who art seated on the Cherubim! You art the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth! You have made the heavens and the earth!

17. Incline, O Jehovah, Thine ear, and hear; open, O Jehovah, Thine eyes, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to blaspheme the living God.

18. In truth, O Jehovah, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their lands;

Verse 16. The Lord is "seated or dwells on the Cherubim " as to the state of Providence, lest any one should be let in to the holy things of love and of faith except he is prepared by the Lord. That the Cherubim were upon the curtains of the Tabernacle, upon the Veil, upon the walls, of the temple, and upon the doors there, was to signify the Lord's guardian care, lest the Holy Divine should be approached but by the good of love. There were also Cherubim on the Ark, to signify that the Lord Himself cannot be approached but by that good. On this account also it was that the Cherubim were made of solid gold, and in the Temple at Jerusalem of olive-wood, or wood of oil; for by "gold" and by "oil" is signified the good of love. Arcana Coelestia 3384. See also 9509.

19. And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were not gods, but the work of the hands of man, wood and stone; therefore they have destroyed them.

20. And now, O Jehovah, our God, save us from his hand; that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone art Jehovah!

21. Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying, Thus says Jehovah the God of Israel, Whereas you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib, king of Assyria:

Verse 19. By "the gods of the kings of Assyria" are here signified reasonings from falsities and evils, which agree with the proprium of man, wherefore they are also called "the work of the hands of man, wood and stone", or idols of wood and of stone, which signify the evils and falsities of religion and of doctrine originating in the proprium, Apocalypse Explained 686.

22. This is the word which Jehovah has spoken concerning him: The virgin, daughter of Zion, despises you, she laughs at you; the daughter of Jerusalem shakes her head at you.

23. Whom have you blasphemed and reviled; and against whom, have you exalted your voice? and have lifted up thine eyes on high? Even against the Holy One of Israel.

Verse 22. There are two affections which constitute the church, - one, or the affection of Good, constitutes the celestial church, and is called in the Word "the virgin, the daughter of Zion, and the other, or the affection of Truth, constitutes the spiritual church, and is called in the Word "the daughter of Jerusalem." Arcana Coelestia 2362. See the Exposition of Isaiah Chapter 16:2.

24. By the hand of your servants have you blasphemed the Lord, and have said, By the multitude of my chariots will I ascend the height of the mountains, the sides of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, and the choice fir-trees thereof: and I will enter into the height of his border, and the forest of his fruitful field.

Verse 24: By these words, in the internal sense, is described the haughtiness of those who, by ratiocinations from falsities, are desirous to destroy the Goods and Truths of the church. The "king of Assyria" is the rational Principle perverted; "the multitude of his chariots" signifies ratiocinations from falsities of doctrine. To ascend the height of the mountains, the sides of Lebanon", and to "cut down the tall cedars and the choice fir-trees thereof", signifies the endeavour to destroy the Goods and Truths of the church, as well internal as external; the mountains denote the Goods of the church, the "sides of Lebanon" where the Goods are conjoined with Truths; "Lebanon" denoting the spiritual church, the "cedars" the Internal Truths thereof, which are from Good, and the "fir-trees" the external Truths thereof, also from Good. Such is the signification of these words in the spiritual sense in which they are understood in heaven. Apocalypse Explained 405. See also 654.

25. I have digged, and I have drunk waters; and I have dried up with the sole of my steps all the streams of Egypt.

Verse 25. The "king of Assyria", or the rational principle perverted, destroying all the knowledges and apperceptions of Truth, is signified by "drying up with the sole of his steps all the streams of Egypt." The reason why the "streams of Egypt" signify the knowledges and apperceptions of Truth is, because "Egypt" is the natural man as to scientifics, knowledges, and apperceptions which belong to the natural man, as intelligence does to the spiritual man. Apocalypse Explained 518. See Chapter 19, the Exposition.

26. Hast you not heard, from of old, that I have done it? and, from the days of antiquity, that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that you should be to lay waste fortified cities into ruinous heaps.

Verse 26. These words refer to the antediluvian time denoted by "of old" and "the days of antiquity." Arcana Coelestia 274.

To "lay waste fortified cities into ruinous heaps", as said of the king of Assyria, is to destroy, by false reasonings, the truths and doctrinals of the church and of the Word. See the Exposition of Isaiah Chapter 23:13.

27. Therefore were their inhabitants of small strength; they were dismayed and confounded: they were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb; the grass of the house-top; and as the corn blasted before it is grown up.

28. But your sitting down, and your going out, and your coming in, and your rage against Me I have known:

Verse 27. "Inhabitants of small strength [or, literally, short in hand]", signifies of no power. Arcana Coelestia 878.

As the grass of the field, - as the corn blasted, etc. - See Chapter 15:6, Exposition.

Verse 28. It was a common form of speech among the ancients to say that they knew the "entering in" and the "going. out" of a person, to indicate that they knew all, the state of his life; and as this form of speech derived its origin from correspondences in the other life, wherefore, in the Word, similar things are said and. signified thereby, as in Samuel:

"Achish called David, and said unto him, You have been upright, and your going out and your coming in with me in the camp has been good in my eyes; for I have not found evil in you." (1 Samuel 29:6) "His going out and his entering in being good in his eyes", signifies that all the state of his life had been well pleasing to him.

Again,

"You know Abner, that he came to persuade you, and to know your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you doest. (2 Samuel 3:25)

To know his "going out" and his "coming in" is to know all the thoughts and acts of his life; wherefore it is said, "that he might know all that you doest."

Again,

"Your sitting down, your going out, your coming in, and your rage against Me I have known"; (Isaiah 37:28),

speaking of Sennacherib the king of Assyria. To know his "going out" and his " coming in", is to know all things of his counsel. Arcana Coelestia 9927.

29. Because your rage against Me, and your insolence, is come up into Mine ears, therefore will I put My hook into your nose, and My bridle into your lips; and I will turn you back by the way in which you earnest.

Verse 29. These things are said concerning the "king of Assyria", by whom is signified ratiocination from falsities; for, in the good sense, by "Assyria" is signified the rational principle.

Because that king then besieged Jerusalem, and blasphemed God, it was said to him that "a hook should be put into his nose", whereby is signified that stupidity and foolishness should possess him; for the "nose" signifies perception, and the "hook" the extracting thereof, properly, immersion into the corporeal sensual principle, which, when separated from the rational, is stupid.

It is likewise said that "a bridle should be put into his lips", whereby is signified "insanity as to the understanding of Truth; for the "lips" signify thought from the understanding, and the "bridle" the retraction thereof.

To "turn him back by the way in which he came", signifies into the falsities by which he was about to perish; wherefore his "army", by which those falsities were signified, perished by a great slaughter. Apocalypse Explained 923.

30. And this shall be a sign unto you: Eat this year that which springs up of itself; and the second year, that which grows up of its own accord: and in the third year, sow you, and reap; and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof.

Verse 30. This was said to Hezekiah the king, when Sennacherib, king of Assyria, made war against him, and spake proudly of himself, and contumeliously of God and of Israel, wherefore also one hundred and eighty-five thousand were smitten in the camp, and himself was slain by his sons.

