corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.12.11
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
2 Kings 18

 

 

Introduction

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.


Verses 1-12

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 18:1-12. Accession of Hezekiah. Fall of Samaria.—Hezekiah's reforms were in full accord with the commands in Dt. It is frequently stated in Kings that no king of Judah, however good he had otherwise been, dared to do this. It gave much offence (cf. 2 Kings 18:22), and provoked a reaction under Manasseh.—the brazen serpent: cf. Numbers 21:8 f.* The serpent which Moses made was a fiery serpent, Heb. saraph (cf. the seraphim in the Temple, Isaiah 6:2*).—Nehushtan: the word is obscure. If Hezekiah called the serpent this name it would be reproachful, "a thing of brass" (cf. mg.). If it was the popular name by which it was worshipped, it may be connected with nahash, "a serpent."

2 Kings 18:9. Shalmaneser: see on 2 Kings 17:3.

2 Kings 18:10. they took it: perhaps the writer knew that the king who besieged Samaria (2 Kings 18:9) was not the captor of the city.


Verses 13-26

2 Kings 18:13 to 2 Kings 19:37. Sennacherib's Campaign.

2 Kings 18:13. In the fourteenth year: if Hezekiah began to reign five years before the fall of Samaria (722 B.C.), and Sennacherib did not succeed till 706 B.C., this date cannot be correct. The king of Assyria took upwards of 200,000 Jewish captives.

2 Kings 18:14. Lachish (p. 28) was besieged by Sennacherib, and his exploits there are depicted on a bas-relief in the British Museum.

2 Kings 18:16. which Hezekiah overlaid: Skinner asks, "Should it be Solomon?" Like Ahaz (2 Kings 16:8), Hezekiah despoiled the Temple to buy off the Assyrians.

2 Kings 18:17. Tartan (the commander), Rabsaris (chief eunuch), Rabshakeh (chief cupbearer), were three great Assyrian officials.—the conduit of the upper pool: cf. 2 Kings 20:20; see also 2 Chronicles 32:30.

2 Kings 18:19. the great king was a very ancient title, and was later assumed by the Persians. It is frequently used in the cuneiform inscriptions from very ancient times.

2 Kings 18:21. The Jews' confidence that Egypt would protect them from the Assyrians and other invaders was denounced by Isaiah (Isaiah 30:1-5), and continually proved fallacious. A similar confidence had caused the ruin of the northern kingdom (2 Kings 17:4). Sargon defeated the Egyptians at Raphia in 718 B.C. (pp. 59, 71). Sennacherib had just before this won the victory of El-tekeh (pp. 59, 71). A century later their intrigues with Egypt proved fatal to the Jews in the days of Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

2 Kings 18:22. Most critics regard this reference to Hezekiah's reform as an interpolation. But if genuine it bears witness alike to the unpopularity in some quarters of Hezekiah's reform and the shrewd appreciation of the political situation by the observant Rab-shakeh.

2 Kings 18:26. The Syrian language was widely diffused throughout the East, and is known as Aramaic (p. 36). It was used by the Jews in Egypt in the fifth century B.C., as the Mond and other papyri testify.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on 2 Kings 18:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/2-kings-18.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology