"The invasion of Sennacherib. [1 - 23]"
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
II Chronicles 32:1"After these things, and the establishment thereof, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself."
"After these things, and the establishment thereof": After Hezekiah registered the men and boys of the tribe of Levi, they were sanctified in the service of the Lord. The ways of the Lord had been reestablished in the congregation and house of the Lord. The priests had to be reestablished in the laws of God, and in the proper order of delivering the blood sacrifices and offerings to YHVH our Heavenly Father. This time that King Sennacherib of Assyria came against Judah was in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah's reign. The people had been making their sacrifices and offerings to the Lord for thirteen years, and were back under the laws and ways of the Lord.
This chapter then allows us to see the establishment of God's people as they sought to please the Lord, and come under the love and protection of God's promises to them. Sennacherib thought he could move against Judah to break up this small kingdom, and annex it's land to Assyria like he did with Israel six years prior. When the Assyrians conquered a people they remove the people from off their land, just as he did with the fall of the House of Israel under King Hosea. The House of Israel was uprooted off their lands and moved to the far north to resettle in an area which is in the northern part of Iraq of today. After the people of the ten tribes of Israel were gone, the Assyrians then moved in five nations to resettled the lands of the House of Israel. In this manner they prevented nations from rebuilding and becoming a threat again.
King Hezekiah and the people of Judah came to God with repentive hearts. God heard their prayers and He gave protection to the House of Judah.
II Chronicles 32:2 "And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem,"
II Chronicles 32:3 "He took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city: and they did help him."
There was no mystery to why Sennacherib and his army were at the east gates of Jerusalem. His purpose was to make war and up root Judah to claim their land for his own. This is what happened to the House of Israel in the sixth year of the reign of Hezekiah, and Hezekiah knew there was no mercy in the mind of Sennacherib. With the Assyrians at the east gates of Jerusalem, King Hezekiah called in his princes and military officers to plan for the defense of Jerusalem.
For Sennacherib and his Assyrian army to be successful in a siege of Jerusalem, there had to be a supply of water for his army. So by covering over the wells and cannels, and re-channeling the fountain of En-rogel, [known as "the Virgin's Fount"] from the east side of the city to the west; their water source could be stopped. A channel was cut through the rock and a shaft was made to a underground stream, to the lower pool of Siloam. The lower pool of Gihon on the west of the city them gave the city all the water that they needed, and made a siege almost impossible.
II Chronicles 32:4 "So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, "Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?"
The people of the city got behind the project and the waters were rerouted underground, out of the reach of Sennacherib.
II Chronicles 32:5 "Also he strengthened himself, and built up all the wall that was broken, and raised it up to the towers, and another wall without, and repairs Millo in the city of David, and made darts and shields in abundance."
"Millo", called "the Millo" was part of the old Jebusite city before David took it and claimed Jerusalem for the Lord. Millo was the area filling of the space between the old Jebus part of the city, and Mount Moriah. The walls of this part of the city were in bad need of repairs and Hezekiah ordered the walls to be mended. These strong walls gave greater protection for Jerusalem. He put watchers on the walls so there would be no blind spots from any location of the city walls, and made the weapons that the men on the wall would used in the time of an enemy attack. Today we have our watchtowers in the sky, our walls are in our subs of the navy, and the aircraft of the Air Force. Our "men on the wall" are stationed all over the world defending our nation. King Hezekiah and his leaders were preparing for war if it came, but relying on the prayer, and the strength of our Lord's protection for them and the city.
II Chronicles 32:6 "And he set captains of war over the People, and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city."
Hezekiah set men of war that could handle defense of the city if an attack came, and he made sure that each man knew his job. Each of the men were alert to what was going on outside the wall, then the king gave his special message:
II Chronicles 32:7 "Be Strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him:"
This is the verse that each of us should carry and remember each day of our life for those times when things seem to be going against us. When you are in the Lord and doing things the way that He set before you, then your enemies are God's enemies. Those of the Lord's army far outnumber those of any army that comes against you. Remember that our Heavenly Father is the creator of all things, all men and that includes your enemies: "for there be more with us than with him", with those that would do harm to you. When God is on your side, and you are at your weakest, then you are at your strongest, for it is the Lord that will defend those that call upon His name.
II Chronicles 32:8 "With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the Lord our God to help us, and to fight our battles." And the People rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah."
This is a promise that you can count on today; the Lord is our help and He will fight our battles. Sure, we do what is within our power for our protection, but we rely on the Lord for those unforeseen things that only our Heavenly Father would be aware of. Only our Heavenly Father can read their minds and know their every thought.
