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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
2 Kings 19

 

 

Verses 1-37


The Deliverance of Jerusalem

2. Isaiah the prophet] This is the first mention of Isaiah in this book, but his own writings show that he had been an active teacher and statesman not only during the earlier years of Hezekiah himself, but also during the reign of Hezekiah's predecessor Ahaz: see on 2 Kings 16:7; 2 Kings 18:7. The chapters in the prophet's writings which relate to the present occasion are 2 Kings 10:5 to 2 Kings 12:6; 2 Kings 14:24-27; 2 Kings 17:12-14, 2 Kings 17:22, 2 Kings 17:29-33, 2 Kings 17:36-37 (the last two of which substantially repeat 1 Kings 18, 19).

3. Blasphemy] RV 'contumely': such as the nation was experiencing at the hands of the invader. The children.. bring forth] a figure for powerlessness in the time of peril.

4. Remnant] cp. 2 Kings 19:30, Isaiah 10:20. A large number of the Judaean cities had been captured (see on 2 Kings 18:13), so that the population of the capital might well be thus described.

7. Send a blast upon him] RV 'put a spirit in him': i.e. an impulse of fear. A rumour] Ill tidings respecting his army, whieh was destined shortly to perish in its advance against Egypt.

8. Returned] to Sennacherib. Libnah.. Lachish] in southern Judah.

9. Tirhakah] an Ethiopian, who was at first the general and subsequently the successor of the Egyptian king Shabako (2 Kings 18:21). He was contemporary not only with Sennacherib, but with his two successors, Esarhaddon and Asshurbanipal.

12. Gozan, etc.] These places were all in the neighbourhood of the Euphrates. Gozan is mentioned in 2 Kings 17:6; Haran in Genesis 11:31; Eden in Ezekiel 27:23.

13. Hamath] see on 2 Kings 17:24; It had revolted against Sargon in 720 b.c., but the insurrection was crushed and its king Jahubidi slain.

15. Thou.. even thou alone] Whereas Sennacherib had counted the God of Israel among a number of deities all equally unable to withstand him (2 Kings 18:33-35), Hezekiah here asserts that the Lord (Jehovah) is the only God, and implies that whatever the Assyrian had accomplished had been done by His permission.

19. That all.. may know] If a small kingdom like Judah successfully resisted Assyria, it could only be through the supremacy of its God.

21. The daughter of Zion] For the personification of a city as a woman cp. Micah 4:10; Isaiah 23:10, Isaiah 23:12; Isaiah 47:1.

23. The lodgings, etc.] RV 'his farthest lodging place, the forest of his fruitful field.'

24. I have digged.. waters] Sennacherib implies that the progress of his armies on foreign soil could not be hindered by the enemy stopping up the water-springs: he at once digs fresh wells. Besieged places] RV 'Egypt.' The numerous channels of the Nile were ordinarily a means of defence to Egypt (cp. Nahum 3:8), but Sennacherib implies that they were inadequate to stay his advance.

25. Hast thou.. done it] This begins the Lord's response to Sennacherib's boastings. The Assyrian king had in reality only been an agent deputed to carry out the divine purposes: cp. Isaiah 10:12; Isaiah 47:6; Zechariah 1:15.

28. My hook] cp. Ezekiel 38:4. The expression may be an allusion either to the method adopted for controlling wild animals (cp. Ezekiel 19:4), or to a practice employed by the Assyrians towards their captives: see 2 Chronicles 33:11; RM.

29. A sign unto thee] i.e. unto Hezekiah. The occurrence of the earlier and harsher part of the prophet's prediction would be a warranty for the fulfilment of the later and more cheerful portion of his message, viz. that the land should be free from invasion and cultivated in peace. This year.. the third year] The reckoning is inclusive, 'this year' meaning the year of the invasion, and 'the third year' being the second year after it.

30. The remnant] cp. 2 Kings 19:3. The population, so sadly thinned by the war, would again recover its strength and numbers.

31. Out of Jerusalem, etc.] The country folk that had been driven into the capital by the invasion would again return to their homes.

32. Cast a bank] a mound of earth with an inclined surface, raised against the wall of a besieged city to enable the besiegers to reach the top.

34. Mine own sake] God's intentions towards His people could not be foiled altogether through the sins of the latter; so that though the divine justice had demanded the chastisement of the nation, the divine faithfulness required that it should be preserved from complete destruction.

35. The angel of the Lord] cp. Exodus 12:23. In 2 Samuel 24:15-16 the pestilence that punished David's numbering of the people is attributed to an angel; and it is probable that it was a similar calamity that destroyed Sennacherib's army. It seems more likely that the disaster occurred in the low-lying ground on the Egyptian frontiers than in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem; and the Greek historian, Herodotus, who gives a fanciful account of an overthrow sustained by the Assyrians in a campaign against Egypt, places it near Pelusium. But wherever and however it happened, it was a signal confirmation of Isaiah's faith in the Lord and a striking vindication of his prescience.

36. Nineveh] its ruins have been found opposite the modern Mosul.

37. His sons smote him] Sennacherib's death did not occur until some 20 years after the destruction of his army, as described in 2 Kings 19:35 but though he took part in several expeditions subsequent to his invasion of Judah, he never again molested the Hebrew state. Esarhaddon] reigned from 681 b.c. to 668.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 19:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/2-kings-19.html. 1909.

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Friday, December 6th, 2019
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