1. Now it came to pass in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, that Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the defenced cities of Judah, and took them.
1. Accidit anno decimo quarto regis Ezechiae, ut ascenderet Sennacherib rex Assur contra omnes urbes Iuda munitas, et caperet eas.
2. And the king of Assyria sent Rabshakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem, unto king Hezekiah, with a great army: and he stood by the conduit of the upper pool, in the highway of the fuller's field.
2. Tum misit rex Assur Rapsacen e Lachis Ierosolymam ad regem Ezechiam cum manu valida, qui stetit in aquae ductu piscinae superioris, in via agri fullonis.
3. Then came forth unto him Eliakim, Hilkiah's son, which was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joab, Asaph's son, the recorder.
3. Et egressus est ad eum Eliacim filius Helchiae praefectus domus, et Sobna cancellarius, et Ioach filius Asaph secretarius.
4. And Rabshakeh said unto them, Say ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest?
4. Et dixit illis Rapsaces: Dicite agedum Ezechiae, Sic dicit rex magnus, rex Assur, Quae fiducia haec qua confisus es?
5. I say, sayest thou, (but they are but vain words,) I have counsel and strength for war: now, on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me?
5. Dixi: (tantum verbum labiorum:) Consilium et fortitudo ad bellum. Nunc super quo confisus es, quod rebellasti adversum me?
6. Lo, thou trustest in the staff of 'this broken reed, on Egypt, whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that trust in him.
6. Ecce confiusus es super baculo isto arundineo confracto, super AEgypto; eui si quis innititur, penetrabit in manum ejus, et perforabit eam. Talis est Pharao rex AEgypti erga omnes qui fiduciam habent in eo.
7. But if thou say to me, We trust in the Lord our God: is it not he whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and said to Judah and to Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar?
7. Quod si dixeris mihi, In Iehova Deo nostro confidimus; annon hic est enjus abstulit Ezechias excelsa et altaria, dixitque ad Iuda et Ierusalem, coram altari hoc adorabitis?
8. Now therefore give pledges, I pray thee, to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them.
8. Nunc age, da obsidem domino meo regi Assur. Dabo tibi duo millia equorum; an tibi erunt equites quos illis imponas?
9. How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
9. Et quomodo aspernaris faciem ducis unius e servis domini mei minoribus, et fiduciam tibi statuis in AEgypto ob currus et equites?
10. And am I now come up without the Lord against this land to destroy it? The Lord said unto me, Go up against this land, and destroy it
10. Et nunc an absque Iehova ascendi ad terrain hanc, ut perdam eam? Iehova mihi dixit: ascende in terram hanc, ut perdas eam.
11. Then said Eliakim, and Shebna, and Joah, unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, unto thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and speak not to us in the Jews' language, in the ears of the people that are on the wall.
11. Et dixit Eliacim, et Sobna, et Ioach, ad Rapsacem: loquere quaeso ad servos tuos Syriace, quoniam nos intelligimus, et non loquaris nobiscum Iudaice, audiente populo qui est super murum.
12. But Rabshakeh said, Hath my master sent me to thy master and to thee to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men that sit upon the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?
12. Et dixit Rapsace: Nunquid ad dominum tuum et ad to misit me dominus meus, ut loquar verba ista? Annon ad viros sedentes super murum, ut comedant stercora sua et bibunt lotium suum vobiseum?
13. Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and said, Hear ye the words of the great king, the king of Assyria.
13. Stetit ergo Rapsace, et cla--mavit voce magna Iudaice, ac dixit: Audite verba regis magni, regis Assur.
14. Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you; for he shall not be able to deliver you.
14. Sic dicit rex: Ne vobis imponat Ezechias, quia non poterit vos liberare.
15. Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying, The Lord will surely deliver us: this city shall not be delivered, into the hand of the king of Assyria.
15. Neque vos confidere faciat Iehovae Ezechias, dicens, Liberando liberabit nos Iehova; non tradetur haec urbs in manum regis Assur.
16. Hearken not to Hezekiah; for thus saith the king of Assyria, Make an agreement with me by a present, and come out to me: and eat ye every one of his vine, and every one of his fig. tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his own cistern;
16. Ne audieritis Ezechiam; quoniam sic dicit rex Assur: Facite mecum benedictionem, et egredimini; et comedant singuli e ficu sua, et bibant singuli aquas putei sui.
17. Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards.
