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Bible Commentaries
2 Chronicles 32

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

Second Chronicles Chapter 32

2 Chronicles 32:1 "After these things, and the establishment thereof, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself."

It appears, that even though Hezekiah had re-established worship in the temple in Jerusalem, and even though his heart was stayed upon God, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came and camped against the fenced cities of Judah.

2 Chronicles 32:2 "And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight againstÿJerusalem,"

2 Chronicles 32:3 "He took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which [were] without the city: and they did help him."

The Assyrians had attacked Israel, and taken captive the people, and left just a remnant. This had been so easy for them that they, now, decided to come against Judah, and even Jerusalem. The Assyrians had underestimated the power of the God of Judah. Hezekiah had inquired of his mighty men about what they could do to stop this onslaught. They decided to stop the flowing water from the fountains just outside the city. This would make it much more difficult for Sennacherib.

2 Chronicles 32:4 "So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?"

They wanted to make it difficult for the army of Assyria to find water. This was possibly, speaking of the pool of Siloam. This was speaking of the brook that ran through the center of the city. If the kings of Assyria found a great deal of water, they would want this land for themselves.

2 Chronicles 32:5 “Also he strengthened himself, and built up all the wall that was broken, and raised [it] up to the towers, and another wall without, and repaired Millo [in] the city of David, and made darts and shields in abundance.”

We see that Hezekiah was doing everything within his power to fortify the city, and make it as unattainable as possible. The wall was a deterrent to an oncoming army. Hezekiah repaired the breaks in the wall, and even made the existing wall taller. It appears, they hurriedly constructed another wall around the existing one to stop the oncoming army. Millo was a fortress within the walls of Jerusalem. Even the darts and shields were a preparation to fight, if necessary.

2 Chronicles 32:6 "And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city, and spake comfortably to them, saying,"

Hezekiah kept no secrets from his people. He brought the men together to encourage them. Comfortably means he did not speak with alarm.

2 Chronicles 32:7 "Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that [is] with him: for [there be] more with us than with him:"

In the physical sense, the Assyrian army greatly outnumbered the army of Judah. It would be the natural thing to greatly fear this oncoming army. Hezekiah was speaking faith to these men in his army. "If God be for you, who can be against you", was about what Hezekiah was saying.

2 Chronicles 32:8 "With him [is] an arm of flesh; but with us [is] the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah."

Hezekiah had placed his faith in his LORD. He encouraged his men to do the same. This large Assyrian army was strong in the flesh, but God was not with them. The army of Judah was weak in the flesh, but strong in their LORD. God would fight the battle for Judah, if they would trust Him.

2 Chronicles 32:9 "After this did Sennacherib king of Assyria send his servants to Jerusalem, (but he [himself laid siege] against Lachish, and all his power with him,) unto Hezekiah king of Judah, and unto all Judah that [were] at Jerusalem, saying,"

Sennacherib showed very little respect for Hezekiah, or his army. He sent subordinates to deal with Jerusalem, as if to say they were nothing. His servants came to destroy Jerusalem, while he was busy with Lachish. Lachish was a highly fortified fort.

2 Chronicles 32:10 "Thus saith Sennacherib king of Assyria, Whereon do ye trust, that ye abide in the siege in Jerusalem?"

Sennacherib sent word to Hezekiah and the people, that they were surrounded. He was surprised they had not already surrendered. He asked them whom did they trust enough to endanger their lives in this futile battle?

2 Chronicles 32:11 "Doth not Hezekiah persuade you to give over yourselves to die by famine and by thirst, saying, The LORD our God shall deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria?"

It seems, the fame of Hezekiah’s faith in the LORD had traveled even to Assyria. This heathen king is not acquainted with the LORD. He had no idea of the power of the LORD. He mocked the people for placing their faith in the LORD.

2 Chronicles 32:12 "Hath not the same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall worship before one altar, and burn incense upon it?"

