Isaiah 37:34
By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, said the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
37:1-38 This chapter is the same as 2Ki 19By the way that he came - (Isaiah 37:29; compare Isaiah 37:37).

And shall not come into this city - (Isaiah 37:33; compare Isaiah 29:6-8).

34. (See Isa 37:29, 37; Isa 29:5-8). No text from Poole on this verse. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return,.... Without executing his designs on Jerusalem, or other places; he shall lose his labour, and make the best of his way to his own country, without turning to the right or left, in order to disturb other nations, and enlarge his kingdom, being quite dispirited and confounded by what he shall meet with:

and shall not come into this city, saith the Lord; or, unto this city, as before; which is repeated to confirm it, and to show the certainty of it.

By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
34. Cf. Isaiah 37:7; Isaiah 37:29.Verse 34. - By the way that he came. It is clear that Sennacherib on this occasion had marched by the usual coast route, through Sharon and the Shefeleh, upon Lachish, leaving Jerusalem far to his left. From Laehish he sent Rabshakeh to Hezekiah with a threatening message, and (as our version has it) "with a great army;" rather, "with a strong force." Rabshakeh, having delivered his message, returned to his master (Isaiah 37:8), doubtless with his escort. Sennacherib then sent a letter by messengers, but without an army, so far as we are told, to renew his threats. Meanwhile from Lachish he went to Libnah, after which we know nothing of his movements, unless we accept the Egyptian account, which was, that he advanced to Pelusium. The declaration, "By the way that he came, by the same shall he return" (comp. ver. 29) was the most comforting that Hezekiah could possibly receive. It assured him that he would not even be confronted with his enemy. Into this city; rather, unto this city (as in ver. 32). Asshur is Jehovah's chosen instrument while thus casting down the nations, which are "short-handed against him," i.e., incapable of resisting him. But Jehovah afterwards places this lion under firm restraint; and before it has reached the goal set before it, He leads it back into its own land, as if with a ring through its nostril. Fifth turn, "And thy sitting down, and thy going out, and thy entering in, I know; and thy heating thyself against me. On account of thy heating thyself against me, and because thy self-confidence has risen up into mine ears, I put my ring into thy nose, and my muzzle into thy lips, and lead thee back by the way by which thou hast come." Sitting down and rising up (Psalm 139:2), going out and coming in (Psalm 121:8), denote every kind of human activity. All the thoughts and actions, the purposes and undertakings of Sennacherib, more especially with regard to the people of Jehovah, were under divine control. יען is followed by the infinitive, which is then continued in the finite verb, just as in Isaiah 30:12. שׁאננך (another reading, שׁאננך) is used as a substantive, and denotes the Assyrians' complacent and scornful self-confidence (Psalm 123:4), and has nothing to do with שׁאון (Targum, Abulw., Rashi, Kimchi, Rosenmller, Luzzatto). The figure of the leading away with a nose-ring (chachı̄ with a latent dagesh, חא to prick, hence chōach, Arab. chōch, chōcha, a narrow slit, literally means a cut or aperture) is repeated in Ezekiel 38:4. Like a wild beast that had been subdued by force, the Assyrian would have to return home, without having achieved his purpose with Judah (or with Egypt).
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