lakesmall.gif (2457 bytes)

Home

First
Covenant

Second
Covenant
Topical
Studies

Table of Contents


Hyperlink Hints

ISAIAH
The Gospel To Israel
Book 2

LESSON  SEVENTEEN
Isaiah 36:11 - 37:38

 


Isaiah 36:1-39:8
Historic Events And Prophecies
(Hezekiah)

Isaiah 36:1-37:13 The King of Assyria His summons to surrender Jerusalem
Isaiah 37:14-20 Hezekiah Fear and Prayer
Isaiah 37:21-38 Isaiah Answer to prayer, Promise of Deliverance
     
Isaiah 38:1 The King of Terrors His solemn summons to Hezekiah to surrender his life
Isaiah 38:2,3 Hezekiah Fear and Prayer
Isaiah 38:4-22 Isaiah Answer to Prayer, Promise from Death
     
Isaiah 39:1 The King of Babylon His letters and present
Isaiah 39:2 Hezekiah Fearless and Prayerless
Isaiah 39:3-8 Isaiah His message of deliverance to Babylon

Isaiah 36:11
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(11)   Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah
replied to the Rabshakeh, “Please,
speak to your servants in Aramaic,
since we understand it; do not speak
to us in Judean in the hearing of the
people on the wall.”
Then Eliakim and Somnas and Joach
said to him, Speak to thy servants in
the Syrian tongue; for we understand
it: and speak not to us in the Jewish
tongue: and wherefore speakest thou
in the ears of the men on the wall?
Then said Eliakim and Shebna and Joah unto Rabshakeh, Speak now with thy servants in Aramaic; for we understand it: and speak not with us in the Jews’ language before the people that are on the wall.
From the NKJV
(11)   Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, "Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and do not speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people who are on the wall."

The concluding words,  in which the Assyrian boasts of  having Jehovah on his side,  affect the messengers of  Hezekiah in the keenest manner,  especially because of  the people present.

Speak in Aramaic
They spoke Yehuudiith,  i.e.,  the colloquial language of  the kingdom of  Judah.
The kingdom of  Israel was no longer in existence,  and the language of  the Israelitish nation,  as a whole,  might therefore already be called Judaean (Jewish),  as in Nehemiah 13:24, more especially as there may have been a far greater dialectical difference between the popular speech of the northern and southern kingdoms, than we can gather from the biblical books that were written in the one or the other.

Nehemiah 13:24
And half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and could not speak the language of Judah, but spoke according to the language of one or the other people.    (NKJV)

Aramaean ('arâmiith),  however,  appears to have been even then,  as it was at a later period (Ezra 4:7  "...the letter was written in Aramaic script, and translated into the Aramaic language."),  the language of  communication between the empire of  Eastern Asia and the people to the west of  the Tigris  (compare Alex. Polyhistor in Euseb. chron. arm. i. 43,  where Sennacherib is said to have erected a monument with a Chaldean inscription);  and consequently educated Judaeans not only understood it,  but were able to speak it,  more especially those who were in the service of  the state.

Assyrian,  on the other hand,  was unintelligible to Judaeans,  although this applied comparatively less to the true Assyrian dialect,  which was Semitic,  and can be interpreted for the most part from the Hebrew  (see Oppert's "Outlines of an Assyrian Grammar" in the Journal Asiatique, 1859),  than to the motley language of  the Assyrian army,  which was a compound of  Arian and Turanian elements.

The name Sennacherib  (Sancheeriibh = cin-'achiy-yeeribLXX Sennacheereim, i.e., "Sin, the moon-god, had multiplied the brethren")  is Semitic;  on the other hand,  the name Tartan,  which cannot be interpreted either from the Semitic or the Arian,  is an example of  the element referred to,  which was so utterly strange to a Judaean ear.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(11)  Then Eliakim and Shebna and Joah said to him,  “Please speak with your servants in Aramaic since we understand it. But do not speak this message so that the men sitting on (to us in Judean so that the people on MT) the wall can hear.”

See Note in lesson 15 on the Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

Isaiah 36:12
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(12)   But the Rabshakeh replied,
“Was it to your master and to you
that my master sent me to speak
those words? It was precisely to the
men who are sitting on the wall –
who will have to eat their dung and
drink their urine with you.”
And Rabsaces said to them, has my
lord sent me to your lord or to you,
to speak these words? Has he not
sent me to the men that sit on the
wall, that they may eat dung, and
drink their water together with you?
And Rabshakeh said, hath my master sent me unto thy master and unto thee, to speak these words? Hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, to eat their own dung, and to drink their own water in the siege with you?
From the NKJV
(12)   But the Rabshakeh said, "Has my master sent me to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, who will eat and drink their own waste with you?"

The harsh reply is given - namely,  because their rulers were exposing them to a siege which would involve the most dreadful state of famine.

The meaning of this is,  that the inhabitants of  the city,  if they do not surrender,  will be subjected to the severest evils of  famine.
If they did not surrender,  it was the purpose of  the Assyrian to lay siege to the city,  and to reduce it.  But it was often the work of years to reduce and take a city.

Nebuchadnezzar spent thirteen years before Tyre
The Greeks employed ten in reducing ancient Troy
The sense here is,  therefore,  that unless the people could be induced to surrender to Sennacherib,  they would be subjected to all the horrors of  a siege,  when they would be reduced to the most deplorable state of  necessity and want.
The idea in the whole verse is clearly expressed in the parallel place in 2 Chronicles 32:11: "Does not Hezekiah persuade you to give yourselves over to die by famine and by thirst, saying, 'The LORD our God will deliver us from the hand of the king of Assyria'?"
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(12)   But the Rabshakeh said “was it to you and against your lord that my lord sent me to speak this message? Was it not rather against the men sitting on the wall, who will have to eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you?”

Isaiah 36:13-20
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(13)   And the Rabshakeh stood and
called out in a loud voice in Judean:
And Rabsaces, stood, and cried with
a loud voice in the Jewish language,
and said, Hear ye the words of the
great king, the king of the Assyrians:
The Rabshakeh arose, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ language, and said, Hear ye the words of the mighty kin, the king of Assyria.
(14)   “Hear the words of the Great
King, the king of Assyria! Thus said
the king: Don’t let Hezekiah deceive
you, for he will not be able to save
you.
thus says the king. Let not Ezekias
deceive you with words: he will not
be able to deliver you.
Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you; for he shall not be able to deliver you:
(15)   Don’t let Hezekiah make you
rely on the Lord, saying ‘The Lord
will surely save us; this city will not
fall into the hands of Assyria’!
And let not Ezekias say to you, that
God will deliver you, and this city
will not at all be delivered into the
hand of the king of the Assyrians.
neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Memra of the Lord, saying, The Lord will surely deliver us; this city shall not be given up into the hands of the king of Assyria.
(16)   Don’t listen to Hezekiah. For
thus said the king of Assyria: Make
your peace with me and come out to
me, so that you may all eat from your
vines and your fig trees and drink
water from your cisterns,
Hearken not to Ezekias: thus says the
king of the Assyrians, If ye wish to
be blessed, come out to me: and ye
shall eat every one of his vine and
his fig trees, and ye shall drink water
out of your own cisterns;
And hearken not unto Hezekiah; for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make peace with me, and come out to me; and eat ye everyone of the fruit of his vines and everyone of the fruit of his fig trees, and drink ye everyone of the waters of his own cistern:
(17)   until I come and take you away
to a land like your own, a land of
bread and wine, of grain [fields] and
vineyards.
until I come and take you to a land,
like your own land, a land of corn
and wine, and bread and vineyards.
until I come and lead you to a good land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of fields and vineyards.
(18)   Beware of letting Hezekiah
mislead you by saying, ‘The Lord
will save us.’ Did any of the gods
of the other nations save his land
from the king of Assyria?
Let not Ezekias deceive you, saying,
God will deliver you. Have the gods
of the nations delivered each one his
own land out of the hand of the king
of the Assyrians?
Beware lest Hezekiah deceive you, saying, The Lord shall deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
(19)   Where were the gods of
Hamath and Arpad? Where were
the gods of Sepharvaim? And did
they save Samaria from me?
Where is the god of Emath, and
Arphath? And where is the god of
Eppharuaim? Have they been able
to deliver Samaria out of my hand?
Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? And have they delivered Samaria out of my hand?
(20)   Which among all the gods of
those countries saved their countries
from me, that the Lord should save
Jerusalem from me?”
Which is the god of all these nations,
that has delivered his land out of my
hand, that God should deliver
Jerusalem out of my hand?
Who are they among all the gods of these countries that have delivered their land out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?
From the NKJV
(13)   Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out with a loud voice in Hebrew, and said, "Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria!  (14)  Thus says the king: 'Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you;  (15)  nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, "The LORD will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria."'  (16)  Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: 'Make peace with me by a present and come out to me; and every one of you eat from his own vine and every one from his own fig tree, and every one of you drink the waters of his own cistern;  (17)  until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards.  (18)  Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, "The LORD will deliver us." Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered its land from the hand of the king of Assyria?  (19)  Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Indeed, have they delivered Samaria from my hand?  (20)  Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their countries from my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem from my hand?'"