Again, this heathen king did not realize that the LORD is God. He thought there was power in the many false gods that Hezekiah had destroyed in this land. The answer is yes, Hezekiah did take away the high places and the altars to false gods. He did cause a central place {the temple} to be the one place to worship the LORD. The accusations of the Assyraian king were true, but they made Judah stronger, not weaker. God was on their side for Hezekiah doing these things.

2 Chronicles 32:13 "Know ye not what I and my fathers have done unto all the people of [other] lands? were the gods of the nations of those lands any ways able to deliver their lands out of mine hand?"

False gods are of no help at all, regardless of how many there were. They were not able to help, because they were nothings themselves. The very reason he was able to defeat them was, because they turned their backs on the LORD.

2 Chronicles 32:14 "Who [was there] among all the gods of those nations that my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of mine hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of mine hand?"

This was a terrible mistake Sennacherib was making, comparing the One True God with those false gods.

2 Chronicles 32:15 "Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you on this manner, neither yet believe him: for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of mine hand, and out of the hand of my fathers: how much less shall your God deliver you out of mine hand?"

It appears, that each country had a particular false god for their country. He did not recognize the God of Judah as being the True God. This was a terrible mistake on his part.

2 Chronicles 32:16 "And his servants spake yet [more] against the LORD God, and against his servant Hezekiah."

They were actually trying to get Jerusalem to surrender without a fight. It should have been aware to these people what the servants were trying to do. Had they been true believers, they would not have tolerated them speaking evil of their God. It appeared, they were not as strong in their belief in the LORD as Hezekiah was.

2 Chronicles 32:17 "He wrote also letters to rail on the LORD God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, As the gods of the nations of [other] lands have not delivered their people out of mine hand, so shall not the God of Hezekiah deliver his people out of mine hand."

Sennacherib was trying to cause the people to turn against the LORD and against Hezekiah and surrender to him. The letters were to assure the people that this was an accurate message from Sennacherib, and not just words his servants had made up to say.

2 Chronicles 32:18 "Then they cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ speech unto the people of Jerusalem that [were] on the wall, to affright them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city."

They had interpreters, who spoke in the Hebrew language to these Jews who were waiting on the wall. They tried everything they could think of that might sway those of Jerusalem to believe them.

2 Chronicles 32:19 "And they spake against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth, [which were] the work of the hands of man."

These heathens, attacking Jerusalem, did not think of the LORD of all the earth as any more than the false gods of the heathen nations around them. The false gods of the earth were the creations of some man’s hand. The LORD is the Creator of everything.

2 Chronicles 32:20 "And for this [cause] Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven."

Hezekiah and Isaiah were both men of God. Hezekiah was a man after God’s own heart. Isaiah was one of the greatest of all of God’s anointed prophets. The following Scriptures are the words of the prayer.2 Kings 19:15 "And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest [between] the cherubims, thou art the God, [even] thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth." 2 Kings 19:16 "LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God." 2 Kings 19:17 "Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands," 2 Kings 19:18 "And have cast their gods into the fire: for they [were] no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them." 2 Kings 19:19 "Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou [art] the LORD God, [even] thou only."

2 Chronicles 32:21 "And the LORD sent an angel, which cut off ll the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword."

This was an instance when the angel of the LORD did all of the work. This was an instant answer to Hezekiah’s prayer. This angel killed 185,000 of the army of Sennacherib, and he went home in shame. He had mocked the LORD. God will not allow that. Sennacherib’s two sons killed him.

2 Chronicles 32:22 "Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all [other], and guided them on every side."

This is one of the most vivid examples of the power of prayer in the entire Bible. God heard Isaiah and Hezekiah when they prayed, and God immediately took care of the situation.

2 Chronicles 32:23 "And many brought gifts unto the LORD to Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah: so that he was magnified in the sight of all nations from thenceforth."

When an army as strong as this was destroyed by one angel, it was time for the people to realize that Hezekiah’s God is God.

