2 Kings 19:7
Behold, I will send a blast on him, and he shall hear a rumor, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.
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(7) Behold, I will send a blast upon him.Behold, I am about to put a spirit within him. “ ‘A spirit’ is probably not to be understood personally (comp. 1Samuel 18:10; 1Kings 22:21 seq.), but in the weaker sense of impulse, inclination. (Comp. Isaiah 19:14; Isaiah 29:10; Numbers 5:14; Hosea 4:12; Zechariah 13:2.) The two senses are, however, very closely connected” (Cheyne, on Isaiah 37:7). In fact, it may be doubted whether Hebrew thought was conscious of any distinction between them. The prophets believed that all acts and events—even the ruthless barbarities of Assyrian conquerors—were “Jehovah’s work.” The lowly wisdom of the peasant, as well as the art of good government, was a Divine inspiration (Isaiah 28:26; Isaiah 28:29; Isaiah 11:2).

And he shall hear . . . return.—To be closely connected with the preceding words. In consequence of the spirit of despondency or fear with which Jehovah will inspire him, he will hastily retire upon hearing ill news. The “rumour” or report intended is presently specified (2Kings 19:9); “for though Sennacherib made one more attempt to bring about the surrender of Jerusalem, his courage must have left him when it failed, and the thought of retreat must have suggested itself, the execution of which was only accelerated by the blow which fell upon his army” (Keil and Thenius).

2 Kings 19:7. I will send a blast upon him — Hebrew, a wind, a storm or tempest, by which name God’s judgments are often called: that is, a violent, sudden, and terrible stroke; namely, that miraculous destruction of his army, recorded 2 Kings 19:35.19:1-7 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.Will send a blast upon him - Rather, "I will put a spirit in him " - i. e., "I will take from him his present pride and will put in him a new spirit, a spirit of craven fear." Men shall tell him of the destruction that has come upon his host 2 Kings 19:35, and he shall straightway return, etc. 2Ki 19:6, 7. Comforted by Isaiah.

6. Isaiah said … Be not afraid—The prophet's answer was most cheering, as it held out the prospect of a speedy deliverance from the invader. The blast, the rumor, the fall by the sword, contained a brief prediction that was soon fulfilled in all the three particulars—namely, the alarm that hastened his retreat, the destruction that overtook his army, and the violent death that suddenly ended his career.

I will send a blast upon him, Heb. a wind, a storm or tempest, by which name God’s judgments are oft called, i.e. a violent, and sudden, and terrible stroke; namely, that miraculous destruction of his army, of which 2 Kings 19:35. Although the place may be rendered thus, I will put a spirit within him, so that he shall hear a rumour, and return, &c. For by spirit is many times understood an imagination, or inclination, or affliction; in which sense we read of the spirit of fear, 2 Timothy 1:7; of the spirit of jealousy, Numbers 5:14; of the spirit of slumber, Romans 11:8. Or, a spirit against (for so the Hebrew preposition beth is oft used, as hath been noted before) him; of whom this word is elsewhere used, as Judges 9:23 1 Samuel 16:14,23 1 Kings 22:23; as it is also given to man’s soul, Job 12:10 Ecclesiastes 12:7, which is a spiritual substance, as the angels are. And this interpretation seems most agreeable to the design of this verse, which is in brief to represent all the judgments of God which were to befall him, and which are related in the following history; and therefore all the other particulars being contained in the following branches of this verse; the tidings of Tirhakah, 2 Kings 19:9, in these words,

he shall hear a rumour; his returning to his own land, and being slain there, 2 Kings 19:36,37, in the next words; it seems most probable that the chiefest of all the judgments, to wit, the destruction of 185,000 soldiers in one night, 2 Kings 19:35, is not omitted here, but expressed in the first branch of the verse; and the spirit here is the same thing which is there called an angel; this latter word being there used to limit and explain the former, which otherwise was of a doubtful signification. 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.

Behold, I will send a blast {d} upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.

(d) The Lord can with one blast blow away all the strength of man, and turn it into dust.

7. Behold, I will send a blast upon him] R.V. put a spirit in him. ‘Blast’ in this verse is often wrongly accepted as referring to the destroying angel of verse 35 below. The true sense is represented in R.V. God would give to Sennacherib and his soldiers such an inward motion or impulse that the news which should be brought to them should alarm them and drive them away. We know from Saul’s history how an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him (1 Samuel 16:14). In another wise there should come a troubling spirit upon the Assyrians, which should make them ready to take alarm at anything. This is the sense of the LXX. δίδωμι ἐν αὐτῷ πνεῦμα. But the word for ‘spirit’ and for ‘wind’ being the same in both Hebrew and Greek some interpreters have thought that the allusion is to the blast, sound or noise which would bring the rumour alluded to in the next words. But this sense seems less likely than the former, and finds no illustration elsewhere.

and he shall hear a rumour] Probably refers to the report about the Ethiopian king, Tirhakah, spoken of presently, in verse 9 as on the march to meet Sennacherib. The answer of the prophet does not speak of the destruction of the host, an event which more than anything else hastened Sennacherib’s departure.

and shall return to his own land] See below verse 36.

I will cause him to fall] Though the whole manner of God’s intervention be not made known, enough is laid open to shew us that to the boastful Sennacherib God had already fixed his day. The two sons (verse 37) are the instruments, but they, though they know it not, are only working out God’s design.Verse 7. - Behold, I will send a blast upon him. The meaning is doubtful. Most modern critics translate, with the LXX., "I will put a spirit within him," and understand "a spirit of cowardice," or "a despondent mood" (Thenius), or "an extraordinary impulse of Divine inspiration, which is to hurry him blindly on" (Drechsler). But the idea of our translators, that the blast (רוּה) is external, and sent upon him, not put in him - that, in fact, the destruction of his army is referred to, seems defensible by such passages as Exodus 15:8 and Isaiah 25:4. The prophecy was, no doubt, intentionally vague - enough for its immediate purpose, which was to comfort and strengthen Hezekiah - but not intended to gratify man's curiosity by revealing the exact mode in which God would work. And he shall hear a rumor; literally, he shall hear a hearsay; i.e. he shall be told something, which shall determine him on a hasty retreat. It is best, I think, to understand, not news of Tirhakah's advance (Knobel, Keil, Bahr), much less news of an insurrection in some other part of the empire (Cheyne), but information of the disaster to his army. It is no objection to this that Sennacherib was "with his army." No doubt he was. But he would learn the catastrophe from the mouth of some one who came into his tent and told him - he would "hear a hearsay" And shall return to his own land (see ver. 36), and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land. (On Sennacherib's murder, see the comment upon ver. 37.) When Hezekiah had heard from his counsellors the report of Rabshakeh's words, he rent his clothes with horror at his daring mockery of the living God (2 Kings 19:4), put on mourning clothes as a sign of the trouble of his soul and went into the temple, and at the same time sent Eliakim and Shebna with the oldest of the priests in mourning costume to the prophet Isaiah, to entreat him to intercede with the Lord in these desperate circumstances.

(Note: "But the most wise king did not meet his blasphemies with weapons, but with prayer, and tears, and sackcloth, and entreated the prophet Isaiah to be his ambassador." - Theodoret.)

The order of the words: Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, is unusual (cf. 2 Kings 14:25; 2 Kings 20:1; 1 Kings 16:7, etc.), and is therefore altered in Isaiah into Isaiah the son of Amoz, the prophet.

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