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Isaiah 36Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Sennacherib’s Invasion

36 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. Then the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh, along with a massive army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. The Assyrian stood near the conduit of the upper pool, by the road to the Fuller’s Field. Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian, came out to him.

The Rabshakeh said to them, “Tell Hezekiah:

The great king, the king of Assyria, says this: What are you relying on?[a] I[b] say that your strategy and military preparedness are mere words. What are you now relying on that you have rebelled against me? Look, you are trusting in Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff that will enter and pierce the hand of anyone who leans on it. This is how Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who trust in him. Suppose you say to me, ‘We trust in the Lord our God.’ Isn’t He the One whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You are to worship at this altar’?

Now make a deal with my master, the king of Assyria. I’ll give you 2,000 horses if you’re able to supply riders for them! How then can you drive back a single officer among the weakest of my master’s officers and trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen? 10 Have I attacked this land to destroy it without the Lord’s approval? The Lord said to me, ‘Attack this land and destroy it.’”

11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, since we understand it. Don’t speak to us in Hebrew[c] within earshot of the people who are on the wall.”

12 But the Rabshakeh replied, “Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men who are sitting on the wall, who are destined with you to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?”

13 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out loudly in Hebrew:[d]

Listen to the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! 14 This is what the king says: “Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, for he cannot deliver you. 15 Don’t let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord will certainly deliver us! This city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.’”

16 Don’t listen to Hezekiah, for this is what the king of Assyria says: “Make peace[e] with me and surrender to me. Then every one of you may eat from his own vine and his own fig tree and drink water from 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 that Hezekiah does not mislead you by saying, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the power of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria from my power? 20 Who among all the gods of these lands ever delivered his land from my power? So will the Lord deliver Jerusalem.”

21 But they kept silent; they didn’t say anything, for the king’s command was, “Don’t answer him.” 22 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the court secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the court historian, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and reported to him the words of the Rabshakeh.


  1. Isaiah 36:4 Lit What is this trust that you trust
  2. Isaiah 36:5 DSS read You
  3. Isaiah 36:11 Lit Judahite
  4. Isaiah 36:13 Lit Judahite
  5. Isaiah 36:16 Lit a blessing

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