Isaiah 20:1
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
In the year that the supreme commander, sent by Sargon king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and attacked and captured it--

New Living Translation
In the year when King Sargon of Assyria sent his commander in chief to capture the Philistine city of Ashdod,

English Standard Version
In the year that the commander in chief, who was sent by Sargon the king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought against it and captured it—

New American Standard Bible
In the year that the commander came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him and he fought against Ashdod and captured it,

King James Bible
In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
In the year that the chief commander, sent by Sargon king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and attacked and captured it--

International Standard Version
In the year that the supreme commander, sent by Sargon the king of Assyria, came to Ashdod, attacked it, and captured it—

NET Bible
The LORD revealed the following message during the year in which King Sargon of Assyria sent his commanding general to Ashdod, and he fought against it and captured it.

New Heart English Bible
In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and took it;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
In the year when King Sargon of Assyria sent his commander-in-chief to fight against Ashdod, he captured it.

JPS Tanakh 1917
In the year that Tartan came into Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and took it;

New American Standard 1977
In the year that the commander came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him and he fought against Ashdod and captured it,

Jubilee Bible 2000
In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him) and fought against Ashdod and took it;

King James 2000 Bible
In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it;

American King James Version
In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it;

American Standard Version
In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and took it;

Douay-Rheims Bible
IN the year that Tharthan entered into Azotus, when Sargon the king of the Assyrians had sent him, and he had fought against Azotus, and had taken it:

Darby Bible Translation
In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, (and he fought against Ashdod and took it,)

English Revised Version
In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and took it;

Webster's Bible Translation
In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it;

World English Bible
In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and took it;

Young's Literal Translation
In the year of the coming in of Tartan to Ashdod, when Sargon king of Asshur sendeth him, and he fighteth against Ashdod, and captureth it,
Study Bible
A Sign against Egypt and Ethiopia
1In the year that the commander came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him and he fought against Ashdod and captured it, 2at that time the LORD spoke through Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, "Go and loosen the sackcloth from your hips and take your shoes off your feet." And he did so, going naked and barefoot.…
Cross References
Joshua 11:22
There were no Anakim left in the land of the sons of Israel; only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod some remained.

1 Samuel 5:1
Now the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.

2 Kings 18:17
Then the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rab-saris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah with a large army to Jerusalem. So they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they went up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway of the fuller's field.

Jeremiah 25:20
and all the foreign people, all the kings of the land of Uz, all the kings of the land of the Philistines (even Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron and the remnant of Ashdod);
Treasury of Scripture

In the year that Tartan came to Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it;

Tartan. Tartan was one of the generals of Sennacherib, who, it is probable, is here called Sargon, and in the book of Tobit, Sacherdonus and Sacherdan, against whom Tirhakah, king of Cush or Ethiopia, was in league with the king of Egypt.

2 Kings 18:17 And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from …

Ashdod

1 Samuel 6:17 And these are the golden tumors which the Philistines returned for …

Jeremiah 25:20 And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, …

Amos 1:8 And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holds …

and took

Jeremiah 25:29,30 For, see, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my …

XX.

(1) In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod.--Better, the Tartan. The word was an official title borne by the generalissimo of the Assyrian armies, who was next in authority to the king. He may, or may not, have been the same with the officer of the same rank who appears in 2Kings 18:17 as sent by Sennacherib to Jerusalem.

When Sargon the king of Assyria sent him.--Much light has been thrown by the Assyrian inscriptions on the events connected with this king. Prior to that discovery, there was no trace of his name to be found elsewhere than in this passage, and his very existence had been called in question. As it is, he comes before us as one of the greatest of Assyrian monarchs. He succeeded Shalmaneser VI,, the conqueror of Israel, in B.C. 721, at first as guardian and co-regent of his son Samdan-Malik, and afterwards in his own name. His reign lasted till B.C. 704, when he was succeeded by Sennacherib. Long inscriptions, giving the annals of his reign, were found by M. Botta at Khorsabad, and have been interpreted by M. Oppert (Records of the Past, vii. 21, 9:1, 11:17, 27, 33) and others.

And fought against Ashdod.--The occasion of the campaign is related by Sargon in the annals just mentioned as happening in his eleventh year. Azuri, the king of Ashdod, refused to pay tribute, and revolted. Sargon deposed him, and placed his brother Akhismit, on the throne. The people, in their turn, rose against Akhismit, and chose Yaman as their king. Sargon then marched against the city, took it, and carried off its gods and its treasures as booty (Records of the Past, vii. 40). These events naturally excited the minds of Hezekiah and his counsellors, and led them to look to an alliance with Egypt as their best protection.