The reason why this was done, was, because by "Assyria" is signified the rational [principle], and the same by the "king of Assyria", and by "Judea" the celestial [principle] of the church, and the spiritual [principle] by the "king" thereof; but, in this case, by the "king of Assyria" is signified the rational [principle] perverted, which, by false reasonings, destroys all the celestial and spiritual things of the church, which are the Goods and Truths thereof; and inasmuch as by "Judea" and by the "king" thereof is signified the celestial and spiritual principle of the church, which should be from the Lord when He came into the world, therefore such things are said, by which is described the regeneration of those who should be of that church.

Wherefore by "the sign, that they should eat in the first year that which springs up of itself [or spontaneously]", is signified celestial Good which shall be implanted in them from the Lord; by "that which grows up of its own accord in the second year", is signified the Truth of that Good which shall thence be derived; by "sowing, reaping, planting vineyards, and eating the fruit thereof", are signified all the Goods and Truths which thence flow forth; by "sowing and reaping" is signified the implantation of Good and the reception thereof; by "planting vineyards", the implantation of Truth and the reception thereof; and by "eating the fruits of them", the fruition of Goods, and satisfaction thence derived, appertaining to the regenerate man.

These things are called a "sign", because they are testifications concerning the celestial church with those who are understood in the spiritual sense by "Judah", whose regeneration is effected from the Lord by the implantation of celestial Good, afterwards by the implantation of spiritual Good, which, in its essence, is the Truth of celestial Good; and lastly, by multiplication and fructification in the natural man. Apocalypse Explained 700.

31. And again shall the escaped, the remnant of the house of Judah, strike root downwards, and bear fruit upwards.

32. For from Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant; and the escaped from Mount Zion: the zeal of Jehovah of Hosts shall do this.

33. Therefore thus says Jehovah concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not enter into this city; nor shall he shoot an arrow into it; nor shall he come before it with a shield; nor shall he cast up a mound against it.

34. By the way in which he came, by the same shall he return; and into this city shall he not come, says Jehovah.

Verses 31, 32. Again shall the escaped, the remnant of the house of Judah, strike root downwards, and bear fruit upwards, etc. - As to the meaning of the "remnant" and the "escaped", see Chapter 1:9; 4:2, 3, the Exposition.

[The "remnant of the house of Judah" is said to "strike root downwards", to denote that truths from a celestial origin will then be implanted in the natural man; and to "bear fruits upwards", that goods of life will be of a celestial and spiritual origin, or from the "internal man.]

35. And I will defend this city to save it, for Mine own sake, and for the sake of David My servant.

Verse 35. These words are said of the Assyrians, in whose camp one hundred and eighty-five thousand were slain. "David" stands for the Lord, who was to come, and who, as to His Humanity, is called a "Servant." That " David", in the Word, signifies the Lord, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia 1880.

Whilst the Lord was in a state of humiliation, when He had with Him the infirm Human, He worshipped Jehovah as another separate from Himself, and indeed as a Servant, for the Human is respectively nothing else; wherefore, in the Word, a "servant" is predicated of that Human, as in Isaiah 37:35; 42:1, 19. Arcana Coelestia 2159.

36. And the angel of Jehovah went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.

Verse 36. A "camp" and an "encampment" signify, in a good sense, heaven. The reason is, because an " army" signifies Truths and Goods, which are arranged by the Lord according to heavenly order. Hence arrangement according to order is the encampinq of an army, and the heavenly order itself, which is heaven, is the "camp." This "camp", or this order, is such that it cannot possibly be broken into by hell, although hell is in a continual endeavour to break into it. Hence it is that "the camp of God", in Genesis 32:2, signifies heaven, This essential order is what was represented by the "encampments" of the sons of Israel in the wilderness, thus heaven itself was represented. The dwelling together therein, according to the tribes, was called a "camp"; the "tabernacle" which was in the midst, and about which they encamped, represented the Lord Himself. As many expressions in the Word have an opposite sense, so also has a "camp", and according to such sense it signifies evils and falsities, consequently hell, as in David:

"Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear." [Psalm 27:3)

Neither is anything else but hell meant by "the camp of Assyria, in which the angel of Jehovah smote a hundred and eighty and five thousand; (Isaiah 37:36)

In like manner also by "the camp of the Egyptians." (Exodus 14:20, 28) Arcana Coelestia 4236.

[The destruction of the Assyrian army was effected by the opening of a hell, and by a powerful influx thence proceeding, which corresponded to the evil and the false signified by the opposition of "the Assyrian army", and its determination to destroy "Jerusalem", which represented heaven and the church. A similar thing is described in the Revelation 20:9:

"Gog and Magog went up on the breadth of the earth and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city; and, fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them." 'But this happened in the world of spirits, whereas the destruction of the Assyrian army took place in the natural world, on account of the representatives which then prevailed In the representative or typical church of the Jews. In the one case it is said that "an angel from Jehovah effected the destruction of the Assyrian army", and in the other that a fire from God out of heaven devoured the enemies of the camp of the saints and the beloved city." But that the destruction was effected either by "the angel of Jehovah" or by " fire from God out of heaven" is an appearance; the real truth is, that they were destroyed by their own evils and falsities, (Apocalypse Revealed 863) which, at the period of Judgment, are brought out, and which then overwhelm the wicked with perdition. The Lord never comes to destroy, but to save, and when the good are separated from the wicked, the latter are left to their own evil states and sink down into their respective hells.]

37. Then Sennacherib, king of Assyria, decamped, and departed, and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.

38. And it came to pass, that as he was bowing himself down in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, smote him with the sword; and they escaped, into the land of Ararat: and Esar-haddon his son reigned in his stead.

Verses 37, 38. That "Nineveh" signifies what is false, or false doctrines arising from the fallacies of the senses, and from the obscurity of the understanding not illustrated, and from ignorance, is evident from Jonah, who was sent to Nineveh, which city was pardoned because they were of such a quality. In Isaiah things both historical and prophetical are mentioned, which involve and represent such arcana in like manner as all other historical things mentioned in the Word. In Isaiah we read respecting the king of Assyria, that "he dwelt at Nineveh, and that when he was bowing himself down in the house of Nisroch his god, he was slain by his sons with the sword." (Isaiah 37:37, 38)

Although these things are historical, they are nevertheless prophetical, involving and representing similar arcana. By "Nineveh" here is signified external worship in which are falsities, and as this worship was idolatrous, "he was slain by his sons with the sword." His "sons" are falsities, and the "sword" is the punishment of the false. Arcana Coelestia 1188.

---
Isaiah Chapter 37

1. AND it came to pass, that when the king Hezekiah heard it, he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of Jehovah.

2. And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah, the son of Amoz, the prophet.

3. And they said unto him, Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, and of rebuke, and of contumely: for the sons are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.

4. Perhaps Jehovah your God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom his lord the king of Assyria has sent to blaspheme the living God, and will reprove the words which Jehovah your God has heard: and do you offer up prayer for the remnant which is found.

5. And the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah.

6. And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall you say to your lord, Thus says Jehovah, Be not afraid because of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me.

7. Behold, I will infuse a spirit into him; and he shall hear a report, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.

