He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: Num. 21.9 for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehush'tan.1
¶ And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Hezeki'ah, which was the seventh year of Hoshe'a son of Elah king of Israel, that Shalmane'ser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it.
And Hezeki'ah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended; return from me: that which thou puttest on me will I bear. And the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezeki'ah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold.
And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsa'ris and Rabsha'keh from Lachish to king Hezeki'ah with a great host against Jerusalem: and they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller's field.
Now, behold, thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt, on which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt unto all that trust on him.
But if ye say unto me, We trust in the LORD our God: is not that he, whose high places and whose altars Hezeki'ah hath taken away, and hath said to Judah and Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem?
¶ Then said Eli'akim the son of Hilki'ah, and Shebna, and Jo'ah, unto Rabsha'keh, Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and talk not with us in the Jews' language in the ears of the people that are on the wall.
But Rabsha'keh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?
Hearken not to Hezeki'ah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me, and then eat ye every man of his own vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his cistern:
until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive and of honey, that ye may live, and not die: and hearken not unto Hezeki'ah, when he persuadeth you, saying, The LORD will deliver us.
Then came Eli'akim the son of Hilki'ah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Jo'ah the son of Asaph the recorder, to Hezeki'ah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabsha'keh.