2 Kings 18:24
How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
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(24) How then.—Literally, And how. The connection of thought is: (But thou canst not); and how . . .

Turn away the face of . . .—i.e., repulse, reject the demand of . . . (1Kings 2:16.)

One captain of the least of my master’s servants.—Rather, a pasha who is one of the smallest of my lord’s servants. He means himself. The word we render “pasha” is, in the Hebrew, pa’hath, a word which used to be derived from the Persian, but which is now known to be Semitic, from the corresponding Assyrian words pahat, “prefect,” “provincial governor,” and pihat, “prefecture.”

And put thy trust.—Rather, but thou hast put thy trust; assigning a ground for Hezekiah’s folly. There should be a stop at “servants.” (Comp. Isaiah 31:1 : “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots.”)

18:17-37 Rabshakeh tries to convince the Jews, that it was to no purpose for them to stand it out. What confidence is this wherein thou trustest? It were well if sinners would submit to the force of this argument, in seeking peace with God. It is, therefore, our wisdom to yield to him, because it is in vain to contend with him: what confidence is that which those trust in who stand out against him? A great deal of art there is in this speech of Rabshakeh; but a great deal of pride, malice, falsehood, and blasphemy. Hezekiah's nobles held their peace. There is a time to keep silence, as well as a time to speak; and there are those to whom to offer any thing religious or rational, is to cast pearls before swine. Their silence made Rabshakeh yet more proud and secure. It is often best to leave such persons to rail and blaspheme; a decided expression of abhorrence is the best testimony against them. The matter must be left to the Lord, who has all hearts in his hands, committing ourselves unto him in humble submission, believing hope, and fervent prayer.The phrase translated "give pledges," or "hostages" (margin) may perhaps be best understood as meaning "make an agreement." If you will "bind yourself to find the riders" (i. e., trained horsemen), we will "bind ourselves to furnish the horses." The suggestion implied that in all Judaea there were not 2000 men accustomed to serve as cavalry. 19. Rab-shakeh said—The insolent tone he assumed appears surprising. But this boasting [2Ki 18:19-25], both as to matter and manner, his highly colored picture of his master's powers and resources, and the impossibility of Hezekiah making any effective resistance, heightened by all the arguments and figures which an Oriental imagination could suggest, has been paralleled in all, except the blasphemy, by other messages of defiance sent on similar occasions in the history of the East. How wilt thou force him to turn his back to thee, and flee away from thee?

And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris, and Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem,.... Notwithstanding he took the above large sum of money of him, so false and deceitful was he: these were three generals of his army, whom he sent to besiege Jerusalem, while he continued the siege of Lachish; only Rabshakeh is mentioned in Isaiah 36:2 he being perhaps chief general, and the principal speaker; whose speech, to the end of this chapter, intended to intimidate Hezekiah, and dishearten his people, with some circumstances which attended it, are recorded word for word in Isaiah 36:1 throughout; See Gill on Isaiah 36:1 and notes on that chapter. How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
24. How then wilt thou, &c.] Rab-shakeh impudently takes for granted that Hezekiah’s only answer would be ‘I have not the men’. So he proceeds with his insults, and points out what he deems the folly of resistance. ‘We, three of the principal officers of our master, are come to treat with you. As your power is so feeble, you ought not to think of opposition, but to listen to the Assyrian proposals if they were brought even by some inferior person.’ The word which in this verse is rendered ‘captains’ is that which is constantly used in Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther of the ‘governors’ of provinces belonging to the great king. Any one of these, Rab-shakeh intimates, would be a power by himself which Hezekiah ought not to despise, as he possesses no men, even if the horses were made a present to him, out of which to form a body of cavalry. When Assyria can be so liberal in offers of horses, and when even her smallest governors are so well equipped with troops, is it not folly to go to Egypt for chariots and horses? He knows, and intimates that the same kind of vassalage would be required by the king of Egypt, as the king of Assyria demands.

Some have taken the verb ‘wilt thou turn away’ as equivalent to ‘wilt thou defeat and put to flight’. But this seems to suit very badly with the concluding clause of the sentence. ‘To put trust in Egypt’ is a good antithesis to the rejection of a proposal from the side of Assyria, but not to the defeat of the Assyrian troops.

Verse 24. - How then wilt thou turn away the face of - i.e. "repulse, "cause to retreat" - one captain of the least of my master's servants; literally, one governor - the word used is that which in modern times takes the form of "pasha," or "pacha." It properly applies to the rulers of provinces; but as these were expected to collect and command, upon occasions, the troops of their province, it has a secondary sense of "commander" or "captain." And put thy trust; rather, and thou puttest thy trust - in this extremity of weakness, so far as thine own forces are concerned, thou art so foolish as to put thy trust in Egypt, and to expect that her strength will make up for thine own impotence. Vain hope! (see ver. 21). On Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? or, chariots and chariot-men. 2 Kings 18:24Still less could Hezekiah rely upon his military resources. נא התערב: enter, I pray thee, (into contest) with my lord, and I will give thee 2000 horses, if thou canst set the horsemen upon them. The meaning, of course, is not that Hezekiah could not raise 2000 soldiers in all, but that he could not produce so many men who were able to fight as horsemen. "How then wilt thou turn back a single one of the smallest lieutenants of my lord?" פל את־פּני השׁיב, to repulse a person's face, means generally to turn away a person with his petition (1 Kings 2:16-17), here to repulse an assailant. אחד פּחת is one pasha; although אחד hguo, which is grammatically subordinate to פּחת, is in the construct state, that the genitives which follow may be connected (for this subordination of אחד see Ewald, 286, a.). פּחה (see at 1 Kings 10:15), lit., under-vicegerent, i.e., administrator of a province under a satrap, in military states also a subordinate officer. ותּבטח: and so (with thy military force so small) thou trustest in Egypt וגו לרכב, so far as war-chariots and horsemen are concerned.
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