Isaiah (Ch 37-38)

The Russian bear seems to have bitten a porcupine which has now got stuck to its mouth, unable to swallow it nor to dislodge it, creating lots of anxieties.

“Ukraine has biological research facilities, which in fact we are now quite concerned Russian forces may be seeking to gain control of, so we are working with the Ukrainians on how they can prevent any of those research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces should they approach,” said Victoria Nuland, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, during a Senate hearing on Ukraine; Mar 9, 2022

Is Fort Detrick the Source of Covid-19?

Isaiah 37

This chapter is the same as II King 19

1 And it came to pass, when King Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. — and went into the house of the Lord; to the temple to pray there: he could have prayed in his own house (as Daniel did), but he chose rather to go to the house of God, and was used to hear the prayers of his people; also it was more public and would be known to the people and set them an example to follow him in. 

And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, unto Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. — unto Isaiah the prophet; at last the people did consult and see their counsellor; in that supreme hour of calamity the prophet who had been despised and derided was their only resource. What could he do to extricate them from the evil net which was closing round them?

And they said unto him, “Thus saith Hezekiah: ‘This day is a day of trouble and of rebuke and of blasphemy; for the children have come to birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. — for the children are come; the meaning of this figure is plain: there was the highest danger. It was as in childbirth in which the pains had been protracted, the strength exhausted and where there was most imminent danger in regard to the mother and the child;

— so Hezekiah said there was the most imminent danger in the city of Jerusalem; they had made all possible preparations for defense; and now in the most critical time they felt their energies exhausted, their strength insufficient for their defense and they needed the intervention of God.

It may be the Lord thy God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God, and will reprove the words which the Lord thy God hath heard. Therefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that is left.’” — Rabshakeh; a name or a title serving the king of Assyria, probably the chief officer or cup-bearer;

— wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that is left; lift up thy voice, thy hands and thine heart in prayer to God in heaven; for those that are left; the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin, the other ten having been carried captive some time ago; the few that remained seems to be made use of as an argument for prayer in their favour.

Thus the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah. — so the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah; and delivered the above message to him;

And Isaiah said unto them, “Thus shall ye say unto your master, ‘Thus saith the Lord: Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed Me. — wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed God; by representing God as no better than the gods of the Gentiles, but unable to deliver out of the hands of the king of Assyria the city of Jerusalem, when he had said he would.

Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumor and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.’” — I will put a spirit into him; a spirit of fear and dread, which will oblige him to desist from his purposes, and flee; as he did which cut off his army in one night.

So Rabshakeh returned and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah, for he had heard that he had departed from Lachish. — and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah; a city in the tribe of Judah and lay nearer to Jerusalem than Lachish where Rabshakeh left him; so that he seemed to be drawing his army towards that city on which his heart was set.

And he heard say concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, “He has come forth to make war with thee.” And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, — the Ethiopians in those days retained Upper Egypt under Tirhakah, with Thebes as the capital. Tirhakah’s fame as a conqueror rivalled that of Sesostris; he and one at least of the Pharaohs of Lower Egypt were Hezekiah’s allies against Assyria. The tidings of his approach made Sennacherib the more anxious to get possession of Jerusalem before his arrival.

10 “Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying: Let not thy God in whom thou trustest deceive thee, saying, ‘Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’ — thus shall Rabshakeh speak to Hezekiah king of Judah —

11 Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by destroying them utterly. And shalt thou be delivered? — behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly; he boasts of the achievements of himself and his ancestors; to gratify their lusts; but though many had been destroyed by them yet not all; not Ethiopia whose king was come out to make war with him; nor Egypt which was in confederacy with Ethiopia; nor Judea, he was now invading; but this he said in a taunting way to terrify Hezekiah:

— and shalt thou be delivered? canst thou expect it? surely thou cannot. Is it probable? yea, is it possible thou shouldest be delivered? it is not; as sure as other lands have been destroyed so sure shall thine.

12 Have the gods of the nations delivered those whom my fathers have destroyed, as Gozan and Haran and Rezeph and the children of Eden who were in Telassar? — have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed? asked Sennacherib; they have not. But what then? is the God of Israel to be put upon a level with such dunghill gods? so Sennacherib reckoned him as Rabshakeh before, in his name.

13 Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arphad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah?”

14 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. — and Hezekiah went up unto the house of God; the temple, the outward court of it, further than that he could not go:

— and spread it before the Lord; not to read it as he had done or to acquaint him with the contents of it; he brought it as a proof of what he had to say to him in prayer and to support him in his allegations, and as a means to quicken himself in the discharge of that duty.

15 And Hezekiah prayed unto the Lord, saying,

16 “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, who dwellest between the cherubims, Thou art the God, even Thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; Thou hast made heaven and earth. — the prayer opens with a solemn invocation of Yehovah, first his name as the God of Israel and second as the only true God and Creator of all things.

