2 Kings 19:12
Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed; as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which were in Thelasar?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) My fathers.—Sargon his father founded the dynasty; but he speaks of his predecessors generally as his “fathers.”

Gozan.2Kings 17:6.

Haran.—Also a west Aramean town, mentioned by Tiglath Pileser I. (circ. 1120 B.C. ) Shalmaneser II. speaks of its conquest. It had a famous sanctuary of the moon god Sin. (See Genesis 11:31.)

Rezeph.—The Assyrian Raçappa, a town of Mesopotamia, often mentioned in the inscriptions.

The children of Eden.—Schrader identifies this community with Bît-Adini (“the house of Eden”), often mentioned by Assurnâçirpal and Shalmaneser II. The latter records his defeat of Ahuni, “son of Eden,” a phrase which exactly corresponds to “the children (sons) of Eden” here. It lay on both banks of the middle Euphrates, between the present Bâlis and Birejik.

Thelasar.—Heb., Tĕlassar, the Assyrian Tul-Assuri (“Mound of Assur”). More than one place bore the name.

19:8-19 Prayer is the never-failing resource of the tempted Christian, whether struggling with outward difficulties or inward foes. At the mercy-seat of his almighty Friend he opens his heart, spreads his case, like Hezekiah, and makes his appeal. When he can discern that the glory of God is engaged on his side, faith gains the victory, and he rejoices that he shall never be moved. The best pleas in prayer are taken from God's honour.Haran - Harran, the Carrhae of the Greeks and Romans Gen 11:31, was among the earliest conquests of the Assyrians; being subject to them from the 12th century. Its conquest would have naturally followed that of Gozan (Gauzanitis, 2 Kings 17:6), which lay between it and Assyria proper.

Rezeph - Probably the Rozappa of the Assyrian inscriptions, a city in the neighborhood of Haran.

The children of Eden - Or, "the Beni-Eden," who appear from the Assyrian inscriptions to have inhabited the country on the east bank of the Euphrates, about the modern Balis. Here they had a city called Beth-Adina, taken by the Assyrians about 880 B.C. This is probably the "Eden" of marginal reference.

Thelasar - Or Telassar. Probably a city on the Euphrates, near Beth-Adina, called after the name of the god Asshur. The name would signify "the Hill of Asshur."

9-13. when he heard say of Tirhakah …, Behold, he is come out to fight against thee, &c.—This was the "rumor" to which Isaiah referred [2Ki 19:7]. Tirhakah reigned in Upper Egypt, while So (or Sabaco) ruled in Lower Egypt. He was a powerful monarch, another Sesostris, and both he and Sabaco have left many monuments of their greatness. The name and figure of Tirhakah receiving war captives, are still seen in the Egyptian temple of Medinet Abou. This was the expected succor which was sneered at by Rab-shakeh as "a bruised reed" (2Ki 18:21). Rage against Hezekiah for allying himself with Egypt, or the hope of being better able to meet this attack from the south, induced him, after hearing the rumor of Tirhakah's advance, to send a menacing letter to Hezekiah, in order that he might force the king of Judah to an immediate surrender of his capital. This letter, couched in the same vaunting and imperious style as the speech of Rab-shakeh, exceeded it in blasphemy, and contained a larger enumeration of conquered places, with the view of terrifying Hezekiah and showing him the utter hopelessness of all attempts at resistance. Several places about or beyond Euphrates. See Genesis 11:31 Ezekiel 27:23.

And it came to pass, when King Hezekiah heard it,.... The report of Rabshakeh's speech, recorded in the preceding chapter:

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.

(t) Travels, par. 3. ch. 22. p. 317.

Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed; as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which were in Thelasar?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. as Gozan] The R.V. omits the italic ‘as’ both here and in the parallel place in Isaiah. On Gozan see above 2 Kings 17:6 note.

and Haran] The LXX. gives for this place Χαῤῥὰν, as in Genesis 27:43, thus identifying it with the place where Abraham dwelt after leaving Ur of the Chaldees. The town of Haran [still called Harran] is in the midst of the district which lies under Mt. Masius between the Khabour and the Euphrates.

and Rezeph] This name is found in several places in the neighbourhood of the Euphrates, where from the situation of the other cities mentioned with it, this Rezeph most likely was situated. Two places, one on the west and one on the east of the Euphrates have been put forward as the city here mentioned but we have no means of deciding more than that the place was not far distant from the others named along with it.

the children of Eden which were in Thelasar] R.V. Telassar. This latter form is the orthography of A.V. in the parallel verse in Isaiah. Of the position of this Eden it is impossible to say more than that it was probably somewhere in the north west of Mesopotamia, whither Assyrian conquest had spread in the times just preceding Sennacherib, and to which he would intend now to call attention. The LXX. omits this name in the parallel place in Isaiah. Telassar must have been the chief seat of these children of Eden, the capture of which broke down the people. In Ezekiel 27:23, Eden is again joined with Haran, and with Asshur. Hence some confirmation may be drawn for placing the people in the upper Mesopotamian plain.

All the places above named are additional to those given by Rab-shakeh in his recital of Assyrian victories (2 Kings 17:34).