Verses 1-6. - A PROPHECY AGAINST EGYPT AND ETHIOPIA. The Assyrian inscriptions enable us to date this prophecy with a near approach to exactness. Ashdod was besieged by an Assyrian army twice in the reign of Sargon - in his ninth year ( B.C. 713) and in his eleventh year ( B.C. 711). On the former occasion it is probable that the arms of a general (Tartan) were employed; on the latter it is nearly certain that Sargon made the expedition in person. The capture of Ashdod, here mentioned, is consequently the first capture. Egypt and Ethiopia were at the time united under one head, Shabak, or Shabatok; and the inhabitants of Ashdod looked to this quarter for deliverance from the Assyrian power. Shortly after the first capture, they revolted, deposed the king whom Sargon had set over them, appointed another, and then proceeded, in conjunction with Philistia, Judah, Edom, and Moab, to call in the aid of the Egyptians and Ethiopians. Isaiah's mission on this occasion was to discourage Judaea from joining Ashdod and her allies in this appeal. He was instructed to prophesy that Assyria would shortly inflict a severe defeat on the two African powers, and carry into captivity large numbers of both nations. The prophecy seems to have had its accomplishment about twelve years later, when Sennacherib defeated the combined forces of Egypt and Ethiopia at Eltekeh, near Ekron (G. Smith, 'Eponym Canon,' p. 133). Verse 1. - In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod; rather, a tartan. The word was not a proper name, but a title of office, equivalent to surena among the Parthians, and signifying "commander-in-chief." The tartan held the second position in the empire. Isaiah has been accused of having confounded together the two sieges of Ashdod (Cheyne); but if one was conducted by the tartan, and the other by Sargon in person, his words would distinguish as perfectly as possible which siege he meant. When Sargon the King of Assyria sent him. The present passage furnished almost the sole trace of the existence of this monarch - one of the greatest of Assyria's sovereigns - until about the middle of the present century, when the exploration of the Assyrian ruins, and the decipherment of the Assyrian inscriptions, presented him to us in the most distinct and vivid way, as king, conqueror, and builder. He was the founder of the last and greatest of the Assyrian dynasties, the successor of the biblical Shalmaneser, and the father of Sennacherib. He reigned from B.C. 722 to B.C. 705. He was the captor of Samaria; he defeated the forces of Egypt; he warred on Susiana, Media, Armenia, Asia Minor, Cyprus; and he conquered and held in subjection Babylon. He built the great city explored by M. Botta, near Khorsabad, which is sometimes called "the French Nineveh." It is now found that Ptolemy's 'Canon' contains his name under the form of Arkeanus, and that Yacut's 'Geography' mentions his great city under the form of Sarghun. But these facts were unsuspected until the recent explorations in Mesopotamia, and Isaiah's mention of him alone gave him a place in history. And fought against Ashdod, and took it. Ashdod was the strongest of the Philistine cities, and one of the most ancient (Joshua 15:47). Its name is probably derived from a root meaning "strength." We hear of its having stood on one occasion a siege of twenty-nine years (Herod., 2:157). It is now known as Esdud. When Ashdod is first mentioned in the Assyrian inscriptions it is tributary to Sargon, having probably submitted to him in s c. 720, alter the battle of Raphia. It soon, however, revolts and reclaims its independence. In B.C. 713 the Assyrians proceed against it; and its capture is implied by the facts that the Assyrians depose its king, and install, one of his brothers as monarch in his room (comp. 2 Kings 23:34). In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod,.... Or Azotus, as the Septuagint here call it; and which is its name in the New Testament; see Gill on Acts 8:40. This Tartan, or whom the Septuagint names Tanathan, and the Arabic version Tathan, was one of Sennacherib's generals, 2 Kings 18:17,

(when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him); to the above place to besiege it. This Sargon is generally thought to be the same with Sennacherib, since Tartan was one of his generals, who might have more names than one. Jerom says he had seven; the Jewish Rabbins (h) eight; though some think a predecessor of his is meant, Shalmaneser; and others his son Esarhaddon, who in the Apocrypha:

"And there passed not five and fifty days, before two of his sons killed him, and they fled into the mountains of Ararath; and Sarchedonus his son reigned in his stead; who appointed over his father's accounts, and over all his affairs, Achiacharus my brother Anael's son.'' (Tobit 1:21)

is called Sarchedon, which might easily pass by pronunciation into Sargon:

and fought against Ashdod, and took it; which was held by the Assyrians till the time of Psammiticus, and was so strong a city, and so well fortified, that it held out a siege of twenty nine years before he could be master of it (i); how long Tartan lay against it, before he took it, is not said; nor is it certain what year he came against it; those who take Sargon to be Shalmaneser place it in the fourth year of Hezekiah's reign, who sent Tartan to Ashdod at the same time that he went against Samaria, 2 Kings 18:9 but others, who think Sennacherib is Sargon, fix it to the fourteenth year of Hezekiah's reign, as Kimchi; who, hearing of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia and Egypt coming against him, went forth to meet him, and subdued him; and at the same time sent Tartan against Ashdod; or rather this was done when he took the fenced cities of Judah, of which this was one, having been taken a little before by Hezekiah from the Philistines; see 2 Kings 18:8 though, if Esarhaddon is Sargon, this must be in the times of Manasseh, perhaps about the twenty second year of his reign, by whom he was taken, and carried captive; but it is most likely to have been in Hezekiah's time.