17 Incline Thine ear, O Lord, and hear; open Thine eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, who hath sent to reproach the living God. — and hear all the words of Sennacherib which he hath sent to reproach the living God; the Septuagint understands it of the words which Sennacherib sent in the letter to reproach the Lord; but in 2 Kings 19:16, it is, “which hath sent him” the messenger, Rabshakeh, or whoever was the person that brought the letter to Hezekiah. The Targum paraphrases the latter part thus, “to reproach the people of the living God.”

18 In truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their countries, — the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their countries: or “all the lands and their land” the Targum says, “all provinces and their lands” the countries and town and villages in them.

19 and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they have destroyed them. — for they were no gods, but the works of hands, wood and stone; they were made of wood or of stone, and therefore could not be called gods; nor could they save the nations that worshipped them, nor themselves from the fire:

— therefore they have destroyed them; the Assyrian kings were able to do it and did do it because they were idols of wood or stone; but it did not therefore follow that they were a match for the God of Israel, the true and living God.

20 Now therefore, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that Thou art the Lord, even Thou only.”

21 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying, “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: Whereas thou hast prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria,

22 this is the word which the Lord hath spoken concerning him: ‘The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee. — the virgin, the daughter of Zion; hath despised thee; that is the inhabitants of Zion, called a “virgin” because it had never been forced or taken and to show that it was a vain thing in Sennacherib to attempt it as well as it would have been an injurious one;

— since God, the Father of this virgin, would carefully keep her from any sexual contamination; and he who was her husband to whom she was espoused as a chaste virgin, would defend and protect her.

23 “‘Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? And against whom hast thou exalted thy voice and lifted up thine eyes on high? Even against the Holy One of Israel. — whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? A creature like thyself? no, but a God, and not one like the gods of the nations, the idols of wood and stone, but the living God, the Holy One of Israel.

24 By thy servants hast thou reproached the Lord, and hast said, “By the multitude of my chariots have I come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, and the choice fir trees thereof; and I will enter into the height of his border and the forest of his Carmel. — Isaiah continued his reply: the Assyrian king, Shalmaneser, are full of like boasts, the multitude of his chariots —

25 I have dug and drunk water; and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of the besieged places.” — I have dug and drunk water; this again was one of the boasts of the Assyrian conqueror, Sennacherib —

26 “‘Hast thou not heard long ago how I have made it, and of ancient times, that I have formed it? Now have I brought it to pass that thou shouldest be to lay waste fortified cities into ruinous heaps. — Hast thou not heard; the speech of Sennacherib ends, and that of the Holy One of Israel begins. The adverb “long ago” should be connected with the words that follow; the events of history had all been foreseen and ordered, as in the remote past, by the counsels of Yehovah.

27 Therefore their inhabitants were of small power; they were dismayed and confounded; they were as the grass of the field and as the green herb, as the grass on the housetops and as corn blighted before it be grown up. — they were dismayed and confounded; not so much at the sight of Sennacherib’s army but because the Lord had dispirited them and took away their natural courage from them so that they became an easy prey to him:

— they were as the grass of the field: which has no strength to stand before the mower; as the grass on the housetops: which has no matter of root and is dried up with the heat of the sun.

28 “‘But I know thy sitting down, and thy going out and thy coming in, and thy rage against Me. — but I know thy abode and thy going out and thy coming in; where you dwelt, what you did at home, your secret councils, cabals, contrivances, schemes and plans of subduing of kingdoms and your scheme into the land of Judea; so the Targum says, “thy sitting in council, and thy going out abroad to make war, and thy coming into the land of Israel, are manifest before me.”

29 Because thy rage against Me and thy tumult have come up into Mine ears, therefore will I put My hook in thy nose and My bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.’ — because thy rage against me and thy tumult is come up into mine ears; the rage which Sennacherib expressed both by Rabshakeh, and in his letter against Hezekiah and his people is taken by the Lord as against himself;

— therefore will I put my hook in thy nose and my bridle in thy lips; comparing Sennacherib to leviathan, or to some unruly fish, not easily caught and managed; or to a bear or buffalo in whose noses men put iron rings and lead them about at pleasure; signifying hereby the strength, fierceness and fury of the Assyrian monarch and the power of God to restrain him.

30 “And this shall be a sign unto thee: Ye shall eat this year such as groweth of itself, and the second year that which springeth of the same; and in the third year sow ye and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof. — and this shall be a sign unto thee; not to Sennacherib but to Hezekiah; for here the Lord directs his speech to the latter in order to comfort him under the dreadful apprehensions he had of the Assyrian monarch; assuring him of deliverance; giving him a sign or token of it:

— ye shall eat this year such as groweth of itself: and the second year that which springeth of the same: and in the third year sow ye and reap and plant vineyards and eat the fruit thereof: all which was wonderful; whereas either through the invasion of the land or the siege of the city they could not till their land as they had used to do, or was destroyed or eaten up by the Assyrian army.

