Isaiah 36 to 40
Isaiah Prophecies: The Assyrians under Sennacherib beseige Jerusalem.
The Assyrian emissary Rabshakeh is an apostate son of King Hezekiah.
185,000 Assyrian soldiers are killed at night by the Angel.
Sennacherib returns to Nineveh and is assassinated by his sons.
The enemies of Judah are the enemies of the Almighty. God will watch over His people.
The Book of Isaiah
Chapters 36 to 40
Chapters with Brit-Am Commentary
Summary of Individual Chapters:
Chapter 36: Isaiah (ch.36) describes the siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib the King of Assyria. Sennacherib sent Rabshakeh to speak to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Rabshakeh by tradition was a renegade Jew possibly the brother or half-brother of King Hezekiah himself? Likewise in WW11 the Royal Family of Britain was patriotic and their relatives on the Continent (such as the mother of Prince Philip in Greece who hid Jews in her residence) were pro-Jewish but there was one possible exception whom the Nazis hoped to exploit. Rabshakeh stood before the walls of Jerusalem and called out in Hebrew for the city to surrender. Rabshakeh accused the rebellious Jews of relying on Pharaoh of Egypt for help. He described Egypt as a broken cane (reed) that would cut into the hand of anyone trying to support themselves on it (36:6). King Hezekiah had undertaken to uproot idolatry as well as wrong religious practices (such as not worshipping in the Temple but at high places) that were not necessarily
idolatrous but neither were they "Kosher". Rabshakeh accuses King Hezekiah of being wrong in this matter and bringing the wrath of the Almighty down on the people (36:7). Rabshakeh threatens the city of Jerusalem with destruction (36:10). The servants of Hezekiah ask Rabshakeh to speak in Aramaic which they understood and not in Hebrew so as not to dishearten the people (36:11). Rabshakeh refuses since that is precisely what he wants (36:12), to dishearten the people and undermine their morale. Rabshakeh threatens the people with death and famine. He offers them the chance of surrendering and being transferred to another place where they can rehabilitate themselves in agricultural settlements (36:17).
Chapter 37: When King Hezekiah hears what has happened he mourns, fasts, and prays (37:1). A deputation from the King goes to the Prophet Isaiah who tells them to take a message back saying, Fear Not for the King of Assyria will hear a rumor and return to his own land (37:6-7). This is what happens. Sennacherib indeed hears reports of Tirhakah King of Cush (translated as Ethiopia) coming against him (37:9) so he made to move against him. The Assyrians leave but Rabshakeh (2-Kings 19:9) sends a dire threat to Hezekiah that they will still carry out their evil designs (37:10-13). Hezekiah receives the letter, goes into the Temple, and prays before the God of Israel to save the people of Jerusalem (37:15-20). Isaiah the son of Amoz sends a message to Hezekiah in the name of the God of Israel (37:21). Sennacherib had blasphemed against the God of Zion and Jerusalem, the Holy One of Israel (37:23). The Assyrians will not succeed but will be turned back in disaster (37:24-28). The attack on Judah is the same as an attack on the Almighty (37:29). All hatred of the Jews is War against God.
The small number of survivors from Judah will produce a large
population in a relatively short time (37:31). Despite everything,
We could have been much bigger and greater than we are.
We still can rectify the situation if we wish.
Even if Judah is not worthy at some stage or other God will intervene of behalf of Jerusalem
and in memory of David (37:35). The Assyrians then returned to the siege of Jerusalem.
The angel of God went forth at night and slew 185,000 Assyrians (37:36).
Sennacherib went back to Nineveh where he was assassinated by two of his sons who then fled
to Ararat (Urartu translated as "Armenia" in the KJ, 2-Kings 19:37, Isaiah 37:38).
Hezekiah becomes sick and almost dies.
Isaiah tells Hezekiah to put his house in order for he shall not live (Isaiah 38:1).
Hezekiah however prays to God (38:2) and is answered that an additional 15 years of life have
been given to him (38:5). The promise is confirmed by the shadow of the sun turning back on
the stairway-sundial by 10 degrees (38:8). Hezekiah composes a prayer of thanksgiving (38:9-20).
Isaiah applies a plaster of figs upon the boil (cancerous growth?) that was killing Hezekiah (38:21)
and Hezekiah is cured.
[Do figs have curative properties? Could they be a cure for cancer? See the numerous entries in "Google" under "figs, cancer cure"].
Merodach Baladan the King of Babylon who had achieved a degree of independence from Assyria
sent emissaries to Hezekiah (39:1). Hezekiah showed them all his treasures (39:2).
Isaiah tells Hezekiah that he had done wrong by flattering the Babylonians and punishment
would come upon his kingdom and his house as a result after his death (39:4-7).
God tells HIS people to be comforted (40:1). God will rule over HIS people (40:9-10). HE will gather HIS flock (40:11). God is All-Powerful and does as HE wills (40:12-24) and can be likened unto none (40:25). He knows all the stars by name for HE created them (40:26). Jacob and Israel are addressed. Jacob is told not to think that God does not watch over him and Israel is told not to say that God will not execute judgment (40:27). "Judah and Israel" in juxtaposition means Judah (the Jews) and the Ten Tribes. The meaning of "Jacob and Israel" however in juxtaposition is disputed: one opinion says it means Judah (the Jews) and the Ten Tribes while another (see The Malbim) says the opposite and that in this case the Ten Tribes are represented by "Jacob" and "Judah" by Israel. God understands (40:28). Young men may faint with weakness but God gives strength and power (40:29).
Chapters with Brit-Am Commentary:
Samuel 36 to 40
We now come to the actual historical
event in which the Assyrian army suffered a miraculous defeat and retreated due
to Divine Intervention.
This event occupied Isaiah"s
consciousness and he used it as a model for his predictions about what would
happen in the Last Days.
The account below is the same as that found in 2-Kings chapters 18 and 19. In those chapters we have added a few additional observations
though most of opur commentary is to be found below.
[Isaiah 36:1] NOW IT CAME TO PASS IN THE FOURTEENTH YEAR OF KING HEZEKIAH, THAT
SENNACHERIB KING OF ASSYRIA CAME UP AGAINST ALL THE DEFENCED CITIES OF JUDAH,
AND TOOK THEM.
Sennacherib claimed to have captured all
the unfenced cities of Judah and to have exiled more than 200,000 people. A
says that the exiled included most of the Tribe of Simeon. Simeon geographically
was placed to the south of Judah but in Biblical terms is frequently associated
with the Northern breakaway kingdom. Archaeological evidence affirms a cultural
dependence of Simeon on the northern kingdom of Israel.
These exiles from Simeon and the unfenced cities of Judah joined the Lost Ten
Tribes in their places of Exile and shared their fate. Even though numerically a
good portion of Judah was involved in Biblical terms "Judah" nearly always
refers to those of Judah who remained. Similarly many Jews changed their
over the years by force or persuasion. Many of these are destined to return
together with the Ten Tribes. Nevertheless "JUDAH" in Scripture is the term
applied to those Jews who remained identifiable. The others are subsumed under
"Israel" or "Ephraim" or something similar.
[Isaiah 36:2] AND THE KING OF ASSYRIA SENT RABSHAKEH FROM LACHISH TO JERUSALEM
UNTO KING HEZEKIAH WITH A GREAT ARMY. AND HE STOOD BY THE CONDUIT OF THE UPPER
POOL IN THE HIGHWAY OF THE FULLER'S FIELD.
Previously the Assyrians had taken
hostages from Judah. This was normal practice in Ancient times. The hostages
would often be treated well almost as honored guests and become close friends to
members of the ruling family. "Rabshakeh"
is actually a royal title meaning "chief of the drink servers" or "Steward" or
"Stuart". The "Stuart" or "Stewarts" were a ruling family of England. Some of
our subscribers descend from them. "Rabshakeh"
was the son of King Hezekiah of Judah. He had apparently been taken hostage by
the Assyrians. The Assyrians treated him well and entrusted him with great
responsibilities. He would have been overawed with the sheer immensity of
Assyrian military might and organizational resources. He went over to the
Assyrian side. In Ancient times such
of allegiance were a common phenomenon amongst hostages.
In a sense we are all hostages.
