2 Kings Chapter Eighteen
New King James Version (NKJV)
INTRODUCTION TO 2 KINGS 18
This chapter begins with the good reign of Hezekiah king of Judah, the reformation he made in the kingdom, and the prosperity that attended him when Israel was carried captive, 2 Kings 18:1 and gives an account of the siege of Jerusalem by the king of Assyria, and of the distress Hezekiah was in, and the hard measures he was obliged to submit unto, 2 Kings 18:13 and of the reviling and blasphemous speech of Rabshakeh, one of the generals of the king of Assyria, urging the Jews to a revolt from their king, 2 Kings 18:19.
2 Kings 18:1 Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign.
YLT 1And it cometh to pass, in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, reigned hath Hezekiah son of Ahaz king of Judah;
Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel,.... That is, in the third year of his rebelling against the king of Assyria, when he shook off his yoke, and refused to be tributary to him any longer, see 2 Kings 17:1,
that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign; having finished the account of the kingdom of Israel, and the captivity of the people, the historian returns to the kingdom of Judah, and the things of it.
2 Kings 18:2 2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi[a] the daughter of Zechariah.
YLT 2a son of twenty and five years was he in his reigning, and twenty and nine years he hath reigned in Jerusalem, and the name of his mother [is] Abi daughter of Zechariah.
Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign,.... Now as Ahaz his father began to reign at twenty, and reigned sixteen, he must die at thirty six; so that this son of his must be born to him when at eleven years of age, for only so many years there be between twenty five and thirty six, which may seem wonderful; but, as Grotius observes, Hezekiah had now entered into the twenty fifth year, and he might be just turned of twenty four, and so his father might be twelve years of age at his birth: besides, as it is usual for the divine historian to take away or add the incomplete years of kings, Ahaz might be near twenty one when he began to reign, and might reign almost seventeen, which makes the age of Ahaz to be about thirty eight; and Hezekiah being but little more than twenty four, at his death there were thirteen or near fourteen years difference in their age, and which was an age that need not be thought incredible for begetting of children. BochartF6Ep. Carbonell. tom. 1. oper. p. 920. and othersF7Vid. Hieronymi Opera, tam. 3. Ep. Vital. fol. 25. C. have given many instances of children begotten by persons under that age, even at ten years of ageF8T. Bab. Avodah Zarah, fol. 44. 1. : four years after his birth, the famous city of Rome began to be foundedF9Usser. Annal. p. 86, 87. , A. M. 3256, and before Christ 748, as commonly received, though it is highly probable it was of a more early date; according to Dionysius Halicarnassensis, it was founded in the first year of the seventh Olympaid, in the times of Ahaz, A. M. 3118F11Vid. Breithaupt. Not. in Hist. Gorion. Heb. l. 5. c. 1. :
and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem; so that he reigned twenty three years or more after the captivity of the ten tribes:
his mother's name also was Abi the daughter of Zachariah; perhaps the daughter of the same that was taken by Isaiah for a witness, Isaiah 8:3 who very probably was a very good woman, and took care to give her son a religious education, though he had so wicked a father.
2 Kings 18:3 3 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.
YLT 3And he doth that which [is] right in the eyes of Jehovah, according to all that David his father did,
And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father did. Some of the kings of Judah, that were better than some others, are said to do that which was right, but not like David; or they did as he did, but not according to all that he did, as is here said of Hezekiah.
2 Kings 18:4 4 He removed the high places and broke the sacred pillars, cut down the wooden image[b] and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for until those days the children of Israel burned incense to it, and called it Nehushtan.[c]
YLT 4he hath turned aside the high places, and broken in pieces the standing-pillars, and cut down the shrine, and beaten down the brazen serpent that Moses made, for unto these days were the sons of Israel making perfume to it, and he calleth it `a piece of brass.'