8. And Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah: for he heard that he had departed from Lachish.

9. And he heard concerning Tirhakah, king of Cush, saying, He is come forth to make war with you. And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,

10. Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah, king of Judah, saying, Let not your God, in whom you confide, deceive you, saying, That Jerusalem shall not: be given up into the hand of the king of Assyria.

11. Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly; and shalt you be delivered?

12. Have the gods of the nations delivered those which my fathers have destroyed? Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph; and the sons of Eden which were in Telassar?

13. Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Henah, and of Ivah?

14. And Hezekiah received the letters from the hand of the messengers, and read them; and he went up to the house of Jehovah: and Hezekiah spread them before the face of Jehovah.

15. And Hezekiah prayed to Jehovah, saying,

16. O Jehovah of Hosts, You God of Israel, who art seated on the Cherubim! You art the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth! You have made the heavens and the earth!

17. Incline, O Jehovah, Thine ear, and hear; open, O Jehovah, Thine eyes, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to blaspheme the living God.

18. In truth, O Jehovah, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their lands;

19. And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were not gods, but the work of the hands of man, wood and stone; therefore they have destroyed them.

20. And now, O Jehovah, our God, save us from his hand; that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone art Jehovah!

21. Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying, Thus says Jehovah the God of Israel, Whereas you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib, king of Assyria:

22. This is the word which Jehovah has spoken concerning him: The virgin, daughter of Zion, despises you, she laughs at you; the daughter of Jerusalem shakes her head at you.

23. Whom have you blasphemed and reviled; and against whom, have you exalted your voice? and have lifted up thine eyes on high? Even against the Holy One of Israel.

24. By the hand of your servants have you blasphemed, the Lord, and have said, By the multitude of my chariots will I ascend the height of the mountains, the sides of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, and the choice fir-trees thereof: and I will enter into the height of his border, and the forest of his fruitful field.

25. I have digged, and I have drunk waters; and I have dried up with the sole of my steps all the streams of Egypt.

26. Hast you not heard, from of old, that I have done it? and, from the days of antiquity, that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that you should be to lay waste fortified cities into ruinous heaps.

27. Therefore were their inhabitants of small strength; they were dismayed and confounded: they were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb; the grass of the house-top; and as the corn blasted before it is grown up.

28. But your sitting down, and your going out, and your coming in, and your rage against Me I have known:

29. Because your rage against Me, and your insolence, is come up into Mine ears, therefore will I put My hook into your nose, and My bridle into your lips; and I will turn you back by the way in which you earnest.

30. And this shall be a sign unto you: Eat this year that which springs up of itself; and the second year, that which grows up of its own accord: and in the third year, sow you, and reap; and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof.

31. And again shall the escaped, the remnant of the house of Judah, strike root downwards, and bear fruit upwards.

32. For from Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant; and the escaped from Mount Zion: the zeal of Jehovah of Hosts shall do this.

33. Therefore thus says Jehovah concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not enter into this city; nor shall he shoot an arrow into it; nor shall he come before it with a shield; nor shall he cast up a mound against it.

34. By the way in which he came, by the same shall he return; and into this city shall he not come, says Jehovah.

35. And I will defend this city to save it, for Mine own sake, and for the sake of David My servant.

36. And the angel of Jehovah went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.

37. Then Sennacherib, king of Assyria, decamped, and departed, and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.

38. And it came to pass, that as he was bowing himself down in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, smote him with the sword; and they escaped, into the land of Ararat: and Esar-haddon his son reigned in his stead.

From Swedenborg's Works

Main explanations:

Arcana Coelestia 1186, 2588

The Inner Meaning of the Prophets and Psalms 37


Other references to this chapter:

Arcana Coelestia 274, 348, 490, 620, 878, 996, 1188, ...

Apocalypse Revealed 3, 48, 52, 166, 216, 401, 437, ...

A Brief Exposition of New Church Doctrine 100

Doctrine of the Lord 45, 48, 64

True Christian Religion 782


References from Swedenborg's drafts, indexes & diaries:

Apocalypse Explained 38, 68, 131, 195, 277, 405, 409, ...

Related New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:


  PDF Resources  (see all)


Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 11:32

1 Samuel 17:26, 36

1 Kings 8:6, 28, 59, 60

2 Kings 19:1

1 Chronicles 17:19

2 Chronicles 7:15, 20:15, 17, 32:1, 20, 34:21

Esther 4:1

Job 34:20

Psalms 74:10, 18, 129:6

Isaiah 1:8, 9, 9:6, 10:7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 21, 22, 24, 25, 19:5, 22:11, 12, 15, 20, 27:6, 29:5, 30:31, 31:5, 8, 9, 33:19, 36:15, 18, 19, 20, 37:1, 7, 14, 29, 38, 38:5, 7, 41:10, ...

Jeremiah 22:6, 42:2, 51:27

Ezekiel 21:2, 29:4, 35:13, 38:4, 39:21

Daniel 5:23, 9:18

Nahum 1:12, 3:19

Galatians 4:8

James 5:16

Bible Word Meanings

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

heard
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

Rent
'To rend the garments' signifies mourning for truth lost or destroyed, or the loss of faith.

clothes
It is said, in Deuteronomy 22:11, "Thou shalt not wear a garment of diverse sorts; as of woolen and linen together…”. This means that the...

covered
The "high mountains being covered " (Gen. 7:19) signifies that all the good things of charity were extin­guished.

sackcloth
'A sack' in Genesis 42:25, means a receptacle, and here 'a receptacle' on the natural level, because it is a story about the truths and...

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

house of the
'The house of the prison' denotes the vastation of falsity, and also falsity itself.

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

sent
'To send' signifies revealing.

eliakim
Eliakim (Isa. 22:21, 22) signifies those who have the faith of charity.

household
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

elders
Ancients of the people, and the princes thereof ('Isaiah 3:14'), have a similar signification with the twelve disciples.

priests
Priests' represent the Lord regarding His divine good. When they do not acknowledge the Lord, they lose their signification of the Lord.

prophet
The idea of a "prophet" is very closely tied to the idea of the Bible itself, since the Bible was largely written by prophets. At...

son
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

saith
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

day
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

a day
"Day" describes a state in which we are turned toward the Lord, and are receiving light (which is truth) and heat (which is a desire...

day of
'Day of vengeance' signifies a state of damnation.

children
A child is a young boy or girl in the care of parents, older than a suckling or an infant, but not yet an adolescent....

come
Coming (Gen. 41:14) denotes communication by influx.

birth
To beget or to be begotten is very similar in meaning to birth: It represents one spiritual state leading to the next spiritual state. "Beget,"...

