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whithersoever he went forth, and he rebelled against the. king of Assyria, and served him not.
He smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza, and the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them.
And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended : retura from me : that which thou pättest on me, I will bear. And the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah king of Judah rbree hundred talents of silver, and thirty talents of gold.
And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king's house.
At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the: doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.
After these things and the establishment thereof, Sennacherib king of Assyria came once more, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself,
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
" It appears, that whilst the king of Assyria was em ployed against Samaria, Hezekiah took the opportunity of recovering what had been lost from his kingdom in bis father's reign ; and had such success against the Philistines in particular, that he not only regained the cities of Jadah, which they had seized during the time that Pekah king of Israel, and Rezin king of Syria, distressed
the land, but he even dispossessed them of almost all their own country, except Gaza and Gath :" these successes encouraged Hezekiah to refuse the tribute which Abaz, his father, had agreed to pay to the king of Assyria, who, it is thought, was diverted from his purpose of invading him at this time, by a war in which he was engaged with the king of Tyre, and who died before the conclusion of it. Shalmanezar was succeeded by his son Sen. pacherib, who renewed the demand, and on Hezekiah's refusal, came against him with a very powerful army, and took from him a great number of fortified cities, in 80 short a time, as seemed to threaten the total ruin of his whole kingdom. Hezekiah was terrified by these losses, into a speedy submission, and sent an embassy acknowledging himself in fault, and promising to submit to whatever terms the
Senna. cherib was by these means induced to withdraw hís army for the present, and to give up the cities he had taken. The penalty he inflicted amounted to 350,0001. of our money. This Hezekiah could not
without taking some of the treasures devoted to the Lord, and even stripping the temple of the ornaments which his own piety had dedicated. We may suppose, that he took this measure inconsiderately, and not presumptuously like A haz; but it certainly was a very wrong one for him, as king of Judah, to have recourse to, nor did it go uochastised. The respite Hezekiah had 59 dearly bought, lasted but a short time, for the treacherous Assyrian king, who was still at Lachish, soon after sent his army again to besiege the cities of Judah.
It was foretold in the reign of Ahaz, by the prophet Isaiah, that the Assyrian king should be the instrument of inflicting Gov's judgments on the people of Israel, of all ranks and denominations. We have already seen
how truly this prediction was fulfilled in respect to those of Samaria ; and we now find the divine threatenings operating against those of Jerusalem. That the people might regard the Assyrian monarch as the scourge of Divine
vengeance, the prophet Isaiah was commissioned to proclaim him as such.
PART OF THE PROPHECY OF ISAIAH.
From Chap. x.
O ASSYRIAN, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.
I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the
and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.
Howbeit, he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so: but it is in his heart to destroy, and cut off națions not a few. For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings? Is not Calno as Carchemish ; is not Hamath as Arpad ? is not Samaria as Damascus ? As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Sanaria ; Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols ?
Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the LORD hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done
wisdom for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a
it, and by my
valiant man: And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people : and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth ; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.
Shall the ax boast itself against him that heweth therewith ; or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.
Therefore shall the LORD, the LORD of hosts send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire.
And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a fame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day; And shall consume the glory. of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standard-bearer fainteth.
And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacobs shall no more again stay upon him that smote them: but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.
For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return : the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
For the Lord God of host shall make a consumption, even determined in the midst of all the land.'
Therefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, O my people, that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assy. rian : he shall smité thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.
For yet a very little while, and the indignation shalt cease, and mine anger, in their destruction.
And the LORD of høsts shall stir up a scourge for him, according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb : and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up
after the manner of Egypt.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. This part of Isaiah's prophecy is supposed to have been written after the destruction of Samaria. It was calcu. lated to encourage the king and people of Judah to put their trust and confidence in the LORD; and to comfort those who had escaped from Samaria, and taken refuge in the kingdom of Judah, with hopes that they should be saved with the rest of God's faithful people, from the Wrath of the proud king of Assyria.
How vain are tyrants of their power, and of their con quests:! and yet what is the mightiest of them but the Rod of God's-anger, and the staff of his indignation !
From 2 Kings, Chap. xx. Isaiah, Chañ. xxxvii:
In those days, when Sennacherib king of Assyria came and encamped against the fenced cities of Judah, and thought to win them for himself, was Hezekiah sick unto death.
And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thuś saith the LORD, Set thy house in order : for thou shalt die, and not live.