2 Kings 18

Ahaz Reigns in Judah

16 In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham, king of Judah, began to reign. Ahaz was ytwenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord his God, as his father David had done, but he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. zHe even burned his son as an offering,1 aaccording to the despicable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. bAnd he sacrificed and made offerings con the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.

dThen Rezin king of Syria and dPekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to wage war on Jerusalem, and they besieged Ahaz ebut could not conquer him. At that time Rezin the king of Syria recovered fElath for Syria and drove the men of Judah from fElath, and the Edomites came to Elath, where they dwell to this day. gSo Ahaz sent messengers to hTiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, I am your servant and your son. Come up and rescue me from the hand of the king of Syria and from the hand of the king of Israel, who are attacking me. Ahaz also itook the silver and gold that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasures of the king's house and sent a present to the king of Assyria. jAnd the king of Assyria listened to him. The king of Assyria marched up against Damascus kand took it, carrying its people captive to lKir, and he killed Rezin.

10 When King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet mTiglath-pileser king of Assyria, he saw the altar that was at Damascus. And King Ahaz sent to nUriah the priest a model of the altar, and its pattern, exact in all its details. 11 And Uriah the priest built the altar; in accordance with all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus, so Uriah the priest made it, before King Ahaz arrived from Damascus. 12 And when the king came from Damascus, the king viewed the altar. oThen the king drew near to the altar and went up on it 13 and burned his burnt offering and his grain offering and poured his drink offering and threw the blood of his peace offerings on the altar. 14 And pthe bronze altar that was before the Lord he removed qfrom the front of the house, from the place between rhis altar and the house of the Lord, and put it on the north side of rhis altar. 15 And King Ahaz commanded Uriah the priest, saying, On the great altar burn sthe morning burnt offering and the evening grain offering and the king's burnt offering and his grain offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their grain offering and their drink offering. And throw on it all the blood of the burnt offering and all the blood of the sacrifice, but tthe bronze altar shall be for me to inquire by. 16 Uriah the priest did all this, as King Ahaz commanded.

17 And King Ahaz cut off the frames of the stands and removed the basin from them, and he took down uthe sea2 from off the bronze oxen that were under it and put it on a stone pedestal. 18 And the covered way for the Sabbath that had been built inside the house and the outer entrance for the king he caused to go around the house of the Lord, because of the king of Assyria. 19 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz that he did, are they not written vin the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 20 And Ahaz slept with his fathers and wwas buried with his fathers in the city of David, and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.

Hoshea Reigns in Israel

17 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, xHoshea the son of Elah began to reign in Samaria over Israel, and he reigned nine years. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, yet not as the kings of Israel who were before him. yAgainst him came up zShalmaneser king of Assyria. And Hoshea became his vassal and paid him tribute. But the king of Assyria found treachery in Hoshea, for he had sent messengers to So, king of Egypt, and offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year. Therefore the king of Assyria shut him up and bound him in prison. Then the king of Assyria invaded all the land and came to Samaria, and for three years he besieged it.

The Fall of Israel

In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria acaptured Samaria, band he carried the Israelites away to Assyria cand placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of dGozan, and in the cities of ethe Medes.

Exile Because of Idolatry

And this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, fwho had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods gand walked in the customs of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel, hand in the customs that the kings of Israel had practiced. And the people of Israel did secretly against the Lord their God things that were not right. They built for themselves high places in all their towns, ifrom watchtower to fortified city. 10 They set up for themselves jpillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, 11 and there they made offerings on all the high places, as the nations did whom the Lord carried away before them. And they did wicked things, provoking the Lord to anger, 12 and they served idols, kof which the Lord had said to them, You shall not do this. 13 Yet the Lord lwarned Israel and Judah mby every prophet nand every seer, saying, oTurn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets.

14 But they would not listen, pbut were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the Lord their God. 15 They despised his statutes qand his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after rfalse idols sand became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the tLord had commanded them that they should not do like them. 16 And they abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made for themselves metal images of utwo calves; and they vmade an Asherah and wworshiped all the host of heaven and served xBaal. 17 yAnd they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings1 and used zdivination and aomens and bsold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. 18 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight. None was left but cthe tribe of Judah only.

19 dJudah also did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the customs that Israel had introduced. 20 And the Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them eand gave them into the hand of plunderers, until he had cast them out of his sight.

21 fWhen he had torn Israel from the house of David, gthey made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. And Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord hand made them commit great sin. 22 The people of Israel walked in all the sins that Jeroboam did. They did not depart from them, 23 until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, ias he had spoken by all his servants the prophets. jSo Israel was exiled from their own land to Assyria until this day.

