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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

2 Kings 19

Verses 1-37


Freed from Assyrian power (18:13-19:37)

When news reached Hezekiah that the Assyrian army, under the new king Sennacherib, was heading for Jerusalem, he quickly prepared the defences of the city. He also cut off any water supply outside the city that might be of help to the besieging armies. Above all, he encouraged his troops to trust in God for victory (13; 2 Chronicles 32:1-8). But, on seeing the strength of the siege, Hezekiah began to repent of his rebellion and offered to pay whatever money Sennacherib demanded (14-16).

After taking a large payment from Hezekiah, the Assyrian king showed that he intended to punish him anyway. He sent three senior officers to demand that Hezekiah surrender. Unknowingly, the Assyrian officers agreed with Isaiah (though for different reasons) that reliance on Egypt was useless (17-21; cf. Isaiah 30:1-3; Isaiah 31:1-3,Isaiah 31:8). In any case, they said, God had sent the Assyrians to punish Jerusalem (22-25).

On seeing how their words troubled Jerusalem’s officials, the Assyrians spoke even more boldly. They tried to persuade the common people to surrender, promising to treat them well in the lands to which they would take them (26-32). Their big mistake, however, was to insult Yahweh by claiming he was no stronger than the gods of other nations whom the Assyrians had conquered (33-37).
When Hezekiah sent to enquire about the situation from Isaiah, the reply made it clear that God would not tolerate the Assyrians’ mockery (19:1-7). The Assyrians temporarily withdrew from Jerusalem to deal with a crisis elsewhere, but sent a letter renewing their threats and challenging God to resist them (8-14). Hezekiah then presented the whole matter to God, who, being the only true and living God, was the only one who could save Jerusalem (15-19).
Isaiah brought God’s reply. It condemned the Assyrians for mocking God and boasting of their achievements, especially when they were only God’s instrument to carry out his judgments. God would therefore punish them and save Jerusalem (20-28). Fields not sown because of the enemy’s siege would become fruitful again, and the number of genuine believers in Judah would increase (29-34).
Having announced his plans, God then acted. The Assyrian army was almost destroyed (701 BC), and although Sennacherib escaped home, he was later assassinated (35-37).


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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 2 Kings 19". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/2-kings-19.html. 2005.