1In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, Hezekiah son of Ahaz became king of Judah. 2He was twenty-five years old when he came to the throne, and he reigned for twenty-nine years inJerusalem. His mother's name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. 3He did what Yahweh regards as right, just as his ancestor David had done. 4He abolished the high places, broke the pil ars, cut down the sacred poles and smashed the bronzeserpent which Moses had made; for up to that time the Israelites had offered sacrifices to it; it was cal edNehushtan. 5He put his trust in Yahweh, God of Israel. No king of Judah after him could be compared with him -- norany of those before him. 6He was devoted to Yahweh, never turning from him, but keeping the commandments which Yahwehhad laid down for Moses. 7And so Yahweh was with him, and he was successful in al that he undertook. He rebelled against theking of Assyria and refused to serve him. 8He beat the Philistines back to Gaza, laying their territory waste from watchtower to fortified town. 9In the fourth year of Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel,Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched on Samaria and laid siege to it. 10He captured it after three years. Samaria fel in the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year ofHoshea king of Israel. 11The king of Assyria deported the Israelites to Assyria and settled them in Halah on the Habor, a riverof Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. 12This happened because they had not obeyed the voice of Yahweh their God and had broken hiscovenant, everything that Moses servant of Yahweh had laid down. They neither listened to it nor put it intopractice. 13In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria advanced on al the fortifiedtowns of Judah and captured them. 14Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish, 'I have been atfault. Cal off the attack, and I wil submit to whatever you impose on me.' The king of Assyria exacted threehundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold from Hezekiah king of Judah, 15and Hezekiah gave him al the silver in the Temple of Yahweh and in the palace treasury. 16At which time, Hezekiah stripped the facing from the leaves and jambs of the doors of the Temple ofYahweh, which an earlier king of Judah had put on, and gave it to the king of Assyria. 17From Lachish the king of Assyria sent the cupbearer-in-chief with a large force to King Hezekiah inJerusalem. He marched on Jerusalem and, on his arrival, took up position near the conduit of the upper poolwhich is on the road to the Ful er's Field. 18He summoned the king. The master of the palace, Eliakim son of Hilkiah, Shebnah the secretary andthe herald Joah son of Asaph went out to him. 19The cupbearer-in-chief said to them, 'Say to Hezekiah, "The great king, the king of Assyria, says this:What makes you so confident? 20Do you think empty words are as good as strategy and military strength? Who are you relying on, todare to rebel against me? 21There you are, relying on that broken reed Egypt, which pricks and pierces the hand of whoever leanson it. That is what Pharaoh king of Egypt is like to al who rely on him. 22You may say to me: We rely on Yahweh our God. But have his high places and altars not beensuppressed by Hezekiah who told Judah and Jerusalem: Here, in Jerusalem, is the altar before which you mustworship? 23Very well, then, make a wager with my lord the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses ifyou can find horsemen to ride them. 24How could you repel a single one of the least of my master's soldiers? And yet you have relied onEgypt for chariots and horsemen. 25And lastly, have I marched on this place to lay it waste without warrant from Yahweh? Yahwehhimself said to me: March on this country and lay it waste." ' 26Eliakim, Shebnah and Joah said to the cupbearer-in-chief, 'Please speak to your servants in Aramaic,for we understand it; do not speak to us in the Judaean language within earshot of the people on the ramparts.' 27But the cupbearer-in-chief said, 'Do you think my lord sent me here to say these things to your masteror to you? On the contrary, it was to the people sitting on the ramparts who, like you, are doomed to eat theirown dung and drink their own urine.' 28The cupbearer-in-chief then drew himself up and shouted loudly in the Judaean language, 'Listen tothe word of the great king, the king of Assyria. 29The king says this, "Do not let Hezekiah delude you. He wil be powerless to save you from myclutches. 30Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to rely on Yahweh by saying: Yahweh is sure to save us; this citywil not fal into the king of Assyria's clutches. 31Do not listen to Hezekiah, for the king of Assyria says this: Make peace with me, surrender to me, andevery one of you wil be free to eat the fruit of his own vine and of his own fig tree and to drink the water of hisown storage-wel 32until I come and take you away to a country like your own, a land of corn and good wine, a land ofbread and vineyards, a land of oil and honey: and so you wil survive and not die. Do not listen to Hezekiah; he isdeluding you when he says: Yahweh wil save us. 33Has any god of any nation been able to save his country from the king of Assyria's clutches? 34Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim and Hena and Ivvah?Where are the local gods of Samaria? Did they save Samaria from my clutches? 35Of al the local gods, which ones have saved their countries from my clutches, for Yahweh to be ableto save Jerusalem from my clutches?" ' 36The people, however, kept quiet and said nothing in reply, since the king had given the order, 'Youare not to answer him.' 37The master of the palace, Eliakim son of Hilkiah, Shebnah the secretary and the herald Joah son ofAsaph, with their clothes torn, went to Hezekiah and reported what the cupbearer-in-chief had said.
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