(h) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 94. 1.((i) Herodot. l. 2. c. 157. CHAPTER 20

Isa 20:1-6. Continuation of the Subject of the Nineteenth Chapter, BUT AT A Later Date. Captivity of Egypt and Ethiopia.

In the reign of Sargon (722-715 B.C.), the successor of Shalmaneser, an Assyrian invasion of Egypt took place. Its success is here foretold, and hence a party among the Jews is warned of the folly of their "expectation" of aid from Egypt or Ethiopia. At a later period (Isa 18:1-7), when Tirhakah of Ethiopia was their ally, the Ethiopians are treated as friends, to whom God announces the overthrow of the common Assyrian foe, Sennacherib. Egypt and Ethiopia in this chapter (Isa 20:3, 4) are represented as allied together, the result no doubt of fear of the common foe; previously they had been at strife, and the Ethiopian king had, just before Sethos usurpation, withdrawn from occupation of part of Lower Egypt. Hence, "Egypt" is mentioned alone in Isa 19:1-25, which refers to a somewhat earlier stage of the same event: a delicate mark of truth. Sargon seems to have been the king who finished the capture of Samaria which Shalmaneser began; the alliance of Hoshea with So or Sabacho II of Ethiopia, and his refusal to pay the usual tribute, provoked Shalmaneser to the invasion. On clay cylindrical seals found in Sennacherib's palace at Koyunjik, the name of Sabacho is deciphered; the two seals are thought, from the inscriptions, to have been attached to the treaty of peace between Egypt and Assyria, which resulted from the invasion of Egypt by Sargon, described in this chapter; 2Ki 18:10 curiously confirms the view derived from Assyrian inscriptions, that though Shalmaneser began, Sargon finished the conquest of Samaria; "they took it" (compare 2Ki 17:4-6). In Sargon's palace at Khorsabad, inscriptions state that 27,280 Israelites were led captive by the founder of the palace. While Shalmaneser was engaged in the siege of Samaria, Sargon probably usurped the supreme power and destroyed him; the siege began in 723 B.C., and ended in 721 B.C., the first year of Sargon's reign. Hence arises the paucity of inscriptions of the two predecessors of Sargon, Tiglath-pileser and Shalmaneser; the usurper destroyed them, just as Tiglath-pileser destroyed those of Pul (Sardanapalus), the last of the old line of Ninus; the names of his father and grandfather, which have been deciphered in the palace of his son Sennacherib, do not appear in the list of Assyrian kings, which confirms the view that he was a satrap who usurped the throne. He was so able a general that Hezekiah made no attempt to shake off the tribute until the reign of Sennacherib; hence Judah was not invaded now as the lands of the Philistines and Egypt were. After conquering Israel he sent his general, Tartan, to attack the Philistine cities, "Ashdod," etc., preliminary to his invasion of Egypt and Ethiopia; for the line of march to Egypt lay along the southwest coast of Palestine. The inscriptions confirm the prophecy; they tell us he received tribute from a Pharaoh of "Egypt"; besides destroying in part the Ethiopian "No-ammon," or Thebes (Na 3:8); also that he warred with the kings of "Ashdod," Gaza, etc., in harmony with Isaiah here; a memorial tablet of him is found in Cyprus also, showing that he extended his arms to that island. His reign was six or seven years in duration, 722-715 B.C. [G. V. Smith].

1. Tartan—probably the same general as was sent by Sennacherib against Hezekiah (2Ki 18:17). Gesenius takes "Tartan" as a title.

Ashdod—called by the Greeks Azotus (Ac 8:40); on the Mediterranean, one of the "five" cities of the Philistines. The taking of it was a necessary preliminary to the invasion of Egypt, to which it was the key in that quarter, the Philistines being allies of Egypt. So strongly did the Assyrians fortify it that it stood a twenty-nine years' siege, when it was retaken by the Egyptian Psammetichus.

sent—Sargon himself remained behind engaged with the Phoenician cities, or else led the main force more directly into Egypt out of Judah [G. V. Smith].20:1-6 The invasion and conquest of Egypt and Ethiopia. - Isaiah was a sign to the people by his unusual dress, when he walked abroad. He commonly wore sackcloth as a prophet, to show himself mortified to the world. He was to loose this from his loins; to wear no upper garments, and to go barefooted. This sign was to signify, that the Egyptians and Ethiopians should be led away captives by the king of Assyria, thus stripped. The world will often deem believers foolish, when singular in obedience to God. But the Lord will support his servants under the most trying effects of their obedience; and what they are called upon to suffer for his sake, commonly is light, compared with what numbers groan under from year to year from sin. Those who make any creature their expectation and glory, and so put it in the place of God, will, sooner or later, be ashamed of it. But disappointment in creature-confidences, instead of driving us to despair, should drive us to God, and our expectation shall not be in vain. The same lesson is in force now; and where shall we look for aid in the hour of necessity, but to the Lord our Righteousness, throne of grace, and serving with each other in the same business of religion, should end all disputes, and unite the hearts of believers to each other in holy love.
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