He removed the high places,.... Which the best of the kings of Judah never attempted, and which is observed of them to their discredit:
and broke the images, and cut down the groves; the idols his father set up and served, 2 Kings 16:4, groves and idols in them, were early instances of idolatry; See Gill on Judges 3:7, and their use for temples are still continued, not only among some Indian nationsF12See Dampier's Voyage, vol. 1. p. 411. , but among some Christians in the northern parts of EuropeF13Vid. Fabritii Bibliograph. Antiqu. c. 9. sect. 11. :
and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made; which he made in the wilderness, and which was brought by the children of Israel with them into the land of Canaan, and was kept as a memorial of the miracle wrought by looking to it, being laid up in some proper place where it had been preserved to this day:
for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it not from the time it was brought into Canaan, nor even in later times, in the days of Asa and Jehoshaphat, who would never have suffered it; very probably this piece of idolatry began in the times of Ahaz, who encouraged everything of that kind: for this serpent they had a great veneration, being made by Moses, and a means in his time of healing the Israelites; and they imagined it might be of some service to them, in a way of mediation to God; and worthy of worship, having some degree of divinity, as Kimchi and Ben Gersom; but LaniadoF14Cli Yaker, fol. 538. 2. excuses them from all show of idolatry, and supposes what they did was for the honour of God only; hence sprung the heresy of the Ophites, according to Theodoret:
and he called it Nehushtan; perceiving they were ensnared by it, and drawn into idolatry to it, by way of contempt he called it by this name, which signifies "brass"; suggesting that it was only a mere piece of brass, had no divinity in it, and could be of no service to them in divine things; and, that it might no longer be a snare to them, he broke it into pieces; and, as the JewsF15T. Bab. Avodah Zarah, fol. 44. 1. say, ground it to powder, and scattered it to every wind, that there might be no remains of it.
2 Kings 18:5 5 He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him.
YLT 5In Jehovah, God of Israel, he hath trusted, and after him there hath not been like him among all the kings of Judah, nor [among any] who were before him;
He trusted in the Lord God of Israel,.... To be his protector and defender, and had no dependence on idols as an arm of flesh; the Targum is, he trusted in the Word of the Lord God; not in Nehushtan, but in him the brasen serpent was a type of, even in the Word and Son of God, his alone Saviour and Redeemer:
so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah: for though Josiah was like him in some things, yet not in all:
nor any that were before him; from the times of the division of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah; and Ben Gersom and Abarbinel think that David and Solomon are not to be excepted; David sinning in the case of Uriah, and Solomon falling into idolatry, crimes that Hezekiah was not guilty of.
2 Kings 18:6 6 For he held fast to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses.
YLT 6and he cleaveth to Jehovah, he hath not turned aside from after Him, and keepeth His commands that Jehovah commanded Moses.
For he clave to the Lord,.... To his worship and service; to the fear of the Lord, as the Targum:
and departed not from following him; from his worship, as the same paraphrase:
but kept his commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses; both moral, ceremonial, and judicial.
2 Kings 18:7 7 The Lord was with him; he prospered wherever he went. And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.
YLT 7And Jehovah hath been with him, in every place where he goeth out he acteth wisely, and he rebelleth against the king of Asshur, and hath not served him;
And the Lord was with him,.... The Word of the Lord was for his help, as the Targum:
and he prospered whithersoever he went forth; that is, to war:
and he rebelled against the king of Assyria: which is explained in the next clause:
and served him not; he refused to be his servant, as his father Ahaz had been, 2 Kings 16:7, to which he was not obliged by any agreement of his; and, if it was in his power, might lawfully shake off his yoke, which is all that is meant by rebelling against him; he refused to be tributary to him.
2 Kings 18:8 8 He subdued the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city.
YLT 8he hath smitten the Philistines unto Gaza, and its borders, from a tower of watchers unto the fenced city.
He smote the Philistines even unto Gaza, and the borders thereof,.... Who in his father's time had invaded Judah, and taken many cities and towns in it, which Hezekiah now recovered, and drove them to their own territories, of which Gaza was one; see 2 Chronicles 28:18.
from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city; that is, places both great and small, cities, towns, and villages; of this phrase, see 2 Kings 17:9.
2 Kings 18:9 9 Now it came to pass in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea the son of Elah, king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it.