17. Donec veniam et assumam vos in terrain similem terre vestrae, terrain frumenti et vini, terrain panis et vinearum.
18. Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, The Lord will deliver us. Hath any of 'the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
18. Ne forte decipiat vos Ezechias, dicens, Iehova eripiet nos. An eripuerunt dii Gentium quisque terram suam e mann regis Assur?
19. Where are the gods of Hamath and Arphad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim? and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand?
19. Ubi est Deus Amath et Arpad? ubi Dens Sepharvaiim? An liberaverunt Samariam e manu mea?
20. Who are they among all the gods of these lands, that have delivered their land out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?
20. Quis est in omnibus diis istarum terrarum qui liberaverit terram suam e manu mea; ut eruat Iehova Ierusalem e mann mea?
21. But they held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the kings commandment was, saying, Answer him not.
21. Tacuerunt, nec responderunt ei verbum; quoniam praeceptum hoc regis erat, qui dixerat: Ne respondeatis illi.
22. Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, that was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.
22. Venit antem Eliacim praefectus palatii, et Sobna cancellarius, et Ioach, filius Asaph, secretarius, ad Ezechiam scissis vestibus, et nuntiaverunt illi verba Rapsace.
But to the small number of believers it was advantageous to perceive such illustrious proofs of the hand of God, that greater credit might afterwards be given to Isaiah. The Prophet also might pursue his course more ardently and with unshaken firmness, since God had given so splendid an attestation of his doctrine from heaven. And because the truth of God scarcely obtains from us the honor due to it, unless it be supported by strong proofs, God has provided not less largely for our weakness, that we may perceive as in a mirror that the power of God accompanied the words of Isaiah, and that what he taught on earth was confirmed from heaven. More especially has calling was manifestly sealed, when God delivered Jerusalem from the grievous siege of Sennacherib, and when no hope of safety remained; so that believers saw that they had been rescued from the jaws of death by the hand of God alone. For this reason I have said that it was a seal to authenticate the prophecies which might otherwise have been called in question.
We must now consider what thoughts might occur to the pious king and to other persons; for if we judge of this calamity according to the perception of the flesh, we shall think that God was unjust in permitting his servant to be reduced to such extremities, whose piety seemed to deserve that the Lord would preserve him in safety and free from all molestation, since his whole desire was to maintain the true worship of God. This was no small trial of the faith of Hezekiah, and ought to be continually placed before our eyes, when we are subjected to the same temptations. The Lord did not punish Hezekiah for carelessness, pleasures, or luxury, and much less for superstitions, or unholy contempt of the Law; for as soon as he began to reign, he labored with the utmost zeal and carefulness and industry to restore the purity of religion. God therefore intended to try his faith and patience.
This history is more fully related in the Books of Kings, where it is shewn how eager for peace Hezekiah was; for he labored to obtain it on any terms. He had delivered up "three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold," which that tyrant had demanded; and he found it necessary to seize the vessels of the Temple, and the golden plates which had been attached to its doors, to make up that sum, because his treasury was exhausted. (2 Kings 18:14.) But as such gulfs are insatiable, when he had received that money, he next demanded more, and sought to enforce harder conditions. This was done partly, in order to provoke and torment Hezekiah, (for, having once abused the ready compliance of the pious king, he thought that he would obtain anything,) and partly because he sought an occasion of renewing the war. Yet it ought to be observed that the people were justly punished for their iniquities, as had been foretold; for although true religion flourished as to external worship, yet their life was not changed for the better, and their wickedness was not removed, nor was the inward pollution cleansed from their hearts. Accordingly, because the people did not repent, it was necessary that their obstinate depravity should be severely chastised. But because the measure of their iniquities was not yet full, God abated the fierceness of his anger, and suddenly, when matters were desperate, brought such assistance as could not have been believed.
