2 Kings Chapter 19
2 Kings 19:1 “And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard [it], that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD.”
“Hezekiah” puts on the traditional garments of mourning and grief (Joel 1:13).
“Rent … sackcloth” (see note on 6:30). A reaction that symbolized Hezekiah’s grief, repentance and contrition. The nation had to repent and the king had to lead the way. Tearing clothes was a sign of deep mourning, often the result of sorrow or dismay. In his moment of need, Hezekiah humbled himself and prayed for help.
“House of the LORD” (see note on Isa. 37:1).
In the previous lesson, Hezekiah’s three men had come back and told him of the terrible insults the king of Assyria had made about Hezekiah and Judah, but worst, about the LORD. When Hezekiah heard the abominable things they had said about the LORD, he tore his clothes and went to the temple to pray. Hezekiah went for help to his LORD.
2 Kings 19:2 “And he sent Eliakim, which [was] over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.”
“Elders of the priests” (see note on Isa. 37:2).
“Isaiah the prophet” had full access to the king (chapters 18-20 are paralleled in Isa. 36-39).
The first reference (in 1 or 2 Kings), to one of the Lord’s greatest prophets (Isa. 1:1). He had already been ministering for 40 years since the days of Uzziah (Isa. 6:1), also called Azariah (14:21).
Eliakim and Shebna are 2 of the 3 men Hezekiah sent to speak to the 3 men sent by the Assyrian king. They were important in the household of Hezekiah. They also, would know the details of what happened, since they had brought the message to Hezekiah. Hezekiah had them to remain in their sackcloth for an outward expression to Isaiah of the seriousness of the matter. The elders of the priests went also. Isaiah was the prophet that Hezekiah used. Hezekiah knew the priesthood was not where it should be, and he sent for Isaiah.
2 Kings 19:3 “And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day [is] a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and [there is] not strength to bring forth.”
“This is a day of trouble and of rebuke and blasphemy”: From the Assyrian, who reviles and reproaches us.
“For the children”: We are like a poor travailing woman in great extremity, having no strength left to help herself, and to bring forth her infant into the world. We have attempted to deliver ourselves from the Assyrian yoke, and carried on that work to some maturity, and, as we thought, brought it to the birth. But now we have no strength to finish. We have begun a happy reformation, and are hindered by this insolent Assyrian from bringing it to perfection.
“Come to the birth … not strength” (see note Isaiah 37:3).
God’s people were not accustomed to being treated in this manner. The entire nation of Judah was in peril. They would not be able to fight off the advances of Assyria, unless the LORD intervenes. The blasphemy was the Assyrians comparing the Lord to the false gods of the heathen.
2 Kings 19:4 “It may be the LORD thy God will hear all the words of Rab-shakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up [thy] prayer for the remnant that are left.”
“It may be”: The Hebrew word introduces expressions of uncertainty but yet of hope.
“And will hear all the words”: (see note on 2 Kings 19:3). The LXX and Vulgate read, “and to rebuke with the words which the Lord,” etc. But the Syriac and Targum agree with the authorized version as regards the construction.
“Lift up”: Heavenwards (2 Chron. 32:2). Or we might compare the phrase “to lift up the voice” (Genesis 27:38), and render, “to utter” (Num. 23:7).
“Thy prayer”: A prayer.
“The remnant that are left”: The existing (or, present), remnant. Sennacherib had captured most of the strong cities of Judah, and “the daughter of Zion was left as a hut in a vineyard” (Isa. 1:8; compare note on 2 Chron. 32:1).
“Reproach the living God” (see note on Isa. 37:4).
Hezekiah thinks that Judah has offended God so greatly, that they probably are not even thought of as His anymore. He calls the LORD Isaiah’s God. Hezekiah is not sure what he has done, but feels that he must have offended God in something he had done. Hezekiah feels that Rab-shakeh and Assyria have reproached the living God. Hezekiah wants Isaiah to tell God what insults these Assyrians had made against Him. He also wants Isaiah to pray for the LORD to help them against the Assyrians.