After Rabshakeh had refused the request of Hezekiah's representatives in this contemptuous manner, he turned in defiance of them to the people themselves.

The Cities
Hamath Hama North of Damascus (Amos 6:14)
Arpad Tell Erfad 13 miles north of Aleppo
Sepharvaim Sippara On the Euphrates, above Babylon  (2 Kings 17:31)
The southernmost city of  Mesopotamia, on the left bank of the Euphrates.

"Who were they among all the gods of these lands,  who delivered their land out of my hand?"
"How much less will Jehovah deliver Jerusalem out of my hand!?"
The chronicler also has this continuation of Rabshakeh's address in part (2 Chron 32:13-15).

The encouragement of the people, by referring to the help of Jehovah (2 Chron 32:6-8), is placed by him before this first account is given by Isaiah, and forms a conclusion to the preparations for the contest with Asshur as there described. Rabshakeh now draws nearer to the wall, and harangues the people.

A present (vs 16)
To make a berâkhâh with a person was equivalent to entering into a relation of  blessing, i.e.,  into a state of  mind in which each wished all prosperity to the other.  This was probably a common phrase,  though we only meet with it here.

Yaatsaa' (OT:3318) (and come out),  when applied to the besieged,  is equivalent to surrendering.

If  they did that,  they should remain in quiet possession and enjoyment,  until the Assyrian fetched them away (after the Egyptian campaign was over),  and transported them to a land,  which he describes to them in the most enticing terms,  in order to soften down the inevitable transportation.

Rabshakeh's words in verses 18-20 are the same as those in Isa 10:8-11.  The manner in which he defies the gods of  the heathen,  of  Samaria,  and last of  all of  Jerusalem,  corresponds to the prophecy there.
It is the prophet himself  who acts as historian here,  and describes the fulfillment of  the prophecy,  though without therefore doing violence to his character as a prophet.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(13)   Then the. Rabshakeh stood and called out with a loud voice in Judean. He said,  “Listen to the words of the great king, the king of Assyria.  (14)  Thus says the king of Assyria,  ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you.  (15)  Do not let Hezekiah compel you to trust in the Lord, thinking, The Lord will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the power of the king of Assyria.’  (16)  Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make your peace with me, and come out to me; then everyone will eat from his vine and everyone from his fig tree, and everyone will drink from the water of his own cistern  (17)  until I come and take you to a land like your own land, to a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.
(18)  Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you by saying, The Lord will deliver us. Has any of the gods of the nations saved you by saying, The Lord will deliver us. Has any of the gods of the nations saved his land from the power of the king of Assyria?  (19)  Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharyaim? Have they saved Samaria from my power?   (20)  Which among all the gods of those countries has delivered their country from my power, so that the Lord might deliver Jerusalem from my power?’"

Isaiah 36:21, 22
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(21)   But they were silent and did
not answer him with a single word;
for the king’s order was: “Do not
answer him.”
And they were silent, and none
answered him a word; because the
king had commanded that none
should answer.
But they held their peace, and answered him not a word; for it was the king’s commandment saying, Answer him not.
(22)   And so Eliakim son of Hilkiah
who was in charge of the palace,
Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of
Asaph the recorder came to Hezekiah
with their clothes rent, and they
reported to him what the Rabshakeh
had said.
And Heliakim the son of Chelcias,
the steward, and Somnas the military
scribe, and Joach the son of Asaph,
the recorder, came in to Ezekias,
having their garments rent, and they
reported to him the words of
Rabsaces.
Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, that was set over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph that was set over the records, unto Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.
From the NKJV
(21)  But they held their peace and answered him not a word; for the king's commandment was, "Do not answer him."   (22)  Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.

Here we see the effect of  Rabshakeh's words.
wayachariyshuw (OT: 2790) (But they held their peace) [to be silent]
As the Assyrians wished to speak to the king himself  (2 Kings 18:18),  who sent the three to them as his representatives,  the command to hear,  and to make no reply,  can only have applied to them (and they had already made the matter worse by the one remark which they had made concerning the language).

The three were silent,  because the king had imposed the duty of  silence upon them;  and regarding themselves as dismissed,  inasmuch as Rabshakeh had turned away from them to the people,  they hastened to the king,  rending their clothes,  in despair and grief and the disgrace they had experienced.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Hezekiah had commanded them not to answer.
They were simply to hear what Rabshakeh had to propose, and to report to him, that he might decide on what course to pursue.  It was a case also in which it was every way proper that they should be silent.  There was so much insolence,  self-confidence,  blasphemy,  the proposals were so degrading,  and the claims were so arrogant,  that it was not proper that they should enter into conference,  or listen a moment to the terms proposed.

There are circumstances when it is proper to maintain a profound silence in the presence of revilers and blasphemers,  and when we should withdraw from them,  and go and spread the case before the LORD.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

With their clothes torn - This was a common mark of grief.

The godly do not escape their share of  the trials which abound in this life of  probation.  Even good King Hezekiah,  of  whom it is testified that  "he did that which was right in the sight of  the Lord,  according to all that David his father had done,"  was threatened with destruction by the overwhelming hosts of  Sennacherib.

Trust in Egypt was the great weakness of  which the Jewish nation was guilty at that time.
But there was also a godly party,  of  whom the king was the leader,  and who trusted in Yahweh.
Rabshakeh well said of  the former trust,  that Egypt was but a broken reed to lean on.
But of  trust in Yahweh he tried to rob the godly,  through misrepresentation of  the pious act of  their king.
That act was removing the unlawful high places and altars to God, and in insisting on a return to the law, which commanded that all should worship before the altar at Jerusalem.
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(21)   But they did not speak or answer at all, for the king’s command was: “Do not respond to him.” (22)   Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn and reported the words of the Rabshakeh to him.


ISAIAH  ASSURES  DELIVERANCE

Top
Next Section
Previous Section

Isaiah 37:1-4
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(1)  When King Hezekiah heard this,
he rent his clothes and covered
himself with sackcloth and went into
the House of the Lord.
And it came to pass, when king
Ezekias heard it, that he rent his
clothes, and put on sackcloth, and
went up to the house of the Lord.
And it came to pass when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and entered into the sanctuary of the Lord.
(2)  He also sent Eliakim, who was in
charge of the palace, Shebna, the
scribe, and the senior priests,
covered with sackcloth, to the
prophet Isaiah son of Amoz.
And he sent Heliakim the steward,
and Somnas the scribe, and the
elders of the priests clothed with
sackcloth, to Esaias the son of
Amos, the prophet. And they said
to him, thus says Ezekias,
And he sent Eliakim, that was set over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests covered with sackcloth unto Isaiah the son of Amoz the prophet.
(3)  They said to him, “Thus said
Hezekiah: This day is a day of
distress, of chastisement, and of
disgrace. The babes have reached
the birth stool, but the strength to
give birth is lacking.
To-day is a day of affliction, and
reproach, and rebuke, and anger:
for the pangs are come upon the
travailing woman, but she has not
strength to bring forth.
And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, this day is a day of trouble and of insults and of contumely: for trouble has encompassed us as a woman that sitteth upon the birth stool and hath no strength to bring forth.
(4)  Perhaps the Lord your God will
take note of the words of the
Rabshakeh, whom his master the
king of Assyria has sent to
blaspheme the living God, and will
mete out judgment for the words that
the Lord your God has heard – if you
will offer up prayer for the surviving
remnant.”
May the Lord thy God hear the
words of Rabsaces, which the
king of the Assyrians has sent, to
reproach the living God, even to
reproach with the words which the
Lord thy God has heard: therefore
thou shalt pray to thy Lord for these
that are left.
Peradventure there have been heard before the Lord thy God the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to insult the people of the living Lord, and the Lord thy God will execute vengeance for all the words which have been heard before him; therefore in prayer for this remnant which has been left.
From the NKJV
(1)  And so it was, when King Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD.   (2)   Then he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz.   (3)   And they said to him, "Thus says Hezekiah: 'This day is a day of trouble and rebuke and blasphemy; for the children have come to birth, but there is no strength to bring them forth.   (4)   It may be that the LORD your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to reproach the living God, and will rebuke the words which the LORD your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.'"

