Isaiah 36


Sennacherib, king of Assyria, comes against Judah, and takes

all the fenced cities, 1.

He afterwards sends a great host against Jerusalem; and his

general Rabshakeh delivers an insulting and blasphemous message

to Hezekiah, 2-20.

Hezekiah and his people are greatly afflicted at the words of

Rabshakeh, 21, 22.

The history of the invasion of Sennacherib, and of the

miraculous destruction of his army, which makes the subject of so

many of Isaiah's prophecies, is very properly inserted here as

affording the best light to many parts of those prophecies, and as

almost necessary to introduce the prophecy in the thirty-seventh

chapter, being the answer of God to Hezekiah's prayer, which could

not be properly understood without it. We find the same narrative

in the Second Book of Kings, chaps. xviii., xix., xx.; and these

chapters of Isaiah, xxxvi., xxxvii., xxxviii., xxxix., for much

the greater part, (the account of the sickness of Hezekiah only

excepted,) are but a different copy of that narration. The

difference of the two copies is little more than what has

manifestly arisen from the mistakes of transcribers; they mutually

correct each other, and most of the mistakes may be perfectly

rectified by a collation of the two copies with the assistance of

the ancient versions. Some few sentences, or members of sentences,

are omitted in this copy of Isaiah, which are found in the other

copy in the Book of Kings. Whether these omissions were made by

design or mistake may be doubted.-L.


Verse 3. Then came forth unto him] Before these words the other

copy, 2Ki 18:18, adds,

vaiyikreu el hammelech, "And they demanded audience of the king."

Verse 5. I say-"Thou hast said"] Fourteen MSS. (three ancient)

of Kennicott's and De Rossi's have it in the second person,

amarta; and so the other copy, 2Ki 18:20.

But they are but vain words] debar sephathayim, a

word of the lips. Thou dost talk about counsels, but thou hast

none; about strength, but there is none with thee.

Verse 6. The staff of this broken reed] A weakened, faithless


On Egypt] The Bodl. MS. adds melech, the king of Egypt;

and so perhaps the Chaldee might read.

It will go into his hand, and pierce it] Will take subsidy after

subsidy, and do nothing for it.

Verse 7. But if thou say-"But if ye say"] Two ancient MSS. have

tomeru in the plural number; so likewise the Septuagint,

Chaldee, and the other copy, 2Ki 18:22.

Ye shall worship before this altar-"To worship only before this

altar"] See 2Ch 32:12.

Verse 10. Am I now come up without the Lord] Probably some

apostate Israelitish priest might have encouraged the king of

Assyria by telling him that JEHOVAH had given him a commission

against Jerusalem.

Verse 12. That they may eat their own dung-"Destined to eat

their own dung"] leechol, that they may eat, as our

translation literally renders it. But the Syriac reads

meechol, that they may not eat, perhaps rightly, and afterward

umishshethoth, or ushethoth, to the same

purpose. Seventeen of Dr. Kennicott's MSS., ten of De Rossi's

and two of my own, read meymey, the water; mine have

meymey sheneyhem, and write in the margin

meymey regaleyhem, the water of their feet, a modest way of

expressing urine.

Verse 15. This city shall not be delivered] velo, AND this

city. Ten of Kennicott's MSS., and nine of De Rossi's,

with one (ancient) of my own, add the conjunction.

Verse 16. Make an agreement] berachah, make a blessing with

me; i.e., Give me a ransom for the city, and I will not destroy

it; give me the yearly tribute thou hast promised.

Verse 17. And vineyards] The other copy, 2Ki 18:32, adds here:

"A land of oil-olive, and of honey; that ye may live, and not die:

and hearken not unto Hezekiah when he seduceth you."

Verse 19. Where are the gods] Many MSS. add the conjunction here

also: And, or But, where are the gods, &c.

For other matters relative to this chapter,

See Clarke on 2Ki 18:13, &c.

Of Sepharvaim] The other copy, 2Ki 18:34, adds, of "Henah and


Have they delivered] vechi. The copulative is not

expressed here by the Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate, and three MSS.;

nor is it in any other copy. Ib. Houbigant reads hachi, with

the interrogative particle; a probable conjecture, which the

ancient Versions above quoted seem to favour.

Verse 21. But they held their peace-"But the people held their

peace"] The word haam, the people, is supplied from the other

copy, and is authorized by a MS. which inserts it after otho.

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