–ѕа°±б>ю€ ЩЫю€€€ЧШ€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€€м•ЅG њѓzbjbjОўОў ьм≥м≥ѓv€€€€€€]¬¬¬¬¬¬¬÷÷÷÷÷ в÷зґ        ђЃЃЃЃЃЃ$ЭфСҐ“¬     “>¬¬   >>> F¬ ¬ ђ÷÷¬¬¬¬ ђ>n>ђ¬¬ђ ю јcTЯвф√÷÷Pођ C H R O N I C L E O F T H E M A R R E D P O T A N N O S T E L L A E 7 2 1 0 Wheel of Woe Just as it went on the Earth before the submergence of Europe, Africa, and Asia and the Re-Location of Earth II to a new home, so it went afterwards with the civilizations which rose up on the restored continent of Atlantis, only to find themselves once again in the deadly grip of Assyria. Glaciers had come and gone from large portions of the Earth, leaving behind strange artifacts of previous civilizations for their successors to try to find some use forЧbut, otherwise, much continued the same in society as it had during the first millennia of Earth II. СTis the nature of statecraft, that whenever weaker nations thought it was in their interests to do so, they scrapped the treaties forced on them and stopped paying tribute to powerful oppressors such as Assyria, Babel, and Mizraim. Since supreme power could only be enjoyed by one kingdom at a time, each great power occupied the worldТs throne for a limited time (УlimitedФ would be centuries, or less than a century, when dealing with empires and kingdoms of great antiquity), and then was forced to give it up to one or the other great powers. This played to the advantage of weak, tributary kingdoms that seldom, if ever, were powerful enough to challenge the УGreat Kings.Ф Forming alliances with one or the other great power against the third great power also helped maintain a small countryТs relative freedom, unless the hostile third party proved victoriousЧand then everyone, allied or not, lost lives and goods to the conquering army. That was the risk in playing this kind of game. If you won, you could enjoy a time of relief from hard taxation by a greedy great power. If you chose the losing horse to defend you, you paid dearly in property and loss of life.. Assyria, indeed, was known for not only taking captives and plunder but putting fish hooks in peopleТs noses and leading off entire populations to distant, strange lands where they were forced to settle. Nothing worse could be imagined by the losersЧto be made to reside on alien ground amongst unfriendly foreigners all their remaining days. Hezekiah, king of a small kingdom called Judah that had once, during King DavidТs and his son SolomonТs reigns, held the reins of world power, placed his reliance on his nearest neighboring great power, Mizraim. With mighty David and glorious Solomon followed by mostly tinpot monarchs, JudahТs glory days were over and he thought he had to align his small kingdom with some friendly great power in order to survive. Assyria, the nearest alternative ally was powerful enough to furnish protection, but it was much more aggressive and greedy than Mizraim at that time, so it was to Mizraim Hezekiah turned. Assyria was a definite threat to Hezekiah. She was just then enjoying a period of military and political ascendancy, and no other great power was strong enough to beat her back to her own borders unless Mizraim, with enough smaller powers supporting her, could manage it. That was what the hard-pressed Hezekiah hoped, at any rate. Again on the attack, Assyria sent its army rampaging across the entire world, crushing one kingdom after another, sacking uncountable cities and taking captives beyond number and the nationsТ wealth and treasures back to their capital Nineveh. With its spies reporting from every corner and trade city, Assyria knew that Hezekiah had conspired with MizraimТs pharaoh against the king of Assyria, and so King Hezekiah, after crushing and destroying Babel and Egypt, turned to devour Judah. This weak a kingdom was not considered any problem for the Assyrians. King Sennacherib sent his great army, but he always went forth to battle with overwhelming might, even though it wasnТt needed, particularly in this case. No king as great as this one was, or thought he was, would show himself without an army to back up his imperial majesty of person. That was why his great army was employed, not because he really needed so many soldiers to subdue Hezekiah. After Urartu and then Mizraim and next Babel had been subdued, Sennacherib was left free to deal with MizraimТs vassal, little Judah, which had traitorously turned against its former master, Assyria. Sennacherib hated any kingdom that tried to throw off his yoke, so that it was made an example of, lest any other tributary kingdom entertain thoughts of similar treason. Having crushed and destroyed Babel, drowning it with the great river Euphrates so that it could not be restored and inhabited, would he treat Judah more kindly? There was no river in Judah like Euphrates or the Tigris to use in like manner, with only a wretched brook running