1In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.2He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem for twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah.3He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done.4He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)5Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no-one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him.6He held fast to the Lord and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses.7And the Lord was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.8From watchtower to fortified city, he defeated the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory.9In King Hezekiah’s fourth year, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and laid siege to it.10At the end of three years the Assyrians took it. So Samaria was captured in Hezekiah’s sixth year, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel.11The king of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the River Habor and in towns of the Medes.12This happened because they had not obeyed the Lord their God, but had violated his covenant – all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded. They neither listened to the commands nor carried them out.13In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.14So Hezekiah king of Judah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish: ‘I have done wrong. Withdraw from me, and I will pay whatever you demand of me.’ The king of Assyria exacted from Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold.15So Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the temple of the Lord and in the treasuries of the royal palace.16At this time Hezekiah king of Judah stripped off the gold with which he had covered the doors and doorposts of the temple of the Lord, and gave it to the king of Assyria.
Sennacherib threatens Jerusalem
17The king of Assyria sent his supreme commander, his chief officer and his field commander with a large army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. They came up to Jerusalem and stopped at the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Washerman’s Field.18They called for the king; and Eliakim son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went out to them.19The field commander said to them, ‘Tell Hezekiah: ‘ “This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: on what are you basing this confidence of yours?20You say you have the counsel and the might for war – but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me?21Look, I know you are depending on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff, which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him.22But if you say to me, ‘We are depending on the Lord our God’ – isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship before this altar in Jerusalem’?23‘ “Come now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses – if you can put riders on them!24How can you repulse one officer of the least of my master’s officials, even though you are depending on Egypt for chariots and horsemen?25Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this place without word from the Lord? The Lord himself told me to march against this country and destroy it.” ’26Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, and Shebna and Joah said to the field commander, ‘Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, since we understand it. Don’t speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people on the wall.’27But the commander replied, ‘Was it only to your master and you that my master sent me to say these things, and not to the people sitting on the wall – who, like you, will have to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?’28Then the commander stood and called out in Hebrew, ‘Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria!29This is what the king says: do not let Hezekiah deceive you. He cannot deliver you from my hand.30Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord when he says, “The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.”31‘Do not listen to Hezekiah. This is what the king of Assyria says: make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig-tree and drink water from your own cistern,32until I come and take you to a land like your own – a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Choose life and not death! ‘Do not listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, “The Lord will deliver us.”33Has the god of any nation ever delivered his land from the 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 rescued Samaria from my hand?35Who of all the gods of these countries has been able to save his land from me? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’36But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, ‘Do not answer him.’37Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went to Hezekiah, with their clothes torn, and 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)