2 Chronicles 32

CHAPTER XXXII

Sennacherib invades Judea, 1.

Hezekiah takes proper measures for the defence of his kingdom,

2-6.

His exhortation, 7, 8.

Sennacherib sends a blasphemous message to Hezekiah, and to the

people, 9-15.

His servants rail against God; and he and they blaspheme most

grievously, 16-19.

Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah cry to God; he answers, and the

Assyrians are destroyed, and Sennacherib is slain by his own

sons, 20, 21.

The Lord is magnified, 22, 23.

Hezekiah's sickness and recovery, 24.

His ingratitude, 25.

His humiliation, 26.

His riches, 27-30.

His error relative to the Babylonish ambassadors, 31.

His acts and death, 32, 33.

NOTES ON CHAP. XXXII

Verse 1. After these things] God did not permit this pious

prince to be disturbed till he had completed the reformation which

he had begun.

Verse 2. When Hezekiah saw] This was in the fourteenth year of

the reign of Hezekiah; and at first the Jewish king bought him off

at the great price of three hundred talents of silver, and thirty

talents of gold; and even emptied his own treasures, and spoiled

the house of the Lord, to gratify the oppressive avarice of the

Assyrian king. See the whole account, 2Ki 18:13, &c.

Verse 4. Stopped all the fountains] This was prudently done, for

without water how could an immense army subsist in an arid

country? No doubt the Assyrian army suffered much through this,

as a Christian army did eighteen hundred years after this. When

the crusaders came, in A.D. 1099, to besiege Jerusalem, the people

of the city stopped up the wells, so that the Christian army was

reduced to the greatest necessities and distress.

Verse 5. Raised it up to the towers] He built the wall up to the

height of the towers, or, having built the wall, he raised towers

on it.

Verse 6. Set captains of war over the people-in the street of

the gate of the city] That is, the open places at the gate of the

city, whither the people came for judgment, &c.

Verse 7. There be more with us than with him] We have more power

than they have. (These words he quotes from the prophet Elisha,

2Ki 6:16.) This was soon proved to be true by the slaughter

made by the angel of the Lord in the Assyrian camp.

Verse 9. After this did Sennacherib] Having received the silver

and gold mentioned above, he withdrew his army, but shortly after

he sent Rab-shakeh with a blasphemous message. This is the fact

mentioned here.

Verse 10. Thus saith Sennacherib] See all these circumstances

largely explained 2Ki 18:17-36.

Verse 17. Wrote also letters] See 2Ki 19:9, 14.

Verse 21. The Lord sent an angel] See 2Ki 19:36, and the note

there.

House of his god] Nisroch.

They that came forth of his own bowels] His sons Adrammelech and

Sharezer.

Verse 23. Many brought gifts unto the Lord] They plainly saw

that Jehovah was the protector of the land.

And presents to Hezekiah] They saw that God was his friend, and

would undertake for him; and they did not wish to have such a man

for their enemy.

Verse 24. Hezekiah was sick] See 2Ki 20:1, &c., and the notes

there.

Verse 25. Hezekiah rendered not again] He got into a vain

confidence, took pleasure in his riches, and vainly showed them to

the messengers of the king of Babylon. See on 2Ki 20:12, &c.

Verse 26. Humbled himself] Awoke from his sleep, was sorry for

his sin, deprecated the wrath of God, and the Divine displeasure

was turned away from him.

Verse 27. Pleasant jewels] keley chemdah, desirable

vessels or utensils.

Verse 30. The upper watercourse] He made canals to bring the

waters of Gihon from the west side of Jerusalem to the west side

of the city of David.

Verse 31. Of the ambassadors] See 2Ki 20:13, and the

observations at the end of that chapter. See Clarke on 2Ki 20:20.

Verse 32. The vision of Isaiah] See this prophet, chap. 36 to

39.

Verse 33. Chiefest of the sepulchres] This respect they paid to

him who, since David, had been the best of all their kings.

I shall subjoin a few things from the Targum on this chapter.

Ver. 1. "After these things which Hezekiah did, and their

establishment, the Lord appointed by his WORD to bring

Sennacherib, king of Assyria, and his army, into the land of

Israel, that he might destroy the Assyrians in the land of the

house of Judah, and smite their troops on the mountains of

Jerusalem, and deliver all their spoils into the hands of Hezekiah

and his people: wherefore Sennacherib came with immense armies,

which could not be numbered; and having pitched his camps in the

land of the tribe of Judah, besieged their fortified cities with

his armies, hoping to overthrow them."

Ver. 8. Hezekiah said-"His help is the strength of the flesh;

but our auxiliary is the WORD of the Lord."

Ver. 16. "His (Sennacherib's) servants spoke blasphemy against

the WORD of the Lord God."

Ver. 18. In the Jews' speech-"In the language of the holy

house."

Ver. 21. "And the WORD of the Lord sent Michael, and the angel

Gabriel, and destroyed them on the night of the passover with a

destructive fire; and burnt up their breath within their bodies,

and consumed every soldier, captain, and prince, in the army of

the king of Assyria; and he returned with shame of face into his

own land."

The destruction of God's enemies, and the support and salvation

of the faithful, is in every instance in this Targum attributed to

the WORD of the Lord, personally understood.

See Clarke on 2Ch 34:27.

Ver. 24. "In those days was Hezekiah sick near to death; but he

prayed before the Lord who spoke to him by his WORD to preserve

him and to add to his life fifteen years."

Ver. 31. "The king of Babylon sent, that they might inquire

concerning the miracle that had been done in the land; that they

might see the two tables of stone which were in the ark of the

covenant of the Lord which Moses had placed there with the two

tables which he had broken on account of the sin of the calf which

they made in Horeb. The WORD of the Lord permitted him to show

them these; neither did he suffer for it; that he might try him,

and see what was in his heart."

THUS God speaks after the manner of men: he either brings, or

permits them to be brought, into such circumstances as shall cause

them to show their prevailing propensities; and then warns them

against the evils to which they are inclined, after having shown

them that they are capable of those evils. To know ourselves, and

our own character, is of the utmost importance to our religious

growth and perfection. He who does not know where his weakness

lies, is not likely to know where his strength lies. Many, by not

being fully acquainted with their own character, have been

unwatchful and unguarded, and so become an easy prey to their

enemies. Know thyself is a lesson which no man can learn but from

the Spirit of God.

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