St-Takla.org  >   bible  >   commentary  >   en  >   ot  >   matthew-henry  >   kings2
St-Takla.org  >   bible  >   commentary  >   en  >   ot  >   matthew-henry  >   kings2

Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible - Old Testament

Second Kings 18 (Chapter XVIII Study)

 

Second Kings Exposition: Index | Introduction to the book of Second Kings | Second Kings 1 | Second Kings 2 | Second Kings 3 | Second Kings 4 | Second Kings 5 | Second Kings 6 | Second Kings 7 | Second Kings 8 | Second Kings 9 | Second Kings 10 | Second Kings 11 | Second Kings 12 | Second Kings 13 | Second Kings 14 | Second Kings 15 | Second Kings 16 | Second Kings 17 | Second Kings 18 | Second Kings 19 | Second Kings 20 | Second Kings 21 | Second Kings 22 | Second Kings 23 | Second Kings 24 | Second Kings 25

Second Kings full text: Second Kings 1 | Second Kings 2 | Second Kings 3 | Second Kings 4 | Second Kings 5 | Second Kings 6 | Second Kings 7 | Second Kings 8 | Second Kings 9 | Second Kings 10 | Second Kings 11 | Second Kings 12 | Second Kings 13 | Second Kings 14 | Second Kings 15 | Second Kings 16 | Second Kings 17 | Second Kings 18 | Second Kings 19 | Second Kings 20 | Second Kings 21 | Second Kings 22 | Second Kings 23 | Second Kings 24 | Second Kings 25

When the prophet had condemned Ephraim for lies and deceit he comforted himself with this, that Judah yet "ruled with God, and was faithful with the Most Holy," Hos. xi. 12. It was a very melancholy view which the last chapter gave us of the desolations of Israel; but this chapter shows us the affairs of Judah in a good posture at the same time, that it may appear God has not quite cast off the seed of Abraham, Rom. xi. 1. Hezekiah is here upon the throne, I. Reforming his kingdom, ver. 1-6. II. Prospering in all his undertakings (ver. 7, 8), and this at the same time when the ten tribes were led captive, ver. 9-12. III. Yet invaded by Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, ver. 13. 1. His country put under contribution, ver. 14-16. 2. Jerusalem besieged, ver. 17. 3. God blasphemed, himself reviled, and his people solicited to revolt, in a virulent speech made by Rabshakeh, ver. 18-37. But how well it ended, and how much to the honour and comfort of our great reformer, we shall find in the next chapter.

Hezekiah's Good Reign. (b. c. 726.)

1 Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. " alt="St-Takla.org Image: He ordered that poles erected to honour the idol Asherah be cut down. (2 Kings 18: 4) - "King Hezekiah and the Assyrian invasion" images set (2 Kings 18-19, 2 Chronicles 29 - 32:23, Isaiah 36-37): image (4) - 2 Kings, Bible illustrations by James Padgett (1931-2009), published by Sweet Media صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: "هو أزال المرتفعات، وكسر التماثيل، وقطع السواري" (الملوك الثاني 18: 4) - مجموعة "الملك حزقيا والغزو الأشوري" (ملوك الثاني 18-19, أخبار الأيام الثاني 29 - 32: 23, إشعياء 36-37) - صورة (4) - صور سفر الملوك الثاني، رسم جيمز بادجيت (1931-2009)، إصدار شركة سويت ميديا" width="640" height="480">

St-Takla.org Image: He ordered that poles erected to honour the idol Asherah be cut down. (2 Kings 18: 4) - "King Hezekiah and the Assyrian invasion" images set (2 Kings 18-19, 2 Chronicles 29 - 32:23, Isaiah 36-37): image (4) - 2 Kings, Bible illustrations by James Padgett (1931-2009), published by Sweet Media

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: "هو أزال المرتفعات، وكسر التماثيل، وقطع السواري" (الملوك الثاني 18: 4) - مجموعة "الملك حزقيا والغزو الأشوري" (ملوك الثاني 18-19, أخبار الأيام الثاني 29 - 32: 23, إشعياء 36-37) - صورة (4) - صور سفر الملوك الثاني، رسم جيمز بادجيت (1931-2009)، إصدار شركة سويت ميديا

