Isaiah 36
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1  Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Chizkiyahu, that Sennacherib king of Ashur came up against all the fortified cities of Yehudah, and took them.

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

2  And the king of Ashur sent Rab-shakeh from Lachish to Yerushalayim unto king Chizkiyahu with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fullers’ field.

ב  וַיִּשְׁלַח מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר אֶת רַבְשָׁקֵה מִלָּכִישׁ יְרוּשָׁלְַמָה אֶל הַמֶּלֶךְ חִזְקִיָּהוּ בְּחֵיל כָּבֵד וַיַּעֲמֹד בִּתְעָלַת הַבְּרֵכָה הָעֶלְיוֹנָה בִּמְסִלַּת שְׂדֵה כוֹבֵס.

3  Then came forth unto him Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, that was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder.

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

4  And Rab-shakeh said unto them: ‘Say ye now to Chizkiyahu: Thus saith the great king, the king of Ashur: What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?

ד  וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם רַבְשָׁקֵה אִמְרוּ נָא אֶל חִזְקִיָּהוּ כֹּה אָמַר הַמֶּלֶךְ הַגָּדוֹל מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר מָה הַבִּטָּחוֹן הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר בָּטָחְתָּ.

5  I said: It is but vain words; for counsel and strength are for the war. Now on whom dost thou trust, that thou hast rebelled against me?

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

6  Behold, thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Mitzrayim; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it; so is Pharaoh king of Mitzrayim to all that trust 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  But if thou say unto me: We trust in Hashem our God; is not that He, whose high places and whose altars Chizkiyahu hath taken away, and hath said to Yehudah and to Yerushalayim: Ye shall worship before this altar?

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-yim 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 high places and whose altars Chizkiyahu hath taken away

Chapters 36-39 describe the most important event of Isaiah’s career – the Assyrian invasion of Judah and Jerusalem in 701 BCE. In Chapter 36, the Assyrian envoy Rabshakeh taunts the trust that Hezekiah and the people place in God to save them. In his taunts, he points to the seeming contradiction between their trust in God and Hezekiah’s recent reforms in which the king had “removed the high places” and broken down the altars where the people had worshipped God outside the Temple for centuries. What he did not understand is that God does not require a multitude of sacrifices to please Him. Intead, He desires a just and righteous society centered around the Temple.

Comment

8  Now therefore, I pray thee, make a wager with my master, the king of Ashur, and I will give thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them.

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

9  How then canst thou turn away the face of one captain, even of the least of my master’s servants? yet thou puttest thy trust on Mitzrayim for chariots and for horsemen!

ט  וְאֵיךְ תָּשִׁיב אֵת פְּנֵי פַחַת אַחַד עַבְדֵי אֲדֹנִי הַקְּטַנִּים וַתִּבְטַח לְךָ עַל מִצְרַיִם לְרֶכֶב וּלְפָרָשִׁים.

10  And am I now come up without Hashem against this land to destroy it? Hashem said unto me: Go up against this land, and destroy it.’

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

11  Then said Eliakim and Shebna and Joah unto Rab-shakeh: ‘Speak, I pray thee, unto thy servants in the Aramean language, for we understand it; and speak not to us in the Jews’ language, in the ears of the people that are on the wall.’

יא  וַיֹּאמֶר אֶלְיָקִים וְשֶׁבְנָא וְיוֹאָח אֶל רַבְשָׁקֵה דַּבֶּר נָא אֶל עֲבָדֶיךָ אֲרָמִית כִּי שֹׁמְעִים אֲנָחְנוּ וְאַל תְּדַבֵּר אֵלֵינוּ יְהוּדִית בְּאָזְנֵי הָעָם אֲשֶׁר עַל הַחוֹמָה.

12  But Rab-shakeh said: ‘Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, to eat their own dung, and to drink their own water with you?’

יב  וַיֹּאמֶר רַבְשָׁקֵה 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  Then Rab-shakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ language, and said: ‘Hear ye the words of the great king, the king of Ashur.

יג  וַיַּעֲמֹד רַבְשָׁקֵה וַיִּקְרָא בְקוֹל גָּדוֹל יְהוּדִית וַיֹּאמֶר שִׁמְעוּ אֶת דִּבְרֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ הַגָּדוֹל מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר.

14  Thus saith the king: Let not Chizkiyahu beguile you, for he will not be able to deliver you;

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

15  neither let Chizkiyahu make you trust in Hashem, saying: Hashem will surely deliver us; this city shall not be given into the hand of the king of Ashur.

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

16  Hearken not to Chizkiyahu; for thus saith the king of Ashur: Make your peace with me, and come out to me; and eat ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig-tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his own cistern;

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 land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.

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

18  Beware lest Chizkiyahu persuade you, saying: Hashem will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Ashur?

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

19  Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim? and have they delivered Shomron out of my hand?

יט  אַיֵּה אֱלֹהֵי חֲמָת וְאַרְפָּד אַיֵּה אֱלֹהֵי סְפַרְוָיִם וְכִי הִצִּילוּ אֶת שֹׁמְרוֹן מִיָּדִי.

20  Who are they among all the gods of these countries, that have delivered their country out of my hand, that Hashem should deliver Yerushalayim out of my hand?’

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

21  But they held their peace, and answered him not a word; for the king’s commandment was, saying: ‘Answer him not.’

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

22  Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, that was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, to Chizkiyahu with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rab-shakeh.

כב  וַיָּבֹא אֶלְיָקִים בֶּן חִלְקִיָּהוּ אֲשֶׁר עַל הַבַּיִת וְשֶׁבְנָא הַסֹּפֵר וְיוֹאָח בֶּן אָסָף הַמַּזְכִּיר אֶל חִזְקִיָּהוּ קְרוּעֵי בְגָדִים וַיַּגִּידוּ לוֹ אֵת דִּבְרֵי רַבְשָׁקֵה.

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Isaiah 35
Isaiah 37

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Isaiah 36