II Chronicles 32:9 "After this did Sennacherib king of Assyria send his servants to Jerusalem, (but he himself laid siege against Lachish, and all his power with him,) unto Hezekiah king of Judah, and unto all Judah that were at Jerusalem, saying,"
"After this": after omitting the account of the surrender given in II Kings 18:14 - 16, that time when Hezekiah tried to buy his friendship and protection with the Assyrians. King Hezekiah sat back and in the fourth year of his reign he watch as his brethren to the north were being hauled away captive.
II Kings 18:10 "And at the end of three years they took it: even in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken."
So in the first year of Hezekiah's reign, he set rebuilt the temple, tore down all the altars to Baal and the groves, and set up the animal offerings and sacrifices, and the priesthood. Four years later the war started with Israel and lasted three years, before the fall of the house of Israel. Here it is now in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah's reign, and his brethren to the north have been removed off their land, and five other nations moved in to take over their lands. Now Sennacherib and the Assyrians are hungry to expand their kingdom again, and take the land of Judah into their holdings.
So with the Assyrian army encamped outside the city walls, Sennacherib is sending a small group of his servants that speak in the Hebrew tongue to try to persuade the people of Jerusalem to give themselves over to him and save their lives. Here is the message that Sennacherib is giving to the people on the walls of Jerusalem.
II Chronicles 32:10 "Thus saith Sennacherib king of Assyria, `Whereon do ye trust, that ye abide in the siege in Jerusalem?"
Note the reference that Sennacherib is using in reference to Hezekiah's message, "trust in Jehovah". This reference is recorded in Hezekiah's "Songs of the degrees" of Psalms 120:2, 3. Sennacherib is trying to undermine the message of their king, building up their faith in God's protection of them and their city.
II Chronicles 32:11 "Doth not Hezekiah persuade you to give over yourselves to die by famine and by thirst, saying, `the Lord our God shall deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria?'"
This servant standing outside the wall and calling up to the men on the wall is asking; "Do you really think that the Lord your God shall deliver you out of the hand of the king of Assyria?"
II Chronicles 32:12 "Hath not the same Hezekiah taken away His high places and His altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, `Ye shall worship before one altar, and burn incense up it?' "
These servants of Sennacherib are reminding the men on the walls of Jerusalem that King Hezekiah took away their high places and their altars, and demanded that you worship before one altar, and burned incense only to it. They are trying to sow seeds of discourse amongst the troops of Hezekiah. It had only been a few years since many of these men took part in those fun and games of the groves, and Baal worship, and now all those gods are all gone. These men are speaking in the Hebrew tongue, as one brother to another, trying to cause a split in the ranks of the men of Judah.
II Chronicles 32:13 "Know ye not what I and my fathers have done unto all the people of other lands? were the gods of the nations of those lands any ways able to deliver their lands out of mine hand?"
They are reminding the men of Judah of all the other peoples that have warred with the Assyrians, and their gods could not protect them from us. They had many gods, but you have only One God. These men on the wall had watched as the people of the House of Israel were moved out of their land, and people from five other nations were brought in to live and work the land. It's been seven years since their brethren were hauled away captive.
II Chronicles 32:14 "Who was there among all the gods of those nations that my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of mine hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of mine hand?"
Of course, if any person or nation turns to heathen gods for their protection, there simply is no protection. Though Sennacherib is aware of YHVH Jehovah the one true God, it becomes obvious that he has no respect for our Heavenly Father. Remember that the House of Israel turned against YHVH immediately after Solomon died, when the nation of Israel split into two nations, the House of Israel and the House of Judah. So it is true what these men of Sennacherib are saying; the gods of the House of Israel simply could not save them. At the time of this message by these messengers, the House of Israel was scattered and grouped into many tribal names, such as Celts, Gauls, Saxons, and so on.
II Chronicles 32:15 "Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you on this manner, neither yet believe him: for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of mine hand, and out of the hand of my fathers: how much less shall your God deliver you out of mine hand?' "
This is a true statement of fact, for there was no god of any nation, outside our Heavenly Father that could save that nation from the strength of the Assyrian army. We will see though how our Heavenly Father can cause strife to arise from within the enemies camp, and cause so much trouble that their mind is taken off the city of Jerusalem. Our God Jehovah is the creator of the Universe, and he controls even the minds of men for the sake of the protection of His people. God spared this Assyrian nation when Jonah brought the Word of God to them and they repented, but that was a generation ago, and Nineveh fell back into their sins of old. God used Assyria to discipline the House of Israel for their idolatry.
II Chronicles 32:16 "And his servants spake yet more against the Lord God, and against His servant Hezekiah."