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

God
When the Bible speaks of "Jehovah," it is representing love itself, the inmost love that is the essence of the Lord. That divine love is...

hear
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

words
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

rabshakeh
Isaiah 35-37 describe the nature and quality of a person’s rational mind, when he reasons about the truths of faith from a negative principle, and...

master
In most cases, a "master" in the Bible refers to truth: knowledge, an understanding of the situation at hand, an understanding of the Lord's wishes,...

living
'Lives' is used in the plural, because of the will and understanding, and because these two lives make one.

lift
Like many verbs, the spiritual meaning of "bearing" something depends greatly on context – what it is that's being borne, and why. It is further...

servants
“Servant” literally means “a person who serves another,"" and its meaning is similar in reference to the spiritual meaninngs of the Bible. Our lives in...

say
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

afraid
Fear of the unknown and fear of change are both common ideas, and together cover a broad spectrum of the fears we tend to have...

return
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

own
In many cases, the spiritual meaning of "own," both as a verb and as an adjective, is relatively literal. When people are described as the...

land
Is there any difference in meaning between “earth” and “ground”? At first it doesn’t seem so; both refer to the soil making up the land...

fall
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "fall" is highly dependent on context in regular language, and is highly dependent on context in a spiritual...

sword
A 'sword,' in the Word, signifies the truth of faith combating and the vastation of truth. In an opposite sense, it signifies falsity combating and...

returned
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

found
To not to be found any more, signifies not to rise again.

messengers
'A messenger' signifies communication.

speak
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

judah
City of Judah,' as in Isaiah 40:9, signifies the doctrine of love towards the Lord and love towards our neighbor in its whole extent.

jerusalem
Jerusalem, on Mount Zion, signifies the doctrine of love to the Lord, and how it governs your life. Jerusalem first comes to our attention in...

given
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

hand
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

the kings of
The kings of Media and Persia' represent people who are in faith separate from charity.

kings
The human mind is composed of two parts, a will and an understanding, a seat of loves and affections, and a seat of wisdom and...

Lands
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

gods
The Lord is called "Jehovah" in the Bible when the text is referring to his essence, which is love itself. He is called "God" when...

nations
'Nations' signify people who are in the good of love and charity from the Lord. Two nations in the womb,' as in Genesis 25:23, signify...

fathers
Father in the Word means what is most interior, and in those things that are following the Lord's order, it means what is good. In...

haran
'Haran,' as mentioned in Genesis 11:28, signifies inward idolatrous worship. 'Haran,' as mentioned in Genesis 12:5, signifies an obscure state. 'Haran,' as mentioned in Genesis...

city
In the ancient world cities were very nearly nations unto themselves – they existed within walls, with their own laws and customs, generally centered on...

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

hosts
A host and an army come from the same Hebrew word and mean the same thing in Bible; when the Children of Israel were numbered...

israel
Jacob is told twice that his name will now be Israel. The first time is when he wrestles with an angel on his journey to...

cherubims
A Cherub has as its first definition in the dictionary, “A winged heavenly creature.” Cherubim is the plural of cherub. In the Word, the words...

kingdoms
Generally in the Bible a "country" means a political subdivision ruled by a king, or sometimes a tribe with a territory ruled by a king...

earth
'Lands' of different nations are used in the Word to signify the different kinds of love prevalent in the inhabitants.

heaven
Heavens are celestial and spiritual things. Consequently, they are inmost things, both of the Lord's kingdom in heaven the and in the earth. This also...

Heaven and earth
'Heaven and earth' signify, in general, the internal and external church. In particular, they signify the internal and external, or the spiritual and the natural...

open
To open,' as in Revelation 9, signifies communication and conjunction.

eyes
'Pairs of hands, eyes, etc.' relate to the will and understanding, or to good and truth. The right side to the will or good, and...

see
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

Sennacherib
'Sennacherib,' the king of Ashur (Assyria), as in Isaiah 37:17-21, signifies the rational mind perverted, destroying all the knowledge and perception of truth.

truth
There's a great deal of talk in Swedenborg about "truth" as a concept – it's how we learn the Lord's will, what we must seek...

fire
Just as natural fire can be both comforting in keeping you warm or scary in burning down your house, so fire in the spiritual sense...

work
'Works,' as in Genesis 46:33, denote goods, because they are from the will, and anything from the will is either good or evil, but anything...

hands
Scientists believe that one of the most crucial developments in the evolution of humans was bipedalism – walking on two legs. That left our hands...

wood
In general, plants in the Bible represent facts, thoughts and ideas – intellectual things. This makes sense: Plants are rooted in place, but can grow...

stone
Stones in the Bible in general represent truths, or things we know concerning the Lord and what He wants from us and for us in...

save
To be saved or rescued means getting true ideas that we can hold to even in the face of a storm of false thinking. Sometimes...

us
Angels do give us guidance, but they are mere helpers; the Lord alone governs us, through angels and spirits. Since angels have their assisting role,...

know
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

the Word
In general, we tend to be very aware of how knowing what's true leads to doing what is good. That starts as children, with parents...

word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

spoken
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

virgin
'Virgin' and 'woman,' in the Word, signify the affection of good.

daughter of zion
'Virgin' and 'daughter of Zion' signify the church regarding the affection of good and truth.

despised
We tend to think of "despising" something or someone as just a strong way of expressing dislike, but there is a further shade of meaning...

head
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

voice
'Voice' signifies what is announced from the Word. 'Voice' often refers and is applied to things that cannot have a voice, as in Exodus 4,...

lifted
The idea of "lifting" is used in a number of different ways in the Bible. In general, it means connecting with a higher spiritual state...

high
'Height' signifies what is inward, and also heaven.

height
'Height' signifies the good and truth of the church in every degree.

mountains
The Writings tell us that the Lord's love is the sun of heaven, and it is natural for us to look above ourselves to the...

sides
'Side' signifies good or spiritual love.

lebanon
'Lebanon' signifies spiritual good. 'Lebanon' signifies the church regarding the perception of truth from the rational self.

cedars
'Libanus' signifies the spiritual church. The glory of Libanus,' as in Isaiah 9:13, signifies the celestial spiritual things of the Lord's kingdom and church.

trees
Plants in general stand for facts, knowledge, ideas, so it makes sense that a forest in the Bible represents a collection or system of external,...

enter
All changes of place in the Bible represent changes in spiritual state. “Entering” – usually used as entering someone’s house or “going in unto” someone...

forest
Plants in general stand for facts, knowledge, ideas, so it makes sense that a forest in the Bible represents a collection or system of external,...

carmel
'Sharon, Bashan, and Carmel' signify the church regarding the knowledges of good and truth from the natural sense of the Word.

drunk
To be drunken without wine (Isa. 29:9), are they who are unconcerned about the Word, and the truths of faith, and thus have no inclination...

water
'Waters' signify truths in the natural self, and in the opposite sense, falsities. 'Waters' signify particularly the spiritual parts of a person, or the intellectual...

rivers
'Waters,' 'rivers,' and 'depths,' as in Psalm 78:15-16, signify truths from the Lord.

long
'Long' and thence to prolong, refer to good.

formed
Forming from the womb, as in Isaiah 44:2, 24; 49:1, 5, signifies the reformer. For references to the Lord as Reformer and Regenerator, see Doctrine...

cities
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

heaps
'A heap,' as mentioned in Genesis 31:40, signifies good, because in the past, before they built altars, the ancients made heaps and ate together upon...

inhabitants
Inhabitants,' in Isaiah 26:9, signify the men of the church who are in good of doctrine, and thence in the good of life.

grass
Grass signifies the scientific principle. Just as green grass serves animals for support, scientific truth serves men for spiritual nourishment. ‘Grass’ is scientific truth, and...

field
When we have a desire to be good people and to do good things, the natural first questions are "What does that mean?" "What should...

herb
Every herb in the Word signifies some species of scientifics. 'Herb bearing seed,' as mentioned in Genesis 1:29, signifies every truth which regards use. 'Green...

housetops
The roof of a house is its highest point, and the part most exposed to the sun. So it makes sense that in the Bible,...

going
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

coming
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

rage
'To rave' or 'rage' signifies speaking falsities for truths.