Some think that by "words" are meant "prayers." I do not approve of that exposition; for it is excessively farfetched and unnatural, and therefore I view it thus: "Hezekiah has words of lips, that is, he employs a beautiful and elegant style, to keep the people in the discharge of their duty, or, as we commonly say,
And, first, he compares the Egyptians to "a staff of reed" on account of their weakness; secondly, for the sake of amplification he calls them "a broken staff;" thirdly, he says that it is so far from supporting that it
We are therefore warned by this example, that there is no reason to wonder if unbelievers, who do not obey the counsel of God for their salvation, and reject all prophecies, are subjeered to the jeers of their enemies, as Rabshakeh, the captain of the Assyrian king, now haughtily taunts the rebellious Jews. Yet it is of importance to consider how great a difference there is between the warnings of God and the mockeries of Satan. When God wishes to dissuade us from sinful confidence in the flesh, he declares in general terms, "Cursed be he that trusteth in man," (Jeremiah 17:5.) that the whole world may be reduced to nothing, and that thus we may be satisfied with himself alone; and therefore, when he has brought us low, he instantly imparts courage to us by holding out a remedy. But when Satan deceitfully blames any vain hope, he drives us to despair, and urges us to many other hopes equally bad or still worse, and tempts us to adopt unlawful methods; as Rabshakeh does not smite the hope which the Jews entertained from the Egyptians, in order that they may rely on God alone, but substitutes the king of Assyria, as if safety ought not to be expected from any other quarter, tie names Pharaoh, but likewise includes the whole nation.
By this slander Satan attempted not only to wound the heart of the king, that it might sink under the weight, of affliction, but to make an impression on the light and fickle multitude; because hitherto in the hearts of many there remained an attachment to superstition, and there was a strong tendency to fall back into this imposture, because the religion which was ancient, and to which they were long accustomed, had been changed, and, in their opinion,4 Hezekiah was about to be chastised for his own rashness. In like manner, the Papists in the present day, whenever any adverse event befalls us, maintain that we are punished by God, because we have ventured to set aside ancient ceremonies.5
Hence we ought to learn that however earnestly we may be devoted to godliness, and however faithfully we may labor to advance the kingdom of Christ, still we must not expect to be free from every annoyance, but ought rather to be prepared for enduring very heavy afflictions. The Lord does not always recompense our piety by earthly rewards; and indeed it would be an exceedingly unsuitable recompense that we should possess abundant wealth and enjoy outward peace, and that everything should proceed to our wish; for the world reckons even wicked men to be happy on this ground, that they do not endure bad health or adversity, and are free from the pressure of poverty, and have nothing to disturb them. In this respect our condition would not differ at all from that of the reprobate.
This example of Hezekiah, who labored with all his might to restore religion and the true worship of God, and yet endured calamities so heavy and violent that he was not far from despair, ought to be constantly placed before our eyes, in order that, when we shall think float we have discharged our duty, we may nevertheless be prepared to endure conflicts and troubles of every kind, and may not be disturbed if enemies gain an advantage at the first onset, as if all at once they would swallow us up. Those proud and haughty minds will quickly fall, when the first ardor has boiled over and spent its foam, and their eagerness and pride will speedily disappear Rabshakeh boasted of the greatness and power of his king, in order to terrify Hezekiah. Such is the manner in which wicked men act towards us. By threatening words they attack us, and by various terrors they try our patience, or rather through their agency Satan labors, whom we plainly see speaking by the mouth of Rabshakeh. Nay, Satan assumes the character of God himself, and "is transformed into an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14.) Thus also the Spirit of God himself declares, that the strength of man is frail and fading, and that every one who leans on it seeks his own destruction. (Jeremiah 17:5.) Rabshakeh says the same thing, and discourses as if he were discharging the prophetical office by the command of God.
We ought therefore to distinguish wisely when God speaks, and when, on the other hand, his name is falsely assumed by men; for Satan resorts to various artifices to make himself appear to be like God. All these reproaches were unjustly, as we have said, brought by Rabshakeh against Hezekiah, who did not place his hope in his own strength, and did not vaunt himself through reliance on the Egyptians; but godly men, even when they do well, must be exposed to evil reports. By these stratagems Satan attacks our faith, and unjustly slanders us among men. This temptation is highly dangerous, for we are desirous that our integrity should be well known; and when we are well disposed, we take it ill if other men put a different interpretation on our conduct. Thus Satan endearours by slander to overturn all that has been done out of a good conscience, or accuses us of something with which we are not at all chargeable, or loads us with unfounded slanders, or contrives what never came into our mind; but an upright conscience ought to be like a brazen wall to us, that, imitating the example of Hezekiah, we may stand unshaken against such accusations and slanders.
