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¶ NOW it came to pass in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.
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Then the king of Assyria sent the Rab-shakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to King Hezekiah with a great army.
And he stood by the ascent of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the palace’s field.
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And there went out to him Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, who was steward of the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder.
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And the Rab-shakeh said to them, Say now to Hezekiah, Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: What source of confidence is this wherein you trust?
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Saying, I am an eloquent speaker, and have counsel and strength for war;
now on whom do you trust, that you have rebelled against me?
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Behold, you trust in the staff of this broken reed, in the Egyptian;
on which, when a man lean, 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;
what has Hezekiah gained, in removing the shrines on the high places, and the altars, and in saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, You shall worship before one altar?
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Now therefore make an alliance with my lord, 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 can you turn away the face of one of the least of my master’s servants, and put your trust in the Egyptian to give you chariots and horsemen?
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And am I now 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 Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rab-shakeh, Speak to your servants in the Aramaic language;
for we understand it;
and do not speak to us in the Jews’ language, in the presence of the people who are standing on the wall.
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But the Rab-shakeh said to them, My master has not sent me to you and to your master to speak these words, but to the men who sit 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 said, Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria.
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Thus says the king: Do not let Hezekiah deceive you;
for he shall not be able to deliver you.
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Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us;
this city shall not be delivered into the hands of the king of Assyria.
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Do not listen to Hezekiah;
for thus says the king of Assyria: Do me a favor, and come out to me;
and eat every one of his vines and every one of his 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 grain and oil, a land of olive orchards and vineyards.
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Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, saying, The LORD will deliver us.
Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
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Where are the gods of Hamath and Arphad?
Where are the gods of Sepharvim?
And have they delivered Samaria out of my hands?
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Who is he among all the gods of these lands that has delivered his land out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?
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But they held their peace and answered him not a word;
for the king had commanded, saying, Do not answer him.
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Then Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, who was steward of the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rab-shakeh.