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

nose
'A nose' signifies the life of good, because of the respiration which happens through it, which is life in the internal sense, and because of...

lips
'A lip' signifies doctrine. A lip,' as in Isaiah 6:3, 7, signifies the interior parts of a person, consequently, internal worship, where adoration is grounded....

turn
Swedenborg says that the Lord is the sun of heaven, and like the natural sun of our world shines on everyone, good or evil. What...

back
There are many instances in the Bible which describe people turning back, looking back or going back. In most cases it is a negative, sometimes...

way
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

camest
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

sign
'A token,' as in Genesis 9:12, 13, 17, signifies causing it to be.

eat
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

third
'Three' denotes fullness, and 'a third,' not full.

reap
'To reap' signifies executing judgment. 'Reaping' denotes the reception of truth in good.

plant
'To plant' denotes regeneration.

vineyards
A vineyard signifies the church where the Word is, by which the Lord is known. (Apocalypse Revealed 650)

fruit
We tend to think of "fruit" in two ways in natural language. One is as food that grows on trees and vines, sweet and delicious,...

root
'A root,' as in Malachi 4:1, signifies charity. The dried up root,' as in Hosea 9:16, 17, signifies charity which could not bear fruit.

bear fruit
In Revelation 22, to yield fruit signifies to produce goods.

Go forth
To go forth, as in Genesis 19:14, signifies to recede from, or not to remain in [evil]. To go forth, as in Genesis 41:45, denotes...

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

mount
'Hills' signify the good of charity.

arrow
'Shafts' or 'arrows' signify truths and spiritual truth.

shields
'A shield' signifies defense which is trusted against evils and falsities. In respect to the Lord, it signifies defense, and in respect to people, confidence...

servant
“Servant” literally means “a person who serves another,"" and its meaning is similar in reference to the spiritual meaninngs of the Bible. Our lives in...

david's
David is one of the most significant figures in the Bible. He was a musician, one of history’s greatest poets, the boy warrior who killed...

david
David is one of the most significant figures in the Bible. He was a musician, one of history’s greatest poets, the boy warrior who killed...

angel
'A messenger' signifies communication.

smote
To strike or smite, when used in the Bible, means to attack, harm or destroy, and is usually in reference to an attack on someone’s...

camp
Camps in the Bible represent spiritual order – a person’s (or a church community’s) whole collection of desires for good and true ideas on how...

hundred
It's a landmark for a young child to count to 100; it sort of covers all the "ordinary" numbers. One hundred is obviously significant for...

fourscore
Swedenborg tells us that 80, like 40, can represent a state of temptation, when we face and battle our desires for evil – and that...

five
Five also signifies all things of one part.

thousand
As children, most of us at some point frustrated our mothers into using the phrase “if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand...

early
Since the sun represents the Lord, the early morning and sunrise represent a state of enlightenment, with a new and clear understanding coming after a...

morning
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

dead
Dead (Gen. 23:8) signifies night, in respect to the goodnesses and truths of faith.

dwelt
Many people were nomadic in Biblical times, especially the times of the Old Testament, and lived in tents that could be struck, moved and re-raised...

nineveh
'Nineveh' signifies the falsities of doctrinal matters, also the Gentiles, or the falsities originating in the fallacies of the senses, in the obscurity of an...

reigned
To reign,' as in Revelation 5, signifies being in truths and goods, and so in power, from the Lord, to resist evils and falsities which...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 All Power Is by Means of the Word
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

 The Destruction of Sennacherib
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 14

Commentary

 

Explanation of Isaiah 37      

By Rev. John H. Smithson

THE EXPLANATION of Isaiah Chapter 37

(Note: Rev. Smithson's translation of the Isaiah text is appended below the explanation)

1. AND it came to pass, that when the king Hezekiah heard it, he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of Jehovah.

2. And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah, the son of Amoz, the prophet.

VERSES 1, 2. This was done because by the "king of Assyria" is here signified the rational principle perverted, or the rational principle which perverts the Truths and Goods of the church, and destroys them by falsities; all "the words of Tartan [Rabshakeh], the captain of the king of Assyria, involving such things: and because the church was seen to be in imminent danger of desolation and devastation, therefore, to testify mourning and grief on account thereof, "they rent their clothes, and covered themselves with sackcloth." From this and from other passages, (see 2 Samuel 3:31; Daniel 9:3; Jonah 3:5, 6, 8) it is evident that grief was represented in the Jewish and Israelitish church by "the putting on of sackcloth"; and this because grief of mind and sorrow of heart, which are interior things, were at that time represented by external things, which, on account of their correspondence with spiritual things, were thus significative. That a representative of grief by "the putting on of sackcloth", signified specifically grief on account of the desolation of Truth and of the devastation of Good in the church, and, in particular, repentance and then grief of heart on account of evils might be proved from many passages. Apocalypse Explained 637. See above, Chapter 3:18-25; 15:3; 22:12, the Exposition.

3. And they said unto him, Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, and of rebuke, and of contumely: for the sons are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.

4. Perhaps Jehovah your God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom his lord the king of Assyria has sent to blaspheme the living God, and will reprove the words which Jehovah your God has heard: and do you offer up prayer for the remnant which is found.

5. And the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah.

Verse 3. That Truths from the Word may be heard and known, and yet reformation not be effected thereby, is signified by the "sons are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth", to "bring forth" signifies to make Truths fruitful by doing them, whence comes reformation. That this was a grief of heart and of mind, and disgraceful to the church, is signified by "a day of distress, and of rebuke, and of contumely." Apocalypse Explained 721.

6. And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall you say to your lord, Thus says Jehovah, Be not afraid because of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me.

Verses 6, 7, 37, 38. Because the rational mind is that which both acknowledges and denies the Divine [Being], and when it denies, it seizes upon everything false in the place of Truth, and thus perishes; wherefore this representative existed, namely, that "the king of Assyria, because he blasphemed Jehovah, was slain with the sword by his own sons, in the house of Nisroch his god", as we read in Isaiah 37:37, 38. Apocalypse Explained 131.

Verses 6, 17, 23, 24. Thus says Jehovah, Be not afraid because of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me, etc.

- From these words it is evident that "blasphemy" is predicated of false speaking against God, for by the "king of Assyria", who then was Sennacherib, is signified the rational principle, but perverted, which speaks against Divine Truth, and treats it opprobriously, and perverts it by falsities, which also is to falsify it, The falsities which he spake against Divine Truth are signified by the things mentioned in verses 10, 11, 12, 13, 24, 25; all of which were not only blasphemies against God, but also falsifications of Divine Truth. Apocalypse Explained 778.

The "blasphemies" which they spake were against God, and against the king and Jerusalem, thus against Divine Truth, as is more clearly evident from the internal sense; hence, from grief, they "tore their garments." Arcana Coelestia 4763.

