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Isaiah: Chapter 36

Sennacherib invades Judah, 1. Rabshakeh, sent by Sennacherib, by blasphemous persuasions solicits the people to revolt, 2-21. His words are told to Hezekiah, 22.

1 Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah, and took them. 2 And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem against king Hezekiah with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field. 3 Then Eliakim, Hilkiah's son, who was over the house, Shebna the scribe, and Joah, Asaph's son the recorder, came forth to him.

4 And Rabshakeh said to them, "Say now to Hezekiah, 'Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: "What confidence is this in which you trust? 5 I say, that your counsel and strength for war are but vain words. Now in whom do you trust, that you rebel against me? 6 Behold, you trust in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will enter his hand, and pierce it. Thus Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who trust in him. 7 But if you say to me, 'We trust in the LORD our God,' is it not he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and said to Judah and to Jerusalem, 'You shall worship before this altar'? 8 Now therefore, give pledges, I pray you, to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you can on your part set riders upon them. 9 How then will you turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants, and put your trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 10 And have I now come up without the LORD against this land to destroy it? The LORD said to me, 'Go up against this land, and destroy it.'"'"

11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to Rabshakeh, "Speak, I pray you, to your servants in the Syrian language, for we understand it. And do not speak to us in the Jew's language, in the ears of the people who are on the wall." 12 But Rabshakeh said, "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 upon the wall, who will have to devour their vilest excretions with you?"

13 Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jew's language, and said, "Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. 14 Thus says the king: 'Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you, 15 Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, "The LORD will surely deliver us. This city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria." 16 Do not listen to Hezekiah,' for thus says the king of Assyria: 'Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me. And each of you eat of his vine, and each of his fig-tree, and each of you drink the waters of his own cistern, 17 Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards. 18 Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, "The LORD will deliver us." Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? And have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 20 Who are they among all the gods of these lands, who have delivered their land out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?'"

21 But they held their peace, and did not answer him a word, for the king's commandment was, saying, "Do not answer him." 22 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.