See the account from Isaiah 37:1-39:8 along with 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles.

Went into the house of  Yahweh
Went up to the temple to spread out the case before Yahweh.
This was in accordance with the usual habit of  Hezekiah;  and it teaches us that when we are environed with difficulties or danger and when the name of  our God is blasphemed,  we should go and spread out our feelings before God,  and seek His aid.

Then he sent...to Isaiah the prophet
It was customary on occasions of  danger to consult prophets,  as those who had direct communication with God,  and seek counsel from them.

Balak sent messengers to Balaam to consult him in a time of perplexity
(Numbers 22:5 ff)
Jehoshaphat and the king of Israel consulted Micaiah in time of danger from Syria
(1 Kings 22:1-13)
Ahaziah when sick, sent to consult Elijah
(2 Kings 1:1-9)
Josiah sent an embassage to Huldah the prophetess to inquire in regard to the book which was found in the temple of the Lord
(2 Kings 22:14)
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

The children have come
Figure of speech - proverbial expression for, We are in the most extreme danger, and have no power to avert it.
There was the highest danger,  and need of  aid.  It was as in childbirth in which the pains had been protracted,  the strength exhausted,  and where there was most imminent danger in regard to the mother and the child.
So Hezekiah said there was the most imminent danger in the city of  Jerusalem.  They had made all possible preparations for defense . And now,  in the most critical time,  they felt their energies exhausted,  their strength insufficient for their defense,  and they needed the interposition of God.

The living God
The phrase  'the living God'  is often applied to Yahweh in contradistinction from idols,  which were mere blocks of wood or stone.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(1)  When Hezekiah the king heard this, he rent his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord.   (2)   He sent Eliakim who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz.   (3)   They said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah: this day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of disgrace; for children are at the point of birth, but there is no strength to bring them forth.   (4)   Perhaps the Lord your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh whom the king of Assyria his master has sent to scorn the living God, and will rebuke the words which the Lord your God has heard: therefore lift up a prayer for the remnant that is left in this city.

Isaiah 37:5-7
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(5)  When King Hezekiah’s ministers
came to Isaiah,
So the servants of king Ezekias came
to Esaias.
So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah.
(6)  Isaiah said to them, “Tell your
master as follows: Thus said the Lord:
Do not be frightened by the words of
blasphemy against Me that you have
heard from the minions of the king of
Assyria.
And Esaias said to them, Thus shall
ye say to your master, Thus saith the
Lord, Be not thou afraid at the words
which thou hast heard, wherewith
the ambassadors of the king of the
Assyrians have reproached me.
And Isaiah said to them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith the Lord, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the young men of the king of Assyria have insulted me.
(7)  I will delude him: He will hear a
rumor and return to his land, and I
will make him fall by the sword in his
land.”
Behold, I will send a blast upon him,
and he shall hear a report, and return
to his own country, and he shall fall
by the sword in his own land.
Behold I will put a spirit in him, and he shall hear tidings, and shall return to his land, and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.
From the NKJV
(5)   So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah.   (6)   And Isaiah said to them, "Thus you shall say to your master, 'Thus says the LORD: "Do not be afraid of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me.   (7)   Surely I will send a spirit upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land."'"

The external occasion which determined the return of  Sennacherib,  as described in Isa 37:36-37,  was the fearful mortality that had taken place in his army.  The shemuu'âh (rumor, hearsay),  however,  was not the tidings of  this catastrophe,  but,  as the continuation of  the account in vv. 8, 9,  clearly shows,  the report of  the advance of Tirhakah,  which compelled Sennacherib to leave Palestine in consequence of  this catastrophe.

The faith of the king,  and of  the inquirers generally,  still needed to be tested and exercised.
The time had not yet come for him to be rewarded by a clearer and fuller announcement of  the judgment.

Matthew Henry observes:

1. The best way to baffle the malicious designs of our enemies against us is to be driven by them to God.
Rabshakeh intended to frighten Hezekiah from the Lord,  but it proves that he frightens him to the Lord.
The wind,  instead of  forcing the traveler's coat from him,  makes him wrap it the closer about him.
The more Rabshakeh reproaches God the more Hezekiah studies to honor Him, by rending his clothes for the dishonor done to Him and attending in His sanctuary to know His mind.
2. It well becomes great men to desire the prayers of good men and good ministers.
Hezekiah sent messengers,  and honorable ones,  those of  the first rank,  to Isaiah,  to desire his prayers,  remembering how much his prophecies of  late had plainly looked towards the events of  the present day,  in dependence upon which,  it is probable,  he doubted not but that the issue would be comfortable,  yet he would have it to be so in answer to prayer:
This is a day of trouble, therefore let it be a day of prayer.
3. When we are most trouble,  we should be most earnest in prayer.
Now that the children are brought to the birth,  but there is not strength to bring forth,  now let prayer come.
When pains are most strong let prayers be most lively;  and,  when we meet with the greatest difficulties,  then is a time to stir up not ourselves only,  but others also,  to take hold on God.
4. When there is a remnant left, and but a remnant, it concerns us to lift up a prayer for that remnant.
The prayer that reaches heaven must be lifted up by a strong faith, earnest desires, and a direct intention to the glory of God.
5. Those that have made God their enemy we have no reason to be afraid of,  for they are marked for ruin.
Rabshakeh has blasphemed God,  and therefore let not Hezekiah be afraid of him.
He has made God a party to the cause by his invectives,  and therefore judgment will certainly be given against him.
God will certainly plead his own cause.
6. The enemy's fears are but prefaces to their falls.
He shall hear the rumor of  the slaughter of  his army,  which shall oblige him to retire to his own land,  and there he shall be slain.
The terrors that pursue him shall bring him at last to the king of  terrors.  (Job 18:14 "He is uprooted from the shelter of his tent, and they parade him before the king of terrors.)
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

.(5)   So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah.   (6)   And Isaiah said to them,  “Thus you will say to your master, ‘Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid of the words that you have heard, those with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.  (7)   Behold, I will put a spirit in him, (in him a spirit MT & LXX) and he will hear a rumor, and he will return to his own land; I will make him fall by the sword in his own land.’”

SENNACHERIB'S  AND  HEZEKIAH'S  PRAYER

Top
Next Section
Previous Section

Isaiah 37:8, 9
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(8)  The Rabshakeh, meanwhile, heard that [the King] had left Lachish; he turned back and found the king of Assyria attacking Libnah. So Rabsaces returned, and found the king of the Assyrians besieging Lobna: for he had heard that he had departed from Lachis. So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria waging war against Libnah: for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish.
(9)  But [the king of Assyria] learned that King Tirhakah of Nubia had come out to fight him; and when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, And Tharaca king of the Ethiopians went forth to attack him. And when he heard it, he turned aside, and sent messengers to Ezekias, Now it was reported concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, saying, He has gone forth to wage war with thee; and when he heard it he sent ambassadors to Hezekiah, saying,
From the NKJV
(8)  Then the Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah, for he heard that he had departed from Lachish.   (9)   And the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, "He has come out to make war with you." So when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,

Isaiah 37:8-38
Second Attempt of the Assyrians to Force the Surrender of Jerusalem
Its Miraculous Deliverance

Rabshakeh,  who is mentioned alone in both texts as the leading person engaged,  returns to Sennacherib,  who is induced to make a second attempt to obtain possession of  Jerusalem,  as a position of great strength and decisive importance.

Libnah
Libnah was a city in the south of  Judah (Joshua 15:42),  given to the priests,
and declared a city of refuge (1 Chronicles 6:54,57).
Eusebius and Jerome say it was in the district of  Eleutheropolis (Calmet).  It was about ten miles to the northwest of  Lachish.  This city was taken by Joshua,  and all its inhabitants put to the sword.  After taking this Joshua next assaulted and took Lachish (Joshua 10:29-32).

