And this shall be a sign unto thee
Not to Sennacherib, but to Hezekiah; for here the Lord turns himself from the former, and directs his speech to the latter, in order to comfort him under the dreadful apprehensions he had of the Assyrian monarch, and his army; assuring him of deliverance; giving him a sign or token of it, and which was a wonder, as the word sometimes signifies, and was no less marvellous than the deliverance itself:
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 very wonderful; for whereas, either through the invasion of the land, and the siege of the city, they could not till their land as they had used to do, or what was upon it was destroyed or eaten up by the Assyrian army; and yet, through the wonderful providence of God, the earth of its own accord yielded that very year a sufficiency for them; and though the second year was, as it is thought, a sabbatical year, when the land had rest, and by the law was not to be tilled, yet it also produced of itself what was sufficient for their support; and then the third year being entirely free from the enemy, and all fears of his return, they go about their business as formerly, to sowing and reaping corn, and planting vineyards, and enjoying the fruit of their labours; all which falling out according to this prediction, must greatly confirm the mind of Hezekiah, and make him easy as to any future attempt upon him he might fear. The Vulgate Latin version renders the second clause, "ye shall eat apples the second year"; and so Symmachus, but without foundation.