No-one wants conflict. At least most people do not. We would all much prefer to
justify and identify with the powers that be rather than have to take the side
of the underdog who is often ungrateful, undeserving, and going to lose anyway.
He was mistaken.
was with the Assyrian forces in the time of Hezekiah and Isaiah.
had have been in the time of the Babylonians under
and King Zidkiyahu
and Jeremiah he may have been right. At that time surrendering was the best
policy. At this time it was not.
was not to know this. Or perhaps he was? Perhaps if he have been a better
person in other ways he would not have been misled. Heaven would have protected
him from error.
From "Lost Israelite Identity" chapter
ISRAELITE EXILES IN THE ASSYRIAN ARMY.
The exiles were put to use to settle border areas and thus serve as buffer
elements against the enemies of Assyria. The intention was to place these people
in areas where they would be dependent on maintaining a niche in Assyria's
for their own protection3. They were supposed to man colonial outposts on a
semi-military feudal type arrangement.
The Assyrians were constantly in search of fresh manpower. The Assyrian
population seems to have been dwindling due to emigration, revolts, depletion by
warfare and internecine struggle, and by immorality4.
The Assyrians would systematically replenish their forces by absorbing
cavalry and chariot units, archers, and
and general auxiliary manpower from amongst Israelite, Syrian, and other exile
populations5. Armored horsemen were first depicted by the Assyrians in the reign
and they were shown as "Aramaeans"
(i.e. Syrians or Israelites) using Assyrian equipment.
Tiglathpileser and one of his
officials near Tyre
shows that the exiles were expected to serve in the Assyrian armies6.
Sargon besieged and took Samaria in Israel. In an inscription Sargon says,
that he took 50 chariots and 27,000 plus people for his own (military) use and
the rest he settled in Assyria. Later, a general in Sargon's forces was named "Hilkiyahu"
which is a Hebrew name7. In Nineveh (one of the Assyrian capitals) have been
discovered lists of cavalry units from Israelite Samaria and other records of
charioteers bearing Israelite names8. Archaeological evidence demonstrates that,
"Sargon also employed large numbers of men from central Syria and Palestine"9:
"Central Syria and Palestine" in effect, meant the former Israelite area.
Important groups of auxiliary soldiers identified as
from west of the Euphrates may also have included soldiers of Israelite descent:
Israelite Tribes had once controlled all of the area west of the Euphrates. In
regions adjacent to the west bank of the Euphrates Ptolemy recorded Israelite
Tribal and Clan names*10, and evidence exists suggesting that Israelites in
these areas spoke Aramaic. Non-Assyrian soldiers in various stages of
assimilation to Assyrian norms formed the bulk of the Assyrian army and amongst
these non-Assyrians Israelite exiles were prominent..
A list has been found containing "the names of many, perhaps most, of the
top officials and the equestrian officers in Sargon's army"11. The list is
divided into two sections, - one consisting of units from cities of Assyria
proper,12, and a second section considered to be that of the "royal army"13 and
presumed to have been more important. This second more-important section is a
listing of officers and it is divided into seven units. One of these seven units
consists of Chaldeans,
a second unit is that of 13 equestrian officers from Israelite Samaria. The
nationality of the remaining five units is not given and amongst these may also
have been Israelites. The commander of the known Israelite Samarian unit has the
same rank as King Sargon's twin brother and was considered about the seventh
most important man in the kingdom14. A
who was also a military commander from former Israelite Samaria named
seems to have become a friend and advisor of the Assyrian king, Sargon. Later
was made the equestrian instructor of one of the sons of Sennacherib, the
successor of Sargon15. The equestrian forces consisted of
and cavalry. It is assumed that the Israelites concentrated on
which at first had been considered more important. Improvements in horse
equipment, however, increased cavalry efficiency. These improvements first
become evident just after most of the Israelites had been exiled. It is
uncertain whether the Hebrews were responsible for the new equestrian
developments which are considered to be characteristic of the Cimmerians who
also appeared around this same time (or shortly afterwards) and whom other
factors link with Israel. The best horses, researchers say, for
were obtained from Nubia
(Sudan) whereas the best cavalry horses came from
and were obtained and trained by
was a centre of Israelite re-settlement.
Sennacherib attacked Judah and subdued most of it. According to the research
of David James Skelly,
~Sennacherib later sent Rabshakeh
with a great army to Jerusalem to obtain the surrender of the city [which he
however never obtained]...
Rabshakeh is not a personal name
it is a title... Rabshakeh
is the title of the Assyrian field commander. Unless one of the king's sons has
been designated as the crown prince the
is the 3rd most powerful person in the Assyrian army after the king and the
spoke "The Jews' Language" ("Yehudith")
which was probably a form of mainstream Hebrew (2-Kings 18;26):
. "Then said Eliakim
Speak I pray you unto your servants in the Syrian language [`Aramit'];
for we understand it and speak not unto us in the Jews' language [`Yehudit'],
in the ears of people that are on the wall.."
refused the request but rather "stood and cried out in the Jews' language.."
(Isaiah 36;13-17). Whoever
Rabshakeh was he was very
important and he did know the
Judaean dialect of Hebrew.
according to Talmudic tradition was a renegade Israelite or rather an apostate
Jew24. The Talmud and the Aramaic Translation to the Bible says that
was the brother of Menasheh
the future king of Judah and therefore he must have been a renegade son of
Hezekiah himself25! As noted above
would not have been the only high-ranking Israelite in Assyrian service.
Sennacherib would later boast of having taken from King Hezekiah (as tribute)
his best fighters and charioteers.
Sennacherib recorded having exiled more than 200,000 people from Judah. The
Bible mentions him having captured all of the unfenced cities in Judah and
also speak of Sennacherib deporting vast numbers from Judah and Simeon. These
exiles joined the deported Tribes of northern Israel and shared their destiny.
One of the cities of Judah captured by Sennacherib was
on the border between Judah and
Phillistia. Assyrian bas-relief
illustrations show the siege of
Lachish and its people being
taken into exile. They also illustrate the peculiar uniforms of the
soldiers defending Lachish.
soldiers from Lachish,
"were enlisted into the bodyguard of Sennacherib, where they were allowed to
wear their own uniform", i.e. they wore the same (or almost the same) uniform as
when they fought for Judah and are therefore still
They comprised "presumably the earliest example in history of a Jewish
regiment"26. After Sennacherib's death a revolt took place and the palace was
burnt. The depicted face of king Sennacherib in the relief was virtually
destroyed. Since the face of Sennacherib alone was mutilated in this way, the
researcher R.D. Barnett suggests that the mutineers were
one-time Jewish soldiers from
Lachish and afterwards probably
members of the former king's bodyguard..
The destiny and fate of the soldiers from
is symptomatic on a small scale of what was to happen to the northern Israelites
on a larger one: Just as Judaeans
in their place of exile were made the bodyguard of the monarch and later
revolted and burnt the palace, so too the northern Israelites were to occupy an
important position in the Assyrian forces which must have facilitated the
eventual takeover (by Israelite Scythians) of the whole Assyrian Empire.
After Sennacherib (705-681
(681-669) and after him
Assurbanipal (669- 663).
Amongst those forming the bodyguard of
is depicted a spearman uniformed like an Israelite or Syrian. During the reign
the Israelite Scythians were destined to eventually take control of the Assyrian
Empire. An Israelite presence in the Assyrian armed forces most likely would
have been connected to this event and also the assumption of virtual
independence by the exiled Israelites that led up to it.
23."The Assyrian Empire" (1996) p.5 by David James
of Sydney, Australia.
24. Talmud Babli,
25. Aramaic Translation to
Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) ch.18 see
Kiel on 2-Kings 18;17 in "Sefer
Kook) Jerusalem 1989.
"The Siege of Lachish",
Israel Exploration Journal [IEJ],
vol.8 Jerusalem, Israel, 1958). This fact was first noticed by Colonel
who examined reliefs
(now in the British Museum) from the palace of Sennacherib.
[Isaiah 36:3] THEN CAME FORTH UNTO HIM ELIAKIM, HILKIAH'S SON, WHICH WAS OVER
THE HOUSE, AND SHEBNA THE SCRIBE, AND JOAH, ASAPH'S SON, THE RECORDER.
