36:2 The king of Assyria sent his chief adviser 1 from Lachish to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem, 2 along with a large army. The chief adviser 3 stood at the conduit of the upper pool which is located on the road to the field where they wash and dry cloth. 4
36:11 Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the chief adviser, “Speak to your servants in Aramaic, 6 for we understand it. Don’t speak with us in the Judahite dialect 7 in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 36:12 But the chief adviser said, “My master did not send me to speak these words only to your master and to you. 8 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!” 9
36:22 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 in grief 11 and reported to him what the chief adviser had said.
1 sn For a discussion of this title see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 229-30.
3 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the chief adviser) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
4 tn Heb “the field of the washer”; traditionally “the fuller’s field” (so KJV, ASV, NAB, NASB, NRSV).
5 tn Heb “What is this object of trust in which you are trusting?”
6 sn Aramaic was the diplomatic language of the Assyrian empire.
7 tn Or “in Hebrew” (NIV, NCV, NLT); NAB, NASB “in Judean.”
8 tn Heb “To your master and to you did my master send me to speak these words?” The rhetorical question expects a negative answer.
9 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.
10 tn The Hebrew text includes “and he said.”
11 tn Heb “with their clothes torn”; the words “in grief” have been supplied in the translation to indicate that this was done as a sign of grief and mourning.