This verse describes the outcome of a battle between the Assyrian army and the army of Judah, led by King Hezekiah. The Assyrians, who were known for their military might and conquests, had invaded Judah and laid siege to Jerusalem. However, Hezekiah had fortified the city and prayed to God for deliverance.
As the verse indicates, God answered Hezekiah's prayers by sending an angel to destroy the Assyrian army. The verse specifically mentions that the angel killed all of the mighty warriors, commanders, and officers in the Assyrian camp. As a result, the Assyrian king, Sennacherib, was forced to withdraw his army and return to his own land in disgrace.
The verse also mentions that when Sennacherib returned to his temple, he was killed by some of his own offspring with a sword. This detail is significant because it suggests that even within his own family, Sennacherib was not respected or beloved, and his defeat was seen as a divine punishment for his arrogance and cruelty.
The events described in 2 Chronicles 32:21 take place during the reign of King Hezekiah, who ruled Judah from approximately 715-686 BCE. Hezekiah is described in the Bible as a faithful king who sought to restore worship of the God of Israel and who resisted Assyrian domination.
In 701 BCE, Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, launched a campaign against Judah, besieging and capturing a number of fortified cities. Jerusalem was the next target, and Hezekiah took steps to prepare the city for an extended siege, including fortifying the walls, rerouting the water supply, and organizing a military force.
Despite these preparations, the situation looked grim for Judah. Sennacherib sent a message to Hezekiah, boasting of his own power and ridiculing the God of Israel. Hezekiah turned to God in prayer, asking for deliverance from the Assyrian threat. In response, the prophet Isaiah delivered a message from God promising that the Assyrian army would be defeated and Jerusalem would be saved.
The story of the angel's intervention in 2 Chronicles 32:21 is one of several versions of how the Assyrian army was defeated. The book of Isaiah describes the defeat in more detail, attributing it to a sudden illness that struck the Assyrian soldiers (Isaiah 37:36-38). Regardless of the details, the defeat was a significant event in the history of Judah and Assyria, and it allowed Hezekiah to continue his reign and his efforts to restore worship of the God of Israel.
Overall, 2 Chronicles 32:21 is a story of how faith in God can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and how even the mightiest of armies can be defeated by divine intervention. It also highlights the importance of humility and trust in God, and the dangers of arrogance and pride.
2 Chronicles 32:21. Yahweh sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty men of valor, and the leaders and captains, in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land.