And I will add to your days fifteen years; and I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for my own sake, and for my servant David's sake.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)I will add unto thy days fifteen years.—In the Jewish reckoning fourteen years and a fraction of a year would count as fifteen years. With this very definite prediction comp. Isaiah 7:8; Isaiah 23:15; Jeremiah 25:11-12.
And I will deliver thee . . .—So that the Assyrians had not yet retired from the West. For the rest of the verse see 2Kings 19:34.2 Kings 20:6. I will add to thy days fifteen years — Beyond what thou dost now expect, and beyond the time thou wouldst live if I left thee to the force of thy disease. We have not an instance of any other who was told beforehand just how long he should live. God has wisely kept us at uncertainties, that we may be always ready.Isaiah 20:6). There is, however, no evidence of actual hostilities between Judaea and Assyria in Sargon's reign.
on the third day—The perfect recovery from a dangerous sickness, within so short a time, shows the miraculous character of the cure (see his thanksgiving song, Isa 38:9). The disease cannot be ascertained; but the text gives no hint that the plague was raging then in Jerusalem; and although Arab physicians apply a cataplasm of figs to plague-boils, they also do so in other cases, as figs are considered useful in ripening and soothing inflammatory ulcers.Fifteen years beyond what thou dost expect, and beyond what thou wouldst do if I should leave thee to the force of thy disease.
Out of the hand of the king of Assyria; this is added, either, first, Because he might otherwise fear the Assyrian’s return to this city, from which he was so shamefully repulsed. Or, secondly, Because this sickness happened before that great slaughter, 2 Kings 19:35; of which See Poole "2 Kings 20:1".
For mine own sake; to vindicate my glory against that insolent blasphemer. Isaiah 38:5.
and I will deliver thee, and this city, out of the hand of the king of Assyria; by which it appears that this sickness and recovery were before the destruction of the Assyrian army:
and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake: for the sake of his honour and glory in the temple, and the service of it, that were in Jerusalem, and for the sake of his promise to David and his seed.And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. fifteen years] See above on verse 1.
I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria] Some stress has been laid on these words as though they necessarily implied that Jerusalem was still besieged. The preposition rendered ‘out of’ is literally ‘from’, and if that be borne in mind there is no reason why the words should not refer to the continued protection which Hezekiah and his city enjoyed afterwards when Sennacherib had been driven away.
for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake] These words, which occur before in 2 Kings 19:34, are not found in Isaiah 38.Verse 6. - And I win add unto thy days fifteen years. God "does exceeding abundantly more than we either ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20). Hezekiah had asked for nothing more than immediate escape from death. God grants him fifteen additional years of life, i.e. more than doubles the length of his reign. And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the King of Assyria. If Hezekiah's illness took place in B.C. 713, and Jerusalem was then in danger of being attacked by the Assyrians, the king who threatened the attack must have been Sargon. Sargon made an expedition into Palestine in B.C. 720, another in B.C. 713, and a third in B.C. 711. In none of them does he seem to have invaded Judaea; but in the third he counts the Jews among his enemies ('Eponym Canon,' p. 130, line 32). Hezekiah, who had revolted from him (2 Kings 18:7), may well have felt alarm both in B.C. 713 and 711. And I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake (comp. 2 Kings 19:34). The promise given in B.C. 713 in respect of Sargon was repeated in B.C. 699 (?) with respect to Sennacherib in almost the same words. 