Verse 12. - Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed? The Assyrian kings always speak of all their predecessors as their ancestors. In point of fact, Sennacherib bad had only one "father" among the previous kings, viz. Sargon. As Gozan (see the comment on 2 Kings 17:6). It is uncertain at what time Gozan was finally conquered and absorbed. It was frequently overrun by the Assyrians from the reign of Tiglath-pileser I. (about B.C. 1100); but it was probably not absorbed until about B.C. 809. The Prefect of Gozan first appears in the list of Assyrian Eponyms in B.C. 794. And Haran. "Haran" is generally admitted to be the city of Terah (Genesis 11:32), and indeed there is no rival claimant of the name. Its position was in the western part of the Gauzanitis region, on the Belik, about lat. 36° 50' N. It was probably conquered by Assyria about the same time as Gozan. And Reseph. A town called "Razappa," probably "Rezeph," appears in the Assyrian inscriptions from an early date. It is thought to have been in the near vicinity of Haran, but had been conquered and absorbed as early as B.C. 818. Whether it is identical with the Resapha of Ptolemy ('Geograph.,' 5:15) is doubtful. And the children of Eden. Probably the inhabitants of a city called "Bit-Adini" in the Assyrian inscriptions, which was on the Middle Euphrates, not far from Carchemish, on the left bank ('Records of the Past,' vol. 3. pp. 69, 71, etc.). This place was conquered by Asshur-nazir-pal, about B.C. 877. Which were in Thelasar. "Thelasar" is probably the Hebrew equivalent of "Tel-Asshur," "the hill or fort of Asshur," which may have been the Assyrian name of Bit-Adini, or of a city dependent on it. Asshur-nazir-pal gave Assyrian names to several cities on the Middle Euphrates (see 'Records of the Past,' vol. 3. p. 55, line 48; p. 69, line 50). 2 Kings 19:12"Have the gods of the nations delivered them?" אתם is not a pronoun used in anticipation of the object, which follows in וגו גּוזן (Thenius), but refers to כּל־הארצות in 2 Kings 19:11, a specification of which is given in the following enumeration. Gozan may be the province of Gauzanitis in Mesopotamia, but it may just as well be the country of Gauzania on the other side of the Tigris (see at 2 Kings 17:6). The combination with Haran does not force us to the first assumption, since the list is not a geographical but a historical one. - Haran (Charan), i.e., the Carrae of the Greeks and Romans, where Abraham's father Terah died, a place in northern Mesopotamia (see at Genesis 11:31), is probably not merely the city here, but the country in which the city stood. - Rezeph (רצף), the Arabic rutsâfat, a very widespread name, since Jakut gives nine cities of this name in his Geographical Lexicon, is probably the most celebrated of the cities of that name, the Rusapha of Syria, called ̔Ρησάφα in Ptol. v. 15, in Palmyrene, on the road from Racca to Emesa, a day's journey from the Euphrates (cf. Ges. Thes. p. 1308). - "The sons of Eden, which (were in Telassar," were evidently a tribe whose chief settlement was in Telassar. By עדן we might understand the בּית־עדן of Amos 1:5, a city in a pleasant region of Syria, called Παράδεισος by Ptol. (v. 15), since there is still a village called Ehden in that locality (cf. Burckhardt, Syr. p. 66, and v. Schubert, Reise, iii. p. 366), if we could only discover Telassar in the neighbourhood, and if the village of Ehden could be identified with Παράδεισος and the Eden of the Bible, as is done even by Gesenius on Burckhardt, p. 492, and Thes. p. 195; but this Ehden is spelt ‛hdn in Arabic, and is not to be associated with עדן (see Rob. Bibl. Res. pp. 586, 587). Moreover the Thelseae near Damascus (in the Itin. Ant. p. 196, ed. Wess.) is too unlike Telassar to come into consideration. There is more to be said in favour of the identification of our עדן with the Assyrian Eden, which is mentioned in Ezekiel 27:23 along with Haran and Calneh as an important place for trade, although its position cannot be more certainly defined; and neither the comparison with the tract of land called (Syr.) ma‛āden, Maadon, which Assemani (Biblioth. or. ii. p. 224) places in Mesopotamia, towards the Tigris, in the present province of Diarbekr (Ges., Win.), nor the conjecture of Knobel that the tribe-name Eden may very probably have been preserved in the large but very dilapidated village of Adana or Adna, some distance to the north of Bagdad (Ker Porter, Journey, ii. p. 355, and Ritter, Erdk. ix. p. 493), can be established as even a probability. תּלאשּׂר, Telassar, is also quite unknown. The name applies very well to Thelser on the eastern side of the Tigris (Tab. Peut. xi. e), where even the later Targums on Genesis 10:12 have placed it, interpreting Nimrod's Resen by תלסר, תלאסר, though Knobel opposes this on the ground that a place in Assyria proper is unsuitable in such a passage as this, where the Assyrian feats of war outside Assyria itself are enumerated. Movers (Phniz. ii. 3, p. 251) conjectures that the place referred to is Thelassar in Terodon, a leading emporium for Arabian wares on the Persian Gulf, and supposes that Terodon has sprung from Teledon with the Persian pronunciation of the תל, which is very frequent in the names of Mesopotamian cities. This conjecture is at any rate a more natural one than that of Knobel on Isaiah 37:12, that the place mentioned in Assemani (Bib. or. iii. 2, p. 870), (Arabic) tl b-ṣrṣr, Tel on the Szarszar, to the west of the present Bagdad, is intended. - With regard to the places named in 2 Kings 19:13, see at 2 Kings 18:34.
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