Isaiah 37:7
Behold, I will send a blast on him, and he shall hear a rumor, and return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.
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(7) I will send a blast upon him.—Better, I will put a spirit in him. The Authorised Version suggests the idea of some physical calamity, like that which actually destroyed the Assyrian army. Here, however, the “spirit,” stands for the impulse, strong and mighty, which overpowers previous resolves. (Comp. Isaiah 30:28.)

He shall hear a rumour.—The words admit of being explained either as a prediction rising out of a purely supernatural foresight, or as resting on some secret intelligence which Israel had received as to the movements of Tirhakah.

37:1-38 This chapter is the same as 2Ki 19Behold, I will send a blast upon him - Margin, 'Put a spirit into him.' The word rendered 'blast' (רוח rûach) is commonly rendered 'spirit.' It may denote breath, air, soul, or spirit. There is no reason to think that the word is used here in the sense of blast of wind, as our translators seem to have supposed. The sense is probably, 'I will infuse into him a spirit of fear, by which be shall be alarmed by the rumour which he shall hear, and return to his own land.' The word is often used in this sense (compare 1 Samuel 16:14; see also Isaiah 31:8-9). Gesenius understands it here in the sense of will or disposition. 'I will change his will or disposition, so that he will return to his own land.'

And he shall hear a rumour - The rumour or report here referred to, was doubtless that respecting Tirhakah king of Ethiopia Isaiah 37:9. It was this which would alarm him, and drive him in haste from the cities which he was now besieging, and be the means of expelling him from the land.

And I will cause him ... - This is said in accordance with the usual statements in the Scriptures, that all events are under God's providential control (compare the note at Isaiah 10:5-6).

By the sword in his own land - (See the note at Isaiah 37:38).

7. blast—rather, "I will put a spirit (Isa 28:6; 1Ki 22:23) into him," that is, so influence his judgment that when he hears the report (Isa 37:9, concerning Tirhakah), he shall return [Gesenius]; the "report" also of the destruction of his army at Jerusalem, reaching Sennacherib, while he was in the southwest of Palestine on the borders of Egypt, led him to retreat.

by the sword—(Isa 37:38).

No text from Poole on this verse. Behold, I will send a blast upon him,.... The king of Assyria; a pestilential one, as he afterwards did, which destroyed his army: or,

I will put a spirit into him (s); a spirit of fear and dread, which will oblige him to desist from his purposes, and flee; though some interpret it only of an inclination, a will (t) in him, to return: it may be understood of an angel, a ministering spirit, and be rendered "I will send a spirit against him"; an angelic spirit, as he did, which cut off his army in one night:

and he shall hear a rumour; of the sudden and total destruction of his army; though some refer this to the rumour of the king of Ethiopia coming out to make war against him, Isaiah 37:9, but upon this he did not return to his own land, nor was he slain with the sword, as follows:

and return to his own land; as he did, immediately upon the slaughter of his army by the angel:

and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land: as he did, being slain by his own sons, Isaiah 37:37.

(s) "indam ei Spiritum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (t) So Ben Melech explains it by "will", "desire", "purpose".

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

(f) Of the Egyptians and Ethiopians, who will come and fight against him.

