2 Kings 18
Christian Standard Bible
Judah’s King Hezekiah
18 In the third year of Israel’s King Hoshea(A) son of Elah, Hezekiah(B) son of Ahaz became king of Judah. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi[a] daughter of Zechariah. 3 He did what was right in the Lord’s sight just as his ancestor David had done.(C) 4 He removed the high places, shattered the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles.(D) He broke into pieces the bronze snake that Moses made,(E) for until then the Israelites were burning incense to it. It was called Nehushtan.[b]
5 Hezekiah relied on the Lord God of Israel;(F) not one of the kings of Judah was like him, either before him or after him.(G) 6 He remained faithful to the Lord(H) and did not turn from following him but kept the commands the Lord had commanded Moses.
7 The Lord was with him, and wherever he went he prospered.(I) He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.(J) 8 He defeated the Philistines as far as Gaza and its borders,(K) from watchtower(L) to fortified city.
Review of Israel’s Fall
9 In the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Israel’s King Hoshea son of Elah, Assyria’s King Shalmaneser marched against Samaria and besieged it.(M) 10 The Assyrians captured it at the end of three years. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Israel’s King Hoshea, Samaria was captured. 11 The king of Assyria deported the Israelites to Assyria and put them in Halah, along the Habor (Gozan’s river), and in the cities of the Medes,(N) 12 because they did not listen to the Lord their God but violated his covenant—all he had commanded Moses the servant of the Lord. They did not listen, and they did not obey.(O)
13 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Assyria’s King Sennacherib attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.(P) 14 So King Hezekiah of Judah sent word to the king of Assyria at Lachish:(Q) “I have done wrong;(R) withdraw from me. Whatever you demand from me, I will pay.” The king of Assyria demanded eleven tons[c] of silver and one ton[d] of gold from King Hezekiah of Judah. 15 So Hezekiah gave him all the silver found in the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the king’s palace.
16 At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the Lord’s sanctuary and from the doorposts he had overlaid and gave it to the king of Assyria.(S)
17 Then the king of Assyria sent the field marshal,(T) the chief of staff, and his royal spokesman, along with a massive army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem.(U) They advanced and came to Jerusalem, and[e] they took their position by the aqueduct of the upper pool, by the road to the Launderer’s Field.(V) 18 They called for the king, but Eliakim(W) son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebnah(X) the court secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian, came out to them.(Y)
The Royal Spokesman’s Speech
19 Then(Z) the royal spokesman said to them, “Tell Hezekiah this is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: ‘What are you relying on?[f](AA) 20 You think mere words are strategy and strength for war. Who are you now relying on so that you have rebelled against me?(AB) 21 Now look, you are relying on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff(AC) that will pierce the hand of anyone who grabs it and leans on it.(AD) This is what Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who rely on him. 22 Suppose you say to me, “We rely on the Lord our God.” Isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed,(AE) saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You must worship at this altar in Jerusalem”?’
23 “So now, make a bargain with my master the king of Assyria. I’ll give you two thousand horses if you’re able to supply riders for them! 24 How then can you drive back a single officer(AF) among the least of my master’s servants? How can you rely on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 25 Now, have I attacked this place to destroy it without the Lord’s approval?(AG) The Lord said to me, ‘Attack this land and destroy it.’”
26 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, Shebnah, and Joah said to the royal spokesman, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic,(AH) since we understand it. Don’t speak with us in Hebrew[g] within earshot of the people on the wall.”
27 But the royal spokesman said to them, “Has my master sent me to speak these words only to your master and to you? Hasn’t he also sent me to the men who sit on the wall, destined with you to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?” (AI)
28 The royal spokesman stood and called out loudly in Hebrew: “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria. 29 This is what the king says: ‘Don’t let Hezekiah deceive(AJ) you; he can’t rescue you from my power.(AK) 30 Don’t let Hezekiah persuade you to rely on the Lord by saying, “Certainly the Lord will rescue us! This city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.”’(AL)
31 “Don’t listen to Hezekiah, for this is what the king of Assyria says: ‘Make peace[h] with me and surrender to me. Then each of you may eat from his own vine and his own fig tree,(AM) and each may drink water from his own cistern 32 until 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(AN)—so that you may live(AO) and not die. But don’t listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you, saying, “The Lord will rescue us.” 33 Has any of the gods of the nations ever rescued(AP) his land from the power of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?[i] Have they rescued Samaria from my power?(AQ) 35 Who among all the gods of the lands has rescued his land from my power? So will the Lord rescue Jerusalem from my power?’” (AR)
36 But the people kept silent; they did not answer him at all, for the king’s command was, “Don’t answer him.” 37 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian,(AS) came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn(AT) and reported to him the words of the royal spokesman.
