|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:1-8 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.
Verse 7. - And the Lord was with him. Of no other King of Judah or Israel is this said, except only of David (2 Samuel 5:10). It was the promise made to Moses (Exodus 3:12), repeated to Joshua (Joshua 1:5, 7), and by implication given in them to all those who would rule his people faithfully (comp. 2 Chronicles 15:2). And he prospered whithersoever he went forth; rather, in all his goings - in cunctis ad quae procedebat (Vulgate). Hezekiah's prosperity is enlarged upon by the writer of Chronicles, who says (2 Chronicles 32:27-30), "And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honor: and he made himself treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, add for shields, and for all manner of pleasant jewels; storehouses also for the increase of corn, and wine, and oil; and stalls for all manner of beasts, and cotes for flocks. Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance: for God had given him substance very much.... And Hezekiah prospered in all his works." Many brought presents to him to Jerusalem, and he was magnified in the sight of all the surrounding nations (see 2 Chronicles 32:23). And he rebelled against the King of Assyria, and served him not. Hezekiah's "rebellion" probably took place at the very commencement of his reign, B.C. 727, in the year that Shalmaneser ascended the throne. Most likely it consisted simply in his withholding his tribute, and neither going in person nor sending representatives to Nineveh, to congratulate the new monarch on his accession. This would be understood as an assertion of independence. That it was not at once resented must be ascribed to Shalmaneser's difficulties with Samaria and with Tyre, which were more pressing, as they lay nearer to Assyria. Before these were over, Sargon usurped the crown. There is reason to believe that he made at least one expedition against Hezekiah; but the date of it is uncertain. Rebellion met him on all sides, and had to be crushed near home before he could venture to deal with it on the remote outskirts of his empire. Meanwhile Hezekiah strengthened himself and built up a considerable power.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the Lord was with him,.... The Word of the Lord was for his help, as the Targum:
and he prospered whithersoever he went forth; that is, to war:
and he rebelled against the king of Assyria: which is explained in the next clause:
and served him not; he refused to be his servant, as his father Ahaz had been, 2 Kings 16:7, to which he was not obliged by any agreement of his; and, if it was in his power, might lawfully shake off his yoke, which is all that is meant by rebelling against him; he refused to be tributary to him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7, 8. he rebelled against the king of Assyria—that is, the yearly tribute his father had stipulated to pay, he, with imprudent haste, withdrew. Pursuing the policy of a truly theocratic sovereign, he was, through the divine blessing which rested on his government, raised to a position of great public and national strength. Shalmaneser had withdrawn from Palestine, being engaged perhaps in a war with Tyre, or probably he was dead. Assuming, consequently, that full independent sovereignty which God had settled on the house of David, he both shook off the Assyrian yoke, and, by an energetic movement against the Philistines, recovered from that people the territory which they had taken from his father Ahaz (2Ch 28:18).
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