|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
37:1-38 This chapter is the same as 2Ki 19
Verse 38. - Nisroch his god. The name Nisroch has not been found in the Assyrian inscriptions, and is, in fact, read only in this place and the parallel passage of Kings (2 Kings 19:37). It has been supposed to represent Nusku, an Assyrian god of a somewhat low position, who, however, does not obtain mention in the historical inscriptions until the time of Asshur-bani-pal. Probably the name has suffered corruption. Asshur was, in fact, Sennacherib's favourite deity, and it is remarkable that the LXX. give in this place, not Nisroch, but Asarach. "Asarach" would seem to be "Asshur" with a guttural suffix. Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him. The murder of Sennacherib by a son, whom he called "Ardumazanes," was related by Polyhistor (ap. Euseb., 'Chronicles Can.,' 1:5, § l). Esar-haddon's annals are imperfect at the commencement, but show that his authority was at first contested, and that he had to establish it by force of arms ('Records of the Past,' vol. 3. pp. 103, 104). Adrammelech seems to have assumed the title of king (Abyden. up. Euscb., 'Chronicles Can.,' 1:9, § 1), and to have been put to death by his brother. Sharezer is not elsewhere mentioned. The name is Assyrian, as far as it goes, but is incomplete. Its full form was probably Nabu-sar-uzur or Nergal-sar-uzur (see 'Eponym Canon,' p. 63, B.C. 682 and 678). And escaped into the land of Armenia. So Moses of Chorene ('Hist. Armen.,' 1:22). The Hebrew word is Ararat (Assyrian Urardu or Urartu), which was the more eastern portion of Armenia, and lay beyond the sphere of Assyrian influence. Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead. Esarhaddon (Asshur-akh iddiua) appears to have ascended the throne in B.C. 681. It is highly improbable that Isaiah was then living, and therefore the verse can scarcely be from his pen. It has probably been transferred from 2 Kings (2 Kings 19:37) in order to finish off the narrative. Esarhaddon outlived Hezekiah many years, and was brought into contact with Manasseh ('Eponym Canon,' p. 139), whom he reckoned among his tributaries (comp. 2 Chronicles 33:11).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god,.... Josephus says (z), in his temple, called Arasce; but Nisroch was the name of his deity he worshipped; though who he was is not certain. Jarchi says, in one of their expositions it is said to be "neser", a plank of the ark of Noah; in Tobit 1:24 (a) it is called his idol Dagon; according to Hillerus, the word signifies a prince; and with Vitringa, a king lifted up, or glorious, and whom he takes to be the Assyrian Belus, worshipped in the form and habit of Mars:
that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword; the former of these had his name from an idol so called, 2 Kings 17:31, which signifies a glorious king; and the other may signify a prince of treasure. Josephus says they were his eldest sons; what should move them to be guilty of this parricide is not known. Jarchi says that he prayed to his god, and vowed, if he would deliver him, that he might not be slain, he would offer up his two sons to him, who standing by, and hearing him, therefore slew him; the reason given for it 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)
According to Munster's edition, is, that Sennacherib asked his counsellors and senators why the holy blessed God was so zealous for Israel and Jerusalem, that an angel destroyed the host of Pharaoh, and all the firstborn of Egypt, but the young men the Lord gave them, salvation was continually by their hands; and his wise men and counsellors answered him, that Abraham the father of Israel led forth his son to slay him, that the Lord his God might be propitious to him, and hence it is he is so zealous for his children, and has executed vengeance on thy servants; then, said the king, I will slay my sons; by this means, perhaps, he may be propitious to me, and help me; which word, when it came to Adrammelech and Sharezer, they laid in wait for him, and killed him with the sword at the time he went to pray before Dagon his god:
and they escaped into the land of Armenia; or "Ararat;" on the mountains of which the ark rested, Genesis 8:4. Both the Septuagint version and Josephus say it was Armenia into which he escaped; and Jerom observes, that Ararat is a champaign country in Armenia, through which the river Araxes flows, at the foot of Mount Taurus, whither it is extended. The Targum calls it the land of Kardu; and the Syriac version the land of the Keredeans, which also belonged to Armenia; in these mountainous places they might think themselves most safe:
and Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead; whom Josephus calls Assarachoddas; and in Ptolemy's Caron he is named Assaradinus; the same, as some think, whom the Greeks call Sardanapalus; in the Apocrypha:
"And Achiacharus intreating for me, I returned to Nineve. Now Achiacharus was cupbearer, and keeper of the signet, and steward, and overseer of the accounts: and Sarchedonus appointed him next unto him: and he was my brother's son.'' (Tobit 1:22)
he is called Sarchedon, which some take to be the same with Sargon, Isaiah 20:1.
(a) I could not verify this reference. Editor. (z) Ibid. (Antiqu. l. 10. c. 1. sect. 5.)
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
38. Nisroch—Nisr, in Semitic, means "eagle;" the termination och, means "great." The eagle-headed human figure in Assyrian sculptures is no doubt Nisroch, the same as Asshur, the chief Assyrian god; the corresponding goddess was Asheera, or Astarte; this means a "grove," or sacred tree, often found as the symbol of the heavenly hosts (Saba) in the sculptures, as Asshur the Eponymus hero of Assyria (Ge 10:11) answered to the sun or Baal, Belus, the title of office, "Lord." This explains "image of the grove" (2Ki 21:7). The eagle was worshipper by the ancient Persians and Arabs.
Esar-haddon—In Ezr 4:2 he is mentioned as having brought colonists into Samaria. He is also thought to have been the king who carried Manasseh captive to Babylon (2Ch 33:11). He built the palace on the mound Nebbiyunus, and that called the southwest palace of Nimroud. The latter was destroyed by fire, but his name and wars are recorded on the great bulls taken from the building. He obtained his building materials from the northwest palaces of the ancient dynasty, ending in Pul.
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