This happened because they had not obeyed the LORD their God, but had violated his covenant1--all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded.2 They neither listened to the commands3 nor carried them out.
In the fourteenth year4 of King Hezekiah's reign, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah5 and captured them.
So Hezekiah king of Judah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish:6 "I have done wrong.7 Withdraw from me, and I will pay whatever you demand of me." The king of Assyria exacted from Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talentsa of silver and thirty talentsb of gold.
So Hezekiah gave8 him all the silver that was found in the temple of the LORD and in the treasuries of the royal palace.
At this time Hezekiah king of Judah stripped off the gold with which he had covered the doors9 and doorposts of the temple of the LORD, and gave it to the king of Assyria.
The king of Assyria sent his supreme commander,10 his chief officer and his field commander with a large army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. They came up to Jerusalem and stopped at the aqueduct of the Upper Pool,11 on the road to the Washerman's Field.
They called for the king; and Eliakim12 son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna13 the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went out to them.
The field commander said to them, "Tell Hezekiah: " 'This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: On what are you basing this confidence14 of yours?
You say you have strategy and military strength--but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me?
Look now, you are depending on Egypt,15 that splintered reed of a staff,16 which pierces a man's hand and wounds him if he leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him.
And if you say to me, "We are depending on the LORD our God"--isn't he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, "You must worship before this altar in Jerusalem"?