View 2nd Kings 19 in the note window.
Hezekiah sends to Isaiah to desire his prayers, ver. 1 - 5.
And receives from him an answer of peace, ver. 6, 7.
Sennacherib sends a threatening letter to Hezekiah, ver. 8 - 13
Who recommends his case to God, ver. 14 - 19.
God by Isaiah sends him a comfortable message, ver. 20 - 34.
The army of the Assyrians is destroyed, ver. 35 - 37
1: Rent his cloaths, &c. - Great men must not think it any
disparagement to them, to sympathize with the injured honour of
the great God.
3: The children - We are like a poor travailing woman in great
extremity, having no strength left to help herself, and to bring forth
her infant into the world. We have attempted to deliver ourselves from
the Assyrian yoke; and had carried on that work to some maturity, and
as we thought, brought it to the birth; but now we have no might to finish.
We have begun an happy reformation, and are hindered by this insolent
Assyrian, from bringing it to perfection.
4: For the remnant - For Judah, which is but a remnant, now the
ten tribes are gone: for Jerusalem, which is but a remnant, now the
defenced cities of Judah are taken.
8: Returned - To the king, to give him an account of the treaty;
leaving behind him the army under the other commanders.
15: O Lord God of Israel, &c. - He calls him the God of Israel,
because Israel was his peculiar people; but yet the God of the whole
earth, not as Sennacherib fancied, the God of Israel only. Let them
say what they will, thou art sovereign Lord, the God of gods, even thou
alone: Universal Lord of all the kingdoms of the earth; and rightful
Lord; for thou hast made heaven and earth. Being creator of all, by an
incontestable title thou art owner and ruler of all.
16: Him - Rabshakeh: he would not do him the honour to name him.
21: Virgin - So he calls Zion, or Jerusalem; because she was
pure in good measure from that gross idolatry wherewith other people were
defiled, which is called spiritual whoredom: and to signify, that God
would defend her from the rape which Sennacherib intended to commit
upon her with no less care than parents do their virgin daughters from
those who seek to force and deflower them.
23: Mountains - I have brought up my very chariots to those mountains
which were thought inaccessible by my army. Lebanon - An high hill,
famous for cedars and fir - trees. Cut down - I will cut down the trees
that hinder my march, and plane the way for my numerous army and chariots.
Lodgings - Those cities (which he calls lodgings in way of contempt)
which are in his utmost borders. I am come into the land of Canaan at
one border, Lebanon, and I resolve to march on to the other border,
and so destroy the whole country, from one border to the other.
Carmel - The forest of mount Carmel, which may seem to be another
inaccessible place, like Lebanon.
24: Strange waters - Such as were never discovered by others.
Dried up - And as I can furnish my army with water digged out of the
earth; so I can deprive my enemies of their water, and can dry up their
rivers, and that with the sole of my feet; with the march of my vast
and numerous army, who will easily do this, either by marching through
them, and each carrying away part with them: or by making new channels,
and driving the waters of the river into them.
25: Hast thou not, &c. - Hast thou not long since learned, that which
some of thy philosophers could teach thee; that there is a supreme and
powerful God, by whose decree and providence all these wars and calamities
were sent, and ordered; whose mere instrument thou art, so that thou hast
no cause for these vain boastings? This work is mine, not thine.
I have, &c. - I have so disposed of things by my providence, that thou
shouldest be a great and victorious prince, and that thou shouldest be so
successful as thou hast hitherto been, first against the kingdom of
Israel, and now against Judah.
26: Therefore - Because I had armed thee with my commission and
strength, and taken away their spirit and courage.
27: I know - Though thou dost not know me, yet I throughly know thee,
and all thy designs and actions, all thy secret contrivances in the place
of thy abode, in thy own kingdom and court; and the execution of thy
designs abroad, what thou intendest in thy going out, and with what
farther thoughts thou comest in, or returnest to thy own land.
28: My hook, &c. - What a comfort is it, that God has a hook in the
nose and a bridle in the jaws of all his and our enemies?
29: A sign - Of the certain accomplishment of the promises here made:
that God will not only preserve the city from his present fury, but also,
bless his people with a durable prosperity, ver.(2Ki 19:30,31).
The third year - This was an excellent sign; especially, considering the
waste and havock which the Assyrians had made in the land; and that the
Jews had been forced to retire into their strong hold, and consequently
to neglect their tilling, and sowing, and reaping; and yet this year they
should have sufficient provision from those fruits of the earth which the
Assyrians left; and the second year, which was the year of release,
in which they might neither sow, nor reap, from such fruits as the earth
brought forth of its own accord; and so in the third year. And eat - You
shall not sow, and another reap, as lately you did; but you shall enjoy the
fruit of your own labours.
30: The remnant, &c. - They shall be well fixt and provided for
themselves, and then do good to others.
31: Go forth - That handful of Jews who were now gathered
together, and shut up in Jerusalem, shall go out of their several
habitations, and by my singular blessing increase exceedingly. The
zeal - Although when you reflect upon yourselves, and consider either
your present fewness, and weakness, or your great unworthiness, this may
seem too great a blessing for you to expect; yet God will do it from the
zeal which he hath, both for his own name, and for the good of his
32: He shall not - The army sent with Rabshaketh did not form a
close siege against it, but only disposed themselves so as to block it up
at some distance; possibly waiting 'till the king of Assyria had taken
Libnah and Lachish, (which they presumed he would speedily do.)
35: Angel - Such an angel as destroyed the first - born of Egypt.
Arose - The few that were left alive: all their companions were dead.
36: So Sennacherib, &c. - The manner of the expression intimates the
great disorder and distraction of mind he was in.
37: Was worshipping, &c. - The God of Israel had done enough to
convince him, that he was the only true God. Yet he persists in his
idolatry. Justly then is his blood mingled with his sacrifices, who
will not be convinced by so dear - bought a demonstration, of his folly
in worshipping idols.