1Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all of the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.
2The king of Assyria sent Rab-shakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to king Hezekiah with a large army. He stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool in the fuller’s field highway.
3Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was Over the House, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, went out to him.
4Rab-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?”
5I say that your counsel and strength for war are only words from the lips? Now in whom do you trust, that you have rebelled against me?
6Behold, 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.
7But if you say to me, ‘We trust in Yahweh our god,’ is not 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?’
8“‘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.
9How 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?
10And have I now come up without Yahweh against this land to destroy it? Yahweh said to me, “Go up against this land and destroy it.”’”
11Then Eliakim 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.”
12But 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?”
13Then Rab-shakeh stood and cried out in a loud voice in Judean and said, “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria!
14This is what the king says, ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to rescue you.
15And 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.”’
16“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
17until 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.
18Beware lest Hezekiah misleads you, saying, “Yahweh will rescue us.” Have any of the gods of the nations rescued their land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
19Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they rescued Samaria from my hand?
20Who are they among all the gods of these countries that have rescued their country out of my hand, that Yahweh should rescue Jerusalem out of my hand?’”
21But they were silent and answered him not a word, for the king’s command was, “Do not answer him.”
22Then 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.