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Isaiah Chapter 36 | Parsha:

1In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, King Sennacherib of Assyria marched against all the fortified towns of Judah and seized them. 2From Lachish, the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh, with a large force, to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem. [The Rabshakeh] took up a position near the conduit of the Upper Pool, by the road of the Fuller’s Field; 3and Eliakim son of Hilkiah who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went out to him.

4The Rabshakeh said to them, “You tell Hezekiah: Thus said the Great King, the king of Assyria: What makes you so confident? 5I suppose mere talk makes counsel and valor for war! Look, on whom are you relying, that you have rebelled against me? 6You are relying on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff, which enters and punctures the palm of anyone who leans on it. That’s what Pharaoh king of Egypt is like to all who rely on him. 7And if you tell me that you are relying on the Lord your God, He is the very one whose shrines and altars Hezekiah did away with, telling Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship only at this altar!’ 8Come now, make this wager with my master, the king of Assyria: I’ll give you two thousand horses, if you can produce riders to mount them. 9So how could you refuse anything, even to the deputy of one of my master’s lesser servants, relying on Egypt for chariots and horsemen? 10And do you think I have marched against this land to destroy it without the Lord? The Lord Himself told me: Go up against that land and destroy it.”

11Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah replied to the Rabshakeh, “Please, speak to your servants in Aramaic, since we understand it; do not speak to us in Judean in the hearing of the people on the wall.” 12But the Rabshakeh replied, “Was it to your master and to you that my master sent me to speak those words? It was precisely to the men who are sitting on the wall—who will have to eat their dung and drink their urine with you.” 13And the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in Judean: 14“Hear the words of the Great King, the king of Assyria! Thus said the king: Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to save you. 15Don’t let Hezekiah make you rely on the Lord, saying, ‘The Lord will surely save us; this city will not fall into the hands of Assyria!’ 16Don’t listen to Hezekiah. For thus said the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me and come out to me, so that you may all eat from your vines and your fig trees and drink water from your cisterns, 17until I come and take you away to a land like your own, a land of bread and wine, of grain [fields] and vineyards. 18Beware of letting Hezekiah mislead you by saying, ‘The Lord will save us.’ Did any of the gods of the other nations save his land from the king of Assyria? 19Where were the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where were the gods of Sepharvaim? And did they save Samaria from me? 20Which among all the gods of those countries saved their countries from me, that the Lord should save Jerusalem from me?” 21But they were silent and did not answer him with a single word; for the king’s order was: “Do not answer him.”

22And so Eliakim son of Hilkiah who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder came to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and they reported to him what the Rabshakeh had said.

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