18Hezekiah son of Ahaz began to rule over Judah in the third year of King Hoshea's reign in Israel.H7969H8141H1954H1121H425H4428H3478H2396H1121H271H4428H3063H4427 2He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah.H6242H2568H8141H1121H4427H4427H6242H8672H8141H3389H517H8034H21H1323H2148 3He did what was pleasing in the LORD's sight, just as his ancestor David had done.H6213H3477H5869H3068H1732H1H6213 4He removed the pagan shrines, smashed the sacred pillars, and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke up the bronze serpent that Moses had made, because the people of Israel had been offering sacrifices to it. The bronze serpent was called Nehushtan.H5493H1116H7665H4676H3772H842H3807H5178H5175H4872H6213H3117H1121H3478H6999H7121H5180 5Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before or after his time.H982H3068H430H3478H310H4428H3063H6440 6He remained faithful to the LORD in everything, and he carefully obeyed all the commands the LORD had given Moses.H1692H3068H5493H310H8104H4687H3068H6680H4872 7So the LORD was with him, and Hezekiah was successful in everything he did. He revolted against the king of Assyria and refused to pay him tribute.H3068H7919H3318H4775H4428H804H5647 8He also conquered the Philistines as far distant as Gaza and its territory, from their smallest outpost to their largest walled city.H5221H6430H5804H1366H4026H5341H4013H5892 9During the fourth year of Hezekiah's reign, which was the seventh year of King Hoshea's reign in Israel, King Shalmaneser of Assyria attacked the city of Samaria and began a siege against it.H7243H8141H4428H2396H7637H8141H1954H1121H425H4428H3478H8022H4428H804H5927H8111H6696 10Three years later, during the sixth year of King Hezekiah's reign and the ninth year of King Hoshea's reign in Israel, Samaria fell.H7097H7969H8141H3920H8337H8141H2396H8672H8141H1954H4428H3478H8111H3920 11At that time the king of Assyria exiled the Israelites to Assyria and placed them in colonies in Halah, along the banks of the Habor River in Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.H4428H804H1540H3478H804H5148H2477H2249H5104H1470H5892H4074 12For they refused to listen to the LORD their God and obey him. Instead, they violated his covenant—all the laws that Moses the LORD's servant had commanded them to obey.H8085H6963H3068H430H5674H1285H4872H5650H3068H6680H8085H6213 13In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah's reign, King Sennacherib of Assyria came to attack the fortified towns of Judah and conquered them.H702H6240H8141H4428H2396H5576H4428H804H5927H1219H5892H3063H8610 14King Hezekiah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish: "I have done wrong. I will pay whatever tribute money you demand if you will only withdraw." The king of Assyria then demanded a settlement of more than eleven tons of silver and one ton of gold.H2396H4428H3063H7971H4428H804H3923H559H2398H7725H5414H5375H4428H804H7760H2396H4428H3063H7969H3967H3603H3701H7970H3603H2091 15To gather this amount, King Hezekiah used all the silver stored in the Temple of the LORD and in the palace treasury.H2396H5414H3701H4672H1004H3068H214H4428H1004 16Hezekiah even stripped the gold from the doors of the LORD's Temple and from the doorposts he had overlaid with gold, and he gave it all to the Assyrian king.H6256H2396H7112H1817H1964H3068H547H2396H4428H3063H6823H5414H4428H804 17Nevertheless, the king of Assyria sent his commander in chief, his field commander, and his chief of staff from Lachish with a huge army to confront King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. The Assyrians took up a position beside the aqueduct that feeds water into the upper pool, near the road leading to the field where cloth is washed.H4428H804H7971H8661H7249H7262H3923H4428H2396H3515H2426H3389H5927H935H3389H5927H935H5975H8585H5945H1295H4546H3526H7704 18They summoned King Hezekiah, but the king sent these officials to meet with them: Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace administrator; Shebna the court secretary; and Joah son of Asaph, the royal historian.H7121H4428H3318H471H1121H2518H1004H7644H5608H3098H1121H623H2142 19Then the Assyrian king's chief of staff told them to give this message to Hezekiah: "This is what the great king of Assyria says: What are you trusting in that makes you so confident?H7262H559H559H2396H559H1419H4428H4428H804H986H982 20Do you think that mere words can substitute for military skill and strength? Who are you counting on, that you have rebelled against me?H559H8193H1697H6098H1369H4421H982H4775 21On Egypt? If you lean on Egypt, it will be like a reed that splinters beneath your weight and pierces your hand. Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, is completely unreliable!H982H4938H7533H7070H4714H376H5564H935H3709H5344H6547H4428H4714H982 22"But perhaps you will say to me, 'We are trusting in the LORD our God!' But isn't he the one who was insulted by Hezekiah? Didn't Hezekiah tear down his shrines and altars and make everyone in Judah and Jerusalem worship only at the altar here in Jerusalem?H559H982H3068H430H1116H4196H2396H5493H559H3063H3389H7812H6440H4196H3389 23"I'll tell you what! Strike a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria. I will give you 2,000 horses if you can find that many men to ride on them!H6148H113H4428H804H5414H505H5483H3201H5414H7392 24With your tiny army, how can you think of challenging even the weakest contingent of my master's troops, even with the help of Egypt's chariots and charioteers?H7725H6440H259H6346H6996H113H5650H982H4714H7393H6571 25What's more, do you think we have invaded your land without the LORD's direction? The LORD himself told us, 'Attack this land and destroy it!'"H5927H1107H3068H4725H7843H3068H559H5927H776H7843 26Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, Shebna, and Joah said to the Assyrian chief of staff, "Please speak to us in Aramaic, for we understand it well. Don't speak in Hebrew, for the people on the wall will hear."H559H471H1121H2518H7644H3098H7262H1696H5650H762H8085H1696H3066H241H5971H2346 27But Sennacherib's chief of staff replied, "Do you think my master sent this message only to you and your master? He wants all the people to hear it, for when we put this city under siege, they will suffer along with you. They will be so hungry and thirsty that they will eat their own dung and drink their own urine."H7262H559H113H7971H113H1696H1697H582H3427H2346H398H6675H2755H8354H4325H7272H7890 28Then the chief of staff stood and shouted in Hebrew to the people on the wall, "Listen to this message from the great king of Assyria!H7262H5975H7121H1419H6963H3066H1696H559H8085H1697H1419H4428H4428H804 29This is what the king says: Don't let Hezekiah deceive you. He will never be able to rescue you from my power.H559H4428H2396H5377H3201H5337H3027 30Don't let him fool you into trusting in the LORD by saying, 'The LORD will surely rescue us. This city will never fall into the hands of the Assyrian king!'H2396H982H3068H559H3068H5337H5337H5892H5414H3027H4428H804 31"Don't listen to Hezekiah! These are the terms the king of Assyria is offering: Make peace with me—open the gates and come out. Then each of you can continue eating from your own grapevine and fig tree and drinking from your own well.H8085H2396H559H4428H804H6213H1293H3318H398H376H1612H376H8384H8354H376H4325H953 32Then I will arrange to take you to another land like this one—a land of grain and new wine, bread and vineyards, olive groves and honey. Choose life instead of death! "Don't listen to Hezekiah when he tries to mislead you by saying, 'The LORD will rescue us!'H935H3947H776H776H776H1715H8492H776H3899H3754H776H3323H2132H1706H2421H4191H8085H2396H5496H559H3068H5337 33Have the gods of any other nations ever saved their people from the king of Assyria?H376H430H1471H5337H5337H776H3027H4428H804 34What happened to the gods of Hamath and Arpad? And what about the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Did any god rescue Samaria from my power?H430H2574H774H430H5617H2012H5755H5337H8111H3027 35What god of any nation has ever been able to save its people from my power? So what makes you think that the LORD can rescue Jerusalem from me?"H430H776H5337H776H3027H3068H5337H3389H3027 36But the people were silent and did not utter a word because Hezekiah had commanded them, "Do not answer him."H5971H2790H6030H1697H4428H4687H559H6030 37Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace administrator; Shebna the court secretary; and Joah son of Asaph, the royal historian, went back to Hezekiah. They tore their clothes in despair, and they went in to see the king and told him what the Assyrian chief of staff had said.H935H471H1121H2518H1004H7644H5608H3098H1121H623H2142H2396H899H7167H5046H1697H7262
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