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 confidence of yours?
You say you have strategy and military strength--but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel1 against me?
Look now, you are depending2 on Egypt,34 that splintered reed5 of a staff, 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 depending6 on the LORD our God"--isn't he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed,7 saying to Judah and Jerusalem, "You must worship before this altar"?88
" 'Come now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses9--if you can put riders on them!
How then can you repulse one officer of the least of my master's officials, even though you are depending on Egypt10 for chariots11 and horsemen?1210
Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this land without the LORD? The LORD himself told13 me to march against this country and destroy it.' "
Then Eliakim, Shebna and Joah14 said to the field commander, "Please speak to your servants in Aramaic,15 since we understand it. Don't speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people on the wall."
But the commander replied, "Was it only to your master and you that my master sent me to say these things, and not to the men sitting on the wall--who, like you, will have to eat their own filth and drink their own urine?16"
Then the commander stood and called out in Hebrew,17 "Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria!1814
This is what the king says: Do not let Hezekiah deceive19 you. He cannot deliver you!