1Now in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.
2He was 25 years old when he began to reign, and he reigned 29 years in Jerusalem, and his mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah.
3He did what was right in the eyes of Yahweh according to all that David his father had done.
4He removed the local shrines and broke the standing-stones and cut down the Asherah, and he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for in those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and he called it Nehushtan.
5He trusted in Yahweh the God of Israel, so that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah that came after him, nor among those that were before him.
6For he held fast to Yahweh; he did not depart from following him but kept his commandments, which Yahweh commanded Moses.
7So Yahweh was with him; wherever he went he succeeded, and he rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him.
8He struck down the Philistines to Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city.
9Now in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it.
10And at the end of three years they captured it; in the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was captured.
11And the king of Assyria exiled Israel to Assyria and put them in Halah and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes,
12because they did not obey the voice of Yahweh their God but transgressed his covenant, all that Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded. They would not listen nor do it.
13In the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.
14Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong. Withdraw from me. Whatever you impose upon me, I will bear.” And the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah 300 talents of silver and 30 talents of gold.
15So Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of Yahweh and in the treasuries of the king’s house.
16At that time Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the Temple of Yahweh and from the doorposts that Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid and gave it to the king of Assyria.
17Then the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rab-saris and Rab-shakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a large army to Jerusalem. They went up and came to Jerusalem, and when they had come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway of the Launderer’s Field.
18And when they had called for the king, Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was Over the House, and Shebnah the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, went out to them.
19And Rab-shakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: “What is this trust in which you are trusting?”
20Do you think that only words from the lips are counsel and strength for war? Now in whom do you trust, that you have rebelled against me?
21Now, behold, you trust in that broken reed of a staff, on Egypt, on which if any man leans on it, it will go into his hand and pierce it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him.
22But if you say to me, ‘We trust in Yahweh our god,’ isn’t he the one whose shrines and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away and has said to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You must worship before this altar in Jerusalem?”’
23“Come now, make a wager with my lord the king of Assyria. I will give you 2,000 horses if you are able on your part to set riders on them.
24How then will you be able to turn away the face of one captain of the least of my lord’s servants when you put your trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
25Have I now come up without Yahweh against this place to destroy it? Yahweh said to me, ‘Go up against this land and destroy it.’”
26Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebnah and Joah said to Rab-shakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it, and do not speak with us in Judean within earshot of the people who are on the wall.”
27But Rab-shakeh said to them, “Has my lord sent me to your lord and to you to speak these words? Is it not to the men who sit on the wall, who will have to eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you?”
28Then Rab-shakeh stood and cried out in a loud voice in Judean, and spoke, saying, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria.
29This is what the king says, ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to rescue you out of his hand.
30And do not let Hezekiah cause you to trust in Yahweh, saying, “Yahweh will rescue, yes, rescue us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.”’
31“Do not listen to Hezekiah. For this is what the king of Assyria says, ‘Make your peace with me and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat from his own vine, and each one from his own fig tree, and each one will drink the waters of his own cistern
32until 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 of honey, so that you will live and not die. Do not listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you, saying, “Yahweh will rescue us.”
33Did the gods of the nations rescue, yes, rescue their land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
34Where are the gods of Hamath and of Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivvah? Have they rescued Samaria out of my hand?
35Who are they among all the gods of the countries that have rescued their country out of my hand, that Yahweh should rescue Jerusalem out of my hand?’”
36But the people were silent and answered him not a word, for the king’s command was, “Do not answer him.”
37Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah who was Over the House, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and told him the words of Rab-shakeh.