“Glory To The Lamb Jesus”/Isaiah 36, “Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem”

Christian Living

“I Surrender All,” CeCe Winans

“Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem,” Isaiah 36:1) 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.   2 Chronicles 32:1.  2) And the king of Assyria sent Rabsakeh 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.  2 Kings 14:19; Micah 1:13.  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.  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 trusteth?  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?  6) Lo, thou trusteth 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.  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?  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.  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?  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.  11) Then said Eliakim and Shebna and Joah unto Rabshakeh, Speak, i pray thee, unto thy servants in 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.

Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary – v1, The fourteenth  year of king Hezekiah’s sole reign was 701 B. C.  v2, The Rabshakeh  may have been the king’s personal advisor.  v3, Eliakim … Shebna:    For further details, see 22:15-23.  v4, 5, Only the Assyrian leader is referred to here as king, not Hezekiah.   v6, Judah had refused to listen to Isaiah’s insistence that reliance on Egypt was worthless (19:14-16; 30:3, 7; 31:3).   Here they were given the same warning from their enemy.  v7,  taken away:  Hezekiah had taken away the idolatrous high places and altars that his father Ahaz had built (see 2 Kings 18:1-5; 2 Chronicles 31:1-3).  v8, riders:  Micah referred to Jerusalem’s soldiers as just a “troop” (Micah 5:1) compared to the enormous army of Assyria (Micah 4:11).  v9, one captain of the least:  Judah had no hope of defeating the force that surrounded him.  v10, The Lord said to me:  These words about The Lord were no more than a boast.  v11, 12 Aramaic was the language of diplomatic diplomacy during during this period.

Quest Study Bible – SCRIPTURE LINK (chs. 36-39) This portion of Isaiah is nearly identical to material found in 2 Kings 18:13–20:19.  Many say Isaiah adapted this material from 2 Kings, while others point out both writers could have borrowed from a third, unknown source.  v1, “Why did Isaiah switch his writing style?   Up to this point, the writing style has mostly been poetry.  Suddenly it prose — a straight narration of history.  The events narrated in chs. 36-39, however parallel the Prophecies just given.  In may ways, these chapters provide a transition between Prophecies about an Assyrian threat and a more potent Babylonian threat which begins in ch. 40 but is hinted at in chs. 38-39.   v4-5, “How  did Hezekiah rebel against Assyria?”   Perhaps resisted the Assyrian invasion and did not surrender completely or quickly.  Or he may have contemplated recruiting Egyptian assistance (v. 6).  The Assyrians, under king Sennacherib, had conquered every major city in Judah, except Jerusalem.   Finally, Hezekiah paid Sennacherib a sizable tribute, hoping to appease the Assyrians (2 Kings 18:14-16).  The Assyrians, however, were not bought off so easily.   v6, “Was Hezekiah depending on Egypt as charged?”   (36:6).  See  “Was the report of Egyptian aid true?”  (37:9).  v7, “Why did Hezekiah restrict Worship Of God?”  The Assyrian commander was referring to the time when Hezekiah removed all the high places and altars where the people of Judah Worshiped God  (2 Kings 18:4).  What the commander didn’t say was that these high places and altars were also often used by people to worship false gods.  The commander was trying to make the people of Judah doubt Hezekiah’s commitment to God.  v10, “Why did Sennacherib claim to follow The Lord’s Directions?”  Such a claim would have struck terror into the hearts of the people of Judah—to think that this enemy was actually following The Lord’s Command!  It’s true that The Lord Did Use Assyria To Punish The People of Israel And Judah, but the Assyrian commander didn’t realize Assyria was about to feel The Heat Of God’s Judgment.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Bible Commentary – See 2 Kings 18:17-37, and the commentary thereon.

2 Kings 18:17-37) Rebshakeh tries to convince the Jews, that it was to no purpose for them to stand it out.  What Confidence is this wherein thou Trustest?  It were well if sinners would submit to the force of this argument, In Seeking Peace With God.  It is, therefore, Our Wisdom to Yield To Him, Because It Is In Vain To Contend (Struggle) with Him.  A great deal of art there is in this speech of Rabshakeh, but a great deal of pride, malice, falsehood, and blasphemy.  Hezekiah’s nobles held their peace.  There is a time to keep silence, as well as a time to speak (Ecclesiastes 3:7); and these are those to whom to offer any thing Religious or rational, Is To Cast Pearls Before Swine (Matthew 7:6).  Their silence made Rabshakeh yet more proud and secure.  It is often best to leave such persons to rail and blaspheme; a decided expression of abhorrence is the best testimony against them.  The Matter Must Be Left To The Lord, Who Has All Hearts In His Hands, Committing Ourselves Unto Him In Humble Submission, Believing Hope And Fervent Prayer.  Amen.       


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