He had departed from Lachish
Why the king of Assyria had done this is unknown.

It is possible that he had taken it,  though this is not recorded anywhere in history.
Or it is possible that he had found it impracticable to subdue it as speedily as he had desired;  and had withdrawn from it for the purpose of  subduing other places that would offer a more feeble resistance.

Tirhakah  (Heb: Tirhâqâh)
This king, who,  by Eusebius and by most ancient writers,  is called Tarakos.

He was a celebrated conqueror,  and had subdued Egypt to himself.
He reigned over Egypt eighteen years.
When Sennacherib marched into Egypt,  Sevechus or Sethon was on the throne.
Sennacherib having laid siege to Pelusium,  Tirhakah came to the aid of  the city,  and,  in consequence of  his aid,  Sennacherib was compelled to raise the siege and returned to Palestine,  and laid siege to Lachish.
Tirhakah succeeded Sevechus in Egypt, and was the third and last of  the Ethiopian kings that reigned over that country.
He probably took advantage of  the distracted state that succeeded the death of  Sevechus,  and secured the crown for himself.  This was,  however, after the death of  Sennacherib.
The capital which he occupied was Thebes
(see Prideaux's "Connection," vol. i. pp. 141, 145, 149. Ed. 1815).
As he was celebrated as a conqueror,  and as he had driven Sennacherib from Pelusium and from Egypt,  we may see the cause of  the alarm of  Sennacherib when it was rumored that he was about to follow him into Palestine,  and to make war on him there.

He sent messengers to Hezekiah
With letters or dispatches (Isaiah 37:14).
Hezekiah was probably ignorant of  the approach of  Tirhakah,  or at all events Sennacherib would suppose that he was ignorant of it;  and as Sennacherib knew that there would be no hope that Hezekiah would yield if  he knew that Tirhakah was approaching to make war on him,  he seems to have resolved to anticipate the intelligence,  and to see if  it were possible to induce him to surrender.  He,  therefore,  sent substantially the same message as before,  and summoned Hezekiah to capitulate.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(8)  So the Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria fighting Libnah; for he had heard that he had left Lachish.  (9)  He heard a report about Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, “He is coming out to fight you.” When he heard this, he returned and sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,
Isaiah 37:10-13
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(10)  “Tell this to King Hezekiah of
Judah: Do not let your God, on whom
you are relying, mislead you into
thinking that Jerusalem will not be
delivered into the hands of the king
of Assyria.
Thus shall ye say to Ezekias king of
Judea, Let not thy God, in whom
thou trusts, deceive thee, saying,
Jerusalem shall not be delivered into
the hand of the king of the Assyrians.
Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of the tribe of the house of Judah, saying, Let not thy God in whom thou trusts deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.
(11)  You yourself have heard what
the kings of Assyria have done to all
the lands, how they have annihilated
them; and can you escape?
Hast thou not heard what the kings
of the Assyrians have done, how
they have destroyed the whole earth?
And shalt thou be delivered?
Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries by destroying them utterly, and dost thou think to be delivered?
(12)  Were the nations that my
predecessors destroyed – Gozan,
Haran, Rezeph, and the Bethedenites
in Telassar – saved by their gods?
Have the gods of the nations, which
my fathers destroyed, delivered them,
both Gozan, and Charrhan, and
Rapheth, which are in the land of
Theemath?
Have the gods of the nations that my fathers destroyed, delivered them, Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden, which were in Telassar?
(13)  Where is the king of Hamath?
And the king of Arpad? And the
kings of Lair, Sepharvaim, Hena,
and Ivvah?”
Where are the kings of Emath?
And where is the king of Arphath?
And where is the king of the city of
Eppharuaim, and of Anagugana?
Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim? Did not they drive them out, and carry them into exile?
From the NKJV
(10)  "Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying: 'Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, "Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria."   (11)  Look! You have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by utterly destroying them; and shall you be delivered?   (12)  Have the gods of the nations delivered those whom my fathers have destroyed, Gozan and Haran and Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar?   (13)  Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah?'"

There is historical importance in the fact,  that here Sennacherib attributes to his fathers (Sargon and the previous kings of the Derketade dynasty which he had overthrown)  what Rabshakeh on the occasion of  the first mission had imputed to Sennacherib himself.

Do not let your God...deceive you
This is a known tactic of the enemy of our souls - to plant doubt of the existence, motives, and the intent of our Creator and Savior.  Satan tried it successfully with Eve in Genesis 3:1 - "Has God indeed said...?"

The first message which had been sent by Rabshakeh (Isaiah 36:14-15) had been sent to the people

to induce them not to put confidence in Hezekiah,  as if he would deceive them by leading them to rely on the aid of Yahweh.
As that had failed, he, as a last resort, he sent a second message to Hezekiah himself,
designed to alienate his mind from God, and assuring him that resistance would be vain.
To convince him, he referred him to the conquests of  the Assyrians,  and assured him that it would be impossible to resist a nation that had subdued so many ethers.

Gozan - in Mesopotamia, on the Chabour (2 Kings 17:6; 18:11). Gozan is the name of the district, Chabour of the river.

Haran - more to the west. Abraham removed to it from Ur (Genesis 11:31).  His father died here;  and from this place he was called to go into the land of  promise.  It is also the Carroe of the Romans.

Rezeph - further west, in Syria.  It was situated about a day's journey west of  the Euphrates,  and is mentioned by Ptolemy by the name of  Reesafa.

Eden - there is an ancient village, Adna, north of  Bagdad.
Eden was evidently a country well known in the time of  Isaiah,  and was,  doubtless,  the tract within which man was placed when he was created.  The garden or  Paradise  was in Eden,  and was not properly itself called Eden (Genesis 2:8).  It is probable that Eden was a region or tract of  country of  considerable extent.  It is evident from the passage before us that it was either in Mesopotamia,  or in the neighborhood of  that country,  since it is mentioned in connection with cities and towns of  that region.  It is mentioned by Amos (787 BC),  as a country then well known,  and as a part of Syria,  not far from Damascus.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Telassar - According to Layard, Tel-afer,  west of  Mosul.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(10)  “Say this to Hezekiah king of Judah, ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by saying, Jerusalem will not be delivered into the power of the king of Assyria.  (11)  Indeed, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, absolutely annihilating them. Will you be rescued?  (12)  Have the gods of the nations rescued them, those nations, which my fathers destroyed, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar?  (13)  Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of Lair and of Sepharyaim and of Na, Ivvah, and Samaria?.”

Isaiah 37:14-20
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(14)  Hezekiah received the letter from
the messengers and read it. Hezekiah
then went up to the House of the
Lord and spread it out before the
Lord.
And Ezekias received the letter from
the messengers, and read it, and
went up to the house of the Lord,
and opened it before the Lord.
And Hezekiah took the letters from the hand of the ambassadors, and read one of them, and went up to the sanctuary of the Lord; and Hezekiah spread it before the Lord.
(15)  And Hezekiah prayed to the
Lord:   (16)  “O Lord of Hosts,
enthroned on the Cherubim! You
alone are God of all the kingdoms
of the earth. You made the heavens
and the earth.
And Ezekias prayed to the Lord,
saying, O Lord of hosts, God of
Israel, who sitteth upon the cherubs,
thou alone art the God of every
kingdom of the world: thou hast
made heaven and earth.
And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, saying, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, whose Shekinah dwelleth high above the Cherubim, thou art the Lord; there is none beside thee in all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made the heavens and the earth.
(17)  O Lord, incline Your ear and
hear, open Your eye and see. Hear
all the words that Sennacherib has
sent to blaspheme the living God!
Incline thine ear, O Lord, hearken,
O Lord; open thine eyes, O Lord,
look, O Lord: and behold the words
of Sennacherim, which he has sent
to reproach the living God.
Let it be revealed before thee, O Lord, and judge; and let it be heard before thee, and avenge thyself, and execute vengeance on all the words of Sennacherib, wherewith he has sent to insult the people of the living Lord.
(18)  True, O Lord, the kings of
Assyria have annihilated all the
nations and their lands   (19)  and
have committed their gods to the
flames and have destroyed them;
for they are not gods, but man’s
handwork of wood and stone.
For of a truth, Lord, the kings of the
Assyrians have laid waste the whole
world, and the countries thereof,
and have cast their idols into the
fire: for they were no gods, but the
work of men’s hands, wood and
stone; and they have cast them away.
Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the countries and their land, and have burnt their idols with fire, for they are not idols wherein there is any use, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, and destroyed them.
(20)  But now, O Lord our God,
deliver us from his hands, and let all
the kingdoms of the earth know that
You, O Lord, alone [are God].”
But now, O Lord our God, deliver us
from his hands, that every kingdom
of the earth may know that thou art
God alone.
Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord, there is none beside thee.
From the NKJV
(14)   And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.   (15)   Then Hezekiah prayed to the LORD, saying:   (16)   "O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.   (17)   Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God.   (18)   Truly, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, 19 and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men's hands — wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them.   (20)   Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD, You alone."

