2 Kings 181In the third year of Hoshea, the son of Elah, the king of Israel: Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, reigned as king of Judah. 2He was twenty-five years old when he had begun to reign, and he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. The name of his mother was Abi, the daughter of Zechariah. 3And he did what was good before the Lord, in accord with all that his father David had done. 4He destroyed the high places, and he crushed the statues, and he cut down the sacred groves. And he broke apart the bronze serpent, which Moses had made. For even until that time, the sons of Israel were burning incense to it. And he called its name Nehushtan. 5He hoped in the Lord, the God of Israel. And after him, there was no one similar to him, among all the kings of Judah, nor even among any of those who were before him. 6And he clung to the Lord, and he did not withdraw from his footsteps, and he carried out his commandments, which the Lord had instructed to Moses. 7Therefore, the Lord was also with him. And he conducted himself wisely in all the things to which he went forth. Also, he rebelled against the king of the Assyrians, and he did not serve him. 8He struck the Philistines as far as Gaza, and in all their borders, from the tower of the watchmen to the fortified city. 9In the fourth year of king Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea, the son of Elah, the king of Israel: Shalmaneser, the king of the Assyrians, ascended to Samaria, and he fought against it, 10and he seized it. For after three years, in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is, in the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Israel, Samaria was captured. 11And the king of the Assyrians took away Israel into Assyria. And he located them in Halah and in Habor, at the rivers of Gozan, in the cities of the Medes. 12For they did not listen to the voice of the Lord, their God. Instead, they transgressed his covenant. All that Moses, the servant of the Lord, had instructed, they would neither hear, nor do. 13In the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, Sennacherib, the king of the Assyrians, went up to all the fortified cities of Judah, and he captured them. 14Then Hezekiah, the king of Judah, sent messengers to the king of the Assyrians at Lachish, saying: “I have offended. Withdraw from me, and all that you will impose upon me, I will bear.” And so the king of the Assyrians levied a tax upon Hezekiah, the king of Judah, of three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15And Hezekiah gave all the silver that had been found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasuries of the king. 16At that time, Hezekiah broke apart the doors of the temple of the Lord, with the plates of gold which he had affixed to them. And he gave these to the king of the Assyrians. 17Then the king of the Assyrians sent Tartan, and Rabsaris, and Rabshakeh, from Lachish, to king Hezekiah, with a powerful hand, to Jerusalem. And when they had ascended, they arrived in Jerusalem, and they stood beside the aqueduct of the upper pool, which is along the way of the fuller’s field. 18And they called for the king. But there went out to them Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, the first ruler of the house, and Shebnah, the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the keeper of records. 19And Rabshakeh said to them: “Speak to Hezekiah: Thus says the great king, the king of the Assyrians: What is this faith, in which you strive? 20Perhaps, you have taken counsel, so that you would prepare yourself for battle. In whom do you trust, so that you would dare to rebel? 21Do you hope in Egypt, that staff of a broken reed, which, if a man would lean upon it, breaking, it would pierce his hand? Such is Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to all who would trust in him. 22But if you say to me: ‘We have faith in the Lord, our God.’ Is it not he, whose high places and altars Hezekiah has taken away? And did he not instruct Judah and Jerusalem: ‘You shall adore before this altar in Jerusalem?’ 23Now therefore, cross over to my lord, the king of the Assyrians, and I will give to you two thousand horses, and we will see if you even have enough riders for them. 24So how can you resist one prince from the least of my lord’s servants? Do you have faith in Egypt because of the chariots and horsemen? 25Is it not by the will of the Lord that I have chosen to ascend to this place, so that I may destroy it? The Lord said to me: ‘Ascend to this land, and destroy it.’ ” 26Then Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, and Shebnah, and Joah, said to Rabshakeh: “We beseech you, that you may speak to us, your servants, in Syriac. For we understand that language to some extent. And do not speak to us in the Jews’ language, in the hearing of the people, who are upon the wall.” 27And Rabshakeh responded to them, saying: “Has my lord sent me to your lord and to you, so that I may speak these words, and not instead to the men who are sitting upon the wall, so that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own urine with you?” 28And so, Rabshakeh stood up, and he exclaimed in a great voice, in the Jews’ language, and he said: “Listen to the words of the great king, the king of the Assyrians. 29Thus says the king: Let not Hezekiah lead you astray. For he will not be able to rescue you from my hand. 30And do not let him give you faith in the Lord, saying: ‘The Lord will rescue and free us, and this city will not be delivered into the hand of the king of the Assyrians.’ 31Do not choose to listen to Hezekiah. For thus says the king of the Assyrians: Do with me what is for your own good, and come out to me. And each one of you will eat from his own vine, and from his own fig tree. And you shall drink water from your own wells, 32until I arrive and transfer you into a land, similar to your own land, a fruitful and fertile land of wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olives and oil and honey. And you will live, and not die. Do not choose to listen to Hezekiah, who deceives you, saying: ‘The Lord will free us.’ 33Have any of the gods of the nations freed their land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34Where is the god of Hamath, and of Arpad? Where is the god of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and of Avva? Have they freed Samaria from my hand? 35Which ones among all the gods of the lands have rescued their region from my hand, so that the Lord would be able to rescue Jerusalem from my hand?” 36But the people were silent, and they did not respond at all to him. For indeed, they had received an instruction from the king that they should not respond to him. 37And Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, the first ruler of the house, and Shebnah, the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the keeper of records, went to Hezekiah with their garments torn. And they reported to him the words of Rabshakeh.
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