2 Kings 18

Hezekiah Reigns over Judah

1 Now it came about 1in the third year of Hoshea, the son of Elah king of Israel, that 2Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah became king.
2 He was 3twenty-five * years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine * years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah.
3 4He did right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father David had done.
4 5He removed the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah. He also broke in pieces 6the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the sons of Israel burned incense to it; and it was called Nehushtan.
5 7He trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel; 8so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who were before him.
6 For he 9clung to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses.

Hezekiah Victorious

7 10And the LORD was with him; wherever * he went he prospered. And 11he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.
8 12He defeated the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, from 13watchtower to fortified city.
9 Now in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, 14Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged * it.
10 At the end of three years they captured it; in the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was 15the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was captured.
11 Then the king of Assyria carried Israel away into exile to Assyria, and put them in 16Halah and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes,
12 because * they 17did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed His covenant, even all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded; they would neither listen nor do it.

Invasion of Judah

13 18Now in the fourteenth * year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them.
14 Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, "19I have done wrong. Withdraw from me; whatever you impose on me I will bear." So the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold.
15 20Hezekiah gave him all the silver which was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasuries of the king's house.
16 At that time Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD, and from the doorposts which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.
17 Then the king of Assyria sent 21Tartan and Rab-saris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah with a large army to Jerusalem. So they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they went up, they came and stood by the 22conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway of the fuller's field.
18 When they called to the king, 23Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and 24Shebnah the scribe and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, came out to them.
19 Then Rabshakeh said to them, "Say now to Hezekiah, 'Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria, "25What is this confidence that you have?
20 "You say (but they are only empty words ), 'I have counsel and strength for the war.' Now on whom do you rely, 26that you have rebelled against me?
21 "Now behold, you 27rely on the staff of this crushed reed, even on Egypt; on which if a man leans, it will go into his hand and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who rely on him.
22 "But if you say to me, 'We trust in the LORD our God,' is it not He whose high places and 28whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and has said to Judah and to Jerusalem, 'You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem '?
23 "Now therefore, come, make a bargain with my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them.
24 "How then can you repulse * one official of the least of my master's servants, and rely on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
25 "Have I now come up without the LORD'S approval against this place to destroy it? The LORD said to me, 'Go up against this land and destroy it.' ""'
26 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebnah and Joah, said to Rabshakeh, "Speak now to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it; and do not speak with us in 29Judean in the hearing of the people who are on the wall."
27 But Rabshakeh said to them, "Has my master sent me only to your master and to you to speak these words, and not to the men who sit on the wall, doomed to eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you?"
28 Then Rabshakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in Judean, saying *, "Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria.
29 "Thus says the king, '30Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you from my hand;
30 nor let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, "The LORD will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria."
31 'Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria, "Make your peace with me and come out to me, and eat 31each of his vine and each of his fig tree and drink each of the waters of his own cistern,
32 until I come and take you away 32to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey, that you may live and not die." But do not listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you, saying, "The LORD will deliver us."
33 '33Has any one of the gods of the nations delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria?
34 '34Where are the gods of Hamath and 35Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena and 36Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria from my hand?
35 'Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their land from my hand, 37that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem from my hand?' "
36 But the people were silent and answered him not a word, for the king's commandment was, "Do not answer him."
37 Then 38Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah 39with their clothes torn and told him the words of Rabshakeh.

2 Kings 18 Commentary

Chapter 18

Good reign of Hezekiah in Judah, Idolatry. (1-8) Sennacherib invades Judah. (9-16) Rabshakeh's blasphemies. (17-37)

Verses 1-8 Hezekiah was a true son of David. Some others did that which was right, but not like David. Let us not suppose that when times and men are bad, they must needs grow worse and worse; that does not follow: after many bad kings, God raised one up like David himself. The brazen serpent had been carefully preserved, as a memorial of God's goodness to their fathers in the wilderness; but it was idle and wicked to burn incense to it. All helps to devotion, not warranted by the word of God, interrupt the exercise of faith; they always lead to superstition and other dangerous evils. Human nature perverts every thing of this kind. True faith needs not such aids; the word of God, daily thought upon and prayed over, is all the outward help we need.

