Yeshayahu/Isaiah Chapter 36: The conquest of Judea by Sancheirev and his negotiations with King Chizkiyah

Chapter 36: The conquest of Judea by Sancheirev and his negotiations with King Chizkiyah

  • The conquest of Judea: In the 14th year of reign of King Chizkiyah, Sancheirev the king of Assyria made a conquest against the cities of Judea and successfully captured them.
  • Ravshakeh offers the conditions of surrender to Jerusalem: Ravshakeh from the town of La Kish who was [an apostate Jew] of the ministers of Sancheirev was sent by him to Jerusalem, to speak with King Chizkiyah on the conditions of their surrender. He came accompanied by a large army and stood by the upper pool of water outside of Jerusalem.
  • King Chizkiyah sends messengers to meet with Ravshakeh: Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was appointed over the Temple and Shevna the scribe and Yoah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to greet Ravshakeh as the personal emissaries of King Chizkiyah.
  • Ravshakeh tells Chizkiyah that he has no one to trust in to help him win the war: Ravshakeh told them that they should tell Chizkiyah that the great king of Assyria plans to conquer Jerusalem and that Chizkiyah’s trust that he will be able to withstand the conquest is as weak as a cane made of the splintered reed. Your trust in Egypt is faulty as they will not help you, and you trust in G-d is pointless as you have destroyed His altars throughout the land of Judah and He will therefore not come to your aid. Do not trust in yourself to be able to fight against us, as I promise you that my master the king of Assyria is willing to give you 2000 horses to help you fight a war against him if you can promise him that you can find 2000 horse riders to put on them. Even this will not be enough to fight against even one of my smallest regiments. Do not trust in Egypt that they will send you chariots and riders. Furthermore, is not G-d Himself who has given me permission to conquest the land so therefore does not bother to fight against us and simply surrender.
  • Asking to speak discreetly in Aramaic: Eliakim and Shevna and Yoach responded to Ravshakeh that he should speak to them in Aramaic and not Hebrew in order, so the people of Jerusalem do not understand what he is saying. Ravshakeh responded defiantly saying that his master Sancheirev sent him to say these words to the people of Jerusalem as if they do not capitulate, they will end up eating their own feces and drinking their own urine together with you.
  • The message to the people of Jerusalem to surrender: Ravshakeh then said his message again in Hebrew even louder than the first time in order so everybody will hear. He said to them, so said the king Sancheirev, do not rely on Chizkiyah that he will save you from our army as he will not be successful. Do not pay heed to his promises that G-d will save you and not hand over the city to the king of Assyria. Now, come out and surrender to us and we will let you eat and drink and remove the siege from the city. We will allow you to temporarily continue living in Jerusalem until the time comes to move you from your land to another land of goodness. Take a look at the other nations, that their deities did not save them from our hands. Look at Samaria, whose deities did not save them. Accordingly, why would G-d save your land from our hands.
  • The silent response: The messengers of Chizkiyah remained silent and did not respond to Ravshakeh, as they were instructed to do by Chizkiyah.
  • Returning to Chizkiyah: The messengers returned to his care with torn clothing and related to him all of the words of Ravshakeh.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?

You must be logged in to post a comment.