To "blaspheme" and "blasphemy" signifies to deny the Divinity of the Lord, as the Socinians do, and to deny the Word; for they who deny the Divinity of the Lord cannot enter into heaven, for the Divine of the Lord is the all in all of heaven; and he who denies the Word, denies all things of religion. Apocalypse Revealed 571.

7. Behold, I will infuse a spirit into him; and he shall hear a report, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.

8. And Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah: for he heard that he had departed from Lachish.

Verse 7. The term "spirit" has various significations in the Word. Since the life of man varies according to his state, therefore by the term "spirit" is also signified the peculiar affection of his life. As:

1) a life of wisdom; as "Bezaleel was filled with the spirit of wisdom"; etc. (Exodus 31:3; see also Deuteronomy 34:9; Dan. 5:12)

2) the excitement of life; as "Jehovah has raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes." (Jeremiah 51:11) "Behold, I will infuse [or give] a spirit into the king of Assyria, and he shall hear a report", etc. (Isaiah 37:7)

The term "spirit" also signifies

3) liberty of life. (Ezekiel 1:20)

4) Life in fear, pain, and. anger. (Ezekiel 21:7; Psalm 143:4, 7; Daniel 7:15; Genesis 41:8)

5) a life of various evil affections; as "the spirit of whoredoms has caused them to err." (Hosea 4:12; 5:4) "The spirit of jealousy", etc. (Numbers 4:14)

6) infernal life; as "I will cause the unclean spririt to pass out of the land." (Zechariah 13:2)

7) The term "spirit" further signifies the infernal spirits themselves, by whom mankind are troubled, as in Matthew 8:16, and in many other passages. Doctrine of the Lord 48.

9. And he heard concerning Tirhakah, king of Cush, saying, He is come forth to make war with you. And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,

10. Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah, king of Judah, saying, Let not your God, in whom you confide, deceive you, saying, That Jerusalem shall not: be given up into the hand of the king of Assyria.

11. Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly; and shalt you be delivered?

Verse 9. King of Ethiopia, or Cush. - See above, Chapter 18:1, 2, the Exposition.

To make war with you. - As to the "wars" mentioned in the Word, see Chapter 7:1, the Exposition.

12. Have the gods of the nations delivered those which my fathers have destroyed? Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph; and the sons of Eden which were in Telassar?

13. Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Henah, and of Ivah?

Verses 12, 13. See the Exposition of Isaiah Chapter 36:19.

14. And Hezekiah received the letters from the hand of the messengers, and read them; and he went up to the house of Jehovah: and Hezekiah spread them before the face of Jehovah.

15. And Hezekiah prayed to Jehovah, saying,

Verses 14, 15 And Hezekiah spread the letters before the face of Jehovah, and prayed, etc. - [To "spread the letters full of blasphemy before Jehovah in the temple", was an act which, by correspondence, signifies the acknowledgement and confession, before the Lord, of the evils to which the church is exposed; and it also shows, on the part of the church, full confidence in Him as the only Protector and Saviour against the evils which would destroy it. It may here be observed that this act of "showing the blasphemous letters to Jehovah is the direct opposite to that of "showing to the messengers from Babylon all the precious things, silver, gold, spices, etc. in his dominion"; (see Chapter 39:2) which act signified the exposure of all the Truths, Goods, and Sanctities of the Word and of the church to the influence of Babylon, which is that of adulteration and profanation. (See Chapters 13 and 14, the Exposition.) For which act of Hezekiah the prophet Isaiah was sent to declare that "everything of the church would be taken captive to Babylon", that is, would be adulterated and profaned.]

And Hezekiah prayed, etc.

- As to the true nature of "prayer" see Chapter 1:11-19; 18:7, the Exposition.

16. O Jehovah of Hosts, You God of Israel, who art seated on the Cherubim! You art the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth! You have made the heavens and the earth!

17. Incline, O Jehovah, Thine ear, and hear; open, O Jehovah, Thine eyes, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to blaspheme the living God.

18. In truth, O Jehovah, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their lands;

Verse 16. The Lord is "seated or dwells on the Cherubim " as to the state of Providence, lest any one should be let in to the holy things of love and of faith except he is prepared by the Lord. That the Cherubim were upon the curtains of the Tabernacle, upon the Veil, upon the walls, of the temple, and upon the doors there, was to signify the Lord's guardian care, lest the Holy Divine should be approached but by the good of love. There were also Cherubim on the Ark, to signify that the Lord Himself cannot be approached but by that good. On this account also it was that the Cherubim were made of solid gold, and in the Temple at Jerusalem of olive-wood, or wood of oil; for by "gold" and by "oil" is signified the good of love. Arcana Coelestia 3384. See also 9509.

19. And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were not gods, but the work of the hands of man, wood and stone; therefore they have destroyed them.

20. And now, O Jehovah, our God, save us from his hand; that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone art Jehovah!

21. Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying, Thus says Jehovah the God of Israel, Whereas you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib, king of Assyria:

Verse 19. By "the gods of the kings of Assyria" are here signified reasonings from falsities and evils, which agree with the proprium of man, wherefore they are also called "the work of the hands of man, wood and stone", or idols of wood and of stone, which signify the evils and falsities of religion and of doctrine originating in the proprium, Apocalypse Explained 686.

22. This is the word which Jehovah has spoken concerning him: The virgin, daughter of Zion, despises you, she laughs at you; the daughter of Jerusalem shakes her head at you.

23. Whom have you blasphemed and reviled; and against whom, have you exalted your voice? and have lifted up thine eyes on high? Even against the Holy One of Israel.

Verse 22. There are two affections which constitute the church, - one, or the affection of Good, constitutes the celestial church, and is called in the Word "the virgin, the daughter of Zion, and the other, or the affection of Truth, constitutes the spiritual church, and is called in the Word "the daughter of Jerusalem." Arcana Coelestia 2362. See the Exposition of Isaiah Chapter 16:2.

24. By the hand of your servants have you blasphemed the Lord, and have said, By the multitude of my chariots will I ascend the height of the mountains, the sides of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, and the choice fir-trees thereof: and I will enter into the height of his border, and the forest of his fruitful field.

Verse 24: By these words, in the internal sense, is described the haughtiness of those who, by ratiocinations from falsities, are desirous to destroy the Goods and Truths of the church. The "king of Assyria" is the rational Principle perverted; "the multitude of his chariots" signifies ratiocinations from falsities of doctrine. To ascend the height of the mountains, the sides of Lebanon", and to "cut down the tall cedars and the choice fir-trees thereof", signifies the endeavour to destroy the Goods and Truths of the church, as well internal as external; the mountains denote the Goods of the church, the "sides of Lebanon" where the Goods are conjoined with Truths; "Lebanon" denoting the spiritual church, the "cedars" the Internal Truths thereof, which are from Good, and the "fir-trees" the external Truths thereof, also from Good. Such is the signification of these words in the spiritual sense in which they are understood in heaven. Apocalypse Explained 405. See also 654.

