2 Kings 19:8 When the field commander heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish, he withdrew and found the king fighting against Libnah.

9 Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakah, the king of Cush,[a] was marching out to fight against him. So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word: 10 “Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend on deceive you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.’ 11 Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered? 12 Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my predecessors deliver them—the gods of Gozan, Harran, Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath or the king of Arpad? Where are the kings of Lair, Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah?”

14 Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.

17 “It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. 19 Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God.”


a. 2 Kings 19:9 That is, the upper Nile region

The Rabashakeh [the field commander] found out the Ethopian king wanted to do battle.... so the field commander had to go handle the matter at hand and leave the area, BUT he sent a letter. This guy is quite the propaganda artist.... a real madman..... Hezekiah must have been happy to see him leave.... But then Hezekiah got the letter.... and that brought Hezekiah to action.

This is from enduringword.com.

So the Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah: This must have seemed to Hezekiah to be the fulfillment of the LORD’s promise through the prophet Isaiah. The Rabshakeh left Jerusalem and Hezekiah must have thought, “Now he’ll go back to his own land and be killed, just like the LORD promised. Good riddance! Thank You, LORD!”

The king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, “He has come out to make war with you”: While the Rabshakeh was away, the Assyrians learned that Egyptian troops (under an Ethiopian king) were advancing from the south. This would be the Egyptian intervention Assyria feared, and that many in Judah trusted in. As Isaiah prophesied, it would come to nothing (Isaiah 20:1-6 and 30:1-7).

Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you: The Rabshakeh was not in Jerusalem, but that didn’t stop him from trying to build fear, discouragement, and despair in Hezekiah. He sent a letter to the king of Judah to attack him from a distance.

Have the gods of the nations: If read with an eye of faith, these must have been trust-building words of the Rabshakeh to Hezekiah. In counting the LORD God of Israel among the gods of the nations, the Rabshakeh blasphemed the LORD and invited judgment.

The Rabshakeh listed many cities that the Assyrian army conquered, utterly destroying them: “The list of city-states put to the ban (Hebrew herem; ‘exterminated’ or destroyed completely, rsv) reminds the reader that it was not only Israel who used this method in warfare (see Numbers 21:2-3; Joshua 6:21).” (Wiseman)

Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD: Hezekiah did exactly what any child of God should do with such a letter. He took it to the house of the LORD (to the outer courts, not the holy place), and he spread it out before the LORD. In this, Hezekiah boldly and effectively fulfilled the later command of 1 Peter 5:7: casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

It is so refreshing to see a leader to to the Temple and just talk it out with God.