2 Chronicles 32:21
And the LORD sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valor, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword.
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(21) And the Lord sent an angel.—See 2Kings 19:35, seq.; Isaiah 37:36, seq. Hitzig thinks that Psalms 46-48. were composed by Isaiah to commemorate this great natural miracle, an hypothesis which is borne out by the similarity observable between the language and ideas of these psalms and those of Isaiah’s prophecies.

Which cut off . . . valour.—Literally, and he hid (i.e., caused to disappear, destroyed; the Greek άφανίζειν; Exodus 23:23) every valiant warrior, and leader and captain. (Comp. Psalm 76:5, a psalm which in the LXX. bears the title ᾠδὴ πρὸς τὸν Ἀσσύριον.) Kings gives the number of those who perished as 185,000.

With shame of face.Psalm 44:15, “The shame of my face hath covered me.” (Ezra 9:7.)

And when he was come . . . with the sword.And he went into the house of his god, and certain of his own offspring there felled him with the sword. 2Kings 19:37 gives the names of the parricides—viz., Adrammelech and Sharezer; and the name of the god—viz., Nisroch—which is probably corrupt. It is added that the assassins “escaped into the land of Ararat.” The chronicler as usual suppresses unfamiliar foreign’names.

They that came forth.—Some of the issue (yâçî, a verbal noun only found here). (For the whole phrase, comp. Genesis 15:4; 2Samuel 7:12.)

2 Chronicles 32:21. The Lord sent an angel — The Jewish comment, termed the Targum, says, The Word of the Lord (the Eternal Word) sent Gabriel to do this execution, and that it was done with lightning, and in the passover night, the same night wherein the firstborn in Egypt were slain. Which cut off the mighty men, and the leaders and captains — With a vast number of common soldiers, 2 Kings 19:35. They that came forth of his own bowels slew him — See 2 Kings 19:37. And with him the Assyrian empire began to fall, and never recovered its former strength. For the next year after Sennacherib’s death, the Medes revolted, being encouraged to it, no doubt, by this great loss at Jerusalem. And by their example, several other nations fell off from the Assyrians and asserted their independence. 32:1-23 Those who trust God with their safety, must use proper means, else they tempt him. God will provide, but so must we also. Hezekiah gathered his people together, and spake comfortably to them. A believing confidence in God, will raise us above the prevailing fear of man. Let the good subjects and soldiers of Jesus Christ, rest upon his word, and boldly say, Since God is for us, who can be against us? By the favour of God, enemies are lost, and friends gained.fathers - i. e. "predecessors." Sennacherib really belonged to a dynasty that had only furnished one king before himself.2Ch 32:21-23. An Angel Destroys the Assyrians.

21. an angel … cut off all the mighty men—(See on [468]2Ki 19:35-37).

No text from Poole on this verse. And the Lord sent an angel,.... The Targum is,"the Word of the Lord sent Gabriel;''Josephus (a) takes this angel, or messenger sent of God, to be the pestilence; and others suppose it to be a hot pestilential wind, common in the eastern countries, called "Samiel", or the poison wind, by which multitudes are sometimes destroyed at once; of which Thevenot and other travellers make mention; see Gill on Job 27:21; see Gill on Psalm 91:6, but be it as it may, it was sent of God, was under his direction, and by his power and providence did the execution according to his prediction:

which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria; the generals and officers of his army, with the common soldiers, to the number of 185,000, Isaiah 36:1, among these, no doubt, were the three generals sent with railing letters to Hezekiah, particularly Rabshakeh; see Gill on Isaiah 37:36.

so he returned with shame of face to his own land; Assyria, particularly to Nineveh, the metropolis of it, Isaiah 37:37.

and when he was come into the house of his god; the temple of his idol, whose name was Nisroch:

they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword; his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer, Isaiah 37:38.

(a) Antiqu. l. 10. c. 1. sect. 5.

And the LORD sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and {o} captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his {p} own bowels slew him there with the sword.

(o) To the number of 185,000 as in 2Ki 19:35,36.

(p) Meaning, Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons.

