The king received a report that Tirhakah, the ·Cushite king of Egypt [L king of Cush; C ruled 689–664 bc], was coming to attack him. When the king of Assyria heard this, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,
Now the Assyrian envoy left Jerusalem and went to consult his king, who had left Lachish and was besieging Libnah. But at this point the Assyrian king received word that Tirhakah, crown prince of Ethiopia, was leading an army against him from the south. Upon hearing this, he sent messengers back to Jerusalem to Hezekiah with this message:
Just then the Assyrian king received an intelligence report on King Tirhakah of Ethiopia: “He is on his way to make war on you.” On hearing that, he sent messengers to Hezekiah with instructions to deliver this message: “Don’t let your God, on whom you so naively lean, deceive you, promising that Jerusalem won’t fall to the king of Assyria. Use your head! Look around at what the kings of Assyria have done all over the world—one country after another devastated! And do you think you’re going to get off? Have any of the gods of any of these countries ever stepped in and saved them, even one of these nations my predecessors destroyed—Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who lived in Telassar? Look around. Do you see anything left of the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, the king of Ivvah?”
During that time Sennacherib received a report. He was told that Tirhakah was marching out to fight against him. Tirhakah was the king of Cush. When Sennacherib heard the report, he sent messengers again to Hezekiah with a letter. It said,
Soon afterward King Sennacherib received word that King Tirhakah of Ethiopia was leading an army to fight against him. Before leaving to meet the attack, he sent messengers back to Hezekiah in Jerusalem with this message:
Now the Assyrian king heard that Tirhakah, the king of Cush, had allied himself with the Judeans and was coming to fight against him. The news prompted him to send messengers to Hezekiah with another message.
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