2 Chronicles 32:24 "In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the LORD: and he spake unto him, and he gave him a sign."

There is a much fuller explanation of this in the book of 2 Kings chapter 20 beginning with the first verse and going through the end of the chapter. This is the time that God answers Hezekaih’s prayer, and extends his life 15 years. The sign that was given was the shadow of the dial going backward ten degrees.

2 Chronicles 32:25 "But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit [done] unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem."

This is speaking of the pride of Hezekiah, when he showed the king of Babylon the wealth of Jerusalem. This was one of the few things that Hezekiah had done, that displeased God.

2 Chronicles 32:26 "Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, [both] he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah."

Jeremiah 26:19 speaks of the LORD not punishing him or Jerusalem for this.

2 Chronicles 32:27 "And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honour: and he made himself treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of pleasant jewels;"

2 Chronicles 32:28 "Storehouses also for the increase of corn, and wine, and oil; and stalls for all manner of beasts, and cotes for flocks."

2 Chronicles 32:29 "Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance: for God had given him substance very much."

We see the LORD had blessed Hezekiah with great abundance during his reign. Some of this had been given to Hezekiah as gifts at the end of his illness, when the LORD extended his life 15 years. God abundantly blesses all who keep themselves stayed upon God. The blessings may not be in the physical sense, but God will abundantly bless them.

2 Chronicles 32:30 "This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works."

This is speaking of the re-routing of the water, so there would be water in Jerusalem in case of a siege. The water was brought into Jerusalem through underground channels.

2 Chronicles 32:31 "Howbeit in [the business of] the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was [done] in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all [that was] in his heart."

This is speaking of the same thing we said earlier, when the pride of Hezekiah caused him to show the king of Babylon all of his riches.

2 Chronicles 32:32 "Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, behold, they [are] written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, [and] in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel."

There is a great deal written about Hezekiah in the book of 2 Kings in the Bible. The book of Isaiah, the prophet, mentions Hezekiah, also.

2 Chronicles 32:33 "And Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the chiefest of the sepulchres of the sons of David: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honour at his death. And Manasseh his son reigned in his stead."

Hezekiah was a king, who tried to please the LORD in all his ways. God did not allow Babylon to destroy Jerusalem, until after the death of Hezekiah. He was buried honorably, as he had lived honorably. It is such a shame that such a king as Hezekiah, who did right in the sight of the LORD, would have such an evil son as Manasseh. At Hezekiah’s death, one of the most evil kings, Manasseh, began to reign in his stead.

2 Chronicles 32 Questions

1. Who came and encamped against the cities of Judah?

2. What country was he from?

3. What had he purposed to do?

4. What did Hezekiah take counsel with his men to do?

5. Why had they decided to come against Judah?

6. What did Hezekiah do to fortify Jerusalem?

7. How did Hezekiah prepare the people for war?

8. In 2 Chronicles 32:7, what did Hezekiah do?

9. What did Hezekiah tell them Sennacherib trusted in?

10. Who was on the side of Hezekiah?

11. Who did Sennacherib send to Jerusalem?

12. They were sent to __________ Jerusalem.

13. What did the servants of Sennacherib try to convince the people that Hezekiah had done to them?

14. What had Hezekiah done that had been common knowledge in the lands around Judah?

15. Why were the false gods of the heathen nations unable to help them?

16. Sennacherib was comparing the One True God with ________ ______.

17. What did he write in the letters he sent to Judah?

18. What is the language of the Jews?

19. The _________ is Creator of everything.

20. Hezekiah was _________, and Isaiah was a __________.

21. Where can we find the prayer of Hezekiah?

22. Who killed Sennacherib?

23. How many of his men did the angel of the LORD kill?

24. What effect did this have on the nations around Hezekiah?

25. How long did God extend Hezekiah’s life, when he was sick?

26. What sign did He give Hezekiah?

27. What is 2 Chronicles 32:25 speaking of?

28. What kind of blessings had the Lord brought on Hezekiah?

29. What was the watercourse, really?

30. Who had Hezekiah shown his riches to, that displeased God?

31. Who reigned in Hezekiah’s stead at his death?

Verses 1-8

2Ch 32:1-8

Introduction

THE INVASION OF JUDAH BY SENNACHERIB;

