Isaiah 36
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1  In the fourteenth year of King Chizkiyahu, King Sennacherib of Assyria marched against all the fortified towns of Yehuda and seized them.

א  וַיְהִי בְּאַרְבַּע עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה לַמֶּלֶךְ חִזְקִיָּהוּ עָלָה סַנְחֵרִיב מֶלֶךְ־אַשּׁוּר עַל כָּל־עָרֵי יְהוּדָה הַבְּצֻרוֹת וַיִּתְפְּשֵׂם׃

2  From Lachish, the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh, with a large force, to King Chizkiyahu in Yerushalayim. [The Rabshakeh] took up a position near the conduit of the Upper Pool, by the road of the Fuller’s Field;

ב  וַיִּשְׁלַח מֶלֶךְ־אַשּׁוּר אֶת־רַב־שָׁקֵה מִלָּכִישׁ יְרוּשָׁלְַמָה אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ חִזְקִיָּהוּ בְּחֵיל כָּבֵד וַיַּעֲמֹד בִּתְעָלַת הַבְּרֵכָה הָעֶלְיוֹנָה בִּמְסִלַּת שְׂדֵה כוֹבֵס׃

3  and Eliakim son of Chilkiyahu who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of Asaf the recorder went out to him.

ג  וַיֵּצֵא אֵלָיו אֶלְיָקִים בֶּן־חִלְקִיָּהוּ אֲשֶׁר עַל־הַבָּיִת וְשֶׁבְנָא הַסֹּפֵר וְיוֹאָח בֶּן־אָסָף הַמַּזְכִּיר׃

4  The Rabshakeh said to them, “You tell Chizkiyahu: Thus said the Great King, the king of Assyria: What makes you so confident?

ד  וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם רַב־שָׁקֵה אִמְרוּ־נָא אֶל־חִזְקִיָּהוּ כֹּה־אָמַר הַמֶּלֶךְ הַגָּדוֹל מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר מָה הַבִּטָּחוֹן הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר בָּטָחְתָּ׃

5  I suppose mere talk makes counsel and valor for war! Look, on whom are you relying, that you have rebelled against me?

ה  אָמַרְתִּי אַךְ־דְּבַר־שְׂפָתַיִם עֵצָה וּגְבוּרָה לַמִּלְחָמָה עַתָּה עַל־מִי בָטַחְתָּ כִּי מָרַדְתָּ בִּי׃

6  You are relying on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff, which enters and punctures the palm of anyone who leans on it. That’s what Pharaoh king of Egypt is like to all who rely on him.

ו  הִנֵּה בָטַחְתָּ עַל־מִשְׁעֶנֶת הַקָּנֶה הָרָצוּץ הַזֶּה עַל־מִצְרַיִם אֲשֶׁר יִסָּמֵךְ אִישׁ עָלָיו וּבָא בְכַפּוֹ וּנְקָבָהּ כֵּן פַּרְעֹה מֶלֶךְ־מִצְרַיִם לְכָל־הַבֹּטְחִים עָלָיו׃

7  And if you tell me that you are relying on Hashem your God, He is the very one whose shrines and altars Chizkiyahu did away with, telling Yehuda and Yerushalayim, ‘You must worship only at this mizbayach!’

v’-khee to-MAR ay-LAI el a-do-NAI e-lo-HAY-nu ba-TAKH-nu ha-LO HU a-SHER hay-SEER khiz-ki-YA-hu et ba-mo-TAV v’-et miz-b’-kho-TAV va-YO-mer lee-hu-DAH v’-lee-ru-sha-LA-im lif-NAY ha-miz-BAY-akh ha-ZEH tish-ta-kha-VU

ז  וְכִי־תֹאמַר אֵלַי אֶל־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ בָּטָחְנוּ הֲלוֹא־הוּא אֲשֶׁר הֵסִיר חִזְקִיָּהוּ אֶת־בָּמֹתָיו וְאֶת־מִזְבְּחֹתָיו וַיֹּאמֶר לִיהוּדָה וְלִירוּשָׁלִַם לִפְנֵי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ הַזֶּה תִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ׃

