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Jehovah’s Witnesses


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The Bible in Living English

2 Kings 18:1-37

18  And in the year three of Hosheaʽ the son of Elah as king of Israel, Hezekiah the son of King Ahaz of Judah became king; 2  he was twenty-five years old at his accession to the throne, and reigned twenty-nine years at Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zecariah. 3  And he did what Jehovah approved, just as his father David had. 4***  It was he who cleared out the heights and broke up the obelisks and cut down the asherah, and pounded up the bronze snake that Moses made, because down to those days the sons of Israel had been making burnings to it; and he called it Nehushtan. 5*  He trusted in Israel’s God Jehovah, and there was not his like after him among the kings of Judah, and those who had gone before him. 6  And he stood by Jehovah, did not turn aside from following him, and kept his commandments which Jehovah had commanded Moses. 7  And Jehovah was with him; he did well in everything he undertook, and broke his allegiance to the king of Assyria and became independent of him. 8  He made havoc of the Philistines down to Ghaza and its territories, from watchmen’s tower to fortified city. 9  And in the year four of King Hezekiah, that being the year seven of Hosheaʽ the son of Elah as king of Israel, King Shalmaneser of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it, 10  and took it at the end of three years: in the year six of Hezekiah, that being the year nine of King Hosheaʽ of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11*  And the king of Assyria deported the Israelites to Assyria, and planted them in Halah and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of Media, 12  for their not having obeyed their God Jehovah and having violated his covenant, all that Jehovah’s servant Moses commanded them, and not having listened nor done the things required of them. 13  And in the year fourteen of King Hezekiah King Sennacherib of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities in Judah and captured them. 14*  And King Hezekiah of Judah sent word to the king of Assyria at Lakish “I have done wrong; break off your attack, I will accept the penalty you may impose on me.” And the king of Assyria sentenced Hezekiah to a fine of three hundred hundredweight of silver and thirty of gold; 15  and Hezekiah gave him all the silver that could be found in Jehovah’s house and in the palace treasuries. 16*  It was at that time that Hezekiah mutilated the doors of Jehovah’s nave, and the jambs which King Hezekiah of Judah had gilded, and gave them to the king of Assyria. 17  And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh from Lakish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem with a formidable force; and he came up and stood on the aqueduct of the upper reservoir, the one that is on the highway to the Fuller’s Field, 18  and called for the king; and Eljakim the son of Hilkijah, the steward of the palace, and Shebna, the secretary for documents, and Joah the son of Asaph, the king’s private secretary, went out to him. 19  And the Rabshakeh said to them “Say to Hezekiah ‘Says the Great King, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this that you are feeling? 20  you think policy and strength for war is just a matter of talk. Now in whom are you trusting, that you have broken your allegiance to me? 21  trusting to this cracked bamboo cane Egypt, which, when a man leans his weight on it, will run into his hand and transfix it—that is what the Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, is like for everybody who trusts to him. 22  And as for your saying to me “We are trusting on our God Jehovah,” is not he the one whose heights and altars Hezekiah has made away with, and has told Judah and Jerusalem “You shall do reverence before this altar”? 23  Now make a bet with my sovereign the king of Assyria, that I am to give you two thousand ponies if you can furnish riders for them; 24*  and how are you to repel one of my sovereign’s minor officers? and you are trusting to Egypt for chariotry and cavalry. 25  And then, have I come up against this place independently of Jehovah to ravage it? Jehovah said to me “Go up against this country and ravage it.”’” 26  And Eljakim and Shebna and Joah said to the Rabshakeh “Speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it: do not speak with us in Judaic in the hearing of the people on the wall.” 27  But the Rabshakeh said to them “Was it to your sovereign and you that my sovereign sent me to tell these things? was it not to the men that are sitting on the wall to eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you?” 28  And the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in Judaic “Listen to the word of the Great King, the king of Assyria! 29  Says the king, Do not let Hezekiah delude you, because he will not be able to deliver you. 30**  Do not let Hezekiah get you to trusting on Jehovah, with his ‘Jehovah will deliver us, and this city shall not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.’ 31  Do not listen to Hezekiah; for the king of Assyria says, Have an understanding with me and come out to me, and eat from your home vines and fig-trees and drink the water of your home cisterns 32  till I come and take you to a country like your own,—a country of grain and grape-juice, of bread and vineyards, of oil-olives and honey,—and live and do not die; and do not listen to Hezekiah when he tries to influence you with his ‘Jehovah will deliver us.’ 33  Have the gods of the different nations delivered their countries out of the hands of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? 34*  where are the gods of Sepharvaim? where are the gods of Samaria, did they deliver Samaria out of my hands? 35  Who are there among all the gods of the different countries that have delivered their countries out of my hands, that Jehovah should deliver Jerusalem out of my hands?” 36  But they kept still and made no answer to him; for the king’s order was “Do not answer him.” 37  And Eljakim the son of Hilkijah, the steward of the palace, and Shebna, the secretary for documents, and Joah the son of Asaph, the king’s private secretary, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the Rabshakeh’s words.


18:4 Var. asherahs
18:4 Var. they called
18:4 (Nehushtan) Unc.; derived either from the word for snake or from the word for bronze
18:5 (last words) Susp.
18:11 Var. mountains of Media
18:14 (break off your attack) Lit. go back from against me
18:16 Susp.; conj. King ʽAsariah of Judah
18:24 Codd. repel a governor, one of
18:30 Var. us. This city
18:30 Var. there will be no giving this city into
18:34 Var. omits where are the gods of Samaria