2 Kings 18-19 World English Bible

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The Reign of Hezekiah

18 1  Now it happened 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  He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. 3  He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that David his father had done. 4  He removed the high places, and broke the pillars, and cut down the Asherah: and he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for to those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it; and he called it Nehushtan. 5  He trusted in Yahweh, the God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among them that were before him. 6  For he joined with Yahweh; he didn’t depart from following him, but kept his commandments, which Yahweh commanded Moses. 7  Yahweh was with him; wherever he went forth he prospered: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and didn’t serve him. 8  He struck the Philistines to Gaza and its borders, from the tower of the watchmen to the fortified city.

The Fall of Samaria

9  It happened 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  At the end of three years they took it: in the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11  The king of Assyria carried Israel away to Assyria, and put them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, 12  because they didn’t obey the voice of Yahweh their God, but transgressed his covenant, even all that Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded, and would not hear it, nor do it.

The Invasion of Sennacherib

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  Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, “I have offended; return from me. That which you put on me, I will bear.” The king of Assyria appointed to Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15  Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of Yahweh, and in the treasures of the king’s house. 16  At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of Yahweh, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.

17  The king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great army to Jerusalem. They went up and came to Jerusalem. When they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller’s field. 18  When they had called to the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebnah the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder. 19  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? 20  You say (but they are but vain words), ‘There is counsel and strength for war.’ Now on whom do you trust, that you have rebelled against me? 21  Now, behold, you trust in the staff of this bruised reed, even in Egypt. If a man leans on it, it will go into his hand, and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust on him. 22  But if you tell me, ‘We trust in Yahweh our God;’ isn’t that he whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and has said to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem?’ 23  Now therefore, please give pledges to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. 24  How then can 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  Have I now come up without Yahweh against this place to destroy it? Yahweh said to me, ‘Go up against this land, and destroy it.’”’” 26  Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebnah, and Joah, said to Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it. Don’t speak with us in the Jews’ language, in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 27  But Rabshakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me to your master, and to you, to speak these words? Hasn’t he sent me to the men who sit on the wall, to eat their own dung, and to drink their own water with you?” 28  Then Rabshakeh 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, ‘Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you; for he will not be able to deliver you out of his hand. 30  Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in Yahweh, saying, “Yahweh will surely deliver us, and this city shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 31  Don’t listen to Hezekiah.’ For thus says the king of Assyria, ‘Make your peace with me, and come out to me; and everyone of you eat of his vine, and everyone of his fig tree, and everyone drink the waters of his own cistern; 32  until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and of honey, that you may live, and not die. Don’t listen to Hezekiah, when he persuades you, saying, “Yahweh will deliver us.” 33  Has any of the gods of the nations ever delivered 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, of 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 Yahweh 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, “Don’t answer him.” 37  Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, came with Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.

Judah Delivered from Sennacherib

19 1  It happened, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of Yahweh. 2  He sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. 3  They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah, ‘This day is a day of trouble, of rebuke, and of rejection; for the children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to deliver them. 4  It may be Yahweh your God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master has sent to defy the living God, and will rebuke the words which Yahweh your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.’” 5  So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. 6  Isaiah said to them, “Thus you shall tell your master, ‘Thus says Yahweh, “Don’t be afraid of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me. 7  Behold, I will put a spirit in him, and he will hear news, and will return to his own land. I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.”’”

8  So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah; for he had heard that he had departed from Lachish. 9  When he heard it said of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, “Behold, he has come out to fight against you, he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying, 10  ‘Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, “Don’t let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11  Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly. Will you be delivered? 12  Have the gods of the nations delivered them, which my fathers have destroyed, Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden that were in Telassar? 13  Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivvah?”’” 14  Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it. Then Hezekiah went up to the house of Yahweh, and spread it before Yahweh. 15  Hezekiah prayed before Yahweh, and said, “Yahweh, the God of Israel, who sit above the cherubim, you are the God, even you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16  Incline your ear, Yahweh, and hear. Open your eyes, Yahweh, and see. Hear the words of Sennacherib, with which he has sent to defy the living God. 17  Truly, Yahweh, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, 18  and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they have destroyed them. 19  Now therefore, Yahweh our God, save us, I beg you, out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, Yahweh, are God alone.”

20  Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, ‘Whereas you have prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard you. 21  This is the word that Yahweh has spoken concerning him: “The virgin daughter of Zion has despised you and ridiculed you. The daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head at you. 22  Whom have you defied and blasphemed? Against whom have you exalted your voice and lifted up your eyes on high? Against the Holy One of Israel. 23  By your messengers you have defied the Lord, and have said, ‘With the multitude of my chariots, I have come up to the height of the mountains, to the innermost parts of Lebanon; and I will cut down its tall cedars, and its choice fir trees; and I will enter into his farthest lodging place, the forest of his fruitful field. 24  I have dug and drunk strange waters, and with the sole of my feet will I dry up all the rivers of Egypt.’ 25  Haven’t you heard how I have done it long ago, and formed it of ancient times? Now have I brought it to pass, that it should be yours to lay waste fortified cities into ruinous heaps. 26  Therefore their inhabitants were of small power. They were dismayed and confounded. They were like the grass of the field, and like the green herb, like the grass on the housetops, and like grain blasted before it has grown up. 27  But I know your sitting down, and your going out, and your coming in, and your raging against me. 28  Because of your raging against me, and because your arrogance has come up into my ears, therefore will I put my hook in your nose, and my bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way by which you came.” 29  “‘This shall be the sign to you: You shall eat this year that which grows of itself, and in the second year that which springs of the same; and in the third year sow, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat its fruit. 30  The remnant that has escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. 31  For out of Jerusalem a remnant will go out, and out of Mount Zion those who shall escape. The zeal of Yahweh will perform this.’ 32  “Therefore thus says Yahweh concerning the king of Assyria, ‘He shall not come to this city, nor shoot an arrow there, neither shall he come before it with shield, nor cast up a mound against it. 33  By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and he shall not come to this city,’ says Yahweh. 34  ‘For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.’”

35  It happened that night, that the angel of Yahweh went out, and struck one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. When men arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 36  So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and lived at Nineveh. 37  It happened, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Esar Haddon his son reigned in his place.

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