2 Kings 19:4 MEANING

2 Kings 19:4
(4) It may be.--The old commentator Clericus well remarks: "Non est dubitantis sed sperantis."

And will reprove the words.--See Note on 2 Kings 19:3. The LXX. and Vulg. read, "and to rebuke with the words which the Lord," &c, but the Syriac and Targum agree with the Authorised Version as regards the construction.

Lift up.--Heavenwards (2 Chronicles 32:2). Or we might compare the phrase "to lift up the voice" (Genesis 27:38), and render, "to utter" (Numbers 23:7.)

Thy prayer.--A prayer.

The remnant that are left.--The existing (or, present) remnant. Sennacherib had captured most of the strong cities of Judah, and "the daughter of Zion was left as a hut in a vineyard" (Isaiah 1:8). (Comp. Note on 2 Chronicles 32:1.)

Verse 4. - It may be the Lord thy God - still "thy God," at any rate, if he will not condescend to be called ours, since we have so grievously offended him by our many sins and backslidings - will hear all the words of Rabshakeh. "The words of Rabshakeh" (Isaiah 37:4); but the expression here used is more emphatic. Hezekiah hoped that God would "hear" Rabshakeh's words, would note them, and punish them. Whom the King of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God (For the "reproaches" intended, see 2 Kings 18:30-35. For the expression, "the living God," ךאלחִים חַי, see Deuteronomy 5:26; Joshua 3:10; 1 Samuel 17:26; Psalm 42:2; Psalm 84:2; Hosea 1:10, etc.) A contrast is intended between the "living" God, and the dead idols whom Rabshakeh has placed on a par with him. And will reprove the words which the Lord thy God hath heard. The "words of Rabshakeh," his contemptuous words concerning Jehovah (2 Kings 18:33-35) and his lying words (2 Kings 18:25), constituted the new feature in the situation, and, while a ground for "distress," were also a ground for hope: would not God in some signal way vindicate his own honor, and "reprove" them? Wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left. Sennacherib, in his former expedition, wherein he took forty-six of the Judaean cities, besides killing vast numbers, had, as he himself tells us ('Eponym Canon,' p. 134), carried off into captivity 200,150 persons. He had also curtailed Hezekiah's dominions, detaching from them various cities with their territories, and attaching them to Ashdod, Gaza, and Ekron (ibid., p. 135). Thus it was only a "remnant" of the Jewish people that was left in the land (comp. Isaiah 1:7-9).

19:1-7 Hezekiah discovered deep concern at the dishonour done to God by Rabshakeh's blasphemy. Those who speak from God to us, we should in a particular manner desire to speak to God for us. The great Prophet is the great Intercessor. Those are likely to prevail with God, who lift up their hearts in prayer. Man's extremity is God's opportunity. While his servants can speak nothing but terror to the profane, the proud, and the hypocritical, they have comfortable words for the discouraged believer.And it came to pass, when King Hezekiah heard it,.... The report of Rabshakeh's speech, recorded in the preceding chapter:

that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth; rent his clothes because of the blasphemy in the speech; and he put on sackcloth, in token of mourning, for the calamities he feared were coming on him and his people: and he went into the house of the Lord; the temple, to pray unto him. The message he sent to Isaiah, with his answer, and the threatening letter of the king of Assyria, Hezekiah's prayer upon it, and the encouraging answer he had from the Lord, with the account of the destruction of the Assyrian army, and the death of Sennacherib, are the same "verbatim" as in Isaiah 37:1 throughout; and therefore the reader is referred thither for the exposition of them; only would add what Rauwolff (t) observes, that still to this day (1575) there are two great holes to be seen, wherein they flung the dead bodies (of the Assyrian army), one whereof is close by the road towards Bethlehem, the other towards the right hand against old Bethel.

(t) Travels, par. 3. ch. 22. p. 317.

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