YLT 9And it cometh to pass, in the fourth year of king Hezekiah -- it [is] the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel -- come up hath Shalmaneser king of Asshur against Samaria, and layeth siege to it,
And it came to pass in the fourth year of King Hezekiah,.... In the beginning of it:
which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel: the beginning of his seventh:
that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it; see 2 Kings 17:5.
2 Kings 18:10 10 And at the end of three years they took it. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is, the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken.
YLT 10and they capture it at the end of three years; in the sixth year of Hezekiah -- it [is] the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel -- hath Samaria been captureth,
And at the end of three years they took it,.... That is, at the first end of them, at the beginning, in which sense the phrase is taken in Deuteronomy 15:1, even in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is, the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken: see 2 Kings 17:6.
2 Kings 18:11 11 Then the king of Assyria carried Israel away captive to Assyria, and put them in Halah and by the Habor, the River of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes,
YLT 11and the king of Asshur removeth Israel to Asshur, and placed them in Halah, and in Habor [by] the river Gozan, and [in] cities of the Medes,
And the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria,.... Of the places he disposed of them in, after mentioned; see Gill on 2 Kings 17:6.
2 Kings 18:12 12 because they did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, but transgressed His covenant and all that Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded; and they would neither hear nor do them.
YLT 12because that they have not hearkened to the voice of Jehovah their God, and transgress His covenant -- all that He commanded Moses, servant of Jehovah -- yea, they have not hearkened nor done [it].
Because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord,.... In his law, and by his prophets:
but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded; which evils are at large insisted on in the preceding chapter as the cause of their captivity:
and would not hear them, nor do them; contrary to the agreement of their fathers at Sinai, who promised to do both, Exodus 24:3.
2 Kings 18:13 13 And in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them.
YLT 13And in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah hath Sennacherib king of Asshur come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and seizeth them,
Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah,.... Eight years after the captivity of Israel:
did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them; many of them, the frontier towns, and proceeded as far as Lachish; ambitious of enlarging his dominions, his father having subdued the kingdom of Israel, and being also provoked by Hezekiah's refusing to pay him tribute. Mention is made of this king by name, by Herodotus and other Heathen writers, see the note on Isaiah 36:1 in the Apocryha:"Now when Enemessar was dead, Sennacherib his son reigned in his stead; whose estate was troubled, that I could not go into Media.' (Tobit 1:15)he is called Sennacherib, and is said to be son of Enemassat, that is, Shalmaneser; however, he succeeded him in his kingdom; though someF15Lud. Vives in Aug. de Civ. Dei, l. 18. c. 24. take him to be the same with Shalmaneser: he is said by MetasthenesF16De Judicio Temp. fol. 221. 2. to reign seven years, and was succeeded by Assaradon, who, according to him, reigned ten years.
2 Kings 18:14 14 Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong; turn away from me; whatever you impose on me I will pay.” And the king of Assyria assessed Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold.
YLT 14and Hezekiah king of Judah sendeth unto the king of Asshur to Lachish, saying, `I have sinned, turn back from off me; that which thou puttest on me I bear;' and the king of Asshur layeth on Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver, and thirty talents of gold,
And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish,.... A city in the tribe of Judah, about twenty miles from Jerusalem, towards the southwestF17Bunting's Travels, &c. p. 99. ; which the king of Assyria was now besieging, 2 Chronicles 32:9 at first Hezekiah made provision to defend himself, and encouraged his people not to be afraid of the king of Assyria, 2 Chronicles 32:1, but understanding he had taken his fortified cities, and made such progress with his arms, he was disheartened, and sent an embassy to him to sue for peace; judging it more advisable to buy it than to expose his capital to a siege; in which he betrayed much weakness and distrust of the power and providence of God:
saying, I have offended; not the Lord, but the king of Assyria by rebelling against him, or refusing to pay the yearly tribute to him; he owned he had acted imprudently, and had given him, just occasion to invade his land:
return from me; from his land, from proceeding to Jerusalem, which he seemed to have a design upon, and go back to his own country with his army, and make no further conquests:
that which thou puttest on me I will bear; what mulct or fine he should lay upon him, or tribute he should impose upon him, or whatever he should demand of him, he would submit to:
and the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver, and thirty talents of gold; to be paid to him directly; which, according to BrerewoodF18De Ponder. & Pret. Vet. Num. c. 5. , amounted to 247,500 pounds.
