and in the law and in the commandments; in the observation of all the laws, statutes, and judgments of God, moral, ceremonial, and judicial:
to seek his God; and serve and worship him, and therein his honour and glory:
he did it with all his heart; in the most cordial, sincere, and upright manner:
and prospered; he succeeded in all he undertook, God being with him, and blessing him in his civil and religious concerns.
INTRODUCTION TO 2 Chronicles 32
This chapter relates Sennacherib's invasion of the land of Judah, the preparations Hezekiah made to resist him, and the encouragement he gave his people to trust in the Lord, 2 Chronicles 32:1 the messages and letters Sennacherib sent to Hezekiah and his subjects, full of arrogance and blasphemy, to solicit them to deliver up Jerusalem to him, 2 Chronicles 32:9 the destruction of his army by an angel, and the deliverance of the Jews at the prayers of Hezekiah and Isaiah, 2 Chronicles 32:20 the sin Hezekiah fell into after this, and his recovery from a fit of illness; but, upon his humiliation for it, wrath was averted, 2 Chronicles 32:24 and the chapter is concluded with an account of his honours, riches, and exploits, and of his death and burial, 2 Chronicles 32:27.
Sennacherib king of Assyria came and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself; or to break them, or into them; or through them (y) to break down the walls to take them, and join them to himself, as the Targum, and he did take them, see 2 Kings 18:13.
(y) "ad perrumpendum eas", Montanus; "diffindere illas", Piscator; "abscindere", Schmidt.
to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city; that so the Assyrian army would find it difficult to supply themselves with water, which was an article of great importance:
and they did help him; to stop the fountains, not only with their advice how to do it, but with their men, their servants, who assisted those that Hezekiah employed in this work.
who stopped all the fountains; perhaps by laying planks over them, and earth upon them, so that it could not be discerned there were any fountains there:
and the brook that ran through the midst of the land; which, according to Kimchi, was Gihon, 2 Chronicles 32:30, which was near Jerusalem; the stream of this very probably they turned into channels under ground, whereby it was brought into the city into reservoirs there provided, that that might have a supply during the siege, while the enemy was distressed for want of it:
saying, why should the kings of Assyria come and find much water? by which means they would be able to carry on the siege to a great length, when otherwise they would be obliged to raise it quickly: mention is made of kings of Assyria, though there was but one, with whom there might be petty kings, or tributary ones; and, besides, as he boasted, his princes were altogether kings, Isaiah 10:8.
and built up all the wall that was broken; which was broken from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate by Joash king of Israel; and though it might have been repaired by Uzziah, it might again be broken down in the times of Ahaz, by Pekah, king of Israel, or some other enemy, see 2 Chronicles 25:3.
and raised it up to the towers; from the corner tower to the tower of the gate of Ephraim, which, as before observed, had been broken down:
and another wall without; a second wall, either all around the city, or at such a part of it which was weakest; Josephus (z) says the city of Jerusalem had three walls about it:
and repaired Millo in the city of David; a wall on the north side of the city:
and made darts and shields in abundance; darts to cast from the walls of the city, to annoy the enemy with, and shields to defend them from those of the enemy.
(z) De Bello Jud. l. 5. c. 4. sect. 3.
and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city; the street which led to the gate, and was large and commodious to assemble the people in:
and spake comfortably to them; to animate and encourage them to hold out the siege, and do all they could to repel the enemy;
saying; as follows.
be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him; which was very large; for no less than 185,000 were slain of them by an angel in one night, 2 Kings 19:35.
for there be more with us than with him; though not in number, yet in power and might; and if angels are meant, they are more in number; but it seems, by what follows, that Hezekiah had only the Lord his God in his thoughts and view.
but with us is the Lord our God, to help us, and to fight our battles; who is the Lord God Almighty, who has the host of heaven at his command, and with whom all the inhabitants of the earth are as nothing; the Targum is,"the Word of the Lord our God is for us to help us, and fight our battles:"
and the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah; not upon his bare words, but on what was contained in them, on the strength and power of the Lord God he assured them was on their side; they believed what he said to be true, and trusted in the Lord that he would save them.
