Rabshakeh Spells it Out

Isaiah 36: 13-20. “Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ language, and said, Hear ye the words of the great king, the king of Assyria. Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you. Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, The Lord will surely deliver us: this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, 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: 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. Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, The Lord will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arphad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim? and have they delivered Samaria  out of my hand? ”

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Rabshakeh ignored Eliakim and made a direct appeal to the people watching from the walls. He told them not to trust their own king, Hezekiah, who was powerless to deliver them. He told them not to trust in the Lord God of Israel, because He hadn’t saved anyone from the assault of the king of Assyria.  He told them that if they gave gifts to the king of Assyria, they could all stay in their own land until  the king of Assyria took them to another land just like their own, where they would be happy and content.  He told them that none of the gods of other nations had protected them from Assyria.

It was quite a speech.  Reminds me of some of the deceitful campaign speeches we hear in every election cycle–promises of milk and honey, of comfort and peace.  We are foolish to be deceived by such rhetoric, and the Jews who were impressed by Rabshakeh were just as foolish.

If it had existed at that time, I’m sure someone would have wanted to give Rabshakeh and the great king of Assyria the Nobel Peace Prize.

2 thoughts on “Rabshakeh Spells it Out

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