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Sennacherib Invades Judah

36 (A)Now it happened in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, that (B)Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them. And the (C)king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to King Hezekiah with a heavy military force. And he stood by the (D)conduit of the upper pool on the highway of the [a]fuller’s field. Then (E)Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and (F)Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to him.

Then (G)Rabshakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria, “What is this trust that you have? I say, ‘Your counsel and might for the war are only [b]empty words.’ Now in whom do you trust, that (H)you have rebelled against me? Behold, you trust in the (I)staff of this crushed reed, even on Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his [c]hand and pierce it. (J)So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. But if you say to me, ‘We trust in Yahweh our God,’ is it not He (K)whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away and has said to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar’? So now, [d]come make a bargain with my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to give riders for them. How then can you [e]turn away one [f]official of the least of my master’s servants and (L)trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 10 So now, have I come up [g]without the approval of Yahweh against this land to make it a ruin? (M)Yahweh said to me, ‘Go up against this land and make it a ruin.’”’”

11 Then Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to Rabshakeh, “Speak now to your servants in (N)Aramaic, for we [h]understand it; and do not speak with us in [i](O)Judean in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 12 But Rabshakeh said, “Has my master sent me only to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, doomed to eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you?”

13 Then Rabshakeh stood and (P)cried with a loud voice in Judean and said, “Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. 14 Thus says the king, ‘Do not let Hezekiah (Q)deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you; 15 and do not let Hezekiah make you (R)trust in Yahweh, saying, “Yahweh will surely deliver us, this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.” 16 Do not listen to Hezekiah,’ for thus says the king of Assyria, ‘[j]Make your peace with me and come out to me, and eat each of his (S)vine and each of his fig tree, and drink each of the (T)waters of his own cistern, 17 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. 18 Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you, saying, “(U)Yahweh will deliver us.” Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of (V)Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of (W)Sepharvaim? And when have they (X)delivered Samaria from my hand? 20 Who among all the (Y)gods of these lands [k]have delivered their land from my hand, that (Z)Yahweh would deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’”

21 But they were silent and (AA)answered him not a word, for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.” 22 Then (AB)Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and (AC)Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and told him the words of Rabshakeh.


  1. Isaiah 36:2 Or launderer’s
  2. Isaiah 36:5 Lit words of lips
  3. Isaiah 36:6 Lit palm
  4. Isaiah 36:8 Lit please exchange pledges
  5. Isaiah 36:9 Lit turn away the face of
  6. Isaiah 36:9 Or governor
  7. Isaiah 36:10 Lit without Yahweh
  8. Isaiah 36:11 Lit hear
  9. Isaiah 36:11 Hebrew
  10. Isaiah 36:16 Lit Make with me a blessing
  11. Isaiah 36:20 Lit who have