|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
36:1-22:See 2Ki 18:17-37, and the commentary thereon.
Verse 5. - I say. In 2 Kings 18:20 we read, "Thou sayest" for "I say," which gives a better sense. Dr. Kay holds the two forms to be "complementary." I have counsel and strength for war. Either the words of Hezekiah had been reported to Sennacherib, or he rightly divined Hezekiah's thoughts. It was, no doubt, in reliance on the "counsel" of Eliakim and the "strength" of Egypt that the Jewish monarch had a second time provoked his suzerain.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I say, (sayest thou,) but they are but vain words,.... Or, "word of lips" (f); meaning the following, which he suggests were only the fruit of his lips, not of his heart; or were vain and foolish, and without effect, and stood for nothing; so the first part of the words are Hezekiah's, "I say (sayest thou)"; and the latter, Rabshakeh's note upon them; though they may be understood as Hezekiah's, or what he is made to speak by Rabshakeh, as the ground of his confidence, namely, "word of lips"; that is, prayer to God, as Kimchi explains it; or eloquence in addressing his soldiers, and encouraging them to fight, either of which Rabshakeh derides, as well as what follows:
I have counsel and strength for war; as he had; he had wise ministers to consult, and was capable of forming a good plan, and wise schemes, and of putting them in execution, and of heartening men; though he did not put his confidence in these things, as Rabshakeh suggested, 2 Chronicles 32:3, the words may be rendered; "but counsel and strength are for war" (g): what signifies words to God, or eloquence with men? this is all lip labour, and of little service; wisdom and counsel to form plans, and power to execute them, are the things which are necessary to carry on a war with success, and which, it is intimated, were wanting in Hezekiah; and therefore he had nothing to ground his confidence upon, within himself, or his people:
now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me? which it does not appear he had, having paid the money agreed to for the withdrawment of his army; but this was a pretence for the siege of Jerusalem.
(f) "verbum labiorum", Montanus; "vel, sermo labiorum", Vatablus. (g) "consilium et fortitudo ad praelium", Montanus; "sed consilio et fortitudine opus ad praelium", Pagninus, i.e. "requiruntur", ut Grotius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. counsel—Egypt was famed for its wisdom.
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