Isaiah 36:17 MEANING

Isaiah 36:17
Verse 17. - Until I come and take you away. It was so much thee usual policy of Assyria to remove to a new locality a conquered people, which had given them trouble, that Rabshakeh felt safe in assuming that the fate in store for the Jews, if they submitted themselves, was a transplantation. Sargon had transported the Israelites to Gozan and Media (2 Kings 18:11), the Tibarcni to Assyria, the Commageni to Susiana ('Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 2. p. 423). Sennacherib himself had transported into Assyria more than two hundred thousand Aramaeans (ibid., p. 430). It might be confidently predicted that, if he conquered them, he would transplant the Jews. Rabshakeh tries to soften down the hardship of the lot before them by promises of a removal to a land equal in all respects to Palestine. To a land like your own land. This was certainly not a general principle of Assyrian administration. Nations were removed from the far north to the extreme south, and vice versa, from arid to marshy tracts, from fertile regions to comparative deserts. The security of the empire, not the gratification of the transported slaves, was the ruling and guiding principle of all such changes. A land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards. The writer of Kings adds, "a land of oil olive and of honey." (On the productiveness of Palestine, see Numbers 13:27; Numbers 14:7; Deuteronomy 1:23; Deuteronomy 8:7-9; Deuteronomy 11:11, 12.)

36:1-22:See 2Ki 18:17-37, and the commentary thereon.Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land,..... Some have thought, as Jerom observes, that the land of Media was meant, which bore some likeness to the land of Judea in situation and fruitfulness. Maimonides thinks that Africa is intended (l). Rabshakeh names no land, nor could he name any like, or equal to, the land of Canaan; he could not conceal his intention to remove them from their own land to another; this having been always done by the king of Assyria to people conquered by him, and as was usual for conquerors to do, that so the conquered might have no expectation or opportunity of recovering their own land:

a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards; corn for bread, and vineyards for wine, and both for food and drink; such a land was the land of Judea. The description agrees with Deuteronomy 8:8. Rabshakeh was well acquainted with the land of Judea; and this seems to confirm the conjecture of the Jews, that he was one of their people, since he could speak their language, and describe their land so well; all this he said to sooth and persuade them to a voluntary surrender.

(l) See T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 94. 1.

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