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.
A. M. 3278. B.C. 726. in the third
Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah.
Twenty and five years old
As Ahaz was 20 years old when he began to reign, and died when he had reigned 16 years, his whole age only amounted to 36 years; and as Hezekiah was, at least, entering on his 25th year when he began to reign, then Ahaz must have been under 12 years of age when his son was born! This is not at all impossible: and there are well-attested facts of men having children at as early a period, especially in eastern countries.
A. M. 3278-3306. B.C. 726-698. Abi
And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did.
right in the sight
He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
Heb. statues. the brasen serpent.
unto those days
That is, a piece of brass.
He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.
For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses.
None of the kings of Judah, from the time of the division of the kingdom, equalled Hezekiah in the stedfastness and simplicity of his dependence upon the Lord; in which he aspired to an equality with his progenitor David, who had reigned over the whole land. Even Asa, through weakness of faith, sought the assistance of a heathen prince; and Jehoshaphat formed an alliance with idolatrous Ahab; but Hezekiah clave to the Lord, in entire confidence and unreserved obedience, to the end of his life.
from following him
Heb. from after him. kept.
And the LORD was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not.
And the Lord
He smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza, and the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
Heb. Azzah. from the tower.
And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it.
A. M. 3281. B.C. 723. the fourth year
And at the end of three years they took it: even in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken.
A. M. 3283. B.C. 721. they took it
And the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria, and put them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes:
It is thought, with much probability, that Halah, or Chalach, is Ptolemy's Calachene, the northern part of Assyria; that Habor, or Chabor, is the mountain or mountainous country, between Media and Assyria, called by Ptolemy, [Chaboras] Chaboras; and that Gozan is Gauzanitis of Ptolemy, situated between that mountain and the Caspian sea, and between the two channels of the river Cyrus.
Because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them.
they obeyed not
Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them.
A. M. 3291. B.C. 713. the fourteenth
Heb. Sanherib. come up.
And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended; return from me: 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.
I have offended
And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD, 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 the LORD, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.
And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller's field.
A. M. 3294. B.C. 710. the king
Calmet remarks, that these are not the names of persons, but of offices: Tartan signifies "he who presides over gifts or tribute;" Rabsaris, "the chief of the eunuchs;" and Rabshakeh, "the chief cup-bearer."
Heb. heavy. the conduit of the upper pool. If the Fuller's field were near En-Rogel, or the Fuller's fountain, east of Jerusalem, as is generally supposed, then the conduit of the upper pool may been an aqueduct that brought the water from the upper or eastern reservoir of that fountain, which had been seized in order to distress the city.
And when they had called to the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder.
2 Samuel 8:17 *marg:
And Rabshakeh said unto them, Speak ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?
He was the chief speaker, being a very eloquent man, and, according to the Hebrews, whom Procopius follows, an apostate Jew; which is not improbable, as he spoke Hebrew so fluently; and when he blasphemed the Divine Majesty, the king and nobles rent their clothes, which was usual unless the blasphemer were an Israelite.
Thou sayest, (but they are but vain words,) I have counsel and strength for the war. Now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me?
or, talkest. vain words. Heb. word of the lips. I have counsel and strength for the war. or, but counsel and strength are for the war.
Now, behold, thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt, on which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt unto all that trust on him.
Heb. trustest thee. the staff.
so is Pharaoh
But if ye say unto me, We trust in the LORD our God: is not that he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and hath said to Judah and Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem?
whose high places
Now therefore, I pray thee, give pledges to my lord the king of Assyria, and I will deliver thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them.
I will deliver
How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
Am I now come up without the LORD against this place to destroy it? The LORD said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.
Am I now
Then said Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna, and Joah, unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and talk not with us in the Jews' language in the ears of the people that are on the wall.
Perceiving that the object of this blasphemous caitiff was to stir up the people to sedition, they mildly and reasonably required him to make his proposals in the Syrian language.
in the Syrian language
But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath 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 dung, and drink their own piss with you?
their own piss
Heb. the water of their feet.
Then Rabshakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and spake, saying, Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria:
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 the LORD, saying, The LORD 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:
Make an agreement with me
or, Seek my favour. Heb. Make with me a blessing.
Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive and of honey, that ye may live, and not die: and hearken not unto Hezekiah, when he persuadeth you, saying, The LORD will deliver us.
like your own
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?
Hamath, there is little doubt, was the Epiphania of the Greeks, as Josephus, Theodoret, and Jerome, expressly assert. It was a celebrated city of Syria, situated on the Orontes, and the present Hamah doubtless occupies its site; as Abulfeda, who was prince or emir of Hamah about A.D. 1345, expressly states, in his Description of Syria, that Hamah is an ancient city mentioned in the writings of the Israelites. It is still a considerable town, situated on both sides of the Orontes, about three days' journey and a half from Tripoli; and must contain, Burckhardt says, at least 30,000 inhabitants.
Arpad is probably the town of Arphas, mentioned by Josephus as limiting the province of Gamalitis, Gaulanitis, Batanea, and Trachonitis, to the N. E.; and the Raphan, or Raphanea, which Stephanus places near Epiphania.
have they delivered
Who are they among all the gods of the countries, that have delivered their country out of mine hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of mine hand?
that the Lord
But the people held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king's commandment was, saying, Answer him not.
held their peace
Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which 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.