In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, came Sennaherib King of the Assyrians down, to lay siege unto all the strong cities of Judah. And the King of Assyrians sent Rabsakeh from Lachis toward Jerusalem, against King Hezekiah, with a grievous Host, which set him by the conduit of the over pool, in the way that goeth through the fullers land. And so there came forth unto him Eliakim, Helkiahs son, the President, Sobna the scribe, and Joah, Asaphs son, the Secretary.
And Rabsakeh said unto them: Tell Hezekiah, that the great king of Assyria sayeth thus unto him: What presumption is this, that thou trustest unto? Thou thinkest ( peradventure ) that thou hast counsel and power enough to maintain this war: or else where to trusteth thou, that thou casteth thy self off from me? Lo, thou puttest thy trust in a broken staff of reed ( I mean Egypt ) which he that leaneth upon, it goeth into his hand and shooteth him through. Even so is Pharaoh the King of Egypt, unto all them that trust in him. But if thou wouldest say unto me: We trust in the Lord our God: An goodly God in deed: whose High places and altars Hezekiah took down, and commanded Judah and to Jerusalem, to worship only before this altar. Abide that thou hast made a consideration with my lord the King of the Assyrians, that he should give thee two thousand horses: art thou able to set men there up? Seeing now that thou canest not resist the power of the smallest prince that my lord hath, how darest thou trust in the chariots and horsemen of Egypt? Moreover, thinkest thou that I am come down hither, to destroy this land without the Lords will? The Lord said unto me, go down into this land, that thou mayest destroy it.
Then said Eliakim, Sobna and Joah unto Rabsakeh: Speak to us thy servants ( we pray thee ) in the Syrians language, for we understand it well: And speak not to us in the Jews tongue, lest the folk hear, which lieth upon the wall. Then answered Rabsakeh: Think ye, that the king sent me to speak this only to you? Hath he not sent me to them also, that lie upon the wall? that they be not compelled to eat their own dung, and drink their own *stale with you?
And Rabsakeh stood stiff, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews tongue, and said: Now take heed, how the great king of the Assyrians giveth you a warning. Thus saith the king: Let not Hezekiah deceive you, for he shall not be able to deliver you. Moreover, let not Hezekiah comfort you in the Lord, when he sayeth: The Lord with out doubt shall defend us, and shall not give over this city into the hands of the King of the Assyrians, believe him not. But thus saith the King of Assyria: obtain my favor, incline to me: so may every man enjoy his vineyards and fig trees, and drink the water of his own cistern: Unto the time I come myself, and bring you into the land that is like your own: wherein is wheat and wine, which is both sown with seed, and planted with vineyards. Let not Hezekiah deceive you, when he sayeth unto you: The Lord will deliver us.
Might the Gods of the Gentiles keep every man his land, from the power of the King of the Assyrians? Where is the God of Hemath and Arphad? Where is the God of Sepharuaim? And who was able to deliver Samaria out of my hand? Or which of all the Gods of the lands, hath delivered their country out of my power, so that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem from my hand? Unto this Hezekiahs messengers held their tongues, and answered not one word: for the King had charged them, that they should give him none answer. So came Eliakim, Helkiahs son the President, Sobna the Scribe, and Joah Asaphs son the Secretary, unto Hezekiah with rent clothes, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.