So far as relates to the last clause, in which Rabshakeh reproaches him with having overturned the worship of God,9 every person must plainly see how slanderous is that charge; for Hezekiah had taken away false gods and superstitious10 worship, which God abhors. (2 Kings 18:4.) But we need not wonder that wicked men cannot distinguish between the true God and the false, between superstition, and religion. And the same thing is practiced amongst us every day; for the Papists, who are delighted with nothing but their own superstitions, accuse us of having taken away innumerable inventions of men, and complain that we have impaired and almost abolished the worship of God. They taunt us also in the same manner as that Rabshakeh, "Would God assist those who have taken away his worship, profaned the holy temples, and everything that was established in that beautiful order?" The reason is, that in Popery everything had a dazzling appearance, and drew the admiration of men; while we retain no ceremonies but those which are plain and simple, and free from all pageantry, and therefore they think that we have taken away the worship of God, which they estimate by outward appearances. If any adverse event befalls us, they exclaim that it; is richly deserved, that all the blame attaches to us, that the whole world is punished for our ungodliness, and if we ourselves suffer any calamity they taunt us still more.
Yet with resolute faith we must stand out against such ungodly speeches, by shewing that what they call the worship of God is not his worship, but that we have taken away, and have justly taken away, mere trifles, and that all the contrivances of men do not belong to the worship of God, but. are delusions of Satan, and that nothing is more destructive. We must therefore stand out with unshaken faith against reproaches of every kind, by which Satan endeavors to throw a shade over the practice of godliness. At first sight it appears to be shameful that he overthrew many altars and left but one, that he profaned many temples that one might remain. (2 Kings 18:4.) But Hezekiah was fully acquitted by this single defense, that he undertook nothing but by the word of God; and therefore that he was satisfied with a single altar, because God had forbidden him to erect more, and that he had thrown down all images, because they had been unlawfully set up in opposition to the instructions of the Law. (Exodus 20:4.) We have the same dispute with the Papists in the present day, because they blame us on no other ground than that we have set aside a huge mass of ceremonies, and retain only what God has enjoined. In such cases, however, we must not argue about what pleases men, but what is approved by God.
When the Prophet says that he stood, he expresses the fierceness and insolence of the wicked man; for the very attitude shews how haughtily he conducted himself. Formerly he stood, but now he placed himself in such an attitude as to be better seen, and strike greater terror into the Jews.
But in order to destroy their confidence in the assistance of God, he employs also another expedient, by flattering their hearts with the allurements of a more comfortable life; for there is nothing to which we are more prone than to revolt from God, when we are drawn away by the appearance of advantage. If the world flatter and caress, the hope of eternal salvation quickly passes away; for our senses are always fixed on the present state of things. Fortified by this resource, Rabshakeh advises, "Do not depend on an uncertain hope, but rather receive what is certain." And this discourse is powerfully fitted to persuade; for nothing is more agreeable to men than to have in hand what they consider to be desirable; and they are so impatient of delay that they prefer an immediate advantage to what is very distant. Rabshakeh, therefore, reasons thus: "Hezekiah promises to you the assistance of God, but we do not see it; he holds you in suspense about what is uncertain; but my king proraises to you those things which are at hand, and will assuredly bestow them." This might appear to be a strong argument; but we must observe the sophistry; for by the same stratagem does Satan frequently attack us, and lead us aside from confidence in God.
The Lord calls us to the hope of eternal life; that hope is concealed, "for we hope (Romans 8:25) for what we do not see;" he promises that he will be our deliverer, and yet allows us to languish and hint.; so that it appears that our hope is vain, if we look at the present condition of things. On this ground Satan attacks us. "Why dost thou hope in vain? What is the fruit of thy faith? What dost thou expect beyond the world?" In short, this is our daily lamentation. When Christ calls us to heaven, Satan endeavors to keep us still on the earth; and therefore we must adhere firmly to the promises, that, "hoping against hope," (Romans 4:18,) we may trust in God, and not suffer ourselves to be drawn away from him by any allurements.
Though Hezekiah is mentioned, yet the comparison is actually made between God and the king of Assyria; for Hezekiah, as he was the servant of God, made no false pretensions, and did not boast of any vain confidence, but, relying on true and most certain promises, faithfully exhorted the people to seek God; but Rabshakeh adorned his king by robbing God, and yet was the servant of Satan, to withdraw the people from confidence in God to all impiety.
Thus, although at first wicked men conceal their contempt of God, yet they afterwards shew that they claim everything for themselves, and that they are "without God."17 (Ephesians 2:12.) In words, indeed, they pretend to ascribe victories to their idols; but afterwards, as Habakkuk says, they
"sacrifice to their net, and offer incense to their drag."
We see hypocrites do this also at the present day; for they run to do honor to their idols after having obtained a victory, but immediately afterwards boast of their plans, and wisdom, and courage, and military forces; which plainly shews that they ascribe to themselves and not to their idols all that has happened.
