Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem
1And this happened: In the fourteenth year#Literally “four ten year” of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria went up against all the fortified cities of Judah, and he captured them. 2And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh#Rabshekah is the title of a high Assyrian official from Lachish to Jerusalem, to King Hezekiah, with a large army, and he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway of the field of the washer. 3And Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace,#Literally “was over the house” came out to him, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the reminder.
4And Rabshakeh said to them, “Now say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: “What is this confidence in which you trust? 5I said, ‘Only a word of lips! War has power and a plan!’#The Hebrew here is awkward; literally “Plan and power for war” Now, in whom do you trust, that you have rebelled against me? 6Look, you trust in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt, which if a man leans on it, goes into his hand and bores through it! Such is Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to all those who trust in him. 7And if you say to me, ‘We trust in Yahweh our God,’ was it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed? And he said to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘You shall bow down in the presence#Literally “face” of this altar.’ ” 8And now please make a wager with my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, that is, if you are able put#Literally “give” riders for yourself on them! 9But how can you drive back one governor among the least of my master’s servants,#Literally “the face of the governor of the one of the insignificant servants of my master” when#Or “and” you trust in Egypt for chariots#Hebrew “chariot” and horsemen? 10And now was it without Yahweh that I have come up against this land to destroy it? Yahweh said to me, “Go up against this land and destroy it!” ’ ”
11And Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we can understand#Or “hear” it, and you must not speak to us in Judean in the hearing#Literally “ear” of the people who are on the wall.”
12But#Or “And” Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your masters and you? Was it not for the people who sit on the wall, to eat their dung and drink their urine#So Masoretic Hebrew text (Kethib); the reading tradition (Qere) has “feet-water” with you?”
13Then#Or “And” Rabshakeh stood and called in a great voice in Judean and said, “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! 15And do not let Hezekiah make you rely on Yahweh, saying, “Surely Yahweh will deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria!” 16You must not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria: “Make a blessing#That is, a gesture of surrender with me, and come out to me, and each one will eat from his vine and from his fig tree and drink water from#Or “of” his cistern, 17until I come#Literally “my coming” and take you to a land like your land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, 18lest Hezekiah mislead you, saying, ‘Yahweh will save us!’ Did the gods of the nations each save his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 19Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Indeed, have they delivered Samaria from my hand? 20Who are there among all the gods of these countries who have saved their land from my hand, that Yahweh should save Jerusalem from my hand?” ’ ”
21But#Or “And” they were silent and did not answer him a word, for the command of the king was, “You must not answer him.” 22Then#Or “And” Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was over the palace,#Literally “house” Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the reminder, came to Hezekiah with torn garments and told him the words of Rabshakeh.