After speaking out against all the gods of all the nations that the Assyrians had defeated, they are now attacking YHVH the God of Israel directly, and his servant King Hezekiah.
II Chronicles 32:17 "He wrote also letters to rail on the Lord God of Israel, and to speak against Him, saying, "As the gods of the nations of other lands have not delivered their people out of mine hand, so shall not the God of Hezekiah delivered His people out of mine hand."
The servants message is now getting bold and saying that there is no God, not even the God of Hezekiah that can deliver His people out of the hand of Sennecharib. This is the part of the railings that the Songs of the degrees are referring to in Psalms 120:2 and 3:
Psalms 120: 1 - 3 "In my distress I cried unto the Lord, and He heard me."  "Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue."  "What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, Thou false tongue?" 
King Hezekiah knew enough to cry out to the Lord in his time of trouble, to defend himself and his nation from the lying lips of those servants standing at the foot of the wall, cursing the Lord.
II Chronicles 32:18 "Then they cried with a loud voice in the Jews' speech unto the people of Jerusalem that were on the wall, to affright them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city."
Remember that these men of Assyria are talking to the men of Jerusalem in their own tongue, not using an interpreter.
II Chronicles 32:19 "And they spake against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth, which were the work of the hands of man."
Note the used of "the God of Jerusalem" for "Jehovah" by these heathen from the land of Assyria. They place the one True God on the same level as their stone gods and gods of Baal of the other nations.
II Chronicles 32:20 "And for this cause Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven."
The Prophet Isaiah is living inside the city of Jerusalem walls at this time. These men of God hear what is being said outside the walls, and they are praying for God's protection. Protection not only from the enemy army, but from the words that are being heard by the military men on the wall.
Isaiah 37:16, 17 "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."  "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." 
The Prophet Isaiah established the fact in his prayer that he knows that the God of Israel is the creator of the heaven and the earth, and that he has control over it and the people placed on the earth.
Isaiah 37:18 - 20 "Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations, and their countries,"  "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."  "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." 
Think of the control that God has over peoples and nations, in that God saw the wicked ways that the House of Israel had gone. At a time when God was going to destroy Assyria, God sent Jonah to preach to the Assyrians. The Assyrians converted and in sack cloth and ashes prayed in repentance to the Lord. God did not destroy the forefathers of these same Assyrians. Then one generation later God used these Assyrians to correct his people, the house of Israel, and do exactly what is written here in Isaiah 37, and now these Assyrians are coming against the house of Judah. Isaiah is reminding God, that the men of Judah are believers, and crying out for His protection.
When things look like you are at your darkest hour, and everything is going against you, then that is the time to cry out to the Lord, just as Hezekiah and Isaiah and the people of Judah are doing here. The enemy is at the wall, and it appears to human eyes that there is no way out. That is the time to cry out to the Lord, repent of those things that are separating you for our heavenly Father, and ask for His protection.
II Chronicles 32:21 "And the Lord sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword."
Don't overlook this verse: "The Lord sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria." God sent this angel, and there is no defense against this supernatural being coming with his orders from the Lord. When the battle looks like it is being lost, that is the time to turn it over to the Lord. Jesus told us in Matthew 11:27-30 to trust him when the going gets tough.
Matthew 11:28-30 "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."  "Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."  "For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light." 
The yoke is used on an animal for the sake of protecting the animal, and distributing the load from the weak and frail animal to the stronger, and allowing each animal to do only the work it is capable of. Jesus is telling each of us that love Him, "Trust Me and believe on My name to allow Me to do those things that you cannot do for yourself." We do that when we cast all of our care upon our Lord Jesus Christ, for He careth for each of His own. Hezekiah and Isaiah knew this promise from God as they prayed and turned the city of Jerusalem over to Jehovah for their defense.
II Chronicles 32:22 "Thus the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all other, and guided them on every side."
Don't overlook the fact that it was the Lord Jehovah that saved Hezekiah and all the people of Jerusalem, including the Prophet Isaiah from Sennacherib.
II Chronicles 32:23 "And many brought gifts unto the Lord to Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah: so that he was magnified in the sight of all nations from thenceforth."
The Kenites writing this book of Chronicles are giving King Hezekiah the credit for what has happened. Note that in the eyes of the people that lived behind those walls and in the countryside, it was the Lord God Almighty that saved them. They are bringing gifts first to present to God for his mercy and protection, then to the King Hezekiah. God always gets the glory first, he gets his gifts that are well deserved, and then He provides so we have our needs supplied also.
II Chronicles 32:24 "In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the Lord: and He spake unto him, and He gave him a sign."
