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not shewed them. And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah, Hear the word of Jehovah; Behold the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon; nothing shall be left saith Jehovah.* And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away, and they shall be ennuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. Then said Hezekiah unto Isaiah, Good is the word of Jehovah which thou hast spoken. And he said, Is it not good, if peace and truth be in my days?t Hezekiah, however, having humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the wrath of Jehovah came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah. I
It came to pass in the fourteenth year of the reign of Hezekiah, that Sennacherib,ş king of Assyria, came and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself. And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem, he took counsel with his princes, and his mighty men, to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city; and they did help him. So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying; Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water? Also he strengthened himself, and built up all the wall that was broken, and raised it up to the towers, and another wall without, and repaired Millo, in the city of David; and made darts and shields in abundance.
This was an exact prophecy of the Babylonish captivity, and which was as exactly fufilled near a hundred years after, in the reign of Zedekiah. 2 Kings, xxv. 2 Chron. xxxvi. Dan. i. 2. + 2 Kings, xx. 13–19. Isaiah, xxxix. 2-8.
* 2 Chron. xxxii, 26.
And be set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city, and spake comfortably to them, saying; Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyriá, nor for all the multitude that is with him; for there be more with us than with him. With him is an arm of Aesh ; but with us is Jehovah, our God, to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words -of Hezekiah, King of Judah.
Notwithstanding this preparation, and the confidence he had created in his subjects, Hezekiah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, which that monarch was besieging with all his power, saying; I have offended, return from that which thou puttest on me will I bear. And the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah, king of Judah, three hundred talents of silver, and thirty talents of gold. And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of Jehovah, and in the treasures of the king's house. At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of Jehovah, and from the pillars which he had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.t
All such purchased deliverances are usually futile; and, as our British ancestors found it with reference to the Danes, the enemy soon returned, for Sennacherib the next year sent his officers, Tartan, and Rabsaris, and Rabshakeh from Lachish, with a great host to Jerusalem: and when they were come up, they stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller's field; and having called to - the king, Hezekiah sent out to them Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah, whom the officers of Sennacherib thus insultingly addressed; “Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest? Thou
2 Chron. xxxii. 1-8.
+ 2 Kings, xviii. 14–16.
sayest I have counsel and strength for the war, Now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me? Now, behold thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt, on which if a man bear, it will go into his hand and pierce it; so is Pharaoh, king of Egypt unto all that trust on him. Doth not Hezekiah persuade you to give over yourselves to die by famine and by thirst, saying; Jehovah, our God, shall deliver us out of the band of the king of Assyria? Is not that he whose high places and altars the same Hezekiah has taken away, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying; Ye shall worship before une altar in Jerusalem, and burn incense upon it? Know ye not what I and my
fathers have done unto all the people of other lands ? Were the gods of the nations of those lands any ways able to deliver their lands out of mine hand? Who was there amongst all the gods of those nations, that my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of mine hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of mine hand ? Now, therefore, let not Hezekiah deceive you nor persuade you on this manner, neither yet believe him; for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of mine hand, and out of the hand of my fathers; how much less shall your God deliver you out of mine hand?* I pray thee, therefore, give pledges to my lord, the king of Assyria, and I will deliver thee 2,000 horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them. How wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants, and put thy trust or Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? Am I now come up without Jehovah against this place to destroy it? Jehovah said to me, Go up against this land and destroy it.”+
Anil the Assyrians spake even more violently against
* 2 Kings: xviii. 17-22. 2 Chron. xxxij. 9-15.
Jehovah, and against his servant, Hezekiah; and Sennacherib wrote railing or blasphemous letters against Jehovah, the God of Israel, to speak against him, saying, As the gods of the nations of other lands have not delivered their people out of mine hand, so shall not the God of Hezekiah deliver his people out of mine hand.*
Eliakim and his companions having entreated Sennacherib's officers to speak in the Syrian, and not in the Hebrew language, in order that the people might not be affected by their harangue; Rabshakeh said to them, in order to affright them and to trouble them, that they inight take the city, Bath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? Hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own excrements, and drink their own urine with you?t
Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice, in the Jew's language, and spake, saying, Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria: thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you out of his hand: neither let Hezekiah make you trust in Jehovah, saying, Jehovah will surely deliver us, and this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria. 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 then eat ye every man of his own vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his cistern: until I come and take you away to a land like your land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil-olive, and of honey, that
* 2 Chron, xxxii. 16, 17. + 2 Kings, xviii. 26, 27. Isaiah, xxxvi. 11. 12. That is, that they may be fully apprized of the dreadful extremities to which the city will be reduced by siege, if they continue their allegiance to Hezekiah. A. Clarke, on 2 Kings, xviii. 27.
ye may live, and not die: and hearken not unto Hezekiah, when he persuadeth you, saying, Jehovah will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered at all his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria ? Where are the gods of Hamath and of Arpad ? where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah? Have they delivered Samaria out of mine hand? Who are they among all the gods of the countries, that have delivered their country out of mine hand, that Jehovah should deliver Jerusalem out of mine hand? But the people beld their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king's commandment was, saying, Answer him not. And they spake against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth, which were the work of the hands of man.t
Eliakim and his companions having presented themselves before Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and repeated the boasting threats of Rabshakeh, the pious monarch rent his clothes also, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of Jehovah. And he sent Eliakim, who 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: and they said unto him, Thus saith 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 no strength to bring forth. It may be Jehovah, thy God, will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria, his master, hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which Jehovah, thy God, hath heard; wherefore lift up thy prayer for the reinnant that are left. So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah : and Isaiah said unto them, thus shall yc say to your master, thus saith Jeho
2 Kings, stiji. 28–36. Isaiah, xxxvi. 12-21.
+ 2 Chron. xxxii. 18, 19.