This intimidating message,  which declared the God of  Israel to be utterly powerless,  was conveyed by the messengers of  Sennacherib in the form of  a letter.

The Assyrians have certainly destroyed nations and their gods,  because these gods were nothing but the works of  men.

Hezekiah's Sevenfold Prayer

1. verse 16 He addressed the Lord of  Hosts (Yahweh tsŞbaa'owt 'Eloheey),  the God of  Israel.
2. verse 16 He recognized that God still dwelled between the cherubim.
This was according to the covenant with Moses and all Israel about 940 years before this (Exodus 25:22).
3. verse 16 He recognized that Jehovah was the only God on earth.
4. verse 16 He acknowledged Him as creator of heaven and earth.
5. verse 17 He asked God to hear and see what was written in the letter which was spread out before Him, that it reproached the living God.
6. verse 18-19 He acknowledged that many nations and their lands had been laid waste by the king of Assyria who had also destroyed the gods of these nations; now he was threatening Judah.
7. verse 20 He concluded his prayer by appealing to God to save Judah from the hand of this mighty king so that all the nations of earth might know that He was the only true and living God.

Notice how Hezekiah's prayer follows the pattern of the Lord's prayer:

The Pattern The Lord's Prayer
Matt 6:9-13
Hezekiah's Prayer
Isaiah 37:16-20
Praise and Worship Our Father which art in heaven , Hallowed be thy name O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God,
Recognition and acceptance of His Kingdom Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.
The petition Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Incline Your ear, O LORD, and hear; open Your eyes, O LORD, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God...
Request for deliverance And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand,
Praise and Worship For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the LORD, You alone.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(14)  Hezekiah received the letters from the messengers and read them. Then Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord.  (15)  Hezekiah prayed to the Lord, saying,  (16)  “Lord of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth; you made heaven and earth.  (17)  Incline your ear, Lord, and listen. Open your eyes, Lord, and see. Listen to every word of Sennacherib, which he sent to mock the living God.
(18)   Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria and devastated all the lands,  (19)  and they have cast their gods into the fire – for they were not gods but the works (work MT) of human hands, wood and stone; thus they have destroyed them.  (20)  Now, Lord our God, I will save us from his power, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God.” (alone are Lord MT)


THE  WORD  OF  YAHWEH  CONCERNING  SENNACHERIB

Top
Next Section
Previous Section

Isaiah 37:21-23
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(21)  Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent
this message to Hezekiah: “Thus said
the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom
you have prayed, concerning King
Sennacherib of Assyria –
And Esaias the son of Amos was
sent to Ezekias, and said to him, thus
saith the Lord, the God of Israel; I
 have heard thy prayer to me
concerning Sennacherim king of the
Assyrians.
Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying, thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Whereas thou hast prayed unto me against Sennacherib king of Assyria,
(22)  this is the word that the Lord
has spoken concerning him: Fair
Maiden Zion despises you, She
mocks at you; Fair Jerusalem shakes
Her head at you.
This is the word that God has spoken
concerning him; the virgin daughter
of Sion has despised thee, and
mocked thee; the daughter of
Jerusalem has shaken her head at
thee.
this is the word which the Lord has decreed concerning him: The kingdom of the congregation of Zion despiseth thee, and laughs thee to scorn; the people of Jerusalem shake their head at thee.
(23)  Whom have you blasphemed
and reviled? Against whom made
loud your voice and haughtily raised
your eyes? Against the Holy One of
Israel!
Whom hast thou reproached and
provoked? And against whom hast
thou lifted up thy voice? And hast
thou not lifted up thine eyes on high
against the Holy One of Israel?
Whom hast thou insulted, and against whom hast thou magnified thyself, and before whom hast thou raised thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high and spoken words that are not seemly? Even before the Holy One of Israel.
From the NKJV
(21)  Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria,   (22)   this is the word which the LORD has spoken concerning him:
"The virgin, the daughter of Zion, has despised you, laughed you to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head behind your back!   (23)  Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice, and lifted up your eyes on high?  Against the Holy One of Israel."

The prophecy of  Isaiah that follows here is in all respects one of  the most magnificent that we meet with.
The question in verse 23 reaches as far as "and you turn your eyes on high against the Holy One of Israel" (Hitzig, Ewald, Drechsler, and Keil).
The question is put for the purpose of saying to Asshur,  that He at whom they scoff is the God of  Israel,  whose pure holiness breaks out into a consuming fire against all by whom it is dishonored.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Because you have prayed
"Because you have come to Me instead of  relying on your own resources and strength."
"Because you have come to Me instead of  relying on anther sinful nation to save you."
In 2 Kings 19:20, it is, 'Because you have prayed to Me ... I have heard.'

Despised you
That is,  it is secure from thy contemplated attack.
The idea is,  that Jerusalem would exult over the ineffectual attempts of  Sennacherib to take it,  and over his complete overthrow.

Laughed you to scorn
Sennacherib and his army would become an object of derision.

Against whom have you raised your voice?
He had evinced arrogance in his manner.
He was yet to learn that it was against the living and true God.
Not, as he supposed, against a helpless people.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(21)  Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel to whom you prayed (because you prayed to me MT) about Sennacherib king of Assyria;  (22)  this is the word which the Lord spoke concerning him: The virgin daughter of Zion has despised you and mocked you. The daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head at you.  (23)  Whom have you mocked and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and arrogantly lifted up your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 37:24
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(24)  Through your servants you
have blasphemed my Lord. Because
you thought, ‘Thanks to my vast
chariotry, it is I who have climbed the
highest mountains, to the remotest
parts of the Lebanon, and have cut
down its loftiest cedars its choicest
cypresses, and have reached its
highest peak, its densest forest.
For thou hast reproached the Lord
by messengers; for thou hast said,
with the multitude of chariots have I ascended to the height of mountains,
and to the sides of Libanus; and I
have cropped the height of his
cedars and the beauty of his
cypresses; and I entered into the
height of the forest region:
By thy servants hast thou insulted the people of the Lord, and said, with the multitude of my chariots have I gone up into their strongest fortresses, and I will also take their sanctuaries, and slay the best of their mighty men and the choicest of their rulers, and trample down their strong city, and destroy the multitude of armies.
From the NKJV
(24)   By your servants you have reproached the Lord, and said, 'By the multitude of my chariots I have come up to the height of the mountains, to the limits of Lebanon; I will cut down its tall cedars and its choice cypress trees; I will enter its farthest height, to its fruitful forest.

Here Yahweh begins to quote the boast of Sennacherib.

Height of the mountains, to the limits of Lebanon
Imagery from the Assyrian felling of  trees in Lebanon (Isaiah 14:8; 33:9);  figurative for , 'I have carried my victorious army through the regions most difficult of access, to the most remote lands.'

The extreme retreats;  the furthest part of  Lebanon.  Perhaps referring to the fact that on the ascent to the top of  the mountain there was a place for the repose of  travelers;  a species of  inn or caravansera which bounded the usual attempts of  persons to ascend the mountain.  Such a lodging-place on the sides or tops of  mountains which are frequently ascended,  was not uncommon.
The Vulgate has: 'the height of his summit.'

Tall cedars
The word here denotes the cypress,  a tree resembling the white cedar.
It grew on Lebanon,  and,  together with the cedar,  constituted its glory.
Its wood,  like that of  the cedar,  was employed for

The floors and ceilings of  the temple (1 Kings 6:15)
The decks and sheathing of ships (Ezekiel 27:5)
Musical instruments (2 Samuel 6:5)

Stanley says that pine foliage and cedars are still found on the northwest side of  Lebanon.

