Hezekiah in deep affliction sendeth to desire Isaiah's prayers. Isaiah returneth an answer of comfort. Sennacherib, being called away to oppose the king of Ethiopia, sendeth a blasphemous letter to Hezekiah. Hezekiah's prayer upon the receipt of it. Isaiah's prophecy concerning the pride and overthrow of Sennacherib, and the prosperity of Zion. An angel destroyeth the Assyrian army: Sennacherib is slain at Nineveh by his own sons.
1AND it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard 1it, that he 2rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and 3went into the house of the LORD.
1 Namely, those words which Rabshakeh had spoken.
2 See 2 Kings 19:1; Isa. 36:22.
3 Namely, to offer up there his prayer unto the Lord.
2And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests covered with sackcloth, unto Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.
3And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, 4This day is 5a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and 6of blasphemy: for the children are come 7to the birth, and 8there is not strength to bring forth.
4 That is, this is the time wherein I and my people have come into great distress, fearing the besieging and wasting of this city.
5 Namely, in which the Assyrians greatly revile and abominably reproach us.
6 In which the Assyrians most heinously revile and blaspheme the Lord.
7 Hebr. unto the breach. See Hosea 13:13 the similar phrase.
8 That is, we are in extreme danger, out of which we are not able to deliver ourselves.
4It may be the LORD thy God will 9hear the words of Rab-shakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God, and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer 10for the remnant that is left.
9 That is, take notice of them, and therefore it is to be hoped that He will plague and punish the Assyrians for their blasphemous words.
10 Namely, of this people of God. The ten tribes were already carried away to Assyria. There were also some strong cities already taken in Judah by the Assyrians, yet some few were left.
5So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah.
6¶And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say unto your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid 11of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith 12the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.
11 Hebr. of the face of the words.
12 Hebr. lads, youths, that is, the servants, the ministers. Thus Joshua is called Moses’ lad, although he was come to age long before. See Gen. 22:5; Exod. 33:11.
7Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall 13by the sword in his own land.
13 Namely, by the sword of his sons. See verse 38.
8¶So Rab-shakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against 14Libnah: for he had heard that he was departed from 15Lachish.
14 See of this city the annotation at 2 Kings 8 on verse 22.
15 Where Rabshakeh left the king, and from where he had sent him to Jerusalem. See Isa. 36:2. And see further of Lachish, 2 Kings 14:19.
9And 16he 17heard say concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, He is come forth to make war with thee. And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, 18saying,
16 Namely, the king of Assyria.
17 See verse 7.
18 And also giving them letters along with them of the same content. See verse 14.
10Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God, in whom thou trustest, deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.
11Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands 19by destroying them utterly; and shalt thou be delivered?
19 That is, utterly destroying them. See Deut. 2 on verse 34.
12Have the gods of the nations delivered them which 20my fathers have destroyed, as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which were in Telassar?
20 That is, my ancestors or predecessors.
13Where is the king of 21Hamath, and the king of Arphad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and 22Ivah?
21 See Num. 13:21.
22 See the annotation at 2 Kings 17 on verse 24.
14¶And Hezekiah received 23the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.
23 Which the messengers of the king of Assyria brought unto him, wherein the very same matter or content was written, which his own ambassadors had already told him by word of mouth.
15And Hezekiah prayed unto the LORD, saying,
16O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that dwellest 24between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made heaven and earth.
24 See Exod. 25:22; Num. 7:89; 2 Sam. 6:2; 2 Kings 19:15; Psalm 80:1, and the annotations there.
17Incline thine ear, O LORD, and hear; open thine eyes, O LORD, and see: and hear all the words of Sennacherib, 25which hath sent to reproach the living God.
25 Both by Rabshakeh and by his letters.
18Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste 26all the nations, and their countries,
26 2 Kings 19:17 it is stated: have destroyed the nations and their lands.
19And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.
20Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD, even thou only.