down from the north toward the Salt Sea in the south, so he had with capturing and burning every village, town, and city. Moving from north to south he reduced the land to utter wilderness, yet he did not want it to remain so, and he awarded it to the Philistines on the coast to occupy and till and dwell in. In this way he continued until he came to Lachish and Libnah, the chief remaining fortresses that guarded the approach to Jerusalem, HezekiahТs mountain capital. By this time Sennacherib was hard put to deal with all the captivesЧthey numbered over 200,000, and the collected plunder too was exceeding great. Caravans and wagons were loaded and sent, by the score, back to Nineveh. As soon as they unloaded, they returned for more slaves and plunder. All this ended up in Nineveh, the great Robber City. But Nineveh, strangely, never seemed to get enough. It was insatiable. Its merchants numbered as many as the stars of heaven. They sold human flesh to the whole world in the markets of Nineveh and the chief cities of Assyria. The plunder and the treasure the king kept chiefly for his own enrichment. Meanwhile, Judah was desolated, and where there had once been hundreds and thousands of villages and cities, desolation reigned, with piles of skulls swarming with maggots heaped in front of the burned gates of every city and town and village. Since Lachish and Libnah were heavily fortified, the kingТs army employed its siege engines for the first time in JudahЧsince the other places were much less fortified and were easily taken. Taken from northern ice, the engines were marvelsЧhuge metal structures that had been fashioned, no doubt, by giants and gods. One was made like a wheel with many big cups attached. When drawn up to the walls of any fortress, it easily surpassed it in height, it was so great in size. Then when it was pulled by many oxen, it turned slowly around on its axle, and so it was used to fling heavy stones, burning oil, and spears down upon the enemy on the walls and into the besieged city itself. Other engines were used to batter the walls down. One was a thing like a gigantic, glass-eyed grasshopper in appearance, stripped of wings like a female grasshopper after a nuptial flight, laid on two iron threads that the king laid before it, thread by thread, so that the great iron locust could butt hard against the strongest wall and smash a hole through it. This engine too achieved great success wherever the king gave command for it to be used. The only difficulty was transport. The flat country of the Mesopotamian plains presented no obstacle, and so they made great progress in a day even with such mighty fighting engines as these. But in little Judah, where very little land lay flat enough for a chariotТs wheels, and where steep mountains abounded, the engines had to be dragged on logs, a few feet at a time, using both men and beasts by the hundreds, and sometimes thousands. Yet, difficult as the task was, the king of Assyria found the war engines so useful and he grew so fond of them, he would not send them back to Nineveh to their stables but turned them against Judah, though there was small need of them in such a place. The walled fortress cities of Lachish and Libnah, of course, were exceptions, and the king remained with his wonderful engines, one which he called УWheel of Woe,Ф and the other УLocust watching their progress as the main army attacked these two remaining fortresses in his campaign against Hezekiah. But he had not forgotten Jerusalem. He wrote letters and sent them with his commanding general, the rabshekeh, who took several thousand horsemen and some messengers and delivered the kingТs words to the rebel king. Caged like a bird in his own city and palace, King Hezekiah heard of the rabshekehТs arrival before the walls and his mission. He had watched his entire kingdom being consumed by the ravenous lion of Assyria, bit by bit, until now only Lachish and Libnah, with Jerusalem, were left! His prophets were silent after all this trouble had come upon the land of Judah, except for the one called Isaiah. He still spoke for the Lord God, the God of HezekiahТs fathers, yet of late he too fell strangely silent. Hezekiah, unable to know what to do, teetered on the edge of despair. Should he surrender? But it was too late. The king of Assyria, he knew, was enraged against him by his long defiance. There would be no turning away this mighty kingТs wrath. He would take every life in the city, all those he did not enslaveЧand utterly destroy the city, the kingТs house, and the house of the Lord. What then was he to do? Hezekiah implored of the Lord daily in the temple. But the prophets did not come, saying, УThus saith the Lord God, thus and soЧУ in response to HezekiahТs urgent pleas. Why? What had they done to provoke the LordТs wrath, so that He had delivered Judah, his servant HezekiahТs life