Isaiah 36 The Passion Translation (TPT)
36 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign,[b] Sennacherib,[c] king of Assyria, attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and conquered them. 2 After defeating Lachish, Sennacherib sent his chief commander[d] with his massive army from there to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. He took up a position on the road to the Washerman’s Field,[e] at the end of the aqueduct where it empties into the upper pool.[f] 3 And coming out to meet him were three officials of the king: Eliakim, son of Hilkiah, the palace administrator; Shebna, the scribe; and Joah, son of Asaph, the secretary.
4 Sennacherib’s commander said to them, “Tell Hezekiah, this is what the exalted king, the king of Assyria, says: ‘What makes you so confident? 5 You think you have a strategy and defensive might, but mere words are no match for my army! In whom are you trusting for help that you rebel against me? 6 I know—you are relying on Egypt, that broken staff full of splinters. If anyone leans on it, it will pierce his hand. Pharaoh himself, king of Egypt, is like that splintered staff to those who put their trust in him! But you tell me that you are trusting in Yahweh, your God. For Hezekiah went around destroying every sacred altar from the land. Didn’t he insist that Judah and Jerusalem had to worship only at this altar in your temple? 8 Now it’s time to make a deal with my master, the king of Assyria. I will give you two thousand horses if you’re able to come up with as many men to ride them. 9 You’re no match against even one officer of the least of my master’s officials! Why put your confidence in Egypt’s chariots and horsemen? 10 What’s more, do you really think I’ve marched against this land to destroy it on my own without Yahweh’s approval?’”
11 Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah replied, “Please speak to us, your servants, in Aramaic, for we understand it. Don’t speak to us in Hebrew, for the people on the wall are listening to us, and they will overhear our conversation.”
12 But the commander answered them, “Do you think I came to deliver this message from my master only to you and your king? It is also meant for the men sitting there on the wall to hear! They are the ones who will eat their own excrement and drink their own urine!”
13 So the commander stood and shouted out in a loud voice in Hebrew to the men listening on the wall, “Hear the words of the great King Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, 14 for he has sent me with these words: ‘Don’t let Hezekiah mislead you, for there is nothing he can do to save you. 15 Don’t be deceived when he tries to persuade you to trust in Yahweh, saying to you, “Yahweh will come to our rescue and our city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.” 16 Don’t listen to Hezekiah, for the king of Assyria says to you, “Make your peace with me and surrender so that you may continue to eat from your own grapes and figs and drink the water from your own cisterns 17 until I come and take you away to a land like your own. It is a good land of grain and wine, bread and vineyards.” 18 Don’t be deceived by Hezekiah’s empty words when he says to you, “Yahweh will save us.” Has any god ever saved a nation from the mighty hand of the king of Assyria? 19 Where were the gods of Hamath[g] and Arphad?[h] Where were the gods of Sepharvaim? Did any god save your northern kingdom of Samaria from me? 20 Where is there a god that could save its people from my mighty hand?’”
21 But they were silent, and no one answered him a word, for King Hezekiah had ordered them, “Do not answer him.”
22 So the three officials of Hezekiah—Eliakim, son of Hilkiah, the palace administrator; Shebna, the scribe; and Joah, son of Asaph the secretary—came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn as a sign of despair and reported what the Assyrian commander had said.