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2 Reis 18

1 Hezekiah son of Ahaz became king of Judah. It was in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel.

2 Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for twenty-nine years. His mother's name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah.

3 He did what was right in the eyes of Jehovah as David his father had done.

4 He removed the high places. He broke the stone pillars to bits, and cut down the Asherah poles. The brass snake that Moses had made was crushed to powder at his command, because in those days the children of Israel had offerings burned before it, and he gave it the name Nehushtan.

5 Hezekiah had faith in Jehovah, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah who were before him.

6 For his heart was fixed on Jehovah. He did not turn from his ways. Hezekiah obeyed Jehovah’s commandments that Jehovah gave to Moses.

7 Jehovah was with Hezekiah. He did well in everything he did. He took up arms against the king of Assyria and was his servant no longer.

8 He defeated the Philistines as far as Gaza and its limits, from the tower of the watchman to the walled town.

9 It was the fourth year of King Hezekiah, the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel. Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and laid siege to it.

10 It was captured at the end of three years. Samaria was taken in the sixth year of Hezekiah's rule, which was the ninth year of Hoshea, king of Israel.

11 The king of Assyria took Israel away as prisoners into Assyria. They placed them in Halah and in Habor on the river Gozan, and in towns of the Medes.

12 They did not obey the voice of Jehovah their God. In fact they went against his agreement, even against everything ordered by Moses, the servant of Jehovah. They did not listen to or obey Jehovah.

13 Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came up against all the walled towns of Judah and took them.

14 Hezekiah sent a message to Sennacherib at Lachish: »I have done wrong. Stop your attack and I will pay whatever you demand.« The emperor's answer was that Hezekiah should send him ten tons of silver and one ton of gold.

15 Hezekiah sent him all the silver in the Temple and in the palace treasury.

16 Hezekiah had the gold from the doors of Jehovah’s Temple and from the doorposts plated by him. He stripped it off and gave it to the king of Assyria.

17 The king of Assyria sent his commander-in-chief Tartan, his quartermaster, and his field commander with a large army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. They stood at the channel for the Upper Pool on the road to the Laundryman's Field.

18 They sent for the king, and Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, who was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to them.

19 The Rabshakeh said to them: »Say to Hezekiah: These are the words of the great king, the king of Assyria: »In what are you placing your hope?

20 »You say you have counsel and military strength for war. These are only words. To whom are you looking for support that you rebel against me?

21 »You rely on Egypt that broken reed of a staff. If a man leans on it relies on its power his hand strength will be pierced woundeddiminished. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who put their faith in him.

22 »If you say to me: We trust in Jehovah our God, is he not the one whose high places and altars have been taken away by Hezekiah. For he told Judah and Jerusalem that worship may only be given before this altar in Jerusalem?

23 »And now, make an agreement with my master, the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able to put horsemen on them.

24 »How then can you put to shame the least of my master's servants? You put your hope in Egypt for chariots and horsemen:

25 »Have I now come to destroy this place without Jehovah? It was Jehovah who said to me: ‘Go up against this land and make it waste.« ’

26 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, and Shebna and Joah said to the Rabshakeh the commander: »Will you kindly make use of the Aramaean language in talking to your servants. We are used to it. Do not use the Jews' language in the hearing of the people on the wall.«

27 He replied: »Do you think you and the king are the only ones the king sent me to say these things? No, I am also talking to the people who are sitting on the wall. They will have to eat their excrement and drink their own urine, just as you will.«

28 The official stood up and shouted in Hebrew: »Listen to what the king of Assyria is telling you!

29 »He warns you: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you. Hezekiah cannot save you.’

30 »Do not let Hezekiah convince you to rely on Jehovah. Do not think that Jehovah will save you or that he will stop our Assyrian army from capturing you.«

31 »Do not listen to Hezekiah. The king of Assyria commands you to come out of the city and surrender. Make peace with me and you will be allowed to eat grapes from your own vines and figs from your own trees, and to drink water from your own wells cisterns.

32 »The king will resettle you in a country much like your own. There are vineyards to give wine and there is grain for making bread there. It is a land of olives, olive oil, and honey. Do what he commands and you will not die. Do not let Hezekiah fool you into thinking Jehovah will rescue you.

33 »Did the gods of other nations save their countries from the king of Assyria?

34 »Where are they now? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Did anyone save Samaria?

35 »When did any of the gods of all these countries ever save their country from our king? What makes you think Jehovah can save Jerusalem?«

36 The people kept quiet. They did as King Hezekiah told them. They did not say a word.

37 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah tore their clothes in grief. They reported to the king what the Assyrian official had said.

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