25. I have digged, and I have drunk waters; and I have dried up with the sole of my steps all the streams of Egypt.

Verse 25. The "king of Assyria", or the rational principle perverted, destroying all the knowledges and apperceptions of Truth, is signified by "drying up with the sole of his steps all the streams of Egypt." The reason why the "streams of Egypt" signify the knowledges and apperceptions of Truth is, because "Egypt" is the natural man as to scientifics, knowledges, and apperceptions which belong to the natural man, as intelligence does to the spiritual man. Apocalypse Explained 518. See Chapter 19, the Exposition.

26. Hast you not heard, from of old, that I have done it? and, from the days of antiquity, that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that you should be to lay waste fortified cities into ruinous heaps.

Verse 26. These words refer to the antediluvian time denoted by "of old" and "the days of antiquity." Arcana Coelestia 274.

To "lay waste fortified cities into ruinous heaps", as said of the king of Assyria, is to destroy, by false reasonings, the truths and doctrinals of the church and of the Word. See the Exposition of Isaiah Chapter 23:13.

27. Therefore were their inhabitants of small strength; they were dismayed and confounded: they were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb; the grass of the house-top; and as the corn blasted before it is grown up.

28. But your sitting down, and your going out, and your coming in, and your rage against Me I have known:

Verse 27. "Inhabitants of small strength [or, literally, short in hand]", signifies of no power. Arcana Coelestia 878.

As the grass of the field, - as the corn blasted, etc. - See Chapter 15:6, Exposition.

Verse 28. It was a common form of speech among the ancients to say that they knew the "entering in" and the "going. out" of a person, to indicate that they knew all, the state of his life; and as this form of speech derived its origin from correspondences in the other life, wherefore, in the Word, similar things are said and. signified thereby, as in Samuel:

"Achish called David, and said unto him, You have been upright, and your going out and your coming in with me in the camp has been good in my eyes; for I have not found evil in you." (1 Samuel 29:6) "His going out and his entering in being good in his eyes", signifies that all the state of his life had been well pleasing to him.

Again,

"You know Abner, that he came to persuade you, and to know your going out and your coming in, and to know all that you doest. (2 Samuel 3:25)

To know his "going out" and his "coming in" is to know all the thoughts and acts of his life; wherefore it is said, "that he might know all that you doest."

Again,

"Your sitting down, your going out, your coming in, and your rage against Me I have known"; (Isaiah 37:28),

speaking of Sennacherib the king of Assyria. To know his "going out" and his " coming in", is to know all things of his counsel. Arcana Coelestia 9927.

29. Because your rage against Me, and your insolence, is come up into Mine ears, therefore will I put My hook into your nose, and My bridle into your lips; and I will turn you back by the way in which you earnest.

Verse 29. These things are said concerning the "king of Assyria", by whom is signified ratiocination from falsities; for, in the good sense, by "Assyria" is signified the rational principle.

Because that king then besieged Jerusalem, and blasphemed God, it was said to him that "a hook should be put into his nose", whereby is signified that stupidity and foolishness should possess him; for the "nose" signifies perception, and the "hook" the extracting thereof, properly, immersion into the corporeal sensual principle, which, when separated from the rational, is stupid.

It is likewise said that "a bridle should be put into his lips", whereby is signified "insanity as to the understanding of Truth; for the "lips" signify thought from the understanding, and the "bridle" the retraction thereof.

To "turn him back by the way in which he came", signifies into the falsities by which he was about to perish; wherefore his "army", by which those falsities were signified, perished by a great slaughter. Apocalypse Explained 923.

30. And this shall be a sign unto you: Eat this year that which springs up of itself; and the second year, that which grows up of its own accord: and in the third year, sow you, and reap; and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof.

Verse 30. This was said to Hezekiah the king, when Sennacherib, king of Assyria, made war against him, and spake proudly of himself, and contumeliously of God and of Israel, wherefore also one hundred and eighty-five thousand were smitten in the camp, and himself was slain by his sons.

The reason why this was done, was, because by "Assyria" is signified the rational [principle], and the same by the "king of Assyria", and by "Judea" the celestial [principle] of the church, and the spiritual [principle] by the "king" thereof; but, in this case, by the "king of Assyria" is signified the rational [principle] perverted, which, by false reasonings, destroys all the celestial and spiritual things of the church, which are the Goods and Truths thereof; and inasmuch as by "Judea" and by the "king" thereof is signified the celestial and spiritual principle of the church, which should be from the Lord when He came into the world, therefore such things are said, by which is described the regeneration of those who should be of that church.

Wherefore by "the sign, that they should eat in the first year that which springs up of itself [or spontaneously]", is signified celestial Good which shall be implanted in them from the Lord; by "that which grows up of its own accord in the second year", is signified the Truth of that Good which shall thence be derived; by "sowing, reaping, planting vineyards, and eating the fruit thereof", are signified all the Goods and Truths which thence flow forth; by "sowing and reaping" is signified the implantation of Good and the reception thereof; by "planting vineyards", the implantation of Truth and the reception thereof; and by "eating the fruits of them", the fruition of Goods, and satisfaction thence derived, appertaining to the regenerate man.

These things are called a "sign", because they are testifications concerning the celestial church with those who are understood in the spiritual sense by "Judah", whose regeneration is effected from the Lord by the implantation of celestial Good, afterwards by the implantation of spiritual Good, which, in its essence, is the Truth of celestial Good; and lastly, by multiplication and fructification in the natural man. Apocalypse Explained 700.

31. And again shall the escaped, the remnant of the house of Judah, strike root downwards, and bear fruit upwards.

32. For from Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant; and the escaped from Mount Zion: the zeal of Jehovah of Hosts shall do this.

33. Therefore thus says Jehovah concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not enter into this city; nor shall he shoot an arrow into it; nor shall he come before it with a shield; nor shall he cast up a mound against it.

34. By the way in which he came, by the same shall he return; and into this city shall he not come, says Jehovah.

Verses 31, 32. Again shall the escaped, the remnant of the house of Judah, strike root downwards, and bear fruit upwards, etc. - As to the meaning of the "remnant" and the "escaped", see Chapter 1:9; 4:2, 3, the Exposition.

[The "remnant of the house of Judah" is said to "strike root downwards", to denote that truths from a celestial origin will then be implanted in the natural man; and to "bear fruits upwards", that goods of life will be of a celestial and spiritual origin, or from the "internal man.]

35. And I will defend this city to save it, for Mine own sake, and for the sake of David My servant.

Verse 35. These words are said of the Assyrians, in whose camp one hundred and eighty-five thousand were slain. "David" stands for the Lord, who was to come, and who, as to His Humanity, is called a "Servant." That " David", in the Word, signifies the Lord, may be seen, Arcana Coelestia 1880.

Whilst the Lord was in a state of humiliation, when He had with Him the infirm Human, He worshipped Jehovah as another separate from Himself, and indeed as a Servant, for the Human is respectively nothing else; wherefore, in the Word, a "servant" is predicated of that Human, as in Isaiah 37:35; 42:1, 19. Arcana Coelestia 2159.

