Melachim 2/Kings 2-Chapter 19: Hashem saves Chizkiyah from Sancheirev

  1. Chizkiyah consults with Yeshayahu and is told not to fear Sancheirev:
  • Chizkiyah mourns the situation: When king Chizkiyah heard the message related to him from the king of Ashur, he tore his garments, and covered himself with sackcloth, and came to the temple [to beseech mercy from God].
  • The king sends his messengers to consult with the prophet Yeshayahu: Chizkiyahu sent Eliakim who was appointed over the palace, and Shevna the scribe and the elders of the priests, who were all covered with sackcloth, to Yeshayahu the prophet, the son of Amotz [to consult with him as to what they should do]. They came to Yeshayahu and told him of the dire situation with the king of Ashur and that he has blasphemed God, and that the Jewish people are weak like a woman who needs to give birth but has no strength to do so. “Let God listen to the words of Ravshakeh, and please offer a prayer to God on behalf of the rest of the Jewish people.”
  • Yeshayahu encourages Chizkiyahu to not fear Sancheirev: Yeshayahu said to the messengers of the king that they should relay back to the king, that God has told him that he should not fear the words of the lads of the king of Ashur who have blasphemed Him. Hashem has said, “I will cause a rumor to be spread of an imminent threat in his country, and will enter into him a spirit of worry and he will return to his land, and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his land.”

  1. Sancheirev continues to threaten Chizkiyah who prays to God for help:
  • Ravshakeh returns to his land and discovers that his king is in war: Ravshakeh returned back to his land and found the king of Ashur waging war against Livnah, as he heard that he had left Lachish. The king of Ashur heard a rumor that Tirhakah the king of Cush had come up to wage war against him.
  • A new message to Chizkiyah asking him to capitulate: The king of Ashur once again sent messengers to Chizkiyah telling him that [as soon as he is done with his war against the kingdom of Cush, he will be back to attack Jerusalem[1]] he should not waste his time trusting in his God that Jerusalem will not be handed into the hands of the king of Ashur. “You surely have already heard of all the nations that I, the king of Ashur, managed to conquer and destroy. Now, how do you think that you will manage to be saved. Did the deities of the nations whom my ancestors destroyed-Gozan and Charan, and Retzef and the children of Eden which is in Tilasher, save them? Where were the kings of Chamas and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim when I came to conquer them? I exiled these nations and controlled them.”
  • Chizkiyah prays to God in the temple to help him: Chizkiyah received the letters from the messengers of the king of Ashur, and read them. Chizkiyah took the letters to the temple and spread them open in front of God. Chizkiyah then prayed before Hashem and said, “Hashem, Who dwells between the cherubim, You are the only God of the heavens and the earth and are the one who created them. Please pay attention to the words of Sancheirev, who sent Ravshakeh to blaspheme the living God. Indeed, Hashem, the kings of Ashur have destroyed many nations and their land. They have destroyed their deities in fire, for they are not gods, but the handiwork of man, wood and stone, and they destroyed them. Now, O my God, please save us from his hands, so that all the kingdoms of the earth shall know that You alone are the God  of the earth.”
  • Yeshayahu reassures Chizkiyah that God will save them: Yeshayahu the son of Amotz sent a message to Chizkiyah telling him that God had heard his prayers concerning Sancheirev, king of Ashur. Yeshayahu told him that he has the following prophecy regarding Sancheirev: “This is the word that Hashem has spoken about Sancheirev: The virgin daughter of Tzion despises and mocks you. Who do you think you have blasphemed and insulted? You have raised your eyes against all that is holy to the Jewish people. You have blasphemed God and insulted Him, bragging that you will be able to annihilate the Jewish land and destroy the temple. But I will not allow you to do so, and return you back to the road that you came from.” Yeshayahu then gave a sign to Chizkiyah that the above prophecy will take place and that Sancheirev will fall, “This shall be the sign for you, as although Sancheirev has destroyed all the produce of the land and created a famine, you shall nevertheless find food as this year you shall eat what grows by itself, and the next year you will eat from what grows from the tree stumps, and in the third year, you will be able to sow and reap, and plant vineyards and eat their fruit.” Yeshayahu assures Chizkiyah that the remaining survivors of the tribe of Yehuda will once again resettle and grow in the land, and that Sancheirev will not even enter the city of Jerusalem “now he shall not shoot an arrow, nor shall he advance upon it with a shield, nor shall he pile up a siege mound against it. By the way he comes he shall return, and this city he shall not enter. I will protect Jerusalem for My sake and for the sake of My servant David.”


  1. An angel of God annihilates the army of Sancheirev:
  • On that night [when Sancheirev returned to Israel after conquering the kingdom of Cush[2]] an angel Hashem came and slew one hundred and eighty-five thousand generals so soldiers of the camp of Ashur. Sancheirev and his remaining soldiers arose in the morning, and behold they saw all of the dead corpses of their generals and soldiers.
  • Sancheirev leaves Israel and dwells in Ninveh: Sancheirev, the king of Ashur, left the land of Israel and went to dwell in Nineveh.
  • Sancheirev is assassinated by his own sons: It happened that when Sancheirev was prostrating himself in the temple of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adramelech and Sharezer assassinated him, killing him with a sword. The sons fled to the land of Ararat, and his son Eisar Chaddon reigned in his stead.

[1] Rashi 19:9

[2] Rashi 19:35

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