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Sennacherib Invades Judah

36 jIn the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, kSennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. lAnd the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh1 from mLachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. And he stood nby the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer’s Field. And there came out to him oEliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and oShebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder.

And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the pgreat king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me? qBehold, you are trusting in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. But if you say to me, “We trust in the Lord our God,” is it not he rwhose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar”? Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. How then can you repulse sa single captain among the least of my master’s servants, when tyou trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 10 Moreover, is it without the Lord that I have come up against this land to destroy it? uThe Lord said to me, “Go up against this land and destroy it.” ’ ”

11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants vin Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 12 But the Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and drink their own urine?”

13 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! 14 Thus says the king: w‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you. 15 Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord by saying, “The Lord will surely deliver us. This city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 16 Do not listen to Hezekiah. For thus says the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me2 and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern, 17 until xI come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards. 18 Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you by saying, “The Lord will deliver us.” Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 yWhere are the gods of zHamath and zArpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? aHave they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 20 bWho among all the gods of these lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’ ”

21 But they were silent and answered him not a word, for the king’s command was, “Do not answer him.” 22 cThen Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.

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