2 Kings 18:15 15 So Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasuries of the king’s house.
YLT 15and Hezekiah giveth all the silver that is found in the house of Jehovah, and in the treasures of the house of the king;
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. To make up the three hundred talents of silver, for which purpose he exhausted both, which had been done more than once before by the kings of Judah; these were their resources in times of distress; see 2 Kings 12:18.
2 Kings 18:16 16 At that time Hezekiah stripped 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.
YLT 16at that time hath Hezekiah cut off the doors of the temple of Jehovah, and the pillars that Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and giveth them to the king of Asshur.
At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord,.... The plates of gold with which they were covered; or scraped off the gold from them, as the Targum interprets it:
and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid: or the posts, as the Targum, the lintel or side posts of the doors of the temple; which though covered in Solomon's time, the gold was worn off, or had been taken off by Ahaz, but was renewed by Hezekiah; and who, in this time of distress, thought he might take it off again, no doubt with a full purpose to replace it, when he should be able. This is one of the three things the Talmudic writersF19T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 10. 2. disapprove of in Hezekiah:
and gave it to the king of Assyria; to make up the thirty talents of gold he demanded.
2 Kings 18:17 17 Then the king of Assyria sent the Tartan,[d] the Rabsaris,[e] and the Rabshakeh[f] from Lachish, with a great army against Jerusalem, to King Hezekiah. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. When they had come up, they went and stood by the aqueduct from the upper pool, which was on the highway to the Fuller’s Field.
YLT 17And the king of Asshur sendeth Tartan, and the chief of the eunuchs, and the chief of the butlers, from Lachish, unto king Hezekiah, with a heavy force, to Jerusalem, and they go up and come in to Jerusalem, and they go up, and come in and stand by the conduit of the upper pool that [is] in the highway of the fuller's field.
And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris, and Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem,.... Notwithstanding he took the above large sum of money of him, so false and deceitful was he: these were three generals of his army, whom he sent to besiege Jerusalem, while he continued the siege of Lachish; only Rabshakeh is mentioned in Isaiah 36:2 he being perhaps chief general, and the principal speaker; whose speech, to the end of this chapter, intended to intimidate Hezekiah, and dishearten his people, with some circumstances which attended it, are recorded word for word in Isaiah 36:1 throughout; See Gill on Isaiah 36:1 and notes on that chapter.
2 Kings 18:18 18 And when they had called to the king, Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to them.
YLT 18And they call unto the king, and go out unto them doth Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who [is] over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the remembrancer.
2 Kings 18:19 19 Then the Rabshakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: “What confidence is this in which you trust?
YLT 19And the chief of the butlers saith unto them, `Say, I pray you, unto Hezekiah, Thus said the great king, the king of Asshur, What [is] this confidence in which thou hast confided?
2 Kings 18:20 20 You speak of having plans and power for war; but they are mere words. And in whom do you trust, that you rebel against me?
YLT 20Thou hast said: Only a word of the lips! counsel and might [are] for battle; now, on whom hast thou trusted that thou hast rebelled against me?
2 Kings 18:21 21 Now look! You are trusting in the staff of this broken reed, Egypt, on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him.
YLT 21`Now, lo, thou hast trusted for thee on the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; which a man leaneth on, and it hath gone into his hand, and pierced it! -- so [is] Pharaoh king of Egypt to all those trusting on him.
2 Kings 18:22 22 But if you say to me, ‘We trust in the Lord our God,’ is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem’?”’
YLT 22`And when ye say unto me, Unto Jehovah our God we have trusted, is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath turned aside, and saith to Judah and to Jerusalem, Before this altar do ye bow yourselves in Jerusalem?
