King Sennacherib sends a letter to King Hezekiah (2 Kings 19:10-19:13)

“King Sennacherib sent messengers again to King Hezekiah. ‘Thus shall you speak to King Hezekiah of Judah. Do not let your God on whom you rely deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. See, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the other lands, destroying them utterly. Shall you be delivered? Have the gods of the other nations delivered them, the nations which my predecessors destroyed, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?’”

In an almost repeat of the discourse of Rabshakeh in the preceding chapter, the messengers of King Sennacherib of Assyria present the same themes. Do not rely on your God. See what has happened to those places that have done so. The kings of Assyria have destroyed them. How have their gods defended them? He repeated what had happened to the kings of Hamath, Arpad, Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah. They also added the cities of Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and Eden.   Gozan was where the northern Israelites were sent in their captivity. Haran was in Mesopotamia, a town where Abraham had stopped. Rezeph was near Hamath. Eden in Telassar probably refers to some place in Mesopotamia, thus giving further credence to Mesopotamia as the original place of the Garden of Eden. At least at this time, nearly 2700 years ago, this place was called Eden, which might have influenced the biblical writers.

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