Isaiah 37:29
Because your rage against me, and your tumult, is come up into my ears, therefore will I put my hook in your nose, and my bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way by which you came.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(29) Therefore will I put my hook in thy nose . . .—The Assyrian sculptures represent both beasts and men as dragged in this way (Ezekiel 38:4). (Comp. the same image in Isaiah 30:28.)

37:1-38 This chapter is the same as 2Ki 19Because thy rage and thy tumult - Or rather, thy pride, thy insolence, thy vain boasting.

Therefore will I put my hook in thy nose - This is a most striking expression, denoting the complete control which God had over the haughty monarch, and his ability to direct him as he pleased. The language is taken from the custom of putting a ring or hook in the nose of a wild animal for the purpose of governing and guiding it. The most violent animals may be thus completely governed, and this is often done with those animals that are fierce and untameable. The Arabs often pursue this course in regard to the camel; and thus have it under entire control. A similar image is used in respect to the king of Egypt Ezekiel 29:4. The idea is, that God would control and govern the wild and ambitious spirit of the Assyrian, and that with infinite ease he could conduct him again to his own land.

And my bridle - (See the note at Isaiah 30:28).

And I will turn thee back - (See Isaiah 37:37).

29. tumult—insolence.

hook in … nose—Like a wild beast led by a ring through the nose, he shall be forced back to his own country (compare Job 41:1, 2; Eze 19:4; 29:4; 38:4). In a bas-relief of Khorsabad, captives are led before the king by a cord attached to a hook, or ring, passing through the under lip or the upper lip, and nose.

No text from Poole on this verse. Because thy rage against me, and thy tumult is come up into mine ears,..... The rage which Sennacherib expressed both by Rabshakeh, and in his letter against Hezekiah and his people, is taken by the Lord as against himself; so great was his care of them, and concern for them; and indeed there was a great deal of blasphemy belched out against himself; and so the Syriac version renders the next word, translated "tumult", "thy blasphemy"; though that may rather intend the blustering noise that Rabshakeh made, or the noise of the Assyrian army, the chariots and horsemen, and the multitude of the soldiers, which was not only heard by the Jews, and was terrible to them, but was taken notice of by the Lord, who had it in derision; hence he adds:

therefore will I put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips; comparing Sennacherib to leviathan, or the great whale, or to some very large and unruly fish, not easily caught and managed; see Job 41:1, or to a bear, or buffalo, in whose noses men put iron rings, and lead them about at pleasure; and also to a horse or mule, which are managed by the bit and bridle; signifying hereby the strength, fierceness, and fury of the Assyrian monarch, and the power of God to restrain him, which he could easily do:

and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest; from Jerusalem, the same way he came to it, to his own land again, and so he did, Isaiah 37:37.

Because thy rage against me, and thy tumult, is come up into my ears, therefore I will put my {u} hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou {x} camest.

(u) Because Sennacherib showed himself as a devouring fish and furious beast, he uses these similarities to teach how he will take him and guide him.

(x) You will lose your labour.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
29. For tumult render with R.V. marg. careless ease. “Raging” and “careless ease” form a contrast, like “rising up” and “sitting down” in the previous verse.

therefore will I put my hook in thy nose] Cf. Ezekiel 19:4; Ezekiel 29:4; Ezekiel 38:4.

I will turn thee back …] See Isaiah 37:7; Isaiah 37:34.Verse 29. - Therefore will I put my hook in thy nose (comp. Ezekiel 29:4; Ezekiel 38:4; 2 Chronicles 33:11). The Assyrians were in the habit of passing "hooks" or "rings" through the noses or lips of their more distinguished prisoners, and attaching a thong to the hook or ring, by which they led the prisoners into the royal presence ('Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 1. p. 304; vol. 3. p. 436). The expressions used derive their force from these practices, but are not in the present place to be understood literally. God "turned Sennacherib back" and reconducted him to Nineveh. not with an actual "hook" or "thong," but by the "bridle" of necessity. The prophet's reply. "And Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hizkiyahu, saying, Thus saith Jehovah the God of Israel, That which thou hast prayed to me concerning Sennacherib the king of Asshur (K. adds, I have heard): this is the utterance which Jehovah utters concerning him." He sent, i.e., sent a message, viz., by one of his disciples (limmūdı̄m, Isaiah 8:16). According to the text of Isaiah, אשׁר would commence the protasis to הדּבר זה (as for that which - this is the utterance); or, as the Vav of the apodosis is wanting, it might introduce relative clauses to what precedes ("I, to whom:" Ges. 123, 1, Anm. 1). But both of these are very doubtful. We cannot dispense with שׁמעתּי (I have heard), which is given by both the lxx and Syr. in the text of Isaiah, as well as that of Kings.

The prophecy of Isaiah which follows here, is in all respects one of the most magnificent that we meet with. It proceeds with strophe-like strides on the cothurnus of the Deborah style: "The virgin daughter of Zion despiseth thee, laugheth thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem shaketh her head after thee. Whom hast thou reviled and blasphemed, and over whom hast thou spoken loftily, that thou hast lifted up thine eyes on high? Against the Holy One of Israel." The predicate is written at the head, in Isaiah 37:22, in the masculine, i.e., without any precise definition; since בּזה is a verb ל ה, and neither the participle nor the third pers. fem. of בּוּז. Zion is called a virgin, with reference to the shame with which it was threatened though without success (Isaiah 23:12); bethūlath bath are subordinate appositions, instead of co-ordinate. With a contented and heightened self-consciousness, she shakes her head behind him as he retreats with shame, saying by her attitude, as she moves her head backwards and forwards, that it must come to this, and could not be otherwise (Jeremiah 18:16; Lamentations 2:15-16). The question in Isaiah 37:23 reaches as far as עיניך, although, according to the accents, Isaiah 37:23 is an affirmative clause: "and thou turnest thine eyes on high against the Holy One of Israel" (Hitzig, Ewald, Drechsler, and Keil). The question is put for the purpose of saying to Asshur, that He at whom they scoff is the God of Israel, whose pure holiness breaks out into a consuming fire against all by whom it is dishonoured. The fut. cons. ותּשּׂה is essentially the same as in Isaiah 51:12-13, and מרום is the same as in Isaiah 40:26.

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