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. Chapter 36.

Jerusalem delivered from Sennacherib

The Assyrians threaten Jerusalem. 2Kgs.18.13-27, 2Chr.32.1-19

1 [vv1-22. cp 2Kgs.18.13-37; 2Chr. 32.1-19] IN THE FOURTEENTH YEAR of the reign of Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked and took all the fortified cities of Judah. 2 From Lachish he sent the chief officer [Or sent Rab-shakeh] with a strong force to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem; and he halted by the conduit of the Upper Pool on the causeway which leads to the Fuller's Field. 3 There Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the comptroller of the household, came out to him, with Shebna the adjutant-general and Joah son of Asaph, the secretary of state. 4 The chief officer said to them, 'Tell Hezekiah that this is the message of the Great King, the king of Assyria: "What ground have you for this confidence of yours? 5 Do you think fine words can take the place of skill and numbers? On whom then do you rely for support in your rebellion against me? 6 On Egypt? Egypt is a splintered cane that will run into a man's hand and pierce it if he leans on it. That is what Pharaoh king of Egypt proves to all who rely on him. 7 And if you tell me that you are relying on the LORD your God, is he not the god whose hill-shrines and altars Hezekiah has suppressed, telling Judah and Jerusalem that they must prostrate themselves before this altar alone?"?

8 'Now, make a bargain with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses if you can find riders for them. 9 Will you reject the authority of even the least of my master's servants and rely on Egypt for chariots and horsemen? 10 Do you think that I have come to attack this land and destroy it without the consent of the LORD? No; the LORD himself said to me, "Attack this land and destroy it."? '

11 Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the chief officer, 'Please speak to us in Aramaic, for we understand it, do not speak Hebrew to us within earshot of the people on the city wall.' 12 The chief officer answered, 'Is it to your master and to you that my master has sent me to say this? Is it not to the people sitting on the wall who, like you, will have to eat their own dung and drink their own urine?' 13 Then he stood and shouted in Hebrew, 'Hear the message of the Great King, the king of Assyria. 14 These are the king's words: "Do not be taken in by Hezekiah. He cannot save you. 15 Do not let him persuade you to rely on the LORD, and tell you that the LORD will save you and that this city will never be surrendered to the king of Assyria."? 16 Do not listen to Hezekiah; these are the words of the king of Assyria: "Make peace with me. Come out to me, and then you shall each eat the fruit of his own vine and his own fig-tree, and drink the water of his own cistern, 17 until I come and take you to a land like your own, a land of grain and new wine, of corn and vineyards. 18 Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you by telling you that the LORD will save you. Did the god of any of these nations save his land from the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Where are the gods of Samaria? Did they save Samaria from me? 20 Among all the gods of these nations is there one who saved his land from me? And how is the LORD to save Jerusalem?" '

21 The people were silent and answered not a word, for the king had given orders that no one was to answer him. 22 Eliakim son of Hilkiah, comptroller of the household, Shebna the adjutant-general, and Joah son of Asaph, secretary of state, came to Hezekiah with their clothes rent and reported what the chief officer had said.

<< | Isaiah: 36 | >>

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