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Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem...
And it came to be in the fourteenth year of Sovereign Hizqiyahu that Sanherib sovereign of Ashshur came up against all the walled cities of Yehudah and took them.
And the sovereign of Ashshur sent the Rabshaqeh with a great army from Lakish to Sovereign Hizqiyahu at Yerushalayim. And he stood by the channel of the upper pool, on the highway to the Launderer's Field.
And there came to him Elyaqim son of Hilqiyahu, who was over the household, and Shebnah the scribe, and Yo'ah son of Asaph, the recorder.
The Rabshaqeh then said to them, 'Please say to Hizqiyahu, 'Thus said the great sovereign, the sovereign of Ashshur, 'What trust is this in which you trust?
'I say: You speak of having counsel and strength for battle, but they are vain words. Now in whom do you trust, that you have rebelled against me?
'Look! You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Mitsrayim, on which if a man leans, it shall go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh the sovereign of Mitsrayim to all who trust in him.
'But if you say to me, 'We trust in YHWH our Elohim,' is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hizqiyahu has taken away, and has said to Yehudah and to Yerushalayim, 'Bow yourselves before this altar'?
'And now, I urge you, please give a pledge to my master the sovereign of Ashshur, and I give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to put riders on them!
'And how do you refuse one officer of the least of my master's servants, and put your trust in Mitsrayim for chariots and horsemen?
'And now, have I come up without YHWH against this land to destroy it? YHWH said to me, 'Go up against this land, and destroy it.''
And Elyaqim, Shebnah, and Yo'ah said to the Rabshaqeh, 'Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. And do not speak to us in the language of Yehudah in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.'
But the Rabshaqeh said, 'Has my master sent me to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, to eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you?'
And the Rabshaqeh stood and called out with a loud voice in the language of Yehudah, and said, 'Hear the words of the great sovereign, the sovereign of Ashshur!
'Thus said the sovereign, 'Do not let Hizqiyahu deceive you, for he is unable to deliver you,
and do not let Hizqiyahu make you trust in YHWH, saying, ' YHWH shall certainly deliver us, this city is not given into the hand of the sovereign of Ashshur.''
'Do not listen to Hizqiyahu, for thus said the sovereign of Ashshur, 'Make peace with me by a present and come out to me. And let each of you eat from his own vine and each from his own fig tree, and each of you drink the waters of his own cistern,
until I come. Then I shall take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards.
'Beware lest Hizqiyahu mislead you, saying, ' YHWH shall deliver us.' Has any one of the mighty ones of the nations delivered its land from the hand of the sovereign of Ashshur?
'Where are the mighty ones of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the mighty ones of Sepharwayim? And when have they delivered Shomeron from my hand?
'Who among all the mighty ones of these lands have delivered their land from my hand, that YHWH should deliver Yerushalayim from my hand?''
But they were silent and answered him not a word, for the command of the sovereign was, 'Do not answer him.'
And Elyaqim son of Hilqiyahu, who was over the household, Shebnah the scribe, and Yo'ah son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hizqiyahu with their garments torn, and they reported to him the words of the Rabshaqeh.