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2 Kings 18:17–37

17 So the king of Assyria sent the commander in chief, the chief eunuch, and the chief advisord from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem with a heavy army. They went up and came to Jerusalem, then they went up and came and stood at the aqueduct of the upper pool which is on the main road of the washer’se field. 18 Then they called to the king, so Eliakim the son of Hilkiah who was over the palace, Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, came out to them.

Assyrians Advise against Trust in Yahweh

19 Then the chief advisor said to them, “Please say to Hezekiah: ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: “What is this confidence that you trust? 20 You think only a word of lips, ‘I have advice and power for the war.’ Now, on whom do you trust that you have rebelled against me? 21 Now, look! You relyf on the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt, which when a man leans on it, it goes into his hand and pierces it! So is Pharaoh the king of Egypt for all who are trusting on him! 22 But if you say to me, ‘On Yahweh our God we trust,’ is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, and he had said to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘In the presence of this altar you shall bow down only in Jerusalem?’ 23 So then, please make a wager with my lord, with the king of Assyria, and I will give to you a thousand horses if you are able on your part to put riders on them.g 24 How can you repulse a single captain among the least of the servants of my masterh? Yet you rely for yourself on Egypt for chariots and horsemen! 25 Have I now come up against this place without Yahweh to destroy it? Yahweh has said to me, ‘Go up against this land and destroy it!’ ” ’ ”

26 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah and Shebna and Joah said to the chief commander, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we are understanding, but you must not speak Judean with us in the ears of the people who are on the wall.” 27 The chief commander said to them, “Is it solely to your master and to you my master has sent me to speak these words? Is it not for the men who sit on the wall to eat their feces and to drink their urine with you?”

28 Then the chief commander stood and called with a great voice in Judean, and he spoke and said, “Hear the word of the king, the great king of Assyria! 29 Thus says the king, ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to rescue you from myi hand. 30 Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in Yahweh, saying, “Certainly Yahweh will rescue us, and this city shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria!” ’ 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria, ‘Make with me a treaty of peace and come out to me that each may eat from his vine and each from his fig tree, and each may drink water from his cistern! 32 Until I come and take you to a land like your land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees, olive oil, and honey, that you may live and not die! You must not listen to Hezekiah, for he has misled you by saying, “Yahweh will deliver us!” 33 Did the gods of each of the nations ever rescue the land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? For did they rescue Samaria from my hand? 35 Who among all of the gods of the countries have rescued their countries from my hand that Yahweh should rescue Jerusalem from my hand?’ ”

36 The people were silent, and they did not answer him a word, for the command of that king was saying, “You shall not answer him.” 37 Eliakim the son of Hilkiah who was over the palace, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder came to Hezekiah with torn clothes, and they told him the words of the chief commander.

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