Isa 37.1-38 continues with the Assyrian army outside the gates of Jerusalem. They are beaten and without hope, even Egypt cannot help. Assyria has taken all the cities and fortresses, sometimes conducting several sieges at the same time to keep these forts from rescuing each other. This will be the situation with Israel in the birth-pains, too. When Gog/Magog/Russia invades at the end of the third year, going into the fourth year of the birth-pains, the Israeli army has been defeated and Europe won’t be able to help. Their only hope will be Yehovah Hezekiah needed to know whether he should make a stand or not. He will seek Yehovah himself, but he will also seek godly counsel from one he trusted and who knew Yehovah also (Isaiah). The reign of Hezekiah, as we have taught before, is a picture of the third year, going into the fourth year, of the birth-pains.
v 1…And when King Hezekiah heard it he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and entered the house of Yehovah (he is coming humbly before Yehovah and was very distressed, being sick at the time-Isa 38.1).
v 2…Then he sent Eliakim who was over the household with Shebna the scribe and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz (this showed how important Isiah was at the time).
v 3…And they said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, ‘This day is a day of distress (a term for the birth-pains-Jer 30.4-7; Hos 5.15; Psa 148.5; Zeph 1.17), rebuke, and rejection (no help), for children have come to birth and there is no strength to deliver (eschatologically, Israel will be reborn into Messiah on Yom Kippur at the beginning of the fourth year of the birth-pains. This alludes to the future as seen in Isa 66.7-9 when Israel will be attacked by Gog/Magog/Russia, like Hezekiah was with the Assyrians, and losing the war. They are trapped (like Hezekiah here) and nothing they will do will help. They will turn to Yehovah and Yeshua as their only hope because of the teaching and preaching of the Two Witnesses and the 144,000).
v 4…Perhaps (Hezekiah’s message is not presumptuous here-Lam 3.37) the Lord your God (they are addressing Isaiah here) will hear the words of Rabshakeh whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to reproach the living God (by stating that Yehovah was no better than the gods of the surrounding countries. This was their biggest mistake), and will rebuke the words which the Lord your God has heard. Therefore, offer a prayer for the remnant that is left (Jerusalem and the people inside the city).'”
v 5…So the servants of Hezekiah came to Isaiah (and told him the above).
v 6…And Isaiah said to them, “Thus you shall say to your master, ‘Thus says Yehovah, “Do not be adfraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me (Assyria’s big mistake).
v 7…Behold (take note), I will put a spirit in him (the king, to influence his decisions) so that he will hear a rumor (an evil report about the destruction of his army while he was in Libnah) and return to his own land (which he did immediately after his army was destroyed). And I will make him fall by the sword in his own land (by his sons as we shall see in Isa 37.37; he brought this on his own head).
v 8…Then Rabshakeh returned returned and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah (three miles from Lachish in the Shephelah Valley and nearer to Jerusalem. He laid siege to all the forts at one time in the Shephelah Valley, and then advanced on Jerusalem with those were secure behind him), for he had heard that the king had left Lachish (because it had fallen).
v 9…Then he heard them say concerning Tirhakah king of Cush (Ethiopia had merged with Egypt and he was Pharaoh of the twenty-third dynasty. He had an alliance with Hezekiah and is a picture of the False Messiah), “He has come out to fight against you,” and when he heard it he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,
v 10…”Thus you shall say to Hezekiah king of Judah, ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, “Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.”
v 11…’Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the lands, destroying them completely. So will you be spared?
v 12…’Did the gods of those nations which my fathers have destroyed deliver them, even Gozan and Haran and Rezeph and the sons of Eden who were in Telassar?”
v 13…Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the Sepharvaim, and of Hena and Ivvah?'”
v 14…Then Hezekaih took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it, and went up to the house of Yehovah and spread it out before Yehovah (to get an answer to it; this is a type of Israel’s prayer as they believe in Yeshua as Gog/Magog/ Russia attacks).
v 15…And Hezekiah prayed to Yehovah saying,
v 16…”O Lord of hosts (Yehovah of the armies), the God of Israel, who art enthroned above the cherubim. Thou art God, thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. Thou has made heaven and earth (this is the meaning of Lord of hosts. He is commander of all the armies in heaven and on earth, even the Assyrians).
v 17…Incline thine ear (hear my prayer), and hear ; open thine eyes (to the blasphemies in this letter), O Lord, and see; and listen to all the words (being spoken) of Sennacherib, who sent them to reproach the living God.
v 18…Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have devastated all the countries and their lands,
v 19…and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. So they have destroyed them (they were dead and worthless idols).
v 20…And now, O Lord our God (Yehovah Eloheynu), deliver us from his hand that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you are Yehovah, you alone (and can do what their false idols cannot do).”
v 21…Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent word to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says Yehovah the God (Elohey) of Israel, ‘Because you have prayed to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria (and not relied on your own strength),
v 22…This is the word that Yehovah has spoken against him (Sennacherib): “She (Assyria) has despised you and mocked you, the virgin daughter (it had never been taken before) of Zion; she has shaken her head behind you (in scorn), the daughter of Jerusalem (the people)!
v 23…Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? And against whom have you raised your voice (36.13), and haughtily lifted up your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel (that’s who; he will protect his daughter)!
