Lectionary Calendar
Monday, May 27th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 19

Dr. Constable's Expository NotesConstable's Expository Notes

Verses 1-13

3. Yahweh’s immediate encouragement 19:1-13

Hezekiah’s response to this crisis was to turn to Yahweh in prayer and to His prophet for an answer. He sensed his position under Yahweh’s authority, humbled himself, and sought God’s help (cf. 2 Samuel 7; 1 Kings 8). God rewarded Hezekiah’s attitude and assured him of success because the Assyrians had challenged the reputation of Yahweh.

God’s method of deliverance involved harassing the Assyrian army. First Libnah, a town a few miles northeast of Lachish, needed Sennacherib’s attention. Then he received word that the king of Cush (southern Egypt) was coming to attack from the southwest, the direction opposite from Libnah and Jerusalem. These divinely sent diversions caused Sennacherib to suspend his siege of Jerusalem.

Verses 14-19

4. Hezekiah’s prayer 19:14-19

Sennacherib sent another warning to Hezekiah (2 Kings 19:10-13) that led him to pray again. Some scholars believe that Sennacherib conducted two campaigns against Jerusalem. [Note: Bright, pp. 282-87.] Hezekiah’s model prayer shows the king’s proper view of Yahweh, himself, and their relationship, all of which were in harmony with God’s revelation. Hezekiah’s concern was more for God’s glory than for Judah’s safety. Furthermore, he viewed deliverance as an occasion for Israel to fulfill the purpose for which God had raised her up (2 Kings 19:19; cf. Exodus 19:5-6).

"God is the one Being in all the universe for whom seeking his own praise is the ultimately loving act. For him, self-exaltation is the highest virtue. When he does all things ’for the praise of his glory,’ he preserves for us and offers to us the only thing in all the world which can satisfy our longings. God is for us! And the foundation of this love is that God has been, is now, and always will be, for himself." [Note: John Piper, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, p. 37.]

Verses 20-37

5. Yahweh’s answer 19:20-37

God sent Hezekiah the news of what He would do, and why, through Isaiah. The "virgin" daughter of Zion (2 Kings 19:21) refers to Jerusalem as a city that a foreign foe had never violated. The "Holy One of Israel" (2 Kings 19:22), a favorite name of God with Isaiah (cf. Isaiah 5:24; Isaiah 30:11-15; et al.), stresses His uniqueness and superiority. On some monuments Assyrian conquerors pictured themselves as leading their captives with a line that passed through rings that they had placed in the victims’ noses. [Note: Cf. Luckenbill, 2:314-15, 319.] God promised to do to them as they had done to others (2 Kings 19:28; cf. Galatians 6:7).

An immediate sign helped Hezekiah believe in the long-range deliverance God promised (2 Kings 19:29). Signs were either predictions of natural events, which came to pass and thus confirmed the prediction (cf. Exodus 3:12; 1 Samuel 2:34; Jeremiah 44:29), or outright miracles that proved God’s work in history (cf. Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 38:7). [Note: Keil. p. 454.] The Israelites had not been able to plant crops around Jerusalem because of the besieging Assyrians. God promised to feed His people for two years with what came up naturally, namely, as a result of previous cultivation. This was a blessing of fertility for trust and obedience (cf. Deuteronomy 28:33). In the third year they would again return to their regular cycle of sowing and reaping. Like the crops, the remnant of the people remaining after the invasions of Israel and Judah would also multiply under God’s blessing. As for Sennacherib, God would keep him away from Jerusalem (2 Kings 19:32-33). Ironically, the Assyrian king suffered assassination in the temple of his god, who was not able to deliver him. This was the very thing he had charged Yahweh with being unable to do for Judah. Extra-biblical sources corroborate Sennacherib’s assassination, though they mention only one assassin. [Note: See Cogan and Tadmore, pp. 239-40.]

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 2 Kings 19". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/2-kings-19.html. 2012.
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