[Isaiah 36:4] AND RABSHAKEH SAID UNTO THEM, SAY YE NOW TO HEZEKIAH, THUS SAITH
THE GREAT KING, THE KING OF ASSYRIA, WHAT CONFIDENCE IS THIS WHEREIN THOU
[Isaiah 36:5] I SAY, SAYEST THOU, (BUT THEY ARE BUT VAIN WORDS) I HAVE COUNSEL
AND STRENGTH FOR WAR: NOW ON WHOM DOST THOU TRUST, THAT THOU REBELLEST AGAINST
[Isaiah 36:6] LO, THOU TRUSTEST IN THE STAFF OF THIS BROKEN REED, ON EGYPT;
WHEREON IF A MAN LEAN, IT WILL GO INTO HIS HAND, AND PIERCE IT: SO IS PHARAOH
KING OF EGYPT TO ALL THAT TRUST IN HIM.
[Isaiah 36:7] BUT IF THOU SAY TO ME, WE TRUST IN THE LORD OUR GOD: IS IT NOT
HE, WHOSE HIGH PLACES AND WHOSE ALTARS HEZEKIAH HATH TAKEN AWAY, AND SAID TO
JUDAH AND TO JERUSALEM, YE SHALL WORSHIP BEFORE THIS ALTAR"
[Isaiah 36:8] NOW THEREFORE GIVE PLEDGES, I PRAY THEE, TO MY MASTER THE KING OF
ASSYRIA, AND I WILL GIVE THEE TWO THOUSAND HORSES, IF THOU BE ABLE ON THY PART
TO SET RIDERS UPON THEM.
[Isaiah 36:9] HOW THEN WILT THOU TURN AWAY THE FACE OF ONE CAPTAIN OF THE LEAST
OF MY MASTER"S SERVANTS, AND PUT THY TRUST ON EGYPT FOR CHARIOTS AND FOR
[Isaiah 36:10] AND AM I NOW COME UP WITHOUT THE LORD AGAINST THIS LAND TO
DESTROY IT? THE LORD SAID UNTO ME, GO UP AGAINST THIS LAND, AND DESTROY IT.
[Isaiah 36:11] THEN SAID ELIAKIM AND SHEBNA AND JOAH UNTO RABSHAKEH, SPEAK, I
PRAY THEE, UNTO THY SERVANTS IN THE SYRIAN LANGUAGE; FOR WE UNDERSTAND IT: AND
SPEAK NOT TO US IN THE JEWS' LANGUAGE, IN THE EARS OF THE PEOPLE THAT ARE ON THE
"IN THE SYRIAN LANGUAGE" i.e. Aramaic.
or a mixed Aramaic-Hebrew dialect was also spoken by at least part of the
Tribes who dwelt east of the Jordan River, see the Brit-Am publication "Ephraim" for an example.
[Isaiah 36:12] BUT RABSHAKEH SAID, HATH MY MASTER SENT ME TO THY MASTER AND TO
THEE TO SPEAK THESE WORDS? HATH HE NOT SENT ME TO THE MEN THAT SIT UPON THE
WALL, THAT THEY MAY EAT THEIR OWN DUNG, AND DRINK THEIR OWN PISS WITH YOU?
[Isaiah 36:13] THEN RABSHAKEH STOOD, AND CRIED WITH A LOUD VOICE IN THE JEWS'
LANGUAGE, AND SAID, HEAR YE THE WORDS OF THE GREAT KING, THE KING OF ASSYRIA.
[Isaiah 36:14] THUS SAITH THE KING, LET NOT HEZEKIAH DECEIVE YOU: FOR HE SHALL
NOT BE ABLE TO DELIVER YOU.
[Isaiah 36:15] NEITHER LET HEZEKIAH MAKE YOU TRUST IN THE LORD, SAYING, THE
LORD WILL SURELY DELIVER US: THIS CITY SHALL NOT BE DELIVERED INTO THE HAND OF
THE KING OF ASSYRIA.
[Isaiah 36:16] HEARKEN NOT TO HEZEKIAH: FOR THUS SAITH THE KING OF ASSYRIA,
MAKE AN AGREEMENT WITH ME BY A PRESENT, AND COME OUT TO ME: AND EAT YE EVERY ONE
OF HIS VINE, AND EVERY ONE OF HIS FIG TREE, AND DRINK YE EVERY ONE THE WATERS OF
HIS OWN CISTERN;
[Isaiah 36:17] UNTIL I COME AND TAKE YOU AWAY TO A LAND LIKE YOUR OWN LAND, A
LAND OF CORN AND WINE, A LAND OF BREAD AND VINEYARDS.
From "Lost Israelite Identity" chapter
Assyrian wall carvings depict captured peoples being systematically
tortured, maimed, mass-raped, and exterminated. Assyrian descriptions of their
own actions seem to reveal a sadistic pride in their own cruelty. At the same
time, Assyrian monarchs also glorified themselves by the success of their
re-settlement policies and by the material benefits these brought to all
inhabitants of the vast Assyrian Empire. Sennacherib (704-681) reigned some time
after the first Hebrews had been transported. He considered the proposition of
deportation to a suitable area a reasonable offer when demanding the
capitulation of Jerusalem:
"Make an agreement with me and come out to
I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of corn and wine,
a land of bread and vineyards" (Isaiah 36;16 17).
The besieged inhabitants of
Jerusalem did not accept Sennacherib's offer but it was made and may have
relied on knowledge of historical precedent concerning the northern Israelites.
The sources are therefore ambiguous and the best way to reconcile them is to
assume that the quicker a conquered people assimilated itself to Assyrian
concepts and needs the better off it would be.
[Isaiah 36:18] BEWARE LEST HEZEKIAH PERSUADE YOU, SAYING, THE LORD WILL DELIVER
US. HATH ANY OF THE GODS OF THE NATIONS DELIVERED HIS LAND OUT OF THE HAND OF
THE KING OF ASSYRIA?
[Isaiah 36:19] WHERE ARE THE GODS OF HAMATH AND ARPHAD" WHERE ARE THE GODS OF
SEPHARVAIM" AND HAVE THEY DELIVERED SAMARIA OUT OF MY HAND?
Samaria had already been taken into
Exile. Samaria was the last
remnant of the northern kingdom
from whom the Lost Ten Tribes descend. Their gods had not saved them.
[Isaiah 36:20] WHO ARE THEY AMONG ALL THE GODS OF THESE LANDS THAT HAVE
DELIVERED THEIR LAND OUT OF MY HAND, THAT THE LORD SHOULD DELIVER JERUSALEM OUT
OF MY HAND"
[Isaiah 36:21] BUT THEY HELD THEIR PEACE, AND ANSWERED HIM NOT A WORD: FOR THE
KING"S COMMANDMENT WAS, SAYING, ANSWER HIM NOT.
"ANSWERED HIM NOT A WORD": This can be
the best policy. Sometimes Brit-Am gets
misrepresented, or unjustly attacked. Sometimes we reply. At other times
silence is best.
[Isaiah 36:22] THEN CAME ELIAKIM, THE SON OF HILKIAH, THAT WAS OVER THE
HOUSEHOLD, AND SHEBNA THE SCRIBE, AND JOAH, THE SON OF ASAPH, THE RECORDER, TO
HEZEKIAH WITH THEIR CLOTHES RENT, AND TOLD HIM THE WORDS OF RABSHAKEH.
[Isaiah 37:1] AND IT CAME TO PASS, WHEN KING HEZEKIAH HEARD IT, THAT HE RENT
HIS CLOTHES, AND COVERED HIMSELF WITH SACKCLOTH, AND WENT INTO THE HOUSE OF THE
He tore his clothes and submitted
himself to the Almighty.
He prayed. This king prayed often and his prayers were answered.
[Isaiah 37:2] AND HE SENT ELIAKIM, WHO WAS OVER THE HOUSEHOLD, AND SHEBNA THE
SCRIBE, AND THE ELDERS OF THE PRIESTS COVERED WITH SACKCLOTH, UNTO ISAIAH THE
PROPHET THE SON OF AMOZ.
These people had also been praying with
[Isaiah 37:3] AND THEY SAID UNTO HIM, THUS SAITH HEZEKIAH, THIS DAY IS A DAY OF
TROUBLE, AND OF REBUKE, AND OF BLASPHEMY: FOR THE CHILDREN ARE COME TO THE
BIRTH, AND THERE IS NOT STRENGTH TO BRING FORTH.
