|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:17-37 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.
Verse 33. - Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered at all his land out of the hand of the King of Assyria? To Rabshakeh, and the Assyrians generally, this seemed a crushing and convincing, absolutely unanswerable, argument. It had all the force of what appeared to them a complete induction. As far back as they could remember, they had always been contending with different tribes and nations, each and all of whom had had gods in whom they trusted, and the result had been uniform - the gods had been unequal to the task of protecting their votaries against Assyria: how could it be imagined that Jehovah would prove an exception? If he was not exactly, as Knobel calls him, "the insignificant god of an insignificant people," yet how was he better or stronger than the others - than Chemosh, or Moloch, or Rim-moll, or Baal, or Ashima, or Khaldi, or Bel, or Merodach? What had he done for the Jews hitherto? Nothing remarkable, so far as the Assyrians knew; for their memories did not reach back so far as the time of Asa and the deliverance from Zerah, much less to the conquest of Canaan or the Exodus. He had not 'saved the trans-Jordanic tribes from Tiglath-pileser, or Samaria from his successors. Was it not madness to suppose that he would save Judaea from Sennacherib? A heathen reasoner could not see, could not be expected to see, the momentous difference; that the gods of the other countries were "no gods" (2 Kings 19:18), while Jehovah was "the Lord of the whole earth."
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