- 18:2 = Abijah in 2Ch 29:1
- 18:4 = A Bronze Thing
- 18:14 Lit 300 talents
- 18:14 Lit 30 talents
- 18:17 LXX, Syr, Vg; MT reads and came and
- 18:19 Lit ‘What is this trust which you trust
- 18:26 Lit Judahite, also in v. 28
- 18:31 Lit a blessing
- 18:34 Some LXX mss, Old Lat read Sepharvaim? Where are the gods of the land of Samaria?
2 Kings 18
New International Version
18 In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah(D) son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years.(E) His mother’s name was Abijah[a] daughter of Zechariah. 3 He did what was right(F) in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David(G) had done. 4 He removed(H) the high places,(I) smashed the sacred stones(J) and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake(K) Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.[b])
5 Hezekiah trusted(L) in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. 6 He held fast(M) to the Lord and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses. 7 And the Lord was with him; he was successful(N) in whatever he undertook. He rebelled(O) against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. 8 From watchtower to fortified city,(P) he defeated the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory.
9 In King Hezekiah’s fourth year,(Q) which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and laid siege to it. 10 At the end of three years the Assyrians took it. So Samaria was captured in Hezekiah’s sixth year, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel. 11 The king(R) of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in towns of the Medes.(S) 12 This happened because they had not obeyed the Lord their God, but had violated his covenant(T)—all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded.(U) They neither listened to the commands(V) nor carried them out.
13 In the fourteenth year(W) of King Hezekiah’s reign, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah(X) and captured them. 14 So Hezekiah king of Judah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish:(Y) “I have done wrong.(Z) Withdraw from me, and I will pay whatever you demand of me.” The king of Assyria exacted from Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents[c] of silver and thirty talents[d] of gold. 15 So Hezekiah gave(AA) him all the silver that was found in the temple of the Lord and in the treasuries of the royal palace.
16 At this time Hezekiah king of Judah stripped off the gold with which he had covered the doors(AB) and doorposts of the temple of the Lord, and gave it to the king of Assyria.
17 The king of Assyria sent his supreme commander,(AE) his chief officer and his field commander with a large army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. They came up to Jerusalem and stopped at the aqueduct of the Upper Pool,(AF) on the road to the Washerman’s Field. 18 They called for the king; and Eliakim(AG) son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna(AH) the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went out to them.
19 The 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(AI) of yours? 20 You say you have the counsel and the might for war—but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me? 21 Look, I know you are depending on Egypt,(AJ) that splintered reed of a staff,(AK) which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him. 22 But 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 in Jerusalem”?
23 “‘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! 24 How can you repulse one officer(AL) of the least of my master’s officials, even though you are depending on Egypt for chariots and horsemen[e]? 25 Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this place without word from the Lord?(AM) The Lord himself told me to march against this country and destroy it.’”
26 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, and Shebna and Joah said to the field commander, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic,(AN) since we understand it. Don’t speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people on the wall.”
27 But 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?”
28 Then the commander stood and called out in Hebrew, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! 29 This is what the king says: Do not let Hezekiah deceive(AO) you. He cannot deliver you from my hand. 30 Do 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.’
31 “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(AP) and drink water from your own cistern,(AQ) 32 until I come and take you to a land like your own—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Choose life(AR) and not death!
“Do not listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ 33 Has the god(AS) of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath(AT) and Arpad?(AU) Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah? Have they rescued Samaria from my hand? 35 Who of all the gods of these countries has been able to save his land from me? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?”(AV)
36 But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, “Do not answer him.”
37 Then Eliakim(AW) son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went to Hezekiah, with their clothes torn,(AX) and told him what the field commander had said.