but he himself laid siege against Lachish, and all his power with him; one of the cities of Judah, see Isaiah 36:2, from hence he dispatched them
unto Hezekiah king of Judah, and unto all Judah that were at Jerusalem; who had retired thither for safety, upon the invasion of their country by the king of Assyria.
that ye abide in the siege in Jerusalem? hold out against the siege of it, and do not deliver it up.
saying, the Lord our God shall deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria? See Gill on Isaiah 36:15.
but this they did to affright them, and to trouble them, that they might take the city; to throw them into terror and confusion, that they might prevail upon them to deliver up the city to them.
as against the gods of the people of the earth, which were the work of the hands of man; they made no difference between the one and the other, but spoke as freely and as contemptibly of the one as of the other, see Isaiah 36:19.
which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria; the generals and officers of his army, with the common soldiers, to the number of 185,000, Isaiah 36:1, among these, no doubt, were the three generals sent with railing letters to Hezekiah, particularly Rabshakeh; see Gill on Isaiah 37:36.
so he returned with shame of face to his own land; Assyria, particularly to Nineveh, the metropolis of it, Isaiah 37:37.
and when he was come into the house of his god; the temple of his idol, whose name was Nisroch:
they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword; his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer, Isaiah 37:38.
(a) Antiqu. l. 10. c. 1. sect. 5.
and from the hand of all other; the Arabic version adds,"who were round about them;''who by this defeat were deterred from attacking them:
and guided them on every side: and guarded them all around, as a shepherd leads his flock, where they may be secure from all dangers.
and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah; being desirous of living in friendship with him, who appeared to be the favourite of the God of heaven:
so that he was magnified in the sight of all nations from thenceforth; from the time of the destruction of the Assyrian army in such a wonderful manner, he was highly esteemed, and his name and fame spread abroad among all the neighbouring nations round about him.
for his heart was lifted up; with pride, because of the wonderful defeat of the Assyrian army in his favour, the miracle wrought at his recovery from illness, the riches and honour conferred upon him, the presents brought him from his neighbours, and especially the embassy of the king of Babylon to him:
therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem; who, in imitation of him, fell into the same sin of pride, with many others; and therefore both he and they were threatened with some tokens of the divine displeasure.
so that the wrath of the Lord came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah; but in the days of his son's sons, Isaiah 39:7.
and honour; both from his subjects, and the nations around him:
and he made himself treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of pleasant jewels: which were houses both for rich and curious things, and for armour, he showed to the ambassadors of Babylon; see Gill on Isaiah 39:2.
and stands for all manner of beasts; as oxen, horses, camels, and asses, see 2 Chronicles 9:25.
and cotes for flocks; folds for sheep.
and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance; in which the riches of men, and even of kings, lay in those times:
for God had given him substance very much; for all was owing to his disposing providence, let it come which way it might.
(b) So the Edition of Sixtus V. Lovain, and MSS. in James's Contrariety of the Popish Bibles, p. 295.
and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David; through canals under the plain of the city of David; as the Targum, by a subterraneous passage; and Siloam, as Dr. Lightfoot (d) observes from Josephus, was behind the west wall, not far from the corner that pointed toward the southwest:
and Hezekiah prospered in all his works; natural, civil, and religious, 2 Chronicles 31:21.
(c) Journey from Aleppo, &c. p. 108. (d) Chorograph. in John, c. 5. sect. 2.
God left him to try him; by showing him all his treasures:
that he might know all that was in his heart; not that God might know, who knows all things, unless spoken of him after the manner of men; but rather that Hezekiah might know the pride lurking in his heart, and other sins which escaped his notice, Jeremiah 17:9 or that it might be known by others; that the children of men might know it, as Kimchi; and take warning by it, and observe the frailty and infirmity of the best of men.
behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz; in the prophecy of Isaiah, Isaiah 36:1, whose book is called the Vision of Isaiah, Isaiah 1:1.
and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel; in 2 Kings 18:1.