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nd Kings _Chapter 18

In the third year of Hoshea son of King Elah of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah…

In the third year of Hoshea son of King Elah of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.

He was twenty-five years old when he ascended to the throne and reigned in Jerusalem for twenty-nine years. His mother’s name is Abi, the daughter of Zechariah.

Hezekiah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David did.

He deposed the high places, destroyed the pillars, cut down the wooden poles, and shattered the bronze snakes that Moses had made, because even then the Israelites would still burn incense to the bronze snakes. Hezekiah called the copper snake a bronze block (or also called the copper snake a bronze statue).

Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel, and there was not a king of Judah before or after him who was like him.

Because he trusted in the Lord and never left, he kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses.

The Lord is with him, and he prospers wherever he goes. He betrayed and refused to serve the king of Assyria.

Hezekiah attacked the Philistines as far as Gaza and its four borders, from the watchtower to the fortified city.

In the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of King Elah of Israel, King Samaniel of Assyria came up to besiege Samaria.

After three years, the city was captured. In the sixth year of Hezekiah and the ninth year of King Hoshea of Israel, Samaria was captured.

The king of Assyria abducted the Israelites to Assyria and placed them by the Haber River in Hara and Gosan, as well as in the cities of the Medes.

Because they did not obey the word of the Lord their God and violated his covenant, which the Lord’s servant Moses commanded them to keep.

In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, King Sennacherib of Assyria came up to attack all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.

King Hezekiah of Judah sent someone to Lachish to see the king of Assyria, saying, I have sinned, please leave me. Whatever you punish me, I will bear it. So the king of Assyria punished King Hezekiah of Judah with three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold.

Hezekiah gave him all the silver in the temple of the Lord and in the royal treasury.

At that time, King Hezekiah of Judah scraped off the gold from the door of the Lord’s temple and the gold he had wrapped on the pillars, and gave it to the king of Assyria.

The king of Assyria sent Tartan, Rabezali, and Rabshakeh with a great army to Jerusalem to King Hezekiah from Lachi. They went up to Jerusalem and stood by the ditch of the upper pool, on the main road of the washcloth field.

When they called out to the king, Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, the household ruler, and Shebna the secretary and Joah the son of Asah, the historian, came out to them.

Rabshakeh said, Go and tell Hezekiah, saying, Thus says the king of Assyria, What is there to rely on in whom you trust?

You said you had the strategy and ability to fight, but I think it’s just empty talk. Who on earth do you rely on to betray me?

See, the Egypt you rely on is the crushed reed staff. If a man relies on this staff, he will pierce through his hand. Pharaoh the king of Egypt did the same to all those who trusted in him.

If you say to me, ‘We trust in the Lord our God,’ will Hezekiah not take away the high places and altars of God, and say to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘Worship before this altar in Jerusalem?’?

Now you give your pledge to my lord the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses to see if you have enough riders on your side.

If not, how can we defeat the smallest commander among my lord’s servants? Do you actually rely on Egypt’s chariots and cavalry?

Is it not the will of the Lord that I come up to attack and destroy this land now? The Lord commanded me, ‘Go up and attack and destroy this land.’.

Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah, the sons of Hilkiah, said to Rabshakeh, “Speak to your servants in Aramaic language, for we understand.”. Do not speak to us in Judean language, reaching the ears of the people of the city.

Rabshakeh said, Did my lord send me to speak these words only to you and your lord? Isn’t it also for those who sit in the city and want to eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you?

So Rabshakeh stood and shouted loudly in the language of Judah, saying, Listen to the words of the great king of Assyria.

The king said, Do not be deceived by Hezekiah. Because he cannot save you from my hands.

Do not listen to Hezekiah making you trust in the Lord, saying that the Lord will surely save us, and this city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.

Don’t listen to Hezekiah’s words. For thus says the king of Assyria, Make peace with me, come out and surrender to me, and let each man eat the fruit of his own vine and fig tree, and drink the water of his own well.

When I come and bring you to a place like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of grain and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey, so that you may live and not die. Hezekiah advised you, saying, ‘The Lord will save us.’; Don’t listen to him.

Which god of the nations has saved his country from the hand of the king of Assyria?

Where is the God of Hamath and Arbad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hinah, and Eva? Have they ever saved Samaria from my hands?

Who among the gods of these nations has saved their kingdom from my hand? Can the Lord save Jerusalem from my hands?

The people remained silent and did not answer a word, because the king had commanded them not to answer him.

At that moment, Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, the household ruler, Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asah, the historian, all tore their clothes and came to Hezekiah, telling him the words of Rabshakeh.

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