Sennacherib Boasts Against The Lord

When I was in college, most of the time I took as many classes, as many credit hours as they would let me take. I wanted to get through with school as soon as possible because I wanted to get on with life. My mother used to tell me, “your college years are part of life,&rdq … More


In an attempt to deter Sennacherib, Hezekiah paid tribute, but this did not seem to sway the Assyrian’s determination. Instead Sennacherib sent three officers with a large force to Jerusalem (v. 17) to demand complete surrender. At first they presented their demands only to Hezekiah’s representatives (vv. 17-27) but eventually to all of the people of Jerusalem (vv. 28-37).

Sennacherib’s field commander, Rabshakeh was the spokesman for the Assyrian king. His objective was to intimidate Hezekiah into surrendering and frighten and demoralize the general population. He told them that they could not depend on Egypt helping them because they were too weak.  Furthermore he said that their God would not help them because Hezekiah had destroyed all the altars of worship (high places). Rabshakeh made sure all of the people gathered around to hear what he was saying. He also said that refusal to surrender would result in a terrible famine. 

The commander told them that the Assyrians would transport the people to other cities. He assured them that they would be sent to a land like their own where they would have plenty of their favorite foods and drink. It was a call to choose surrender and life rather than resistance and certain death. The people remained silent and gave the Assyrians no answer as Hezekiah had instructed them to do.  Hezekiah’s three representatives returned to the king and told him all that had been said.


Hezekiah displayed great wisdom in responding to present problems but shows little evidence of preparing for the future. As a Christian I need to remember that part of the blessing of my past can only be measured by how well I use it to prepare for the future.

II Kings 18:17-37 (English Standard Version)

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