According to the writer of 2 Kings, in the 14th year of Hezekiah’s reign at Jerusalem, the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, came up against the fortified cities of Judah and took them.
There is archaeological confirmation of this invasion. Sennacherib’s records reveal that he initiated this assault in 701 B.C. The Assyrian monarch boasted that he destroyed forty-six Judean cities and took 200,150 prisoners.
Enter these interesting statistics in your margin beside verse 13.
Sennacherib’s forces also marched on the capital city of Jerusalem (18:17), and his commander bragged that they would take it as well; Jehovah would not be able to protect the city (18:35)! How reckless it is to challenge God.
The Assyrian record states that Hezekiah was, as a prisoner, shut up “like a bird in a cage” (J. B. Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern Texts, p. 288). Strangely, though, the king never mentions actually taking the royal city.
Why not? Because the messenger of Jehovah went into the enemy camp, and in one night 185,000 Assyrian soldiers were slain (see 2 Kings 19:35,36; 2 Chronicles 32:21,22; Isaiah 37:36-38).
And so, by the side of 18:35, write: Jerusalem was not taken! See 19:35,36.