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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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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.).
The kings of Assyria.—A vague rhetorical plural, as in 2Chronicles 28:16.1 Kings 1:3 note).
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?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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. 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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