3. That which he aims at especially is to convince them that it is to no purpose for them to stand it out: What confidence is this wherein thou trustest? So he insults over Hezekiah, v. 19. To the people he says (v. 29), "Let not Hezekiah deceive you into your own ruin, for he shall not be able to deliver you; you must either bend or break." It were well if sinners would submit to the force of this argument, in making their peace with God—That it is therefore our wisdom to yield to him, because it is in vain to contend with him: what confidence is that which those trust in who stand it out against him? Are we stronger than he? Or what shall we get by setting briars and thorns before a consuming fire? But Hezekiah was not so helpless and defenceless as Rabshakeh would here represent him. Three things he supposes Hezekiah might trust to, and he endeavours to make out the insufficiency of these:—(1.) His own military preparations: Thou sayest, I have counsel and strength for the war; and we find that so he had, 2 Chron. xxxii. 3. But this Rabshakeh turns off with a slight: "They are but vain words; thou art an unequal match for us," v. 20. With the greatest haughtiness and disdain imaginable, he challenges him to produce 2000 men of all his people that know how to manage a horse, and will venture to give him 2000 horses if he can. He falsely insinuates that Hezekiah has no men, or none fit to be soldiers, v. 23. Thus he thinks to run him down with confidence and banter, and will lay him any wager that one captain of the least of his master's servants is able to baffle him and all his forces. (2.) His alliance with Egypt. He supposes that Hezekiah trusts to Egypt for chariots and horsemen (v. 24), because the king of Israel had done so, and of this confidence he truly says, It is a broken reed (v. 21), it will not only fail a man when he leans on it and expects it to bear his weight, but it will run into his hand and pierce it, and rend his shoulder, as the prophet further illustrates this similitude, with application to Egypt, Ezek. xxix. 6, 7. So is the king of Egypt, says he; and truly so had the king of Assyria been to Ahaz, who trusted in him, but he distressed him, and strengthened him not, 2 Chron. xxviii. 20. Those that trust to any arm of flesh will find it no better than a broken reed; but God is the rock of ages. (3.) His interest in God and relation to him. This was indeed the confidence in which Hezekiah trusts, v. 22. He supported himself by depending on the power and promise of God; with this he encouraged himself and his people (v. 30): The Lord will surely deliver us, and again v. 32. This Rabshakeh was sensible was their great stay, and therefore he was most large in his endeavours to shake this, as David's enemies, who used all the arts they had to drive him from his confidence in God (Ps. iii. 2; xi. 1), and thus did Christ's enemies, Matt. xxvii. 43. Three things Rabshakeh suggested to discourage their confidence in God, and they were all false:—[1.] That Hezekiah had forfeited God's protection, and thrown himself out of it, by destroying the high places and the altars, v. 22. Here he measures the God of Israel by the gods of the heathen, who delighted in the multitude of altars and temples, and concludes that Hezekiah has given a great offence to the God of Israel, in confining his people to one altar: thus is one of the best deeds he ever did in his life misconstrued as impious and profane, by one that did not, or would not, know the law of the God of Israel. If that be represented by ignorant and malicious men as evil and a provocation to God which is really good and pleasing to him, we must not think it strange. If this was to be sacrilegious, Hezekiah would ever be so. [2.] That God had given orders for the destruction of Jerusalem at this time (v. 25): Have I now come up without the Lord? This is all banter and rhodomontade. He did not himself think he had any commission from God to do what he did (by whom should he have it?) but he made this pretence to amuse and terrify the people that were on the wall. If he had any colour at all for what he said, it might be taken from the notice which perhaps he had had, by the writings of the prophets, of the hand of God in the destruction of the ten tribes, and he thought he had as good a warrant for the seizing of Jerusalem as of Samaria. Many that have fought against God have pretended commissions from him. [3.] That if Jehovah, the God of Israel, should undertake to protect them from the king of Assyria, yet he was notable to do it. With this blasphemy he concluded his speech (v. 33-35), comparing the God of Israel with the gods of the nations whom he had conquered and putting him upon the level with them, and concluding that because they could not defend and deliver their worshippers the God of Israel could not defend and deliver his. See here, First, His pride. When he conquered a city he reckoned himself to have conquered its gods, and valued himself mightily upon it. His high opinion of the idols made him have a high opinion of himself as too hard for them. Secondly, His profaneness. The God of Israel was not a local deity, but the God of the whole earth, the only living and true God, the ancient of days, and had often proved himself to be above all gods; yet he makes no more of him than of the upstart fictitious gods of Hamath and Arpad, unfairly arguing that the gods (as some now say the priests) of all religions are the same, and himself above them all. The tradition of the Jews is that Rabshakeh was an apostate Jew, which made him so ready in the Jews' language; if so, his ignorance of the God of Israel was the less excusable and his enmity the less strange, for apostates are commonly the most bitter and spiteful enemies, witness Julian. A great deal of art and management, it must be owned, there were in this speech of Rabshakeh, but, withal, a great deal of pride, malice, falsehood, and blasphemy. One grain of sincerity would have been worth all this wit and rhetoric.

Lastly, We are told what the commissioners on Hezekiah's part did. 1. They held their peace, not for want of something to say both on God's behalf and Hezekiah's: they might easily and justly have upbraided him with his master's treachery and breach of faith, and have asked him, What religion encourages you to hope that such conduct will prosper? At least they might have given that grave hint which Ahab gave to Benhadad's like insolent demands—Let not him that girdeth on the harness boast as though he had put it off. But the king had commanded them not to answer him, and they observed their instructions. There is a time to keep silence, as well as a time to speak, and there are those to whom to offer any thing religious or rational is to cast pearls before swine. What can be said to a madman? It is probable that their silence made Rabshakeh yet more proud and secure, and so his heart was lifted up and hardened to his destruction. 2. They rent their clothes in detestation of his blasphemy and in grief for the despised afflicted condition of Jerusalem, the reproach of which was a burden to them. 3. They faithfully reported the matter to the king, their master, and told him the words of Rabshakeh, that he might consider what was to be done, what course they should take and what answer they should return to Rabshakeh's summons.

St-Takla.org                     Divider of Saint TaklaHaymanot's website فاصل - موقع الأنبا تكلاهيمانوت

Other commentaries and interpretations on the Book of Second Kings:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25

Related pages and articles at St-Takla.org


© st-takla.org : Saint Takla Haymanout Website: General Portal for the Coptic Orthodox Church Faith, Egypt / Contact us at:

Bible | Daily Readings | Agbeya | Books | Lyrics | Gallery | Media | Links | Contact us







External ads إعلانات خارجية



https://st-takla.org/bible/commentary/en/ot/matthew-henry/kings2/ch18.html