Isaiah 36:17
Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.
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36:1-22:See 2Ki 18:17-37, and the commentary thereon.Until I come - These are the words of the king of Assyria delivered by Rabshakeh. It was proposed that they should remain safely in Jerusalem until Sennacherib should himself come and remove them to his own land. He was now engaged in the siege of Lachish Isaiah 36:2, and it is probable that he purposed to take some other of the unsubdued towns in that part of Palestine.

And take you away - It was common for conquerors in ancient times to remove a vanquished people from their own country. They did this either by sending them forth in colonies to people some unsettled region, or by removing the body of them to the land of the conqueror. This was done for various purposes. It was sometimes to make slaves of them; sometimes for the purposes of triumph; but more commonly to secure them from revolt. In this manner the ten tribes were removed from the kingdom of Samaria; and thus also the Jews were carried to Babylon. Suetonius says (chapter xxi.) of Augustus. that he removed the Suevi and the Sicambri into Gaul, and stationed them on the Rhine. The same thing was also practiced in Egypt, for the purpose of securing the people from revolt Genesis 47:21.

A land like your own land - A fertile land, abounding in the same productions as your own.

And wine - Palestine was celebrated for the vine. The idea is, that in the land to which he would remove them, they should not want.

16. agreement … by … present—rather, "make peace with me"; literally, "blessing" so called from the mutual congratulations attending the ratification of peace. So Chaldee. Or else, "Do homage to me" [Horsley].

come out—surrender to me; then you may remain in quiet possession of your lands till my return from Egypt, when I will lead you away to a land fruitful as your own. Rab-shakeh tries to soften, in the eyes of the Jews, the well-known Assyrian policy of weakening the vanquished by deporting them to other lands (Ge 47:21; 2Ki 17:6).

No text from Poole on this verse.

Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land,..... Some have thought, as Jerom observes, that the land of Media was meant, which bore some likeness to the land of Judea in situation and fruitfulness. Maimonides thinks that Africa is intended (l). Rabshakeh names no land, nor could he name any like, or equal to, the land of Canaan; he could not conceal his intention to remove them from their own land to another; this having been always done by the king of Assyria to people conquered by him, and as was usual for conquerors to do, that so the conquered might have no expectation or opportunity of recovering their own land:

a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards; corn for bread, and vineyards for wine, and both for food and drink; such a land was the land of Judea. The description agrees with Deuteronomy 8:8. Rabshakeh was well acquainted with the land of Judea; and this seems to confirm the conjecture of the Jews, that he was one of their people, since he could speak their language, and describe their land so well; all this he said to sooth and persuade them to a voluntary surrender.

(l) See T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 94. 1.

Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.
17. But only for a time! The Rabshakeh does not conceal from them that their ultimate fate will be deportation; although he tries to present it in an attractive light. The parallel verse in 2 Kings (2 Kings 18:31) contains these additional words “a land of oil olive and of honey, that ye may live, and not die; and hearken not unto Hezekiah.”

