1 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria advanced on all the fortified towns of Judah and captured them.
2 From Lachish the king of Assyria sent the cupbearer-in-chief with a large force to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. The cupbearer-in-chief took up position near the conduit of the upper pool on the road to the Fuller's Field.
5 Do you think empty words are as good as strategy and military strength? Who are you relying on, to dare to rebel against me?
7 You may say to me: We rely on Yahweh our God. But haven't his high places and altars been suppressed by Hezekiah, who told Judah and Jerusalem: This is the altar before which you must worship?
9 How could you repulse a single one of the least of my master's soldiers? And yet you have relied on Egypt for chariots and horsemen.
10 And lastly, have I marched on this country to lay it waste without warrant from Yahweh? Yahweh himself said to me: March on this country and lay it waste."
11 Eliakim, Shebna and Joah said to the cupbearer-in-chief, 'Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; do not speak to us in the Judaean language within earshot of the people on the ramparts.'
12 But the cupbearer-in-chief said, 'Do you think my lord sent me here to say these things to your master or to you? On the contrary, it was to the people sitting on the ramparts who, like you, are doomed to eat their own dung and drink their own urine.'
16 Do not listen to Hezekiah, for the king of Assyria says this: Make peace with me,
17 surrender to me, and every one of you will be free to eat the fruit of his own vine and of his own fig tree and to drink the water of his own storage-well until I come and take you away to a country like your own, a land of corn and good wine, a land of bread and vineyards.
19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Where are the national gods of Samaria? Did they save Samaria from my clutches?
22 The master of the palace, Eliakim son of Hilkiah, Shebna the secretary and the herald Joah son of Asaph, with their clothes torn, went to Hezekiah and reported what the cupbearer-in-chief had said.
The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Catholic translation of the Bible published in 1985. The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) has become the most widely used Roman Catholic Bible outside of the United States. It has the imprimatur of Cardinal George Basil Hume.
Like its predecessor, the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) version is translated "directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic." The 1973 French translation, the Bible de Jerusalem, is followed only "where the text admits to more than one interpretation." Introductions and notes, with some modifications, are taken from the Bible de Jerusalem.
Source: The Very Reverend Dom (Joseph) Henry Wansbrough, OSB, MA (Oxon), STL (Fribourg), LSS (Rome), a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and a biblical scholar. He was General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible. "New Jerusalem Bible, Regular Edition", pg. v.