Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:
א אַחֲרֵי הַדְּבָרִים וְהָאֱמֶת הָאֵלֶּה בָּא סַנְחֵרִיב מֶלֶךְ־אַשּׁוּר וַיָּבֹא בִיהוּדָה וַיִּחַן עַל־הֶעָרִים הַבְּצֻרוֹת וַיֹּאמֶר לְבִקְעָם אֵלָיו׃
3 he consulted with his officers and warriors about stopping the flow of the springs outside the city, and they supported him.
ג וַיִּוָּעַץ עִם־שָׂרָיו וְגִבֹּרָיו לִסְתּוֹם אֶת־מֵימֵי הָעֲיָנוֹת אֲשֶׁר מִחוּץ לָעִיר וַיַּעְזְרוּהוּ׃
4 A large force was assembled to stop up all the springs and the wadi that flowed through the land, for otherwise, they thought, the king of Assyria would come and find water in abundance.
ד וַיִּקָּבְצוּ עַם־רָב וַיִּסְתְּמוּ אֶת־כָּל־הַמַּעְיָנוֹת וְאֶת־הַנַּחַל הַשּׁוֹטֵף בְּתוֹךְ־הָאָרֶץ לֵאמֹר לָמָּה יָבוֹאוּ מַלְכֵי אַשּׁוּר וּמָצְאוּ מַיִם רַבִּים׃
5 He acted with vigor, rebuilding the whole breached wall, raising towers on it, and building another wall outside it. He fortified the Millo of the City of David, and made a great quantity of arms and shields.
ה וַיִּתְחַזַּק וַיִּבֶן אֶת־כָּל־הַחוֹמָה הַפְּרוּצָה וַיַּעַל עַל־הַמִּגְדָּלוֹת וְלַחוּצָה הַחוֹמָה אַחֶרֶת וַיְחַזֵּק אֶת־הַמִּלּוֹא עִיר דָּוִיד וַיַּעַשׂ שֶׁלַח לָרֹב וּמָגִנִּים׃
6 He appointed battle officers over the people; then, gathering them to him in the square of the city gate, he rallied them, saying,
ו וַיִּתֵּן שָׂרֵי מִלְחָמוֹת עַל־הָעָם וַיִּקְבְּצֵם אֵלָיו אֶל־רְחוֹב שַׁעַר הָעִיר וַיְדַבֵּר עַל־לְבָבָם לֵאמֹר׃
7 “Be strong and of good courage; do not be frightened or dismayed by the king of Assyria or by the horde that is with him, for we have more with us than he has with him.
ז חִזְקוּ וְאִמְצוּ אַל־תִּירְאוּ וְאַל־תֵּחַתּוּ מִפְּנֵי מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר וּמִלִּפְנֵי כָּל־הֶהָמוֹן אֲשֶׁר־עִמּוֹ כִּי־עִמָּנוּ רַב מֵעִמּוֹ׃
8 With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is Hashem our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” The people were encouraged by the speech of King Chizkiyahu of Yehuda.
9 Afterward, King Sennacherib of Assyria sent his officers to Yerushalayim—he and all his staff being at Lachish—with this message to King Chizkiyahu of Yehuda and to all the people of Yehuda who were in Yerushalayim:
יא הֲלֹא יְחִזְקִיָּהוּ מַסִּית אֶתְכֶם לָתֵת אֶתְכֶם לָמוּת בְּרָעָב וּבְצָמָא לֵאמֹר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יַצִּילֵנוּ מִכַּף מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר׃
12 But is not Chizkiyahu the one who removed His shrines and His altars and commanded the people of Yehuda and Yerushalayim saying, ‘Before this one mizbayach you shall prostrate yourselves, and upon it make your burnt offerings’?
יב הֲלֹא־הוּא יְחִזְקִיָּהוּ הֵסִיר אֶת־בָּמֹתָיו וְאֶת־מִזְבְּחֹתָיו וַיֹּאמֶר לִיהוּדָה וְלִירוּשָׁלַ ִם לֵאמֹר לִפְנֵי מִזְבֵּחַ אֶחָד תִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ וְעָלָיו תַּקְטִירוּ׃
13 Surely you know what I and my fathers have done to the peoples of the lands? Were the gods of the nations of the lands able to save their lands from me?
יג הֲלֹא תֵדְעוּ מֶה עָשִׂיתִי אֲנִי וַאֲבוֹתַי לְכֹל עַמֵּי הָאֲרָצוֹת הֲיָכוֹל יָכְלוּ אֱלֹהֵי גּוֹיֵ הָאֲרָצוֹת לְהַצִּיל אֶת־אַרְצָם מִיָּדִי׃
14 Which of all the gods of any of those nations whom my fathers destroyed was able to save his people from me, that your God should be able to save you from me?
יד מִי בְּכָל־אֱלֹהֵי הַגּוֹיִם הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר הֶחֱרִימוּ אֲבוֹתַי אֲשֶׁר יָכוֹל לְהַצִּיל אֶת־עַמּוֹ מִיָּדִי כִּי יוּכַל אֱלֹהֵיכֶם לְהַצִּיל אֶתְכֶם מִיָּדִי׃
15 Now then, do not let Chizkiyahu delude you; do not let him seduce you in this way; do not believe him. For no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to save his people from me or from my fathers—much less your God, to save you from me!”
