2 Kings 19:13
Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivah?
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(13) The king.—Comp. 2Kings 18:34, from which, as well as from the sequence of thought in 2Kings 19:12-13 here, it is clear that “king” is here used as a synonym of local god. (Comp. Amos 5:26; Psalm 5:2 : “My King, and my God.”)

2 Kings 19:13. Where is the king of Hamath, &c. — He may mean the gods of these places, calling them their kings, because the people looked upon them as their protectors and governors, which kings are or should be to their subjects: or rather, he means their kings, properly so called. And so, as before he compared their gods with the God of Jerusalem, so now he compares their kings with King Hezekiah; and by both comparisons intends to persuade Hezekiah and his people that neither he, their king, nor their God, was able to save them out of his hand.

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.Compare the marginal reference 2 Kings 17:24. 2 Kings 19:12 refers to former Assyrian successes, 2 Kings 19:13 to comparatively recent ones. 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. where is the king of Hamath? either,

1. Their god, whom he here calls their king, because they looked upon him as their protector and governor, which kings are or should be to their people. Or rather,

2. Their king properly so called. And as before he compared their gods with the God of Jerusalem, so now he compares their kings with king Hezekiah; and by both intends to persuade them, that neither their God nor their king was able to save them out of his hand.

Of Sepharvaim, of Itena, and Ivah; of which See Poole "2 Kings 18:31".

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.

Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivah?
13. Where is the king of Hamath] On all the places named here, see above in the notes on 2 Kings 17:34.

Verse 13. - Where is the King of Hamath. Ilu-bid, King of Hamath, raised a rebellion against Sargon in B.C. 720, and was taken prisoner the same year and carried to Assyria (see the 'Eponym Canon,' p. 127). And the King of Arpad. Arpad revolted in conjunction with Hamath, and was reduced about the same time ('Eponym Canon,' p. 126). Its "king" is not mentioned, but he probably shared the fate of Ilu-bid. And the King of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hens, and Ivah? It is probably not meant that these three cities were all of them under the dominion of one and the same king. "King" is to be taken distributively. (On the sites of the cities, see the comment upon 2 Kings 18:34.) 2 Kings 19:13"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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