And he heard say concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia
Not Rabshakeh, but the king of Assyria heard a rumour of this Ethiopian king coming out to war against him: his name, in Josephus F23, is Tharsices; in the Septuagint version it is Tharaca; and by Africanus
F24 he is called Taracus; and is the same, who, by Strabo F25, out of Megasthenes, is named Tearcon the Ethiopian: the Ethiopia of which he was king was either the upper Ethiopia or that beyond Egypt; to which agrees the Arabic version, which calls him Tharatha king of the Abyssines; but others take it for Cush, or rather Ethiopia in the land of Midian, or Arabia, as Bochart; which lay nearer to Judea than the other Ethiopia. Now the report that was brought to the king of Assyria of him was, he is come forth to make war with thee;
not by assisting the Egyptians, as Josephus, but rather the Jews; or by making an irruption into the king of Assyria's country in his absence: this some think to be the rumour predicted, ( Isaiah 37:7 ) and when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah;
with terrifying letters, to frighten him into an immediate surrender of the city, that he might withdraw his army, and meet the king of Ethiopia with the greater force; and the rather he dispatched these messengers in all haste to Hezekiah, that his letters might reach him before he had knowledge of the king of Ethiopia, asking a diversion in his favour, which would encourage him to hold out the siege the longer: saying; as follows:
F23 Antiqu. l. 10. c. 1. sect. 4.
F24 Apud Euseb. Chron.
F25 Geograph. l. 15. p. 472.