2 Kings 19:5 “So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah.”
Superfluous, according to modern notions, but rounding off the paragraph commenced with (verse 2).
Verses 6-7: “Isaiah” assured Hezekiah that God would deal with the blasphemous Sennacherib. “The king of Assyria” would not capture Jerusalem and would subsequently be assassinated after returning to his own country (verses 32-34). Both predictions literally came to pass (verses 35-37).
2 Kings 19:6 “And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.”
“Be not afraid”: Sennacherib had blasphemed the Lord by equating Him with other gods. The Lord would personally demonstrate to the Assyrian king His superiority over all other so-called deities.
The message that Isaiah sends back to Hezekiah, is one of encouragement. God will take care of Hezekiah, because he had been faithful. Hezekiah has nothing to fear. God will punish those who blasphemed His name, mainly the Assyrians. Servants, speaking of the Assyrians, is a word that means lackeys. This is a negative meaning of servant. Notice, how quickly Isaiah answered them. God had probably already informed Isaiah.
2 Kings 19:7 “Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumor, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.”
“Blast”: The Lord promised to incline Sennacherib’s attitude in such a way the he would leave Jerusalem unharmed and return home. How the Lord did that is recorded (in verses 35-37).
This blast comes from God. Hezekiah will not have to fight them. God will fight them. Some believe this blast to be a spirit of cowardice. Whatever it is, he flees to his own country. His own sons will later kill Sennacherib with the sword.
Verses 8-19: This time, the king of Assyria claimed that “God” was guilty of deceiving Hezekiah, just as the “gods” of other “nations” had deceived their kings. But Hezekiah appealed to the “living” God. The One who “alone” dwells among, hears, and sees His people, knowing that those other gods were “the work of men’s hands (Isa. 37:14-16; 44:6).
2 Kings 19:8 “So Rab-shakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah: for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish.”
This takes up the narrative from (2 Kings 18:37). It is not said, but is probably to be understood, that Tartan and Rab-saris and the “great host” (2 Kings 18:17), departed with him, having been foiled of their purpose.
“Libnah”: (see note on 2 Kings 8:22). The great King had taken Lachish. (See note on 2 Chron. 32:9.) Its position is not yet determined. Schrader thinks it may be Tell-es-Sâfieh, west of Lachish, and north north-west of Eleutheropolis; in which case Sennacherib had already begun his retreat.
“Libnah” (see note on Isa. 37:8).
God does this so quickly, that Sennacherib is not even there when Rab-shakeh returns to Lachish. The king of Assyria is fighting another battle with Libnah.
Verses 9-13: The king of Assyria sent messengers to summarize the arguments given in the Rabshakeh’s ultimatum of (18:19-25).
2 Kings 19:9 “And when he heard say of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, Behold, he is come out to fight against thee: he sent messengers again unto Hezekiah, saying,”
“Tirhakah king of Ethiopia”: See note on Isa. 37:9.
“Tirhakah” was the field commander of the Egyptian forces for his brother Sebitku, the “king” of Egypt’s Twenty-fifth dynasty Tirhakah is given his subsequent royal title by the author of Kings. The Assyrian king has another message of psychological warfare for “Hezekiah” (verses 10-13).
This Tirhakah was a powerful warrior. He was King of Ethiopia, and had his eyes set on conquering Egypt. He would not let these Assyrians attack Egypt, because he wanted Egypt for himself. He is known by many similar names to the one given here. This letter is from Rab-shakeh, or actually Sennacherib.
2 Kings 19:10 “Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God in whom thou trustest deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.”
“Deceive”: The accusation of deception was first against Hezekiah (18:29), then against the Lord.
Verses 11-13: The threat repeated the thrust of (18:33-35).
2 Kings 19:11 “Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly: and shalt thou be delivered?”
All the countries, by putting them under the ban, i.e., solemnly devoting all that lived in them to extermination.
It is true that everyone had heard of the battles of Assyria, and how they had defeated so many. That does not necessarily mean however, that they would win in this battle. God can and will, defeat whomever He chooses.
Verses 12-13: The conquered cities mentioned here lay between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Mesopotamia, and were cities of Syria that had recently fallen to Sennacherib and the Assyrians.
2 Kings 19:12 “Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed; [as] Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which [were] in Thelasar?”
This “Eden” is an area at the bend of the Euphrates River in Mesopotamia, not the Garden of Eden in Genesis (Ezek. 27:23; Amos 1:5).
2 Kings 19:13 “Where [is] the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivah?”
He may mean the gods of these places, calling them their kings, because the people looked upon them as their protectors and governors, which kings are or should be to their subjects. Or rather, he means their kings, properly so called. And so, as before he compared their gods with the God of Jerusalem, so now he compares their kings with King Hezekiah. And by both comparisons intends to persuade Hezekiah and his people that neither he, their king, nor their God, was able to save them out of his hand.
2 Kings 19:14 “And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.”
“House of the LORD”: Godly Hezekiah returned to the house of the Lord (verse 1), as he should have, in contrast to Ahaz who in a similar crisis refused even to ask a sign from the Lord (Isa. 7:11-12).
This letter again blasphemes the LORD, by comparing him to the false gods of these countries that have fallen before the sword of Assyria. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind, that Assyria is a mighty army. The difference is, Judah worships the One True God that controls everyone and everything in this world. Hezekiah takes the letter to the temple for the LORD to see. Of course, the LORD already knows about this, but Hezekiah brings it to His attention by spreading the letter out before Him.
Verses 15-19: “Hezekiah” was truly a man of trust. He takes his concerns to God in prayer, believing that “God” would vindicate His name and deliver Jerusalem.
2 Kings 19:15 “And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest [between] the cherubims, thou art the God, [even] thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth.”
“Which dwellest … made heaven and earth” (see note on Isa. 37:16).
Notice, the recognition and elevating of the name of the LORD that Hezekiah brings in this prayer. He is the LORD God of Israel, but He is the creator of everything and everyone, including the heavens and the earth. The Creator of it all has control over His creation. This is what Hezekiah is saying.
2 Kings 19:16 “LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God.”
“Hear … see … and hear” (see note on Isa. 37:17).
Hezekiah had placed his faith in the LORD. He is asking the LORD to listen, and help him against these evil Assyrians. This letter blasphemes God. Notice the word “living”, which is saying everlasting.
Verses 17-18 (see note on Isa. 37:18-19).
2 Kings 19:17 “Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands,”
Sennacherib, and his predecessors, the long line of monarchs who have sat on the Assyrian throne for many past ages, have destroyed the nations and their lands. Rather, have laid waste, as in the parallel passage of Isaiah (Isa. 37:18). “Destroyed” is too strong a word. Hezekiah fully admits the boast of the Assyrian monarch, that he and his predecessors have had a wonderful career of success (compare Isa. 10:5-14); but he refuses to regard this past success as ensuring success in the future. All is in the hand of God, and will be determined as God pleases. It is not an iron necessity that rules the world, but a personal will, and this will may be affected by prayer, to which (verse 19), he therefore has recourse.
2 Kings 19:18 “And have cast their gods into the fire: for they [were] no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.”
In general, the Assyrians carried off the images of the gods from the temples of the conquered nations, and deposited them in their own shrines, as at once trophies of victory and proof of the superiority of the Assyrian deities over those of their enemies. But sometimes the gods are said to have been “destroyed” or “burnt with fire;” which was probably done when the idols were of rude workmanship or coarse material. And when it was inconvenient to encumber an army with spoils so weighty and difficult, of transport.
