2 Kings 18
New King James Version
Hezekiah Reigns in Judah(A)
18 Now it came to pass in the third year of (B)Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that (C)Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was (D)Abi[a] the daughter of Zechariah. 3 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.
4 (E)He removed the [b]high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the [c]wooden image and broke in pieces the (F)bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it [d]Nehushtan. 5 He (G)trusted in the Lord God of Israel, (H)so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him. 6 For he (I)held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses. 7 The Lord (J)was with him; he (K)prospered wherever he went. And he (L)rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. 8 (M)He [e]subdued the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory, (N)from watchtower to fortified city.
9 Now (O)it came to pass in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it. 10 And at the end of three years they took it. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is, (P)the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11 (Q)Then the king of Assyria carried Israel away captive to Assyria, and put them (R)in Halah and by the Habor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, 12 because they (S)did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, but transgressed His covenant and all that Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded; and they would neither hear nor do them.
13 And (T)in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. 14 Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; turn away from me; whatever you impose on me I will pay.” And the king of Assyria assessed Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 So Hezekiah (U)gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasuries of the king’s house. 16 At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave [f]it to the king of Assyria.
Sennacherib Boasts Against the Lord(V)
17 Then the king of Assyria sent the [g]Tartan, the [h]Rabsaris, and the [i]Rabshakeh from Lachish, with a great army against Jerusalem, to King Hezekiah. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. When they had come up, they went and stood by the (W)aqueduct from the upper pool, (X)which was on the highway to the Fuller’s Field. 18 And when they had called to the king, (Y)Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the [j]scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to them. 19 Then the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: (Z)“What confidence is this in which you trust? 20 You speak of having plans and power for war; but they are [k]mere words. And in whom do you trust, that you rebel against me? 21 (AA)Now look! You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. 22 But if you say to me, ‘We trust in the Lord our God,’ is it not He (AB)whose [l]high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem’?” ’ 23 Now therefore, I urge you, give a pledge to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses—if you are able on your part to put riders on them! 24 How then will you repel one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put your trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen? 25 Have I now come up without the Lord against this place to destroy it? The Lord said to me, ‘Go up against this land, and destroy it.’ ”
26 (AC)Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in (AD)Aramaic, for we understand it; and do not speak to us in [m]Hebrew in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.”
27 But the Rabshakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, who will eat and drink their own waste with you?”
28 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out with a loud voice in [n]Hebrew, and spoke, saying, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! 29 Thus says the king: (AE)‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he shall not be able to deliver you from his hand; 30 nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, “The Lord will surely deliver us; this city shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” ’ 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make peace with me [o]by a present and come out to me; and every one of you eat from his own (AF)vine and every one from his own fig tree, and every one of you drink the waters of his own cistern; 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, (AG)a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive groves and honey, that you may live and not die. But do not listen to Hezekiah, lest he persuade you, saying, “The Lord will deliver us.” 33 (AH)Has any of the gods of the nations at all delivered its land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of (AI)Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim and Hena and (AJ)Ivah? Indeed, have they delivered Samaria from my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their countries from my hand, (AK)that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’ ”
36 But the people held their peace and answered him not a word; for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.” 37 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah (AL)with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.
- 2 Kings 18:2 Abijah, 2 Chr. 29:1ff.
- 2 Kings 18:4 Places for pagan worship
- 2 Kings 18:4 Heb. Asherah, a Canaanite goddess
- 2 Kings 18:4 Lit. Bronze Thing, also similar to Heb. nahash, serpent
- 2 Kings 18:8 Lit. struck
- 2 Kings 18:16 Lit. them
- 2 Kings 18:17 A title, probably Commander in Chief
- 2 Kings 18:17 A title, probably Chief Officer
- 2 Kings 18:17 A title, probably Chief of Staff or Governor
- 2 Kings 18:18 secretary
- 2 Kings 18:20 Lit. a word of the lips
- 2 Kings 18:22 Places for pagan worship
- 2 Kings 18:26 Lit. Judean
- 2 Kings 18:28 Lit. Judean
- 2 Kings 18:31 By paying tribute
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.