37:1 And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard [it], that he
a tore his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth,
and went into the house of the LORD.
(a) In sign of grief and repentance.
37:2 And he sent Eliakim, who [was] over the household, and
Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests covered
with sackcloth, to b Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.
(b) To have comfort from him by the word of God, that his
faith might be confirmed and so his prayer be more
earnest: teaching by it that in all dangers these two
are the only remedies to seek to God and his ministers.
37:3 And they said to him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day [is] a
day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy: for the
children are come to the c birth, and [there is] not
strength to bring forth.
(c) We are in as great sorrow as a woman in labour who
cannot be delivered.
37:4 It may be the LORD thy God will d hear the words of
Rabshakeh, 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 e lift up [thy]
prayer for the remnant that is left.
(d) That is, will declare by effect that he has heard it:
for when God defers to punish, it seems to the flesh,
that he knows not the sin, or hears not the cause.
(e) Declaring that the ministers office stands not only in
comforting by the word, but also in praying for the
37:7 Behold, I will send a wind upon him, and he shall hear a
f rumour, and return to his own land; and I will cause
him to fall by the sword in his own land.
(f) Of the Egyptians and Ethiopians, who will come and
fight against him.
37:8 So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria
warring against g Libnah: for he had heard that he had
departed from Lachish.
(g) Which was a city toward Egypt, thinking by it to have
stayed the force of his enemies.
37:10 Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let
not thy God, in whom thou trustest, h deceive thee,
saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the
king of Assyria.
(h) Thus God would have him utter a most horrible
blasphemy before his destruction: as to call the
author of all truth a deceiver: some gather by this
that Shebna had disclosed to Sennacherib the answer
that Isaiah sent to the king.
37:12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my
fathers have destroyed, [as] i Gozan, and k Haran, and
Rezeph, and the children of Eden who [were] in Telassar?
(i) Which was a city of the Medes.
(k) Called also Charre a city in Mesopotamia, from which
Abraham came after his fathers death.
37:16 O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, that l dwellest
[between] the cherubim, thou [art] the God, [even] thou
alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: thou hast made
heaven and earth.
(l) He grounds his prayer on God's promise, who promised
to hear them from between the Cherubims.
37:18 Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all
the nations, and m their countries,
(m) Meaning, the ten tribes.
37:20 Now therefore, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that
n all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou [art]
the LORD, [even] thou only.
(n) He declares for what cause he prayed, that they might
be glorified by it through all the world.
37:22 This [is] the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning
him; The o virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised,
[and] derided thee; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken
her head at thee.
(o) Whom God had chosen to himself as a chaste virgin, and
over whom he had care to preserve her from the lusts
of the tyrant, as a father would have over his
37:23 Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom
hast thou exalted [thy] voice, and lifted thy eyes on
high? [even] against the p Holy One of Israel.
(p) Declaring by this that they who are enemies to God's
Church fight against him whose quarrel his Church only
37:25 I have dug, q and drank water; and with the sole of my
feet have I dried up all the rivers of the besieged
(q) He boasts of his policy in that he can find means to
nourish his army: and of his power in that his army is
so great, that it is able to dry up whole rivers, and
to destroy the waters which the Jews had closed in.
37:26 Hast thou not heard long ago, [how] I have done it; [and]
of ancient times, r that I have formed it? now have I
brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste
fortified cities [into] ruinous heaps.
(r) Signifying that God did not make his Church to destroy
it, but to preserve it: and therefore he says that he
formed it of old, even in his eternal counsel which
cannot be changed.
37:27 Therefore their inhabitants [were] of small power, they
were dismayed and confounded: they were [as] the grass of
the field, and [as] the green herb, [as] the grass on the
housetops, and [as grain] blighted s before it is grown
(s) He shows that the state and power of most flourishing
cities endures but a moment in respect to the Church,
which will remain forever, because God is the
maintainer of it.
37:28 But I know thy abode, and thy t going out, and thy
coming in, and thy rage against me.
(t) Meaning, his counsels and enterprises.
37:29 Because thy rage against me, and thy tumult, is come up
into my ears, therefore I will put my u hook in thy
nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back
by the way by which thou x camest.
(u) Because Sennacherib showed himself as a devouring fish
and furious beast, he uses these similarities to teach
how he will take him and guide him.
(x) You will lose your labour.
37:30 And this [shall be] a y sign to thee, Ye shall eat
[this] year such as groweth of itself; and the (z) second
year that which springeth of the same: and in the third
year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the
fruit of them.
(y) God gives signs after two sorts: some go before the
thing as the signs that Moses worked in Egypt, which
were for the confirmation of their faith, and some go
after the thing, as the sacrifice, which they were
commanded to make three days after their departure:
and these latter are to keep the blessings of God in
our remembrance, of which sort this here is.
(z) He promises that for two years the ground would feed
them of itself.
37:31 And a the remnant that hath escaped of the house of
Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit
(a) They whom God has delivered out of the hands of the
Assyrians will prosper: and this properly belongs to
37:35 For I will defend this city to save it for my own sake,
and for my servant b David's sake.
(b) For my promise sake made to David.
37:37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and
returned, and dwelt at c Nineveh.
(c) Which was the chiefest city of the Assyrians.
37:38 And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of
Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons
smote him with the sword; and they escaped into the land
of Armenia: and d Esarhaddon his son reigned in his
(d) Who was also called Sardanapalus, in whose days ten
years after Sennacherib's death the Chaldeans overcame
the Assyrians by Merodach their king.