2 Kings 18
Good News Translation
King Hezekiah of Judah(A)
18 In the third year of the reign of Hoshea son of Elah as king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz became king of Judah 2 at the age of twenty-five, and he ruled in Jerusalem for twenty-nine years. His mother was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. 3 Following the example of his ancestor King David, he did what was pleasing to the Lord. 4 (B)He destroyed the pagan places of worship, broke the stone pillars, and cut down the images of the goddess Asherah. He also broke in pieces the bronze snake that Moses had made, which was called Nehushtan. Up to that time the people of Israel had burned incense in its honor. 5 Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel; Judah never had another king like him, either before or after his time. 6 He was faithful to the Lord and never disobeyed him, but carefully kept all the commands that the Lord had given Moses. 7 So the Lord was with him, and he was successful in everything he did. He rebelled against the emperor of Assyria and refused to submit to him. 8 He defeated the Philistines and raided their settlements, from the smallest village to the largest city, including Gaza and its surrounding territory.
9 In the fourth year of Hezekiah's reign—which was the seventh year of King Hoshea's reign over Israel—Emperor Shalmaneser of Assyria invaded Israel and besieged Samaria. 10 In the third year of the siege Samaria fell; this was the sixth year of Hezekiah's reign and the ninth year of Hoshea's reign. 11 The Assyrian emperor[a] took the Israelites to Assyria as prisoners and settled some of them in the city of Halah, some near the Habor River in the district of Gozan, and some in the cities of Media.
12 Samaria fell because the Israelites did not obey the Lord their God, but broke the covenant he had made with them and disobeyed all the laws given by Moses, the servant of the Lord. They would not listen and they would not obey.
The Assyrians Threaten Jerusalem(C)
13 In the fourteenth year of the reign of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib, the emperor of Assyria, attacked the fortified cities of Judah and conquered them. 14 Hezekiah sent a message to Sennacherib, who was in Lachish: “I have done wrong; please stop your attack, and I will pay whatever you demand.” The emperor's answer was that Hezekiah should send him ten tons of silver and one ton of gold. 15 Hezekiah sent him all the silver in the Temple and in the palace treasury; 16 he also stripped the gold from the temple doors and the gold with which he himself had covered the doorposts, and he sent it all to Sennacherib. 17 The Assyrian emperor sent a large army from Lachish to attack Hezekiah at Jerusalem; it was commanded by his three highest officials. When they arrived at Jerusalem, they occupied the road where the cloth makers work by the ditch that brings water from the upper pool. 18 Then they sent for King Hezekiah, and three of his officials went out to meet them: Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace; Shebna, the court secretary; and Joah son of Asaph, who was in charge of the records. 19 One of the Assyrian officials told them that the emperor wanted to know what made King Hezekiah so confident. 20 He demanded, “Do you think that words can take the place of military skill and might? Who do you think will help you rebel against Assyria? 21 You are expecting Egypt to help you, but that would be like using a reed as a walking stick—it would break and jab your hand. That is what the king of Egypt is like when anyone relies on him.”
22 The Assyrian official went on, “Or will you tell me that you are relying on the Lord your God? It was the Lord's shrines and altars that Hezekiah destroyed, when he told the people of Judah and Jerusalem to worship only at the altar in Jerusalem. 23 I will make a bargain with you in the name of the emperor. I will give you two thousand horses if you can find that many men to ride them! 24 You are no match for even the lowest ranking Assyrian official, and yet you expect the Egyptians to send you chariots and cavalry! 25 Do you think I have attacked your country and destroyed it without the Lord's help? The Lord himself told me to attack it and destroy it.”
26 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah told the official, “Speak Aramaic to us, sir. We understand it. Don't speak Hebrew; all the people on the wall are listening.”
27 He replied, “Do you think you and the king are the only ones the emperor sent me to say all these things to? No, I am also talking to the people who are sitting on the wall, who will have to eat their excrement and drink their urine, just as you will.”
28 Then the official stood up and shouted in Hebrew, “Listen to what the emperor of Assyria is telling you! 29 He warns you not to let Hezekiah deceive you. Hezekiah can't save you. 30 And don't let him persuade you to rely on the Lord. Don't think that the Lord will save you and that he will stop our Assyrian army from capturing your city. 31 Don't listen to Hezekiah. The emperor of Assyria commands you to come out of the city and surrender. You will all be allowed to eat grapes from your own vines and figs from your own trees, and to drink water from your own wells— 32 until the emperor resettles you in a country much like your own, where there are vineyards to give wine and there is grain for making bread; it is a land of olives, olive oil, and honey. If you do what he commands, you will not die, but live. Don't let Hezekiah fool you into thinking that the Lord will rescue you. 33 Did the gods of any other nations save their countries from the emperor of Assyria? 34 Where are they now, the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Did anyone save Samaria? 35 When did any of the gods of all these countries ever save their country from our emperor? Then what makes you think the Lord can save Jerusalem?”
36 The people kept quiet, just as King Hezekiah had told them to; they did not say a word. 37 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah tore their clothes in grief, and went and reported to the king what the Assyrian official had said.
- 2 Kings 18:11 See 17.6.
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.