Assyria Resettles Samaria

24 kAnd the king of Assyria brought people from lBabylon, Cuthah, mAvva, nHamath, and oSepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the people of Israel. And they took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities. 25 And at the beginning of their dwelling there, they did not fear the Lord. Therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them. 26 So the king of Assyria was told, The nations that you have carried away and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the law of the god of the land. Therefore he has sent lions among them, and behold, they are killing them, because they do not know the law of the god of the land. 27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, Send there one of the priests whom you carried away from there, and let him2 go and dwell there and teach them the law of the god of the land. 28 So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and lived in pBethel and taught them how they should fear the Lord.

29 But every nation still made gods of its own and put them qin the shrines of the high places that the Samaritans had made, every nation in the cities in which they lived. 30 The men of rBabylon made Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31 and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites sburned their children in the fire to tAdrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of uSepharvaim. 32 vThey also feared the Lord wand appointed from among themselves all sorts of people as priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of xthe high places. 33 So they feared the Lord but also served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away.

34 To this day they do according to the former manner. They do not fear the Lord, and they do not follow the statutes or the rules or the law or the commandment that the Lord commanded the children of Jacob, ywhom he named Israel. 35 The Lord made a covenant with them and commanded them, zYou shall not fear other gods aor bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them, 36 but byou shall fear the Lord, cwho brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and dwith an outstretched arm. You shall bow yourselves to him, and to him you shall sacrifice. 37 And the statutes and the rules and the law and the commandment that he wrote for you, eyou shall always be careful to do. zYou shall not fear other gods, 38 and fyou shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you. zYou shall not fear other gods, 39 but byou shall fear the Lord your God, and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies. 40 However, they would not listen, but they did according to their former manner.

41 gSo these nations feared the Lord and also served their carved images. Their children did likewise, and their children's childrenas their fathers did, so they do to this day.

Hezekiah Reigns in Judah

18 hIn the third year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, iHezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. He was jtwenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was kAbi the daughter of Zechariah. lAnd he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done. mHe removed the high places and broke the npillars and cut down othe Asherah. And he broke in pieces pthe bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it (it was called Nehushtan).1 qHe trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel, rso that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. sFor he held fast to the Lord. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses. tAnd the Lord was with him; wherever he went out, uhe prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him. vHe struck down the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, wfrom watchtower to fortified city.

In the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, xShalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it, 10 and at the end of three years he took it. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11 The king of Assyria carried the Israelites away to Assyria and put them in yHalah, and on the yHabor, ythe river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, 12 because they did not obey the voice of the Lord their God but transgressed his covenant, even all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded. They neither listened nor obeyed.

Sennacherib Attacks Judah

13 zIn the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. 14 And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, I have done wrong; withdraw from me. Whatever you impose on me I will bear. aAnd the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents2 of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 And Hezekiah bgave 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 stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord and from the doorposts that Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid and gave it to the king of Assyria. 17 And the king of Assyria sent the cTartan, the Rab-saris, and the Rabshakeh with a great army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. When they arrived, they came and stood by dthe conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway to the Washer's Field. 18 And when they called for the king, there came out to them eEliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and fShebnah the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder.

19 And the Rabshakeh said to them, Say to Hezekiah, Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? 20 Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me? 21 Behold, you are trusting now in Egypt, that broken reed of ga staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. 22 But if you say to me, We trust in the Lord our God, is it not he hwhose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem? 23 Come now, 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 set riders on them. 24 How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master's servants, when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 25 Moreover, is it without the Lord that I have come up against this place to destroy it? The Lord said to me, Go up against this land and destroy it.

26 Then eEliakim the son of Hilkiah, and fShebnah, and Joah, said to the Rabshakeh, Please speak to your servants in iAramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall. 27 But the Rabshakeh said to them, Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and to drink their own urine?

28 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! 29 Thus says the king: Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you out of my3 hand. 30 Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord by saying, The Lord will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me4 and come out to me. Then jeach one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern, 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, ka land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and lhoney, that you may live, and not die. And do not listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you by saying, The Lord will deliver us. 33 mHas any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 nWhere are the gods of oHamath and pArpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and qIvvah? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, rthat the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?

36 But the people were silent and answered him not a word, for the king's command was, Do not answer him. 37 Then sEliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah twith their clothes torn and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.

Isaiah Reassures Hezekiah

19 uAs soon as King Hezekiah heard it, the tore his clothes and vcovered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the Lord. And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, vcovered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz. They said to him, Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to the point of birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. wIt may be that the Lord your God heard all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent xto mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the Lord your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for ythe remnant that is left. When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, Isaiah said to them, Say to your master, Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which zthe servants of the king of Assyria have areviled me. Behold, I will put a spirit in him, so that bhe shall hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will make him cfall by the sword in his own land.