and household, and even the LordТs house, into the hand of the enemy? What evil could be so great as to bring the Assyrian, like a ravening lion, down upon the flock of the Lord? Had the Lord utterly forsaken His own city? Why? How could He? Had He forgotten the covenant He had made with his fathers Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and DavidЧthe covenant to give them the land and preserve them in it to all generations? Seemingly, the Lord had forgotten the covenantЧfor the Assyrian had all but consumed the land and its people, and only he and his city, with Lachish and Libnah, were left. УSennacheribФ! the king hissed when he uttered the invaderТs name. It sounded to him like an abomination, and, indeed it was, for it contained the name of a foul, lion-headed Assyrian idol, as all Assyrian names did. The idolatrous name of this heathen beast-king made HezekiahТs blood run cold and his moisture dry up in his mouth! Did he have a mortal mother like any man? Surely, his mother gave him to a she-lion to nurse, and when suckling her he drank up the lionessТs ferociousness! That was the only way he could have been made so cruel so that he no longer acted like a man who knew that God was in heaven and he was only perishable dust. Unfortunately, the king did not inquire of the prophet Isaiah on this point, and thus he failed to hear what the prophet could have told him, that it was no she-lioness that nursed the kingЧno, Sennacherib was a man like any other, a cousin to HezekiahТs line, in fact, but a most wicked and powerful spirit of antiquity, abiding still in the land of the two great rivers, had entered into the king of AssyriaТs own breast, flooding him with murder, thefts, witchcrafts, and violence. This black spirit was the prince of Assyria and Sennacherib, gripped by its spell, unwittingly did all the spirit told him to do. The northern half of the divided nation of Israel was gone, conquered by the king of Assyria. Now only the Southern Kingdom, Judah, was left. But for how long? Reports about the success of the Assyrians in conquering the remaining southern portion, Judah, reached Jerusalem that caused much fear and deep despair. Once a prophet, Jeremiah, was commanded by the Lord to go to the shop of a certain potter. Obeying, he went and found the potter at work making a pot. Jeremiah observed how a pot was made, as the potter turned the big lump set on a wheel he made turn around with his foot as he shaped the wet clay with his fingers. The shapeless clay quickly took the form of a water pot as the prophet watched with fascination. Just when he thought the potter would remove the pot for firing in the oven to make the soft clay as hard as brick, the potter sighed and smashed the vessel with his fist. The pot was marred in the potterТs sight, so he had decided to start over from the beginning. After smashing the pot, the potter took the clay and kneaded it and pounded it back into the softness required for the wheel. How did the pot feel about this treatment? Did it complain to the potter, its maker? Jeremiah went away, carrying much to think about concerning the spiritual state of his beloved Judah. The potterТs wheel was one of woe for the marred pot, but it was also the means to remake the pot into a vessel that was genuinely good and useful. Yet Judah, the marred pot, refused to submit to the wheel of woe, so that it could be remade into the beautiful vessel of the Lord. So it happened that Judah, refusing the LordТs wheel of woe, fell onto a second wheel, that of the heathen nation of Assyria. This wheel inflicted much more hardship and suffering than the Lord ever intended for his marred pot. It was JudahТs own fatal choice. K ing Hezekiah strode back and forth in his inner chamber where he could be alone, free from the anxious gazes of his chief counsellors and military men. What was he going to do? Jerusalem itself was soon to be ringed by enemy Assyrian forces. He had done all he could to strengthen his cityТs walls, fortresses, and remaining army. City granaries were stocked, supplies of arms for the fighting men were gathered, extra water was brought in after wells outside the city were filled with rubble and springs blocked with stones so that the Assyrians would not find plentiful waterЧhe lay awake nights wondering what else he could do to protect his city. Had he not sent envoys and gained the support of Mizraim with a gift of much gold? But where was the army of Mizraim? The Assyrian had taken, now in the eleventh year of his reign, almost all Judah. Hundreds of towns and villages had been sacked and burned, the inhabitants killed on the spot or driven off into exile as slaves in a foreign land. What had they done to bring such terrible woes upon them? It made Hezekiah weep to think of the destruction wrought by the Assyrian upon holy Judah. Was the entire land to be captured