2 Kings 19:Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed?
Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted your eyes in pride?
Against the Holy One of Israel!
23 By your messengers
you have ridiculed the Lord.
And you have said,
“With my many chariots
I have ascended the heights of the mountains,
the utmost heights of Lebanon.
I have cut down its tallest cedars,
the choicest of its junipers.
I have reached its remotest parts,
the finest of its forests.
24 I have dug wells in foreign lands
and drunk the water there.
With the soles of my feet
I have dried up all the streams of Egypt.”

25 “‘Have you not heard?
Long ago I ordained it.
In days of old I planned it;
now I have brought it to pass,
that you have turned fortified cities
into piles of stone.
26 Their people, drained of power,
are dismayed and put to shame.
They are like plants in the field,
like tender green shoots,
like grass sprouting on the roof,
scorched before it grows up.

27 “‘But I know where you are
and when you come and go
and how you rage against me.
28 Because you rage against me
and because your insolence has reached my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
and my bit in your mouth,
and I will make you return
by the way you came.’

29 “This will be the sign for you, Hezekiah:

“This year you will eat what grows by itself,
and the second year what springs from that.
But in the third year sow and reap,
plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
30 Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah
will take root below and bear fruit above.
31 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant,
and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors.

“The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.

32 “Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria:

“‘He will not enter this city
or shoot an arrow here.
He will not come before it with shield
or build a siege ramp against it.
33 By the way that he came he will return;
he will not enter this city,
declares the Lord.
34 I will defend this city and save it,
for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.’”

The easy English commentary seemed to be the clearest to me this morning.

God gave his answer in the form of a song. Sennacherib and his officials had laughed at God. But in this song, God laughed at Sennacherib. And God described how the people in Jerusalem would laugh at Sennacherib too. Sennacherib had become too proud. He thought that he could defeat any god. But the Holy God of Israel is not like a false god. When the real God opposed Sennacherib, Sennacherib would be very weak.

Sennacherib was proud because of his great successes in war. Sennacherib said that he had conquered the highest mountains. He had cut down large trees. (The Bible sometimes refers to mountains and trees as word pictures for great nations and rulers. That may be the meaning here too. In other words, Sennacherib had defeated the greatest rulers and their nations.) And it was true that Sennacherib was very successful. Sennacherib had conquered foreign countries. But he had only been able to do that because God had allowed it. He had conquered other people, but God would conquer him. Soldiers from Assyria often dragged their prisoners away like horses. They often put pieces of metal in the prisoners’ noses. And they put bits in the prisoners’ mouths. (A bit is a metal bar that people put in a horse’s mouth. They attach a band to it that someone has made of leather. So then they can control the animal.) But God would send Assyria’s soldiers back to their own country. And he would be as strict with them as they were with their own prisoners.

Judah’s inhabitants would lose the harvest from two agricultural years. During the first year, the war was so severe that the people could not take care of their crops. So there was no harvest that year. But some corn would grow anyway, although nobody was able to look after it. So the people would eat that.

Because of the war, it would not be possible to sow corn during the second agricultural year. Because people could not collect the previous year’s corn easily, some seeds would fall into the ground. Those seeds would grow and they would yield some corn.

But in the third year, the army from Assyria would not still be there. They would go away before the time to sow seeds. So in the third year, the people would be able to sow seeds. And they would be able to harvest the crops. Those people that had escaped would be able to go back to their homes. They would continue to live there for a long time. So they could plant fruit bushes. Such plants take several years to yield a harvest. So the people would be able to live in the country for many more years. They would have peace.

God promised that the soldiers from Assyria would not enter Jerusalem. They would not even attack it. God would make that happen for his own honour. That would make his promise to David become true.

The field commander had been spreading false propaganda.... that's war.... but he was talking about the God of Abraham.... that's a "no no". See God is more than happy to swat the field commander away. Nobody messes with Jerusalem unless God allows it. Right now, Hezekiah is king. God like Hezekiah because Hezekiah cleaned out all the poles, statues, and other junk the people had been worshiping instead of God. The people had a lean couple of years.... but corn did grow, so they didn't starve.... but hey... they didn't have to eat poop or drink pee.... I'm sure getting tired of only eating corn is a horror though... he he....