36:1 - 39:8. Historic Events and Prophecies. (Hezekiah).

C  Z  A  36:1 -37:13. The King of Assyria. His summons to surrender Jerusalem.
        B  37:14-20. Hezekiah's fear and prayer.
         C  37:21-38. Isaiah. Answer to prayer, and promise of deliverance from Sennacherib.
    Z  A  38:1 "The King of Terrors". His solemn summons to Hezekiah to surrender his life.
         B  38:2,3. Hezekiah's fear and prayer.
          C  38:4-22. Isaiah. Answer to prayer and promise of deliverance from death.
    Z  A  39:1. The King of Babylon. His letters and present.
         B  39:2. Hezekiah. Fearless and prayerless.
          C  39:3-8. Isaiah. His message of deliverance to Babylon.

36:1 - 37:13. The King of Assyria.

A  D  36:1-21. Rabshakeh. First embassy.
     E  36:22 - 37:7. Hezekiah. Reception of message.
    D  37:8-13. Rabshakeh. Second embassy.

36:1-21. Rabshakeh. (First Embassy).

D  u  1,2. Rabshakeh. Mission.
    v  3. Elakim. Comes forth.
   u  4-10. Rabshakeh. Message to Hezekiah.
    v  11. Eliakim. Answer.
   u  12-20. Rabshakeh. Message to the People.
    v  21. Eliakim. Answer him not.

(for the general notes on this chapter see notes on 2 Kings 18:13 - 20:19)

603 B.C.

Isaiah 36)

1 Now it came to pass (note the insertion of these historical events in the midst of prophecy, corresponding with those concerning the reign of Ahaz. Cp. 2 Kings 18:13 - 20:19, on which Isaiah is not dependent, and 2 Chron. 32:1-33, which is not dependent on either. This history is a proof of Isaiah's prophetic mission and gifts. History and prophecy are thus combined: for the latter is history foretold, and the former is [in this and many cases] prophecy fulfilled: the two accounts being perfectly independent) in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah (i.e. 628 B.C. After Hezekiah's reformation [2 Chron. 29:1 -32:1]. Samaria had been taken by Shalmanesser in Hezekiah's 6th year [2 Kings 18:10]. The date [14th year] no "error"), that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah, and took them. (see the lst and number of the [46] on Sennacherib's hexagonal cylinder in the British Museum. See 2 Kings 18:13)
2 And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh (or, "political officer". Probably a renegade Jew) from Lachish (now Tell el Hesy, or Umm Lakis. See the work on the excavations there, published by the "Palestine Exploration Fund". Cp. note on 2 Kings 18:17; and 19:8) to Jerusalem to king Hezekiah with a great army (foretold in 29:1-6, as foretold in 22:15-25). And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool (in the same spot where Isaiah stood with Ahaz 28 years before. See 7:3) in the highway of the fuller's field.

3 Then came forth to him Eliakim (see and cp. 22:20-25. The promise of 22:20,21, was already fulfilled), Hilkiah's son, which was over the house (fig., put for the whole household. Eliakim fulfills Shebna's office, as foretold in 22:15-25), and Shebna (see 22:15) the scribe (or secretary. Title used of a state officer, first in 2 Sam.8:17. Connected with finance [2 Kings 22:3]. Jer. 25), and Joah, Asaph's son, the recorder.

4 And Rabshakeh said to them, Say you all now to Hezekiah, Thus says the great king (contrast Ps.47:2), the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein you have confided? (see Hezekiah's "Songs of the Degree" Pss. 121:3; 125:1,2; 127:1; 130:5-8; and 2 Kings 18:13)
5 I say, says you (some codices read "You say", as in 2 Kings 18:20), {but they are but lip-talk} I have counsel and strength for war: now on whom do you trust, that you rebel against me?
6 Lo, you have confided 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 you all say to me, We trust in the Lord our God: is it not He (Manifesting Rabshakeh's ignorance), Whose high places and Whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and said to Judah and to Jerusalem, You all shall worship before this altar?
8 Now therefore give pledges, I pray you, to my master (Heb. adonai) the king of Assyria, and I will give thee two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders upon them.
9 How then will you turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants, and put your confidence on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? (Hezekiah at first looked for help there [see 20:3-6; 30:2-5; 2 Kings 18:21)
10 And am I now come up without the Lord against this land to destroy it? (as foretold 28 years before [10:6-8]. If Rabshakeh knew of this, it shows the falsehood of "half the truth") the Lord said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.

11 Then said Eliakim and Shebna and Joah to Rabshakeh (this led only to grosser insults), Speak, I pray you, to your servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and speak not to us in the Jews' language (the name by which the People were known of old, to foreigners. See v.2. No proof of a later authorship. "Hebrew" is the later word for the language [cp. 19:18]), in the ears of the people that are on the wall.

12 But Rabshakeh said, Has my master sent me to your master and to you to speak these words? (see 2 Kings 19:16. Pss.120:2,3; 123:3,4) has he not sent me to the men that maintain their posts (i.e. till reduced to these extremities), that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?
13 Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and said, Hear you all the words of the great king, the king of Assyria.
14 Thus says the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you.
15 Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, The Lord will surely deliver us: this city (some codices read "and this city": i.e. "therefore this city") shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.
16 Listen not to Hezekiah: for thus says the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me: and eat all you men of his vine, and men of his fig tree, and drink all you men the waters of his own cistern;
17 Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land (as he did Israel [2 kings 18:11]), a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.
18 Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, The Lord will deliver us. [Reflect] Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
19 Where (or, Why, where. Some codices read "Where then") are the gods of Hamath (now Hama, north of Damascus [Amos 6:14]) and Arphad? (now Tell erfad, 13 miles north of Aleppo) where are the gods of Sepharvaim? (now Sippara on the Euphrates, above Babylon) and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand?
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?

21 But they held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king's commandment was, saying, Answer him not.

36:22 - 37:7. Hezekiah. Reception of Message.

E  w  36:22. Hezekiah. Message received from Rabshakeh.
    x  37:1. Yahaveh. Answer sought from.
   w  37:2-5. Hezekiah. Message sent to Isaiah.
    x  37:6,7. Yahaveh. Answer sent from.

603 B.C.

36:22 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 torn, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.

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