By such insolent boasting, therefore, he shewed that it was a lie, when he said that he acknowledged God to be the author of his victories. Besides, it was impossible that these words should not give dreadful agony to the heart of the good king, when he was informed that the promises of God were condemned as false, when that wicked man openly insuited God and linked their cause with idols. And these things are related, in order that we may behold the patience of the good king, and may resolve to imitate him when anything of the same kind shall take place.
Here we ought also to observe another kind of blasphemy, by which the majesty of God is wickedly dishonored; which is, that Rabshakeh confounds God with idols, and represents him to be one of the multitude. For what blasphemy is it to confound the immortal God and creator of all things with what is most detestable, to confound truth with falsehood, glory with shame, heaven with earth?
"The Lord is great," says David, "and worthy of the highest praise; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are nothing; but the Lord made the heavens. Majesty and honor are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary." --
This insolence of ungodly men arises from their not understanding that God punishes the sins of men when they suffer any adversity. And first they go wrong in this respect that they institute a wicked and absurd comparison, "I have conquered that nation, and therefore I am better or stronger." They do not perceive that they were appointed to be the executioners of God's anger for the punishment of iniquities; for, although they say that they have received something from God, they do it hypocritically, and do not consider his will or his justice. They afterwards rise higher, for they venture to make a comparison between them and God himself, "I have conquered those over whom God presided, and therefore I have conquered God himself."
And here we see painted in a lively manner what was formerly expressed, --
"Ah! Assyria, the rod of my indignation; but he thought not so." (Isaiah 10:5.)
In that passage God forewarned believers, that although Sennacherib, in blind madness, lifted himself up and attempted to overthrow all divine power, still they should continue to believe this doctrine, that he could do nothing more than what he was permitted by heaven to do. It is our duty to acknowledge that God inflicts punishment by the hand of wicked men, who may be regarded as the instruments of God's anger; and therefore we ought to turn away our eyes from them, that we may look directly at God, by whom we are justly punished. If wicked men are more powerful, let us not think that the arm of God is broken, but let us consider that we do not deserve his assistance; for he arms enemies for our destruction, supplies them with vigor and with armies, drives them backwards and forwards whenever he thinks proper, and gives us up into their hands when we have turned away from him.
Accordingly, when the Turk now rises up haughtily against us, because he has already vanquished so great a multitude of Christians, we need not be alarmed on that account, as if the power of God were diminished, and as if he had not strength to deliver us. But we ought to consider in how many ways the inhabitants of Greece and of Asia provoked his anger, by the prevalence of every kind of base and shocking licentiousness in those countries, and by the dreadful superstitions and wickedness which abounded. On this account very severe chastisement was needed for restraining the crimes of those who made a false profession of the name of God. Hence came the prosperity of the Turk, and hence was it followed by a shockingly ruinous condition throughout the whole of the east. Yet we see him insolently raising his crest, laughing at our religion, and applauding his own in a strange manner; but still more does he applaud himself, and "sacrifice to his net," (Habakkuk 1:16,) as we have already said of other infidels.
We ought, therefore, to direct our minds towards the judgments of God, that we may not think that the Turk acquired such extensive dominion by his own strength. But the Lord allowed him greater freedom, for the purpose of punishing the ungodliness and wickedness of men, and will at length restrain his insolence at the proper time. Now, although prosperity is a token of the blessing of God, yet we must not begin with it if we wish to form right views of God himself, as Mahometans and Papists infer from the victories which they have gained, that God is in some respects subject to their control. But when we have known the true God, blessings are added in the proper order to testify his grace and power.
Yet we ought always to beware of making the smallest claim for ourselves, for as soon as foolish confidence has gained admission, we shall immediately be seized with such fury as to believe that even God is not equal to us. At first, even wicked men will be shocked at anything so grossly irreligious; but when we are maddened by such diabolical pride as to rob God and adorn ourselves with the spoils, we easily fall into the practice of open insult. Sennacherib still retained some form of piety, for we shall afterwards read (Isaiah 37:38) that "he was slain in the temple of his god, while he was worshipping there;" and he undoubtedly wished that God would be gracious to him; but, as in this passage he treads under his feet the Creator of heaven and earth along with the gods of the nations, so he would not have hesitated, when an opportunity occurred, to act in the same manner towards his own idol.