Verses 9-16 The descent Sennacherib made upon Judah, was a great calamity to that kingdom, by which God would try the faith of Hezekiah, and chastise the people. The secret dislike, the hypocrisy, and lukewarmness of numbers, require correction; such trials purify the faith and hope of the upright, and bring them to simple dependence on God.

Verses 17-37 Rabshakeh tries to convince the Jews, that it was to no purpose for them to stand it out. What confidence is this wherein thou trustest? It were well if sinners would submit to the force of this argument, in seeking peace with God. It is, therefore, our wisdom to yield to him, because it is in vain to contend with him: what confidence is that which those trust in who stand out against him? A great deal of art there is in this speech of Rabshakeh; but a great deal of pride, malice, falsehood, and blasphemy. Hezekiah's nobles held their peace. There is a time to keep silence, as well as a time to speak; and there are those to whom to offer any thing religious or rational, is to cast pearls before swine. Their silence made Rabshakeh yet more proud and secure. It is often best to leave such persons to rail and blaspheme; a decided expression of abhorrence is the best testimony against them. The matter must be left to the Lord, who has all hearts in his hands, committing ourselves unto him in humble submission, believing hope, and fervent prayer.

Cross References 39

  • 1. 2 Kings 16:2; 2 Kings 17:1
  • 2. 2 Chronicles 28:27
  • 3. 2 Chronicles 29:1, 2
  • 4. 2 Kings 20:3; 2 Chronicles 31:20
  • 5. 2 Kings 18:22; 2 Chronicles 31:1
  • 6. Numbers 21:8, 9
  • 7. 2 Kings 19:10
  • 8. 2 Kings 23:25
  • 9. Deuteronomy 10:20; Joshua 23:8
  • 10. Genesis 39:2, 3; 1 Samuel 18:14
  • 11. 2 Kings 16:7
  • 12. 2 Chronicles 28:18; Isaiah 14:29
  • 13. 2 Kings 17:9
  • 14. 2 Kings 17:3-7
  • 15. 2 Kings 17:6
  • 16. 1 Chronicles 5:26
  • 17. 1 Kings 9:6; Daniel 9:6, 10
  • 18. 2 Chronicles 32:1; Is 36:1-39:8
  • 19. 2 Kings 18:7
  • 20. 1 Kings 15:18, 19; 2 Kings 12:18; 2 Kings 16:8
  • 21. Isaiah 20:1
  • 22. 2 Kings 20:20; Isaiah 7:3
  • 23. 2 Kings 19:2; Isaiah 22:20
  • 24. Isaiah 22:15
  • 25. 2 Chronicles 32:10
  • 26. 2 Kings 18:7
  • 27. Is 30:2, 3, 7; Ezekiel 29:6, 7
  • 28. 2 Kings 18:4; 2 Chronicles 31:1
  • 29. Ezra 4:7; Daniel 2:4
  • 30. 2 Chronicles 32:15
  • 31. 1 Kings 4:20, 25
  • 32. Deuteronomy 8:7-9; Deuteronomy 11:12
  • 33. 2 Kings 19:12; Isaiah 10:10, 11
  • 34. 2 Kings 19:13
  • 35. Isaiah 10:9
  • 36. 2 Kings 17:24
  • 37. Psalms 2:1-3; Psalms 59:7
  • 38. 2 Kings 18:26
  • 39. 2 Kings 6:30

Footnotes 23

Chapter Summary


This chapter begins with the good reign of Hezekiah king of Judah, the reformation he made in the kingdom, and the prosperity that attended him when Israel was carried captive, 2Ki 18:1-12 and gives an account of the siege of Jerusalem by the king of Assyria, and of the distress Hezekiah was in, and the hard measures he was obliged to submit unto, 2Ki 18:13-18 and of the reviling and blasphemous speech of Rabshakeh, one of the generals of the king of Assyria, urging the Jews to a revolt from their king, 2Ki 18:19-37.

2 Kings 18 Commentaries

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