Hezekiah Reigns in Judah
1It happened in the third year of Hoshea the son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah became king. 2He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. The name of his mother was Abi, the daughter of Zechariah. 3He did right in the eyes of Yahweh according to all that David his ancestor#Or “father” had done. 4He removed the high places, and he smashed the stone pillars; he cut down the poles of Asherah worship and demolished the bronze serpent which Moses had made, for up to those days the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” were offering incense to it and called it Nehushtan. 5He trusted in Yahweh the God of Israel; there was no one like him, before or after, among all the kings of Judah. 6He held on to Yahweh; he did not depart from following him, and he kept his commands that Yahweh had commanded Moses. 7Yahweh was with him; everywhere he went, he succeeded. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. 8He attacked the Philistines up to Gaza and its territory from the watchtower up to the fortified city.
9It happened in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, that is, the seventh year of Hoshea the son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria came against Samaria and laid siege against her. 10At the end of three years, he captured it in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is, the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel; Samaria was captured. 11Then the king of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and settled them in Halah, in Habor, in the river regions of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, 12because they did not listen to the voice of Yahweh their God, and they transgressed his covenant; all that he had commanded Moses, the servant of Yahweh, they did not listen to nor did they obey.
Sennacherib of Assyria Invades Judah
13In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all of the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. 14So Hezekiah king of Judah sent word to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong. Withdraw from me. What you impose on me I will bear.” So the king of Assyria imposed on Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15Then Hezekiah gave all of the silver found in the temple of Yahweh and in the storerooms of the house of the king. 16At that time, Hezekiah cut off the doors of the temple of Yahweh and the doorposts which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and he gave them to the king of Assyria. 17So the king of Assyria sent the commander in chief, the chief eunuch, and the chief advisor#Traditionally “Rabshekah” 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’s#Or “fuller’s” field. 18Then 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
19Then 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? 20You 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? 21Now, look! You rely#Literally “trust for yourself” 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! 22But 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?’ 23So 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.#Literally “if you are able to give for yourself riders upon them” 24How can you repulse a single captain among the least of the servants of my master#Literally “can you return the face of the governor one of the servants of my master”? Yet you rely for yourself on Egypt for chariots and horsemen! 25Have 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!’ ” ’ ”
26Then 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.” 27The 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?”
28Then 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! 29Thus says the king, ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to rescue you from my#Hebrew “his” hand. 30Do 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!” ’ 31Do 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! 32Until 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!” 33Did the gods of each of the nations ever rescue the land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? For did they rescue Samaria from my hand? 35Who among all of the gods of the countries have rescued their countries from my hand that Yahweh should rescue Jerusalem from my hand?’ ”
36The people were silent, and they did not answer him a word, for the command of that king was saying, “You shall not answer him.” 37Eliakim 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.