36:7   Whose shrines and altars Chizkiyahu did away with

Chapters 36-39 describe the most important event of Yeshayahu’s career – the Assyrian invasion of Yehuda and siege on Yerushalyim in 701 BCE. Chapter 36 describes how the Assyrian envoy Rabshakeh taunts the trust that Chizkiyahu and the people place in Hashem. He points to the seeming contradiction between their trust in God and Chizkiyahu’s recent religious reforms, in which the king had removed the shrines and broken down the altars outside the Beit Hamikdash, at which the people had improperly worshipped Hashem for centuries. What he did not understand, though, is that God does not require a multitude of sacrifices to please Him. Instead, He desires a just and righteous society centered around the Temple.Comment

8  Come now, make this wager with my master, the king of Assyria: I’ll give you two thousand horses, if you can produce riders to mount them.

ח  וְעַתָּה הִתְעָרֶב נָא אֶת־אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר וְאֶתְּנָה לְךָ אַלְפַּיִם סוּסִים אִם־תּוּכַל לָתֶת לְךָ רֹכְבִים עֲלֵיהֶם׃

9  So how could you refuse anything, even to the deputy of one of my master’s lesser servants, relying on Egypt for chariots and horsemen?

ט  וְאֵיךְ תָּשִׁיב אֵת פְּנֵי פַחַת אַחַד עַבְדֵי אֲדֹנִי הַקְטַנִּים וַתִּבְטַח לְךָ עַל־מִצְרַיִם לְרֶכֶב וּלְפָרָשִׁים׃

10  And do you think I have marched against this land to destroy it without Hashem? Hashem Himself told me: Go up against that land and destroy it.”

י  וְעַתָּה הֲמִבַּלְעֲדֵי יְהוָה עָלִיתִי עַל־הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת לְהַשְׁחִיתָהּ יְהוָה אָמַר אֵלַי עֲלֵה אֶל־הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת וְהַשְׁחִיתָהּ׃

11  Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah replied to the Rabshakeh, “Please, speak to your servants in Aramaic, since we understand it; do not speak to us in Judean in the hearing of the people on the wall.”

יא  וַיֹּאמֶר אֶלְיָקִים וְשֶׁבְנָא וְיוֹאָח אֶל־רַב־שָׁקֵה דַּבֶּר־נָא אֶל־עֲבָדֶיךָ אֲרָמִית כִּי שֹׁמְעִים אֲנָחְנוּ וְאַל־תְּדַבֵּר אֵלֵינוּ יְהוּדִית בְּאָזְנֵי הָעָם אֲשֶׁר עַל־הַחוֹמָה׃

12  But the Rabshakeh replied, “Was it to your master and to you that my master sent me to speak those words? It was precisely to the men who are sitting on the wall—who will have to eat their dung and drink their urine with you.”

יב  וַיֹּאמֶר רַב־שָׁקֵה הַאֶל אֲדֹנֶיךָ וְאֵלֶיךָ שְׁלָחַנִי אֲדֹנִי לְדַבֵּר אֶת־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה הֲלֹא עַל־הָאֲנָשִׁים הַיֹּשְׁבִים עַל־הַחוֹמָה לֶאֱכֹל אֶת־חראיהם [צוֹאָתָם] וְלִשְׁתּוֹת אֶת־שיניהם [מֵימֵי] [רַגְלֵיהֶם] עִמָּכֶם׃

13  And the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in Judean:

יג  וַיַּעֲמֹד רַב־שָׁקֵה וַיִּקְרָא בְקוֹל־גָּדוֹל יְהוּדִית וַיֹּאמֶר שִׁמְעוּ אֶת־דִּבְרֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ הַגָּדוֹל מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר׃

14  “Hear the words of the Great King, the king of Assyria! Thus said the king: Don’t let Chizkiyahu deceive you, for he will not be able to save you.

