2 Kings 18
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Hezekiah Destroys Idolatry in Judah
(2 Chronicles 29:1-2)

1In the third year of the reign of Hoshea son of Elah over Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz became king of Judah. 2He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abi,a the daughter of Zechariah. 3And he did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done. 4He removed the high places, shattered the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles. He also demolished the bronze serpent called Nehushtanb that Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had burned incense to it.

5Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. No king of Judah was like him, either before him or after him. 6He remained faithful to the LORD and did not turn from following Him; he kept the commandments that the LORD had given Moses.

7And the LORD was with Hezekiah, and he prospered wherever he went. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and refused to serve him. 8He defeated the Philistines as far as Gaza and its borders, from watchtower to fortified city.

9In the fourth year of Hezekiah’s reign, which was the seventh year of the reign of Hoshea son of Elah over Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and besieged it. 10And at the end of three years, the Assyrians captured it.

So Samaria was captured in the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel. 11The king of Assyria exiled the Israelites to Assyria and settled them in Halah, in Gozan by the Habor River, and in the cities of the Medes. 12This happened because they did not listen to the voice of the LORD their God, but violated His covenant—all that Moses the servant of the LORD had commanded—and would neither listen nor obey.

Sennacherib Invades Judah
(2 Chronicles 32:1-8; Psalm 46:1-11; Psalm 47:1-9; Psalm 48:1-14; Isaiah 36:1)

13In the fourteenth year of the reign of Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked and captured all the fortified cities of Judah. 14So Hezekiah king of Judah sent word to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; withdraw from me, and I will pay whatever you demand from me.”

And the king of Assyria exacted from Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talentsc of silver and thirty talentsd of gold. 15Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD and in the treasuries of the royal palace.

16At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold with which he had plated the doors and doorposts of the temple of the LORD, and he gave it to the king of Assyria.

Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem
(2 Chronicles 32:9-19; Isaiah 36:2-22)

17Nevertheless, the king of Assyria sent the Tartan,e the Rabsaris,f and the Rabshakeh,g along with a great army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. They advanced up to Jerusalem and stationed themselves by the aqueduct of the upper pool, on the road to the Launderer’s Field. 18Then they called for the king; and Eliakim son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebnah the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder, went out to them.

19The Rabshakeh said to them, “Tell Hezekiah that this is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: What is the basis of this confidence of yours? 20You claim to have a strategy and strength for war, but these are empty words. On whom are you now relying, that you have rebelled against me?

21Look now, you are trusting in Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff that will pierce the hand of anyone who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. 22But if you say to me: ‘We trust in the LORD our God,’ is He not the One whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem: ‘You must worship before this altar in Jerusalem’?

23Now, therefore, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria. I will give you two thousand horses—if you can put riders on them! 24For how can you repel a single officer among the least of my master’s servants when you depend on Egypt for chariots and horsemen? 25So now, was it apart from the LORD that I have come up against this place to destroy it? The LORD Himself said to me, ‘Go up against this land and destroy it!’”

26Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, along with Shebnah and Joah, said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, since we understand it. Do not speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people on the wall.”

27But the Rabshakeh replied, “Has my master sent me to speak these words only to you and your master, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are destined with you to eat their own dung and drink their own urine?”

28Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out loudly 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.’

31Do not listen to Hezekiah, for this is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with meh and come out to me. Then every one of you will eat from his own vine his own fig tree, and drink water from his own cistern, 32until I come and take you away to a land like your own land—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey—so that you may live and not die. But do not listen to Hezekiah, for he misleads 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 delivered Samaria from my hand? 35Who among all the gods of these lands has delivered his land from my hand? How then can the LORD deliver Jerusalem from my hand?”

36But the people remained silent and did not answer a word, for Hezekiah had commanded, “Do not answer him.”

37Then Hilkiah’s son Eliakim the palace administrator, Shebna the scribe, and Asaph’s son Joah the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and they relayed to him the words of the Rabshakeh.

Footnotes:

2 a Abi is a variant of Abijah
4 b Nehushtan sounds like the Hebrew for both bronze and serpent
14 c That is, approximately 11.3 tons or 10.3 metric tons
14 d That is, approximately 1.13 ton or 1.02 metric tons
17 e Hebrew Tartan is the title of a field marshal, general, or commander in the Assyrian military
17 f Hebrew Rabsaris is the title of the chief eunuch in the Assyrian military
17 g Hebrew Rabshakeh is the title of a high-ranking Assyrian military officer; Here and throughout chapters 18 and 19, as well as Isaiah 36 and 37
31 h Or Make a blessing with me

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