And it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah, and took them.
And the king of Assyria sent Rab-shakeh a from Lachish to Jerusalem, to king Hezekiah, with a strong force. And he stood by the aqueduct of the upper pool, on the highway of the fuller's field.
Then came forth to him Eliakim the son of Hilkijah, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the chronicler.
And Rab-shakeh said to them, Say now to Hezekiah, Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: What confidence is this in which thou trustest?
Thou sayest, b but it is a word of the lips, [There is] counsel and strength for war. Now on whom dost thou rely, that thou hast revolted against me?
Behold, thou reliest upon the staff of that broken reed, upon Egypt, on which if a man lean, it goes into his hand, and pierces it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that rely upon him.
And if thou say to me, We rely upon Jehovah our God: is it not he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar?
And now engage, I pray thee, with my master the king of Assyria, and I will give thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them.
How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants? And thou reliest upon Egypt for chariots and for horsemen!
And now am I come up without Jehovah against this land to destroy it? Jehovah said to me, Go up against this land and destroy it.
And Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to Rab-shakeh, Speak, we pray thee, to thy servants in Syriac, for we understand it; and speak not to us in the Jewish [language] in the ears of the people that are upon the wall.
And Rab-shakeh said, Is it to thy master and to thee that my master sent me to speak these words? Is it not to the men that sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own urine with you?
And Rab-shakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the Jewish [language], and said, Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria!
Thus says the king: Let not Hezekiah deceive you; for he will not be able to deliver you.
Neither let Hezekiah make you rely upon Jehovah, saying, Jehovah will certainly deliver us; this city shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.
Hearken not to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: Make peace c with me and come out to me; and eat every one of his vine, and every one of his fig-tree, and drink every one the waters of his own cistern; d17
until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.
Let not Hezekiah persuade you, saying, Jehovah will deliver us. Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
Where are the gods of Hamath and of Arpad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim? and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand?
Who are they among all the gods of these countries that have delivered their country out of my hand, that Jehovah should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?
And they were silent, and answered him not a word; for the king's command was, saying, Answer him not.
And Eliakim the son of Hilkijah, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the chronicler, came to Hezekiah, with their garments rent, and told him the words of Rab-shakeh.