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language, for we understand it : and speak not to us in the Chapter Jems language, in the ears of the people that are on the wall.] XXXVI. I suppose Eliakim perceiv'd the People to be frighted with big words, and therefore intreated him in the Name of the other Commissioners sent to treat with him to speak no longer in the Jews Language, but in his own: For he was not sent to treat with the People, but with them who understood the Syrian Tongue very well
. Ver. 12. But Rabshakeh said, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words ? hath be not sent me to the men that fit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?] To make them know that he will reduce them to the greatest Exo tremity, if they do not submit to him: For it is an Hyperbolical Speech, importing such Streights as were never known.
Ver. 13. Then Rabshakeh stood, and cryed with a loud voice in the Jews language, and said, Hear ye the words of the great king, the king of Assyria.] He seems to have rais'd both Himself and his Voice higher, that he might be better heard by all.
Ver. 14. Thụs saith the king, Let ‘not Hezekiah deceive you, for he shall not be able to deliver you.] He repeats with the greatest Asurance the Power of his King, and the Weakness of Hezekiah; representing from thence how they were deluded with empty Promises, if he perfwaded : them he should be able to preserve them.
Ver. 15. Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, Saying, The Lord will surely deliver us, this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Asyria.] This was the highest Presumption to perswade them not to place their Hope in God: As if his Master was stronger than he.
Ver. 16. Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me: and eat ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig-tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his own cistern.] Having represented to them the Miferies unto which a Siege would reduce them, he invites them to a Surrender upon advantageous Conditions.
Chapter Ver. 17. Until I come and take you away to a land like XXXVI. your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and
vineyards.] if they would seek the Favour of the King of Asyria by making him a Present, and delivering themselves up to his Mercy, he promises they should be transported to a better Country than that to which the ifraelities were carry'd, and in the mean time every one enjoy his own 'Poslesions.
Ver. 18. Beware left Hezekiah perswade you, saying, The Lord will deliver w. Hath any of the gods of the nations de. livered his land out of the hand of the king of Asyria?] He was afraid Hezekiah's avowed Confidence in God would prevail with them to trust to him for deliverance, which makes him so often desire them not to depend upon that. He argues very popularly and strongly, if his Supposition had been true, That the God of Israel, the God of the whole Earth (yea, of Heaven and Earth) was like those of all other Nations, who presided only over one Country or City
Ver. 19. Where are the gods of Hamath and Arphad? where are the gods of Sepharyaim ? and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand] Hamath and Arphad were Cities or Countries which the King of Allyria had conquer'd: Some think Hena and Iva were the Gods of Sepharvaim, which is confuted by 2 Kings 17. 31. They were rather Cities whose Gods could not protect them; and the Gods of Samaria he tells them had been able to do no more than the rest.
Ver. 20. Who are they amongst all the gods of these lands, that have delivered their land out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver
. Jerusalem out of my band?] He desires an instance of one God that had been able to save his Country, when his Master invaded it, and therefore it was best for them to yield their City up to him, since God himself could not preserve it, unless he could do more 'than any other had done, which he concluded was una likely. It must be acknowledgd that Rabshakeh was an excellent Orator, as well as a soldier; 'not inferiour in Eloquence to Fulius Cæfar.
Ver. 21. But they beld their peace, and answered him not a Chapter word; for the King's commandment was, saying, Answer him XXXVI. not.] This was a very wise Order, because he might
have made fome Advantage by a sudden Answer, and it • was no less pious. For Hezekiah believed God would
answer for himself; not in Words, but in such Deeds as would demonstrate he was above all Gods.
