2 Kings 18 On God's side


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2 Kings 18:17 The king of Assyria sent his supreme commander, his chief officer and his field commander with a large army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. They came up to Jerusalem and stopped at the aqueduct of the Upper Pool, on the road to the Washerman’s Field. 18 They called for the king; and Eliakim son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went out to them.

19 The field commander said to them, “Tell Hezekiah:

“‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: On what are you basing this confidence of yours? 20 You say you have the counsel and the might for war—but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me? 21 Look, I know you are depending on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff, which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him. 22 But if you say to me, “We are depending on the Lord our God”—isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, “You must worship before this altar in Jerusalem”?

23 “‘Come now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses—if you can put riders on them! 24 How can you repulse one officer of the least of my master’s officials, even though you are depending on Egypt for chariots and horsemen[e]? 25 Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this place without word from the Lord? The Lord himself told me to march against this country and destroy it.’”​

e. 2 Kings 18:24 Or charioteers

So... the king of Assyria sent his field commander to talk Hezekiah, king of Judah, into surrender. So why should the king of Judah surrender to the field commander? According to the field commander.... God was mad at Judah for taking down all the asherah poles and other fake god idols. Well, the argument the field commander made was odd. The field commander told the king of God's chosen people that God was on the field commander's side, because Hezekiah worked to wipe the worship of false idols out of Judah. The field commander told king Hezekiah that making an alliance with Egypt was stupid and on top of that..... the field commander told the king's administrators God had shifted sides. That's right... according to the field commander... God was on his side. According to the field commander.... God had abandoned Judah. Now that's some wicked propaganda.

This is from enduringword.com.

If you say to me, “We trust in the LORD our God”: The Rabshakeh anticipated the response of the leaders of Judah. “Rabshakeh, you say that we can’t trust in Egypt. All right, we won’t. But we can trust in the LORD our God.”

Is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away: The Rabshakeh knew that King Hezekiah had implemented broad reforms in Judah, including the removal of the high places (2 Kings 18:3-4). Yet in the Rabshakeh’s thinking, Hezekiah’s reforms had really displeased God, so he should not expect help from the LORD God of Israel. The Rabshakeh would say, “Look at all the places there used to be where people would worship the LORD God of Israel. Now, since Hezekiah came in, there is only one place. More is always better, so the LORD God of Israel must be pretty sore at Hezekiah!”​

So the field commander said that God would be angry because [paraphrased] Hezekiah tore down all those places and that made it inconvenient to worship... so God was angry. It wasn't true but that's what the field commander said.

This is from the easy English site.

Although the king of Assyria accepted Hezekiah’s money, Assyria’s king did not take his own army away. Instead, Assyria’s king sent three chief officials to persuade the people in Judah to give up their resistance. Assyria’s king did not want the nation called Judah to continue to exist. He wanted to take its inhabitants away to Assyria. There they would live with people from other nations.

So these three chief officials came to Jerusalem with a large army. They brought this message to Hezekiah. The people in Judah had said that they had military strength. But those were just words. Really, Judah’s army was weak. The people in Judah thought that the king of Egypt would help them to fight Assyria. But Assyria’s king laughed at that idea. He compared the king of Egypt to a broken walking stick. A man who depends on such a stick would only hurt himself. So if the people in Judah trusted Egypt, they would only damage themselves. Therefore, Assyria’s king said that the people in Judah could not trust either their own army or Egypt’s army. But that was not all. Assyria’s king tried to prove that God was supporting him and not Hezekiah. Hezekiah had destroyed the places where the people worshipped. So they could not trust God to help them.

The official tried to persuade Judah’s officials and its people to oppose Hezekiah. He tried to show them that Judah’s situation was hopeless.

Then the official reminded them how weak Judah’s army was. If he gave Judah 2000 horses, Judah’s army would be unable to find 2000 men to ride on them. Even Assyria’s weakest officials would be powerful enough to defeat Judah’s army. Then, he said that God had told him to attack the country. Perhaps he had heard about the prophecies that Isaiah and Micah had given.​

Propaganda..... "You tore down all those places... you told the people not to worship.... you left only one place to worship, making people leave their homes to travel all that way to Jerusalem, so God is mad at you... so give up..."

Define Propaganda:

information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

The field commander was spreading propaganda.... today, he would have loaded a bunch of brochures in a helicopter and blanketed Judah with propaganda.... but back then.... the field commander met with members of the king's cabinet.