v 24…Through your servants you have reproached Yehovah, and you have said, ‘With my many chariots I came up to the heights of the mountains, to the remotest parts of Lebanon; and I cut down (killed) its tall cedars (literally trees) and its choice cypresses (to make way for his army; this also alludes to the kings, nobles and princes that were defeated). And I will go to its highest peak, its thickest forest (Jerusalem).
v 25…I dug wells and drank waters, and with the sole of my feet I dried all the rivers of Egypt (his army was huge).
v 26…Have you not heard (know your history, Sennacherib, don’t you know what I did to Pharaoh)? Long ago I did it, from ancient times I planned it. Now I have brought it to pass (this alludes to the attack by Gog and Magog in Ezek 38 and 39. God prophesied this about the Assyrians for years-Num 24.14-24; Ezek 38.17), that you should turn fortified cities to ruinous heaps (I am the one who brought you these victories and I am in charge, not you).
v 27…Therefore their inhabitants were short on strength (Judah was weakened by the Lord, couldn’t help themselves), they were dismayed and put to shame (God took away their fighting spirit); they were as vegetation of the field and as the green herb (cut down), as grass on the housetops is scorched before it is grown up (dried by sin; your victories are over a weak nation).
v 28…But I know your sitting down, and your going out and your coming in (every move you make), and your ragings against me (he knows everything about Sennacherib, his secret planes and all his schemes).
v 29…Be cause of your raging against me, and because your arrogance has come up to my ears, therefore I will put my hook in your nose (this is also said of Gog/Magog/Russia in Ezek 39.1-4 and it means “manage you.” Assyria is a picture of Gog/Magog/Russia), and my bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way you came (from Jerusalem-Isa 37.37).
v 30…Then this shall be the sign for you (Hezekiah); you shall eat this year (the seventh year of a shemitah or 49th year) what grows of itself, in the second year (the Yovel year, or the 50th year) what springs from the same, and in the third year (first year of the next shemitah when you are free to plant again) sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit (this is what this is saying, the invasion of Assyria and its defeat will be in Tishri, around Yom Kippur. Eschatologically, Russia will invade in Tishri and be defeated by Yom Kippur. This will give the people reason to rejoice during the festival of Sukkot, as in Isa 9.2-7. Look at the terms in Ezek 38 and 39).
v 31…And the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root upward (they will be planted and grow as a people; the people will return and prosper).
v 32…For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and out of Mount Zion survivors. The zeal of the Lord of hosts (Yehovah Tzavaot or armies) shall perform this (remember, when the term “Lord of hosts” or “Yehovah Tzavaot” is used the Lord is coming from a military position of power).
v 33…Therefore, thus says Yehovah concerning the king of Assyria, ‘He shall not come to this city, or shoot an arrow there; neither shall he come before it with a shield, nor throw a mound against it,
v 34…By the way that he came, by the same way he shall return, and he shall not come to this city,’ declares Yehovah.
v 35…For I will defend this city to save it, for my sake (Yehovah’s name is in the covenant for the promised seed, and Sennacherib has blasphemed that name. What all this is saying is this. Assyria was defeated in the month of Tishri in a yovel year, and Gog/Magog/Russia may do the same in the birth-pains. The yovel was kept when Israel entered the land up to the first Temple period, but was not kept since then. The exact time is unknown right now because when do you start counting; 1917, 1947, 1948, 1967? But Gog/Magog/Russia will be defeated by Yom Kippur and before Sukkot, in the month of Tishri, at the beginning of the fourth year of the birth-pains, and Israel will believe in Yeshua-Ezek 39.22).
v 36… And the angel of Yehovah went out (from heaven by God’s order) and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when the men arose early in the morning, behold, all of these were dead (the historian Herodotus, and repeated later by Josephus, said it was a plague. It was caught at Lachish and confirmed by archeology. It incubated on their way to Jerusalem and manifested this night-Josephus Antiquities of the Jews, Book 10.1.4-5, by William Whiston).
v 37…So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed (he was at Libnah and heard the news) and returned and lived at Ninevah.
v 38…And it came about as he was worshiping in the house (temple) of Nisroch his god (who couldn’t save him from the plague that destroyed his army) that Adrammelech (honor of the king) and Sharezer (prince of fire) his sons killed him with the sword (the arrogant king died not long after he left Judah in a humiliating death, in a pagan temple at the hands of his own sons. He is remembered for for his defeat and his sons defaced his images off a memorial to him. This shows us that when God intervenes on your behalf, you don’t have to worry about carrying out vengeance), and they escaped into the land of Ararat (curse reversed). And Esarhaddon (Asshur has given a brother) his son became king in his place (this begins the Assyrian decline. Esarhaddon was weak and he was succeeded by Asshur-banipal. He was no Sennacherib and empire ruling was too much for him. Meanwhile, Babylon was being resurrected at this time and Merodach-baladin tries to overthrow Assyria and it fails. Nabopolasser succeeds him and drives them out of Babylon and rebuilds the city. He is succeeded by his son Nebuchadnezzar. In like manner, Gog/Magog/Russia will be defeated by God on Yom Kippur in the fourth year of the birth-pains. What is left of the army will retreat back to Russia and be destroyed by the False Messiah there, and the remnant of Russia will come under the False Messiah-Ezek 39.1-6; Mic 5.5-6).