2 Kings 19:37 contains an account of Sennacherib's death. When he was worshipping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer slew him, and fled into the land of Ararat, and his son Esarhaddon became king in his stead. With regard to נסרך, Nisroch, all that seems to be firmly established is that he was an eagle-deity, and represented by the eagle-or vulture-headed human figure with wings, which is frequently depicted upon the Assyrian monuments, "not only in colossal proportions upon the walls and watching the portals of the rooms, but also constantly in the groups upon the embroidered robes. When it is introduced in this way, we see it constantly fighting with other mythical animals, such as human-headed oxen or lions; and in these conflicts it always appears to be victorious," from which we may infer that it was a type of the supreme deity (see Layard's Nineveh and its Remains). The eagle was worshipped as a god by the Arabs (Pococke, Specim. pp. 94, 199), was regarded as sacred to Melkarth by the Phoenicians (Nonnus, Dionys. xl. 495,528), and, according to a statement of Philo. Bybl. (in Euseb. Praepar. evang. i. 10), that Zoroaster taught that the supreme deity was represented with an eagle's head, it was also a symbol of Ormuzd among the Persians; consequently Movers (Phniz. i. pp. 68, 506, 507) regards Nisroch as the supreme deity of the Assyrians. It is not improbable that it was also connected with the constellation of the eagle (see Ideler, Ursprung der Sternnamen, p. 416). On the other hand, the current interpretation of the name from נשׁר (נשׁר, Chald.; nsr, Arab.), eagle, vulture, with the Persian adjective termination ok or ach, is very doubtful, not merely on account of the ס in נסרך, but chiefly because this name does not occur in Assyrian, but simply Asar, Assar, and Asarak as the name of a deity which is met with in many Assyrian proper names. The last is also adopted by the lxx, who (ed. Aldin. Compl.) have rendered נסרך by Ἀσαράχ in Isaiah, and Ἐσοράχ (cod. Vatic.) in 2 Kings, by the side of which the various readings Μεσεράχ in our text (cod. Vat.) and Νασαράχ in Isaiah are evidently secondary readings emended from the Hebrew, since Josephus (Ant. x. 1, 5) has the form Ἀρασκής, which is merely somewhat "Graecized." The meaning of these names is still in obscurity, even if there should be some foundation for the assumption that Assar belongs to the same root as the name of the people and land, Asshur. The connection between the form Nisroch and Asarak is also still obscure. Compare the collection which J. G. Mller has made of the different conjectures concerning this deity in the Art. Nisroch in Herzog's Cycl. - Adrammelech, according to 2 Kings 17:31, was the name of a deity of Sepharvaim, which was here borne by the king's son. שׁראצר, Sharezer, is said to mean "prince of fire," and was probably also borrowed from a deity. בּנין (Isa.) is wanting in our text, but is supplied by the Masora in the Keri. The "land of Ararat" was a portion of the high land of Armenia; according to Moses v. Chorene, the central portion of it with the mountains of the same name (see at Genesis 8:4). The slaying of Sennacherib is also confirmed by Alex. Polyhistor, or rather Berosus (in Euseb. Chr. Armen. i. p. 43), who simply names, however, a son Ardumusanus as having committed the murder, and merely mentions a second Asordanius as viceroy of Babylon.
(Note: With regard to the statement of Abydenus in Euseb. l. c. p. 53, that Sennacherib was followed by Nergilus, who was slain by his son Adrameles, who again was murdered by his brother Axerdis, and its connection with Berosus and the biblical account, see M. v. Niebuhr, Geschichte Assurs, pp. 361ff. Nergilus is probably the same person as Sharezer, and Axerdis as Esarhaddon.)
The identity of the latter with Esarhaddon is beyond all doubt. The name אסר־חדּן, Esar-cha-don, consisting of two parts with the guttural inserted, the usual termination in Assyrian and Babylonian, Assar-ach, is spelt Ἀσορδάν in the lxx, Σαχερδονός in Tobit - probably formed from Ἀσερ-χ-δονοσορ by a transposition of the letters, - by Josephus Ἀσσαραχόδδας, by Berosus (in the armen. Euseb.) Asordanes, by Abyden. ibid. Axerdis, in the Canon Ptol. Ἀσαράδινος, and lastly in Ezra 4:10 mutilated into אסנפּר, Osnappar (Chald.), and in the lxx Ἀσσεναφάρ; upon the Assyrian monuments, according to Oppert, Assur-akh-iddin (cf. M. v. Niebuhr, Gesch. Ass. p. 38). The length of his reign is uncertain. The statements of Berosus, that he was first of all viceroy of Babylon, and then for eight years king of Assyria, and that of the Canon Ptol., that he reigned for thirteen years in Babylon, are decidedly incorrect. Brandis (Rerum Assyr. tempora emend. p. 41) conjectures that he reigned twenty-eight years, but in his work Ueber den histor. Gewinn, pp. 73, 74, he suggests seventeen years. M. v. Niebuhr (ut sup. p. 77), on the other hand, reckons his reign at twenty-four years.
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