Hezekiah does not deny that they have destroyed the nations they had mentioned in the letter. It is common knowledge, they had done this. Hezekiah gives the correct reason for their destruction. They were depending on gods of stone and wood that were not really gods. The One True God did not help them, because He was not their God.
2 Kings 19:19 “Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou [art] the LORD God, [even] thou only.”
For if we be conquered, as other lands have been, they will say that thou art conquered, as the gods of those lands were. But, Lord, distinguish thyself by distinguishing us; and let all the world know, and be made to confess, that thou art the Lord, the self-existent God. Even thou only, and that all pretenders to divinity are vanity and a lie. Let it be observed here, that the best pleas in prayer are those which are taken from God’s honor, and the concerns thereof. And therefore the Lord’s Prayer begins with, Hallowed be thy name, and concludes with, Thine is the glory.
“Thou only”: See note on Isa. 37:20.
A victory against the Assyrians would be good for Judah, but it would also prove that the LORD is truly God. Hezekiah says, “show this evil blasphemer that you are really God”. When the LORD destroys Assyria and saves Judah, all the world will know that the LORD, He is God.
Verses 20-21: “God” hears the prayer of faith and sends His message to “Sennacherib.” God knows Sennacherib’s innermost thoughts and is about to deal in judgment with the proud “king” (verses 22-28).
Sennacherib had spoken against the Lord (“reproached and blasphemed … rage against Me”), and the one true God had heard every word. Now the Lord would have the final say “concerning him”. What’s more, God would prove that His were not just words: He would see to it that Sennacherib did not “come into” the “city”.
2 Kings 19:20 “Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, [That] which thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard.”
“Isaiah the son of Amoz” (see note on Isa. 37:17).
Hezekiah had not sent a messenger to Isaiah. God revealed to Isaiah what Hezekiah had prayed, and gave Isaiah the message for Hezekiah. “Thus saith the LORD God of Israel” shows the words that Isaiah spoke, were God’s Words in Isaiah’s mouth.
2 Kings 19:21 “This [is] the word that the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin the daughter of Zion hath despised thee, [and] laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.”
“Daughter of Zion” is often used in the Old Testament to personify Jerusalem and its populace (Psalm 9:14; Jer. 4:31; Zeph. 3:14; Zech. 2:10). This phrase expresses God’s love for Jerusalem.
“Laughed thee to scorn”: She has mocked you (see note on Isa. 37:22).
The daughter of Zion here, is probably speaking of Jerusalem. This is another way of saying, that they were not afraid of Assyria. The shaking of the head is a way of shaming Assyria. Zion is the city of God many times. It also speaks of the believers.
2 Kings 19:22 “Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? And against whom hast thou exalted [thy] voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? [even] against the Holy [One] of Israel.”
“Thou reproached and blasphemed”: The Lord had heard Sennacherib’s reproach against Him (verse 16).
Hezekiah is to ask them, do they even realize who they had blasphemed? He is then to answer his own question, by telling them that it is the Holy One of Israel. They have mocked the One True God, and they will regret it greatly.
Verses 23-24 (see note on Isa 37:24-25).
2 Kings 19:23 “By thy messengers thou hast reproached the Lord, and hast said, With the multitude of my chariots I am come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon, and will cut down the tall cedar trees thereof, [and] the choice fir trees thereof: and I will enter into the lodgings of his borders, [and into] the forest of his Carmel.”
Rab-shakeh and his companions.
The multitude. The reading of the Hebrew margin, of many manuscripts. Isaiah, and all the versions. The Hebrew text has “with the chariotry of my chariotry”, obviously, a scribe’s error.
“I am come up . . . mountains”: I (emphatic), have ascended lofty mountains. Such boasts are common in the Assyrian inscriptions.
