2 Kings 18:37
Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which 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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
18:17-37 Rabshakeh 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 with him: what confidence is that which those trust in who stand out against 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; and there are those to whom to offer any thing religious or rational, is to cast pearls before swine. 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.Arpad was situated somewhere in southern Syria; but it is impossible to fix its exact position. Sargon mentions it in an inscription as joining with Hamath in an act of rebellion, which he chastised. It was probably the capture and destruction of these two cities on this occasion which caused them to be mentioned together here (and in 2 Kings 19:13, and again in Isaiah 10:9). Sennacherib adduces late examples of the inability of the nations' gods to protect their cities. On the other cities mentioned in this verse, see 2 Kings 17:24 notes. 27. that they may eat, &c.—This was designed to show the dreadful extremities to which, in the threatened siege, the people of Jerusalem would be reduced. No text from Poole on this verse. And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris, and Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem,.... Notwithstanding he took the above large sum of money of him, so false and deceitful was he: these were three generals of his army, whom he sent to besiege Jerusalem, while he continued the siege of Lachish; only Rabshakeh is mentioned in Isaiah 36:2 he being perhaps chief general, and the principal speaker; whose speech, to the end of this chapter, intended to intimidate Hezekiah, and dishearten his people, with some circumstances which attended it, are recorded word for word in Isaiah 36:1 throughout; See Gill on Isaiah 36:1 and notes on that chapter. Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which 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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
37. with their clothes rent] See note on Chap. 2 Kings 5:7.Verse 37. - Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent. They had rent their clothes, not so much in grief or in alarm, as in horror at Rabshakeh's blasphemies. They were blasphemies, no doubt, arising from "invincible ignorance," and not intended as insults to the one Almighty Being who rules the earth, of whose existence Rabshakeh had probably no conception; but they struck on Jewish ears as insults to Jehovah, and therefore as dreadful and horrible (comp. Genesis 37:29; 1 Samuel 4:12; 2 Samuel 1:2; Ezra 9:3, etc.). And told him the words of Rabshakeh; reported to him, i.e. as nearly as they could, all that Rabshakeh had said. The three envoys would supplement, and perhaps correct, one another; and Hezekiah would have conveyed to him a full and, on the whole, exact account of the message sent to him through Rabshakeh by the Assyrian king, and of Rabshakeh's method of enforcing it. The crisis of Hezekiah's life was reached. As he acted under it would be fixed his own fate, his character in the judgment of all future time, and the fate of his own country.



"Make peace with me and come out to me (sc., out of your walls, i.e., surrender to me), and ye shall eat every one his vine, ... till I come and bring you into a land like your own land..." בּרכה is used here to signify peace as the concentration of weal and blessing. The imperative ועכלוּ expresses the consequence of what goes before (vid., Ewald, 347, b.). To eat his vine and fig-tree and to drink the water of his well is a figure denoting the quiet and undisturbed enjoyment of the fruits of his own possession (cf. 1 Kings 5:5). Even in the event of their yielding, the Assyrian would transport the Jewish people into another land, according to the standing custom of Asiatic conquerors in ancient times (for proofs see Hengstenberg, De rebus Tyriis, pp. 51, 52). To make the people contented with this thought, the boaster promised that the king of Assyria would carry them into a land which was quite as fruitful and glorious as the land of Canaan. The description of it as a land with corn and new wine, etc., recalls the picture of the land of Canaan in Deuteronomy 8:8 and Deuteronomy 33:28. יצהר זית is the olive-tree which yields good oil, in distinction from the wild olive-tree. וגו וחיוּ: and ye shall live and not die, i.e., no harm shall befall you from me (Thenius). This passage is abridged in Isaiah 36:17.
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