Isaiah 36:4
And Rabshakeh said to them, Say you now to Hezekiah, Thus said the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein you trust?
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36:1-22:See 2Ki 18:17-37, and the commentary thereon.What confidence - What is the ground of your confidence? on what do you trust? The appellation 'great king' was the customary title of the kings of the Persians and Assyrians. 4. great king—the usual title of the Persian and Assyrian kings, as they had many subordinate princes or kings under them over provinces (Isa 10:8). No text from Poole on this verse. And Rabshakeh said unto them,.... The three ministers above mentioned:

say ye now to Hezekiah; tell him what follows; he does not call him king, as he does his own master:

thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria; this he said boastingly of his master, and in order to terrify Hezekiah and his subjects; whom he would represent as little in comparison of him, who had subdued many kingdoms, and aimed at universal monarchy; so the eastern kings used to be called, as now the Grand Signior with the Turks, and the French call their king the great monarch; but the title of a great king suits best with God himself, Psalm 95:3,

what confidence is this wherein thou trustest? meaning, what was the ground and foundation of his confidence? what was it that kept him in high spirits, that he did not at once submit to the king of Assyria, and surrender the city of Jerusalem to him?

And {e} Rabshakeh said to them, Say ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this in which thou trustest?

(e) Sennacherib's chief captain.

4–10. The speech of the Rabshakeh, dealing with the two motives which might be supposed to have induced Hezekiah to rebel: (1) his reliance on the help of Egypt (Isaiah 36:6), and (2) his religious confidence in Jehovah (Isaiah 36:7); and urging him to submit to the king of Assyria (Isaiah 36:8-10).Verse 4. - And Rabshakeh said. Of the three Assyrian envoys Rabshakeh alone obtains mention in Isaiah, probably because he was the spokesman (comp. 2 Kings 18:19, 26, 27, 37; 2 Kings 19:4). He was probably chosen for spokesman because he could speak Hebrew fluently (infra, vers. 11, 13). The great king. "The great king" (sarru rabbu) is the most common title assumed by the Assyrian monarchs in their inscriptions. It is found as early as B.C. 1120. In the midst of such miracles, by which all nature is glorified, the people of Jehovah are redeemed, and led home to Zion. "And a highway rises there, and a road, and it will be called the Holy Road; no unclean man will pass along it, as it is appointed for them: whoever walks the road, even simple ones do not go astray. There will be no lion there, and the most ravenous beast of prey will not approach it, will not be met with there; and redeemed ones walk. And the ransomed of Jehovah will return, and come to Zion with shouting, and everlasting joy upon their head: they lay hold of gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing flee away." Not only unclean persons from among the heathen, but even unclean persons belonging to Israel itself, will never pass along that holy road; none but the church purified and sanctified through sufferings, and those connected with it. למו הוּא, to them, and to them alone, does this road belong, which Jehovah has made and secured, and which so readily strikes the eye, that even an idiot could not miss it; whilst it lies to high, that no beast of prey, however powerful (perı̄ts chayyōth, a superlative verbal noun: Ewald, 313, c), could possibly leap up to it: not one is ever encountered by the pilgrim there. The pilgrims are those whom Jehovah has redeemed and delivered, or set free from captivity and affliction (גּאל, לג, related to חל, solvere; פּדה, פד, scindere, abscindere). Everlasting joy soars above their head; they lay fast hold of delight and joy (compare on Isaiah 13:8), so that it never departs from them. On the other hand, sorrow and sighing flee away. The whole of Isaiah 35:10 is like a mosaic from Isaiah 51:11; Isaiah 61:7; Isaiah 51:3; and what is affirmed of the holy road, is also affirmed in Isaiah 52:1 of the holy city (compare Isaiah 62:12; Isaiah 63:4). A prelude of the fulfilment is seen in what Ezra speaks of with gratitude to God in Ezra 8:31. We have intentionally avoided crowding together the parallel passages from chapters 40-66. The whole chapter is, in every part, both in thought and language, a prelude of that book of consolation for the exiles in their captivity. Not only in its spiritual New Testament thoughts, but also in its ethereal language, soaring high as it does in majestic softness and light, the prophecy has now reached the highest point of its development.
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