2 Kings - Chapter 18
1 In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz became king of Judah.
2 He was twenty-five years old when he came to the throne, and he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah.
3 He did what Yahweh regards as right, just as his ancestor David had done.
4 He abolished the high places, broke the pillars, cut down the sacred poles and smashed the bronze serpent which Moses had made; for up to that time the Israelites had offered sacrifices to it; it was called Nehushtan.
5 He put his trust in Yahweh, God of Israel. No king of Judah after him could be compared with him -- nor any of those before him.
6 He was devoted to Yahweh, never turning from him, but keeping the commandments which Yahweh had laid down for Moses.
7 And so Yahweh was with him, and he was successful in all that he undertook. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and refused to serve him.
8 He beat the Philistines back to Gaza, laying their territory waste from watchtower to fortified town.
9 In the fourth year of Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched on Samaria and laid siege to it.
10 He captured it after three years. Samaria fell in the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel.
11 The king of Assyria deported the Israelites to Assyria and settled them in Halah on the Habor, a river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
12 This happened because they had not obeyed the voice of Yahweh their God and had broken his covenant, everything that Moses servant of Yahweh had laid down. They neither listened to it nor put it into practice.
13 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria advanced on all the fortified towns of Judah and captured them.
14 Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish, 'I have been at fault. Call off the attack, and I will submit to whatever you impose on me.' The king of Assyria exacted three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold from Hezekiah king of Judah,
15 and Hezekiah gave him all the silver in the Temple of Yahweh and in the palace treasury.
16 At which time, Hezekiah stripped the facing from the leaves and jambs of the doors of the Temple of Yahweh, which an earlier king of Judah had put on, and gave it to the king of Assyria.
17 From Lachish the king of Assyria sent the cupbearer-in-chief with a large force to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. He marched on Jerusalem and, on his arrival, took up position near the conduit of the upper pool which is on the road to the Fuller's Field.
18 He summoned the king. The master of the palace, Eliakim son of Hilkiah, Shebnah the secretary and the herald Joah son of Asaph went out to him.
19 The cupbearer-in-chief said to them, 'Say to Hezekiah, "The great king, the king of Assyria, says this: What makes you so confident?
20 Do you think empty words are as good as strategy and military strength? Who are you relying on, to dare to rebel against me?
21 There you are, relying on that broken reed Egypt, which pricks and pierces the hand of whoever leans on it. That is what Pharaoh king of Egypt is like to all who rely on him.
22 You may say to me: We rely on Yahweh our God. But have his high places and altars not been suppressed by Hezekiah who told Judah and Jerusalem: Here, in Jerusalem, is the altar before which you must worship?
23 Very well, then, make a wager with my lord the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses if you can find horsemen to ride them.
24 How could you repel a single one of the least of my master's soldiers? And yet you have relied on Egypt for chariots and horsemen.
25 And lastly, have I marched on this place to lay it waste without warrant from Yahweh? Yahweh himself said to me: March on this country and lay it waste." '
26 Eliakim, Shebnah 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.'
27 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.'
28 The cupbearer-in-chief then drew himself up and shouted loudly in the Judaean language, 'Listen to the word of the great king, the king of Assyria.
29 The king says this, "Do not let Hezekiah delude you. He will be powerless to save you from my clutches.
30 Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to rely on Yahweh by saying: Yahweh is sure to save us; this city will not fall into the king of Assyria's clutches.
31 Do not listen to Hezekiah, for the king of Assyria says this: Make peace with me, 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
32 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, a land of oil and honey: and so you will survive and not die. Do not listen to Hezekiah; he is deluding you when he says: Yahweh will save us.
33 Has any god of any nation been able to save his country from the king of Assyria's clutches?
34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim and Hena and Ivvah? Where are the local gods of Samaria? Did they save Samaria from my clutches?
35 Of all the local gods, which ones have saved their countries from my clutches, for Yahweh to be able to save Jerusalem from my clutches?" '
36 The people, however, kept quiet and said nothing in reply, since the king had given the order, 'You are not to answer him.'
37 The master of the palace, Eliakim son of Hilkiah, Shebnah 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.
Book of 2 Kings Chapters
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