The Chaldaic paraphrases,  'I will ascend to the stronghold of their cities, and moreover I will take the house of their sanctuary ("Lebanon"), and I will kill the fairest among their brave men' (answering to the tall cedars).

The boast of Sennacherib was that he would strip it of its beauty and ornament;  that is,  that he would lay the land waste.

Its fruitful forest
The Chaldaic paraphrases, 'the multitude of their army.'
It is known that Lebanon was covered on the top,  and far down the sides,  with perpetual snow.
But there was a region lying on its sides, between the snow and the base of  the mountain,  that was distinguished for fertility,  and that was highly cultivated.  This region produced grapes in abundance;  and this cultivated part of the mountain,  thick set with vines and trees,  might be called a beautiful grove.
At a distance,  this tract on the sides of Lebanon appeared doubtless as a thicket of  shrubs and trees.  The phrase  'garden-forest,'  will probably express the sense of  the passage.

Hogg says:
"After leaving Baalbec,  and approaching Lebanon,  towering walnut trees,  either singly or in groups,  and a rich carpet of  verdure,  the offspring of  numerous streams,  give to this charming district the air of an English park,  majestically bordered with snow-tipped mountains.  At Deir-el-Akmaar,  the ascent begins winding among dwarf oaks,  hawthorns,  and a great variety of  shrubs and flowers.  A deep bed of snow had now to be crossed,  and the horses sunk or slipped at every moment.  To ride was impracticable,  and to walk dangerous,  for the melting snow penetrated our boots,  and our feet were nearly frozen.  An hour and a half brought us to the cedars."

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(24)  By your servants you have reviled my Lord and said, ‘With my many chariots I myself have climbed the highest mountains, to the farthest parts of Lebanon where I cut it down, its tallest cedars and its choicest cypresses. I entered its highest point, its most fertile forest.

Isaiah 37:25
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(25)  It is I who have drawn and drunk
water. I have dried up with the soles
of my feet all the streams of Egypt.’
And I have made a bridge, and dried
up the waters, and every pool of
water.
I was digging cisterns and drinking waters, and I trampled with the sole of the feet of the people that was with me all the waters of the deep rivers.
From the NKJV
(25)  I have dug and drunk water, and with the soles of my feet I have dried up all the brooks of defense.'

Yahweh continues with His quote of  Sennacherib's boast.

I have dug
In 2 Kings 19:24,  it is  "strange waters."
He was saying: "I have marched into foreign lands,  where I had to dig wells for the supply of  my armies;  even the natural destitution of  water there did not impede my march."

With the soles of my feet
Sennacherib thus alludes to his recent expedition against Egypt.  But he suppresses his forced retreat from Pelusium.
"With the sole of my foot" expresses that as soon as his vast armies marched into a region,  the streams were drunk up by them;  or rather,  that the rivers proved no obstruction to the onward march of  his armies.
(from Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)
Isaiah 37:25

The brooks of defense
"All the canals of fenced places."  The principal cities of  Egypt,  the scene of  his late exploits,  were chiefly defended by deep moats,  canals,  or large lakes,  made by labor and art,  with which they were surrounded.

The boast of drying up streams with the sole of  the foot,  is intended to convey the idea that he had not only supplied water for his own empire by digging wells,  but that he had cut off  the supplies of  water from the others against whom he had made war.
The idea perhaps is,  that if such an army as his was,  should pass through the streams of a country that they should invade,  and should only take away the water that would adhere to the sole or the hollow of  the foot on their march,  it would still dry up all the streams.  It is strong hyperbolical language,  and is designed to indicate the number of  the forces which were under his command.

The whole language of  the verse therefore,  is that of  a proud and haughty prince,  desirous of  proclaiming his conquests,  and forgetting his mortifying defeats.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(25)  I myself cried out and drank foreign waters, and with the sole of my foot I dried up all the rivers of Egypt.’

Isaiah 37:26, 27
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(26)  Have you not heard? Of old I
planned that very thing, I designed
it long ago, and now have fulfilled it.
And it has come to pass; laying
fortified towns waste in desolate
heaps.
Hast thou not heard of these things
that I did of old? I appointed them
from ancient times; but now have I
manifested my purpose of desolating
nations in their strong holds, and
them that dwell in strong cities.
Hast thou not heard from of old that which I did to Pharaoh king of Egypt because he was ruler over them? Against thee also have the prophets of Israel prophesied, but thou didst not repent: and this seemed to me fitting from the days of old to do unto thee, yea, I have also prepared it, and now have I brought it to pass; and this has been a stumbling block unto thee, because the fenced cities were before thee as the tumult of waves which are stilled.
( 27)  Their inhabitants are helpless,
dismayed and shamed. They were
but grass of the field and green
herbage, grass of the roofs.
I weakened their hands, and they
withered; and they became as dry
grass on the housetops, and as
grass.
And as for their inhabitants, their strength was diminished, they were dismayed and ashamed: they were as the grass of the field, and as the tender green grass and as the grass of the housetops which is burnt up before it is grown up.
From the NKJV
(26)   "Did you not hear long ago how I made it, from ancient times that I formed it?  Now I have brought it to pass, that you should be for crushing fortified cities into heaps of ruins.   (27)   Therefore their inhabitants had little power; they were dismayed and confounded; they were as the grass of the field and the green herb, as the grass on the housetops and grain blighted before it is grown.

Now Yahweh ceases his quote of  Sennacherib's boasts,  and continues with His message to Sennacherib.

The historical reality,  in this instance the Assyrian judgment upon the nations,  had had from all eternity an ideal reality in God (see at Isa 22:11).

It is designed to state to Sennacherib that he was under Yahweh's control;  that this was the reason why the inhabitants of  the nations had been unable to resist him;  that he was entirely in Yahweh's hands.

God said to him - You boast that it is all by your counsel and might, but

It is I who, long ago, have ordered it so
You are but the instrument in My hands
This was the reason why 'the inhabitants were of  small power before you'
Namely,  that I ordered it so;  yet you are in my hands,  and I know your ways (Isaiah 37:28),  and I will check you (Isaiah 37:29).

God pointed out that in reality, Sennacherib's conquests were no conquests at  all:

Therefore Not because you have so great power;
but because I have rendered them incapable of resisting you.
They had little power They were feeble, unable to resist you.
They were dismayed Their spirits sank;  they were ashamed of  their feeble powers of  resistance;  and they submitted to the ignominy of a surrender.
They were as grass of the field The idea here is, as the grass of the field offers no resistance to the march of an army.
They were as grass on the roof His enemies were not simply like the grass in the field, but they were like the thin, slender, and delicate blade that sprung up in the little earth on the roof of a house, where there was no room for the roots to strike down, and where it soon withered beneath the burning sun.
They were as grain blighted Before it acquires any strength.
They were incapable of offering even the feeblest resistance.

Thus Yahweh shows Sennacherib that it is not by his cunning or military might that he had been successful in the past, but because he attacked the weak and helpless, and because Yahweh allowed him to achieve victory.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(26)  Did you not hear how in the distant past I decided to do it, in ancient times planned it? Now I have made it happen that fortified cities should become devastated, besieged heaps. (you should make fortified cities crash into ruined heaps MT)   (27)  Their inhabitants had little power. They were dismayed and ashamed. They were wild plants, grassy sprouts, grass on the roofs, scorched by the east wind. (and a field before the standing grain MT)

Isaiah 37:28, 29
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(28)  I know your stayings and your
goings and comings, and how you
have raged against Me,
But now I know thy rest, and thy going out, and thy coming in. But thy sitting in counsel, and thy going forth to war, and thy entering into the land of Israel was revealed before me; also thy provoking me to anger was revealed
(29)  Because you have raged
against Me, and your tumult has
reached My ears, I will place My
hook in your nose and My bit
between your jaws; and I will
make you go back by the road
by which you came.
And thy wrath wherewith thou hast
been enraged, and thy rancor has
come up to me; therefore I will put
a hook in thy nose, and a bit in thy
lips, and will turn thee back by the
way by which thou camest.
Because thou didst provoke my Memra to anger, and because thy raging has come up before me, therefore will I set chains on thy cheeks and a bridle in thy lips, and will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.
From the NKJV
(28)   "But I know your dwelling place, your going out and your coming in, and your rage against Me.
(29)   Because your rage against Me and your tumult have come up to My ears, therefore I will put My hook in your nose and My bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way which you came."'

