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Thursday, June 13th, 2024
the Week of Proper 5 / Ordinary 10
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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 19

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary


Second Kings Chapter 19

2 Kings 19:1 "And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard [it], that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD."

In the previous lesson, Hezekiah’s 3 men had come back and told him of the terrible insults the king of Assyria had made about Hezekiah, Judah, but worst, about the LORD. When Hezekiah heard the abominable things they had said about the LORD, he tore his clothes and went to the temple to pray. Hezekiah went for help to his LORD.

2 Kings 19:2 "And he sent Eliakim, which [was] over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz."

Eliakim and Sheba are 2 of the 3 men Hezekiah sent to speak to the 3 men sent by the Assyrian king. They were important in the household of Hezekiah. They, also, would know the details of what happened, since they had brought the message to Hezekiah. Hezekiah had them to remain in their sackcloth for an outward expression to Isaiah of the seriousness of the matter. The eldesrs of the priests, went, also. Isaiah was the prophet that Hezekiah used. Hezekiah knew the priesthood was not where it should be, and he sent for Isaiah.

2 Kings 19:3 "And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day [is] a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and [there is] not strength to bring forth."

God’s people were not accustomed to being treated in this manner. The entire nation of Judah was in peril. They would not be able to fight off the advances of Assyria, unless the LORD intervenes. The blasphemy was the Assyrians comparing the Lord to the false gods of the heathen.

2 Kings 19:4 "It may be the LORD thy God will hear all the words of Rab-shakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up [thy] prayer for the remnant that are left."

Hezekiah thinks that Judah has offended God so greatly, that they, probably, are not even thought of as His any more. He calls the LORD Isaiah’s God. Hezekiah is not sure what he has done, but feels that he must have offended God in something he had done. Hezekiah feels that Rab-shakeh and Assyria have reproached the living God. Hezekiah wants Isaiah to tell God what insults these Assyrians had made against Him. He, also, wants Isaiah to pray for the LORD to help them against the Assyrians.

2 Kings 19:5 "So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah."

2 Kings 19:6 "And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me."

The message, that Isaiah sends back to Hezekiah, is one of encouragement. God will take care of Hezekiah, because he had been faithful. Hezekiah has nothing to fear. God will punish those who blasphemed His name, mainly the Assyrians. Servants, speaking of the Assyrians, is a word that means lackeys. This is a negative meaning of servant. Notice, how quickly Isaiah answered them. God had, probably, already informed Isaiah.

2 Kings 19:7 "Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land."

This blast comes from God. Hezekiah will not have to fight them. God will fight them. Some believe this blast to be a spirit of cowardice. Whatever it is, he flees to his own country. His own sons will later kill Sennacherib, with the sword.

2 Kings 19:8 "So Rab-shakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah: for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish."

God does this so quickly, that Sennacherib is not even there, when Rabshakeh returns to Lachish. The king of Assyria is fighting another battle with Libnah.

2 Kings 19:9 "And when he heard say of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, Behold, he is come out to fight against thee: he sent messengers again unto Hezekiah, saying,"

This Tirhakah was a powerful warrior. He was King of Ethiopia, and had his eyes set on conquering Egypt. He would not let these Assyrians attack Egypt, because he wanted Egypt for himself. He is known by many similar names to the one given here. This letter is from Rab-shakeh, or actually Sennacherib.

2 Kings 19:10 "Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God in whom thou trustest deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria."

2 Kings 19:11 "Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly: and shalt thou be delivered?"

It is true that everyone had heard of the battles of Assyria, and how they had defeated so many. That does not necessarily mean, however, that they would win in this battle. God can, and will, defeat whomever He wills.

2 Kings 19:12 "Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed; [as] Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which [were] in Thelasar?"

2 Kings 19:13 "Where [is] the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivah?"

2 Kings 19:14 "And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD."

This letter, again, blasphemes the LORD, by comparing him to the false gods of these countries that have fallen before the sword of Assyria. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind, that Assyria is a mighty army. The difference is, Judah worships the One True God that controls everyone and everything in this world. Hezekiah takes the letter to the temple for the LORD to see. Of course, the LORD already knows about this, but Hezekiah brings it to His attention, by spreading the letter out before Him.