The renegade Israelite "Rabshakeh"
had spoken in contempt of the God of Israel. The Assyrians were contemptuous of
Judah and Jerusalem. When Judah is treated with contempt it is as if God Himself
is being so treated. Also when Judah does not behave as he should the name of
the Almighty is desecrated.
"THE CHILDREN ARE COME TO THE BIRTH": Before our modern era when a woman was
giving birth then she felt terrible
just before delivering the child. If however something went wrong and she lacked
strength to go throug the final stages then she would suffer terribly with no
let up and be in danger of dying. If she had several children in her womb then I
guess her suffering would be even greater.
I had a neighbor once who advocated natural child birth. She gave birth to
several healthy children in her own small apartment. She claimed it was the only
way to do it. My impression was that her female neighbors admired and envied
her actions in this matter but they would not do the same since they were afraid
[Isaiah 37:4] IT MAY BE THE LORD THY GOD WILL HEAR THE WORDS OF RABSHAKEH, WHOM
THE KING OF ASSYRIA HIS MASTER HATH SENT TO REPROACH THE LIVING GOD, AND WILL
REPROVE THE WORDS WHICH THE LORD THY GOD HATH HEARD: WHEREFORE LIFT UP THY
PRAYER FOR THE REMNANT THAT IS LEFT.
had compared the Living God of Israel to dead gods as if they were the same. He
was speaking in the name of Sennacherib and bore his message.
"THE REMNANT THAT IS LEFT": The Lost Ten Tribes had been taken into exile and so
had much of Judah who had joined the Ten Tribes.
[Isaiah 37:5] SO THE SERVANTS OF KING HEZEKIAH CAME TO ISAIAH.
[Isaiah 37:6] AND ISAIAH SAID UNTO THEM, THUS SHALL YE SAY UNTO YOUR MASTER,
THUS SAITH THE LORD, BE NOT AFRAID OF THE WORDS THAT THOU HAST HEARD, WHEREWITH
THE SERVANTS OF THE KING OF ASSYRIA HAVE BLASPHEMED ME.
[Isaiah 37:7] BEHOLD, I WILL SEND A BLAST UPON HIM, AND HE SHALL HEAR A RUMOUR,
AND RETURN TO HIS OWN LAND; AND I WILL CAUSE HIM TO FALL BY THE SWORD IN HIS OWN
He will die in his own land, slain
dastardly and not as a warrior on the battlefield.
[Isaiah 37:8] SO RABSHAKEH RETURNED, AND FOUND THE KING OF ASSYRIA WARRING
AGAINST LIBNAH: FOR HE HAD HEARD THAT HE WAS DEPARTED FROM LACHISH.
had been sent from Lachish
in the southeast of Judah. Sennacherib had conquered
and exiled its inhabitants. The Assyrian depiction of the siege and capture of
and exiles from Lachish
being taken to Assyria is well known. From
Sennacherib had moved on to
[Isaiah 37:9] AND HE HEARD SAY CONCERNING TIRHAKAH KING OF ETHIOPIA, HE IS COME
FORTH TO MAKE WAR WITH THEE. AND WHEN HE HEARD IT, HE SENT MESSENGERS TO
KING OF ETHIOPIA" in Hebrew "Cush"
instead of "Ethiopia". Tirhaka
was the member of a Sudanese Negro dynasty who had conquered Egypt. The 25
Dynasty of Egypt. Tirhaka
ruled over Egypt
In ancient times there were several powerful Negro kingdoms in Africa. They
appear to have sent expeditions to the East into India and also to South
America. The Olmeks
were a Negro People from Africa who first appeared on the Gulf of Mexico ca 1200
BCE then by ca 800 BCE had gained control over much of the surrounding area. BY
ca 100 CE or earlier they had been wiped out. Gigantic statuettes of
have been found. Together with gigantic Negro heads and other similar depictions
carvings of "Caucasian" "Bearded" people had been found throughout
areas. These people existed alongside the
and shared their fate. They are described as "semitic-looking"
and as from the "Eastern
Mediterranean". Perhaps they were
Phoenicians. The Phoenicians were reported as sending colonists in ships to the
west coast of Africa.
[Isaiah 37:10] THUS SHALL YE SPEAK TO HEZEKIAH KING OF JUDAH, SAYING, LET NOT
THY GOD, IN WHOM THOU TRUSTEST, DECEIVE THEE, SAYING, JERUSALEM SHALL NOT BE
GIVEN INTO THE HAND OF THE KING OF ASSYRIA.
[Isaiah 37:11] BEHOLD, THOU HAST HEARD WHAT THE KINGS OF ASSYRIA HAVE DONE TO
ALL LANDS BY DESTROYING THEM UTTERLY; AND SHALT THOU BE DELIVERED?
[Isaiah 37:12] HAVE THE GODS OF THE NATIONS DELIVERED THEM WHICH MY FATHERS
HAVE DESTROYED, AS GOZAN, AND HARAN, AND REZEPH, AND THE CHILDREN OF EDEN WHICH
WERE IN TELASSAR?
[Isaiah 37:13] WHERE IS THE KING OF HAMATH, AND THE KING OF ARPHAD, AND THE
KING OF THE CITY OF SEPHARVAIM, HENA, AND IVAH?
[Isaiah 37:14] AND HEZEKIAH RECEIVED THE LETTER FROM THE HAND OF THE
MESSENGERS, AND READ IT: AND HEZEKIAH WENT UP UNTO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD, AND
SPREAD IT BEFORE THE LORD.
[Isaiah 37:15] AND HEZEKIAH PRAYED UNTO THE LORD, SAYING,
[Isaiah 37:16] O LORD OF HOSTS, GOD OF ISRAEL, THAT DWELLEST BETWEEN THE
CHERUBIMS, THOU ART THE GOD, EVEN THOU ALONE, OF ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE EARTH:
THOU HAST MADE HEAVEN AND EARTH.
"O LORD OF HOSTS, God of all, of all
GOD OF ISRAEL, and not like the "gods" of other peoples.
THAT DWELLEST BETWEEN THE CHERUBIMS: Scripture is speaking as if the Almighty abodes in the ark in the Temple. The Cherubims
were in the form of
angels: One was feminine, the other masculine. Commentators say that through
matrimonial harmony a person can reach great spiritual heights.
THOU ART THE GOD, EVEN THOU ALONE, the is no other, anywhere.
OF ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE EARTH: All peoples are under the rule of God.
THOU HAST MADE HEAVEN AND EARTH. All forces obey Him.
[Isaiah 37:17] INCLINE THINE EAR, O LORD, AND HEAR; OPEN THINE EYES, O LORD,
AND SEE: AND HEAR ALL THE WORDS OF SENNACHERIB, WHICH HATH SENT TO REPROACH THE
The reputation of God and of the People
of God are one and the same. This theme is repeated several times in the Bible.
An article on this matter should appear in a coming issue of BRIT-AM.
If Israel would be faithful to God we would be invincible. God would fight for
us as He has several times in the past even though we may not have deserved it.
Everyone who believes in God, prays, and endeavors to lead good lives
strengthens the forces of good in this world. On the other hand if you do bad
you not only do it to yourself but strengthen the forces of evil all over. Each
one of us has a cosmic responsibility. If you want good for the world and
others, be good. If you are weak and fall down just keep trying again and again.
Never give up. Sooner or later you will be helped from above. The fact that you
are reading this message is significant. Nothing is by chance.
[Isaiah 37:18] OF A TRUTH, LORD, THE KINGS OF ASSYRIA HAVE LAID WASTE ALL THE
NATIONS, AND THEIR COUNTRIES,
[Isaiah 37:19] AND HAVE CAST THEIR GODS INTO THE FIRE: FOR THEY WERE NO GODS,
BUT THE WORK OF MEN'S HANDS, WOOD AND STONE: THEREFORE THEY HAVE DESTROYED THEM.
[Isaiah 37:20] NOW THEREFORE, O LORD OUR GOD, SAVE US FROM HIS HAND, THAT ALL
THE KINGDOMS OF THE EARTH MAY KNOW THAT THOU ART THE LORD, EVEN THOU ONLY.