7. I will send a blast upon him] Render as in R.V. I will put a spirit in him, i.e. a spirit of craven fear, depriving him of his natural courage and resourcefulness. How the spirit will work is stated in what follows: a mere rumour will drive him back to his own land, there to meet his death (cf. 2 Kings 7:6). There is no allusion in this oracle to the disastrous blow recorded in Isaiah 37:36. The “rumour” is no doubt that of the approach of Tirhakah (Isaiah 37:9).Verse 7. - Behold, I will send a blast upon him; rather, I will put a spirit within him; i.e. I will take away from him the spirit of pride and arrogance by which he has been hitherto actuated, and I will infuse into his heart, instead, a spirit of hesitation and fear. He shall hear a rumour; literally, as Delitzsch translates, he shall hear a hearsay; i.e. "a report," or "tidings." It is uncertain what "tidings" are intended. Some suppose "tidings of the movements of Tirhakah;" others, "tidings of the destruction of his host;" a few, "tidings of an insurrection in some other part of the Assyrian empire." This last supposition is wholly gratuitous, since we have no indication, either in Scripture or in the inscriptions, of any such insurrection. The choice lies between the other two, or between one or other of them, and the two combined. The vagueness is owing, not to the time at which the present narrative took shape, but to the fact that a vague promise - quite sufficient for its purpose - was given at first, the filling in of the details being reserved for a later period (see vers. 22-35). I will cause him to fall by the sword (see ver. 38). The king and the deputation apply to Isaiah. "And it came to pass, when king Hizkiyahu had heard, he rent his clothes, and wrapped himself in mourning linen, and went into the house of Jehovah. And sent Eliakim the house-minister, and Shebna (K. omits את) the chancellor, and the eldest of the priests, wrapped in mourning linen, to Isaiah son of Amoz, the prophet (K. has what is inadmissible: the prophet son of Amoz). And they said to him, Thus saith Hizkiyahu, A day of affliction, and punishment, and blasphemy is this day; for children are come to the matrix, and there is no strength to bring them forth. Perhaps Jehovah thy God will hear the words (K. all the words) of Rabshakeh, with which the king of Asshur his lord has sent him to revile the living God; and Jehovah thy God will punish for the words which He hath heard, and thou wilt make intercession for the remnant that still exists." The distinguished embassy is a proof of the distinction of the prophet himself (Knobel). The character of the deputation accorded with its object, which was to obtain a consolatory word for the king and people. In the form of the instructions we recognise again the flowing style of Isaiah. תּוכחה, as a synonym of מוּסר, נקם, is used as in Hosea 5:9; נאצה (from the kal נאץ) according to Isaiah 1:4; Isaiah 5:24; Isaiah 52:5, like נאצה (from the piel נאץ), Nehemiah 9:18, Nehemiah 9:26 (reviling, i.e., reviling of God, or blasphemy). The figure of there not being sufficient strength to bring forth the child, is the same as in Isaiah 66:9. משׁבּר (from שׁבר, syn. פּרץ, Genesis 38:29) does not signify the actual birth (Luzzatto, punto di dover nascere), nor the delivering-stool (Targum), like mashbēr shel-chayyâh, the delivering-stool of the midwife (Kelim xxiii. 4); but as the subject is the children, and not the mother, the matrix or mouth of the womb, as in Hosea 13:13, "He (Ephraim) is an unwise child; when it is time does he not stop in the children's passage" (mashbēr bânı̄m), i.e., the point which a child must pass, not only with its head, but also with its shoulders and its whole body, for which the force of the pains is often not sufficient? The existing condition of the state resembled such unpromising birth-pains, which threatened both the mother and the fruit of the womb with death, because the matrix would not open to give birth to the child. לדה like דּעה in Isaiah 11:9. The timid inquiry, which hardly dared to hope, commences with 'ūlai. The following future is continued in perfects, the force of which is determined by it: "and He (namely Jehovah, the Targum and Syriac) will punish for the words," or, as we point it, "there will punish for the words which He hath heard, Jehovah thy God (hōkhı̄ach, referring to a judicial decision, as in a general sense in Isaiah 2:4 and Isaiah 11:4); and thou wilt lift up prayer" (i.e., begin to offer it, Isaiah 14:4). "He will hear," namely as judge and deliverer; "He hath heard," namely as the omnipresent One. The expression, "to revile the living God" (lechârēph 'Elōhı̄m chai), sounds like a comparison of Rabshakeh to Goliath (1 Samuel 17:26, 1 Samuel 17:36). The "existing remnant" was Jerusalem, which was not yet in the enemy's hand (compare Isaiah 1:8-9). The deliverance of the remnant is a key-note of Isaiah's prophecies. But the prophecy would not be fulfilled, until the grace which fulfilled it had been met by repentance and faith. Hence Hezekiah's weak faith sues for the intercession of the prophet, whose personal relation to God is here set forth as a closer one than that of the king and priests.
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