In the foureteenth yere of king Hezekias came Sennacherib kyng of the Assyrians downe, to lay siege vnto all the strong cities of Iuda, to conquer them.
And the kyng of the Assyrians sent Rabsakeh from Lachis towarde Hierusalem, agaynst Hezekias with an exceedyng hoast, which set hym by the conduite of the ouer poole in the way that goeth through the fullers lande.
And so there came foorth vnto hym Eliakim Helkias sonne, the chiefe ouer the householde, Sobna the scribe, and Ioah Asaphs sonne the secretarie:
And Rabsakeh sayde vnto them, Tell Hezekia that the great kyng saith thus vnto hym: What presumption is this that thou trustest vnto?
I sayde surely that thou trustest in vayne wordes, when counsayle and strength are necessarie to battayle: but nowe wherto trustest thou, that thou rebellest agaynst me?
Lo, thou puttest thy trust in a broken staffe of reede [I meane] Egypt, which he that leaneth vpon, it goeth into his hande and shooteth it through: euen so is Pharao the kyng of Egypt vnto all them that trust in hym.
But if thou wouldest say vnto me, We trust in the Lorde our God: Is not he that God whose hygh places & aulters Hezekia toke downe, and commaunded Iuda and Hierusalem to worship only before this aulter?
Nowe therfore deliuer hostages that thou rebell no more agaynst my Lorde the kyng of the Assyrians, and I wyll geue thee two thousande horses yf thou be able to set men vpon them.
Howe darest thou resist the power of the smallest prince that my Lorde hath?
howe darest thou trust in the charrets and horsemen of Egypt?
Moreouer, thinkest thou that I am come vp hyther to destroy this lande without the Lordes wyll?
The Lorde sayd vnto me, Go vp agaynst this lande and destroy it.
Then sayd Eliakim, Sobna, & Ioah, vnto Rabsakeh: Speake to vs thy seruauntes we pray thee in the Syrians language, for we vnderstande it well, and speake not to vs in the Iewes tongue, lest the folke heare which lyeth vpon the wall.
Then aunswered Rabsakeh: Hath my maister sent me to speake this only to thy maister and thee?
hath he not sent me to them also that lye vpon the wall?
that they may be compelled to eate their owne dunge, and drinke their owne stale with you?
And Rabsakeh stoode stiffe, and cryed with a loude voyce in the Iewes tongue, and sayde: Nowe take heede howe the great kyng of the Assyrians geueth you warnyng.
Thus saith the kyng: Let not Hezekia deceaue you, for he shall not be able to deliuer you.
Moreouer, let not Hezekia comfort you in the Lorde when he saith, The Lorde without doubt shall defende vs, and shall not geue ouer this citie into the handes of the king of the Assyrians.
Hearken not to Hezekia, for thus saith the kyng of Assyria: Obtayne my fauour, encline to me, so may euery man enioy his vineyardes and figge trees, and drynke the water of his cesterne:
Unto the tyme that I come my selfe, and bryng you into a lande that is lyke your owne, wherin is wheate & wine, which is both sowen with seede and planted with vineyardes.
Let not Hezekia deceaue you, when he saith vnto you, the Lorde shall deliuer vs: Myght the gods of the gentiles kepe euery mans lande from the power of the kyng of the Assyrians?
Where is the god of Hemath and Arphad?
where is the god of Sepharuaim?
and who is able to defende Samaria out of my hande?
Or which of all the gods of these landes hath deliuered their countrey out of my power?
Is the Lord in deede able to deliuer Hierusalem from my hande?
Unto this Hezekias messengers helde their tongues, and aunswered not one worde: for the kyng had charged them that they should geue him no aunswere.
So came Eliakim Helkias sonne the chiefe ouer the householde, Sobna the scribe, and Ioah Asaphes sonne the secratarie vnto Hezekia with rent clothes, and tolde hym the wordes of Rabsakeh.