HEZEKIAH’S SICKNESS;

THE EMBASSY FROM BABYLON; CONCLUSION OF HEZEKIAH’S REIGN

See commentary on Isaiah for a discussion of Sennacherib’s invasion and the other events mentioned in this chapter. Also, the same material has been discussed in our Commentary on 2 Kings 18-20. There is no need whatever for any further discussion of the historical events of this chapter. Montgomery referred to these several accounts as "parallel and duplicates." Rawlinson wrote that, "Isaiah wrote the history of Hezekiah for this chapter, from which the account in 2Kings is almost certainly taken." Derek Kidner also agreed with this, noting that, "Except for Hezekiah’s psalm (only in Isaiah) and for that prophet’s omission of 2 Kings 18:14-16, much of the material in this part of Chronicles coincides almost word for word with 2 Kings 18-20."

2 Chronicles 32:1-8

HEZEKIAH PREPARES FOR THE INVASION

"After these things, and this faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fortified cities, and thought to win these for himself. And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem, he took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city; and they helped him. So there was gathered much people together, and they stopped all the fountains, and the brook that flowed through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water? And he took courage, and built up all the wall that was broken down, and raised it up to the towers, and the other wall without, and strengthened Millo in the city of David, and made weapons and shields in abundance. And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the broad place at the gate of the city, and spake comfortably to them, saying, Be strong and of good courage, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him; for there is a greater with us than with him: with him is an arm of flesh; but with us is Jehovah our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah."

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 32:1. These things Means the doings described in the preceding chapter. Established refers to the completeness and righteousness of the things; that no just complaint could be made against the conduct of the realm of Judah. If any harm or inconvenience comes against the kingdom, it cannot be laid to any neglect of the man on the throne. This disposition was possessed by a heathen king, Sennacherib, king of Assyria. This nation had Nineveh as its capital, and the territory bordered on the Tigris River, situated east and north of Babylon. It was a great and powerful country, and not long before the time we have reached in our study, had carried off the kingdom of Israel (the 10 tribes) into captivity. This tragic event is recorded in 2 Kings 17. Elated, doubtless, by the success of his predecessors against the Jews, the king of Assyria thought to subdue the remaining kingdom of Judah. He accordingly marched into the country and established camps against the fenced (walled) cities.

2 Chronicles 32:2. When an invader settles his camps around the important cities of a country, it may be expected that he will not stop until he has reached the capital if possible. Hezekiah saw the forces of Assyria and concluded that the king of that powerful country would eventually come to Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 32:3-4. Hezekiah held a counsel with his leading men concerning the situation created by the Assyrian invasion. It was decided to shut off the supplies of water about the city so that the invader would not have them to use in the siege. The chief men cooperated with the king and they carried out the plan to stop the water supply.

2 Chronicles 32:5. Further measures of defense were taken by building a set of walls around the city, planting towers or lookouts on the inner one. He also repaired Millo, a special fortification within the city, near the division called the City of David.

2 Chronicles 32:6-7. Defensive preparations in the way of forts and walls are not enough when the safety of a nation is at stake. Active warfare may be necessary to repulse the enemy. Hezekiah realized this and went about getting ready for the conflict. Captains are required for the orderly conduct of warfare. The king assembled his forces in the street near the city and gave them an encouraging speech. He assured them that they had more forces than the enemy had. This, however, did not necessarily mean that the numerical count with them was actually greater than was possessed by the Assyrians. The idea that Hezekiah had will be revealed in the next verse.