Verse 17. - Until I come and take you away. It was so much thee usual policy of Assyria to remove to a new locality a conquered people, which had given them trouble, that Rabshakeh felt safe in assuming that the fate in store for the Jews, if they submitted themselves, was a transplantation. Sargon had transported the Israelites to Gozan and Media (2 Kings 18:11), the Tibarcni to Assyria, the Commageni to Susiana ('Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 2. p. 423). Sennacherib himself had transported into Assyria more than two hundred thousand Aramaeans (ibid., p. 430). It might be confidently predicted that, if he conquered them, he would transplant the Jews. Rabshakeh tries to soften down the hardship of the lot before them by promises of a removal to a land equal in all respects to Palestine. To a land like your own land. This was certainly not a general principle of Assyrian administration. Nations were removed from the far north to the extreme south, and vice versa, from arid to marshy tracts, from fertile regions to comparative deserts. The security of the empire, not the gratification of the transported slaves, was the ruling and guiding principle of all such changes. A land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards. The writer of Kings adds, "a land of oil olive and of honey." (On the productiveness of Palestine, see Numbers 13:27; Numbers 14:7; Deuteronomy 1:23; Deuteronomy 8:7-9; Deuteronomy 11:11, 12.) Isaiah 36:17After Rabshakeh had refused the request of Hezekiah's representatives in this contemptuous manner, he turned in defiance of them to the people themselves. "Then Rabshakeh went near, and cried with a loud voice in the Jewish language (K. and spake), and said, Hear the words (K. the word) of the great king, the king of Asshur. Thus saith the king, Let not Hizkiyahu practise deception upon you (יסה, K. יסהיא)); for he cannot deliver you (K. out of his hand). And let not Hizkiyahu feed you with hope in Jehovah, saying, Jehovah will deliver, yea, deliver us: (K. and) this city will not be delivered into the hand of the king of Asshur. Hearken not to Hizkiyahu: for thus saith the king (hammelekh, K. melekh) of Asshur, Enter into a connection of mutual good wishes with me, and come out to me: and enjoy every one his vine, and every one his fig-tree, and drink every one the water of his cistern; till I come and take you away into a land like your land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread-corn and vineyards (K. a land full of fine olive-trees and honey, and live and do not die, and hearken not to Hizkiyahu); that Hizkiyahu to not befool you (K. for he befools you), saying, Jehovah will deliver us! Have the gods of the nations delivered (K. really delivered) every one his land out of the hand of the king of Asshur? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? where the gods of Sepharvayim (K. adds, Hena‛ and ‛Ivah)? and how much less (וכי, K. כּי) have they delivered that Samaria out of my hand? Who were they among all the gods of these (K. of the) lands, who delivered their land out of my hand? how much less will Jehovah deliver Jerusalem out of my hand!? The chronicler also has this continuation of Rabshakeh's address in part (2 Chronicles 32:13-15), but he has fused into one the Assyrian self-praise uttered by Rabshakeh on his first and second mission. The encouragement of the people, by referring to the help of Jehovah (2 Chronicles 32:6-8), is placed by him before this first account is given by Isaiah, and forms a conclusion to the preparations for the contest with Asshur as there described. Rabshakeh now draws nearer to the wall, and harangues the people. השּׁיא is construed here with a dative (to excite treacherous hopes); whereas in 2 Chronicles 32:15 it is written with an accusative. The reading מיּדו is altered from מיּדי in Isaiah 36:20, which is inserted still more frequently by the chronicler. The reading את־העיר with תנּתן is incorrect; it would require ינּתן (Ges. 143, 1a). To make a berâkhâh with a person was equivalent to entering into a relation of blessing, i.e., into a state of mind in which each wished all prosperity to the other. This was probably a common phrase, though we only meet with it here. יצא, when applied to the besieged, is equivalent to surrendering (e.g., 1 Samuel 11:3). If they did that, they should remain in quiet possession and enjoyment, until the Assyrian fetched them away (after the Egyptian campaign was over), and transported them to a land which he describes to them in the most enticing terms, in order to soften down the inevitable transportation. It is a question whether the expansion of this picture in the book of Kings is original or not; since ועוּה הנע in Isaiah 36:19 appears to be also tacked on here from Isaiah 37:13 (see at this passage). On Hamath and Arpad (to the north of Haleb in northern Syria, and a different place from Arvad equals Arad), see Isaiah 10:9. Sepharvayim (a dual form, the house of the Sepharvı̄m, 2 Kings 17:31) is the Sipphara of Ptol. v. 18, 7, the southernmost city of Mesopotamia, on the left bank of the Euphrates; Pliny's Hipparenum on the Narraga, i.e., the canal, nehar malkâ, the key to the irrigating or inundating works of Babylon, which were completed afterwards by Nebuchadnezzar (Plin. h. n. vi. 30); probably the same place as the sun-city, Sippara, in which Xisuthros concealed the sacred books before the great flood (see K. Mller's Fragmenta Historicorum Gr. ii.-501-2). פּן in Isaiah 36:18 has a warning meaning (as if it followed לכם השּׁמרו ); and both וכי and כּי in Isaiah 36:19, Isaiah 36:20, introduce an exclamatory clause when following a negative interrogatory sentence: and that they should have saved," or "that Jehovah should save," equivalent to "how much less have they saved, or will He save" (Ewald, 354, c; comp. אף־כּי, 2 Chronicles 32:15). Rabshakeh's words in Isaiah 36:18-20 are the same as those in Isaiah 10:8-11. The manner in which he defies the gods of the heathen, of Samaria, and last of all of Jerusalem, corresponds to the prophecy there. It is the prophet himself who acts as historian here, and describes the fulfilment of the prophecy, though without therefore doing violence to his character as a prophet.
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