31 And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward and bear fruit upward. — and the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah; the few that escaped out of the cities of Judah upon Sennacherib’s invasion of the land and besieging and taking the fenced cities thereof, who fled to Jerusalem for safety;

— shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. The Targum says, “as a tree which sends forth its roots below, and lifts up its branches above.”

32 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and they that escape out of Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this. — shall go forth a remnant; the word ‘remnant’ means that which is left; and does not of necessity imply that it should be a small portion. No doubt a part of the Jews were destroyed in the invasion of Sennacherib, but the assurance is here given that a portion of them would remain in safety and that they would constitute that from which the future prosperity of the state would arise.

33 “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. — he shall not come into this city; Sennacherib encamped probably on the northeast side of the city and his army was destroyed there;

— nor shoot an arrow there; that is, nor shoot an arrow within the walls of the city; nor come before it with shields; the meaning here is that the army should not be permitted to come before the city defended with shields and prepared with the means of attack and defense.

34 By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city,’ saith the Lord.

35 ‘For I will defend this city to save it for Mine own sake and for My servant David’s sake.’” — not for the merits of the inhabitants of it but for the sake of his own name and glory who had been blasphemed by the Assyrian monarch and his general; and for the sake of his servant David in whose seed he had promised the kingdom should be established.

36 Then the angel of the Lord went forth and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand (185,000); and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. — a prodigious slaughter indeed! which shows the power and strength of an angel of the Lord; behold, they were all dead corpses; the whole army, excepting a few; this may well be expressed with a note of admiration, “behold!” for a very wonderful thing it was.

37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed and went, and returned and dwelt at Nineveh. — dwelt at Nineveh; for about twenty years after his disaster, according to the Assyrian inscriptions. The word, “dwelt” is consistent with any indefinite length of time.

38 And it came to pass, as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword, and they escaped into the land of Ararat; and Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead.

Isaiah 38

1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, came unto him and said unto him, “Thus saith the Lord: ‘Set thine house in order, for thou shalt die and not live.’” — in those days Hezekiah was sick unto death; this was about the time that Sennacherib invaded Judea, threatened Jerusalem with a siege and his army was destroyed by an angel from heaven; but whether it was before or after the destruction of his army, no one is sure.

Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the Lord — then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall; either to the wall of his bedchamber where he lay sick that his tears might not be seen, and his prayers interrupted; or else to the wall of the temple, as the Targum says, towards which good men used to look when they prayed.

and said, “Remember now, O Lord, I beseech Thee, how I have walked before Thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in Thy sight.” And Hezekiah wept sorely. — wept sore; Josephus says, the reason why he wept so sorely was that being childless; he was leaving the kingdom without a successor; but his wishes, when gratified, prove a curse!; for he lived to have a son; that son was the idolater Manasseh, the chief cause of God’s wrath against Judah and of the overthrow of the kingdom.

Then came the word of the Lord to Isaiah, saying,

“Go, and say to Hezekiah, ‘Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father: I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears. Behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. — God of David thy father; God remembers the covenant with the father to the children (Ex 20:5; Ps 89:28, 29).

And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city. — and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; so that it seems that Hezekiah’s sickness was while the king of Assyria was near Jerusalem and about to besiege it and before the destruction of the Assyrian army.

And this shall be a sign unto thee from the Lord that the Lord will do this thing that He hath spoken: — and this shall be a sign unto thee from the Lord; which it seems Hezekiah asked and it was put for him to choose, whether the shadow on the sundial should go forward or backward ten degrees and he chose the latter, 2 Kings 20:8, which was a token confirming and assuring.

Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which has gone down in the sundial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward.’” So the sun returned ten degrees by which degrees it had gone down. — so the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down; and so this day was longer by these degrees than a common day, and accordingly, we suppose the sun went back, suddenly or as it usually moved, though in a retrograde way and made the same progress again through these degrees.

The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah when he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness: — the writing of Hezekiah king of Judah; the Septuagint calls it a “prayer” but the Targum is much better, “a writing of confession.”

10 I said, “In the cutting off of my days I shall go to the gates of the grave; I am deprived of the residue of my years.” — Hezekiah shall go to the gates of the grave; he perceives that he must die without any hopes of prevention; the grave is called a man’s long home.

11 I said, “I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord, in the land of the living; I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world. — I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world; or “time” of this fading transitory world, which will quickly cease.

