2 Kings 18; 2 Kings 19

1 In the third year of Israel's King Hoshea son of Elah, Hezekiah son of Ahaz became king of Judah. 2 He was 25 years old when he became king; he reigned 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Abi daughter of Zechariah. 3 He did what was right in the Lord's sight just as his ancestor David had done. 4 He removed the high places and shattered the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah [poles]. He broke into pieces the bronze snake that Moses made, for the Israelites burned incense to it up to that time. He called it Nehushtan. 5 Hezekiah trusted in the Lord God of Israel; not one of the kings of Judah was like him, either before him or after him. 6 He held fast to the Lord and did not turn from following Him but kept the commandments the Lord had commanded Moses. 7 The Lord was with him, and wherever he went, he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. 8 He defeated the Philistines as far as Gaza and its borders, from watchtower to fortified city. 9 In the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Israel's King Hoshea son of Elah, Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and besieged it. 10 The Assyrians captured it at the end of three years. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Israel's King Hoshea, Samaria was captured. 11 The king of Assyria deported the Israelites to Assyria and put them in Halah and by the Habor, Gozan's river, and in the cities of the Medes, 12 because they did not listen to the voice of the Lord their God but violated His covenant-all He had commanded Moses the servant of the Lord. They did not listen, and they did not obey. 13 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. 14 So Hezekiah king of Judah sent word to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, "I have done wrong. Withdraw from me. Whatever you demand from me, I will pay." The king of Assyria demanded from King Hezekiah of Judah 11 tons of silver and one ton of gold. 15 So Hezekiah gave [him] all the silver found in the Lord's temple and in the treasuries of the king's palace. 16 At that time Hezekiah stripped [the gold from] the doors of the Lord's sanctuary and from the doorposts he had overlaid and gave it to the king of Assyria. 17 Then the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rab-saris, and the Rabshakeh, along with a massive army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. They advanced and came to Jerusalem, and they took their position by the aqueduct of the upper pool, which is by the highway to the Fuller's Field. 18 Then they called for the king, but Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebnah the court secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian, came out to them. 19 Then the Rabshakeh said to them, "Tell Hezekiah this is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: 'What are you relying on? 20 You think mere words are strategy and strength for war. What are you now relying on so that you have rebelled against me? 21 Look, you now trust in Egypt, the stalk of this splintered reed, which if a man leans on it will go into his palm and pierce it. This is how Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who trust in him. 22 Suppose you say to me: We trust in the Lord our God. Isn't He the One whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem: You must worship at this altar in Jerusalem?' 23 "So now make a bargain with my master the king of Assyria. I'll give you 2,000 horses if you're able to supply riders for them! 24 How then can you drive back a single officer among the least of my master's servants and trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 25 Have I attacked this place to destroy it without the Lord's [approval]? The Lord said to me, 'Attack this land and destroy it.' " 26 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, Shebnah, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, "Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, since we understand [it] . Don't speak with us in Hebrew within earshot of the people on the wall." 27 But the Rabshakeh said to them, "Has my master sent me only to your master and to you to speak these words? Hasn't [he] also [sent me] to the men who sit on the wall, [destined] with you to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?" 28 The Rabshakeh stood and called out loudly in Hebrew. Then he spoke: "Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria. 29 This is what the king says: 'Don't let Hezekiah deceive you; he can't deliver you from my hand. 30 Don't let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord by saying: Certainly the Lord will deliver us! This city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.' 31 "Don't listen to Hezekiah, for this is what the king of Assyria says: 'Make peace with me and surrender to me. Then every one of you may eat from his own vine and his own fig tree, and every one may drink water from his own cistern 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land-a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey-so that you may live and not die. But don't listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you, saying: The Lord will deliver us. 33 Has any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land from the power of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria from my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands has delivered his land from my power? So how is the Lord to deliver Jerusalem?' " 36 But the people kept silent; they answered him not a word, for the king's command was, "Don't answer him." 37 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and reported to him the words of the Rabshakeh.
1 When King Hezekiah heard [their report], he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the Lord's temple. 2 Then he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 3 They said to him, "This is what Hezekiah says: 'Today is a day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace, for children have come to the point of birth, but there is no strength to deliver [them]. 4 Perhaps the Lord your God will hear all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke [him for] the words that the Lord your God has heard. Therefore, offer a prayer for the surviving remnant.' " 5 So the servants of King Hezekiah went to Isaiah, 6 who said to them, "Tell your master this, 'The Lord says: Don't be afraid because of the words you have heard, that the king of Assyria's attendants have blasphemed Me with. 7 I am about to put a spirit in him, and he will hear a rumor and return to his own land where I will cause him to fall by the sword.' " 8 When the Rabshakeh heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish, he returned and found him fighting against Libnah. 9 The king had heard this about Tirhakah king of Cush: "Look, he has set out to fight against you." So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, 10 "Say this to Hezekiah king of Judah: 'Don't let your God, whom you trust, deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria. 11 Look, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries: they destroyed them completely. Will you be rescued? 12 Did the gods of the nations that my predecessors destroyed rescue them-[nations such as] Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the Edenites in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, or Ivvah?' " 14 Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers, read it, then went up to the Lord's temple, and spread it out before the Lord. 15 Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord: "Lord God of Israel who is enthroned [above] the cherubim, You are God-You alone-of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the heavens and the earth. 16 Listen closely, Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, Lord, and see; hear the words that Sennacherib has sent to mock the living God. 17 Lord, it is true that the kings of Assyria have devastated the nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire, for they were not gods but made by human hands-wood and stone. So they have destroyed them. 19 Now, Lord our God, please save us from his hand so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God-You alone." 20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent [a message] to Hezekiah: "The Lord, the God of Israel says: 'I have heard your prayer to Me about Sennacherib king of Assyria.' 21 This is the word the Lord has spoken against him: The young woman, Daughter Zion, despises you and scorns you: Daughter Jerusalem shakes [her] head behind your back. 22 Who is it you mocked and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised [your] voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel! 23 You have mocked the Lord through your messengers. You have said: With my many chariots I have gone up to the heights of the mountains, to the far recesses of Lebanon. I cut down its tallest cedars, its choice cypress trees. I came to its farthest outpost, its densest forest. 24 I dug [wells], and I drank foreign waters. I dried up all the streams of Egypt with the soles of my feet. 25 Have you not heard? I designed it long ago; I planned it in days gone by. I have now brought it to pass, and you have crushed fortified cities into piles of rubble. 26 Their inhabitants have become powerless, dismayed, and ashamed. They are plants of the field, tender grass, grass on the rooftops, blasted by the east wind. 27 But I know your sitting down, your going out and your coming in, and your raging against Me. 28 Because your raging against Me and your arrogance have reached My ears, I will put My hook in your nose and My bit in your mouth; I will make you go back the way you came. 29 This will be the sign for you: This year you will eat what grows on its own, and in the second year what grows from that. But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 30 The surviving remnant of the house of Israel will again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 31 For a remnant will go out from Jerusalem, and survivors from Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will accomplish this. 32 Therefore, this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria: He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow there or come before it with a shield or build up an assault ramp against it. 33 He will go back on the road that he came and he will not enter this city, declares the Lord. 34 I will defend this city and rescue it for My sake and for the sake of My servant David. 35 That night the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. When the people got up the [next] morning-there were all the dead bodies! 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp and left. He returned [home] and lived in Nineveh. 37 One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword and escaped to the land of Ararat. Then his son Esar-haddon became king in his place.
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