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.) Isaiah replied with this comforting promise: Hezekiah was not to be afraid of the blasphemous words of the Assyrian king; the Lord would frighten him with a report, so that he would return to his own land, and there would He cause him to fall by the sword. מלך א נערי, the servants or young men of the Assyrian king, is a derogatory epithet applied to the officials of Assyria. "Behold, I put a spirit into him, so that he shall hear a report and return into his own land." שׁמוּעה does not refer to the report of the destruction of his army (2 Kings 19:35), as Thenius supposes, for Sennacherib did not hear of this through the medium of an army, but was with the army himself at the time when it was smitten by the angel of the Lord; it refers to the report mentioned in 2 Kings 19:9. For even if he made one last attempt to secure the surrender of Jerusalem immediately upon hearing this report, yet after the failure of this attempt to shake the firmness of Hezekiah his courage must have failed him, and the thought of return must have suggested itself, so that this was only accelerated by the blow which fell upon the army. For, as O. v. Gerlach has correctly observed, "the destruction of the army would hardly have produced any decisive effect without the approach of Tirhakah, since the great power of the Assyrian king, especially in relation to the small kingdom of Judah, was not broken thereby. But at the prayer of the king the Lord added this miracle to the other, which His providence had already brought to pass. - For the fulfilment of the prophecy of Sennacherib's death, see 2 Kings 19:37.
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