“This was a bold, decisive move,” insisted Yuval Shebnitz, an official closely allied with King Bibi.
Jerusalem, July 27 – King Bibi Hizkiyahu of Judah emptied the treasury of Solomon’s Temple and sent them as tribute to the advancing King of Assyria Sennacherib today, reassuring the people of Jerusalem that surely the Assyrians will be satisfied with the gift and stop trying to conquer city after city in the kingdom of Judah.
King Bibi went as far as to strip the decorative gold from the doorposts of the sanctuary, which was by built by Solomon nearly three centuries before. The king hoped to appease Sennacherib and spare his capital city after an Assyrian campaign to subdue vassal states in the Levant that had ceased to pay tribute, among them Judah. Now that the enormous sum has been sent to the invading king, King Bibi promised his constituents that there is no way Sennacherib will continue his campaign against Judah, and certainly no more threat of a siege of Jerusalem with 185,000 attacking soldiers.
Spokesmen for the king dispersed throughout the city and its environs to reassure the populace. “This was a bold, decisive move,” insisted Yuval Shebnitz, an official closely allied with King Bibi. “It may look to many of you like a capitulation, a sign of weakness, and that is your right. But it was surely a courageous move.”
Assyrian military officials have yet to give official word on the effect of the capitulation, and analysts remain divided over what awaits both parties to the conflict. “With the uninterrupted string of Assyrian victories, King Bibi was wise to try to appease,” argued Rabshaqeh, who has studied Sennacherib’s offensive up close. “First Azekah, then Lachish. Total surrender should be next. Why should the Jews put themselves through the trouble of a futile defense? They are hopelessly outnumbered and outclassed.”
Others contended the move would only embolden the Assyrians. “It’s a sign of weakness and desperation,” countered Ben Amotz, who has been privy to Jewish palace proceedings. “All the new fortifications, the water tunnel, the cutting off of water sources to the city’s exterior, the hiring of mercenaries – all that is out the window when you betray how close you think you are to destruction. It only invites further humiliation.”
“At this point it will take nothing less than a tremendous, spectacular show of divine intervention for King Bibi to get out of this intact, let alone victorious,” he added. “There’s going to have to be something seriously unexpected, an overnight miracle, for this to end well for the Jews.”
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