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Isaiah 36

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH CHAPTER 36

Sennacherib has dispatched his field commander to Jerusalem for an unconditional surrender─the meeting was held close to the public laundry mat.  Judah’s secretary of state, chief of staff and their historian was sent to negotiate the proposals with the Assyrians.  This diplomacy turned into a war of words with no peace pact to be ratified by the two sides.  Assyria claims that they are there by divine guidance─that God had spoken to Sennacherib and that he was acting upon heaven’s orders.  These negotiations fell apart with each side reporting the progress to their superiors.  More information is awaiting you in the exposition.

EXPOSITION TO ISAIAH CHAPTER 36

1Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defenced cities of Judah, and took them.

Sennacherib’s army already occupied the fortified cities of Judah.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT SHED LIGHT ON THE TEXT:

2Ki 18:13  Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them.

2Ki 18:17  And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller’s field.

  2And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem unto king Hezekiah with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field.

Sennacherib sends his field commander to ask for an unconditional surrender─the meeting between the two countries was held at the intersection of a highway that led to the public laundry mat.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT VERIFY THE TEXT:

2 Kings 18:17-19 And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller’s field.  And when they had called to the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder.  And Rabshakeh said unto them, Speak ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?

3Then came forth unto him Eliakim, Hilkiah’s son, which was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, Asaph’s son, the recorder.

These three government officials─secretary of state, chief of staff and historian met with the Assyrian general and his field commanders for negotiations.

 

 

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

GIVE COUNTEREVIDENCE TO THE TEXT:

Isa 22:20  And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah:

2Sa 8:16-17  And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder;  And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, were the priests; and Seraiah was the scribe;

4And Rabshakeh said unto them, Say ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

CONFIRM THE TEXT:

Assyria now Kourdistan, was bounded by Armenia on the north, Media and Persia on the east, Babylonia on the south, and the Tigris, which divides it from Mesopotamia, on the west.  But the Assyrian empire, the bounds of which were different at different times, in its most flourishing state, according to the descriptions of the Greek and Roman writers, comprehended all the countries and nations between the Mediterranean on the west, and the Indus on the east, and between the deserts of Scythia on the north, and the Indian ocean on the south.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT CARRY WEIGHT REGARDING THE TEXT:

Isa 37:11-14  Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by destroying them utterly; and shalt thou be delivered?  Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed, as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which were in Telassar?  Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arphad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah?  And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up unto the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.

5I say, sayest thou, (but they are but vain words) I have counsel and strength for war: now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me?

The diplomats were engaging in a war of words─Rabshakeh lays down the premise that Hezekiah is trusting in the crocodile of the Nile for assistance.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

GIVE AUTHORITIVE DATA TO THE TEXT:

2Ki 18:7  And the LORD was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not.

2Ki 24:1  In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him.

6Lo, thou trustest in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that trust in him.

Trusting in Egypt was like trusting in a shadow or like leaning on a sharp stick for a cane.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT CARRY WEIGHT REGARDING THE TEXT:

Isa 30:1-2  Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:

That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!  Read:  Jer 37:5-8

7But if thou say to me, We trust in the LORD our God: is it not he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and said to Judah and to Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar?

Hezekiah had removed the sex and religion shrines and broke down the images and broke up the bronze serpent that Moses made, because the people had begun to worship it and commanded Judah to worship God.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT MAKE THE CASE:

2Ki 18:5  He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.  Read:  2Ch 32:7-8

8Now therefore give pledges, I pray thee, to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them.

Rabshakeh sets forth the conditions for surrender─he even bets him that Hezekiah can’t find 2,000 riders─how then can he fight against his war machine.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT MAKE THE CASE:

Psa 20:7  Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.  Read:  Psa 123:3-4

9How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master’s servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?

Egypt abounded in horses, chariots and cavalry.  When Israel put its trust in a foreign power, it no longer depended on God for protection.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT INDORSE THE TEXT:

Deu 17:16  But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.

Pro 21:31  The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.

10And am I now come up without the LORD against this land to destroy it? the LORD said unto me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.