2 Chronicles 32:8. The two forces that Hezekiah was comparing are expressed in the terms arm of flesh and Lord our God. With such consideration on which to base his statements, we understand why the king made the assertions that are given in the preceding paragraph. Such comparisons have been made in other places in the Bible, as far as the pri4ciple involved is concerned. The 10 spies shrank from their duty because they felt as helpless as grasshoppers by the side of the powerful characters inhabiting the land of Canaan. They did not consider that even an insect, if standing on the side with God, would be a "majority" as far as strength was concerned. Paul taught the same idea in Romans 8:31 where he asks: "If God be for us, who can be against us?" The words of Hezekiah cheered the people; they rested on them, which means they relied upon them. The history in 2 Kings 18 shows that the king of Assyria retired from the siege after being given articles of ransom by Hezekiah.

Verses 9-15

2Ch 32:9-15

2 Chronicles 32:9-15

SENNACHERIB SEEKS TO INTIMIDATE JERUSLAEM

"After this did Sennacherib king of Assyria send his servants to Jerusalem (now he was before Lachish, and all his power was with him), unto Hezekiah king of Judah, and unto all Judah that were at Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith Sennacherib king of Assyria, Whereon do ye trust, that ye abide the siege in Jerusalem? Doth not Hezekiah persuade you, to give you over to die by famine and by thirst, saying, Jehovah our God will deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria? Hath not the same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall worship before one altar, and upon it shall ye burn incense? Know ye not what I and my fathers have done unto all the peoples of the lands? Were the gods of the nations of the lands in any wise able to deliver their land out of my hand? Who was there among all the gods of those nations which my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of my hand? Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you after this manner, neither believe ye him; for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of my hand, and out of the hand of my fathers; how much less shall your God deliver you out of my hand?"

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 32:9. In a year or two after the events of the preceding paragraph, Sennacherib made another expedition into Hezekiah’s territory; but he did not go in person. He was occupied with a siege against Lachish, an important city south of Jerusalem. From this place he sent his leading servants to act for him against Judah. According to the account in 2 Kings 18, the leader of those servants was named Rab-shakeh, but some secular authorities say that was a military title and would apply to whomsoever the chief of the nation put at the head of his army, or a detachment therefrom.

2 Chronicles 32:10. Whether the name mentioned in the preceding verse was a personal one, or an official title, the spokesman tried to persuade the people of Jerusalem to desert Hezekiah. He belittled the ability of their king and derided them for remaining in the city to suffer the results of the siege.

2 Chronicles 32:11. The Rab-shakeh warned the people in Jerusalem that they would die of hunger if they listened to Hezekiah. Some spies or other secret informants must have been busy, for the reference the spokesman made to Hezekiah’s reliance on God was true.

2 Chronicles 32:12. The pronoun his refers to the same Lord our God named in the preceding verse, and thus constitutes a falsehood. It was not the altars of God, but those of Baal that Hezekiah had thrown down.

2 Chronicles 32:13-14. This vile heathen made no distinction in his respect for the gods of the different countries. He impudently referred to the countries whom his master (Sennacherib) had subdued in spite of their gods. heathen gods is repeated in this verse. My fathers means the ancestors who had gone against other rulers in spite of their gods.

2 Chronicles 32:15. Rab-shakeh stated what was untrue in principle. The God of Israel had delivered them from the Egyptians, and Syrians, and Edomites, and Ammonites, and others too numerous to mention. And soon this vile man will learn that God can deliver his people from so powerful a nation as the Assyrians.

Verses 16-19

2Ch 32:16-19

2 Chronicles 32:16-19

SENNACHERIB EXALTED HIMSELF AGAINST GOD ALMIGHTY

"And his servants spake yet more against Jehovah God, and against his servant Hezekiah. He wrote also letters, to rail on Jehovah, the God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, As the gods of the nations of the lands, which have not delivered their people out of my hand, so shall not the God of Hezekiah deliver his people out of my hand. And they cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ language unto the people of Jerusalem that were on the wall, to affright them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city. And they spake of the God of Jerusalem, as of the gods of the earth, which are the work of men’s hands."

