And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(1) Went into the house of the Lord.—To humble himself before Jehovah and pray for help. (Comp. 2Chronicles 32:20.)2 Kings 19:1. When Hezekiah heard it, he rent his clothes — Good men were wont to do so, when they heard of any reproach cast on God’s name; and great men must not think it any disparagement to them to sympathize with the injured honour of the great God.
2Ki 19:1-5. Hezekiah in Deep Affliction.
1-3. when king Hezekiah heard it, he rent his clothes—The rending of his clothes was a mode of expressing horror at the daring blasphemy—the assumption of sackcloth a sign of his mental distress—his entrance into the temple to pray the refuge of a pious man in affliction—and the forwarding an account of the Assyrian's speech to Isaiah was to obtain the prophet's counsel and comfort. The expression in which the message was conveyed described, by a strong figure, the desperate condition of the kingdom, together with their own inability to help themselves; and it intimated also a hope, that the blasphemous defiance of Jehovah's power by the impious Assyrian might lead to some direct interposition for the vindication of His honor and supremacy to all heathen gods.Hezekiah acquainteth Isaiah the prophet with the blasphemies of Rab-shakeh: he promiseth deliverance from the Lord, 2 Kings 19:1-7. Sennacherib is forced to march against the Moors; sendeth blasphemous letters to Hezekiah, 2 Kings 19:8-13. His prayer, 2 Kings 19:14-19. Isaiah prophesieth the destruction of Sennacherib, and good of Zion, 2 Kings 19:20-34. The same night an angel slayeth the Assyrians: Sennacherib is murdered at Nineveh by his own sons, 2 Kings 19:35-37.
that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth; rent his clothes because of the blasphemy in the speech; and he put on sackcloth, in token of mourning, for the calamities he feared were coming on him and his people: and he went into the house of the Lord; the temple, to pray unto him. The message he sent to Isaiah, with his answer, and the threatening letter of the king of Assyria, Hezekiah's prayer upon it, and the encouraging answer he had from the Lord, with the account of the destruction of the Assyrian army, and the death of Sennacherib, are the same "verbatim" as in Isaiah 37:1 throughout; and therefore the reader is referred thither for the exposition of them; only would add what Rauwolff (t) observes, that still to this day (1575) there are two great holes to be seen, wherein they flung the dead bodies (of the Assyrian army), one whereof is close by the road towards Bethlehem, the other towards the right hand against old Bethel.And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2 Kings 19:1-7. Hezekiah sends messengers to Isaiah. Isaiah’s answer in the name of the Lord. (Not in Chronicles. Isaiah 37:1-7)
1. Hezekiah … covered himself with sackcloth] No doubt the words which his messengers reported were such as to tell upon the king, especially that saying of Rab-shakeh ‘The Lord said unto me, Go up against this place and destroy it’. The king was struck with horror as much as his counsellors. But he feels that he has in his council one who has long been known as God’s messenger to Judah. So while he himself falls to humiliation and prayer, going for that purpose into the house of the Lord, he sends his servants to enquire of the prophet what hope there is amid the terrible attack which may very soon be upon them.Verse 1. - And it came to pass, when King Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes - following the example of his chief officers, who came into his presence "with their clothes rent" (see 2 Kings 18:37) - and covered himself with sackcloth. A sign of grief and self-humiliation (comp. Genesis 37:34; 2 Samuel 3:31; 2 Samuel 21:10; 1 Kings 20:31; 1 Kings 21:27; 2 Kings 6:30, etc.). It was natural that the king should be even more strongly affected than his ministers. And went into the house of the Lord; to open his griefs, ask counsel, and beg for aid. 1 Kings 5:5). Even in the event of their yielding, the Assyrian would transport the Jewish people into another land, according to the standing custom of Asiatic conquerors in ancient times (for proofs see Hengstenberg, De rebus Tyriis, pp. 51, 52). To make the people contented with this thought, the boaster promised that the king of Assyria would carry them into a land which was quite as fruitful and glorious as the land of Canaan. The description of it as a land with corn and new wine, etc., recalls the picture of the land of Canaan in Deuteronomy 8:8 and Deuteronomy 33:28. יצהר זית is the olive-tree which yields good oil, in distinction from the wild olive-tree. וגו וחיוּ: and ye shall live and not die, i.e., no harm shall befall you from me (Thenius). This passage is abridged in Isaiah 36:17.
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