1 After these loyal actions, Sennacherib king of Assyria advanced and invaded Judah, and laid siege to the fortified towns, intending to demolish them.
4 So a large number of people were called out to block all the springs and cut off the watercourse flowing through the country. 'Why', they said, 'should the kings of Assyria find plenty of water when they arrive?'
5 Acting with determination, he also repaired all the damaged parts of the wall, built towers on it, constructed a second wall on the outer side, strengthened the Millo of the City of David and made quantities of missiles and shields.
7 'Be strong and brave; do not be afraid or tremble when you face the king of Assyria and the whole horde he brings with him, for there are more on our side than on his.
9 Next, Sennacherib king of Assyria, who was then besieging Lachish with all his forces, sent his representatives to Jerusalem, to Hezekiah king of Judah, and all Judah at Jerusalem, with the following message,
10 'Sennacherib king of Assyria says this, "What gives you the confidence to remain in the fortress of Jerusalem?
13 Don't you know what I and my ancestors have done to all the peoples of the other countries? Have the national gods of those countries had the slightest success in saving their countries from my clutches?
14 Of all the gods of those nations whom my ancestors devoted to destruction, which one has been able to save his people from my clutches, for your god to be able to save you from my clutches?
15 Do not let Hezekiah mislead you. Do not let him delude you like this. Do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to save his people from me or from my ancestors' clutches. No more will your god be able to save you from my clutches."'
16 And his representatives said a great deal more, maligning Yahweh God, and his servant Hezekiah.
17 He also wrote a letter to insult Yahweh, God of Israel, maligning him as follows, 'Just as the national gods of the other countries could not save their peoples from my clutches, so Hezekiah's god cannot save his people from my clutches.'
21 and Yahweh sent an angel who destroyed every warrior, commander and officer in the king of Assyria's camp. So he had to retire shamefacedly to his own country and when he went into the temple of his god, some of his own sons there struck him down with the sword.
24 About then Hezekiah fell ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to Yahweh, who heard him and granted him a sign.
25 But Hezekiah made no return for the benefit which he had received; he became proud and brought retribution on himself and on Judah and Jerusalem.
26 Then, however, Hezekiah did humble himself in his pride, and so did the inhabitants of Jerusalem; as a result of which, Yahweh's retribution did not overtake them during Hezekiah's lifetime.
28 as well as storehouses for his returns of grain, new wine and olive oil, and stalls for all kinds of cattle and pens for the flocks.
29 He also provided himself with donkeys in addition to his immense wealth of flocks and herds, since God had made him immensely wealthy.
31 although when the envoys were sent to him by the rulers of Babylon to enquire about the extraordinary thing which had taken place in the country, God left him alone to test him and discover what lay in his heart.
33 Then Hezekiah fell asleep with his ancestors and was buried in the upper section of the tombs of the sons of David. All Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem paid him honours at his death. His son Manasseh succeeded him.
The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Catholic translation of the Bible published in 1985. The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) has become the most widely used Roman Catholic Bible outside of the United States. It has the imprimatur of Cardinal George Basil Hume.
Like its predecessor, the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) version is translated "directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic." The 1973 French translation, the Bible de Jerusalem, is followed only "where the text admits to more than one interpretation." Introductions and notes, with some modifications, are taken from the Bible de Jerusalem.
Source: The Very Reverend Dom (Joseph) Henry Wansbrough, OSB, MA (Oxon), STL (Fribourg), LSS (Rome), a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and a biblical scholar. He was General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible. "New Jerusalem Bible, Regular Edition", pg. v.