2 Kings 18:8
He smote the Philistines, even to Gaza, and the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) He smote.He it was who smote. The reduction of the Philistines was probably subsequent to the retreat of Sennacherib. (Comp. 2Chronicles 32:22; Isaiah 11:14.)

Unto Gaza.—The southernmost part of the Philistine territory.

From the tower of the watchmen . . . city.—See Note on 2Kings 17:9. The entire land of Philistia was ravaged by the Judean forces.

2 Kings 18:8. He smote the Philistines even unto Gaza — And recovered from them what his father had lost, and more, 2 Chronicles 28:18. From the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city — That is, all the country over, both the country villages and fortified towns. When he had purged out the corruptions which his father had brought in, he might expect to recover the possessions which his father had lost. These his victories over the Philistines had been foretold by Isaiah 14:28.18:1-8 Hezekiah was a true son of David. Some others did that which was right, but not like David. Let us not suppose that when times and men are bad, they must needs grow worse and worse; that does not follow: after many bad kings, God raised one up like David himself. The brazen serpent had been carefully preserved, as a memorial of God's goodness to their fathers in the wilderness; but it was idle and wicked to burn incense to it. All helps to devotion, not warranted by the word of God, interrupt the exercise of faith; they always lead to superstition and other dangerous evils. Human nature perverts every thing of this kind. True faith needs not such aids; the word of God, daily thought upon and prayed over, is all the outward help we need.Sargon had established the complete dominion of Assyria over the Philistines. Hence, the object of Hezekiah's Philistine campaign was not so much conquest as opposition to the Assyrian power. How successful it was is indicated in the Assyrian records by the number of towns in this quarter which Sennacherib recovered before he proceeded against Jerusalem. 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). He smote the Philistines, and recovered from them what his father had lost, 2 Chronicles 28:18, and more.

From the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city; of which phrase See Poole "2 Kings 17:9". He smote the Philistines even unto Gaza, and the borders thereof,.... Who in his father's time had invaded Judah, and taken many cities and towns in it, which Hezekiah now recovered, and drove them to their own territories, of which Gaza was one; see 2 Chronicles 28:18.

from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city; that is, places both great and small, cities, towns, and villages; of this phrase, see 2 Kings 17:9.

He smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza, and the borders thereof, {c} from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.

(c) Read 2Ki 17:9.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. he smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza] Gaza was the most southern of the five great towns of the Philistines, so that it is intimated that the whole land of Philistia was overrun by the king of Judah.

from the tower of the watchmen, &c.] See above on 2 Kings 17:9 note.Verse 8. - He smote the Philistines. Hezekiah's Philistine war seems to have followed on an attempt which Sargon made to bring the whole country under the Assyrian dominion. Sargon attacked Philistia in B.C. 720, made Gaza and the other towns subject, and committed the custody of them to tributary kings, in whom he had confidence. But opposition soon manifested itself. Sargon's creatures were expelled - Akhimiti from Ash-clod, Padi from Ekron. Hezekiah assisted in this war of independence, attacked Sargon's viceroys, and helped the cities to free themselves. About the year B.C. 711 Sargon speaks of a league against Assyria, to which the parties were Philistia, Judaea, Edom, and Moab ('Eponym Canon,' p. 130). The Philistines, whom Hezekiah "smote," must be regarded as Assyrian partisans, whom he chastised in the interests of the national party. He did not seek conquests in Philistia for himself. Even unto Gaza. Gaza seems to have remained faithful to Assyria from its capture in B.C. 720. And the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen unto the fenced city. (On this expression, see the comment upon 2 Kings 17:9.) Length and character of Hezekiah's reign.

(Note: On comparing the account of Hezekiah's reign given in our books (2 Kings 18-20) with that in 2 Chronicles 29-32, the different plans of these two historical works are at once apparent. The prophetic author of our books first of all describes quite briefly the character of the king's reign (2 Kings 18:1-8), and then gives an elaborate description of the invasion of Judah by Sennacherib and of his attempt to get Jerusalem into his power, together with the destruction of the proud Assyrian force and Sennacherib's hasty return to Nineveh and death (2 Kings 18:13-19, 2 Kings 18:37); and finally, he also gives a circumstantial account of Hezekiah's illness and recovery, and also of the arrival of the Babylonian embassy in Jerusalem, and of Hezekiah's conduct on that occasion (2 Kings 20). The chronicler, on the other hand, has fixed his chief attention upon the religious reformation carried out by Hezekiah, and therefore first of all describes most elaborately the purification of the temple from all idolatrous abominations, the restoration of the Jehovah-cultus and the feast of passover, to which Hezekiah invited all the people, not only the subjects of his own kingdom, but the remnant of the ten tribes also (2 Chronicles 29-31); and then simply gives in 2 Kings 32 the most summary account of the attack made by Sennacherib upon Jerusalem and the destruction of his army, of the sickness and recovery of Hezekiah, and of his great riches, the Babylonian embassy being touched upon in only the most casual manner. The historical character of the elaborate accounts given in the Chronicles of Hezekiah's reform of worship and his celebration of the passover, which Thenius follows De Wette and Gramberg in throwing doubt upon, has been most successfully defended by Bertheau as well as others. - On the disputed question, in what year of Hezekiah's reign the solemn passover instituted by him fell, see the thorough discussion of it by C. P. Caspari (Beitrr. z. Einleit. in d. B. Jesaia, pp. 109ff.), and our Commentary on the Chronicles, which has yet to appear.)

2 Kings 18:1, 2 Kings 18:2. In the third year of Hoshea of Israel, Hezekiah became king over Judah, when he was twenty-five years old. According to 2 Kings 18:9, 2 Kings 18:10, the fourth and sixth years of Hezekiah corresponded to the seventh and ninth of Hoshea; consequently his first year apparently ran parallel to the fourth of Hoshea, so that Josephus (Ant. ix. 13, 1) represents him as having ascended the throne in the fourth year of Hoshea's reign. But there is no necessity for this alteration. If we assume that the commencement of his reign took place towards the close of the third year of Hoshea, the fourth and sixth years of his reign coincided for the most part with the sixth and ninth years of Hoshea's reign. The name הזקיּה or הזקיּהוּ (2 Kings 18:9, 2 Kings 18:13, etc.) is given in its complete form יהזקיּהוּ, "whom Jehovah strengthens," in 2 Chronicles 29ff. and Isaiah 1:1; and והזקיּה in Hosea 1:1 and Micah 1:1. On his age when he ascended the throne, see the Comm. on 2 Kings 16:2. The name of his mother, אבי, is a strongly contracted form of אבי (2 Chronicles 29:1).

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