[Isaiah 37:21] THEN ISAIAH THE SON OF AMOZ SENT UNTO HEZEKIAH, SAYING, THUS
SAITH THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL, WHEREAS THOU HAST PRAYED TO ME AGAINST SENNACHERIB
KING OF ASSYRIA:
[Isaiah 37:22] THIS IS THE WORD WHICH THE LORD HATH SPOKEN CONCERNING HIM; THE
VIRGIN, THE DAUGHTER OF ZION, HATH DESPISED THEE, AND LAUGHED THEE TO SCORN; THE
DAUGHTER OF JERUSALEM HATH SHAKEN HER HEAD AT THEE.
"THE VIRGIN, THE DAUGHTER OF ZION":
Our deeds in the past may have been more appropriate to those of a whore but
even with a little reprentance God considers us Virginal.
A little virgin daughter of the Almighty God of the Universe HATH DESPISED THEE, AND LAUGHED THEE TO SCORN; she knows her father is taking
care of matters.
THE DAUGHTER OF JERUSALEM HATH SHAKEN HER HEAD AT THEE: It is the way of young
women to disapprovingly mock boastful males who make
boasts of deeds they cannot perform.
[Isaiah 37:23] WHOM HAST THOU REPROACHED AND BLASPHEMED; AND AGAINST WHOM HAST
THOU EXALTED THY VOICE, AND LIFTED UP THINE EYES ON HIGH; EVEN AGAINST THE HOLY
ONE OF ISRAEL.
The mighty king of Assyria is suddenly
represented as a Don Quixote like figure suffering from delusions of grandeur
and charging windmills.
[Isaiah 37:24] BY THY SERVANTS HAST THOU REPROACHED THE LORD, AND HAST SAID, BY
THE MULTITUDE OF MY CHARIOTS AM I COME UP TO THE HEIGHT OF THE MOUNTAINS, TO THE
SIDES OF LEBANON; AND I WILL CUT DOWN THE TALL CEDARS THEREOF, AND THE CHOICE
FIR TREES THEREOF: AND I WILL ENTER INTO THE HEIGHT OF HIS BORDER, AND THE
FOREST OF HIS CARMEL.
"CUT DOWN THE TALL CEDARS": The kings of
Assyria and Babylon used the forests of Lebanon as a source of wood.
"THE FOREST OF HIS CARMEL" means (says Amos Chocham,"Daat Mikra Commentary" which we use often ) trees bearing fruit and
perhaps also referring to
Mount Carmel in Northern Israel.
[Isaiah 37:25] I HAVE DIGGED, AND DRUNK WATER; AND WITH THE SOLE OF MY FEET
HAVE I DRIED UP ALL THE RIVERS OF THE BESIEGED PLACES.
[Isaiah 37:26] HAST THOU NOT HEARD LONG AGO, HOW I HAVE DONE IT; AND OF ANCIENT
TIMES, THAT I HAVE FORMED IT" NOW HAVE I BROUGHT IT TO PASS, THAT THOU
SHOULDEST BE TO LAY WASTE DEFENCED CITIES INTO RUINOUS HEAPS.
[Isaiah 37:27] THEREFORE THEIR INHABITANTS WERE OF SMALL POWER, THEY WERE
DISMAYED AND CONFOUNDED: THEY WERE AS THE GRASS OF THE FIELD, AND AS THE GREEN
HERB, AS THE GRASS ON THE HOUSETOPS, AND AS CORN BLASTED BEFORE IT BE GROWN
"AS THE GRASS ON THE HOUSETOPS": Dust
and dirt may accumulate on rooftops but is only shallow and any grass that grows there
can be blown away by a strong wind.
[Isaiah 37:28] BUT I KNOW THY ABODE, AND THY GOING OUT, AND THY COMING IN, AND
THY RAGE AGAINST ME.
Judah in the eyes of Sennacherib was not
just another place to conquer. It represented the God of Israel and moral
imperative. Sennacherib was enraged against God since the concept of God by the
Hebrews entailed moral restriction. All anti-semitism
is war against God.
[Isaiah 37:29] BECAUSE THY RAGE AGAINST ME, AND THY TUMULT, IS COME UP INTO
MINE EARS, THEREFORE WILL I PUT MY HOOK IN THY NOSE, AND MY BRIDLE IN THY LIPS,
AND I WILL TURN THEE BACK BY THE WAY BY WHICH THOU CAMEST.
"MY BRIDLE IN THY LIPS": It was the
Israelites (we believe) who
revolutionised the usage of
horses. They introduced bridles and made cavalry forces more effective. See
"Lost Israelite Identity".
A friend of mine (Yehonatan David White) studied different horse breeds and is convinced that the Arabian
horse is descended from a breed introduced by King Solomon. The Scythians used a
horse that had an Arabian strain in it. The movement of certain types of cow and
sheep etc accompanied the migration of peoples.
It has come to our attention that certain researchers receive Brit-Am postings
(directly or indirectly) because (we would like to believe) they get something
from them and also because of informational "leads" we sometimes impart.
[Isaiah 37:30] AND THIS SHALL BE A SIGN UNTO THEE, YE SHALL EAT THIS YEAR SUCH
AS GROWETH OF ITSELF; AND THE SECOND YEAR THAT WHICH SPRINGETH OF THE SAME: AND
IN THE THIRD YEAR SOW YE, AND REAP, AND PLANT VINEYARDS, AND EAT THE FRUIT
[Isaiah 37:31] AND THE REMNANT THAT IS ESCAPED OF THE HOUSE OF JUDAH SHALL
AGAIN TAKE ROOT DOWNWARD, AND BEAR FRUIT UPWARD:
Even a small number of survivors can
produce large populations in a relatively short time.
The number of unborn children killed in their wombs by abortions in the State of
Israel equals the number of children murdered in the Holocaust. We could have
been much bigger and greater than we are. We still can rectify the situation if
[Isaiah 37:32] FOR OUT OF JERUSALEM SHALL GO FORTH A REMNANT, AND THEY THAT
ESCAPE OUT OF MOUNT ZION: THE ZEAL OF THE LORD OF HOSTS SHALL DO THIS.
[Isaiah 37:33] THEREFORE THUS SAITH THE LORD CONCERNING THE KING OF ASSYRIA, HE
SHALL NOT COME INTO THIS CITY, NOR SHOOT AN ARROW THERE, NOR COME BEFORE IT WITH
SHIELDS, NOR CAST A BANK AGAINST IT.
[Isaiah 37:34] BY THE WAY THAT HE CAME, BY THE SAME SHALL HE RETURN, AND SHALL
NOT COME INTO THIS CITY, SAITH THE LORD.
[Isaiah 37:35] FOR I WILL DEFEND THIS CITY TO SAVE IT FOR MINE OWN SAKE, AND
FOR MY SERVANT DAVID'S SAKE.
Even if Judah is not worthy at some
stage or other God will intervene of behalf of Jerusalem and in memory of David.
[Isaiah 37:36] THEN THE ANGEL OF THE LORD WENT FORTH, AND SMOTE IN THE CAMP OF
THE ASSYRIANS A HUNDRED AND FOURSCORE AND FIVE THOUSAND: AND WHEN THEY AROSE
EARLY IN THE MORNING, BEHOLD, THEY WERE ALL DEAD CORPSES.
The angel slew 185,000 Assyrians.
[Isaiah 37:37] SO SENNACHERIB KING OF ASSYRIA DEPARTED, AND WENT AND RETURNED,
AND DWELT AT NINEVEH.
[Isaiah 37:38] AND IT CAME TO PASS, AS HE WAS WORSHIPPING IN THE HOUSE OF
NISROCH HIS GOD, THAT ADRAMMELECH AND SHAREZER HIS SONS SMOTE HIM WITH THE
SWORD; AND THEY ESCAPED INTO THE LAND OF ARMENIA: AND ESARHADDON HIS SON REIGNED
IN HIS STEAD.
"ARMENIA" in Hebrew "Ararat" known to us
from Assyrian inscriptions as "Urartu".