"In those days" while Sennacherib's army was still surrounding Jerusalem, Hezekiah was sick unto death. Hezekiah went to Isaiah and asked him; "What shall be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up into the house of the Lord the third day?" So Isaiah gave the king the sign: II Kings 20:9 "And Isaiah said, "This sign shalt thou have of the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that He hath spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten degrees, or go back ten degrees."
Think of it, Sennacherib and his army are at the wall, and the king is dying inside. Both Hezekiah and Isaiah are praying for the victory over that enemy army, but also asking go for a sign that the king will be healed. However King Hezekiah wanted a sign that God would heal him, so Isaiah asked the king if he wanted the sun to go forward or backward ten degrees. Did he want the rotation of the earth to speed up or slow down. This will be the sign that God will heal him. What's Hezekiah's selection?
II Kings 20:10 "And Hezekiah answered, "It is a light thing for a shadow to go down ten degrees; nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees."
Hezekiah not only has little faith, he is now playing games with hour heavenly Father. Make the earth reverse it's rotation to cause the shadow to go backward ten degrees. Why such a demand? So Hezekiah could know that God would heal him and give him added years to his life: Oh ye of little faith.
II Chronicles 32:25 "But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem."
When a man is sick and about to die his entire viewpoint of life changes, just as here in Hezekiah's case. When he was in good health, there was nothing that was to great to do for the Lord, but now on his deathbed he becomes short tempered with everyone around him. The Lord changed the rotation of the entire earth for the short period of time just for the sake of proving to Hezekiah that He would spare his life.
II Chronicles 32:26 "Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah."
Hezekiah saw the love of the Father for Him, and Hezekiah's life was spared. This humbled Hezekiah before the Lord and the people of Jerusalem, and as the Lord moved over the Assyrian army causing them to flee, peace came over the people of Jerusalem and their king. "Pride" cometh before the fall; when our pride is placing ourselves before the Lord, and looking to ourselves rather then God for our substance and protection.
II Chronicles 32:27 "And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honour: and he made himself treasures for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of pleasant jewels;"
Back in Solomon's day, the more God blessed Solomon, the more foolish he became with the blessings God gave him. Peace came to the area, and the nations brought their gifts of silver and gold and precious stones to Jerusalem. Hezekiah took that wealth and in his pride made shields to show off his military, and jewelry to flash before men. Solomon took his wealth and went into partnership with the Kenites and joined into business with them; to build ships and make more money. He lost sight of the why the blessings came to him, to stored those blessings for times of need.
II Chronicles 32:28 "Storehouses also for the increase of corn, and wine, and oil; and stalls for all manner of beasts, and cotes from flocks."
These neighboring nations were bringing their crops and wine to Jerusalem, and the more that came in, the more storehouses were built to keep them.
II Chronicles 32:29 "Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance: for God had given him substance very much."
The blessings are coming in abundance, meaning more than is needed. God blessed Judah for turning back to him, and the nation of Judah and their king just did not know what to do with the added blessings.
II Chronicles 32:30 "This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper water course of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works."
Hezekiah changed the course of the water channels, and did many other works to improve the utilities of the city of Jerusalem for his people. He used the blessings of God to get many things done beside the jewels and gold shields.
II Chronicles 32:31 "Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart."
It did not take long for the nations as far away as Babylon to inquire what was going on in Judah, and the princes of Babylon sent their ambassadors to Jerusalem to visually inspect and report back to them. They wanted to know what the king was like, and what kind of protection was set up around the city. At this point, Hezekiah's pride took over, and the king did many foolish thing just to show off. When Isaiah came and asked the king what the men of Babylon wanted.
II Kings 20:15 "And he said, "What have they seen in thine house?" And Hezekiah answered, "All the things that are in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them."
Remember that these Babylonians are the brethren of Sennacherib, ruled by his grandson son. King Hezekiah has just revealed all his military secrets, and all his wealth before this next enemy of Judah.
II Kings 20:16, 17 "And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the Lord."  " `Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon: nothing shall be left,' saith the Lord." 
Get what is going on here? A lesson, that when God blesses you greatly, you don't go around shooting your mouth off to people you don't know. This lesson is from the Lord and it is for every generation, and it is a fact. In a very short period of time, God will use these same people of Babylon to bring down Judah, and haul them and their leaders into seventy years of captivity.
II Chronicles 32:32 "Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel."
These acts are written in II Kings 20, and Isaiah 37.
II Chronicles 32:33 "And Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the chiefest of the sepulchers of the sons of David: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honour at his death. And Manasseh his son reigned in his stead."
We will see in the next chapter where Manasseh became one of the most wicked king Judah ever had.
Potter Seasons Sonshine Rain