|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:20-34 By our afflictions we may learn not to make creatures our confidence. Those only can with comfort stay upon God, who return to him in truth, not in pretence and profession only. God will justly bring this wasting away on a provoking people, but will graciously set bounds to it. It is against the mind and will of God, that his people, whatever happens, should give way to fear. God's anger against his people is but for a moment; and when that is turned from us, we need not fear the fury of man. The rod with which he corrected his people, shall not only be laid aside, but thrown into the fire. To encourage God's people, the prophet puts them in mind of what God had formerly done against the enemies of his church. God's people shall be delivered from the Assyrians. Some think it looks to the deliverance of the Jews out of their captivity; and further yet, to the redemption of believers from the tyranny of sin and Satan. And this, because of the anointing; for his people Israel's sake, the believers among them that had received the unction of Divine grace. And for the sake of the Messiah, the Anointed of God. Here is, ver. 28-34, a prophetical description of Sennacherib's march towards Jerusalem, when he threatened to destroy that city. Then the Lord, in whom Hezekiah trusted, cut down his army like the hewing of a forest. Let us apply what is here written, to like matters in other ages of the church of Christ. Because of the anointing of our great Redeemer, the yoke of every antichrist must be broken from off his church: and if our souls partake of the unction of the Holy Spirit, complete and eternal deliverances will be secured to us.
Verses 28-32. - This graphic portraiture of the march of an Assyrian army on Jerusalem is probably not historic, but prophetic. Isaiah sees it in vision (Isaiah 1:1), and describes it like an eye-witness. There are at present no sufficient means of deciding to what particular attack it refers, or indeed whether the march is one conducted by Sennacherib or Sargon. Sargon calls himself in one inscription "conqueror of the land of Judah" (Layard, 'Inscriptions,' 33:8), and the details of the present prophecy, especially ver. 9, suit the reign of Sargon rather than that of his son, so that on the whole it is perhaps most probable that some expedition of Sargon's is portrayed. Verse 28. - He is come to Aiath. "Aiath" is probably Ai (Joshua 8:1-28), with a feminine termination. It lay about three miles south of Bethel, which had become Assyrian with the conquest of Samaria. If an Assyrian army mustered at Bethel, it would naturally enter Judaean territory at Ai. He is passed to Migron; rather, he has passed through Migron. "Migron" is mentioned as a village in the territory of Gibeah of Benjamin (1 Samuel 14:2); but the Migron of this passage must have been further to the north. He hath laid up his carriages; i.e. "has left his baggage-train." Michmash was about seven miles nearly due north of Jerusalem. The heavy baggage might conveniently be left there, especially as it was difficult of attack (1 Samuel 14:4-13), while a lightly equipped body of troops made a dash at Jerusalem.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He is come to Aiath,.... In this and the following verses is prophetically described the expedition of Sennacherib to Jerusalem, when he either went from Assyria, or returned from Egypt thither; and the several places are mentioned, through or by which he passed, or near to which he came, the tidings of which greatly distressed the inhabitants of them; and the first that is named is Ajath, thought to be the same with Ai, which was beside Bethaven, and on the east side of Bethel, Joshua 7:2 and though it was burnt, and made desolate by Joshua, Joshua 8:28 yet it was afterwards rebuilt, for it was in being in Nehemiah's time; or at least there was a place of this name, which was upon or near the spot where this stood, since it is mentioned with Geba, Michmash, and Bethel, Nehemiah 11:31 according to the ancient Jewish writers (w), it lay three miles from Jericho. Jerom (x) calls it Agai, and says that in his time there was scarce any remains of it, only the place was shown.
He is passed to Migron; this place, as the former, was in the tribe of Benjamin; mention is made of it, as in the uttermost part of Gibeah, 1 Samuel 14:2. Sennacherib seems not to have stayed either in this, or the former place:
at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages; here was a passage, called the passage of Michmash, where was the garrison of the Philistines; and on each side of it were two rocks, one called Bozez, and the other Seneh; one of which fronted Michmash to the north, and the other Gibeah to the south, 1 Samuel 13:23 by Josephus (y) it is called Mechmas, a city; and so it is in the Apocrypha:
"Thus the sword ceased from Israel: but Jonathan dwelt at Machmas, and began to govern the people; and he destroyed the ungodly men out of Israel.'' (1 Maccabees 9:73)
In Jerom's time it was a very large village, who says it was nine miles from Jerusalem (z): mention is made of it in the Misna (a), as famous for the best fine flour; and this the king of Assyria made his magazine, and in it laid up his provisions and warlike stores, from whence he might be supplied upon occasion. The words may be rendered, "he hath laid up his arms"; and Kimchi thinks he left the greatest part of his arms here, and went in haste to Jerusalem, imagining he should have no occasion for them, but should easily take it. The Targum is,
"at Micmas he shall appoint the princes of his army;''
the generals of it: perhaps the sense is, that here he made a muster of his army, examined the arms of his soldiers, appointed the proper officers, and gave them their instructions.
(w) Shemot Rabba, sect. 32. fol. 135. 2.((x) De locis Hebraicis, fol. 87. E. (y) Antiqu. l. 6. c. 6. sect. 1. & l. 13. c. 1. sect. 6. (z) De locis Hebraicis, fol. 93. F. (a) Menachot, c. 8. sect. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
28-32. Onward gradual march of Sennacherib's army towards Jerusalem, and the panic of the inhabitants vividly pictured before the eyes.
come to—come upon as a sudden invader (Ge 34:27).
Aiath—same as Ai (Jos 7:2; Ne 7:32). In the north of Benjamin; so the other towns also; all on the line of march to Jerusalem.
Michmash—nine miles northeast of Jerusalem.
laid up … carriages—He has left his heavier baggage (so "carriages" for the things carried, Ac 21:15) at Michmash, so as to be more lightly equipped for the siege of Jerusalem. So 1Sa 17:22; 25:13; 30:24 [Jerome and Maurer].
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