17 Then the king of Assyria sent the field marshal,(A) the chief of staff, and his royal spokesman, along with a massive army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem.(B) They advanced and came to Jerusalem, and[a] they took their position by the aqueduct of the upper pool, by the road to the Launderer’s Field.(C) 18 They called for the king, but Eliakim(D) son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebnah(E) the court secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian, came out to them.(F)

The Royal Spokesman’s Speech

19 Then(G) the royal spokesman said to them, “Tell Hezekiah this is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: ‘What are you relying on?[b](H) 20 You think mere words are strategy and strength for war. Who are you now relying on so that you have rebelled against me?(I) 21 Now look, you are relying on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff(J) that will pierce the hand of anyone who grabs it and leans on it.(K) 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,(L) saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You must worship at this altar in Jerusalem”?’

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Footnotes

  1. 18:17 LXX, Syr, Vg; MT reads and came and
  2. 18:19 Lit ‘What is this trust which you trust

Then the king of Assyria sent his royal spokesman, along with a massive army, from Lachish(A) to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. The Assyrian stood near the conduit of the upper pool, by the road to Launderer’s Field.(B) Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary,(C) and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian, came out to him.

The royal spokesman said to them, “Tell Hezekiah:

The great king, the king of Assyria, says this: What are you relying on? You[a] think mere words are strategy and strength for war. Who are you now relying on that you have rebelled against me?(D) Look, you are relying on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff(E) that will pierce the hand of anyone who grabs it and leans on it. This is how Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who rely on him.(F) 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, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You are to worship at this altar’?(G)

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Footnotes

  1. 36:5 Many Hb mss, DSS, 2Kg 18:20; MT reads I

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