Assyria claims that they were acting on divine guidance─they claimed that God had sent them on this mission.  God had sent the Assyrian army on this mission so He could show forth his power and glory.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT LEND EVIDENCE TO THE TEXT:

Isa 10:5-7  O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.  I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.  Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.   Read:  1Ki 13:182Ki 18:25

  11Then said Eliakim and Shebna and Joah unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, unto thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and speak not to us in the Jews’ language, in the ears of the people that are on the wall.

Aramaic was the language used by diplomats in that day and time.  In Babylonian time the language was Chaldean and in Roman time it was Latin and in our time it is English.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT DEMONSTRATE THE TEXT:

2Ki 18:26-27  Then said Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna, and Joah, unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and talk not with us in the Jews’ language in the ears of the people that are on the wall.  But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?

12But Rabshakeh said, Hath my master sent me to thy master and to thee to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?

Israel’s ambassadors tell Rabshakeh that he is not negotiating with the people on the wall but with Hezekiah,  however Rabshakeh informs him that he wants to talk to the people on the wall so they can pressure the government to surrender.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT AUTHENTICATE THE TEXT:

2Ki 18:27  But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?

13Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ language, and said, Hear ye the words of the great king, the king of Assyria.

Rabshakeh was defiant and addressed the people who were sitting on the wall calling on them to pressure their king to accept his proposal for peace.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

ESTABLISH THE CERTAINTY OF THE TEXT:

Isa 8:7  Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks:  Read:  2Ki 18:28-29

  14Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you.

Rabshakeh warns the people on the wall to not let the king fool or delude them into thinking that either Pharaoh or God can deliver them.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

PRESENT OVERWHELMING PROOF OF THE TEXT:

2Ch 32:13-15  Know ye not what I and my fathers have done unto all the people of other lands? were the gods of the nations of those lands any ways able to deliver their lands out of mine hand?  Who was there among all the gods of those nations that my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of mine hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of mine hand?  Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you on this manner, neither yet believe him: for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of mine hand, and out of the hand of my fathers: how much less shall your God deliver you out of mine hand?

15Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us: this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.

He tells the people not to let Hezekiah fool them into thinking that God will give them victory.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT ATTEST TO THE TEXT:

Psa 71:9-11  Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.  For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together,  Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him.

16Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me: and eat ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his own cistern;

Rabshakeh seeks for total surrender and wants to seal the peace pact with a gift and after they earn his good will he will take them to Kurdistan to live.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT ARE CONCLUSIVE AND FINAL:

2Ki 18:31-32  Hearken not to Hezekiah: for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me, and then eat ye every man of his own vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his cistern:  Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil olive and of honey, that ye may live, and not die: and hearken not unto Hezekiah, when he persuadeth you, saying, The LORD will deliver us.

 17Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.

He promises them a new land of plenty─corn fields, olive groves, vineyards, wheat and wine.  In his duplicity he really planned on keeping the best for slaves.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT RATIFY THE TEXT:

2Ki 17:6  In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

  18Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, the LORD will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?

His argument is that no idol god had delivered the subjects of other nations and therefore Israel’s God would be no different.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT BEAR OUT THE TEXT:

Isa 37:12  Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed, as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which were in Telassar?  Read:  Psa 92:5-7

 19Where are the gods of Hamath and Arphad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim? and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand?

Hamath and Arphad, (cities in Syria), Sepharvaim, and Samaria (capitol of the 10 northern tribes of Israel.)─Not one of the heathen gods responded when these nations or cities were under attack.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT SPEAK VOLUMES ABOUT THE TEXT:

Num 34:8  From mount Hor ye shall point out your border unto the entrance of Hamath; and the goings forth of the border shall be to Zedad:

20Who are they among all the gods of these lands, that have delivered their land out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?

He thinks that it is ridiculous for Israel to trust their God since all the other cities trusted their god and it profits them nothing.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT SHED LIGHT ON THE TEXT:

Isa 37:33-35  Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shields, nor cast a bank against it.  By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD.  For I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.

21But they held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king’s commandment was, saying, Answer him not.

God repeatedly tells his people to be silent─ what argument could they have put forward?

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT VERIFY THE TEXT:

Psa 39:1  To the chief Musician, even to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David. I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.

Pro 26:4  Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

22Then came Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, that was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.

The three men who were sent to negotiate a peace settlement return with a no progress report─to tear one’s clothes was a sign of defeat and despair.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT GIVE COUNTEREVIDENCE TO THE TEXT:

2Ki 18:27  But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?

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