יד  כֹּה אָמַר הַמֶּלֶךְ אַל־יַשִּׁא לָכֶם חִזְקִיָּהוּ כִּי לֹא־יוּכַל לְהַצִּיל אֶתְכֶם׃

15  Don’t let Chizkiyahu make you rely on Hashem, saying, ‘Hashem will surely save us; this city will not fall into the hands of Assyria!’

טו  וְאַל־יַבְטַח אֶתְכֶם חִזְקִיָּהוּ אֶל־יְהוָה לֵאמֹר הַצֵּל יַצִּילֵנוּ יְהוָה לֹא תִנָּתֵן הָעִיר הַזֹּאת בְּיַד מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר׃

16  Don’t listen to Chizkiyahu. For thus said the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me and come out to me, so that you may all eat from your vines and your fig trees and drink water from your cisterns,

טז  אַל־תִּשְׁמְעוּ אֶל־חִזְקִיָּהוּ כִּי כֹה אָמַר הַמֶּלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר עֲשׂוּ־אִתִּי בְרָכָה וּצְאוּ אֵלַי וְאִכְלוּ אִישׁ־גַּפְנוֹ וְאִישׁ תְּאֵנָתוֹ וּשְׁתוּ אִישׁ מֵי־בוֹרוֹ׃

17  until I come and take you away to a land like your own, a land of bread and wine, of grain [fields] and vineyards.

יז  עַד־בֹּאִי וְלָקַחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם אֶל־אֶרֶץ כְּאַרְצְכֶם אֶרֶץ דָּגָן וְתִירוֹשׁ אֶרֶץ לֶחֶם וּכְרָמִים׃

18  Beware of letting Chizkiyahu mislead you by saying, ‘Hashem will save us.’ Did any of the gods of the other nations save his land from the king of Assyria?

יח  פֶּן־יַסִּית אֶתְכֶם חִזְקִיָּהוּ לֵאמֹר יְהוָה יַצִּילֵנוּ הַהִצִּילוּ אֱלֹהֵי הַגּוֹיִם אִישׁ אֶת־אַרְצוֹ מִיַּד מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר׃

19  Where were the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where were the gods of Sepharvaim? And did they save Shomron from me?

יט  אַיֵּה אֱלֹהֵי חֲמָת וְאַרְפָּד אַיֵּה אֱלֹהֵי סְפַרְוָיִם וְכִי־הִצִּילוּ אֶת־שֹׁמְרוֹן מִיָּדִי׃

20  Which among all the gods of those countries saved their countries from me, that Hashem should save Yerushalayim from me?”

כ  מִי בְּכָל־אֱלֹהֵי הָאֲרָצוֹת הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר־הִצִּילוּ אֶת־אַרְצָם מִיָּדִי כִּי־יַצִּיל יְהוָה אֶת־יְרוּשָׁלִַם מִיָּדִי׃

21  But they were silent and did not answer him with a single word; for the king’s order was: “Do not answer him.”

כא  וַיַּחֲרִישׁוּ וְלֹא־עָנוּ אֹתוֹ דָּבָר כִּי־מִצְוַת הַמֶּלֶךְ הִיא לֵאמֹר לֹא תַעֲנֻהוּ׃

22  And so Eliakim son of Chilkiyahu who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of Asaf the recorder came to Chizkiyahu with their clothes rent, and they reported to him what the Rabshakeh had said.

 

כב  וַיָּבֹא אֶלְיָקִים בֶּן־חִלְקִיָּהוּ אֲשֶׁר־עַל־הַבַּיִת וְשֶׁבְנָא הַסּוֹפֵר וְיוֹאָח בֶּן־אָסָף הַמַּזְכִּיר אֶל־חִזְקִיָּהוּ קְרוּעֵי בְגָדִים וַיַּגִּידוּ לוֹ אֵת דִּבְרֵי רַב־שָׁקֵה׃

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Isaiah 35
Isaiah 37

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Isaiah 36

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