2 Kings 18:21
19 The chief adviser said to them, “Tell Hezekiah: ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: “What is your source of confidence? 20 Your claim to have a strategy and military strength is just empty talk. In whom are you trusting that you would dare to rebel against me? 21 Now look, you must be trusting in Egypt, that splintered reed staff. If a man leans for support on it, it punctures his hand and wounds him. That is what Pharaoh king of Egypt does to all who trust in him. 22 Perhaps you will tell me, ‘We are trusting in the Lord our God.’ But Hezekiah is the one who eliminated his high places and altars and then told the people of Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship at this altar in Jerusalem.’ 23 Now make a deal with my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you 2,000 horses, provided you can find enough riders for them.
1 “The rebellious children are as good as dead,” says the Lord, “those who make plans without consulting me, who form alliances without consulting my Spirit, and thereby compound their sin. 2 They travel down to Egypt without seeking my will, seeking Pharaoh’s protection, and looking for safety in Egypt’s protective shade. 3 But Pharaoh’s protection will bring you nothing but shame and the safety of Egypt’s protective shade nothing but humiliation. 4 Though his officials are in Zoan and his messengers arrive at Hanes,
Notes and References
"... Isaiah’s strong opposition to the political ties with Egypt and to seeking its military aid is expressed in several prophecies. This has been recognized by all scholars and will be presented in brief here. Surprisingly, in his oracles Isaiah refers critically to Hezekiah’s officials and counselors and avoids criticizing the king who initiated this policy. In my opinion, this is the result of the intervention of the editors who worked the original prophecies in a way that cleared the king from the blame of seeking alliance with “that broken reed of a staff.” I have already noted that Isaiah’s prophecies were shaped in relation to the histories of Ahaz and Hezekiah as related in the book of Kings. Th e editors must have shaped the figure of Hezekiah in light of their sources, emphasizing the role of his subordinates and tacitly avoiding mentioning the king’s role in the relations with Egypt ..."
Na'aman, Nadav "Let Other Kingdoms Struggle with the Great Powers—You, Judah, Pay the Tribute and Hope for the Best" in Cohen, Raymond, and Raymond Westbrook (eds.) Isaiah’s Vision of Peace in Biblical and Modern International Relations: Swords into Plowshares (pp. 55-73) Palgrave Macmillan, 2008
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