טו וְעַתָּה אַל־יַשִּׁיא אֶתְכֶם חִזְקִיָּהוּ וְאַל־יַסִּית אֶתְכֶם כָּזֹאת וְאַל־תַּאֲמִינוּ לוֹ כִּי־לֹא יוּכַל כָּל־אֱלוֹהַ כָּל־גּוֹי וּמַמְלָכָה לְהַצִּיל עַמּוֹ מִיָּדִי וּמִיַּד אֲבוֹתָי אַף כִּי אֱלֹהֵיכֶם לֹא־יַצִּילוּ אֶתְכֶם מִיָּדִי׃
16 His officers said still more things against Hashem and against His servant Chizkiyahu.
טז וְעוֹד דִּבְּרוּ עֲבָדָיו עַל־יְהֹוָה הָאֱלֹהִים וְעַל יְחִזְקִיָּהוּ עַבְדּוֹ׃
17 He also wrote letters reviling God of Yisrael, saying of Him, “Just as the gods of the other nations of the earth did not save their people from me, so the God of Chizkiyahu will not save his people from me.”
18 They called loudly in the language of Yehuda to the people of Yerushalayim who were on the wall, to frighten them into panic, so as to capture the city.
יח וַיִּקְרְאוּ בְקוֹל־גָּדוֹל יְהוּדִית עַל־עַם יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם אֲשֶׁר עַל־הַחוֹמָה לְיָרְאָם וּלְבַהֲלָם לְמַעַן יִלְכְּדוּ אֶת־הָעִיר׃
19 They spoke of the God of Yerushalayim as though He were like the gods of the other peoples of the earth, made by human hands.
יט וַיְדַבְּרוּ אֶל־אֱלֹהֵי יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם כְּעַל אֱלֹהֵי עַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵי הָאָדָם׃
21 Hashem sent an angel who annihilated every mighty warrior, commander, and officer in the army of the king of Assyria, and he returned in disgrace to his land. He entered the house of his god, and there some of his own offspring struck him down by the sword.
כא וַיִּשְׁלַח יְהֹוָה מַלְאָךְ וַיַּכְחֵד כָּל־גִּבּוֹר חַיִל וְנָגִיד וְשָׂר בְּמַחֲנֵה מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר וַיָּשָׁב בְּבֹשֶׁת פָּנִים לְאַרְצוֹ וַיָּבֹא בֵּית אֱלֹהָיו ומיציאו [וּמִיצִיאֵי] מֵעָיו שָׁם הִפִּילֻהוּ בֶחָרֶב׃
Chizkiyahu was one of the greatest Jewish kings of all time. He abolished idolatry and improper worship and brought the people back to Hashem. The Sages teach that Chizkiyahu was so great that God considered making him the Mashiach, but decided not to, since Chizkiyahu failed to sing songs of praise to Hashem after being miraculously saved from Sennacherib’s siege of Yerushalayim. Surely Chizkiyahu recognized and appreciated the miracle that God had done for him and the people. Yet his faith in Hashem was so strong, and he was so confident in God’s salvation, that he was not surprised by the miracle and therefore not moved to sing songs of praise. This failure to sing to Hashem in praise of the great miracle was the reason he forfeited the possibility of becoming the Messiah. God performs miracles on a daily basis in the personal lives of every individual and for the Nation of Israel living in the Land of Israel. We must never take His blessings for granted.1 comment
כג וְרַבִּים מְבִיאִים מִנְחָה לַיהֹוָה לִירוּשָׁלַ ִם וּמִגְדָּנוֹת לִיחִזְקִיָּהוּ מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה וַיִּנַּשֵּׂא לְעֵינֵי כָל־הַגּוֹיִם מֵאַחֲרֵי־כֵן׃
24 At that time, Chizkiyahu fell deathly sick. He prayed to Hashem, who responded to him and gave him a sign.
כד בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם חָלָה יְחִזְקִיָּהוּ עַד־לָמוּת וַיִּתְפַּלֵּל אֶל־יְהֹוָה וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ וּמוֹפֵת נָתַן לוֹ׃
27 Chizkiyahu enjoyed riches and glory in abundance; he filled treasuries with silver and gold, precious stones, spices, shields, and all lovely objects;
כז וַיְהִי לִיחִזְקִיָּהוּ עֹשֶׁר וְכָבוֹד הַרְבֵּה מְאֹד וְאֹצָרוֹת עָשָׂה־לוֹ לְכֶסֶף וּלְזָהָב וּלְאֶבֶן יְקָרָה וְלִבְשָׂמִים וּלְמָגִנִּים וּלְכֹל כְּלֵי חֶמְדָּה׃
28 and store-cities with the produce of grain, wine, and oil, and stalls for all kinds of beasts, and flocks for sheepfolds.
כח וּמִסְכְּנוֹת לִתְבוּאַת דָּגָן וְתִירוֹשׁ וְיִצְהָר וְאֻרָוׂת לְכָל־בְּהֵמָה וּבְהֵמָה וַעֲדָרִים לָאֲוֵרוֹת׃
29 And he acquired towns, and flocks of small and large cattle in great number, for Hashem endowed him with very many possessions.
כט וְעָרִים עָשָׂה לוֹ וּמִקְנֵה־צֹאן וּבָקָר לָרֹב כִּי נָתַן־לוֹ אֱלֹהִים רְכוּשׁ רַב מְאֹד׃
31 So too in the matter of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who were sent to him to inquire about the sign that was in the land, when Hashem forsook him in order to test him, to learn all that was in his mind.
לא וְכֵן בִּמְלִיצֵי שָׂרֵי בָּבֶל הַמְשַׁלְּחִים עָלָיו לִדְרֹשׁ הַמּוֹפֵת אֲשֶׁר הָיָה בָאָרֶץ עֲזָבוֹ הָאֱלֹהִים לְנַסּוֹתוֹ לָדַעַת כָּל־בִּלְבָבוֹ׃
33 Chizkiyahu slept with his fathers, and was buried on the upper part of the tombs of the sons of David. When he died, all the people of Yehuda and the inhabitants of Yerushalayim accorded him much honor. Menashe, his son, succeeded him.