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2 Kings 18-20. The Reign of Hezekiah.— These three chapters give an account of the reign of the best king of Judah, and a parallel but somewhat less full account is found in Isaiah 36-39. There is another account in 2 Chronicles 29 f. The annalistic tablets, etc., of the Assyrian kings give us more information about Hezekiah than about any other king. They confirm the good impression given in the Bible; but the chronology, if we follow them, has to be completely modified. To understand the history contained in 2 Kings 18-20 the following facts and dates should be borne in mind: ( a) Samaria fell in the reign of Sargon, in 722 B.C. ( b) Merodachbaladan ( 2 Kings 20:12) established himself as king in Babylon (721), and held his own against Sargon till 710. ( c) Sargon’ s army overran Judah about 711 ( Isaiah 20:1). ( d) Sargon died 706 and his son Sennacherib invaded Judah 701. ( e) Sennacherib died 681. Consequently (i.) the illness of Hezekiah and the mission of Merodach-baladan took place before 711, so that 2 Kings 20 really comes earlier than 2 Kings 18:13; (ii.) Sennacherib’ s invasion was near the end of the reign of Hezekiah; and (iii.), despite 2 Kings 19:37, Sennacherib lived nearly twenty years after the loss of his army. See further, p. 59.
2 Kings 19:2 . unto Isaiah: from the Book of Isaiah we learn that the prophet had steadily opposed Hezekiah’ s intrigues against Assyria.— Shelna: Isaiah 22:15-25 *.
2 Kings 19:9 . Ethiopia was the country S. of Egypt. At a time later than this (681 B.C. ?), Tirhakah seems to have established his government in Egypt. There is, therefore, a chronological difficulty in the mention of him here (p. 72). He is, however, not called “ king of Egypt,” and he may have been acting as an ally of the princes of the Nile valley.
2 Kings 19:10-13 . Sennacherib’ s letter to Hezekiah, showing how hopeless it was for a king of Judah to resist him after all his victories over powerful nations.
2 Kings 19:15-19 . Hezekiah’ s prayer to Yahweh, “ who sitteth upon the cherubim” ( 1 Samuel 4:4, 2 Samuel 6:2, 1 Kings 6*), praying Him to vindicate His honour against the false gods of the heathen.
2 Kings 19:21-31 . Isaiah’ s “ taunt song” against Sennacherib, and the sign given to Hezekiah. The king of Assyria destroyed the nations because their gods were idols, but since he had blasphemed the living God, he would be turned back by the way he came. The “ sign” was that for two years the people of Jerusalem would eat the corn that sprang up from old harvests, but that in the third year they would sow and reap as usual ( 2 Kings 19:29).
2 Kings 19:35 . the angel of the Lord: Herodotus (ii. 141) has a story that Sennacherib’ s army was destroyed owing to the prayers of a pious king of Egypt. The pestilence is connected with the angel in 2 Samuel 24:15.
2 Kings 19:37 . Sennacherib was murdered by his sons in 681 B.C., twenty years after the invasion of Judah, if the date (701 B.C.) is correct.
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Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 2 Kings 19". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12