It will perhaps be objected that they ought not to have been silent when such blasphemies were uttered against God; for we ought not to conceal our sentiments when wicked men mock, and jeer, and reproach God, even though our life should be put in danger. We ought, at least, to testify that we cannot patiently endure that his honor and glory should be attacked. But it is not said that they were silent because they expressed their assent, or cared nothing about the reproaches which were cast on God, and which, though not a word was uttered by them, gave deep pain to the ambassadors, and prompted them to the attitudes and tokens of grief; for afterwards, such is the bitterness of their sorrow that they tear their garments, and by this token they shew that they hold such blasphemies in abhorrence and detestation. But as it would have been of no avail for the ambassadors to debate with Rabshakeh, they returned peaceably and without any tumult; and the people, because it was useless to make any disturbance, reckoned it enough to meet the wicked man's impertinence by silent groans. And it is no despicable courage, even when we have it not in our power to utter a syllable, still not to shrink or flinch, but to remain quietly in our place.
Hence we are also reminded, that we ought not always to contend with wicked men when they reproach and tear in pieces the name of God; for amidst bitter strife and confused noise the truth will not be heard. And yet we must not on that account give way to cowardice, by thinking that we ought to be excused for being silent, whenever wicked men rise up against God; for our silence will have no excuse if we do not in some way testify that it is highly displeasing to us, and if we do not, as far as lies in our power, declare that nothing is more distressing to us than that. the name of God should be dishonored. We must, therefore, give expression to our zeal, that wicked men may not think that we have no regard for the honor of God, and that we are not moved when they blaspheme it.
1 "The Hebrew doctors will have it that this Rabshakeh was an apostate Jew, and Procopius is of the same opinion, which is not altogether improbable, both because he could speak readily in the Hebrew tongue, and when he blasphemed the Divine Majesty, the king and nobles rent their clothes, which was not usual unless he that uttered such blasphemous words was an Israelite. Some think his name imports that he was the principal cupbearer to the king of Assyria, who assumed to himself the title of the Great King, because of his great conquests and large dominions." -- White.
2 Il a de belles paroles.
3 "Assavoir, sur belles paroles." "Namely, on fine speeches."
4 "A leur advis."
5 "Pource que nous avons ose abolir les traditions et ceremonies qui estoyent en usage de long temps." "Because we ventured to abolish the traditions and ceremonies which had been long used."
6 " Now therefore give pledges or hostages." -- Eng. Ver.
7 "He seems to challenge him to come out and fight with his master, and if he would give security to make that use of them, he would furnish him with two thousand horses, provided he was able to find so many men to set upon them, which are words of the highest contempt and undervaluing of his power; or the meaning may he, he would lay a wager with him he could not find men to sit on so many horses, for few were good horsemen in Judea, where horses were scarce." -- White. "He taunts Hezekiah on account of the want of cavalry. These words do not refer to the small number of men, but to the very small number of Jews who were skilled in horsemanship; for after Jotham the kings of Judea did not maintain any cavalry, and hence we have already seen (Isaiah 30, 31.) that a part of the Jews sought cavalry from the Egyptians." -- Rosenmuller.
8 "How then wilt thou turn away?" -- Eng. Ver.
10 "Les idols et l'idolatrie." "Idols and idolatry."
11 "In Aramean. This request implies an apprehension of the bad effect of his address upon the multitude. Aramean corresponds very nearly to Syrian in latitude of meaning; but the language meant is not what we call Syriac, but an older form, which was probably current, as the French is now, at the courts and among the educated classes of an extensive region. Jewish is Hebrew, so called by the Jews, as the language of the whole British empire is called English, or as German is sometimes called Saxon." -- Alexander.
12 "I suppose Eliakim perceived the people to be frightened with big words, and therefore entreated him in the name of the other commissioners sent to treat with him, to speak no longer in the Jews' language, but in his own; for he was not sent to treat with the people, but with them who understood the Syrian tongue very well." -- White.
13 "Mais c'estoit temps perdu." "But it was time thrown away."
14 "Make [an agreement] with me [by] a present, or seek my favor by a present. -- Hebrews Make with me a blessing. -- Eng. Ver.
15 "Car tonte son etude est." "For his whole study is.'"
16 "It has been disputed what particular land is here meant, some saying Mesopotamia, to which others object that it was not a winegrowing country. But, as Knobel observes, there its no need of supposing that the Assyrian's description was exactly true. he may indeed have intended merely to promise them in general country as abundant as their own." -- Alexander.
17 " Et n'ont que faire de luy" "And have nothing to do with him."
18 "And (when or where was it) that they delivered Samaria out of my hand?