“To the sides of Lebanon”: Thenius explains: “the spurs of the Lebanon, i.e., the strongholds of Judea, which Sennacherib had already captured.” “Lebanon, as the northern bulwark of the land of Israel, is used as a representative or symbol for the whole country (Zech. 11:1). The language is similar (in Isaiah 14:13).
“And will cut down”: Or, and I will fell the tallest cedars thereof, the choicest firs thereof. Cedars and firs in Isaiah’s language symbolize “kings, princes, and nobles, all that is highest and most stately” (Birks), or “the most puissant defenders” (Thenius) See (Isaiah 2:13; 10:33-34).
“The lodgings of his borders”: Or, the furthest lodging thereof i.e., Mount Zion or Jerusalem. Isaiah has height for lodging, either a scribe’s error or an editor’s correction.
“Carmel”: I.e., pleasure-garden or park (Isa. 10:18). The royal palace and grounds appear to be meant. Thenius compares “the house of the forest of Lebanon” (1 Kings 7:2).
These exact words had not come from Sennacherib. These were the things that Sennacherib had not said, but thought in his heart. This alone should tell him he is opposed to the One True God.
2 Kings 19:24 “I have digged and drunk strange waters, and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of besieged places.”
Scarcity of water has hitherto been no bar to my advance. In foreign and hostile lands, where the fountains and cisterns have been stopped and covered in (2 Chron. 32:3), I have digged new wells.
“And with the sole . . . places”: Rather, and I will dry up with the sole of my feet all the Nile. Neither mountains nor rivers avail to stop my progress. As the style is poetical, perhaps it would be correct to take the perfects, which (in 2 Kings 19:23-24), alternate with imperfects, in a future sense using the word “I”. I will ascend lofty mountains . . . I will dig and drink strange waters” the latter in the arid desert that lies between Egypt and Palestine. Otherwise, both perfects and imperfects may mark what is habitual: “I ascend . . . I dig.”
Sennacherib thought that because he had dug wells before and drunk of their water that would be the way here. He had elevated himself up, as if he were God.
Verses 25-28: “I brought it to pass” (see notes on Isa. 37:26-29).
2 Kings 19:25 “Hast thou not heard long ago [how] I have done it, [and] of ancient times that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste fenced cities [into] ruinous heaps.”
This verse and the three following contain Jehovah’s response to Sennacherib. The boaster is told that in all he has done he has been but God’s instrument, and that the events in which he has played that part had been ordained by the divine counsels long before.
The fame of God’s protection and leading of Israel might be expected to have penetrated to other nations. From their history the heathen might have learned that the people of the world are under the rule of the Lord, and that their destinies are ordered by Him.
“Now have I brought it to pass”: It was ordained long ago, and now I have permitted it to become a fact. With the whole of these four verses may be compared the Lord’s address to the Assyrian (Isa. 10:9-19). There that nation is described as the ‘rod of God’s anger’. It is God that sends him and gives him his charge to take spoil and prey. But hereafter the Lord will punish him also, and the glory of his high looks.
In the verse before this, the LORD was still telling what a great man Sennacherib had thought himself to be. Now, we see a change. The LORD is speaking to this evil king here. The LORD asks Sennacherib a question here. He asks him, had he ever heard that it was the LORD who brings wars for punishment against the people? It is the LORD who chooses who the victor is, for His purposes. It was even the LORD who allowed the victories of Assyria.
2 Kings 19:26 “Therefore their inhabitants were of small power, they were dismayed and confounded; they were [as] the grass of the field, and [as] the green herb, [as] the grass on the house tops, and [as corn] blasted before it be grown up.”
The people of Israel and Judah, and of other countries which thou hast conquered, because I had armed thee with my commission and strength, and had taken away their spirit and courage, and had withdrawn my help from them to give it to thee.
“They were as the grass of the field”: Which is weak, and quickly fades, and is unable to resist any hand or instrument which offers violence to it. As corn blasted before it be grown up. All their designs and hopes were disappointed before they could come to any perfection or success.