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."

Notice, the recognition and elevating of the name of the LORD that Hezekiah brings in this prayer. He is the LORD God of Israel, but He is the creator of everything, and everyone, including the heavens and the earth. The Creator of it all has control over His creation. This is what Hezekiah is saying.

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."

Hezekiah had placed his faith in the LORD. He is asking the LORD to listen, and help him against these evil Assyrains. This letter blasphemes God. Notice the word "living", which is saying everlasting.

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."

Hezekiah does not deny, that they have destroyed the nations they had mentioned in the letter. It is common knowledge, they had done this. Hezekiah gives the correct reason for their destruction. They were depending on gods of stone and wood that were not really gods. The One True God did not help them, because He was not their God.

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."

A victory against the Assyrians would be good for Judah, but it would, also, prove that the LORD is truly God. Hezekiah says, "show this evil blasphemer that you are really God". When the LORD destroys Assyria and saves Judah, all the world will know that the LORD, He is God.

2 Kings 19:20 "Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, [That] which thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard."

Hezekiah had not sent a messenger to Isaiah. God revealed to Isaiah what Hezekiah had prayed, and gave Isaiah the message for Hezekiah. "Thus saith the LORD God of Israel" shows the words that Isaiah spoke, were God’s Words in Isaiah’s mouth.

2 Kings 19:21 "This [is] the word that the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin the daughter of Zion hath despised thee, [and] laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee."

The daughter of Zion, here, is, probably, speaking of Jerusalem. This is another way of saying, that they were not afraid of Assyria. The shaking of the head is a way of shaming Assyria. Zion is the city of God, many times. It, also, speaks of the believers.

2 Kings 19:22 "Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? And against whom hast thou exalted [thy] voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? [even] against the Holy [One] of Israel."

Hezekiah is to ask them, do they even realize who they had blasphemed? He is, then, to answer his own question, by telling them that it is the Holy One of Israel. They have mocked the One True God, and they will regret it greatly.

2 Kings 19:23 "By thy messengers thou hast reproached the Lord, and hast said, With the multitude of my chariots I am come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon, and will cut down the tall cedar trees thereof, [and] the choice fir trees thereof: and I will enter into the lodgings of his borders, [and into] the forest of his Carmel."

These exact words had not come from Sennacherib. These were the things that Sennacherib had not said, but thought in his heart. This, alone, should tell him, he is opposed to the One True God.

2 Kings 19:24 "I have digged and drunk strange waters, and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of besieged places."

Sennacherib thought that because he had dug wells before and drunk of their water, that would be the way here. He had elevated himself up, as if he were God.

2 Kings 19:25 "Hast thou not heard long ago [how] I have done it, [and] of ancient times that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste fenced cities [into] ruinous heaps."

In the verse before this, the LORD was still telling what a great man Sennacherib had thought himself to be. Now, we see a change. The LORD is speaking to this evil king here. The LORD asks Sennacherib a question here. He asks him, had he ever heard that it was the LORD who brings wars for punishment against the people? It is the LORD who chooses who the victor is, for His purposes. It was even the LORD who allowed the victories of Assyria.

2 Kings 19:26 "Therefore their inhabitants were of small power, they were dismayed and confounded; they were [as] the grass of the field, and [as] the green herb, [as] the grass on the house tops, and [as corn] blasted before it be grown up."

The reason the Assyrians were able to conquer the lands they had, was because their fear caused them to give up. The fear was placed in their hearts by the LORD. It, also, was the LORD who caused Assyria to think so highly of themselves, because of their accomplishments.

2 Kings 19:27 "But I know thy abode, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy rage against me."

God did not need to see their letter, to know of their rage against the LORD. He knew what was in their hearts.

2 Kings 19:28 "Because thy rage against me and thy tumult is come up into mine ears, therefore I will put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest."

