Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by destroying them utterly; and shall you be delivered?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
and shalt thou be delivered? canst thou expect it? surely thou canst not. Is it probable? yea, is it possible thou shouldest be delivered? it is not; as sure as other lands have been destroyed, so sure shall thine.Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by destroying them utterly; and shalt thou be delivered?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11. by destroying them utterly] Lit. putting them to the ban, see on ch. Isaiah 34:2.Verse 11. - Thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands (compare the Assyrian inscriptions, passim). Tiglath-Pileser I. calls himself " the conquering hero, the terror of whose name has overwhelmed all regions" ('Records of the Past,' vol. 5. p. 8); Asshur-izir-pal, "the king who subdued all the races of men" (ibid., ch. 7. p. 11); Shalmaneser II., "the marcher over the whole world" (ibid., vol. 5. p. 29); Shamas-Vul, "the trampler on the world" (ibid., vol. 1:12). Sargon says that "the gods had granted him the exercise of his sovereignty over all kings" (ibid., ch. 9. p. 4), and that he "reigned from the two beginnings to the two ends of the four celestial points" (ibid., ch. 11. p. 33), i.e. from the furthest north to the furthest south, and from the extreme cast to the extreme west. Sennacherib himself says, "Aashur, father of the gods, among all kings firmly has raised me, and over all that dwell in the countries he caused to increase my weapons" (ibid., ch. 11. p. 49). From first to last, in their inscriptions, the monarchs claim a universal dominion. Isaiah 37:3 in the modal sense of what they were to do (e dovevano dirgli): they were to say this to him, but he anticipated them at once with the instructions given here. The fact, so far as the style is concerned, is rather this, that Isaiah 37:5, while pointing back, gives the ground for Isaiah 37:6 : "and when they had come to him (saying this), he said to them." נערי we render "servants" (Knappen)
(Note: Knappe is the same word as "Knave;" but we have no word in use now which is an exact equivalent, and knave has entirely lost its original sense of servant. - Tr.)
after Esther 2:2; Esther 6:3, Esther 6:5; it is a more contemptuous expression than עבדי. The rūăch mentioned here as sent by God is a superior force of a spiritual kind, which influences both thought and conduct, as in such other connections as Isaiah 19:14; Isaiah 28:6; Isaiah 29:10 (Psychol. p. 295, Anm.).
The external occasion which determined the return of Sennacherib, as described in Isaiah 37:36-37, was the fearful mortality that had taken place in his army. The shemū‛âh (rumour, hearsay), however, was not the tidings of this catastrophe, but, as the continuation of the account in Isaiah 37:8, Isaiah 37:9, clearly shows, the report of the advance of Tirhakah, which compelled Sennacherib to leave Palestine in consequence of this catastrophe. The prediction of his death is sufficiently special to be regarded by modern commentators, who will admit nothing but the most misty figures as prophecies, as a vaticinium post eventum. At the same time, the prediction of the event which would drive the Assyrian out of the land is intentionally couched in these general terms. The faith of the king, and of the inquirers generally, still needed to be tested and exercised. The time had not yet come for him to be rewarded by a clearer and fuller announcement of the judgment.
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