Isaiah 36:18 MEANING

Isaiah 36:18
(18) Hath any of the gods of the nations . . .--The Rabshakeh speaks in the natural language of polytheism. The Jehovah of Israel was one of gods many and lords many, a simple national deity; but Asshur and Ishtar, the gods of Assyria, were supreme above them all (Records of the Past, i. 25, 33).

Verse 18. - Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you; rather, seduce you (comp. Deuteronomy 13:6; 1 Kings 21:25). Sennacherib claims to be entitled to the people's allegiance, and represents Hezekiah as a rebel, who seeks to draw them away from their duty. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land? The successes of the Assyrians, and the religious character of their wars, justified this boast. The pervading idea of the inscriptions is that wars arc undertaken for the glory of the Assyrian deities, particularly of Asshur, for the chastisement of his enemies, and with the object of establishing in each country, as it is brought under subjection, the laws and worship of Asshur (see 'Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 2. pp. 322-324 and 531). The nations fight under the protection of their own gods, and thus each war is a struggle between the Assyrian deities and those of the nation with which they arc contending. Hitherto, undoubtedly, Assyria had met with almost uniform success (see Isaiah 10:5-14).

36:1-22:See 2Ki 18:17-37, and the commentary thereon.Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you,.... To trust in the Lord, stand up in your own defence and not listen to these proposals; or, lest he "deceive you" (m); with vain words; whom he would represent not only as not being their lawful king, and therefore never gives him that title, but also as a deceiver and impostor, of whom they should be cautious, and guard against:

saying, the Lord will deliver us; and therefore need not fear the boasts and threats, the force and fury, of the enemy:

hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land; over whom he presided, and to whom the people of it were devotees:

out of the hand of the king of Assyria? this reasoning would have had some weight in it had the Lord God of Israel been like the gods of the nations, but he is not; he is the Former and Maker of all things, and sits in the heavens, and does whatsoever he pleases in heaven and in earth; and therefore, though they could not deliver their nations that worshipped them, it did not follow that the God of Israel could not deliver Hezekiah and his people.

(m) "ne forte decipiat vos", Calvin, Vatablus; "ne seducat vos", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

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