Your going out, and your coming in
The expressions here describe a person's whole course of life.
Sitting down and rising up (Ps 139:2), going out and coming in (Ps 121:8),  denote every kind of  human activity.  All the thoughts and actions,  the purposes and undertakings of  Sennacherib,  more especially with regard to the people of  Jehovah.  Like a wild beast that had been subdued by force,  the Assyrian would have to return home,  without having achieved his purpose with Judah (or with Egypt).

Asshur is Jehovah's chosen instrument while thus casting down the nations,  which are  "short-handed against him,"  i.e.,  incapable of  resisting him.  But Jehovah afterwards places this lion under firm restraint;  and before it has reached the goal set before it,  He leads it back into its own land,  as if with a ring through its nostril.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(28)  But I know your rising up and sitting down, your going out and coming in, and your raging against me.   (29)  I have heard of your arrogance, (Because I have heard of your raging against me and your arrogance MT) so I will put my hook in your nose and my bit on your lips, and I will turn you back on the way on which is destruction on which you came.

Isaiah 37:30
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
30 And this is the sign for you:
This year you eat what grows of
itself, and the next year what springs
from that, and in the third year sow
and reap and plant vineyards and eat
their fruit.
And this shall be a sign to thee, Eat
this year what thou hast sown; and
the second year that which is left:
and the third year sow, and reap,
and plant vineyards, and eat the
fruit of them.
And this shall be the sign unto thee, Eat this year that which growth of itself, and in the second year the after growth of the same, and in the third year sow ye and reap and plant vineyards and eat the fruit thereof.
From the NKJV
(30)   "This shall be a sign to you:
You shall eat this year such as grows of itself, and the second year what springs from the same; also in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them.

The prophet now turns to Hezekiah.

According to Thenius,

hasshânâh (this year) The first year after Sennacherib's invasions, in which the people had been hindered from cultivating their fields by the Assyrian who was then in the land
hasshânâh hassheeniith (the 2nd year) The current year in which the words were uttered by Hezekiah
hasshânâh hassheliishiith (the 3rd year) The year that was coming in which the land would be cleared of the enemy and they could resume agricultural operations

It was autumn at the time when Isaiah gave this sign,  and the current civil year was reckoned from one autumnal equinox to the other,  as,  for example,  in Exodus 23:16,  where the feast of tabernacles or harvest festival is said to fall at the close of  the year;  so that if  the fourteenth year of  Hezekiah was the year 714,  the current year would extend from Tishri 714 to Tishri 713

But in the third year,  that is to say the year  712-11,  freedom and peace would prevail again,  and there would be nothing more to hinder the cultivation of  the fields or vineyards.  If this should be the course of  events during the three years,  it would be a sign to king Hezekiah that the fate of  the Assyrian would be no other than that predicated.  The year 712-11 would be the peremptory limit appointed him,  and the year of  deliverance.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Psalm 126:5-6
(5)  They who sow in tears shall reap in joy and singing.
(6)  He who goes forth bearing seed and weeping [at needing his precious supply of grain for sowing] shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
Psalm 128:2
For you shall eat [the fruit] of the labor of your hands; happy (blessed, fortunate, enviable) shall you be, and it shall be well with you.
(AMP)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(30)  “This will be the sign for you: Eat this year what grows of itself and in the second year what springs from that. In the third year sow seed, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit.

Isaiah 37:31, 32
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(31)  And the survivors of the House
of Judah that have escaped shall
renew its trunk below and produce
boughs above.
And they that are left in Judea shall
take root downward, and bear fruit
upward:
And the escaped of the house of Judah shall again be left like a tree that sendeth forth its roots downwards and lifted its branches upwards.
(32)  For a remnant shall come forth
from Jerusalem, survivors from
Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord
of Hosts shall bring this to pass.
for out of Jerusalem there shall be a
remnant, and the saved ones out of
mount Sion: the Zeal of the Lord of
hosts shall perform this.
For out of Jerusalem shall go forth the remnant of the righteous, and they that have escaped of them that uphold the law out of Mount Zion; by the Memra of the Lord of hosts shall this be done.
From the NKJV
(31)  And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.
(32)  For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and those who escape from Mount Zion.  The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

The agricultural prospect of  the third year shapes itself there into a figurative representation of  the fate of  Judah.  Isaiah's watchword,  "a remnant shall return,"  is now fulfilled;  Jerusalem has been spared,  and becomes the source of  national rejuvenation.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(31)  The escapees of the house of Judah will gather (be increased MT) and those who are found (the remainder MT) will take root below ground and bear fruit above.   (32)  For a remnant will go forth out of Zion and escapees from Jerusalem. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 37:33-35
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(33)  “Assuredly, thus said the Lord
concerning the king of Assyria: He
shall not enter this city; he shall not
shoot an arrow at it, or advance
upon it with a shield, or pile up a
siege mound against it.
Therefore thus saith the Lord
concerning the king of the Assyrians,
He shall not enter into this city, nor
cast a weapon against it, nor bring a
shield against it, nor make a rampart
round it.
Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria. He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there; neither shall he come before it with shields, not cast up a mound against it.
(34)  He shall go back by the way he
came, he shall not enter this city –
declares the Lord;
But by the way by which he came, by it shall he return, and shall not enter into this city: thus saith the Lord. By the way that he came shall he return, and he shall not come into this city, saith the Lord.
(35)  I will protect and save this city
for My sake and for the sake of My
servant David.”
I will protect this city to save it for
my own sake, and for my servant
David’s sake.
But I will protect this city to save it for my Memra sake, and for my servant David’s sake.
From the NKJV
(33)  "Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the king of Assyria:
'He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor build a siege mound against it.   (34)   By the way that he came, by the same shall he return; and he shall not come into this city,' says the LORD.    (35)   'For I will defend this city, to save it for My own sake and for My servant David's sake.'"

The prophecy concerning the protection of  Jerusalem becomes more definite than it ever has been before.
To us,  however,  the words  "Thus says Jehovah"  are something more than a flower of  speech;  and we hear the language of  a man exalted above the standard of  the natural man,  and one how has been taken,  as Amos says (Amos 3:7),  by God,  the molder of  history into  "His secret."

Amos 3:7
Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.   (NKJV)

Here also we see the prophecy at its height,  towards which it has been ascending,  through the midst of  obstacles accumulated by the moral condition of  the nation,  but with the same goal invariably in view.
The Assyrian will not storm Jerusalem;  there will not even be preparations for a siege.

For I will defend this city
Notwithstanding all that Hezekiah had done to put it in a posture of defense,  still it was Yahweh alone who could preserve it.

For my own sake
God had been reproached and blasphemed by Sennacherib.  As his name and power had been thus blasphemed,  he says that he would vindicate himself,  and for the honor of  his own insulted majesty would save the city.

And for my servant David's sake
On account of  the promise which he had made to him that there should not fail a man to sit on his throne,  and that the city and nation should not be destroyed until the Messiah should appear (see Psalms 132:11-12).

Psalms 132:11-12
The LORD has sworn in truth to David; He will not turn from it:
"I will set upon your throne the fruit of your body.  If your sons will keep My covenant and My testimony which I shall teach them, their sons also shall sit upon your throne forevermore."     (NKJV)
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(33)  “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He will not enter this city, nor build up a siege mound against it, nor shoot an arrow there, nor oppose it with a shield. (nor shoot an arrow there, nor oppose it with a shield, nor build up a siege mound against it MT)   (34)  By the way he came, he will return. He will not enter this city, says the Lord.   (35)  I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for my servant David’s sake.”


