1. Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.
2. Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah.
3. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did.
4. He removed the high places, and broke the images, and cut down the idol poles, and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made: for until those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
5. He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.
6. For he clung to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses.
7. And the LORD was with him; and he prospered wherever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not.
8. He struck the Philistines, even unto Gaza, and the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen to the fortified city.
9. And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it.
10. And at the end of three years they took it: even in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken.
11. And the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria, and put them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes:
12. Because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them.
13. Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fortified cities of Judah, and took them.
14. And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended; turn away from me: that which you put on me will I bear. And the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold.
15. And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasuries of the king’s house.
16. At that time did Hezekiah strip the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.
17. And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rab-shakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great army against Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool, which is on the highway of the fuller’s field.
18. And when they had called to the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder.
19. And Rab-shakeh said unto them, Speak you now to Hezekiah, Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this in which you trust?
20. You say, (but they are but vain words,) I have counsel and strength for the war. Now on whom do you trust, that you rebel against me?
21. Now, behold, you trust upon the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt, on which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt unto all that trust in him.
22. But if you say unto me, We trust in the LORD our God: is not that he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and has said to Judah and Jerusalem, You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem?
23. Now therefore, I pray you, give pledges to my lord the king of Assyria, and I will deliver you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders upon them.
24. How then will you turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put your trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
25. Am I now come up without the LORD against this place to destroy it? The LORD said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.
26. Then said Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna, and Joah, unto Rab-shakeh, Speak, I pray you, to your servants in the Aramaic language; for we understand it: and talk not with us in the Jews’ language in the ears of the people that are on the wall.
27. But Rab-shakeh said unto them, Has my master sent me to your master, and to you, to speak these words? has he not sent me to the men who sit on the wall, that they may eat and drink their own waste with you?
28. Then Rab-shakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ language, and spoke, saying, Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria:
29. Thus says the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you out of his hand:
30. Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us, and this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.
31. Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus says the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by paying a tribute, and come out to me, and then eat you every man of his own vine, and everyone of his fig tree, and drink you everyone the waters of his cistern:
32. Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive oil and of honey, that you may live, and not die: and hearken not unto Hezekiah, when he persuades you, saying, The LORD will deliver us.
33. Has any of the gods of the nations delivered at all his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
34. Where are the gods of Hamath, and of Arpad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? have they delivered Samaria out of my hand?
35. Who are they among all the gods of the countries, that have delivered their country out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?
36. But the people held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king’s commandment was, Answer him not.
37. Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of Rab-shakeh.