2 Chronicles 32:4
So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the middle of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?
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(4) The fountains.Ma‘yānôth. 2Chronicles 32:3 has “springs” (‘ayānôth).

The brook.Nàchal. “The wâdy.” The Gihon is meant, a watercourse in the Valley of Hinnom, supplied with water by the springs which Hezekiah closed in and diverted. See Note on 2Chronicles 32:30, and 2Kings 20:20; comp. Ecclesiasticus 48:17, “Hezekiah fortified his city, and brought into their midst the Gog” (LXX., Vat.), or, “into its midst water” (LXX., Alex.).

That ran.That was flowing over (Isaiah 30:28; Isaiah 8:8). The overflow of the springs formed the stream.

The kings of Assyria.—A vague rhetorical plural, as in 2Chronicles 28:16.

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.The "brook" intended is probably not the Kidron, but the natural water-course of the Gihon, which ran down the Tyropoeon valley (compare the 1 Kings 1:3 note). 4. So there was gathered much people … who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land—"Where these various fountains were, we have now no positive means of ascertaining; though En-rogel, and the spring now called the Virgin's Fount, may well be numbered among them. Josephus mentions the existence of various fountains without the city, but does not mention any of them in this connection but Siloam. 'The brook,' however, is located with sufficient precision to enable us to trace it very definitely. We are told that it 'ran through the midst of the land.' Now a stream running through either the Kedron or Hinnom Valley, could, in no proper sense, be said to run through the midst of the land, but one flowing through the true Gihon valley, and separating Akra and Zion from Bezetha, Moriah, and Ophel, as a stream once, doubtless, did, could, with peculiar propriety, be said to run through the midst of the land on which the [Holy] City was built. And that this is the correct meaning of the phrase is not only apparent from the force of circumstances, but is positively so declared in the Septuagint, where, moreover, it is called a 'river,' which, at least, implies a much larger stream than the Kedron, and comports well with the marginal reading, where it is said to overflow through the midst of the land. Previous to the interference of man, there was, no doubt, a very copious stream that gushed forth in the upper portion of that shallow, basin-like concavity north of Damascus Gate, which is unquestionably the upper extremity of the Gihon valley, and pursuing its meandering course through this valley, entered the Tyropœon at its great southern curve, down which it flowed into the valley of the Kedron" [Barclay, City of the Great King]. Which was a scarce commodity in this country, and the want of it might much annoy the Assyrian army. So there was gathered much people together,.... At the instance of Hezekiah, his nobles and officers:

who stopped all the fountains; perhaps by laying planks over them, and earth upon them, so that it could not be discerned there were any fountains there:

and the brook that ran through the midst of the land; which, according to Kimchi, was Gihon, 2 Chronicles 32:30, which was near Jerusalem; the stream of this very probably they turned into channels under ground, whereby it was brought into the city into reservoirs there provided, that that might have a supply during the siege, while the enemy was distressed for want of it:

saying, why should the kings of Assyria come and find much water? by which means they would be able to carry on the siege to a great length, when otherwise they would be obliged to raise it quickly: mention is made of kings of Assyria, though there was but one, with whom there might be petty kings, or tributary ones; and, besides, as he boasted, his princes were altogether kings, Isaiah 10:8.

So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?
4. who stopt] R.V. and they stopped.

the brook that ran] R.V. the brook that flowed. The Heb. verb means “flow with strong stream” (as a flood). We naturally look for such a brook either east of Jerusalem in the valley of Kidron or south in the valley of the son of Hinnom, but no perennial stream runs in either valley now. Possibly the waters which fed such a brook in the Chronicler’s day now lose themselves (owing to physical changes in the configuration of the country) in the soil.Verse 4. - The brook that ran through the midst of the land. Compare the Septuagint, which has it, "through the midst of the city;" and compare foregoing verse and note; and see again above reference to Courier's 'Handbook' at length. And for the sons of Aaron, the priests, in the field of the districts of their cities (cf. Leviticus 25:34; Numbers 35:5), in each city were men (appointed) famous (בשׁמות נקּבוּ אשׁר, as in 2 Chronicles 28:15; see on 1 Chronicles 12:31), to give portions to each male among the priests, and to all that were registered among the Levites. As for the inhabitants of the priests' cities (2 Chronicles 31:15), so also for the priests and Levites dwelling in the pasture grounds of the priests' cities, were special officers appointed to distribute the priestly revenues.
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