Chapters 36–39 form an historical parenthesis connecting
the first part of the book (chapters 1–35) and the last part of the
book (chapters 40–66).
In chapter 36 the arrogant conqueror, Sennacherib, openly
challenges the Lord and His people and the Assyrian army was
overthrown. This is recorded three times–in these chapters, in 2
Kings 18 and 19, and 2 Chronicles 32. This is one of the most
astounding miracles of the Old Testament. In one night the Assyrian
army is destroyed by a direct stroke from heaven (chapter 37:36).
Isaiah had given the assurance in at least nine chapters of his
writings that this would take place. Evidently there were two
invasions by the Assyrians. Sennacherib, leader of the Assyrian
army, invaded Judah in 713 b.c., and took many cities. If we refer
to 2 Kings 18:14-16 we see that Hezekiah bought him off at this
time, but Sennacherib came again in 701 b.c., at which time
Hezekiah, rather than trusting in himself, trusted in the Lord, and
the angel smote the Assyrian army (2 Kings 17). If Hezekiah had
turned to the Lord at the time of the first invasion, God would have
smitten the enemy then.
Chapter 38 covers the time of King Hezekiah’s deliverance
from serious illness. God promised to add 15 years to the king’s
life, and confirmed that promise by the sign (verses 4-8).
Hezekiah’s song of thanksgiving and praise is recorded in verses 9-
In chapter 39 we again see Hezekiah’s foolish pride. Isaiah
rebuked him for displaying all his wealth and power before the
Chaldean, who was pretending to congratulate Hezekiah on his
recovery from illness. In verse 6 Isaiah foretells the captivity of