2 Kings 18:23 23 Now therefore, I urge you, give a pledge to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses—if you are able on your part to put riders on them!
YLT 23`And, now, give a pledge for thee, I pray thee, to my lord the king of Asshur, and I give to thee two thousand horses, if thou art able to give for thee riders on them.
2 Kings 18:24 24 How then will you repel one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put your trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen?
YLT 24And how dost thou turn back the face of one captain of the least of the servants of my lord, that thou dost trust for thee on Egypt for chariot, and for horsemen?
2 Kings 18:25 25 Have 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.’”
YLT 25Now, without Jehovah have I come up against this place to destroy it? Jehovah said unto me, Go up against this land, and thou hast destroyed it.'
2 Kings 18:26 26 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and do not speak to us in Hebrew[g] in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.”
YLT 26And Eliakim son of Hilkiah saith -- and Shebna, and Joah -- to the chief of the butlers, `Speak, we pray thee, unto thy servants [in] Aramaean, for we are understanding, and do not speak with us [in] Jewish, in the ears of the people who [are] on the wall.'
2 Kings 18:27 27 But the Rabshakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, who will eat and drink their own waste with you?”
YLT 27And the chief of the butlers saith unto them, `For thy lord, and unto thee, hath my lord sent me to speak these words? is it not for the men, those sitting on the wall to eat their own dung and to drink their own water, with you?'
2 Kings 18:28 28 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out with a loud voice in Hebrew, and spoke, saying, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria!
YLT 28And the chief of the butlers standeth and calleth with a great voice [in] Jewish, and speaketh and saith, `Hear ye a word of the great king, the king of Asshur:
2 Kings 18:29 29 Thus says the king: ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he shall not be able to deliver you from his hand;
YLT 29thus said the king, Let not Hezekiah lift you up, for he is not able to deliver you out of his hand;
2 Kings 18:30 30 nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, “The Lord will surely deliver us; this city shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.”’
YLT 30and let not Hezekiah make you trust unto Jehovah, saying, Jehovah doth certainly deliver us, and this city is not given into the hand of the king of Asshur.
2 Kings 18:31 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria: ‘Make peace with me by a present and come out to me; and every one of you eat from his own vine and every one from his own fig tree, and every one of you drink the waters of his own cistern;
YLT 31`Do not hearken unto Hezekiah, for thus said the king of Asshur, Make with me a blessing, and come out unto me, and eat ye each of his vine, and each of his fig-tree, and drink ye each the waters of his own well,
2 Kings 18:32 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive groves and honey, that you may live and not die. But do not listen to Hezekiah, lest he persuade you, saying, “The Lord will deliver us.”
YLT 32till my coming in, and I have taken you unto a land like your own land, a land of corn and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive, and honey, and live, and die not; and do not hearken unto Hezekiah, when he persuadeth you, saying, Jehovah doth deliver us.
2 Kings 18:33 33 Has any of the gods of the nations at all delivered its land from the hand of the king of Assyria?
YLT 33`Have the gods of the nations delivered at all each his land out of the hand of the king of Asshur?
2 Kings 18:34 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim and Hena and Ivah? Indeed, have they delivered Samaria from my hand?
YLT 34Where [are] the gods of Hamath and Arpad? where the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah, that they have delivered Samaria out of my hand?
2 Kings 18:35 35 Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their countries from my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem from my hand?’”
YLT 35Who [are they] among all the gods of the lands that have delivered their land out of my hand, that Jehovah doth deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?'
2 Kings 18:36 36 But the people held their peace and answered him not a word; for the king’s commandment was, “Do not answer him.”
YLT 36And the people have kept silent, and have not answered him a word, for the command of the king is, saying, `Do not answer him.'
2 Kings 18:37 37 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.
YLT 37And Eliakim son of Hilkiah, who [is] over the house, cometh in, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah son of Asaph the remembrancer, unto Hezekiah, with rent garments, and they declare to him the words of the chief of the butlers.
──《John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible》
New King James Version (NKJV)