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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 36

Verses 1-22

1. In the fourteenth year] The chronology is difficult. From Isaiah 38:1; Isaiah 39:1 we might conclude that Hezekiah’s sickness and the Babylonian embassy followed Sennacherib’s invasion, whereas Isaiah 38, 39 chronologically must precede Isaiah 36, 37. Samaria fell in 722, Hezekiah’s 6th year (2 Kings 18:10); Sennacherib’s invasion of Judah was in 701, which would therefore be Hezekiah’s 27th year. The date 14th year here given must then be an error. Hezekiah reigned in all 29 years; 15 additional years were promised in his sickness (Isaiah 38:5), which accordingly must have befallen him in his 14th year. It looks as though the note of time in this v. originally applied to Isaiah 38, where it would be accurate, but has by the compiler been transposed to the commencement of this historical appendix to Isaiah’s prophecies.

2. Rabshakeh] is a title, ’the Rabshakeh,’ i.e. chief officer, or cupbearer.

6. Broken] RV ’bruised.’ Pharaoh] This was Tirhakah, of the Ethiopian dynasty (Isaiah 37:9).

7. The allusion is to Hezekiah’s reformation; the reduction of the number of shrines would seem to a heathen to dishonour the national god.

19. Cp. Isaiah 10:9-11.

Verses 1-38

The Invasion of Sennacherib

An account of Sennacherib’s invasion of Judah (701 b.c.) and its sudden termination. The narrative is closely parallel to that of 2 Kings 18:13; 2 Kings 19:37 (where see notes), from which it was probably taken, and added to this book by a compiler because of its bearing on the prophetic activity of Isaiah.

Isaiah 36. i-3. The mission of the Rabshakeh from Sennacherib to Jerusalem.

4-10. The Rabshakeh’s first speech—the folly of resistance, relying either upon Egypt, or upon Jehovah.

11-20. The Rabshakeh’s second speech—the fall of Jerusalem certain, favourable terms offered in case of surrender.

21, 22. The Rabshakeh’s words are reported to Hezekiah.

Isaiah 37:1-7. Hezekiah sends a deputation to Isaiah, who in reply foretells the retreat of the enemy.

8-13. Sennacherib’s second embassy to Jerusalem—trust in Jehovah will not avail to save the city.

14-20. Hezekiah’s prayer to Jehovah to vindicate Himself.

21-35. The answer through Isaiah—the Assyrian is Jehovah’s instrument, under His control, and shall be turned back from Jerusalem.

36-38. The fulfilment of Isaiah’s words.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 36". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.