36:1 Now it came to pass a in the b fourteenth year of king
Hezekiah, [that] Sennacherib king of Assyria came up
against all the fortified cities of Judah, and took them.
(a) This history is rehearsed because it is as a seal and
confirmation of the doctrine before, both for the
threatenings and promises: that is, that God would
permit his Church to be afflicted, but at length would
(b) When he had abolished superstition, and idolatry, and
restored religion, yet God would exercise his Church to
try their faith and patience.
36:3 Then came forth to him Eliakim, Hilkiah's son, who was c
over the house, and Shebna d the scribe, and Joah,
Asaph's son, the recorder.
(c) For he was now restored to his office, as Isaiah had
prophesied in (Isa 22:20).
(d) This declares that there were few godly to be found in
the king's house, when he was driven to end this wicked
man in such a weighty matter.
36:4 And e Rabshakeh said to them, Say ye now to Hezekiah,
Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What
confidence [is] this in which thou trustest?
(e) Sennacherib's chief captain.
36:5 I say, f [sayest thou], (but [they are but] vain words)
[I have] counsel and strength for war: now on whom dost
thou trust, that thou rebellest against me?
(f) He speaks this in the person of Hezekiah, falsely
charging him that he put his trust in his wit and
eloquence, while his only confidence was in the Lord.
36:6 Lo, thou trustest in the staff of this broken reed, on
Egypt; on which if a man lean, it will enter his hand, and
pierce it: so [is] g Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that
trust in him.
(g) Satan laboured to pull the godly king from one vain
confidence to another: that is, from trust in the
Egyptians, whose power was weak and would deceive them,
to yield himself to the Assyrians, and so not to hope
for any help from God.
36:9 How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the
h least of my master's servants, and put thy trust on
Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
(h) He reproaches Hezekiah's small power, which is not able
to resist one of Sennacherib's least captains.
36:10 And am I now come up without the LORD against this land to
destroy it? the LORD said to me, i Go up against this
land, and destroy it.
(i) Thus the wicked to deceive us, will pretend the Name
of the Lord: but we must try the spirits, whether they
are of God or not.
36:11 Then said Eliakim and Shebna and Joah to Rabshakeh, k
Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Syrian
language; for we understand [it]: and speak not to us in
the Jews' language, in the ears of the people that [are]
on the wall.
(k) They were afraid, lest by his words, he should have
stirred up the people against the king, and also
pretended to grow to some appointment with him.
36:16 Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of
Assyria, Make l [an agreement] with me [by] a present,
and come out to me: and eat ye every one of his vine, and
every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the
waters of his own cistern;
(l) The Hebrew word signifies blessing, by which this
wicked captain would have persuaded the people, that
their condition would be better under Sennacherib than
36:19 Where [are] the gods of m Hamath and Arphad? where [are]
the gods of Sepharvaim? and have they delivered Samaria
out of my hand?
(m) That is, of Antioch in Syria, of which these two
other cities also were: by which we see how every town
had its peculiar idol, and how the wicked make God an
idol because they do not understand that God makes
them his scourge, and punishes cities for sin.
36:21 But they n held their peace, and answered him not a
word: for the king's commandment was, saying, Answer him
(n) Not that they did not show by evident signs that they
detested his blasphemy: or they had now rent their
clothes, but they knew it was in vain to use long
reasoning with this infidel, whose reign they would
have so much more provoked.