Now, that they have publicly proclaimed their defamation of the character of the LORD, they will not be allowed to go on. The LORD will turn them around by force, that they do not even understand. They will be helpless to do otherwise. The Assyrians had put holes through the noses of their captives and led them away. The Lord says, He will do that to them. They will be like a bridled horse. They will have to go where He sends them.

2 Kings 19:29 "And this [shall be] a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat this year such things as grow of themselves, and in the second year that which springeth of the same; and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruits thereof."

The attack of the Assyrians, at the time of planting, had stopped the people of Judah from planting crops. God is promising Judah a crop that comes up voluntarily for two years, and feeds them. The third year, they will plant and grow their own food. This will be a sign to them of the LORD’s supernatural protection of them.

2 Kings 19:30 "And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward."

In the Assyrian’s first attack on Judah, they had taken away over 200,000. There is just a remnant left. This remnant will take root, and grow.

2 Kings 19:31 "For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD [of hosts] shall do this."

This is saying, that the remnant, that had hidden in the walled city of Jerusalem, will go forth and prosper. They will plant their fields again, as they had before the attack from Assyria. It is not the people who bring this about, it is the LORD. The LORD loves them, and will do this for them.

2 Kings 19:32 “Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it.”

This is the LORD speaking an encouraging word to Hezekiah and to all of Judah. There will be no attack on Jerusalem of any kind by the Assyrians. God said it, and it was so.

2 Kings 19:33 "By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD."

2 Kings 19:34 "For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake."

Now, we see the reason. The LORD will fight for His holy city Jerusalem. These Assyrians had blasphemed His name, and He will fight them. There will be no question who will win this battle. He will remember David, also, and save Jerusalem.

2 Kings 19:35 "And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they [were] all dead corpses."

The very next night, after the LORD had sent this message to Hezekiah, the destroying angel came into the sleeping camp of the Assyrians, and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. Since the angel was sent of the LORD, there was no noise to warn them. We do not know how many survivors there were, but whoever they were, they found all of the dead bodies.

2 Kings 19:36 "So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh."

It appears, Sennacherib was one of the survivors. He went to Ninevah, where one of his palaces were. He, probably, did not want anything more to do with Judah and Judah’s God.

2 Kings 19:37 "And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esar-haddon his son reigned in his stead."

It really is not known what false god he was worshipping, except for the name given here. I really does not matter, it is not the True God. His sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, killed him with a sword, and his son Esarhadden reigned in his place.

2 Kings 19 Questions

1. Why did Hezekiah tear his clothes?

2. Where did he go to pray?

3. Where did he send Eliakim, Shebna, and the elders of the priests?

4. What message did they bring Isaiah from Hezekiah?

5. Who did Hezekiah say, Rab-shakeh had reproached?

6. What request did Hezekiah make of Isaiah?

7. Why did Hezekiah call the LORD, Isaiah’s God?

8. What message did Isaiah send to Hezekiah?

9. What does 2 Kings 19:7 say, God will do to them?

10. When Rab-shakeh returned, who was the king of Assyria fighting?

11. Who was king of Ethiopia?

12. What sarcastic message did the Assyrian send to Hezekiah in a letter?

13. How does the letter blaspheme God?

14. What does Hezekiah do with the letter?

15. How does Hezekiah begin his prayer?

16. What were most of the false gods made of?

17. When the LORD saved Judah from the Assyrians, what would it cause people to believe?

18. What did Isaiah say in his message to Hezekiah, that let him know it was God speaking through him?

19. The daughter of Zion, in 2 Kings 19:21 speaks of _____________.

20. Who had really caused Sennacherib to win the battles?

21. How did God know of their rage against Him?

22. What sign does God give Judah, that He is with them?

23. How many people did Assyria take in the first attack on Judah?

24. What does God say, Assyria would not do?

25. Who will defend Jerusalem?

26. How many of the Assyrians did the angel of the LORD kill in one night?

27. Where did Sennacherib go from Judah?

28. Who killed Sennacherib?

29. Who reigned in his stead?

30. Where did his two sons escape to?

Verse 1

2Ki 19:1

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 2 Kings 19". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/2-kings-19.html.
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