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¶ NOW in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.
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He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign;
and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem.
His mother’s name was Ahi, the daughter of Zechariah.
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And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.
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He removed the high places and broke the images and cut down the idols and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made;
for the children of Israel had gone astray after it, and until those days they did burn incense to it;
and they called it Nehushtan.
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He trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah nor among those who were before him.
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For he held fast to the LORD and turned not aside from following him, but kept his commandments, according to all that the LORD commanded Moses.
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And the LORD was with him;
and wherever he went forth he conquered;
and he rebelled against the king of Assyria and served him not.
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He smote the Philistines as far as Gaza and the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen to the fortified city.
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¶ In the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it.
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And at the end of three years he took it, even in the sixth year of Hezekiah;
that is, in the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken.
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And the king of Assyria carried away Israel to Assyria and put them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, the cities of Media,
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Because they did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed his covenant and all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded them, and would not hearken nor do them.
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Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah, and took them.
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And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, I have offended;
return from attacking me;
and whatever tribute you lay on me I will bear.
And the king of Assyria imposed upon Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold.
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And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD and in the treasures of the king’s house.
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At that time Hezekiah stripped off the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.
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Then the king of Assyria sent Tartan and the Rab-shakeh and Rab-sisak from Lachish to King Hezekiah with a great army to Jerusalem.
And they came up against Jerusalem, and when they were come up they stood by the ascent of the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the palace’s field.
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And when they had called to the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was the steward of the household, and Shebna the scribe and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder.
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Then the Rab-shakeh said to them, Speak now to Hezekiah, Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: What confidence is this in which you trust?
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You have said that you are a good speaker and that you have counsel and strength for war.
Now on whom do you trust, that you have rebelled against me?
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Now, behold, you have trusted upon the staff of the broken reed, even on Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it;
so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him.
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But if you say to me, We trust in the LORD our God;
is it not he whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has removed, and has said to Judah and Jerusalem, You shall worship before a single altar in Jerusalem?
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Now therefore, make an alliance with my lord the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you have riders to set upon them.
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How then will you refuse the request of one of the least nobles of my master’s servants and put your trust in the Egyptian to give you chariots and horsemen?
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And now perhaps you think that I have come up without the LORD against this land to destroy it?
The LORD said to me, Go up against this land and destroy it.
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Then said Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna and Joah to Rab-shakeh, Speak to your servants in the Aramaic;
for we understand it;
and do not speak to us in the Jews’ language in the presence of the people who are on the wall.
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But the Rab-shakeh said to them, It was not to you and to your master that my master has sent me to speak these words, but to the men who are sitting on the wall, that they may not eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you.
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Then the Rab-shakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ language, and spoke, saying, Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria;
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Thus says the king: Let not Hezekiah deceive you;
for he shall not be able to deliver you out of my hands;
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Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us, and this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.
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Do not hearken to Hezekiah;
for thus says the king of Assyria: Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me, and then eat every one of you of his own vine and of his own fig tree and drink every one the waters of his own cistern,
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Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of many kinds of fruit trees, a land of grain and vineyards, a land of olive trees and of fatness and of honey, that you may live and not die;
and do not listen to Hezekiah, and let not Hezekiah deceive you, saying, The LORD will deliver us.
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Has any of the gods of the nations been able to deliver his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
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Where are the gods of Hamath and of Arpad?
Where are the gods of Sepharvim, Dena, and Ivah?
Have they delivered Samaria out of my hands?
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Who are there among all the gods of these nations that have delivered their country out of my hands, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hands?
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But the people held their peace, and answered him not a word;
for the king had commanded, saying, Do not answer him.
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Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, the steward of the household, and Shebna the scribe and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and told him the words of the Rab-shakeh.