1Sennacherib attacked and captured all 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.2He sent his field commander from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. He sent him along with a large army. The commander stopped at the channel that brings water from the Upper Pool. It was on the road to the Washerman’s Field.3Eliakim, Shebna and Joah went out to him. Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, was in charge of the palace. Shebna was the secretary. Joah, the son of Asaph, kept the records.4The 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?5You 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?6Look, I know 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.7But 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”?8‘ “ ‘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!9You are depending on Egypt for chariots and horsemen. You can’t drive away even the least important officer among my master’s officials.10Besides, do you think I’ve come without being sent by the LORD? Have I come to attack and destroy this land without receiving a message from him? The LORD himself told me to march out against your country. He told me to destroy it.’ ” ’11Then Eliakim, Shebna and Joah 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 on the wall will be able to understand you.’12But 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 people 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.’13Then 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.14He says, “Don’t let Hezekiah trick you. He can’t save you!15Don’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.’ ”16‘Don’t listen to Hezekiah. The king of Assyria says, “Make a peace treaty with me. Come over to my side. Then each one of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig tree. Each one of you will drink water from your own well.17You will do that until I come back. Then I’ll take you to a land just like yours. It’s a land that has a lot of corn and fresh wine. It has plenty of bread and vineyards.18‘ “Don’t let Hezekiah fool you. He’s telling you a lie when he says, ‘The LORD will save us.’ Have the gods of any nations ever saved their lands from the power of the king of Assyria?19Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they saved Samaria from my power?20Which one of all the gods of those countries has been able to save their lands from me? So how can the LORD save Jerusalem from my power?” ’21But the people remained silent. They didn’t say anything. That’s because King Hezekiah had commanded, ‘Don’t answer him.’22Then Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, went to Hezekiah. Eliakim was in charge of the palace. Shebna the secretary 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.
English Standard Version
Sennacherib Invades Judah
1In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. (2Ki 18:13; 2Ki 18:17; 2Ch 32:1)2And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer’s Field. (Jos 15:20; Jos 15:39; 2Ch 32:9; Isa 7:3)3And there came out to him Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder. (Isa 22:15; Isa 22:20)4And 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? (Isa 10:8)5Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me?6Behold, you are trusting 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. (Eze 29:6)7But 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”? (De 12:2; 2Ki 18:4)8Come 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.9How 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? (Isa 10:8; Isa 20:5; Isa 30:3; Isa 30:7; Isa 31:1)10Moreover, is it without the Lord that I have come up against this land to destroy it? The Lord said to me, “Go up against this land and destroy it.”’” (Isa 10:5)11Then Eliakim, Shebna, 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.” (Ezr 4:7; Da 2:4)12But the Rabshakeh said, “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 drink their own urine?”13Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria!14Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you. (2Ch 32:6; Isa 37:10)15Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord by saying, “The Lord will surely deliver us. This city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.”16Do 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,17until 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. (2Ki 18:11)18Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you by saying, “The Lord will deliver us.” Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?19Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? (2Ki 17:6; Isa 37:13; Jer 49:23)20Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’” (2Ch 32:19)21But they were silent and answered him not a word, for the king’s command was, “Do not answer him.”22Then 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. (Isa 33:7; Isa 36:3)