The Chronicler in this brief paragraph has given the full and complete explanation of just why God put his hook in the nose of Sennacherib and removed him from the siege of Jerusalem.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 32:16. His servants means the servants of Sennacherib. He was personally at Libnah, having departed from Lachish (2 Kings 19:8), but was being represented by his servants, chief of whom was this one referred to as Rab-shakeh.

2 Chronicles 32:17. He wrote means that Sennacherib wrote the letters from Libnah. He made the same impudent comparison between the two kinds of gods, the true God and those of the heathen nations that Rab-shakeh had made by mouth before the wall of Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 32:18. It is the part of a coward to pretend confidence in himself, and to threaten the opponent in a way to frighten him. There were those in the Assyrian host who could speak the Jews’ language. They did so here, in order to impress their hearers all the more.

2 Chronicles 32:19. Against God . . . as against the gods, etc. This means they put the God of Israel and the gods made by the hands of men in the same class. Such irreverence was bound to work its rebuke sooner or later.

Verses 20-23

2Ch 32:20-23

2 Chronicles 32:20-23

SENNACHERIB’S ARMY SLAIN BY AN ANGEL

"And Hezekiah the king, and Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz, prayed because of this, and cried to heaven. And Jehovah sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty men of valor, and the leaders and the captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth from his own bowels slew him with the sword. Thus Jehovah saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all others, and guided them on every side. And many brought gifts unto Jehovah to Jerusalem, and precious things to Hezekiah king of Judah; so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations from thenceforth."

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 32:20. This verse is a brief account of the exercises of these two great men on behalf of the Israelite nation when the Assyrians were threatening it. See 2 Kings 19.

2 Chronicles 32:21. Sennacherib had a strong force of soldiers who were in camp under him. When the letter and prayer of Isaiah and Hezekiah were come up before God, he sent a destroying angel out through the camp and cut off all the mighty men of valor. 2 Kings 19:35 says the number was 185,000. This humbled the haughty king, and he left the position at Libnah for his home land. But the return home did not give him any honor, for some of his own offspring murdered him while he was performing service to his heathen god.

2 Chronicles 32:22. The same God whom the Assyrians had so wickedly blasphemed, overcame all opposition and brought deliverance to his people. In bringing this great victory to them over the Assyrians, other threatening nations were brought down also.

2 Chronicles 32:23. In this verse we have the words gifts and presents both used. This indicates some distinction although the words are generally used interchangeably. For the general meaning as used *in the Bible, see my comments at Genesis 32:13 and 1 Samuel 10:27. According to the definitions in the lexicon, the gifts were things of practical use, such as could be put on the altar of sacrifices, or be appropriated to the financial support of the kingdom. The presents were things considered desirable because of being rare, such as precious gems. But the outstanding thought is the same in both articles, and means that the nations made public and official recognition of the kingdom of Judah.

Verses 24-26

2Ch 32:24-26

2 Chronicles 32:24-26

THE NEAR-FATAL ILLNESS OF HEZEKIAH

"In those days Hezekiah was sick even unto death: and he prayed unto Jehovah; and he spake unto him, and gave him a sign. But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him and Jerusalem. Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of God came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah."

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 32:24. Sick to the death means that his sickness was going to be fatal if something would not be done to cure it. But that was done, and a miracle was performed to cure the disease, and also a sign or other miracle was performed to assure him that he not only would recover from his present illness, but would live a stated number of years. For a fuller account of this matter see 2 Kings 20:1-11.

