2 Kings 18:16
At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.
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(16) Cut off the gold from the doors.—Literally, trimmed, or stripped the doors (the word used in 2Kings 16:17 of the similar proceeding of Ahaz). The leaves of the doors of the sanctuary were overlaid with gold (1Kings 6:18; 1Kings 6:32; 1Kings 6:35). Hard necessity drove Hezekiah to strip off this gold, as well as that with which he had himself plated “the pillars” or rather the framework of the doors (literally, the supporters; others think that the door-posts only are meant by this term).

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.Ahaz had already exhausted the treasuries 2 Kings 16:8; Hezekiah was therefore compelled to undo his own work. 14-16. Hezekiah … sent to Lachish, saying, … that which thou puttest on me will I bear—Disappointed in his expectations of aid from Egypt, and feeling himself unable to resist so mighty a conqueror who was menacing Jerusalem itself, Hezekiah made his submission. The payment of 300 talents of silver, and 30 talents of gold—£351,000—brought a temporary respite; but, in raising the imposed tribute, he was obliged not only to drain all the treasures of the palace and the temple, but even to strip the doors and pillars of the sacred edifice of the gold that adorned them. Which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid; so repairing the injury which his father had done to them, and putting them into the same condition in which Solomon left them, 1 Kings 6:32.

At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord,.... The plates of gold with which they were covered; or scraped off the gold from them, as the Targum interprets it:

and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid: or the posts, as the Targum, the lintel or side posts of the doors of the temple; which though covered in Solomon's time, the gold was worn off, or had been taken off by Ahaz, but was renewed by Hezekiah; and who, in this time of distress, thought he might take it off again, no doubt with a full purpose to replace it, when he should be able. This is one of the three things the Talmudic writers (s) disapprove of in Hezekiah:

and gave it to the king of Assyria; to make up the thirty talents of gold he demanded.

(s) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 10. 2.

At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.
16. cut off the gold from the doors of the temple] Plainly shewing that there was a great scarcity of gold at this time. Hezekiah was the last man to have stripped the temple doors if there had been any other way of raising what was demanded. He had been rejoiced at the purification and adornment of the temple, and must have been very hard driven ere he consented to undo the work which he had so lately done. Josephus adds to the history (Ant. x. 1. 1) a link which may explain the events which follow in the next section. He says that Sennacherib had promised the ambassadors of Hezekiah to depart on the payment of the impost, but that when he had received the money he paid no regard to what he had promised, but sent his officers to attack Jerusalem. In this way the Biblical record of verse 17 may be joined on to the statements in verse 16. The Chronicler takes no notice of the payment of tribute to Sennacherib, and gives only an account of the siege of Jerusalem and its non-success. And this he does with much more brevity than the compiler of Kings or the parallel record in Isaiah.

Verse 16. - At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the pillars which Hezekiah King of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the King of Assyria. In the time of his great wealth and prosperity, Hezekiah, while engaged in restoring the temple (2 Chronicles 29:17-19), had adorned the pillars and doors of the sanctuary with a metal covering, which was probably gold, like Solomon's (1 Kings 6:20-22, 28, 30, 32). To make up the "thirty talents of gold" he was now obliged to undo his own work, and strip the doors and pillars bare. Sennacherib tells us that, besides the two large sums of gold and silver, Hezekiah sent him at this time "woven cloth, scarlet,' embroidered; precious stones of large size; couches of ivory; movable thrones of ivory; skins of buffaloes; horns of buffaloes; and two kinds of woods" ('Records of the Past,' vol. 1. p. 39, lines 34-37). It was customary to accompany the fixed tribute with the more precious products of each country. 2 Kings 18:16On the report of Sennacherib's approach, Hezekiah made provision at once for the safety of Jerusalem. He had the city fortified more strongly, and the fountain of the upper Gihon and the brook near the city stopped up (see at 2 Kings 18:17), to cut off the supply of water from the besiegers, as is stated in 2 Chronicles 32:2-8, and confirmed by Isaiah 22:8-11. In the meantime Sennacherib had pressed forward to Lachish, i.e., Um Lakis, in the plain of Judah, on the south-west of Jerusalem, seven hours to the west of Eleutheropolis on the road to Egypt (see at Joshua 10:3); so that Hezekiah, having doubts as to the possibility of a successful resistance, sent ambassadors to negotiate with him, and promised to pay him as much tribute as he might demand if he would withdraw. The confession "I have sinned" is not to be pressed, inasmuch as it was forced from Hezekiah by the pressure of distress. Since Asshur had made Judah tributary by faithless conduct on the part of Tiglath-pileser towards Ahaz, there was nothing really wrong in the shaking off of this yoke by the refusal to pay any further tribute. But Hezekiah certainly did wrong, when, after taking the first step, he was alarmed at the disastrous consequences, and sought to purchase once more the peace which he himself had broken, by a fresh submission and renewal of the payment of tribute. This false step on the part of the pious king, which arose from a temporary weakness of faith, was nevertheless turned into a blessing through the pride of Sennacherib and the covenant-faithfulness of the Lord towards him and his kingdom. Sennacherib demanded the enormous sum of three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold (more than two and a half million thalers, or 375,000); and Hezekiah not only gave him all the gold and silver found in the treasures of the temple and palace, but had the gold plates with which he had covered the doors and doorposts of the temple (2 Chronicles 29:3) removed, to send them to the king of Assyria. האמנות, lit., the supports, i.e., the posts, of the doors.

These negotiations with Sennacherib on the part of Hezekiah are passed over both in the book of Isaiah and also in the Chronicles, because they had no further influence upon the future progress of the war.

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