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TitleIsaiah 36
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsParry, Donald W.
Book TitleThe Book of Isaiah: A New Translation (Preliminary Edition)
PublisherBook of Mormon Central
CitySpringville, UT
KeywordsBible; Isaiah (Book); Isaiah (Prophet); Old Testament

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Sennacherib, King of Assyria, Threatens Jerusalem (36:1–22)


36 1And it came to pass in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them. 2And the king of Assyria sent the chief officer from Lachish to Jerusalem with a great army to King Hezekiah. And he stood by the aqueduct of the Upper Pool on the road to the Washer’s Field. 3And Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, who was over the house; Shebna, the scribe; and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, went out to him. 4And the chief officer said to them:

Chief officer

“Say to Hezekiah, please—Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria, ‘What is this trust in which you have trusted? 5I say, ‘[Your] words [are but vain, when you say][1], ‘I have counsel and strength for war.’ Now, on whom do you trust, that you have rebelled against me?

6Behold, you are trusting on Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which pierces the palm of anyone who leans on it; such is Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to all who trust him. 

7But if you say to me, ‘We trust in the LORD, our God’—Did not Hezekiah remove his high places and altars, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You will worship before this altar?’ 

8And now, please, make a pledge with my master, the king of Assyria. Let me give you two thousand horses, if you are able to set riders upon them. 9How then can you turn aside a single captain of the least of my master’s servants, when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 10And now, is it without the LORD that I have come up against this land to destroy it? The LORD said to me, ‘Go up against this land and destroy it.’”


11Then Eliakim, and Shebna, and Joah said to the chief officer,

Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah

“Speak, please, to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.”


12But the chief officer said,

Chief officer

“Did my master send me to speak these words to you and your master, and not to the men sitting on the wall? They are doomed, with you, to eat their own dung and to drink their own urine.”


13Then the chief officer stood and called out with a loud voice and in the language of Judah, and he said,

Chief officer

“Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. 14Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you. 15Do not allow Hezekiah to persuade you to trust in the LORD by saying, Surely, the LORD will save us. This city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ 16Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria, ‘Make a blessing[2] with me and come out to me; then everyone will eat of his own vine and every one of his own fig tree, and every one of you will drink the water of his own cistern, 17until I come and take you to a land like your land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards. 18Lest Hezekiah mislead you, saying, ‘The LORD will deliver us.’ Did the gods of the nations ever deliver each its land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 19Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, and did they deliver Samaria from my hand? 20Who among all the gods of these countries has delivered their countries from my hand, that the LORD will deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?”


21But they were silent and did not answer him, for it was the command of the king, saying,


“Do not answer him.”


22Then Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, who was over the house; Shebna, the scribe; and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah, with their garments rent, and they told him the words of the chief officer.


[1] Bracketed words in verse 5 are from JST.

[2] This literal translation is a sham, designed to make the people think that paying a tribute is a blessing. But the king is really saying, “Pay me tribute.”


Scripture Reference

Isaiah 36:1