2 Chronicles 32:25. The best of men will make mistakes, and often it is when they have been favored the most. After Hezekiah had his health restored, and was given assurance of many more years of life, he became puffed up and failed to show appreciation for the favors. That is the meaning of rendered not in this verse. By his unwise conduct, the wrath of God came down on the nation and its capital. The details of that are set forth in 2 Kings 20:12-19.

2 Chronicles 32:26. It is not the man who never makes any mistakes (there are none such) whom the Lord will bless, but the one who, after he has done wrong is willing to humble himself and repent. That was what made David "a man after God’s own heart." Hazekiah humbled himself before God and his repentance was recognized. Certain marks of the divine displeasure were bound to be brought upon the country, but Hezekiah was spared the pain of seeing them personally.

Verses 27-31

2Ch 32:27-31

2 Chronicles 32:27-31

THE IMMENSE WEALTH AND GLORY OF HEZEKIAH

"And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honor: and he provided him treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of goodly vessels; storehouses also for the increase of grain and new wine and oil; and stalls for all manner of beasts, and flocks in folds. Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance; for God had given him very much substance. This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper spring of the waters of Gihon, and brought them straight down on the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works. Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart."

There can be no wonder that Hezekiah’s wealth was so great, because the death of that immense army (185,000 men) of Sennacharib made all of their personal possessions the spoil for Hezekiah, as well as all of the vast treasures they had looted from Lachish and the other destroyed cities of Judah. History hardly affords another example of so great a windfall. No wonder he had to make a treasury for shields, etc.

It is very evident here that the author of Chronicles was an inspired man, a magnificent refutation of any suggestion that this material is not historical. Only an inspired author would have catalogued the sins and pride of Hezekiah along with his marvelous achievements. That is not the manner in which uninspired men write the records of their heroes.

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 32:27. The riches and honor came from the nations that brought their tokens of recognition as stated in 2 Chronicles 32:23. The treasuries were depositories made safe and convenient for storing the precious metals and other articles of great value.

2 Chronicles 32:28. Storehouses for grain and stalls for animals were for the same purpose as the depositories for gems and metals. They were needed for the proper care of the things that God had given the king. We have the basis for the lesson in connection with the parable of the "certain rich man" in Luke 12:16-20. The two instances are alike in that the surplus of crops made it necessary to build additional storage room. But Hezekiah was not condemned while the other man was. The explanation is that the man in the parable was not condemned for building greater barns to care for his crops. He would have been condemned had he not done something to care for them. His sin was in the wrong use of them that he proposed to his soul.

2 Chronicles 32:29. The cities did not produce the flocks, but they provided a means of caring for them. With such provisions at hand, the king was free to keep in possession some of the things that would otherwise have been disposed of. Since God had given him all this substance, Hezekiah felt that he should take proper care of it.

2 Chronicles 32:30. This watercourse was a spring and its waters had been running down through a valley named Gihon, and was thus being wasted. Hezekiah stopped this spring which means he curbed it or put it under control so it could be directed down near the city of David. In this way the spring was made to be of service. His works were made to prosper because they were good and helpful to the people.

2 Chronicles 32:31. This refers to an error in judgment that Hezekiah made. The fuller account is in 2 Kings 20:12-19.

Verses 32-33

2Ch 32:32-33

2 Chronicles 32:32-33

CONCLUSION OF THE REIGN OF HEZEKIAH

"Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his good deeds, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz, in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. And Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the ascent of the sepulchres of the sons of David: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honor at his death. And Manasseh his son reigned in his stead."

E.M. Zerr:

2 Chronicles 32:32. The reference to the account in Isaiah’s writings will be found in chapters 36-39 of the book in our Bible, bearing the prophet’s name. As to the reference to the book of the kings, see comments at 1 Kings 14:19.

2 Chronicles 32:33. The highest honors that could be given a man by the manner of his burial were bestowed upon Hezekiah, and the whole nation manifested its respect for him at his death. Slept with his fathers is explained at 1 Kings 2:10.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 2 Chronicles 32". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/2-chronicles-32.html.
 
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