1In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.2Then the king of Assyria sent his field commander with a large army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. When the commander stopped at the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field,3Eliakim son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went out to him.4The 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?5You say you have counsel and might for war – but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me?6Look, 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.7But 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’?8‘ “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!9How then can you repulse one officer of the least of my master’s officials, even though you are depending on Egypt for chariots and horsemen?10Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this land without the Lord? The Lord himself told me to march against this country and destroy it.” ’11Then Eliakim, 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.’12But 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?’13Then the commander stood and called out in Hebrew, ‘Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria!14This is what the king says: do not let Hezekiah deceive you. He cannot deliver you!15Do 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.”16‘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,17until I come and take you to a land like your own – a land of corn and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards.18‘Do not let Hezekiah mislead you when he says, “The Lord will deliver us.” Have the gods of any nations ever delivered their lands from the hand of the king of Assyria?19Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they rescued Samaria from my hand?20Who of all the gods of these countries have been able to save their lands from me? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’21But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, ‘Do not answer him.’22Then 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.
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)