The reason the Assyrians were able to conquer the lands they had, was because their fear caused them to give up. The fear was placed in their hearts by the LORD. It also was the LORD who caused Assyria to think so highly of themselves, because of their accomplishments.
2 Kings 19:27 “But I know thy abode, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy rage against me.”
The verse expresses to the full, but with wonderful conciseness, how God has observed and is observing every action of Sennacherib. His dwelling, his movements to and fro, and the spirit which actuates them are all open before God’s eyes. And He identifies Himself so completely with Hezekiah and Jerusalem as to call the rage of the Assyrian against them rage against Himself.
God did not need to see their letter, to know of their rage against the LORD. He knew what was in their hearts.
2 Kings 19:28 “Because thy rage against me and thy tumult is come up into mine ears, therefore I will put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.”
“Thy tumult”: I.e. thy tumultuous noise, thy clamors and blasphemies which Rab-shakeh in My name aggressively spoke forth against Me with a loud voice (2 Kings 18:28).
“My hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips”: A metaphor from wild and furious beasts that must be thus managed.
“I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest”: I will cause thee to return to thy home with shame and loss.
Now that they have publicly proclaimed their defamation of the character of the LORD, they will not be allowed to go on. The LORD will turn them around by force that they do not even understand. They will be helpless to do otherwise. The Assyrians had put holes through the noses of their captives and led them away. The Lord says, He will do that to them. They will be like a bridled horse. They will have to go where He sends them.
Verses 29-31: God reassures Hezekiah of Jerusalem’s survival by giving him a sign.
2 Kings 19:29 “And this [shall be] a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat this year such things as grow of themselves, and in the second year that which springeth of the same; and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruits thereof.”
“Sign”: The two years in which they were sustained by the growth of the crops were the two in which Sennacherib ravaged them. He left immediately after the deliverance (verse 36), so in the third year the people remaining could plant again.
The attack of the Assyrians, at the time of planting, had stopped the people of Judah from planting crops. God is promising Judah a crop that comes up voluntarily for two years, and feeds them. The third year, they will plant and grow their own food. This will be a sign to them of the LORD’s supernatural protection of them.
Verses 30-31: “Remnant … remnant”: From the remnant of survivors in Jerusalem came descendants who covered the land once again (compare Isa. 1:9, 27; 3:10; 4:3; 6:13; 8:16-17; 10:20, 22; 11:12, 16; 26:1-4, 8; 27:12; 28:5; 37:4).
2 Kings 19:30 “And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall yet again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.”
“God continually promised to preserve a “remnant” of Israel (Micha 2:12-13; Zeph. 3:8-20).
In the Assyrian’s first attack on Judah, they had taken away over 200,000. There is just a remnant left. This remnant will take root, and grow.
2 Kings 19:31 “For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of mount Zion: the zeal of the LORD [of hosts] shall do this.”
“Zeal of the LORD”: The same confirmation of God’s promise in 19:7 assured the future establishment of the messianic kingdom. Deliverance from Sennacherib in Hezekiah’s day was a down payment on the literal restoration of Israel at Christ’s second coming.
This is saying, that the remnant that had hidden in the walled city of Jerusalem, will go forth and prosper. They will plant their fields again as they had before the attack from Assyria. It is not the people who bring this about, it is the LORD. The LORD loves them and will do this for them.
2 Kings 19:32 Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it.
“Shall not come … cast a bank” (see note on Isa. 37:33).
This is the LORD speaking an encouraging word to Hezekiah and to all of Judah. There will be no attack on Jerusalem of any kind by the Assyrians. God said it, and it was so.
2 Kings 19:33 “By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD.”
“By the way … the same shall he return” (see note on Isa. 37:34).
2 Kings 19:34 “For I will defend this city, to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.”
“For mine own sake”: Since Sennacherib had directly challenged the Lord’s faithfulness to His Word (verse 10), the faithfulness of God was at stake in this contest with the Assyrians (Ezek. 36:22-23).
