2 Kings 18:28
Then Rabshakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and spoke, saying, Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria:
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(28) Stood.Came forward, i.e., nearer to the wall. (Comp. 1Kings 8:22.)

The word.—LXX. and Vulg., words; so Isaiah.

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. In the Jews’ language, that he might affright the people into a compliance with him, which he perceived Eliakim and his brethren endeavour to prevent. 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. Then Rabshakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and spake, saying, Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria:
28. with a loud voice] To prove that it was to the people on the wall that his message was sent. If he could provoke them to desert their king, Jerusalem would soon be in the power of the Assyrians.Verse 28. - Then Rabshakeh stood and cried with aloud voice in the Jews' language, and spake, saying. Rabshakeh had probably been sitting before. He now stood up to attract attention, and raised his voice to be the better heard. Still speaking Hebrew, and not Aramaic, he addressed himself directly to the people on the wall, soldiers and others, doing the very opposite to what he had been requested to do, and outraging all propriety. History scarcely presents any other instance of such coarse and barefaced effrontery, unless the affronts put upon a Danubian principality by the envoy of a "great Power" may be regarded as constituting a parallel. Hear the word of the great king, the King of Assyria. It is scarcely likely that Sennacherib had anticipated his envoy's action, much less directed it, and told him exactly what he was to say. But Rabshakeh thinks his words will have more effect if he represents them as those of his master. Hezekiah (and Judah) had a stronger ground of confidence in Jehovah his God. Even this Rabshakeh tried to shake, availing himself very skilfully, from his heathen point of view, of the reform which Hezekiah had made in the worship, and representing the abolition of the altars on the high places as an infringement upon the reverence that ought to be shown to God. "And if ye say, We trust in Jehovah our God, (I:say:) is it not He whose high places and altars Hezekiah has taken away and has said to Judah and Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar (in the temple) in Jerusalem?" Instead of האמרוּ כּי, according to which Rabshakeh turned to the deputies, we have in Isaiah 7:7 תאמר כּי, according to which the words are addressed to Hezekiah, as in 2 Kings 18:20. האמרוּ is preferred by Thenius, Knobel, and others, because in what follows Hezekiah is addressed in the third person. but the very circumstance that האמרוּ is apparently more suitable favours the originality of תאמר, according to which the king is still addressed in the person of his ambassadors, and Rabshakeh only speaks directly to the ambassadors when this argument is answered. The attack upon the confidence which the Judaeans placed in their God commences with הוּא הלוא. The opinion of Thenius, that the second clause of the verse is a continuation of the words supposed to be spoken by the Judaeans who trusted in God, and that the apodosis does not follow till 2 Kings 18:23, is quite a mistake. The ambassadors of Hezekiah could not regard the high places and idolatrous altars that had been abolished as altars of Jehovah; and the apodosis could not commence with ועתּה.
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