Isaiah 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 rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.
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(22) With their clothes rent.—The act was the natural expression of their horror at the blasphemy of Rabshakeh’s words. (Comp. Matthew 26:65; Acts 14:14.) They would not reply to that blasphemy, and trusted to the effect of this silent protest on the minds of the people who had heard it.

36:1-22:See 2Ki 18:17-37, and the commentary thereon.With their clothes rent - This was a common mark of grief among the Jews (see 2 Samuel 3:21; 1 Kings 21:27; Ezra 9:3; Job 1:20; Job 2:12; Jeremiah 36:24; and the notes at Matthew 26:65; notes at Acts 14:14). The causes of their griefs were the insolence and arrogance of Rabshakeh; the proposal to surrender the city; the threatening of the siege on the one hand, and of the removal on the other, and the blasphemy of the name of their God, and the reproach of the king. All these things filled their hearts with grief, and they hastened to make report to Hezekiah. 22. clothes rent—in grief and horror at the blasphemy (Mt 26:65). The history related here, and in the three following chapters, is, for the substance of it, and almost wholly in the same words, contained 2 Kings 18:1-20:21. It is fitly inserted here, to explain and confirm some of the foregoing predictions. It may seem to have been first written by this prophet, and from him to have been taken into the Book of Kings, to complete that history.

Then came Eliakim, that was over the household,.... The first of the commissioners sent to Rabshakeh:

and Shebna the Scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, to Hezekiah: by which it seems that he could not be with them on the wall, but was all the while in his own palace, whither they came to him, to report the issue of their conference with Rabshakeh:

with their clothes rent; which was done perhaps not in the presence and within the sight of Rabshakeh, but as they came along; and that partly on account of the blasphemies they had heard, Matthew 26:65, and partly through the grief of heart, for the distress and calamity they might fear were coming on themselves, their king, their city, and country, Joel 2:13,

and told him the words of Rabshakeh; what he had said against him, and against the God of Israel, his menaces and his blasphemies; they made a faithful report of the whole, as messengers ought to do. What effect this had upon the king, we have an account of in the following chapter.

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 rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.
Verse 22. - With their clothes rent. Garments were "rent," not only as a sign of mourning, but whenever persons were shocked or horrified (see Genesis 37:29; 1 Samuel 4:12; 2 Samuel 1:2; Ezra 9:3; 2 Chronicles 34:19; Matthew 26:65). The Jewish officials meant to mark their horror at Rabshakeh's blasphemies.

Isaiah 36:22The effect of Rabshakeh's words. "But they held their peace (K. and they, the people, held their peace), and answered him not a word; for it was the king's commandment, saying, Ye shall not answer him. Then came Eliakim son of Hilkiyahu (K. Hilkiyah), the house-minister, and Shebna the chancellor, and Joah son of Asaph, the recorder, to Hizkiyahu, with torn clothes, and told him the words of Rabshakeh." It is only a superficial observation that could commend the reading in Kings, "They, the people, held their peace," which Hitzig and Knobel prefer, but which Luzzatto very properly rejects. As the Assyrians wished to speak to the king himself (2 Kings 18:18), who sent the three to them as his representatives, the command to hear, and to make no reply, can only have applied to them (and they had already made the matter worse by the one remark which they had made concerning the language); and the reading ויּחרישׁוּ in the text of Isaiah is the correct one. The three were silent, because the king had imposed the duty of silence upon them; and regarding themselves as dismissed, inasmuch as Rabshakeh had turned away from them to the people, they hastened to the king, rending their clothes, in despair and grief and the disgrace they had experienced.
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