2 Kings 18International Children’s Bible (ICB)
Hezekiah King of Judah
18 Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah became king. This was during the third year Hoshea son of Elah was king of Israel. 2 Hezekiah was 25 years old when he became king. And he ruled 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. 3 Hezekiah did what the Lord said was right. He did just as his ancestor David had done. 4 He removed the places where false gods were worshiped. He broke the stone pillars they worshiped. He cut down the Asherah idols. Also the Israelites had been burning incense to the bronze snake made by Moses. (It was called Nehushtan.) But Hezekiah broke it into pieces.
5 Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah. There was no king like him, before him or after him. 6 Hezekiah was loyal to the Lord. He did not stop following the Lord. He obeyed the commands the Lord had given Moses. 7 And the Lord was with Hezekiah. He had success in everything he did. He turned against the king of Assyria and stopped serving him. 8 Hezekiah defeated the Philistines all the way to Gaza and its borders. He defeated them everywhere, from the watchtower to the strong, walled city.
The Assyrians Capture Samaria
9 Shalmaneser king of Assyria surrounded Samaria and attacked it. This was in the fourth year Hezekiah was king. And it was the seventh year Hoshea son of Elah was king of Israel. 10 After three years the Assyrians captured Samaria. This was in the sixth year Hezekiah was king. And it was Hoshea’s ninth year as king of Israel. 11 The king of Assyria took the Israelites away to Assyria. He put them in Halah and in Gozan on the Habor River. He also put them in the cities of the Medes. 12 This happened because they did not obey the Lord their God. They broke his agreement. They did not obey all that Moses, the Lord’s servant, had commanded. They would not listen to the commands or do them.
Assyria Attacks Judah
13 During Hezekiah’s fourteenth year as king, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked Judah. He attacked all the strong, walled cities of Judah and defeated them. 14 Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent a message to the king of Assyria at Lachish. He said, “I have done wrong. Leave me alone. Then I will pay anything you demand of me.” So the king of Assyria told Hezekiah how much to pay. It was about 22,000 pounds of silver and 2,000 pounds of gold. 15 Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was in the Temple of the Lord. And he gave him all the silver in the palace treasuries. 16 Hezekiah cut off all the gold that covered the doors of the Temple of the Lord. He also removed the gold from the doorposts. Hezekiah had put gold on these doors himself. He gave it all to the king of Assyria.
Assyria Troubles Hezekiah
17 The king of Assyria sent out his supreme commander, his chief officer and his field commander. They went with a large army from Lachish to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. When they came near the waterway from the upper pool, they stopped. The upper pool is on the road to the Washerman’s Field. 18 They called for the king. So Eliakim, Shebna and Joah went out to meet them. Eliakim son of Hilkiah was the palace manager. Shebna was the royal assistant. And Joah son of Asaph was the recorder.
19 The field commander said to them, “Tell Hezekiah this:
“‘The great king, the king of Assyria, says: You have nothing to trust in to help you. 20 You say you have battle plans and power for war. But your words mean nothing. Whom are you trusting for help so that you turn against me? 21 Look, you are depending on Egypt to help you. Egypt is like a splintered walking stick. If you lean on it for help, it will stab you and hurt you. The king of Egypt will hurt those who depend on him. 22 You might say, “We are depending on the Lord our God.” But Hezekiah destroyed the Lord’s altars and the places of worship. Hezekiah told Judah and Jerusalem, “You must worship only at this one altar in Jerusalem.”
23 “‘Now make an agreement with my master, the king of Assyria: I will give you 2,000 horses if you can find enough men to ride them. 24 You cannot defeat one of my master’s least important officers. So why do you depend on Egypt to give you chariots and horsemen? 25 I have not come to attack and destroy this place without an order from the Lord. The Lord himself told me to come to this country and destroy it.’”
26 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, Shebna and Joah spoke to the field commander. They said, “Please speak to us in the Aramaic language. We understand it. Don’t speak to us in Hebrew because the people on the city wall can hear you.”
27 But the commander said, “No. My master did not send me to tell these things only to you and your king. My master sent me to tell them also to those people sitting on the wall. They will have to eat their own dung and drink their own urine like you.”
28 Then the commander stood and shouted loudly in the Hebrew language. He said, “Listen to the word from the great king, the king of Assyria! 29 The king says you should not let Hezekiah fool you. Hezekiah can’t save you from my power. 30 Don’t let Hezekiah talk you into trusting the Lord. Hezekiah says, ‘The Lord will surely save us. This city won’t be given over to the king of Assyria.’
31 “Don’t listen to Hezekiah. The king of Assyria says, ‘Make peace with me. Come out of the city to me. Then everyone will be free to eat the fruit from his own grapevine and fig tree. Everyone will be free to drink water from his own well. 32 Then I will come and take you to a land like your own. It is a land with grain and new wine. It has bread and vineyards. It is a land of olives and honey. Then you can choose to live and not to die!’
“Don’t listen to Hezekiah. He is fooling you when he says, ‘The Lord will save us.’ 33 The god of any other nation has not saved his people from the power of the king of Assyria. 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah? They did not save Samaria from my power. 35 Not one of all the gods of these countries has saved his people from me. Then the Lord cannot save Jerusalem from my power.”
36 The people were silent. They didn’t answer the commander at all. This was because King Hezekiah had ordered, “Don’t answer him.”
37 Then Eliakim, Shebna and Joah tore their clothes to show how upset they were. (Eliakim son of Hilkiah was the palace manager. Shebna was the royal assistant. And Joah son of Asaph was the recorder.) The three men went to Hezekiah and told him what the field commander had said.
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