2 Kings 19:2
And he sent Eliakim, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.
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(2) And he sent Eliakim . . .—See the Note on 2Kings 3:12; and comp. 2Kings 13:14; 2Kings 22:14; Jeremiah 37:3. Knobel (on Isaiah) remarks that this distinguished embassy speaks for the high estimation in which the prophet stood.

The elders of the priestsi.e., the heads of the sacerdotal caste (próceres, not senes).

19:1-7 Hezekiah discovered deep concern at the dishonour done to God by Rabshakeh's blasphemy. Those who speak from God to us, we should in a particular manner desire to speak to God for us. The great Prophet is the great Intercessor. Those are likely to prevail with God, who lift up their hearts in prayer. Man's extremity is God's opportunity. While his servants can speak nothing but terror to the profane, the proud, and the hypocritical, they have comfortable words for the discouraged believer.Isaiah is here for the first time introduced into the history. His own writings show us how active a part he had taken in it for many years previously. This was the fourth reign since he began his prophesyings; and during two reigns at least, those of Ahaz and Hezekiah, he had been a familiar counselor of the monarch. He had probably counseled the revolt from Assyria, and had encouraged the king and people to persevere in their resistance. The exact date of prophecies can seldom be fixed with any certainty; but we can scarcely he mistaken in regarding 2 Kings 10; 30; 31 as written about the time of Hezekiah's second revolt. CHAPTER 19

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.

No text from Poole on this verse. 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.

And he sent Eliakim, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, {a} to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.

(a) To hear some new prophecy and to have comfort from him.

2. he sent … to Esai] R.V. Isaiah. The historian has up to this time never mentioned the name of the great prophet. But we know from Isaiah’s own writings that as early as the reign of Uzziah (Isaiah 6:1) the Lord had revealed His majesty to the son of Amoz, and had sent him to bear witness unto Judah. The reigns of Jotham and Ahaz are past, and to the latter king Isaiah had brought the message of deliverance from Pekah and Rezin, which had been fully accomplished, so that Ephraim was now broken and was no more a people (Isaiah 7:8). We may be sure that one so endowed with insight into the divine will had been taken at once into the councils of Hezekiah, and that no one’s words had carried more weight. It may well be that Isaiah had advised the struggle for freedom which Hezekiah undertook, and certainly during the fourteen years (2 Kings 18:13) which had elapsed since Hezekiah came to the throne the God-fearing king had done much, may we not say most things, by the advice of the prophet. Hence when the days are darkest, it is to Isaiah he sends as the source of true light.Verse 2. - And he sent Eliakim, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests. "The elders of the priests" are aged men holding the priestly office, not necessarily the high priest, or the most notable or most dignified of the priests. The king felt that his best hope, so far as man was concerned, lay in the prophetical order. Isaiah, Hosed, Joel, Micah, and perhaps Obadiah, were the prophets of the time; but it is not clear that any of them were accessible except Isaiah. He had been Ahaz's counselor (Isaiah 7:4-16), and was now certainly among the regular counselors of Hezekiah. Moreover, he was in Jerusalem, and could readily be consulted. Hezekiah, therefore, sends to him in his distress, and sends a most honorable and dignified embassy. It is his intention to treat the prophet with the utmost respect and courtesy. No doubt, at this period the prophetical order stood higher than the priestly one in general estimation; and not unworthily. If any living man could give the king sound advice under the circumstances, it was the son of Amoz. Covered with sackcloth. Probably by the king's command. Hezekiah wished to emphasize his own horror and grief in the eyes of the prophet, and could only do so by making his messengers assume the garb which he had judged suitable for himself on the occasion. To Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. Nothing morels known of Amoz beyond his being Isaiah's father. He is not to be confounded with the Prophet Amos, whose name is spelt quite differently: עָמוס, not אמוץ. Even Jehovah could not deliver them any more than Hezekiah. As a proof of this, Rabshakeh enumerated a number of cities and lands which the king of Assyria had conquered, without their gods' being able to offer any resistance to his power. "Where are the gods of Hamath, etc., that they might have delivered Samaria out of my hand?" Instead of הצּילוּ כּי we have הץ וכי and that they might have, which loosens the connection somewhat more between this clause and the preceding one, and makes it more independent. "Where are they?" is equivalent to they are gone, have perished (cf. 2 Kings 19:18); and "that they might have delivered" is equivalent to they have not delivered. The subject to הצּילוּ כּי is הגּוים אלהי, which includes the God of Samaria. Sennacherib regards himself as being as it were one with his predecessors, as the representative of the might of Assyria, so that he attributes to himself the conquests of cities and lands which his ancestors had made. The cities and lands enumerated in 2 Kings 18:34 have been mentioned already in 2 Kings 17:24 as conquered territories, from which colonists had been transplanted to Samaria, with the exception of Arpad and Hena. ארפּד, which is also mentioned in 2 Kings 19:13; Isaiah 10:9; Isaiah 36:19; Isaiah 37:13, and Jeremiah 49:23, in connection with Hamath, was certainly situated in the neighbourhood of that city, and still exists, so far as the name is concerned, in the large village of rfd, Arfd (mentioned by Maraszid, i. 47), in northern Syria in the district of Azz, which was seven hours to the north of Haleb, according to Abulf. Tab. Syr. ed. Khler, p. 23, and Niebuhr, Reise, ii. p. 414 (see Roediger, Addenda ad Ges. thes. p. 112). הנע, Hena, which is also combined with 'Ivvah in 2 Kings 19:13 and Isaiah 37:13, is probably the city of 'nt Ana, on the Euphrates, mentioned by Abulf., and עוּה is most likely the same as עוּא in 2 Kings 17:24. The names ועוּה הנע are omitted from the text of Isaiah in consequence of the abridgment of Rabshakeh's address.
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