We discussed this entity in "Lost Israelite Identity".
appears identical with the Land of Oz populated by mixed
upper class ruling over a mixture of peoples brought in as settlers from outside
by the Assyrians. Urartu
had been reconstituted by the Assyrians as an Assyrian state but it broke away.
had connections with Italy and the rest of Europe. Depictions of the upper class
to my mind appear similar to a certain type of aristocratic Italian especially
those depicted in Renassiance
[Isaiah 38:1] IN THOSE DAYS WAS HEZEKIAH SICK UNTO DEATH. AND ISAIAH THE PROPHET THE SON OF
AMOZ CAME UNTO HIM, AND SAID UNTO
HIM, THUS SAITH THE LORD, SET THINE HOUSE IN ORDER: FOR THOU SHALT DIE, AND NOT LIVE.
The Prophet said he was going to die. He did not say "you are in danger of
dieing." He prophesied he would die.
Hezekiah prayed. This establishes the Talmudic principles:
1. In every situation, even the seemingly most impossible, always pray. God is
always approachable, always capable of mercy.
2. Prophecies for good always come true somehow or other almost despite how
undeserving we may become (Jeremiah 28;9).
3. Prophecies for bad can always be averted through prayer and repentance.
[Isaiah 38:2] THEN HEZEKIAH TURNED HIS FACE TOWARD THE WALL, AND PRAYED UNTO
"THE WALL" of his room. Some say the
wall of the Temple.
[Isaiah 38:3] AND SAID, REMEMBER NOW, O LORD, I BESEECH THEE, HOW I HAVE WALKED
BEFORE THEE IN TRUTH AND WITH A PERFECT HEART, AND HAVE DONE THAT WHICH IS GOOD
IN THY SIGHT. AND HEZEKIAH WEPT SORE.
[Isaiah 38:4] THEN CAME THE WORD OF THE LORD TO ISAIAH, SAYING,
[Isaiah 38:5] GO, AND SAY TO HEZEKIAH, THUS SAITH THE LORD, THE GOD OF DAVID
THY FATHER, I HAVE HEARD THY PRAYER, I HAVE SEEN THY TEARS: BEHOLD, I WILL ADD
UNTO THY DAYS FIFTEEN YEARS.
He went in the ways of David his father
and so when he was virtuous the virtue of David was added on to his. So too can
we be helped by virtue of our forebears, if they had virtue. If not, we should
know that our own virtue can help our children in time of need and our distant
descendants long after we are gone.
"FOR I THE LORD THY GOD AM A JEALOUS GOD, VISITING THE INIQUITY OF THE FATHERS
UPON THE CHILDREN UNTO THE THIRD AND FOURTH GENERATION OF
THEM THAT HATE ME; AND SHEWING MERCY UNTO THOUSANDS OF THEM THAT LOVE ME, AND KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS" [Exodus
God promises that for thousands of generations he will remember our good deeds.
There is a principle that God punishes and rewards a person according to how
that the person would himself choose if he knew all the
[Isaiah 38:6] AND I WILL DELIVER THEE AND THIS CITY OUT OF THE HAND OF THE KING
OF ASSYRIA: AND I WILL DEFEND THIS CITY.
[Isaiah 38:7] AND THIS SHALL BE A SIGN UNTO THEE FROM THE LORD, THAT THE LORD
WILL DO THIS THING THAT HE HATH SPOKEN;
[Isaiah 38:8] BEHOLD, I WILL BRING AGAIN THE SHADOW OF THE DEGREES, WHICH IS
GONE DOWN IN THE SUN DIAL OF AHAZ, TEN DEGREES BACKWARD. SO THE SUN RETURNED TEN
DEGREES, BY WHICH DEGREES IT WAS GONE DOWN.
>From: "John Geiger"
solar aberrations and late 8th century BC history
> Thank you for posting your 16 Jun 2001
>including the URL for Jeremy Goldberg's
80 (1999) 360-390 extensive
>article: Two Assyrian Campaigns Against Hezekiah and Later
>Biblical Chronology. I backed into this area several years ago pursuing
>what could have made the shadows go backward for Hezekiah as reported in 2
>Kings 20:8-11 and 2 Chronicles 32:24 and the possibility that it was related
>to the third event Herodotus reported in book 2-142 wherein the Egyptian
>priests had told him that in their history of human kings that the sun had
>risen in the east twice and in the west twice.
> A friend of mine in a book proposed a
mechanism for this almost
>incredible Herodotus reference which made sense and could explain the
>backward moving shadow of Hezekiah and contended he that it
>BC and that this was the fifteenth
year of Hezekiah.
> Quoting from his book:
records recall that during the reign of Sargon
>(722-705) there came into being a new world order, and then another one in
>the days of Sennacherib (705-681)
> And evidently from the TRACTATE
SANHEDRIN (96a) on the day King
of Judah was buried in 714BC, the day was quickened.
> This friend also thinks there was another change to the sun's
>passage in 687 BC which he also links to the final battle of Troy because of
>a quote in the Odyssey of Homer which seems to indicate that Odysseus was
by an unpredictable sun. Quoting from THE ODYSSEY OF HOMER
>(Harvard Classics vol
22 p 141 1909)
> "Hear my words, my fellows, despite your evil case. My friends, lo,
>now we know not where is the place of darkness or of dawning, nor where the
>Sun, that gives light to men, goes beneath the earth, nor where he (it)
>rises; therefore let us advise us speedily if any counsel yet may be: as for
>me, I deem there is none."
>John Geiger, Oklahoma, USA
We have shown elsewhere how the phenomenon of the sun "going backwards" by ten degrees represented a permanent change in the annual circuit of the earth around the sun
from 360 days to the present one of 365/25, as explained by Guy Cramer and Grant R. Jeffrey see:
The Change in Our Calendar
Guy Cramer, "360 vs. 365. 360 Day Years - Fact or Fiction", explains how in Isaiah 38:8 and 2-Kings 20:1-11 it is related how in the days of King Hezekiah the sun went backwards.
Assuming that the sun dial in use had 360 degrees then 10 degrees would equal 20 minutes.
He makes the computation whereby a 20 minute addition each day to a year of 360 days (as numerous traditions say then existed) gives us an additional 5.244 days or a year of 365.244 days which is what we have now.
Grant R. Jeffrey, "The 360 Day Prophetic Year of the Bible", points out that a 360 day year appears to be assumed by the Bible.
The Genesis account of the flood in the days of Noah illustrated this 360-day year by recording the 150-day
interval till the waters abated from the earth.
The 150 days began on the seventeenth day of the second month, and ended on
the seventeenth day of the seventh month (Genesis 7:11,24 and 8:3-4). In Other words, the five months last 150 days which is thirty days each; therefore, twelve 30-day months would equal 360 days (12 x 30 = 360 days).
We may therefore conclude that before Hezekiah the year last 360 days but after Hezekiah it last 365.25 days as it does today.
This ties in with our interpretation of Jeremiah 31:21 in the Hebrew orginial which indicates that the Lost Ten Tribes were commanded tos et up Megalithic Monuments so that in the future ti would be possible to trace their paths of migration.
Such a Pathway does exist and is acknowledged by archaeologists. The problem however is that archaeology (relying mainly on radio-carbon dating which is unreliable) trace these megalithic monuments back to thousands (or even tens of thousands) of years
before the Ten Tribes were exiled. The change in calendar, however, from a 360-year day to the present one comes to our aid and proves that our understanding is a correct one.
Megaliths were often set to be in alignment with the solstices.
Solstices occur twice a year, when the axis of Earth axis tilts the most toward or away from the Sun, causing the Sun to be farthest north or south at noon. Knowing when the solstice occurred enabled a determining of the seasons and planning agricultural activities in accordance.
In a year of 365 days the solstices occur at a different day than for a year of 360 days.
Since Megalithic monuments on the whole are aligned according to a 365 day they must have been set up after the Time of Hezekiah which was after the time when the Ten Tribes were exiled!
The monuments could not have been set up before the time of Hezekiah which was the time when the Lost Ten Tribes were still being exiled.
[Isaiah 38:9] THE WRITING OF HEZEKIAH KING OF JUDAH, WHEN HE HAD BEEN SICK, AND
WAS RECOVERED OF HIS SICKNESS:
[Isaiah 38:10] I SAID IN THE CUTTING OFF OF MY DAYS, I SHALL GO TO THE GATES OF
THE GRAVE: I AM DEPRIVED OF THE RESIDUE OF MY YEARS.