Sennacherib Defies the Lord

The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against dLibnah, for he heard that the king had left eLachish. fNow the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Cush, Behold, he has set out to fight against you. So he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying, 10 Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let your God gin whom you trust deceive you by promising that hJerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11 Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, devoting them to destruction. And shall you be delivered? 12 iHave the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my fathers destroyed, jGozan, kHaran, Rezeph, and the people of lEden who were in Telassar? 13 mWhere is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?

Hezekiah's Prayer

14 Hezekiah received nthe letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said: O Lord, the God of Israel, oenthroned above the cherubim, pyou are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 16 qIncline your ear, O Lord, and hear; ropen your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent sto mock the living God. 17 Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands 18 and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, tbut the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. 19 So now, O Lord our God, save us, please, from his hand, uthat all the kingdoms of the earth may know that pyou, O Lord, are God alone.

Isaiah Prophesies Sennacherib's Fall

20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Your prayer to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria vI have heard. 21 This is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him:

She despises you, she scorns you

wthe virgin daughter of Zion;

she xwags her head behind you

the daughter of Jerusalem.

22  Whom have you ymocked and zreviled?

Against whom have you raised your voice

and lifted your eyes to the heights?

Against athe Holy One of Israel!

23  bBy your messengers you have mocked the Lord,

and you have said, cWith my many chariots

I have gone up the heights of the mountains,

to the far recesses of dLebanon;

I felled its tallest cedars,

its choicest cypresses;

I entered its farthest lodging place,

its most efruitful forest.

24  I dug wells

and drank foreign waters,

and I dried up with the sole of my foot

all the streams fof Egypt.

25  Have you not heard

that gI determined it long ago?

I planned from days of old

what hnow I bring to pass,

that you should turn fortified cities

into heaps of ruins,

26  while their inhabitants, shorn of strength,

are dismayed and confounded,

and have become ilike plants of the field

and like tender grass,

like grass on the housetops,

blighted before it is grown.

27  But I know your sitting down

jand your going out and coming in,

and your raging against me.

28  Because you have raged against me

and your complacency has come into my ears,

I will kput my hook in your nose

and my bit in your mouth,

and lI will turn you back on the way

by which you came.

29 And this shall be mthe sign for you: this year eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs of the same. Then in the third year sow and reap and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 30 nAnd the surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. 31 For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and out of Mount Zion oa band of survivors. pThe zeal of the Lord will do this.

32 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield or qcast up a siege mound against it. 33 rBy the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, declares the Lord. 34 sFor I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake tand for the sake of my servant David.

35 And that night uthe angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies. 36 Then Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went home and lived at vNineveh. 37 And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, wAdrammelech and Sharezer, his sons, struck him down with the sword and escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.

Hezekiah's Illness and Recovery

20 xIn those days yHezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, Thus says the Lord, zSet your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover. Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying, Now, O Lord, aplease remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness and bwith a whole heart, cand have done what is good in your sight. dAnd Hezekiah wept bitterly. And before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: Turn back, and say to Hezekiah ethe leader of my people, Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: fI have heard your prayer; gI have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord, and I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, hand I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David's sake. And Isaiah said, Bring a cake of figs. And let them take and lay it on the boil, that he may recover.

And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, What shall be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord on the third day? And Isaiah said, This shall be ithe sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that he has promised: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps? 10 And Hezekiah answered, It is an easy thing for the shadow jto lengthen ten steps. Rather let the shadow go back ten steps. 11 And Isaiah the prophet called to the Lord, kand he brought the shadow back ten steps, by which it had gone down on the steps of Ahaz.

Hezekiah and the Babylonian Envoys

12 lAt that time mMerodach-baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, nsent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 13 And Hezekiah welcomed them, and he showed them oall his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. 14 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah, and said to him, What did these men say? And from where did they come to you? And Hezekiah said, They have come from a far country, from Babylon. 15 He said, What have they seen in your house? And Hezekiah answered, They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.

16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the Lord: 17 Behold, the days are coming, when pall that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon. Nothing shall be left, says the Lord. 18 qAnd some of your own sons, who will come from you, whom you will father, shall be taken away, rand they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. 19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, sThe word of the Lord that you have spoken is good. For he thought, Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days?

20 tThe rest of the deeds of Hezekiah and all his might and how he made uthe pool and the conduit vand brought water into the city, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 21 wAnd Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and Manasseh his son reigned in his place.