12 Mine age is departed and is removed from me as a shepherd’s tent; I have cut off like a weaver my life. He will cut me off with pining sickness; from day even to night wilt Thou make an end of me. — mine age is departed; the time of my life is expired; as a shepherd’s tent, which is easily and speedily removed;

— I have cut off, to wit, by my sins, provoking God to do it. Or I do declare and have concluded that my life is or will be suddenly cut off; for men are oft said in Scripture to do those things which they only declare and pronounce to be done; as men are said to pollute and to remit and retain sins and the like, when they only declare men and things to be polluted and sins to be remitted or retained by God.

13 I reckoned till morning that, as a lion, so will He break all my bones; from day even to night wilt Thou make an end of me.” — I reckoned till morning; or “I set my time till the morning” – he thought he should have died before the night came on and now it was come, the utmost he could propose to himself was to live till morning; that was the longest time he could reckon of; the Targum says, “I roared until morning, as a lion roars.”

14 Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter; I did mourn as a dove; mine eyes fail with looking upward. O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me! — rather “like a crane and a swallow” – both are sometimes loud and clamorous like a crane when the pain was very acute and grievous; and sometimes very low, through weakness of body like the twittering of a swallow; or the moan he made under his affliction was like the mournful voices of these birds at certain times;

— I did mourn as a dove; silently and patiently within himself for his sins and transgressions; and because of his afflictions, the fruit of them.

15 What shall I say? He hath both spoken unto me, and Himself hath done it. I shall go softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul. — what shall I say? in a way of praise and thankfulness, for the mercies promised and received; I know not what to say; I want words to express the gratitude of my heart for the kindness bestowed. What shall I render to God for all his benefits? So the Targum says, “what praise shall I utter, and I will say it before him?”

— I shall go softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul; before he did not reckon of a day to live, now he speaks of his years, having fifteen added to his days, during which time he should “go softly” in a thoughtful meditating frame of mind; frequently calling his bitter affliction and recovery out of it, acknowledging the goodness and kindness of God unto him.

— cheerfully, after the bitterness of my soul as it may be rendered; that is, after it is over, or because of deliverance from it. So the Targum says, “with what shall I serve him, and render to him for all the years he hath added to my life, and hath delivered me from the bitterness of my soul?”

16 O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit; so wilt Thou recover me and make me to live. — O Lord, by these things men live; not by bread only but by the word of God: by the promise of God and by his power performing it; and by his favour and goodness continually bestowed.

17 Behold, for peace I had great bitterness; but Thou hast in love for my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption, for Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back. — behold for peace I had great bitterness; meaning not that instead of peace and prosperity which he expected would ensue upon the destruction of Sennacherib’s army, came a bitter affliction upon him;

— for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back; as loathsome and abominable; for though God sees all the sins of his people with his eye of omniscience and in his providence takes notice of them and chastises for them, yet not with his eye of avenging justice.

18 For the grave cannot praise Thee, death can not celebrate Thee; they that go down into the pit cannot hope for Thy truth. — for the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee; that is they that are in the grave, they cannot celebrate the praises of God; their souls may praise him but they in their bodies cannot till the resurrection morn, or as long as they are under the dominion of the grave; so the Targum says, “they that are in the grave cannot confess before thee, and the dead cannot praise thee.”

19 The living, the living, he shall praise Thee, as I do this day; the father to the children shall make known Thy truth. — the living; only the living; emphatic repetition; his heart is so full of the main object of his prayer that for want of adequate words he repeats the same word;

— father to the children; one generation of the living to another. Hezekiah probably also hints at his own desire to live until he should have a child, the successor to his throne to whom he might make known and so perpetuate the memory of God’s truth.

20 The Lord was ready to save me; therefore we will sing my songs with the stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of the Lord. — the Lord was ready to save me; the Lord was at hand to save him; God was a present help in time of need; he arose for his help, and that right early; he who one day expected death every moment was the next day in the temple praising God.

21 For Isaiah had said, “Let them take a lump of figs and lay it for a plaster upon the boil, and he shall recover.” — for Isaiah had said; before the above writing was made, which ends in the preceding verse; for this and the following are probably added by Isaiah or some other person. The Septuagint version adds, “to Hezekiah” but the speech seems rather directed to some of his servants, or those that were about him;

— let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaster upon the boil, and he shall recover; which was done and he did accordingly recover; this was a miracle within a miracle since figs are hurtful to ulcers; it was not from the natural force of these figs but by the power of God that this cure was effected.

22 Hezekiah also had said, “What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of the Lord?” — Hezekiah also had said; what evidence or proof have I that I shall be restored and permitted to go to the temple? The miracle on the sun-dial was performed in answer to this request and as a demonstration that he should yet be permitted to visit the temple of God.

~ by Joel Huan on March 22, 2022.

One Response to “Isaiah (Ch 37-38)”

  1. […] Study of Chapters 37 and 38 HERE ~ —— […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: