|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
36:1-22:See 2Ki 18:17-37, and the commentary thereon.
Verse 19. - Where are the gods of Hamath? (comp. Isaiah 10:9). Sargon had reduced Hamath in his third year, B.C. 720. He had "swept the whole land of Hamath to its extreme limit," taken the king prisoner, and carried him away captive to Assyria, where he flayed and burned him; removed most of the inhabitants, and replaced them by Assyrians; plundered the city of its chief treasures, and placed an Assyrian governor over it (see 'Eponym Canon,' pp. 126-128). Among the treasures taken were, no doubt, the images of the Hamathite gods, which were uniformly carried off by the Assyrians from a conquered city. And Arphad. Arphad, or Arpad (Isaiah 10:9), had joined with Hamath in the war against Assyria, and was taken by Sargon in the same year ('Eponym Canon,' p. 127). Of Sepharvaim. Scpharvaim, or Sippara, was besieged and captured by Sargon in his twelfth year, B.C. 710. A severe example was made of the inhabitants (G. Smith, 'History of Babylonia,' p. 122). A discovery made by Mr. Hormuzd Rassam, in 1881, is thought to prove that Sippara was situated at Abu-Habbah, between Baghdad and the site of Babylon, about sixteen miles from the former city (see the 'Transactions of the Society of Bibl. Archaeology,' vol. 8. pp. 164, 173). "Hena" and "Ivah," joined with Sepharvaim by the author of Kings (2 Kings 18:31), seem to be omitted by Isaiah as unimportant. They are thought to have been towns upon the Euphrates, not very distant from Babylon, and have been identified respectively with Anah and Hit. But the identification is in both cases uncertain. Have they delivered Samaria? Delitzsch and Mr. Cheyne translate, "How much less have they delivered Samaria?" Kay, "Verily have they delivered," regarding the sentence as ironical. Sennacherib can see no distinction between the cities where Jehovah was worshipped, and those which acknowledged any other tutelary god. As Samaria fell, why should not Jerusalem fall?
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Where are the gods of Hamath and Arphad?.... What is become of them? where are they to be found? where's their power to protect and defend the people they presided over? thus they might be justly derided, but not so the God at Israel; these places are mentioned in Isaiah 10:9. Hamath was a city in Syria, thought by some to be the same afterwards called Antiochia and Epiphania, from Antiochus Epiphanes: Arphad is joined with it in Jeremiah 49:23 as a city of Syria; perhaps originally founded and inhabited by the Arvadite, mentioned with the Hamathite, in Genesis 10:18,
where are the gods of Sepharvaim? another place in Syria, the city Sipphore; not the Sipphara of Ptolemy (n), in Mesopotamia, or that, near Babylon, Abydenus (o) makes mention of, but a city in Syro-Phoenicia, 2 Kings 17:24,
and have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? the gods of the above places, which were worshipped in Samaria, or the gods peculiar to that place; though Samaria was not taken by the present king of Assyria, Sennacherib, but by a predecessor of his, Shalmaneser,
2 Kings 17:3,6, which yet is here boasted of as a conquest of the present king.
(n) Geograph. l. 5. c. 18. (o) Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 41. p. 457.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. Hamath … Arphad—(See on Isa 10:9).
Sepharvaim—literally, "the two scribes"; now Sipphara, on the east of Euphrates, above Babylon. It was a just retribution (Pr 1:31; Jer 2:19). Israel worshipped the gods of Sepharvaim, and so colonists of Sepharvaim were planted in the land of Israel (thenceforth called Samaria) by the Assyrian conqueror (2Ki 17:24; compare 2Ki 18:34).
Samaria—Shalmaneser began the siege against Hoshea, because of his conspiring with So of Egypt (2Ki 17:4). Sargon finished it; and, in his palace at Khorsabad, he has mentioned the number of Israelites carried captive—27,280 [G. V. Smith].
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