2 Kings 18:12
Because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them.
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(12) Because they obeyed not . . .—Thenius calls this remark, which properly belongs to the historical abstract from which the compiler drew the narrative of 2Kings 18:1-12, “the theme” which suggested the reflections of 2Kings 17:7-23. They may have been suggested by passages of the Law and Prophets.

And all.—Omit and, with all the versions. “All that Moses . . . commanded” is in apposition with “his covenant.”

And would not . . . do them.—Literally, and hearkened not, and did not.

18:9-16 The descent Sennacherib made upon Judah, was a great calamity to that kingdom, by which God would try the faith of Hezekiah, and chastise the people. The secret dislike, the hypocrisy, and lukewarmness of numbers, require correction; such trials purify the faith and hope of the upright, and bring them to simple dependence on God.These verses repeat the account given in the marginal reference. The extreme importance of the event may account for the double insertion. 7, 8. he rebelled against the king of Assyria—that is, the yearly tribute his father had stipulated to pay, he, with imprudent haste, withdrew. Pursuing the policy of a truly theocratic sovereign, he was, through the divine blessing which rested on his government, raised to a position of great public and national strength. Shalmaneser had withdrawn from Palestine, being engaged perhaps in a war with Tyre, or probably he was dead. Assuming, consequently, that full independent sovereignty which God had settled on the house of David, he both shook off the Assyrian yoke, and, by an energetic movement against the Philistines, recovered from that people the territory which they had taken from his father Ahaz (2Ch 28:18). All that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded: they began with one sin, the worship of the calves; but from thence they were led by degrees into the violation of all the other commands; although indeed that one sin made them in some sort guilty of the breach of the whole law, Jam 2:10.

Because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord,.... In his law, and by his prophets:

but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded; which evils are at large insisted on in the preceding chapter as the cause of their captivity:

and would not hear them, nor do them; contrary to the agreement of their fathers at Sinai, who promised to do both, Exodus 24:3.

Because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them.
12. his covenant, and [R.V. even] all that Moses … commanded] Thus R.V. avoids the italics.

the servant of the Lord] This name is often given to Moses in the earlier books. See Deuteronomy 34:5, where it is found in the notice of his death. It is specially frequent in the book of Joshua. Cf. Joshua 1:1; Joshua 1:13; Joshua 1:15; Joshua 8:31; Joshua 8:33; Joshua 11:12, &c. In Chronicles also the title is used of him, see 2 Chronicles 1:3; 2 Chronicles 24:6, but in those books he is also called ‘servant of God’ (1 Chronicles 6:49; 2 Chronicles 24:9), and this form is found in Nehemiah 10:29; Daniel 9:11; Revelation 15:3.

hear them [R. V, it] nor do them [R.V. it] The change is required by reason of the previous alteration in the verse.

At this point terminates the Biblical history of the ten tribes. The people were for the most part carried away, and settled in various places in Assyria, and they never came again to their own land, which continued to be occupied by the settlers introduced by Shalmaneser. Of those who were removed, the most probable fate was that they became mixed up with the people of the various districts in which they were settled, and so their nationality was lost. Some of their descendants we can hardly doubt, joined themselves to their brethren of Judah in the later days when the two tribes also were carried captive by the same power. These would return when the captivity was at an end, and so we find notices in the later history of persons who were members of one or other of the ten tribes. That the number of the tribes was kept in mind we can see from the dedication service after the captivity (Ezra 6:17), where among the sacrifices offered are ‘twelve he-goats according to the number of the tribes of Israel’. In greater or less proportion each tribe must have been thought to be represented at this service. In the Apocryphal books we have mention of the same service in nearly similar words (1Es 7:8). Tobit (Tob 1:1) was of the tribe of Naphtali. In the book of Judith (2 Kings 6:15) we read of Ozias the son of Micha of the tribe of Simeon, in St Luke (Luke 2:36) Anna the daughter of Phanuel is of the tribe of Asher, in Acts (Acts 26:7) the language of St Paul shews that members of the twelve tribes were believed to be existing among the Jews of Palestine and of the Dispersion; to which twelve tribes St James (James 1:1) also addresses his Epistle.

But on the strength of language such as is found in the 2nd book of Esdras (2Es 13:39-50) where the writer speaks of the ten tribes as going forth into a country where mankind had never dwelt, and of their future restoration, various theories have from time to time been started about the discovery of the lost tribes. The words of Josephus (Ant. XI. 5, 2) have helped on such notions. He speaks of the Israelites, i.e. the ten tribes, as existing in his own day in countless myriads beyond the Euphrates. If this statement had been true we should most certainly have found some mention of the people in other writers, of which there is not the slightest trace. Isolated bodies of Jews have no doubt been discovered here and there in the east, but no such community as would answer to the notions, which prevailed early in the Christian era of a large host of Israelites existing in some remote country of the northeast. The latest development of this notion, viz., that the Anglo-Saxon race is identical with the ten tribes, is only the outcome of great ignorance both of history and language. But it does harm because the devout among unlearned persons often grasp at such an idea, and by their absurd clinging thereto bring ridicule upon the rest of their faith, and are also led away from a reasonable and earnest study of the word of God into fanciful interpretations whereby they strive to support their erroneous ideas.

Verse 12. - Because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord their God, but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them (compare the expanded version of this statement in 2 Kings 17:7-23). The sin of Samaria may be summed up under three heads:

(1) disobedience;

(2) breach of the covenant; and

(3) disregard of Moses, and the other "servants of the Lord." 2 Kings 18:12In 2 Kings 18:9-12 the destruction of the kingdom of the ten tribes by Salmanasar, which has already been related according to the annals of the kingdom of Israel in 2 Kings 17:3-6, is related once more according to the annals of the kingdom of Judah, in which this catastrophe is also introduced as an event that was memorable in relation to all the covenant-nation.
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