and the people taken away as the Northern Kingdom of Israel had been taken in the twelfth year of the reign of JudahТs king Ahaz. He might have saved his tears. The prophet Isaiah had been faithfully pleading with the people for years to turn back to the God of Israel, yet they continued false in their hearts, giving allegiance both to God and to foreign gods of the heathens, just like they had done since SolomonТs time. Despite HezekiahТs righteous stand for the God of Israel, when he took away the idols from the temple and and the high places his father Ahaz had set up and worshiped, the people refused to give up . Isaiah and other prophets had given the LordТs testimony, saying, УTurn from your evil ways and keep My commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.Ф Yet they would not hear and continue stubbornly to burn incense before idols and worship them. The king wept, but he knew very well that Judah, at best, was a marred pot in GodТs sight. Idolatry had ruined IsraelТs vessel. She was called to be holy, but she was a whore at heart, lusting after the gods of the heathen instead of the One True God. Fit only to be thrown out on the dungheap, the pot was good for nothing. For that reason the Lord had sent the Assyrian lion against Judah to chastise her with the sword and with pillage and enslavement. More terrible days passed and the Assyrian noose tightened round the city of Jerusalem. Desperate beyond saying, Hezekiah went to the extreme to placate Assyria, for he wrote to the king: УI have offended you. I will bear anything you put upon me, if you will leave my country.Ф In response, the king of Assyria sent his demand, that Hezekiah send three hundred talents and thirty talents of gold. So Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the Temple, took the silver from within GodТs house, added to it treasures from his own palace, and sent it all to the king of Assyria who was besieging Lachish. Despite the gold and treasure, Sennacherib, the treacherous king of Assyria, could not be put off by the three hundred and thirty talents of gold and silver and sent his chief military men, the Tartan and Rabsaris, to Jerusalem with a large force. How could the king do this to him? Hezekiah cried when he heard the Assyrian commanders had come with an army to the walls of Jerusalem. Had he not sent the required amount of gold? Yet Hezekiah did not know that Sennacherib was listening to an inner voice which told the king that the crafty Hezekiah was hiding much more gold than he had sent. This word enraged Sennacherib, so that he changed his mind. He would not depart from Judah but would press the war until he had captured Jerusalem, killing its king and burning the city down, while enslaving the whole population left alive in the city. The thought of much more gold incited the king of Assyria, so that nothing could stop him from pursuing Hezekiah to the death in order to gain his great riches. After taking all the treasure in the kingТs possession, he already intended to put Hezekiah and his entire royal line to death and install a Philistine royal line with a king or a kingТs son from one of the five royal Philistine cities. He much preferred the highly disciplined, order-worshiping Philistines, and had already turned over to them JudahТs territory and citiesЧnot willing to let the productive land go to wilderness and wild beasts. To make sure that no one would attempt to set up another royal line in Judah to take the place of HezekiahТs House of David dynasty, he would pile the heads of Hezekiah and all his sons and male relatives in a tall, perfectly arranged pyramid and cause all the people of Judah to pass by it. He had erected similar edifices at the main gates of every city of Judah he had captured, using the heads of the cityТs chief officials and military leaders. No other sight proved quite so terrifying as this one: in the first stages of the campaign it caused one city after another to turn faint-hearted and loose at the knees, and open the city gates, thereby hoping for the kingТs clemency. But having clearly seen that the king would show no mercy, the last cities to be captured always held out in bitter struggle though starved to the point where men and women were cooking and eating their own childrenЧthat was why it took longer with places like Lachish and Libnah, whose inhabitants knew they would be impaled on stakes for their obduracy and their heads cut off and displayed at the city gates. As for HezekiahТs royal seat of Jerusalem, it would be treated the same, despite it also holding the temple for the worship of Jehovah. It did not matter to Sennacherib in the least that, as a descendant of Ham, he was a cousin to the Judahites, who descended from Shem, a son of Noah and brother to Ham and Japheth. So long had SennacheribТs forebears worshipped other УmightierФ gods, he refused