[Isaiah 38:11] I SAID, I SHALL NOT SEE THE LORD, EVEN THE LORD, IN THE LAND OF
THE LIVING: I SHALL BEHOLD MAN NO MORE WITH THE INHABITANTS OF THE WORLD.
[Isaiah 38:12] MINE AGE IS DEPARTED, AND IS REMOVED FROM ME AS A SHEPHERD'S
TENT: I HAVE CUT OFF LIKE A WEAVER MY LIFE: HE WILL CUT ME OFF WITH PINING
SICKNESS: FROM DAY EVEN TO NIGHT WILT THOU MAKE AN END OF ME.
[Isaiah 38:13] I RECKONED TILL MORNING, THAT, AS A LION, SO WILL HE BREAK ALL
MY BONES: FROM DAY EVEN TO NIGHT WILT THOU MAKE AN END OF ME.
[Isaiah 38:14] LIKE A CRANE OR A SWALLOW, SO DID I CHATTER: I DID MOURN AS A
DOVE: MINE EYES FAIL WITH LOOKING UPWARD: O LORD, I AM OPPRESSED; UNDERTAKE FOR
[Isaiah 38:15] WHAT SHALL I SAY? HE HATH BOTH SPOKEN UNTO ME, AND HIMSELF HATH
DONE IT: I SHALL GO SOFTLY ALL MY YEARS IN THE BITTERNESS OF MY SOUL.
[Isaiah 38:16] O LORD, BY THESE THINGS MEN LIVE, AND IN ALL THESE THINGS IS THE
LIFE OF MY SPIRIT: SO WILT THOU RECOVER ME, AND MAKE ME TO LIVE.
[Isaiah 38:17] BEHOLD, FOR PEACE I HAD GREAT BITTERNESS: BUT THOU HAST IN LOVE
TO MY SOUL DELIVERED IT FROM THE PIT OF CORRUPTION: FOR THOU HAST CAST ALL MY
SINS BEHIND THY BACK.
God can forgive all our sins and make
them as if they were not.
[Isaiah 38:18] FOR THE GRAVE CANNOT PRAISE THEE, DEATH CAN NOT CELEBRATE THEE:
THEY THAT GO DOWN INTO THE PIT CANNOT HOPE FOR THY TRUTH.
[Isaiah 38:19] THE LIVING, THE LIVING, HE SHALL PRAISE THEE, AS I DO THIS DAY:
THE FATHER TO THE CHILDREN SHALL MAKE KNOWN THY TRUTH.
[Isaiah 38:20] THE LORD WAS READY TO SAVE ME: THEREFORE WE WILL SING MY SONGS
TO THE STRINGED INSTRUMENTS ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIFE IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.
[Isaiah 38:21] FOR ISAIAH HAD SAID, LET THEM TAKE A LUMP OF FIGS, AND LAY IT
FOR A PLAISTER UPON THE BOIL, AND HE SHALL RECOVER.
[Isaiah 38:22] HEZEKIAH ALSO HAD SAID, WHAT IS THE SIGN THAT I SHALL GO UP TO
THE HOUSE OF THE LORD"
[Isaiah 39:1] AT THAT TIME MERODACH BALADAN, THE SON OF BALADAN, KING OF
BABYLON, SENT LETTERS AND A PRESENT TO HEZEKIAH: FOR HE HAD HEARD THAT HE HAD
BEEN SICK, AND WAS RECOVERED.
rebelled against Assyria. He was eventually defeated by King
At this point he would have considered Hezekiah a natural ally. Babylon was
always an important factor in the Assyrian Empire.
Merodach-Baladan-ii (721-712 BCE) who is the
"MERODACH BALADAN, THE SON OF BALADAN, KING OF
spoken of by Isaiah is depicted below with the governor of Babylon.
[Isaiah 39:2] AND HEZEKIAH WAS GLAD OF THEM, AND SHEWED THEM THE HOUSE OF HIS
PRECIOUS THINGS, THE SILVER, AND THE GOLD, AND THE SPICES, AND THE PRECIOUS
OINTMENT, AND ALL THE HOUSE OF HIS ARMOUR, AND ALL THAT WAS FOUND IN HIS
TREASURES: THERE WAS NOTHING IN HIS HOUSE, NOR IN ALL HIS DOMINION, THAT
HEZEKIAH SHEWED THEM NOT.
[Isaiah 39:3] THEN CAME ISAIAH THE PROPHET UNTO KING HEZEKIAH, AND SAID UNTO
HIM, WHAT SAID THESE MEN" AND FROM WHENCE CAME THEY UNTO THEE" AND HEZEKIAH
SAID, THEY ARE COME FROM A FAR COUNTRY UNTO ME, EVEN FROM BABYLON.
"A FAR COUNTRY UNTO ME": King Hezekiah calls Babylon
a far country. Hezekiah was saying that he was important in their eyes.
Hezekiah had in fact lost most of his populace who had been exiled to Assyria.
He had been humilated
by the Assyrians several times and it was only by a miracle that he had been
rescued from them. He was a holy man. Holy men do not always realize their own
worth. They sometimes feel inadequate. Good and bad things had happened in his
kingdom and technically he was responsible for all of them. He may have felt a
certain need for re-assurance regarding his own worth.
[Isaiah 39:4] THEN SAID HE, WHAT HAVE THEY SEEN IN THINE HOUSE" AND HEZEKIAH
ANSWERED, ALL THAT IS IN MINE HOUSE HAVE THEY SEEN: THERE IS NOTHING AMONG MY
TREASURES THAT I HAVE NOT SHEWED THEM.
Why did he feel a need
show them everything? Why does he stress
in his reply to Isaiah?
[Isaiah 39:5] THEN SAID ISAIAH TO HEZEKIAH, HEAR THE WORD OF THE LORD OF HOSTS:
[Isaiah 39:6] BEHOLD, THE DAYS COME, THAT ALL THAT IS IN THINE HOUSE, AND THAT
WHICH THY FATHERS HAVE LAID UP IN STORE UNTIL THIS DAY, SHALL BE CARRIED TO
BABYLON: NOTHING SHALL BE LEFT, SAITH THE LORD.
[Isaiah 39:7] AND OF THY SONS THAT SHALL ISSUE FROM THEE, WHICH THOU SHALT
BEGET, SHALL THEY TAKE AWAY; AND THEY SHALL BE EUNUCHS IN THE PALACE OF THE KING
"THY SONS THAT SHALL ISSUE FROM THEE":
Meaning the sons of his sons that were still not born at that time.
"EUNUCHS": In Hebrew "sarisim"
(singular: "saris") which usually does mean eunuch but can also mean simply a
servant. The original meaning of "saris" was servant or guardian of the king.
This is how the word is employed in
the official language of Assyria. Later the name came to mean "eunuch". In the
Bible the word appears to be capable of bearing either or both meanings. It
appears that here the meaning is that his descendants will be servants of the
Babylonian king. Daniel was one of these servants.
employed a group of captive
as his personal bodyguard. These later rebelled. See "Lost Israelite Identity"
[Isaiah 39:8] THEN SAID HEZEKIAH TO ISAIAH, GOOD IS THE WORD OF THE LORD WHICH
THOU HAST SPOKEN. HE SAID MOREOVER, FOR THERE SHALL BE PEACE AND TRUTH IN MY
"BE PEACE AND TRUTH IN MY DAYS": This
shows the character of Hezekiah. He was a king. He felt responsibility towards
his subjects. How he discharged his duties as monarch was important to him.
This hints at the fault that had been found in him. He never sinned but it was
as if in his attitude he placed the discharge of his own responsibilities (in
his eyes and in the eyes of others) before submission to the Almighty.
It also shows that he was concerned to discharge his own special duties beyond all other considerations.
This ordinarily would have been a virtue but there was some fault in it. The Almighty weants us to have some concern for ourselves
and for our descendants.
Isaiah Chapter 40
From here until the end of the book
quite a few of the prophecies contain words of comfort concerning both Judah and
[Isaiah 40:1] COMFORT YE, COMFORT YE MY PEOPLE, SAITH YOUR GOD.
[Isaiah 40:2] SPEAK YE COMFORTABLY TO JERUSALEM, AND CRY UNTO HER, THAT HER
WARFARE IS ACCOMPLISHED, THAT HER INIQUITY IS PARDONED: FOR SHE HATH RECEIVED OF
THE LORD'S HAND DOUBLE FOR ALL HER SINS.
