1Hezekiah began to rule as king over Judah. It was in the third year that Hoshea was king of Israel. He was the son of Elah. Hezekiah was the son of Ahaz.2Hezekiah was 25 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 29 years. His mother's name was Abijah. She was the daughter of Zechariah.3Hezekiah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as King David had done.4Hezekiah removed the high places. He smashed the sacred stones. He cut down the poles that were used to worship the goddess Asherah. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made. Up to that time the people of Israel had been burning incense to it. They called it Nehushtan.5Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all of the kings of Judah. There was no king like him either before him or after him.6Hezekiah remained true to the Lord. He didn't stop following him. He obeyed the commands the Lord had given Moses.7The Lord was with Hezekiah. He was successful in everything he did. He refused to remain under the control of the king of Assyria. He didn't serve him.8He won the war against the Philistines. He won battles at their lookout towers. He won battles at their cities that had high walls around them. He won battles against the Philistines all the way to Gaza and its territory.9Shalmaneser marched to Samaria and surrounded it. It was in the fourth year of King Hezekiah. That was the seventh year of Hoshea, the king of Israel. He was the son of Elah. Shalmaneser was king of Assyria.10At the end of three years the army of Assyria took Samaria. So it was captured in the sixth year of Hezekiah. That was the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Israel.11The king of Assyria took the people of Israel away from their own land. He sent them off to Assyria. He settled some of them in Halah. He settled others in Gozan on the Habor River. And he settled still others in the towns of the Medes.12Those things happened because the Israelites hadn't obeyed the Lord their God. They had broken the covenant he had made with them. They had refused to do everything Moses, the servant of the Lord, had commanded. They hadn't paid any attention to those commands. They hadn't obeyed them.13Sennacherib attacked and captured all of the cities of Judah that had high walls around them. It was in the 14th year of the rule of Hezekiah. Sennacherib was king of Assyria.14Hezekiah, the king of Judah, sent a message to the king of Assyria at Lachish. It said, “I have done what is wrong. Pull your troops back from me. Then I'll pay you anything you ask me to.” The king of Assyria forced Hezekiah, the king of Judah, to give him 11 tons of silver. Hezekiah also had to give him a ton of gold.15So Hezekiah gave him all of the silver that was in the Lord's temple. He also gave him all of the silver that was among the treasures in the royal palace.16Hezekiah, the king of Judah, had covered the doors and doorposts of the Lord's temple with gold. But now he had to strip it off. He had to give it to the king of Assyria.
Sennacherib Warns Jerusalem
17The king of Assyria sent his highest commander from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. He also sent his chief officer and his field commander along with a large army. All of them came up to Jerusalem. They stopped at the channel that brings water from the Upper Pool. It was on the road to the Washerman's Field.18They called for King Hezekiah. Eliakim, Shebna and Joah went out to them. Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, was in charge of the palace. Shebna was the secretary. Joah, the son of Asaph, kept the records.19The field commander said to them, “Give Hezekiah this message. Tell him, “ ‘Sennacherib is the great king of Assyria. He says, “Why are you putting your faith in what your king says?20You say you have a military plan. You say you have a strong army. But your words don't mean anything. Who are you depending on? Why don't you want to stay under my control?21“ ‘ “You are depending on Egypt. Why are you doing that? Egypt is nothing but a broken papyrus stem. Try leaning on it. It will only cut your hand. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, is just like that to everyone who depends on him.22“ ‘ “Suppose you say to me, ‘We are depending on the Lord our God.’ Didn't Hezekiah remove your god's high places and altars? Didn't Hezekiah say to the people of Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship at the altar in Jerusalem’?23“ ‘ “Come on. Make a deal with my master, the king of Assyria. I'll give you 2,000 horses. But only if you can put riders on them!24You are depending on Egypt for chariots and horsemen. You can't drive away even the least important officer among my master's officials.25“ ‘ “Besides, do you think I've come without receiving a message from the Lord? Have I come to attack and destroy this place without a message from him? The Lord himself told me to march out against your country. He told me to destroy it.” ’ ”26Then Shebna, Joah and Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, spoke to the field commander. They said, “Please speak to us in the Aramaic language. We understand it. Don't speak to us in Hebrew. If you do, the people who are on the wall will be able to understand you.”27But the commander replied, “My master sent me to say these things. Are these words only for your master and you to hear? Aren't they also for the men who are sitting on the wall? They are going to suffer just like you. They'll have to eat their own waste. They'll have to drink their own urine.”28Then the commander stood up and spoke in the Hebrew language. He called out, “Pay attention to what the great king of Assyria is telling you.29He says, ‘Don't let Hezekiah trick you. He can't save you from my powerful hand.30Don't let Hezekiah talk you into trusting in the Lord. Don't believe him when he says, “You can be sure that the Lord will save us. This city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.” ’31“Don't listen to Hezekiah. The king of Assyria says, ‘Make a peace treaty with me. Come over to my side. Then every one of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig tree. Every one of you will drink water from your own well.32You will do that until I come back. Then I'll take you to a land that is just like yours. It's a land that has a lot of grain and fresh wine. It has plenty of bread and vineyards. It has olive trees and honey. So choose life! Don't choose death!’ “Don't pay any attention to Hezekiah. He's telling you a lie when he says, ‘The Lord will save us.’33“Has the god of any nation ever saved his land from the powerful hand of the king of Assyria?34Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah? Have they saved Samaria from my power?35“Which one of all of the gods of those countries has been able to save his land from me? So how can the Lord save Jerusalem from my power?”36But the people remained silent. They didn't say anything. That's because King Hezekiah had commanded, “Don't answer him.”37Then Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, went to Hezekiah. Eliakim was in charge of the palace. The secretary Shebna went with him. So did Joah, the son of Asaph. Joah kept the records. All of them went to Hezekiah with their clothes torn. They told him what the field commander had said.
2 Kings 18
English Standard Version
Hezekiah Reigns in Judah
1In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. (2Ki 16:2; 2Ki 17:1; 2Ch 28:27; Mt 1:9)2He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. (2Ch 29:1)3And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done. (2Ki 20:3; 2Ch 31:20)4He removed the high places and broke the pillars and cut down the Asherah. And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it (it was called Nehushtan). (Ex 23:24; Nu 21:8; De 16:21; 2Ki 17:10; 2Ki 17:16; 2Ki 18:22; 2Ch 31:1)5He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. (2Ki 19:10; 2Ki 23:25)6For he held fast to the Lord. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses. (De 10:20; Jos 23:8)7And the Lord was with him; wherever he went out, he prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him. (2Ki 16:7; 2Ch 15:2)8He struck down the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city. (2Ki 17:9; Isa 14:29)9In the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it, (2Ki 17:3)10and at the end of three years he took it. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken.11The king of Assyria carried the Israelites away to Assyria and put them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, (2Ki 17:6; 1Ch 5:26)12because they did not obey the voice of the Lord their God but transgressed his covenant, even all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded. They neither listened nor obeyed.
Sennacherib Attacks Judah
13In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. (2Ch 32:1; Isa 36:1)14And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; withdraw from me. Whatever you impose on me I will bear.” And the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. (2Ki 23:33)15And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasuries of the king’s house. (2Ki 12:18; 2Ki 16:8)16At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord and from the doorposts that Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid and gave it to the king of Assyria.17And the king of Assyria sent the Tartan, the Rab-saris, and the Rabshakeh with a great army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. When they arrived, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway to the Washer’s Field. (2Ki 20:20; Isa 7:3; Isa 20:1)18And when they called for the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebnah the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder. (Isa 22:15; Isa 22:20)19And the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours?20Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me?21Behold, you are trusting now in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. (Isa 30:2; Isa 30:7; Eze 29:6)22But if you say to me, “We trust in the Lord our God,” is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem”? (2Ki 18:4; 2Ch 31:1)23Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them.24How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master’s servants, when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?25Moreover, is it without the Lord that I have come up against this place to destroy it? The Lord said to me, “Go up against this land and destroy it.”’”26Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebnah, and Joah, said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” (2Ki 18:18; Ezr 4:7; Da 2:4)27But the Rabshakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and to drink their own urine?”28Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria!29Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you out of my hand.30Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord by saying, The Lord will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’31Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make your peace with me and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern, (1Ki 4:25)32until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey, that you may live, and not die. And do not listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you by saying, “The Lord will deliver us.” (Ex 3:8; De 8:7)33Has any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? (2Ki 19:12; Isa 10:10)34Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? (1Ki 8:65; 2Ki 17:24; 2Ki 19:13; Isa 10:9)35Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’” (Da 3:15)36But the people were silent and answered him not a word, for the king’s command was, “Do not answer him.”37Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and told him the words of the Rabshakeh. (Jos 7:6; 2Ki 18:18; 2Ki 18:26; 2Ki 19:2)