In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod
Or Azotus, as the Septuagint here call it; and which is its name in the New Testament, (See Gill on Acts 8:40). This Tartan, or whom the Septuagint names Tanathan, and the Arabic version Tathan, was one of Sennacherib's generals, ( 2 Kings 18:17 ) :
(when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him);
to the above place to besiege it. This Sargon is generally thought to be the same with Sennacherib, since Tartan was one of his generals, who might have more names than one. Jerom says he had seven; the Jewish Rabbins F8 eight; though some think a predecessor of his is meant, Shalmaneser; and others his son Esarhaddon, who in the Apocrypha:
``And there passed not five and fifty days, before two of his sons killed him, and they fled into the mountains of Ararath; and Sarchedonus his son reigned in his stead; who appointed over his father's accounts, and over all his affairs, Achiacharus my brother Anael's son.'' (Tobit 1:21)
is called Sarchedon, which might easily pass by pronunciation into Sargon:
and fought against Ashdod, and took it;
which was held by the Assyrians till the time of Psammiticus, and was so strong a city, and so well fortified, that it held out a siege of twenty nine years before he could be master of it F9; how long Tartan lay against it, before he took it, is not said; nor is it certain what year he came against it; those who take Sargon to be Shalmaneser place it in the fourth year of Hezekiah's reign, who sent Tartan to Ashdod at the same time that he went against Samaria, ( 2 Kings 18:9 ) but others, who think Sennacherib is Sargon, fix it to the fourteenth year of Hezekiah's reign, as Kimchi; who, hearing of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia and Egypt coming against him, went forth to meet him, and subdued him; and at the same time sent Tartan against Ashdod; or rather this was done when he took the fenced cities of Judah, of which this was one, having been taken a little before by Hezekiah from the Philistines; see ( 2 Kings 18:8 2 Kings 18:13 ) though, if Esarhaddon is Sargon, this must be in the times of Manasseh, perhaps about the twenty second year of his reign, by whom he was taken, and carried captive; but it is most likely to have been in Hezekiah's time.
F8 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 94. 1.
F9 Herodot. l. 2. c. 157.