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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Isaiah 36



1Sennacherib invades Judah.
2Rabshakeh, sent by Sennacherib, by blasphemous persuasions solicits the people to revolt.
22His words are told to Hezekiah.

Verse 1
Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defenced cities of Judah, and took them.
it came
2 Kings 18:13,17; 2 Chronicles 32:1
that Sennacherib
1:7,8; 7:17; 8:7,8; 10:28-32; 33:7,8

Verse 2
And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem unto king Hezekiah with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller's field.
A. M. 3294. B.C. 710. sent
2 Kings 18:17-37; 2 Chronicles 32:9-23
the conduit
7:3; 22:9-11

Verse 3
Then came forth unto him Eliakim, Hilkiah's son, which was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, Asaph's son, the recorder.
2 Samuel 8:16,17; 20:24,25
or, secretary.

Verse 4
And Rabshakeh said unto them, Say ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?
Thus saith
10:8-14; 37:11-15; Proverbs 16:18; Ezekiel 31:3-18; Daniel 4:30; Acts 12:22,23; Jude 1:16
Assyria proper, now Kourdistan, was bounded by Armenia on the north, Media and Persia on the east, Babylonia on the south, and the Tigris, which divides it from Mesopotamia, on the west, between 33 degrees and 38 degrees N. lat. and 42 degrees and 46 degrees E. long. But the Assyrian empire, the bounds of which were different at different times, in its most flourishing state, according to the descriptions of the Greek and Roman writers, comprehended all the countries and nations between the Mediterranean on the west, and the Indus on the east, and between the deserts of Scythia on the north, and the Indian ocean on the south.
2 Kings 18:5,19-37; 19:10; 2 Chronicles 32:7-10,14-16; Psalms 42:3,10; 71:10,11

Verse 5
I say, sayest thou, (but they are but vain words) I have counsel and strength for war: now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me?
vain words
Heb. a word of lips. I have counsel and strength for war. or, but counsel and strength are for the war.
Proverbs 21:30,31; 24:5,6
2 Kings 18:7; 24:1; Nehemiah 2:19,20; Jeremiah 52:3; Ezekiel 17:15

Verse 6
Lo, thou trustest in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that trust in him.
20:5,6; 30:1-7; 31:3; 2 Kings 17:4; 18:21; Jeremiah 37:5-8; Ezekiel 29:6,7

Verse 7
But if thou say to me, We trust in the LORD our God: is it not he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and said to Judah and to Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar?
We trust
2 Kings 18:5,22; 1 Chronicles 5:20; 2 Chronicles 16:7-9; 32:7,8; Psalms 22:4,5; 42:5,10,11
is it not
Deuteronomy 12:2-6,13,14; 2 Kings 18:4; 2 Chronicles 30:14; 31:1; 32:12; 1 Corinthians 2:15

Verse 8
Now therefore give pledges, I pray thee, to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them.
or, hostages.
2 Kings 14:14
and I
10:13,14; 1 Samuel 17:40-43; 1 Kings 20:10,18; 2 Kings 18:23; Nehemiah 4:2-5; Psalms 20:7,8; 123:3,4

Verse 9
How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
the least
10:8; 2 Kings 18:24
and put
6; 30:16,17; Deuteronomy 17:16; Proverbs 21:31; Jeremiah 2:36

Verse 10
And am I now come up without the LORD against this land to destroy it? the LORD said unto me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.
10:5-7; 37:28; 1 Kings 13:18; 2 Kings 18:25; 2 Chronicles 35:21; Amos 3:6

Verse 11
Then said Eliakim and Shebna and Joah unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, unto thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and speak not to us in the Jews' language, in the ears of the people that are on the wall.
in the Syrian
2 Kings 18:26,27; Ezra 4:7; Daniel 2:4

Verse 12
But Rabshakeh said, Hath my master sent me to thy master and to thee to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?
that they may
9:20; Leviticus 26:29; Deuteronomy 28:53-57; 2 Kings 6:25-29; 18:27; Jeremiah 19:9; Lamentations 4:9,10; Ezekiel 4:16

Verse 13
Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and said, Hear ye the words of the great king, the king of Assyria.
1 Samuel 17:8-11; 2 Kings 18:28-32; 2 Chronicles 32:18; Psalms 17:10-13; 73:8,9; 82:6,7
4; 8:7; 10:8-13; Ezekiel 31:3-10; Daniel 4:37

Verse 14
Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you.
37:10-13; 2 Kings 19:10-13,22; 2 Chronicles 32:11,13-19; Daniel 3:15-17; 6:20; Daniel 7:25; 2 Thessalonians 2:4; Revelation 13:5,6

Verse 15
Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us: this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.
7; 37:23,24; Psalms 4:2; 22:7,8; 71:9-11; Matthew 27:43

Verse 16
Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me: and eat ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his own cistern;
Make an agreement with me by a present
or, Seek my favour by a present. Heb. Make with me a blessing.
Genesis 32:20; 33:11; 1 Samuel 25:27; 2 Samuel 8:6; 2 Kings 5:15; 18:31; 2 Corinthians 9:5; *marg:
come out
1 Samuel 11:3; 2 Kings 24:12-16
eat ye
1 Kings 4:20,25; Micah 4:4; Zechariah 3:10

Verse 17
Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.
I come
2 Kings 17:6-23; 18:9-12; 24:11; Proverbs 12:10
a land of corn
Exodus 3:8; Deuteronomy 8:7-9; 11:12; Job 20:17; The other copy in 2; 18:32,; that ye may live, and not die: and hearken not unto Hezekiah when he seduceth you."

Verse 18
Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, The LORD will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
7,10,15; 37:10; Psalms 12:4; 92:5-7
37:12,13,17,18; 2 Kings 18:33-35; 19:12,13,17,18; 2 Chronicles 32:13-17; Psalms 115:2-8; 135:5,6,15-18; Jeremiah 10:3-5,10-12; Daniel 3:15; Habakkuk 2:19,20

Verse 19
Where are the gods of Hamath and Arphad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim? and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand?
Numbers 34:8; 2 Samuel 8:9
The variation of Arphad and Arpad exists only in the translation; the original being uniformly [ ()]
10:9; Jeremiah 49:23
Calmet is of opinion that Sepharvaim was the capital of the Saspires, who, according to Herodotus, were the only people that inhabited between the Colchians and Medes; and probably the Sarapases, whom Strabo places in Armenia. Hiller considers the name as denoting Sephar of the Parvaim, i.e., Mount Sephar adjacent to the regions of Arabia called Parvaim. But it is more probable, as Wells and others suppose, that Sepharvaim is the [Sipphara] Sipphara, of Ptolemy, the [Sipparenon polis] the city of the Sippareni, mentioned by Abydenus, and probably the Hipparenum of Pliny, a city of Mesopotamia, situated upon the Euphrates, near where it is divided into two arms, by one of which, it is probable, it was divided into two parts.
2 Kings 17:24
and have
10:10,11; 2 Kings 17:5-7; 18:10-12

Verse 20
Who are they among all the gods of these lands, that have delivered their land out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?
that the Lord
37:18,19,23-29; 45:16,17; Exodus 5:2; 2 Kings 19:22-37; 2 Chronicles 32:15,19; Job 15:25,26; 40:9-12; Psalms 50:21; 73:9; Daniel 3:15

Verse 21
But they held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king's commandment was, saying, Answer him not.
2 Kings 18:26,37; Psalms 38:13-15; 39:1; Proverbs 9:7; 26:4; Amos 5:13; Matthew 7:6

Verse 22
Then came Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, that was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.
with their
33:7; 37:1,2; 2 Kings 5:7; Ezra 9:3; Matthew 26:65; The history of the invasion of Sennacherib, observes Bp. Lowth, and the miraculous destruction of his army, which makes the subject of so many of Isaiah's prophecies, is very properly inserted here, as affording the best light to many parts of these prophecies; and as almost necessary to introduce the prophecy in the 37th chapter, being the answer of God to Hezekiah's prayer, which could not be properly understood without it. Sennacherib succeeded his father Shalmaneser on the throne of Assyria, A.M. 3290, B.C. 714, and reigned only about eight years.


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Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 36:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, October 23rd, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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