2 Kings 18:10
And at the end of three years they took it: even in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is in the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken.
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(10) They took it—i.e., the Assyrians took it. This reading is preferable to that of the LXX., Syriac, and Vulg. (“he took it”), as it was Sargon, not Shalman-eser, who took the city. Schrader is too positive in calling this “a certainly false pronunciation” of the Hebrew verb. (Comp. Note on 2Kings 17:5.) 2Kings 17:6, to which he refers as “decisive” for the singular here also, says that “the king of Assyria” (not Shalmaneser) took Samaria.

18:9-16 The descent Sennacherib made upon Judah, was a great calamity to that kingdom, by which God would try the faith of Hezekiah, and chastise the people. The secret dislike, the hypocrisy, and lukewarmness of numbers, require correction; such trials purify the faith and hope of the upright, and bring them to simple dependence on God.These verses repeat the account given in the marginal reference. The extreme importance of the event may account for the double insertion. 7, 8. he rebelled against the king of Assyria—that is, the yearly tribute his father had stipulated to pay, he, with imprudent haste, withdrew. Pursuing the policy of a truly theocratic sovereign, he was, through the divine blessing which rested on his government, raised to a position of great public and national strength. Shalmaneser had withdrawn from Palestine, being engaged perhaps in a war with Tyre, or probably he was dead. Assuming, consequently, that full independent sovereignty which God had settled on the house of David, he both shook off the Assyrian yoke, and, by an energetic movement against the Philistines, recovered from that people the territory which they had taken from his father Ahaz (2Ch 28:18). At the end of three years, to wit, of the siege, i.e. in the third year, as this phrase is used, Deu 14:28 Joshua 9:16,17 Jer 34:14, compared with Exodus 21:2. And at the end of three years they took it,.... That is, at the first end of them, at the beginning, in which sense the phrase is taken in Deuteronomy 15:1, even in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is, the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken: see 2 Kings 17:6. And at the end of three years they took it: even in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is in the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken.
10. at the end of three years they took it] The consonants of the word rendered ‘they took it’ might, if different vowel points were added to them, be translated ‘he took it’. That the vowels for the plural form have been written by the Massoretes can only be the result of a long retained tradition. The history must have died out of their knowledge entirely, but the word had been read as ‘they took it’ from the earliest times, and in that form they recorded it when they added the vowels to make their reading clear to the eye. Notice has already been taken of the remarkable way in which the Biblical record, though containing no record that the commencement of the siege and its close were in different reigns, yet avoids here any mistake in the history by the use of the pronoun ‘they’. See note on 2 Kings 17:6 above. The siege of Samaria lasted from b.c. 724 to b.c. 722 and the capture was among the earliest events of Sargon’s reign.Verse 10. - And at the end of three years they took it. The expression, "at the end of three years," does not show that the three years were complete. On the contrary, as the siege Began in Hezekiah's fourth year, probably in the spring, and was over in his sixth, say, by the autumn, the entire duration was not more than two years and a half. The plural verb, יִלְכְּדֻהָ, "they took it," is remarkable, since it would have seemed more natural to write יִלְכְּדָהּ, "he took it" - and so the LXX., the Vulgate, and the Syriac - but the writer seems to have known that Shalmaneser did not take it, but died during the siege, the capture falling into the first year of Sargon (see the 'Eponym Canon,' pp. 65, 66). Even in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is the ninth year of Hoshea King of Israel (see the comment on ver. 9), Samaria was taken (comp. 2 Kings 17:6). As ruler Hezekiah walked in the footsteps of his ancestor David. He removed the high places and the other objects of idolatrous worship, trusted in Jehovah, and adhered firmly to Him without wavering; therefore the Lord made all his undertakings prosper. הבּמות, המּצּבית, and האשׁרה (see at 1 Kings 14:23) embrace all the objects of idolatrous worship, which had been introduced into Jerusalem and Judah in the reigns of the former kings, and more especially in that of Ahaz. The singular האשׁרה is used in a collective sense equals האשׁרים (2 Chronicles 31:1). The only other idol that is specially mentioned is the brazen serpent which Moses made in the wilderness (Numbers 21:8-9), and which the people with their leaning to idolatry had turned in the course of time into an object of idolatrous worship. The words, "to this day were the children of Israel burning incense to it," do not mean that this took place without interruption from the time of Moses down to that of Hezekiah, but simply, that it occurred at intervals, and that the idolatry carried on with this idol lasted till the time of Hezekiah, namely, till this king broke in pieces the brazen serpent, because of the idolatry that was associated with it. For further remarks on the meaning of this symbol, see the Comm. on Numbers 21:8-9. The people called (ויּקרא, one called) this serpent נחשׁתּן, i.e., a brazen thing. This epithet does not involve anything contemptuous, as the earlier commentators supposed, nor the idea of "Brass-god" (Ewald).
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