Ver. 22. Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, that was over the houshold, and Shebna the scribe, and Foah 'the son of Afaph the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.] It was the Custom of the fetos to rend their Cloaths when they heard a Man blaspheme God's Name. And if we will believe them, when the Witnesses of a Blasphemy did but repeat the words before the Judges, they rent their Cloaths. Accordingly Hezekiah, when his Commissioners gave aa account of Rabshakeb's words to him, did fo. But they have determin'd, that they were not bound to rend their Cloaths unless he were an Israelite that blasphem'd ; 'therefore they have noted (as I said before) that Rabo Makeh was an Apostate Ifraelite. And this Custom was common to all Nations (as appears from Homer, Herodotus, and Virgil) who express’d great Grief in this
The ARGUMENT of Chapter XXXVII. Hezekiah having receiv'd an Account of the Conference, dil
patches his Commissioners to Isaiah' to acquaint him of the Particulars, and to defire him in the Name of his Majesty, to recommend their Cause to God. The Prophet advises the King 'not to be concern'd, and gives him assurance that God would make the presumptuous Tyrant fly to his own Country precipitately, and there meet his Death. Rabshakeh returns to Sennacherib, and met him before Libnah, of which probably he was obliged to raise the Siege, and go against firhaka, mpho was approaching to give him Battle : But before he ment, be sent a menacing Letter to Hezekiah, to the same purpose as Rabshakeh's Speech; which being full of Blasphemy, be laid before God in the Temple, and earnestly implored his Protection : To which God returns a favourable Answer by his Prophet, threatning to put a Hook in the Tye rant's Nosé, and make him fly to his own Country dishonourably ;_and promising a Succession of happy Tears, and plenty of all Things to Hezekiah and his Subjectstho? the Land af Judah. had been lamentably ravag?d by the Asyrians, the Fruit destroy’d, and the fields lain uncultivated, which might otherwise bave occasion'd a Farine among them, had not God given an extraordinary Blessing to it. And then at the 17th Verse, he gives a brief Account of that fainous Overthrow, and of the Death of Sennacherib in the Temple of Nisroc his God.
CH A P.
ND it came to pass when Hezekiah heard
self with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord.] See the last Verse of the foregoing Chapter. He faited and mourd'd, and went into the Temple to pray. Sometimes they put on Sackcloath next their Skin, instead of a Shirt : But here it seems to signify only that he was cloathed in this vile Habit in token of his great Trouble and Sorrow.
Ver. 2. And he sent Eliakim who was over the houshold, and Shebnah the scribe, and the elders of the priests covered with sack
cloth, unto Isaiah the Prophet the son of Amoz.] In the same Chapter mournful Habit to beg his Prayers to God for them. XXXVII.
Ver. 3. And they said unto him, Thus faith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.] They represent to him the great Straits in which they were, and the Reproaches cast upon them; and which was worst of all, the Blasphemy they had heard against God: They were in the same danger of perishing as a Woman whose Child being fallen down after many Throws to the place of Birth, she was so spent that me had no Strength left to bring it forth; or as Procopius Gazaus expounds it, We are in pain to hear such blasphemous Words, and have no power to punish those wicked Wretches as they deserve.
may be the Lord thy God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the King of Asyria his master bath fent to reproach the living God, and will reprove the words which the Lord thy God hath beard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that is left.] Ludovicus de Dieu following R. Solomon Jarchi, thinks that the word we translate Keprove, signifies to Prove, and by Arguments to demonstrate, and fo refers it to Rabshakeh in this manner, It may be the Lord will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the King of Assyria hath sent to reproach the living God; and that openly, with a bold Face, fearing nothing, because all things succeed according to their hearts desire. And he faith he Thall wonder if this sense displease any Bódy.
Ver. 5,6,7. So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah. And Ifaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say unto my mastor, Thus faith the Lord, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast beard, where with the servants of the King of Assyria have blafphemed me. Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall bear 4 rumour, and return to his own land, and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land. A Pestilential Blast which destroy'd his Army in one Night, v.35. Others translate it a Spirit, which is the same, for God sent an Angel which smote them with that Pestilence.
The Report perhaps was renew'd after that stroke, that Tirhaka" (of whom he had heard before, v. 9.) was coming against M m 2