21. all the mighty men] In number 185,000 according to 2 Kings 19:35 and Isaiah 37:36. The agency was probably the plague, which is pictured as a destroying angel in 2 Samuel 24:16.

And when he was come] The murder of Sennacherib did not occur till some 20 years after his Judæan expedition (circ. 701 b.c.), i.e. not till 681 b.c.

they that came forth] Render, some (or one) that came forth. The Chronicler no doubt follows Isaiah 37:38, “Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him”; but the accuracy of the present text of this passage of Isaiah is doubtful, for in the parallel passage (2 Kings 19:37, C’thib) the words his sons are missing. The only notice of Sennacherib’s death known to us at present from the Inscriptions is simply “Sennacherib king of Assyria his son (sing.) slew him in a revolt.” No name is given to this son. (Schrader, Keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, vol. 11., p. 281).Verse 21. - The exact matter corresponding with this one verse is embraced by vers. 35-37 in the parallel (2 Kings 19.). It gives the number of slain as a hundred and eighty-five thousand. It does not speak of the heavy proportion of leaders and captains lost. It leads us to suppose that for all survivers it was a surprise in the morning - that silent vision of the dead in such vast array. Stating, on the other hand, in mere historic dry detail, the return of Sennacherib to his own land, his dwelling at Nineveh, and assassination, in the house of Nisroch "his god," at the hands of his own two sons, mentioned by name Adrammelech and Sharezer, who had to fly for it to Armenia (Ararat), it does not show the obviously designed moral touch of our compiler, so he returned with shame of face to his own land, nor the similarly complexioned description of the time, place, and agents of his assassination. Lastly, it gives Esarhaddon as the name of his successor on the throne. The description of Sennacherib's all-conquering power: cf. 2 Kings 18:35; Isaiah 36:20, and Isaiah 37:11-13. "Who is there among all the gods of these peoples, whom my fathers utterly destroyed, who could have delivered his people out of my hand, that your God should save you?" The idea is, that since the gods of the other peoples, which were mightier than your God, have not been able to save their peoples, how should your God be in a position to rescue you from my power? This idea is again repeated in 2 Chronicles 32:15, as a foundation for the exhortation not to let themselves be deceived and misled by Hezekiah, and not to believe his words, and that in an assertative form: "for not one god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people, ... much less then (כּי אף) your gods: they will not save you;" and this is done in order to emphasize strongly the blasphemy of the Assyrian generals against the Almighty God of Israel. To communicate more of these blasphemous speeches would in the chronicler's view be useless, and he therefore only remarks, in 2 Chronicles 32:16, "And yet more spake his (Sennacherib's) servants against God Jahve, and against His servant Hezekiah;" and then, in 2 Chronicles 32:17, that Sennacherib also wrote a letter of similar purport, and (2 Chronicles 32:18) that his servants called with a loud voice in the Jews' speech to the people of Jerusalem upon the wall, to throw them into fear and terrify them, that they might take the city. What they called to the people is not stated, but by the infinit. וּלבהלם ליראם it is hinted, and thence we may gather that it was to the same effect as the blasphemous speeches above quoted (יראם, inf. Pi., as in Nehemiah 6:19). - On comparing 2 Kings 18 and 19, it is clear that Sennacherib only sent the letter to Hezekiah after his general Rabshakeh had informed him of the fruitlessness of his efforts to induce the people of Jerusalem to submit by speeches, and the news of the advance of the Cushite king Tirhakah had arrived; while the calling aloud in the Jews' language to the people standing on the wall, on the part of his generals, took place in the first negotiation with the ambassadors of Hezekiah. The author of the Chronicle has arranged his narrative rhetorically, so as to make the various events form a climax: first, the speeches of the servants of Sennacherib; then the king's letter to Hezekiah to induce him and his counsellors to submit; and finally, the attempt to terrify the people in language intelligible to them. The conclusion is the statement, 2 Chronicles 32:19 : "They spake of the God of Jerusalem as of the gods of the peoples of the earth, the work of the hands of man;" cf. 2 Kings 19:18.
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