"Jerusalem" strictly speaking applies to
Judah but it has some applicability also to the rest of Israel.
The sins are paid up for and now comfort is coming.
[Isaiah 40:3] THE VOICE OF HIM THAT CRIETH IN THE WILDERNESS, PREPARE YE THE
WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE STRAIGHT IN THE DESERT A HIGHWAY FOR OUR GOD.
[Isaiah 40:4] EVERY VALLEY SHALL BE EXALTED, AND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND HILL SHALL
BE MADE LOW: AND THE CROOKED SHALL BE MADE STRAIGHT, AND THE ROUGH PLACES PLAIN:
There will be no impediments.
[Isaiah 40:5] AND THE GLORY OF THE LORD SHALL BE REVEALED, AND ALL FLESH SHALL
SEE IT TOGETHER: FOR THE MOUTH OF THE LORD HATH SPOKEN IT.
[Isaiah 40:6] THE VOICE SAID, CRY. AND HE SAID, WHAT SHALL I CRY" ALL FLESH IS
GRASS, AND ALL THE GOODLINESS THEREOF IS AS THE FLOWER OF THE FIELD:
[Isaiah 40:7] THE GRASS WITHERETH, THE FLOWER FADETH: BECAUSE THE SPIRIT OF THE
LORD BLOWETH UPON IT: SURELY THE PEOPLE IS GRASS.
[Isaiah 40:8] THE GRASS WITHERETH, THE FLOWER FADETH: BUT THE WORD OF OUR GOD
SHALL STAND FOR EVER.
[Isaiah 40:9] O ZION, THAT BRINGEST GOOD TIDINGS, GET THEE UP INTO THE HIGH
MOUNTAIN; O JERUSALEM, THAT BRINGEST GOOD TIDINGS, LIFT UP THY VOICE WITH
STRENGTH; LIFT IT UP, BE NOT AFRAID; SAY UNTO THE CITIES OF JUDAH, BEHOLD YOUR
"Zion" and "Jerusalem" are synonymous
though there are sources (e.g.
that suggest "Zion" is a hint to Joseph.
[Isaiah 40:10] BEHOLD, THE LORD GOD WILL COME WITH STRONG HAND, AND HIS ARM
SHALL RULE FOR HIM: BEHOLD, HIS REWARD IS WITH HIM, AND HIS WORK BEFORE HIM.
[Isaiah 40:11] HE SHALL FEED HIS FLOCK LIKE A SHEPHERD: HE SHALL GATHER THE
LAMBS WITH HIS ARM, AND CARRY THEM IN HIS BOSOM, AND SHALL GENTLY LEAD THOSE
THAT ARE WITH YOUNG.
[Isaiah 40:12] WHO HATH MEASURED THE WATERS IN THE HOLLOW OF HIS HAND, AND
METED OUT HEAVEN WITH THE SPAN, AND COMPREHENDED THE DUST OF THE EARTH IN A
MEASURE, AND WEIGHED THE MOUNTAINS IN SCALES, AND THE HILLS IN A BALANCE?
[Isaiah 40:13] WHO HATH DIRECTED THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD, OR BEING HIS
COUNSELLOR HATH TAUGHT HIM?
[Isaiah 40:14] WITH WHOM TOOK HE COUNSEL, AND WHO INSTRUCTED HIM, AND TAUGHT
HIM IN THE PATH OF JUDGMENT, AND TAUGHT HIM KNOWLEDGE, AND SHEWED TO HIM THE
WAY OF UNDERSTANDING?
[Isaiah 40:15] BEHOLD, THE NATIONS ARE AS A DROP OF A BUCKET, AND ARE COUNTED
AS THE SMALL DUST OF THE BALANCE: BEHOLD, HE TAKETH UP THE ISLES AS A VERY
[Isaiah 40:16] AND LEBANON IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO BURN, NOR THE BEASTS THEREOF
SUFFICIENT FOR A BURNT OFFERING.
Nowadays there are not that many trees
left in Lebanon but in ancient times it was covered with trees and with much
wildlife. The Prophet says that all the trees of Lebanon (in his day) and all
the beasts around them would not be sufficient to make a fire and offering on
[Isaiah 40:17] ALL NATIONS BEFORE HIM ARE AS NOTHING; AND THEY ARE COUNTED TO
HIM LESS THAN NOTHING, AND VANITY.
[Isaiah 40:18] TO WHOM THEN WILL YE LIKEN GOD? OR WHAT LIKENESS WILL YE COMPARE
[Isaiah 40:19] THE WORKMAN MELTETH A GRAVEN IMAGE, AND THE GOLDSMITH SPREADETH
IT OVER WITH GOLD, AND CASTETH SILVER CHAINS.
[Isaiah 40:20] HE THAT IS SO IMPOVERISHED THAT HE HATH NO OBLATION CHOOSETH A
TREE THAT WILL NOT ROT; HE SEEKETH UNTO HIM A CUNNING WORKMAN TO PREPARE A
GRAVEN IMAGE, THAT SHALL NOT BE MOVED.
[Isaiah 40:21] HAVE YE NOT KNOWN? HAVE YE NOT HEARD? HATH IT NOT BEEN TOLD YOU
FROM THE BEGINNING? HAVE YE NOT UNDERSTOOD FROM THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARTH?
[Isaiah 40:22] IT IS HE THAT SITTETH UPON THE CIRCLE OF THE EARTH, AND THE
INHABITANTS THEREOF ARE AS GRASSHOPPERS; THAT STRETCHETH OUT THE HEAVENS AS A
CURTAIN, AND SPREADETH THEM OUT AS A TENT TO DWELL IN:
"UPON THE CIRCLE OF THE EARTH": The
ancients knew much concerning the geography of the earth and
the basic elements of astronomy. Only later was this knowledge lost.
[Isaiah 40:23] THAT BRINGETH THE PRINCES TO NOTHING; HE MAKETH THE JUDGES OF
THE EARTH AS VANITY.
[Isaiah 40:24] YEA, THEY SHALL NOT BE PLANTED; YEA, THEY SHALL NOT BE SOWN:
YEA, THEIR STOCK SHALL NOT TAKE ROOT IN THE EARTH: AND HE SHALL ALSO BLOW UPON
THEM, AND THEY SHALL WITHER, AND THE WHIRLWIND SHALL TAKE THEM AWAY AS STUBBLE.
[Isaiah 40:25] TO WHOM THEN WILL YE LIKEN ME, OR SHALL I BE EQUAL? SAITH THE
[Isaiah 40:26] LIFT UP YOUR EYES ON HIGH, AND BEHOLD WHO HATH CREATED THESE
THINGS, THAT BRINGETH OUT THEIR HOST BY NUMBER: HE CALLETH THEM ALL BY NAMES BY
THE GREATNESS OF HIS MIGHT, FOR THAT HE IS STRONG IN POWER; NOT ONE FAILETH.
[Isaiah 40:27] WHY SAYEST THOU, O JACOB, AND SPEAKEST, O ISRAEL, MY WAY IS HID
FROM THE LORD, AND MY JUDGMENT IS PASSED OVER FROM MY GOD?
There will be a time of trouble. Judah
and Israel will think that God has abandoned them. It is not so.
In our private lives also we should bear through times of trouble and know that
God watches and will help us.
[Isaiah 40:28] HAST THOU NOT KNOWN" HAST THOU NOT HEARD, THAT THE EVERLASTING
GOD, THE LORD, THE CREATOR OF THE ENDS OF THE EARTH, FAINTETH NOT, NEITHER IS
WEARY" THERE IS NO SEARCHING OF HIS UNDERSTANDING.
[Isaiah 40:29] HE GIVETH POWER TO THE FAINT; AND TO THEM THAT HAVE NO MIGHT HE
[Isaiah 40:30] EVEN THE YOUTHS SHALL FAINT AND BE WEARY, AND THE YOUNG MEN
SHALL UTTERLY FALL:
[Isaiah 40:31] BUT THEY THAT WAIT UPON THE LORD SHALL RENEW THEIR STRENGTH;
THEY SHALL MOUNT UP WITH WINGS AS EAGLES; THEY SHALL RUN, AND NOT BE WEARY; AND
THEY SHALL WALK, AND NOT FAINT.