Sennacherib’s defeat will vindicate God’s name, which had been blasphemed, and will attest God’s faithfulness in fulfilling the terms of the covenant with David. A righteous king on the throne of the house of David could expect God’s full blessing (2 Sam. 23:3-5).
“For my servant David’s sake”: God pledged to perpetuate David’s line on his throne (2 Sam. 7:16; compare Isa. 9:6-7; 11:1; 55:3).
Now we see the reason, the LORD will fight for His holy city Jerusalem. These Assyrians had blasphemed His name, and He will fight them. There will be no question who will win this battle. He will remember David also, and save Jerusalem.
Verses 35-37 (see notes on Isa. 37:36-38).
2 Kings 19:35 “And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they [were] all dead corpses.”
“The angel of the LORD”: For identification (see note on Exodus 3:2). For the angel as an agent of destruction (see Gen. 19:15; 2 Sam. 24:16).
Although in his annals Sennacherib claims the capture of 46 of Judah’s cities, he can claim to have initiated a siege only in the case of Jerusalem, a purely face-saving statement.
The very next night, after the LORD had sent this message to Hezekiah, the destroying angel came into the sleeping camp of the Assyrians and killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers. Since the angel was sent of the LORD, there was no noise to warn them. We do not know how many survivors there were, but whoever they were, they found all of the dead bodies.
2 Kings 19:36 “So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.”
Ashamed to see himself, after all his proud boasts, thus defeated, and unable to pursue his conquests, or even to secure what he had gained, the flower of his army being cut off. And continually afraid of falling under the like stroke himself. The manner of the expression, he “departed, and went, and returned”, intimates the great disorder and distraction of mind he was in.
It appears Sennacherib was one of the survivors. He went to Nineveh, where one of his palaces was. He probably did not want anything more to do with Judah and Judah’s God.
2 Kings 19:37 “And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esar-haddon his son reigned in his stead.”
Some 20 years later two of Sennacherib’s own “sons” assassinated him. A third son, “Esar-haddon” (681-668 B.C.), succeeded him.
It really is not known what false god he was worshipping, except for the name given here. It really does not matter, it is not the True God. His sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, killed him with a sword and his son Esar-haddon reigned in his place.
2 Kings Chapter 19 Questions
1. Why did Hezekiah tear his clothes?
2. Where did he go to pray?
3. Where did he send Eliakim, Shebna, and the elders of the priests?
4. What message did they bring Isaiah from Hezekiah?
5. Who did Hezekiah say, Rab-shakeh had reproached?
6. What request did Hezekiah make of Isaiah?
7. Why did Hezekiah call the LORD, Isaiah’s God?
8. What message did Isaiah send to Hezekiah?
9. What does verse 7 say, God will do to them?
10. When Rab-shakeh returned, who was the king of Assyria fighting?
11. Who was king of Ethiopia?
12. What sarcastic message did the Assyrian send to Hezekiah in a letter?
13. How does the letter blaspheme God?
14. What does Hezekiah do with the letter?
15. How does Hezekiah begin his prayer?
16. What were most of the false gods made of?
17. When the LORD saved Judah from the Assyrians, what would it cause people to believe?
18. What did Isaiah say in his message to Hezekiah that lets him know it was God speaking through him?
19. The daughter of Zion, in verse 21 speaks of _____________.
20. Who had really caused Sennacherib to win the battles?
21. How did God know of their rage against Him?
22. What sign does God give Judah that He is with them?
23. How many people did Assyria take in the first attack on Judah?
24. What does God say, Assyria would not do?
25. Who will defend Jerusalem?
26. How many of the Assyrians did the angel of the LORD kill in one night?
27. Where did Sennacherib go from Judah?
28. Who killed Sennacherib?
29. Who reigned in his stead?
30. Where did his two sons escape to?
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