2 Kings 18

1 In the third year of Hosheʹa the son of Eʹlah the king of Israel, Hezekiʹah the son of King Aʹhaz of Judah became king.

2 He was 25 years old when he became king, and he reigned for 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Aʹbi the daughter of Zechariʹah.

3 He kept doing what was right in Jehovah’s eyes, just as David his forefather had done.

4 He was the one who removed the high places, smashed the sacred pillars, and cut down the sacred pole. He also crushed the copper serpent that Moses had made; for down to that time the people of Israel had been making sacrificial smoke to it and it used to be called the copper serpent-idol.

5 He trusted in Jehovah the God of Israel; there was no one like him among all the kings of Judah after him nor among those prior to him.

6 He held fast to Jehovah. He did not turn away from following him; he continued to keep the commandments that Jehovah had given to Moses.

7 And Jehovah was with him. Wherever he went, he acted wisely. He rebelled against the king of Assyrʹia and refused to serve him.

8 He also defeated the Philisʹtines clear to Gazʹa and its territories, from watchtower to fortified city.

9 In the fourth year of King Hezekiʹah, that is, the seventh year of Hosheʹa the son of Eʹlah the king of Israel, King Shalmaneʹser of Assyrʹia came up against Samarʹia and began to lay siege to it.

10 They captured it at the end of three years; in the sixth year of Hezekiʹah, which was the ninth year of King Hosheʹa of Israel, Samarʹia was captured.

11 Then the king of Assyrʹia took Israel into exile in Assyrʹia and settled them in Haʹlah and in Haʹbor at the river Goʹzan and in the cities of the Medes.

12 This was because they had not listened to the voice of Jehovah their God but kept violating his covenant, all that Moses the servant of Jehovah had commanded. They neither listened nor obeyed.

13 In the 14th year of King Hezekiʹah, Sennachʹerib the king of Assyrʹia came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.

14 So King Hezekiʹah of Judah sent word to the king of Assyrʹia at Laʹchish: “I am at fault. Withdraw from against me, and I will give whatever you may impose on me.” The king of Assyrʹia imposed on King Hezekiʹah of Judah a fine of 300 silver talents and 30 gold talents.

15 So Hezekiʹah gave all the silver that could be found at the house of Jehovah and in the treasuries of the king’s house.

16 At that time Hezekiʹah removed the doors of the temple of Jehovah and the doorposts that King Hezekiʹah of Judah himself had overlaid, and he gave them to the king of Assyrʹia.

17 The king of Assyrʹia then sent the Tarʹtan, the Rabʹsaris, and the Rabʹshakeh with a vast army from Laʹchish to King Hezekiʹah in Jerusalem. They went up to Jerusalem and took up a position by the conduit of the upper pool, which is at the highway of the laundryman’s field.

18 When they called for the king to come out, Eliʹakim son of Hilkiʹah, who was in charge of the household, Shebʹnah the secretary, and Joʹah son of Aʹsaph the recorder came out to them.

19 So the Rabʹshakeh said to them: “Please, say to Hezekiʹah, ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyrʹia, says: “What is the basis for your confidence?

20 You are saying, ‘I have a strategy and the power to wage war,’ but these are empty words. In whom have you put your trust, so that you dare to rebel against me?

21 Look! You trust in the support of this crushed reed, Egypt, which if a man should lean on it would enter into his palm and pierce it. That is the way Pharʹaoh king of Egypt is to all those who trust in him.

22 And if you should say to me, ‘We trust in Jehovah our God,’ is he not the one whose high places and altars Hezekiʹah has removed, while he says to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You should bow down before this altar in Jerusalem’?”’

23 So now make this wager, please, with my lord the king of Assyrʹia: I will give you 2,000 horses if you are able to find enough riders for them.

24 How, then, could you drive back even one governor who is the least of my lord’s servants, while you put your trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?

25 Now is it without authorization from Jehovah that I have come up against this place to destroy it? Jehovah himself said to me, ‘Go up against this land and destroy it.’”

26 At this Eliʹakim son of Hilkiʹah, and Shebʹnah and Joʹah said to the Rabʹshakeh: “Speak to your servants, please, in the Aramaʹic language, for we can understand it; do not speak to us in the language of the Jews in the hearing of the people on the wall.”

27 But the Rabʹshakeh said to them: “Is it just to your lord and to you that my lord sent me to speak these words? Is it not also to the men who sit on the wall, those who will eat their own excrement and drink their own urine along with you?”

28 Then the Rabʹshakeh stood and called out loudly in the language of the Jews, saying: “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyrʹia.

29 This is what the king says, ‘Do not let Hezekiʹah deceive you, for he is not able to rescue you out of my hand.

30 And do not let Hezekiʹah cause you to trust in Jehovah by saying: “Jehovah will surely rescue us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyrʹia.”

31 Do not listen to Hezekiʹah, for this is what the king of Assyrʹia says: “Make peace with me and surrender, and each of you will eat from his own vine and from his own fig tree and will drink the water of his own cistern,

32 until I come and take you to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Then you will live and not die. Do not listen to Hezekiʹah, for he misleads you by saying, ‘Jehovah will rescue us.’

33 Have any of the gods of the nations rescued their land out of the hand of the king of Assyrʹia?

34 Where are the gods of Haʹmath and Arʹpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaʹim, Heʹna, and Ivʹvah? Have they rescued Samarʹia out of my hand?

35 Who among all the gods of the lands have rescued their land out of my hand, so that Jehovah should rescue Jerusalem out of my hand?”’”

36 But the people kept silent and did not say a word to him in reply, for the order of the king was, “You must not answer him.”

37 But Eliʹakim son of Hilkiʹah, who was in charge of the household, Shebʹnah the secretary, and Joʹah son of Aʹsaph the recorder came to Hezekiʹah with their garments ripped apart and told him the words of the Rabʹshakeh.