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Go to Bible: 2 Chronicles 32
“Sennacherib king of Assyria.” Sennacherib’s attack is recorded in 2 Kings 18, 2 Chronicles 32, and Isaiah 36.
“and intended to break into them and capture them.” In 2 Kings 18:13, Sennacherib did capture the fortified cities.(top)
“his face was set to fight against Jerusalem.” This is an idiom for Sennacherib’s intention to fight against Jerusalem.(top)
“the springs.” The springs were likely En-rogel and the Gihon.(top)
“and the brook that flowed through the land.” The “brook” that flowed would be the overflow of the Gihon Spring, which ran down the Kidron Valley. This was before Hezekiah’s Tunnel, which prevented that overflow into the countryside. In this context, the “land” was the land south and west of Jerusalem.(top)
“built up all of the wall that had been broken down.” There was apparently a part of the wall of Jerusalem that was broken down when the Syrians and Israelites attacked Jerusalem (2 Kings 16:5).
“and raised it up to the towers.” This could mean that Hezekiah rebuilt the walls all the way to the corner towers, or it could mean that he built the wall and put towers on it.
“and the other wall outside.” This is almost certainly a wall Hezekiah built to protect Jerusalem’s west side, and it is likely the wall called “the Broad Wall” in the excavation of Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter.
“Millo.” The area that protects the Gihon Spring and the pools in the area.(top)
“spoke encouragingly to them.” Literally, “spoke to the heart of them.”(top)
“for with us is One greater than whoever is with him.” Hezekiah was confident that Yahweh was greater than any god or force that was with the Assyrians. Although some English versions read in essence, “there are more with us than with him,” that is not the best way to translate the Hebrew text. For one thing, the Assyrian army was definitely more numerous than the small army Hezekiah had with him in Jerusalem. That is why Hezekiah had to tell the people not to be afraid of the “multitude” with the Assyrians. 2 Chronicles 32:8 makes it clear that “the One” with Judah was Yahweh.
The phrase of 2 Chron. 32:8, וְעִמָּ֜נוּ יְהוָ֤ה אֱלֹהֵ֨ינוּ֙ = “Yahweh our God is with us” (or, “Yahweh our God with us”) parallels and gives meaning to the name of the child born in Isaiah 7:14: עִמָּ֥נוּ אֵֽל (Isa 7:14) “God is with us” (or, “God with us”).
The human child was named “Immanuel” (Isa. 7:14) because the Judeans knew that in a transcendent way, Yahweh Elohim was with them, protecting Judah and fighting their battles. Yahweh God was with Judah in the days of Hezekiah. This doesn’t mean that Yahweh Elohim was literally walking around as a human being during Hezekiah’s and Isaiah’s day.(top)
“but with us is Yahweh our God.” This obviously does not mean that Yahweh was somehow among the Judeans as a person, but He was with them to help them (see commentary on 2 Chron. 32:7).
“relied upon.” Literally, “rested” or “leaned” upon. The people leaned on the words of Hezekiah for support and comfort as one might lean on a staff to gain support and/or rest.(top)
|2Ch 32:9||- (top)|
“On what are you trusting while you sit under siege in Jerusalem?” Sennacherib writes as if the siege is actually going on. It was not, but it might as well have been because the Judeans had shut themselves up in Jerusalem.(top)
|2Ch 32:11||- (top)|
“Hasn’t this same Hezekiah.” 2 Kings 18:22; 2 Chronicles 32:12, and Isaiah 36:7 are very similar.
“shrines.” The Hebrew word “shrines” is bamot, which referred to a place that was leveled and built up and on which were placed various idols and objects of worship. The context indicates these shires were pagan in nature (cp. NLT, “pagan shrines”). Many of the towns had such shrines (see commentary on Num. 33:52).
“worship.” The Hebrew word translated “worship,” shachah (#07812 שָׁחָה), is the same Hebrew word as “bow down.” [For more on bowing down, see commentary on 1 Chron. 29:20].(top)
“able, yes, able.” The Hebrew text has the figure polyptoton (see commentary on Gen. 2:16).(top)
“devoted to destruction.” That is, destroyed them. [For more on things “devoted” to Yahweh and devoted to destruction, see commentary on Josh. 6:17].
“your god.” The Assyrians thought of Yahweh as just another god.(top)
|2Ch 32:15||- (top)|
|2Ch 32:16||- (top)|
“gods of the nations...god of Hezekiah.” Both occurrences of “god” are Elohim, but the first is a plural reference and the second is a singular reference.
“of the other lands.” The “lands” in this context are the lands that the Assyrians have already conquered.
“the god of Hezekiah.” The Assyrians thought of Yahweh as just another god.(top)
|2Ch 32:18||- (top)|
|2Ch 32:19||- (top)|
|2Ch 32:20||- (top)|
“who wiped out all the mighty men of valor.” The angel killed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers (2 Kings 19:35). The angel “wiped out” the enemy. In Exodus 23:23, God said his angel would “wipe out” the enemies in Canaan.
“shame of face.” The idiom means “humiliated.”
“some of his own sons struck him down there.” The Hebrew is more literally, “those who came from his own bowels [or innards]. 2 Kings 19:37 gives the names of the sons who killed Sennacherib. Sennacherib went back to Nineveh and decorated his throne room with the base-relief of the siege of Lachish.(top)
“and from the hand of all his enemies.” The Hebrew text just end with “all,” and it may refer to all enemies or perhaps “all” other Assyrians, such as the commanders.
“he gave them rest on every side.” This reading is from the Septuagint and the Vulgate, and fits the context. The Masoretic Hebrew text reads, “guided them from every side,” which does not make as much sense in the context and which can read like the Septuagint with only a small emendation.(top)
|2Ch 32:23||- (top)|
“sick to the point of death.” The record of Hezekiah’s sickness and recovery is in 2 Kings 20:1-11; 2 Chronicles 32:24-26; and Isaiah 38:1-22.
“and Yahweh spoke to him.” Yahweh spoke to Hezekiah through the prophet Isaiah (2 Kings 20:1-11).(top)
“the benefit he received.” The Hebrew is more literally, “the benefit upon him,” meaning the benefit done to him or the benefit he received.
“there was wrath hanging over him.” This wrath never materialized because Hezekiah humbled himself (2 Chron. 32:26). For the translation, see 2 Chron. 28:11.(top)
“for being proud of heart.” The Hebrew is more literally, “for the pride of his heart,” but that translation can be confusing because it can seem like the pride of his heart caused him to humble himself.(top)
|2Ch 32:27||- (top)|
“and storehouses.” There are archaeological remains of storehouses in cities such as Beersheba.
“and sheepfolds for the flocks.” The Hebrew is difficult; the word is more like “pens” or “little pens.” In biblical times, “sheepfolds” were used for more than sheep, especially sheep and goats. So there were bigger stalls for the larger animals and smaller pens for the smaller animals.(top)
|2Ch 32:29||- (top)|
“the waters of Gihon and brought them straight down to the west side of the city of David.” This is almost certainly a reference to Hezekiah’s tunnel. The Gihon spring is on the east side of Jerusalem, so Hezekiah brought its waters to the west side of the city via Hezekiah’s tunnel.(top)
|2Ch 32:31||- (top)|
“and his faithful acts.” That is, Hezekiah’s acts that sprang from his trust in God.(top)
“they buried him in the ascent to the tombs of the sons of David.” From the southern tip of the city of David up the ridge as if walking up to the Temple the climb is steep, and it seems that Hezekiah was buried on that steep ascent.(top)