21¶Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Whereas thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria:27
27 In 2 Kings 19:20 is added: I have heard.
22This is the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin, 28the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath 29shaken her head at thee.
28 That is, the inhabitants of the city of Jerusalem, whom the strangers had not yet defiled. See 2 Kings 19 on verse 21.
29 Unto a sign of contempt. See Psalm 22:7.
23Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel.
24By 30thy servants hast thou reproached the Lord, and hast said, By the multitude of my chariots am I come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, and the choice fir trees thereof: and I will enter into the height of his border, and the forest of his Carmel.
30 It is stated in 2 Kings 19:23 thy messengers.
25I have 31digged, and drunk 32water; and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of the besieged places.
31 Namely, wells.
32 It is said in 2 Kings 19:24 strange waters. See the annotations there.
26Hast thou not heard long ago, how I have done 33it; and of ancient times, that I have 34formed it? now have I brought it to pass, 35that thou shouldest be to lay waste defenced cities into ruinous heaps.
33 Namely, the oppression of the nations, which thou now ascribeth unto thyself.
34 That is, have decreed to do it. Compare 2 Tim. 1:9, 10.
35 That is, that I would use thee to destroy, etc.
27Therefore their inhabitants were of 36small power, they were dismayed and confounded: they were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb, as the grass 37on the housetops, and 38as corn blasted before it be grown up.
36 Hebr. shorthanded, that is, they had no power to resist thee, being as if their hands had been cut off.
37 That is, which grows upon the housetops.
38 Which is parched and burnt, before it shoots forth in the ear. Hebr. burned.
28But 39I know thy abode, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy rage against me.
39 That is, O Sennacherib, I know all your designs and enterprises.
29Because thy rage against me, and thy tumult, is come up into mine ears, therefore will I put 40my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.
40 A figurative speech borrowed from fishermen, intimating that God can bridle, rule and restrain the most wicked and most dissolute enemies of His church, that they shall not be able to execute their wicked purpose.
30And this shall be 41a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat this year such as 42groweth of itself; and the second year 43that which springeth of the same: and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof.
41 Namely, of that which I have just said before.
42 Because they were not able to cultivate their land by reason of the occupation and marching of the Assyrians in and through the land of the Jews.
43 That is, the fruits that shall grow this year again of themselves. Hence, some do gather that this was a Sabbatical or year of rest, wherein the Israelites did not till their ground. See Lev. 25:5, 20.
31And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward:
32For out of Jerusalem shall go forth 44a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: thea zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this.
44 The remnant of the Jews shall go forth to their own land, and to other places, which they had not done before for fear of the Assyrians.
a 2 Kings 19:31; Isa. 9:7.
33Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, 45nor come before it with shields, nor cast a bankb against it.
45 From this may be gathered that Sennacherib came not in front of Jerusalem to besiege that city.
b mound for besieging a city*
34By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD.
35For Ic will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and 46for my servant David's sake.
c 2 Kings 20:6.
46 That is, because of the promise which I made unto David. See 1 Kings 11 on verses 12 and 13.
36Thend the angel of the LORD 47went forth, and smote in 48the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all 49dead corpses.
d 2 Kings 19:35.
47 Namely, out of heaven.
48 See 2 Kings 19 on verse 35.
49 Hebr. dead dead bodies; for, the Hebrew word peger by itself signifies a dead body, and there is yet added to it the adjective dead. It is as we would say: a dead carcase.
37¶So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at 50Nineveh.
50 In those times this was the royal capital or residential place for the kings of Assyria.
38And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote 51him with the sword; and they escaped 52into the land of Armenia: and 53Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.
51 Namely, before fifty-five days were expired after his army was smitten by the angel, as some do gather from Tobit 1:21.
52 That is, into Great-Armenia. See Gen. 8:4.
53 Otherwise called Asnappar, Ezra 4:10. He is also otherwise called Sardanapalus, as some conceive, but this opinion is uncertain.