2 Kings 19:3
And they said to him, Thus said Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy; for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) Rebuke.—Rather, chastisement (Hosea 5:9). The verb means to give judgment, punish, &c. It occurs in the next verse, “will reprove the words,” or rather, punish for the words.

Blasphemy.—Comp. Isaiah 1:4; Isaiah 5:24, where the cognate verb is used; and Nehemiah 9:18; Nehemiah 9:26, where the noun “provocations” is almost identical.

The children are come . . .—With this proverb, expressive of the utter collapse of all human resources, comp. the similar language of Hosea (Hosea 13:13).

2 Kings 19:3. This is a day of rebuke and blasphemy — From the Assyrian, who reviles and reproaches us. For the children, &c. — We are like a poor travailing woman in great extremity, having no strength left to help herself, and to bring forth her infant into the world. We have attempted to deliver ourselves from the Assyrian yoke, and carried on that work to some maturity, and, as we thought, brought it to the birth; but now we have no might to finish. We have begun a happy reformation, and are hindered by this insolent Assyrian from bringing it to perfection.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.The "trouble" consisted in rebuke" (rather, "chastisement,") for sins at the hand of God, and "blasphemy" (rather, "reproach,") at the hands of man.

The children ... - i. e., "we are in a fearful extremity - at the last gasp - and lack the strength that might carry us through the danger."

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.

A day of trouble and of rebuke; either,

1. From God, wherein God rebukes and chastens us sorely. Or rather,

2. From the Assyrian, who reviles and reproacheth us; for his business here is to complain, not of God, but of the Assyrian. We are like a poor travailing woman in great extremity, and having no strength left to help herself, and to bring forth her infant into the world. We have attempted to deliver ourselves from the Assyrian yoke; and had carried on that work to some maturity, and, as we thought, brought it to the birth; but now we have no might to finish, unless thou assist us. We have begun a happy reformation, and are hindered by this insolent Assyrian from bringing it to perfection. See 2 Chronicles 32:1. 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 they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy: for the children are come to {b} the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.

(b) The dangers are so great, that we can neither avenge this blasphemy, or help ourselves any more than a woman in labour.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of blasphemy] R.V. contumely. The words refer to the condition of Hezekiah and his people. First they are in great anguish, kept in and surrounded by a threatening and mighty enemy, this is the trouble: then they are reminded of their offences and feel that for their wrong they are under chastisement and reproof: and lastly, that they are given over to the adversaries so that their enemies mock at their confidence with insolent derision. Hence without help from God, and with no hope from men, their conceptions of freedom and liberty were likely all to prove abortive, and come to no result. The figure which the king employs indicates that they were in the extremest danger, and had no power to save themselves.Verse 3. - And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of Blasphemy. Of "trouble," or "distress," manifestly - a day on which the whole nation is troubled, grieved, alarmed, distressed, made miserable. It is also a day of "rebuke," or rather of "chastisement" - a day on which God's hand lies heavy upon us and chastises us for our sins. And it is a day, not of "blasphemy," but of "abhorrence" or of "contumely" - a day on which God contumeliously rejects his people, and allows them to be insulted by their enemies (see the comments of Keil and Bahr). For the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth. A proverbial expression, probably meaning that a dangerous crisis approaches, and that the nation has no strength to carry it through the peril. 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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