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2 Kings 12:9-11

Context

12:9 Jehoiada the priest took a chest and drilled a hole in its lid. He placed it on the right side of the altar near the entrance of 1  the Lord’s temple. The priests who guarded the entrance would put into it all the silver brought to the Lord’s temple. 12:10 When they saw the chest was full of silver, the royal secretary 2  and the high priest counted the silver that had been brought to the Lord’s temple and bagged it up. 3  12:11 They would then hand over 4  the silver that had been weighed to the construction foremen 5  assigned to the Lord’s temple. They hired carpenters and builders to work on the Lord’s temple,

2 Kings 18:18-37

Context
18:18 They summoned the king, so Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace supervisor, accompanied by Shebna the scribe and Joah son of Asaph, the secretary, went out to meet them.

18:19 The chief adviser said to them, “Tell Hezekiah: ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: “What is your source of confidence? 6  18:20 Your claim to have a strategy and military strength is just empty talk. 7  In whom are you trusting that you would dare to rebel against me? 18:21 Now look, you must be trusting in Egypt, that splintered reed staff. If a man leans for support on it, it punctures his hand and wounds him. That is what Pharaoh king of Egypt does to all who trust in him. 18:22 Perhaps you will tell me, ‘We are trusting in the Lord our God.’ But Hezekiah is the one who eliminated his high places and altars and then told the people of Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship at this altar in Jerusalem.’ 18:23 Now make a deal 8  with my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, provided you can find enough riders for them. 18:24 Certainly you will not refuse one of my master’s minor officials and trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen. 9  18:25 Furthermore it was by the command of the Lord that I marched up against this place to destroy it. The Lord told me, ‘March 10  up against this land and destroy it.’”’” 11 

18:26 Eliakim son of Hilkiah, Shebna, and Joah said to the chief adviser, “Speak to your servants in Aramaic, 12  for we understand it. Don’t speak with us in the Judahite dialect 13  in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 18:27 But the chief adviser said to them, “My master did not send me to speak these words only to your master and to you. 14  His message is also for the men who sit on the wall, for they will eat their own excrement and drink their own urine along with you.” 15 

18:28 The chief adviser then stood there and called out loudly in the Judahite dialect, 16  “Listen to the message of the great king, the king of Assyria. 18:29 This is what the king says: ‘Don’t let Hezekiah mislead you, for he is not able to rescue you from my hand! 17  18:30 Don’t let Hezekiah talk you into trusting in the Lord when he says, “The Lord will certainly rescue us; this city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.” 18:31 Don’t listen to Hezekiah!’ For this is what the king of Assyria says, ‘Send me a token of your submission and surrender to me. 18  Then each of you may eat from his own vine and fig tree and drink water from his own cistern, 18:32 until I come and take you to a land just like your own – a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Then you will live and not die. Don’t listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, “The Lord will rescue us.” 18:33 Have any of the gods of the nations actually rescued his land from the power of the king of Assyria? 19  18:34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? 20  Indeed, did any gods rescue Samaria 21  from my power? 22  18:35 Who among all the gods of the lands has rescued their lands from my power? So how can the Lord rescue Jerusalem from my power?’” 23  18:36 The people were silent and did not respond, for the king had ordered, “Don’t respond to him.”

18:37 Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace supervisor, accompanied by Shebna the scribe and Joah son of Asaph, the secretary, went to Hezekiah with their clothes torn 24  and reported to him what the chief adviser had said.

1 tn Heb “on the right side of the altar as a man enters.”

2 tn Heb “the king’s scribe.”

3 tn Heb “went up and tied [it] and counted the silver that was found in the house of the Lord.” The order of the clauses has been rearranged in the translation to make better sense in English, since it seems more logical to count the money before bagging it (cf. NIV, NCV, NRSV, NLT).

4 tn Heb “would give.”

5 tn Heb “doers of the work.”

6 tn Heb “What is this object of trust in which you are trusting?”

7 tn Heb “you say only a word of lips, counsel and might for battle.” Sennacherib’s message appears to be in broken Hebrew at this point. The phrase “word of lips” refers to mere or empty talk in Prov 14:23.

8 tn Heb “exchange pledges.”

9 tn Heb “How can you turn back the face of an official [from among] the least of my master’s servants and trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen?” In vv. 23-24 the chief adviser develops further the argument begun in v. 21. His reasoning seems to be as follows: “In your weakened condition you obviously need military strength. Agree to the king’s terms and I will personally give you more horses than you are capable of outfitting. If I, a mere minor official, am capable of giving you such military might, just think what power the king has. There is no way the Egyptians can match our strength. It makes much better sense to deal with us.”

10 tn Heb “Go.”

11 sn In v. 25 the chief adviser develops further the argument begun in v. 22. He claims that Hezekiah has offended the Lord and that the Lord has commissioned Assyria as his instrument of discipline and judgment.

12 sn Aramaic was the diplomatic language of the empire.

13 tn Or “Hebrew.”

14 tn Heb “To your master and to you did my master send me to speak these words?” The rhetorical question expects a negative answer.

15 tn Heb “[Is it] not [also] to the men…?” The rhetorical question expects the answer, “Yes, it is.”

sn The chief adviser alludes to the horrible reality of siege warfare, when the starving people in the besieged city would resort to eating and drinking anything to stay alive.

16 tn The Hebrew text also has, “and he spoke and said.”

17 tc The MT has “his hand,” but this is due to graphic confusion of vav (ו) and yod (י). The translation reads “my hand,” along with many medieval Hebrew mss, the LXX, Syriac Peshitta, Targum, and Vulgate.

18 tn Heb “make with me a blessing and come out to me.”

19 tn Heb “Have the gods of the nations really rescued, each his land, from the hand of the king of Assyria?” The infinitive absolute lends emphasis to the main verb. The rhetorical question expects the answer, “Of course not!”

20 tn The parallel passage in Isa 36:19 omits “Hena and Ivvah.” The rhetorical questions in v. 34a suggest the answer, “Nowhere, they seem to have disappeared in the face of Assyria’s might.”

21 map For location see Map2 B1; Map4 D3; Map5 E2; Map6 A4; Map7 C1.

22 tn Heb “that they rescued Samaria from my hand?” But this gives the impression that the gods of Sepharvaim were responsible for protecting Samaria, which is obviously not the case. The implied subject of the plural verb “rescued” must be the generic “gods of the nations/lands” (vv. 33, 35).

23 tn Heb “that the Lord might rescue Jerusalem from my hand?” The logic runs as follows: Since no god has ever been able to withstand the Assyrian onslaught, how can the people of Jerusalem possibly think the Lord will rescue them?

24 sn As a sign of grief and mourning.



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