to recognize the Most High God in the invisible God that some of the Judahites, including the king, worshiped. To his thinking, Jehovah was just another local, foreign god, of the type he had collected from every conquered people in the path of his invincible army. In the wake of his campaigns were lines of wagons pulled by oxenЧthese carried the spoil of the cities he had crushed and destroyed. Among the spoil were hundred of images of gods he had overcome by his might and power. They were intended to return to Nineveh with him to be placed somewhere in a palace storeroom. Four generals hurried into the palace and went and bowed before the king as he sat in his inner chamber. One spoke for the others. УThe rabshekeh and tartan have come up against your city, O king, with a mighty force and a great and fearful siege engine. Will you go and see it? Perhaps the king will tell us what we should do.Ф УDonТt you know what to do?Ф the king thought, but, wisely, he held his words back. Calling for a soldierТs rough woolen cloak to disguise his identity, the king was made ready to go to the walls to look out over the enemy camp. Then accompanied by the fearful generals and his courtiers the king was taken by chariot to the walls. Going up in a tower of the wall, the king went out on a high balcony, which the arrows of the enemy could not reach. He was astonished when he stood facing a siege engine that had just then been drawn up to the wall. Fortunately for him, it did not hold any fighting men for he might have been slain on the spot. Shaped like a wheel fashioned by the giants, the siege engine held numerous cups made of iron that were large enough to hold at least six soldiers or a single catapult and its two attendants. As he watched the dreadful engine was being loaded with catapults, starting with the cups lowest to the ground. He could see without being told that soon the wheel would be in operating, flinging flaming arrows and rocks and boiling oil right into the heart of the city and possibly into the royal palace. The engine was so large that it towered over the city wall. How could the city not be taken? No wonder the generals were acting so frightened. Hezekiah himself was terrified. After a look, he hurried away, back to the palace. Ordering everyone out of his chamber, he threw himself down on the floor. Courtiers came to the door he had bolted, begging that the king receive word from the army. Summoning his last strength, Hezekiah opened up and received the message sent by one of his commanders. УO king, the enemy has words for you, written by the hand of the king of Assyria. They will not send the letter, say the rabshekeh and tartan, but they will read it only in the hearing of your ears. Will you return to the wall, lest they start the great wheel against the wall and destroy it?Ф What on earth was he to do? He had no strength left, he felt. Hezekiah cried inwardly to the Lord for strength. Somehow, he managed to return to the wall to receive the king of AssyriaТs words of doom. The Assyrian commanders, he found, were standing by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the FullerТs Field. This ground was chosen because it was fairly level, and level ground was sparse round the steep-sided, mountain-girt city, the siege engine taking what little ground there was to draw close to the wall. Hezekiah stood on the wall with Eliakim the son of Hilkiah nd Shebna the scribe and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder. These men were loyal to the death, the king knew. They would not assassinate him, if the words of the Assyrian king made everyone else turn from him. Showing his royal crown and scepter, Hezekiah let himself be recognized by the Assyrian commanders standing below on a carpeted platform, with masses of infantry gathered in armed might as far as Hezekiah could see. Off in the distance he could see the great Wheel drawn up to the city wall. The loading of its compartments with catapults, rocks, oil, and archers, was still in progress, but was, he could see, nearly accomplished. Meanwhile, teams of sappers were delving beneath the foundations of the wall to undermine it at strategic points, so that a large section of wall would collapse all at one time, making room for the major portion of the attacking army to enter without having to go in, dangerously, in smaller groups. What was his army doing to stop them? All it could do, under the circumstances. He had given orders to shoot as many arrows as they could spare, to impede the loading of the Wheel, but it did not take very long to exhaust the cityТs armories, so Hezekiah ordered the shooting to cease and rocks to be thrown instead. But that couldnТt succeed alone, since the Assyrians always worked under cover of giant shields made of hides drawn over iron ribs. And rabshekeh first addressed the king, but began calling