|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
37:1-38 This chapter is the same as 2Ki 19
Verse 25. - I have digged, and drunk water. Sennacherib notes three natural obstacles to his advance - the forces of his opponents he does not appear to account an obstacle - viz. mountains, deserts, rivers. Mountains do not stop him - he crosses them even with his chariot-force (ver. 24). Deserts do not stop him - he digs wells there, and drinks their waters. Rivers will not stop him - he will dry them up, trample them into puddles. Note the contrast between the past tenses, "I have come up," "I have digged," "I have drunk," and the future, "I will dry up." He had crossed the mountain ranges Sinjar, Amanus, Lebanon; he had passed waterless tracts, where he had had to dig wells, in Mesopotamia and Northern Syria. He was about to find his chief obstacle, rivers, when he invaded Lower Egypt. The rivers of the besieged places; rather, the rivers of Egypt. Mazor, the singular form (compare Assyrian Muzr, and modern Arabic Misr), is used here (as in Micah 7:12, and perhaps in Isaiah 19:6), instead of the ordinary dual term, Miz-raim, probably because Lower Egypt is especially intended. Sennacherib was looking especially to the invasion of Lower Egypt,where the Nile had "seven branches" (Herod., 2:17), and the country was also cut up by numerous canals, which would naturally constitute a great difficulty to a force depending mainly on its chariots. He believed, however, in his heart, that he would find a way of "drying up" these "rivers."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I have digged, and drunk water,.... In places where he came, and found no water for his army, he set his soldiers to work, to dig cisterns, as the Targum, or wells, so that they had water sufficient to drink; in 2 Kings 19:24, it is "strange waters", which were never known before:
and with the sole of my feet have I dried up all the rivers of the besieged places; or, as the Targum,
"with the soles of the feet of the people that are with me;''
the Syriac version, "with the hoofs of my horses": with which he trampled down banks of rivers, and pools, and cisterns of water; signifying the vast numbers of his soldiers, who could drink up a river, or carry it away with them, or could turn the streams of rivers that ran by the sides, or round about, cities besieged, and so hindered the carrying on of a siege, and the taking of the place; but he had ways and means very easily to drain them, and ford them; or to cut off all communication of the water from the besieged. Some render it, "I have dried up all the rivers of Egypt" (s), as Kimchi, on 2 Kings 19:24, observes, and to be understood hyperbolically; see Isaiah 19:6, so Ben Melech observes.
(s) "omnes rivos Aegypti", Vitringa.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
25. digged, and drunk water—In 2Ki 19:24, it is "strange waters." I have marched into foreign lands where I had to dig wells for the supply of my armies; even the natural destitution of water there did not impede my march.
rivers of … besieged places—rather, "the streams (artificial canals from the Nile) of Egypt." "With the sole of my foot," expresses that as soon as his vast armies marched into a region, the streams were drunk up by them; or rather, that the rivers proved no obstruction to the onward march of his armies. So Isa 19:4-6, referring to Egypt, "the river—brooks of defense—shall be dried up." Horsley, translates the Hebrew for "besieged places," "rocks."
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