2 Kings 18New Life Version (NLV)
Hezekiah Rules Judah
18 In the third year of Hoshea the son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to rule. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king. And he ruled for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. 3 Hezekiah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done. 4 He took away the high places. He broke down the holy pillars used in worship and cut down the Asherah. And he broke in pieces the brass snake that Moses had made. For until those days the people of Israel burned special perfume to it. It was called Nehushtan. 5 Hezekiah trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah before him or after him. 6 For he held to the Lord and did not stop following Him. He kept His Laws which the Lord had given Moses. 7 And the Lord was with him. Hezekiah did well in every place he went. He turned against the king of Assyria and did not work for him. 8 He destroyed the Philistines as far as Gaza and its land, from the smallest town to the strongest city.
9 In the fourth year of King Hezekiah, the seventh year of Elah’s son Hoshea king of Israel, King Shalmaneser of Assyria came to fight against Samaria. His army gathered around it. 10 At the end of three years they took the city. Samaria was taken by Assyria in the sixth year of Hezekiah and the ninth year of King Hoshea of Israel. 11 Then the king of Assyria carried the people of Israel away against their will to Assyria. He had them live in Halah and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. 12 Because the people of Israel did not obey the voice of the Lord their God. They sinned against His agreement and even all that the Lord’s servant Moses told them. They would not listen or obey.
The Assyrians Want to Take Jerusalem
13 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, King Sennacherib of Assyria came and fought against all the strong cities of Judah and took them. 14 Then King Hezekiah of Judah sent word to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; leave me. I will pay whatever you ask.” So the king of Assyria had Hezekiah king of Judah pay him silver weighing as much as 300 men, and gold weighing as much as thirty men. 15 Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord, and in the store-rooms of the king’s house. 16 Then he cut the gold off the doors of the Lord’s house. He cut the gold from the sides of the door which King Hezekiah of Judah had covered with gold. And he gave it to the king of Assyria.
17 Then the king of Assyria sent Tartan, Rab-saris and Rabshakeh with a large army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. So they went up and came to Jerusalem. They came and stood by the ditch of the upper pool, which is on the road to the fuller’s field. 18 When they called to the king, Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebnah, and Joah the son of Asaph came out to them. Eliakim was the head of the house. Shebnah was the writer, and Joah wrote down the things of the nation. 19 Rabshakeh said to them, “Say to Hezekiah, ‘This is what the great king of Assyria says. “What is this strength of heart that you have? 20 You say with empty words, ‘I have wisdom and strength for war.’ On whom do you trust, that you have turned against me? 21 Look, you are trusting now in Egypt. It is a walking stick like a piece of broken river-grass. It will cut into a man’s hand if he rests on it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. 22 You might tell me, ‘We trust in the Lord our God.’ But is it not He Whose high places and altars Hezekiah has taken away? And has he not said to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship in front of this altar in Jerusalem’? 23 Come now, make an agreement with my ruler the king of Assyria. And I will give you 2,000 horses, if you are able to put horsemen on them. 24 How can you fight back one captain among the least of my ruler’s servants, when you trust Egypt for war-wagons and horsemen? 25 Have I 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 Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebnah, and Joah, said to Rabshakeh, “Speak to your servants in the Aramaic language, for we understand it. Do not speak with us in the language of Judah. The people on the wall might hear it.” 27 But Rabshakeh said to them, “Has my ruler sent me to speak these words to your ruler and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall? They are sure to suffer with you, eating and drinking their own body waste.” 28 Then Rabshakeh stood and called out with a loud voice in the language of Judah, saying, “Hear the word of the great king of Assyria. 29 The king says, ‘Do not let Hezekiah lie to you. For he will not be able to save you from my power. 30 Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, “The Lord will save us for sure. And this city will not be given to the king of Assyria.” 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah. For the king of Assyria says, “Make your peace with me and come out to me. Then every one of you will eat of his own vine and fig tree. And every one of you will drink the water of his own well. 32 Then I will come and take you away to a land like your own land. It is a land of grain and new wine. It is a land of bread and grape-fields and olive trees and honey. There you will live and not die.” But do not listen to Hezekiah when he lies to you, saying, “The Lord will save us.” 33 Has any one of the gods of the nations saved his land 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? Have they saved Samaria from my power? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands have saved their land from my power? So how should the Lord save Jerusalem from my power?’” 36 But the people were quiet. They did not answer him a word. For Hezekiah had told them, “Do not answer him.” 37 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah who was the head of the house, and Shebna the writer, and Joah the son of Asaph who wrote down the things of the nation, came to Hezekiah. They came with their clothes torn and told him the words of Rabshakeh.