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 people sitting on the wall—who, like you, will have to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?”
Then the commander stood and called out in Hebrew, “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria!
This is what the king says: Do not let Hezekiah deceive you. He cannot deliver you!
Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the LORD when he says, ‘The LORD will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’
“Do not listen to Hezekiah. This is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig tree and drink water from your own cistern,
until I come and take you to a land like your own—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards.
“Do not let Hezekiah mislead you when he says, ‘The LORD will deliver us.’ Have the gods of any nations ever delivered their lands from the hand of the king of Assyria?
Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they rescued Samaria from my hand?
Who of all the gods of these countries have been able to save their lands from me? How then can the LORD deliver Jerusalem from my hand?”
But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, “Do not answer him.”
Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went to Hezekiah, with their clothes torn, and told him what the field commander had said.