out with a loud voice that carried beyond the king to his soldiers gathered to protect Hezekiah, as he obviously intended the letter to be heard by all, not just the king and his aides: УThus says the Great King, the King of Assyria. Why do you have confidence in this king? Why trust in him to deliver you from the wheel of woe we have brought up against this city and its wall? How can he say he is prepared to make war, this one who has rebelled against me? Ha, he trusts in the might of a broken reed, Mizraim, to help him! If you lean on it, it will break and pierce your hand! And do not say you trust in the Lord your God, for this same Hezekiah took away the altars you erected to your God, did he not? He demanded that you worship only in this city, did he not? Thus he profaned the holy altars of your high places. Now therefore give your pledges to the king of Assyria my lord, and I will deliver you from these thousands I have brought with me from the king. Can you turn away the least commander of so great an army as the king of AssyriaТs? How then can you trust in Mizraim, which lies far off from your gates. I myself will give you two thousand horses if you are able to set horsemen on them. Do you think I would attack this city without the LordТs permission. It was the Lord who said to me, УGo up and attack Jerusalem!Ф Then King HezekiahТs chief minister, Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who could bear no more reproaches from the heathen commanders, the rabshakeh and tartan, interrupted the rabshakeh. УPlease use the language of Syrian, for we understand it well enough. Do not use the language of Judah, for the people on the wall will hear your words and understand them.Ф The rabshakeh refused, shouting all the louder, УDo you think I came here just to talk to you? HavenТt I been sent to warn the common people on the walls, who will soon be eating their own excrement and drinking their own urine with you?Ф The rabshakeh addressed the people on the wall with the language of Judah, УHear the word of the king of Assyria. He says, СDonТt let Hezekiah deceive you, for he cannot deliver you out of my hand. DonТt think the Lord can deliver you either! If you have any sense, seek my mercy with an agreement now. Come out to me, and you will be left in peace, to live as you likeЧexcept that I will take you to another place to live, a land much nicer than this one. Has Hezekiah claimed he can deliver you? DonТt believe it. Have the gods of other lands ever delivered the nations out of the hands of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of these lands, and how is your God any different than those we have conquered?Ф Hearing all this, the people still made no reply to the rabshekehТs taunts. But the kingТs high ministers, Eliakim, Shebna, Joah, tore their robes, then went to tell the king who had already returned to his royal chamber. When the king heard the remaining taunts, which were against the Lord God himself, Hezekiah tore his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth, and then went into the Temple. With JoahТs copy of the rabshekehТs words, he prostrated himself in the Temple. At the same time he sent a messenger to Isaiah, telling him what the Assyrian had said against the Lord God, his holy city, and the king. They quoted the king to him: УThis is a day of trouble, of rebuke, and blasphemy, for children cannot be birthed, for the woman are starving and have no strength to bear them. But it may be that the Lord God will mark the words of rabshekeh which reproach the living God, and He will in turn reproach the Assyrian. Therefore, we ask that you lift up your prayer for we who are left.Ф Isaiah listened carefully, and then after a time, the word of God came to him, and he told them: УGo tell your master, thus says the Lord: СDo not fear the words which you have heard, by which the king of Assyria has blasphemed me. Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear an evil rumor, and it will cause him to return to his own land. There I will cause a sword to fall upon him in his own land.Ф When the army commander-envoy, the rabshekeh, did not receive any response from Hezekiah, he left Jerusalem to return to the king of Assyria for further instructions. On the way he was met by messengers from Ethiopia, who informed him that the Ethiopian king, the powerful Terhakah, was on the way to attack the Assyrian army. Hearing this, the rabshekeh sent a taunting letter to Hezekiah, УDo not imagine you will escape from our hand, for you vainly trust in thy God to deliver you. Where are all the peoples who defied us? Where? Did their gods deliver any of them? Where are their kings?Ф Hezekiah received the letter and it was read to him. He went again to the Temple and spread the blasphemous words of the Assyrian before the Lord. 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