SENNACHERIB'S  DEFEAT  AND  DEATH

Top
Next Section
Previous Section

Isaiah 37:36-38
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(36)  An angel of the Lord went out
and struck down one hundred and
eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian
camp, and the following morning
they were all dead corpses.
And the angel of the Lord went
forth, and slew out of the camp
of the Assyrians a hundred and
eighty-five thousand: and they
arose in the morning and found
all these bodies dead.
And the angel of the Lord went forth, and slew in the camps of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand; and when men arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.
(37)  So King Sennacherib of
Assyria broke camp and retreated,
and stayed in Nineveh.
And Sennacherim king of the
Assyrians turned and departed
and dwelt in Nineveh.
So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.
(38)  While he was worshiping in
the temple of his god Nisroch, he
was struck down with the sword by
his sons Adrammelech and Sarezer.
They fled to the land of Ararat, and
his son Esarhaddon succeeded him
as king.
And while he was worshipping
Nasarach his country’s god in the
house, Adramelech and Sarasar
his sons smote him with swords;
and they escaped into Armenia:
and Asordan his son reigned in
his stead.
And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons slew him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Kardo: and Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.
From the NKJV
(36)  Then the angel of the LORD went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand; and when people arose early in the morning, there were the corpses — all dead.  (37)  So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went away, returned home, and remained at Nineveh.  (38)  Now it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Then Esarhaddon his son reigned in his place.

To this culminating prophecy there is now appended an account of  the catastrophe itself.
The first pair of  histories closes here with a short account of  the result of  the Assyrian drama,  in which Isaiah's prophecies were most gloriously fulfilled:  not only the prophecies immediately preceding,  but all the prophecies of  the Assyrian era since the time of  Ahaz,  which pointed to

The destruction of  the Assyrian forces (Isa 10:33-34)
The flight and death of the king of Assyrian (Isa 31:8-9)

According to Josephus (Ant. x. 1, 5),  when Sennacherib returned from his unsuccessful Egyptian expedition,  he found the detachment of  his army,  which he had left behind in Palestine,  in front of  Jerusalem,  where a pestilential disease sent by God was making great havoc among the soldiers,  and that on the very first night of  the siege.

One angel - 185,000 men dead
When Peter cut off the soldier's ear, Jesus said to him: "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?"  (Matthew 26:52-54)

Nisroch his god
Gesenius supposes that the word  'Nisroch'  denotes an eagle,  or a great eagle.
The eagle was regarded as a sacred bird in the Persian religion,  and was the symbol of  Ormuzd.
This god or idol had been probably introduced into Nineveh from Persia.
Josephus calls the idol Araskes.
The author of the book of  Tobit calls it Dagon.
Vitringa supposes that it was the Assyrian Bel,  and was worshipped under the figure of  Mars,  the god of  war.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible

(36)   Then the angel of the Lord went out, and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. When morning came, there they were, all of them dead bodies.  (37)  So Sennacherib king of Assyria broke camp, left, and returned, and remained at Nineveh.  (38)  As he was worshiping in the temple of Nisroch his god, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And his son Esar-haddon reigned in his place.


LESSON  17  FROM  THE  AMPLIFIED  VERSION

Top
Previous Section

Isaiah 36:11 - 37:38 - from the Amplified Version

36:11    THEN ELIAKIM and Shebna and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, We pray you, speak to your servants in the Aramaic or Syrian language, for we understand it; and do not speak to us in the language of the Jews in the hearing of the people on the wall.
(12)  But the Rabshakeh said, Has my master sent me to speak these words only to your master and to you? Has he not sent me to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and drink their own urine?
(13)  Then the Rabshakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the language of the Jews: Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria!
(14)  Thus says the king: Let not Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you.
(15)  Nor let Hezekiah make you trust in and rely on the Lord, saying, The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.
(16)  Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me and come out to me; and eat every one from his own vine and every one from his own fig tree and drink every one the water of his own cistern,
(17)  Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.
(18)  Beware lest Hezekiah persuade and mislead you by saying, The Lord will deliver us. Has any one of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
(19)  Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad [in Syria]? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim [a place from which the Assyrians brought colonists to inhabit evacuated Samaria]? And have [the gods] delivered Samaria [capital of the ten northern tribes of Israel] out of my hand?
(20)  Who among all the gods of these lands has delivered his land out of my hand, that [you should think that] the Lord can deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?
(21)  But they kept still and answered him not a word, for the king's [Hezekiah's] command was, Do not answer him.
(22)  Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph, the recording historian came to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh [the Assyrian military official].

37:1    AND WHEN King Hezekiah heard it, he rent his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went into the house of the Lord. [2 Kings 19:1-13.]
(2)    And he sent Eliakim, who was over the [royal] household, and Shebna the secretary, and the older priests, clothed with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz.
(3)    And they said to him, Thus says Hezekiah: This day is a day of trouble and distress and of rebuke and of disgrace; for children have come to the birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth.
(4)    It may be that the Lord your God will hear the words of the Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria, his master, has sent to mock, reproach, insult, and defy the living God, and will rebuke the words which the Lord your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant [of His people] that is left.
(5)    So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah.
(6)    And Isaiah said to them, You shall say to your master, Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled and blasphemed Me.
(7)    Behold, I will put a spirit in him so that he will hear a rumor and return to his own land, and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.
(8)    So the Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah [a fortified city of Judah]; for he had heard that the king had departed from Lachish.
(9)    And [Sennacherib king of Assyria] heard concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, He has come forth to make war with you. And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,
(10)  Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: Let not your God in Whom you trust deceive you by saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.
(11)  Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, destroying them utterly. And shall you be delivered?
(12)  Have the gods of the nations delivered those whom my predecessors have destroyed, as Gozan, Haran [of Mesopotamia], Rezeph, and the children of Eden who were in Telassar?
(13)  Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad [of northern Syria], and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?
(14)  And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it. And Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord. [2 Kings 19:14-19.]
(15)  And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord:
(16)  O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, Who [in symbol] are enthroned above the cherubim [of the ark in the temple], You are the God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.
(17)  Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib which he has sent to mock, reproach, insult, and defy the living God.
(18)  It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands
(19)  And have cast the gods of those peoples into the fire, for they were not gods but the work of men's hands, wood and stone. Therefore they have destroyed them.
(20)  Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know (understand and realize) that You are the Lord, even You only.
(21)  Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, [2 Kings 19:20-37; 2 Chronicles 32:20-21.]
(22)  This is the word which the Lord has spoken concerning him: The Virgin Daughter of Zion has despised you and laughed you to scorn; the Daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head behind you.
(23)  Whom have you mocked and reviled [insulted and blasphemed]? And against Whom have you raised your voice and haughtily lifted your eyes? Against the Holy One of Israel!
(24)  By your servants you have mocked, reproached, insulted, and defied the Lord, and you have said, With my many chariots I have gone up to the height of the mountains, to the inner recesses of Lebanon. I cut down its tallest cedars and its choicest cypress trees; I came to its remotest height, its most luxuriant and dense forest;
(25)  I dug wells and drank foreign waters, and with the sole of my feet I have dried up all the rivers [the Nile streams] of Egypt.
(26)  [But, says the God of Israel] have you not heard that I purposed to do it long ago, that I planned it in ancient times? Now I have brought it to pass, that you [king of Assyria] should [be My instrument to] lay waste fortified cities, making them ruinous heaps.
(27)  Therefore their inhabitants had little power, they were dismayed and confounded; they were like the grass of the field and like the green herb, like the grass on the housetops and like a field of grain blasted before it is grown or is in stalk.
(28)  But I [the Lord] know your sitting down and your going out and your coming in and your raging against Me.
(29)  Because your raging against Me and your arrogance and careless ease have come to My ears, therefore will I put My hook in your nose and My bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way you came.
(30)  And [now, Hezekiah, says the Lord] this shall be the sign [of these things] to you: you shall eat this year what grows of itself, and in the second year that which springs from the same. And in the third year sow and reap, and plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them.
(31)  And the remnant that has survived of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward.
(32)  For out of Jerusalem will go forth a remnant, and a band that survives out of Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
(33)  Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city or shoot an arrow here or come before it with shield or cast up a siege mound against it.
(34)  By the way that he came, by the same way he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, says the Lord.
(35)  For I will defend this city to save it, for My own sake and for the sake of My servant David.
(36)  And the Angel of the Lord went forth, and slew 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when [the living] arose early in the morning, behold, all these were dead bodies. [2 Kings 19:35.]
(37)  So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and returned and dwelt at Nineveh.
(38)  And as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons killed him with the sword, and they escaped into the land of Armenia or Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.
 

(End of  Lesson 17)


  

Bibliography

 


lakesmall.gif (2457 bytes)

Home

First
Covenant

Second
Covenant
Topical
Studies

Table of Contents