He removed(A) the high places,(B) smashed the sacred stones(C) and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake(D) Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.[a])

Hezekiah trusted(E) in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. He held fast(F) to the Lord and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses. And the Lord was with him; he was successful(G) in whatever he undertook. He rebelled(H) against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. From watchtower to fortified city,(I) he defeated the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory.

In King Hezekiah’s fourth year,(J) which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and laid siege to it. 10 At the end of three years the Assyrians took it. So Samaria was captured in Hezekiah’s sixth year, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel. 11 The king(K) of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in towns of the Medes.(L) 12 This happened because they had not obeyed the Lord their God, but had violated his covenant(M)—all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded.(N) They neither listened to the commands(O) nor carried them out.

13 In the fourteenth year(P) of King Hezekiah’s reign, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah(Q) and captured them. 14 So Hezekiah king of Judah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish:(R) “I have done wrong.(S) Withdraw from me, and I will pay whatever you demand of me.” The king of Assyria exacted from Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents[b] of silver and thirty talents[c] of gold. 15 So Hezekiah gave(T) him all the silver that was found in the temple of the Lord and in the treasuries of the royal palace.

16 At this time Hezekiah king of Judah stripped off the gold with which he had covered the doors(U) and doorposts of the temple of the Lord, and gave it to the king of Assyria.

Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem(V)(W)

17 The king of Assyria sent his supreme commander,(X) his chief officer and his field commander with a large army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. They came up to Jerusalem and stopped at the aqueduct of the Upper Pool,(Y) on the road to the Washerman’s Field. 18 They called for the king; and Eliakim(Z) son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna(AA) the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went out to them.

19 The field commander said to them, “Tell Hezekiah:

“‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: On what are you basing this confidence(AB) of yours? 20 You say you have the counsel and the might for war—but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me? 21 Look, I know you are depending on Egypt,(AC) that splintered reed of a staff,(AD) which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him. 22 But if you say to me, “We are depending on the Lord our God”—isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, “You must worship before this altar in Jerusalem”?

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Footnotes

  1. 2 Kings 18:4 Nehushtan sounds like the Hebrew for both bronze and snake.
  2. 2 Kings 18:14 That is, about 11 tons or about 10 metric tons
  3. 2 Kings 18:14 That is, about 1 ton or about 1 metric ton