|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22:1-7 Why is Jerusalem in such terror? Her slain men are not slain with the sword, but with famine; or, slain with fear, disheartened. Their rulers fled, but were overtaken. The servants of God, who foresee and warn sinners of coming miseries, are affected by the prospect. But all the horrors of a city taken by storm, faintly shadow forth the terrors of the day of wrath.
Verse 6. - Elam bare the quiver. Elam, the country extending from the Zagros range to the Lower Tigris, and watered by the Choaspes, Eulaeus, Pasitigris, and other rivers, was an independent kingdom from a very early date (Genesis 14:1, 9), and in Isaiah's time was generally hostile to Assyria. Sargon, however, relates that he conquered a portion of the country, planted colonies in it from the more western parts of his empire, and placed both colonists and natives under the governor of Babylon ('Records of the Past,' vol. 9. p. 16). It is thus quite possible that both Sargon and Sennacherib may have had a contingent of Elamites in their armies. With chariots of men and horsemen; rather, with troops of men (who were) horsemen (comp. Isaiah 21:7). Kir uncovered the shield. "Kir" is mentioned in 2 Kings as the place to which Tiglath-Pileser transported the inhabitants of Damascus (2 Kings 16:9), and by Amos (Amos 9:7) as the original country from which the Syrians were derived. It has been recently identified with Kirkhi, near Diarbekr, or with Kirruri, in the Urumiyah country (Cheyne); but neither identification is marc than possible. (On uncovering shields as a preliminary to engaging in battle, see Caesar, 'Do Bell. Gall.,' 2:21.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Elam bare the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen,.... Or the Elamites, as the Targum and Septuagint, that is, the Persians, who were at this time subject to the Assyrians, and served in Sennacherib's army, which consisted of many nations; see Isaiah 29:7 these bore the quiver, a case for arrows, being expert in the use of the bow, which was the chief of their might, Jeremiah 49:35 and so Strabo (o) reports, that the Elamites had many archers among them; and along with them went
chariots of men, full of men, of military men; these were chariots for war, and brought men to fight against Jerusalem;
and horsemen also, these were the cavalry, as those that carried bows and arrows seem to be the foot soldiers. The Targum is,
"and the Elamites bore arms in the chariot of a man, and with it a couple of horsemen;''
as in the vision or prophecy concerning Babylon, Isaiah 21:7,
and Kir uncovered the shield; this was a city in Media, and signifies the Medes, who were in subjection to the Assyrians, and fought under them; see 2 Kings 16:9 though Ben Melech says it was a city belonging to the king of Assyria; these prepared for battle, uncased their shields, which before were covered to keep them clean, and preserve them from rust and dirt; or they polished them, made them bright, as the word in the Ethiopic language signifies, as De Dieu has observed; see Isaiah 21:5 these might be most expert in the use of the shield and sword, as the others were at the bow and arrow. Some render "Kir" a "wall": so the Targum,
"and to the wall the shields stuck;''
and the Vulgate Latin version, "the shield made bare the wall": but it is best to understand it as the proper name of a place.
(o) Geograph. l. 16. p. 512.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. Elam—the country stretching east from the Lower Tigris, answering to what was afterwards called Persia (see on Isa 21:2). Later, Elam was a province of Persia (Ezr 4:9). In Sennacherib's time, Elam was subject to Assyria (2Ki 18:11), and so furnished a contingent to its invading armies. Famed for the bow (Isa 13:18; Jer 49:35), in which the Ethiopians alone excelled them.
with chariots of men and horsemen—that is, they used the bow both in chariots and on horseback. "Chariots of men," that is, chariots in which men are borne, war chariots (compare see on Isa 21:7; Isa 21:9).
Kir—another people subject to Assyria (2Ki 16:9); the region about the river Kur, between the Caspian and Black Seas.
uncovered—took off for the battle the leather covering of the shield, intended to protect the embossed figures on it from dust or injury during the march. "The quiver" and "the shield" express two classes—light and heavy armed troops.
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