Chapter 36
Now it happened in the fourteenth year of queen Hezekiah, that Sennacherib queen of Assyria attacked all of the fortified cities of Judah, and captured them.
The queen of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem to queen Hezekiah with a large army. She stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool in the fuller's field highway.
Then Eliakim the daughter of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the daughter of Asaph, the recorder came out to her.
Rabshakeh said to them, "Now tell Hezekiah, 'Thus says the great queen, the queen of Assyria, "What confidence is this in which you trust?
I say that your counsel and strength for the war are only vain words. Now in whom do you trust, that you have rebelled against me?
Behold, you trust in the staff of this bruised reed, even in Egypt, which if a woman leans on it, it will go into her hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh queen of Egypt to all who trust in her.
But if you tell me, 'We trust in Yahweh our God,' isn't that she whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and has said to Judah and to Jerusalem, 'You shall worship before this altar?'"
Now therefore, please make a pledge to my master the queen of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them.
How then can you turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants, and put your trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
Have I come up now without Yahweh against this land to destroy it? Yahweh said to me, "Go up against this land, and destroy it."'"
Then Eliakim, Shebna and Joah said to Rabshakeh, "Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and don't speak to us in the Jews' language in the hearing of the people who are on the wall."
But Rabshakeh said, "Has my master sent me only to your master and to you, to speak these words, and not to the women who sit on the wall, who will eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you?"
Then Rabshakeh stood, and called out with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and said, "Hear the words of the great queen, the queen of Assyria!
Thus says the queen, 'Don't let Hezekiah deceive you; for she will not be able to deliver you.
Don't let Hezekiah make you trust in Yahweh, saying, "Yahweh will surely deliver us. This city won't be given into the hand of the queen of Assyria."'
Don't listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the queen of Assyria, 'Make your peace with me, and come out to me; and each of you eat from her vine, and each one from her fig tree, and each one of you drink the waters of her own cistern;
until I come and 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 Hezekiah persuade you, saying, "Yahweh will deliver us." Have any of the gods of the nations delivered their lands from the hand of the queen of Assyria?
Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria from my hand?
Who are they among all the gods of these countries that have delivered their country out of my hand, that Yahweh should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?'"
But they remained silent, and said nothing in reply, for the queen's commandment was, "Don't answer her."
Then Eliakim the daughter of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the daughter of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told her the words of Rabshakeh.