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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 37

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.

Verses 1-38

7. Send.. him] RV ’put a spirit in him.’

22. Virgin] the figure as in Isaiah 23:12.

24. Sides] RV ’innermost parts.’ The height.. Carmel] RV ’his farthest height, the forest of his fruitful field.’

25. Digged] Deserts cannot impede his march, for he digs wells there. Have I dried, etc.] RV ’will I dry up all the rivers of Egypt’: the Assyrian boasts that he will pass on to conquer Egypt.

26. Jehovah is here the speaker. Done.. formed it] Referring to the ordering of events in the divine providence.

That thou, etc.] The Assyrian is Jehovah’s instrument.

28. Abode] RV.’ sitting down.’

29. My hook] Assyrian sculptures represent both captives and beasts as led in this way. Jehovah will treat the Assyrian as His captive, or as a beast which must be tamed and restrained.

30. A sign given to the people of Judah that the Assyrian shall not return. This year, the year of the invasion, since the harvest has been destroyed they must eat the after growth. Since they have not been able to sow this year, next year they must depend upon what grows of itself, but the year after they will be able to sow and reap freely, for the land will be free from enemies.

33-35. Another short utterance repeating the promise of deliverance.

36. The striking fulfilment of Isaiah’s words. The angel] The expression points to pestilence as the instrument of the Assyrians’ overthrow (1 Chronicles 21:14-15; Psalms 78:49-50).

38. The death of Sennacherib took place in 681 B.c., so that it did not immediately follow the discomfiture of his army.

With the sword] in fulfilment of Isaiah’s words (Isaiah 37:7).

Verses 1-38

7. Send.. him] RV ’put a spirit in him.’

22. Virgin] the figure as in Isaiah 23:12.

24. Sides] RV ’innermost parts.’ The height.. Carmel] RV ’his farthest height, the forest of his fruitful field.’

25. Digged] Deserts cannot impede his march, for he digs wells there. Have I dried, etc.] RV ’will I dry up all the rivers of Egypt’: the Assyrian boasts that he will pass on to conquer Egypt.

26. Jehovah is here the speaker. Done.. formed it] Referring to the ordering of events in the divine providence.

That thou, etc.] The Assyrian is Jehovah’s instrument.

28. Abode] RV.’ sitting down.’

29. My hook] Assyrian sculptures represent both captives and beasts as led in this way. Jehovah will treat the Assyrian as His captive, or as a beast which must be tamed and restrained.

30. A sign given to the people of Judah that the Assyrian shall not return. This year, the year of the invasion, since the harvest has been destroyed they must eat the after growth. Since they have not been able to sow this year, next year they must depend upon what grows of itself, but the year after they will be able to sow and reap freely, for the land will be free from enemies.

33-35. Another short utterance repeating the promise of deliverance.

36. The striking fulfilment of Isaiah’s words. The angel] The expression points to pestilence as the instrument of the Assyrians’ overthrow (1 Chronicles 21:14-15; Psalms 78:49-50).

38. The death of Sennacherib took place in 681 B.c., so that it did not immediately follow the discomfiture of his army.

With the sword] in fulfilment of Isaiah’s words (Isaiah 37:7).

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 37". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/isaiah-37.html. 1909.