2 Kings 18:27
But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?
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(27) Hath my master . . .—Rather, Is it to thy lord and to thee that my lord hath sent me to speak these words?

The men which sit on the walli.e., the soldiers on guard.

That they may eat . . .—These coarse words are meant to express the consequence of their resistance: it will bring them to such dire straits that they will be fain to appease the cravings of hunger and thirst with the vilest garbage. (Comp. 2Kings 6:25 seq.)

2 Kings 18:27-29. Hath he not sent me to the men, &c. — To tell them to what extremity and misery he will force them. Then Rab-shakeh cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ language — That he might affright the people into a compliance with his proposal, which he perceived that Eliakim and his brethren endeavoured to prevent. Thus saith the king, &c. — Here he proclaims again, with the greatest assurance, the power of his king, and the weakness of Hezekiah; representing from thence, how they were deluded with empty promises if he persuaded them he should be able to defend them.

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.That they may eat ... - "My master hath sent me," the Rab-shakeh seems to say, "to these men, whom I see stationed on the wall to defend the place and bear the last extremities of a prolonged siege - these men on whom its worst evils will fall, and who have therefore the greatest interest in avoiding it by a timely surrender." He expresses the evils by a strong coarse phrase, suited to the rude soldiery, and well calculated to rouse their feelings. The author of Chronicles has softened down the words 2 Chronicles 32:11. 27. that they may eat, &c.—This was designed to show the dreadful extremities to which, in the threatened siege, the people of Jerusalem would be reduced. To tell them to what extremities and miseries he will force them.

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. But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?
Verse 27. - But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall? An intolerable speech on the part of an envoy, and one which might have justified an order to send an arrow through his head. Ambassadors are accredited by governments to governments, and the safe conduct granted to them is on the understanding that they will conduct themselves according to established usage. In no state of society can it have been allowable for envoys to intervene between the governors and the governed, and endeavor to stir up discontent among the latter. Yet this is what Rabshakeh did, and boasted of doing. Well might Isaiah say of such an arrogant and lawless aggressor, "He hath broken the covenant, he hath despised the cities, he regardeth no man" (see Isaiah 33:8). That they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you? Rabshakeh means to say that the effect of the men "sitting on the wall," and continuing the defense of the town, will be to bring them to the last extremity of hunger and thirst, when they will be forced even to consume their own excrement (comp. 2 Kings 6:25-29). 2 Kings 18:27But Rabshakeh rejected this proposal with the scornful remark, that his commission was not to speak to Hezekiah and his ambassadors only, but rather to the people upon the wall. The variation of the preposition על and אל in אדניך על אדני, to thy lord (Hezekiah), and אליך, to thee (Eliakim as chief speaker), is avoided in the text of Isaiah. על is frequently used for אל, in the later usage of the language, in the sense of to or at. In the words "who sit upon the wall to eat their dung and drink their urine," Rabshakeh points to the horrors which a siege of Jerusalem would entail upon the inhabitants. For חריהם equals חראיהם, excrementa sua, and שׁיניהם, urinas suas, the Masoretes have substituted the euphemisms צואתם, going forth, and רגליהם מימי, water of their feet.
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