36. And the angel of Jehovah went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.

Verse 36. A "camp" and an "encampment" signify, in a good sense, heaven. The reason is, because an " army" signifies Truths and Goods, which are arranged by the Lord according to heavenly order. Hence arrangement according to order is the encampinq of an army, and the heavenly order itself, which is heaven, is the "camp." This "camp", or this order, is such that it cannot possibly be broken into by hell, although hell is in a continual endeavour to break into it. Hence it is that "the camp of God", in Genesis 32:2, signifies heaven, This essential order is what was represented by the "encampments" of the sons of Israel in the wilderness, thus heaven itself was represented. The dwelling together therein, according to the tribes, was called a "camp"; the "tabernacle" which was in the midst, and about which they encamped, represented the Lord Himself. As many expressions in the Word have an opposite sense, so also has a "camp", and according to such sense it signifies evils and falsities, consequently hell, as in David:

"Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear." [Psalm 27:3)

Neither is anything else but hell meant by "the camp of Assyria, in which the angel of Jehovah smote a hundred and eighty and five thousand; (Isaiah 37:36)

In like manner also by "the camp of the Egyptians." (Exodus 14:20, 28) Arcana Coelestia 4236.

[The destruction of the Assyrian army was effected by the opening of a hell, and by a powerful influx thence proceeding, which corresponded to the evil and the false signified by the opposition of "the Assyrian army", and its determination to destroy "Jerusalem", which represented heaven and the church. A similar thing is described in the Revelation 20:9:

"Gog and Magog went up on the breadth of the earth and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city; and, fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them." 'But this happened in the world of spirits, whereas the destruction of the Assyrian army took place in the natural world, on account of the representatives which then prevailed In the representative or typical church of the Jews. In the one case it is said that "an angel from Jehovah effected the destruction of the Assyrian army", and in the other that a fire from God out of heaven devoured the enemies of the camp of the saints and the beloved city." But that the destruction was effected either by "the angel of Jehovah" or by " fire from God out of heaven" is an appearance; the real truth is, that they were destroyed by their own evils and falsities, (Apocalypse Revealed 863) which, at the period of Judgment, are brought out, and which then overwhelm the wicked with perdition. The Lord never comes to destroy, but to save, and when the good are separated from the wicked, the latter are left to their own evil states and sink down into their respective hells.]

37. Then Sennacherib, king of Assyria, decamped, and departed, and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.

38. And it came to pass, that as he was bowing himself down in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, smote him with the sword; and they escaped, into the land of Ararat: and Esar-haddon his son reigned in his stead.

Verses 37, 38. That "Nineveh" signifies what is false, or false doctrines arising from the fallacies of the senses, and from the obscurity of the understanding not illustrated, and from ignorance, is evident from Jonah, who was sent to Nineveh, which city was pardoned because they were of such a quality. In Isaiah things both historical and prophetical are mentioned, which involve and represent such arcana in like manner as all other historical things mentioned in the Word. In Isaiah we read respecting the king of Assyria, that "he dwelt at Nineveh, and that when he was bowing himself down in the house of Nisroch his god, he was slain by his sons with the sword." (Isaiah 37:37, 38)

Although these things are historical, they are nevertheless prophetical, involving and representing similar arcana. By "Nineveh" here is signified external worship in which are falsities, and as this worship was idolatrous, "he was slain by his sons with the sword." His "sons" are falsities, and the "sword" is the punishment of the false. Arcana Coelestia 1188.

---
Isaiah Chapter 37

1. AND it came to pass, that when the king Hezekiah heard it, he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of Jehovah.

2. And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah, the son of Amoz, the prophet.

3. And they said unto him, Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, and of rebuke, and of contumely: for the sons are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.

4. Perhaps Jehovah your God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom his lord the king of Assyria has sent to blaspheme the living God, and will reprove the words which Jehovah your God has heard: and do you offer up prayer for the remnant which is found.

5. And the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah.

6. And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall you say to your lord, Thus says Jehovah, Be not afraid because of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me.

7. Behold, I will infuse a spirit into him; and he shall hear a report, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.

8. And Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah: for he heard that he had departed from Lachish.

9. And he heard concerning Tirhakah, king of Cush, saying, He is come forth to make war with you. And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,

10. Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah, king of Judah, saying, Let not your God, in whom you confide, deceive you, saying, That Jerusalem shall not: be given up into the hand of the king of Assyria.

11. Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly; and shalt you be delivered?

12. Have the gods of the nations delivered those which my fathers have destroyed? Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph; and the sons of Eden which were in Telassar?

13. Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Henah, and of Ivah?

14. And Hezekiah received the letters from the hand of the messengers, and read them; and he went up to the house of Jehovah: and Hezekiah spread them before the face of Jehovah.

15. And Hezekiah prayed to Jehovah, saying,

16. O Jehovah of Hosts, You God of Israel, who art seated on the Cherubim! You art the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth! You have made the heavens and the earth!

17. Incline, O Jehovah, Thine ear, and hear; open, O Jehovah, Thine eyes, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to blaspheme the living God.

18. In truth, O Jehovah, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their lands;

19. And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were not gods, but the work of the hands of man, wood and stone; therefore they have destroyed them.

20. And now, O Jehovah, our God, save us from his hand; that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You alone art Jehovah!

21. Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying, Thus says Jehovah the God of Israel, Whereas you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib, king of Assyria:

22. This is the word which Jehovah has spoken concerning him: The virgin, daughter of Zion, despises you, she laughs at you; the daughter of Jerusalem shakes her head at you.

23. Whom have you blasphemed and reviled; and against whom, have you exalted your voice? and have lifted up thine eyes on high? Even against the Holy One of Israel.

24. By the hand of your servants have you blasphemed, the Lord, and have said, By the multitude of my chariots will I ascend the height of the mountains, the sides of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, and the choice fir-trees thereof: and I will enter into the height of his border, and the forest of his fruitful field.

25. I have digged, and I have drunk waters; and I have dried up with the sole of my steps all the streams of Egypt.

26. Hast you not heard, from of old, that I have done it? and, from the days of antiquity, that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that you should be to lay waste fortified cities into ruinous heaps.

27. Therefore were their inhabitants of small strength; they were dismayed and confounded: they were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb; the grass of the house-top; and as the corn blasted before it is grown up.

28. But your sitting down, and your going out, and your coming in, and your rage against Me I have known:

29. Because your rage against Me, and your insolence, is come up into Mine ears, therefore will I put My hook into your nose, and My bridle into your lips; and I will turn you back by the way in which you earnest.

30. And this shall be a sign unto you: Eat this year that which springs up of itself; and the second year, that which grows up of its own accord: and in the third year, sow you, and reap; and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof.

31. And again shall the escaped, the remnant of the house of Judah, strike root downwards, and bear fruit upwards.

32. For from Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant; and the escaped from Mount Zion: the zeal of Jehovah of Hosts shall do this.

33. Therefore thus says Jehovah concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not enter into this city; nor shall he shoot an arrow into it; nor shall he come before it with a shield; nor shall he cast up a mound against it.

34. By the way in which he came, by the same shall he return; and into this city shall he not come, says Jehovah.

35. And I will defend this city to save it, for Mine own sake, and for the sake of David My servant.

36. And the angel of Jehovah went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.

37. Then Sennacherib, king of Assyria, decamped, and departed, and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.

38. And it came to pass, that as he was bowing himself down in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, smote him with the sword; and they escaped, into the land of Ararat: and Esar-haddon his son reigned in his stead.


Translate: