2 Kings 18

Hezekiah Reigns over Judah

18 Now it came about in the third year of Hoshea, the son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah became king. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, in accordance with everything that his father David had done. He removed the high places and smashed the memorial stones to pieces, and cut down the [a]Asherah. He also crushed to pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the sons of Israel had been burning incense to it; and it was called [b]Nehushtan. He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel; and after him there was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who came before him. For he clung to the Lord; he did not desist from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses.

Hezekiah Victorious

And the Lord was with him; wherever he went he was successful. And he revolted against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. He [c]defeated the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city.

Now in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and besieged it. 10 And at the end of three years they captured it; in the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was captured. 11 Then the king of Assyria led Israel into exile to Assyria, and put them in Halah and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. 12 This happened because they did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, but violated His covenant, all that Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded; they would neither listen nor do it.

Invasion of Judah

13 Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria marched against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them. 14 Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent messengers to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong. [d]Withdraw from me; whatever you impose on me I will endure.” So the king of Assyria imposed on Hezekiah king of Judah the payment of three hundred [e]talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 Hezekiah then gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasuries of the king’s house. 16 At that time Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the doorposts, which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and he gave it to the king of Assyria.

17 Then the king of Assyria sent Tartan, Rab-saris, and Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah with a large army to Jerusalem. So they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they went up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on the road of the [f]fuller’s field. 18 Then they called to the king, and Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the household, Shebnah the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the secretary, went out to them.

19 And Rabshakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria says: “What is this confidence that you [g]have? 20 You say—but they are only [h]empty words—‘I have a plan and strength for the war.’ Now on whom have you relied, that you have revolted against me? 21 Now behold, you have [i]relied on the [j]support of this broken reed, on Egypt; on which if a man leans, it will go into his [k]hand and pierce it. That is how Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who rely on him. 22 However, if you say to me, ‘We have trusted in the Lord our God,’ is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has removed, and has said to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem’? 23 Now then, [l]come make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to put riders on them! 24 How then can you drive back even [m]one [n]official of the least of my master’s servants, and [o]rely on Egypt for chariots and horsemen? 25 Have I now come up without [p]the Lords approval against this place to destroy it? The Lord said to me, ‘Go up against this land and destroy it.’”’”

26 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, Shebnah, and Joah, said to Rabshakeh, “Speak now to your servants in Aramaic, because we [q]understand it; and do not speak with us in [r]Judean [s]so that the people who are on the wall hear you.” 27 But Rabshakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me only to your master and to you to speak these words? Has he not also sent me to the men who sit on the wall, doomed to eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you?”

28 Then Rabshakeh stood up and shouted with a loud voice in Judean, [t]saying, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! 29 This is what the king says: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to save you from [u]my hand. 30 And do not let Hezekiah lead you to trust in the Lord by saying, “The Lord will certainly save us, and this city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.” 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah, for this is what the king of Assyria says: “Make [v]your peace with me and come out to me, and eat, each one, from his vine and each from his fig tree, and drink, each one, the waters of his own cistern, 32 until I come and take you to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees producing oil, and of honey, so that you will live and not die.” But do not listen to Hezekiah, because he misleads you by saying, “The Lord will save us.” 33 Has any of the gods of the nations actually saved his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and [w]Ivvah? Have they saved Samaria from my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands are there who have saved their land from my hand, that the Lord would save Jerusalem from my hand?’”

36 But the people were silent and did not answer him with even a word, because it was the king’s [x]command: “Do not answer him.” 37 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the household, and Shebna the scribe and Joah the son of Asaph, the secretary, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and they reported to him the words of Rabshakeh.


  1. 2 Kings 18:4 I.e., a wooden symbol of a female deity
  2. 2 Kings 18:4 I.e., a bronze sculpture
  3. 2 Kings 18:8 Lit struck
  4. 2 Kings 18:14 Lit Turn back
  5. 2 Kings 18:14 A talent was about 75 lb. or 34 kg
  6. 2 Kings 18:17 I.e., launderer’s
  7. 2 Kings 18:19 Lit trust
  8. 2 Kings 18:20 Lit a word of lips
  9. 2 Kings 18:21 Lit relied for yourself
  10. 2 Kings 18:21 Or staff
  11. 2 Kings 18:21 Lit palm
  12. 2 Kings 18:23 Lit please exchange pledges
  13. 2 Kings 18:24 Lit the face of one
  14. 2 Kings 18:24 Or governor
  15. 2 Kings 18:24 Lit rely for yourself
  16. 2 Kings 18:25 Lit the Lord
  17. 2 Kings 18:26 Lit hear
  18. 2 Kings 18:26 I.e., Hebrew
  19. 2 Kings 18:26 Lit in the ears of...wall
  20. 2 Kings 18:28 Lit and spoke, saying,
  21. 2 Kings 18:29 MT his
  22. 2 Kings 18:31 Lit with me a blessing
  23. 2 Kings 18:34 In 2 Kin 17:24, Avva
  24. 2 Kings 18:36 Lit command, saying