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Two Chronicles Thirty Two

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

2 Chronicles 32:1 After these things, and the establishment thereof, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself.

Sennacherib king of Assyria came. The invasion of Judah by the Assyrians began in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah's reign (2 Kings 18:13). Eight years earlier (2 Kings 18:10, 11), Israel had fallen to the Assyrians and had been carried captive into Assyria. Although it is not mentioned specifically, this invasion no doubt caused many refugees from the northern kingdom to flee south into Judah, a factor which would have contributed still further to the permanent representation of all twelve tribes of Israel in the land of Judah. Because of Hezekiah's revival, however, the wicked Assyrian hordes would not be allowed by God to conquer Judah as they had Israel.

2 Chronicles 32:2 And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem,

when Hezekiah saw. Until this time, the Assyrians had been so occupied with conquering Israel and other nations in the region that Hezekiah had been able more or less to ignore them. His father Ahaz had tried unsuccessfully to bribe Tiglath-Pileser into an alliance, paying much tribute in the process (2 Chronicles 28:21), but Hezekiah had “rebelled against the king of Assyria (2 Kings 18:7). In Hezekiah's fourteenth year, however, the Assyrians were ready to attack Jerusalem and Judah (2 Kings 18:13). As his father had done, Hezekiah attempted now to pay belated tribute to Sennacherib, but this was not what the Assyrian wanted (2 Kings 18:14-16). Probably the latter was expecting eventually to invade Egypt and would need to control Judah to do so.

2 Chronicles 32:3 He took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city: and they did help him.

2 Chronicles 32:4 So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?

2 Chronicles 32:5 Also he strengthened himself, and built up all the wall that was broken, and raised it up to the towers, and another wall without, and repaired Millo in the city of David, and made darts and shields in abundance.

another wall without. Remains of Hezekiah's outer wall have been excavated in recent times, thus confirming still further the historicity of the Biblical records.

2 Chronicles 32:6 And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city, and spake comfortably to them, saying,

2 Chronicles 32:7 Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him:

more with us. Hezekiah had perhaps heard or read about Elisha's host and the miraculous deliverance of Samaria (2 Kings 6:16-23; 7:6-7).

2 Chronicles 32:8 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

2 Chronicles 32:9 After this did Sennacherib king of Assyria send his servants to Jerusalem, (but he himself laid siege against Lachish, and all his power with him,) unto Hezekiah king of Judah, and unto all Judah that were at Jerusalem, saying,

2 Chronicles 32:10 Thus saith Sennacherib king of Assyria, Whereon do ye trust, that ye abide in the siege in Jerusalem?

2 Chronicles 32:11 Doth not Hezekiah persuade you to give over yourselves to die by famine and by thirst, saying, The LORD our God shall deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria?

2 Chronicles 32:12 Hath not the same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall worship before one altar, and burn incense upon it?

2 Chronicles 32:13 Know ye not what I and my fathers have done unto all the people of other lands? were the gods of the nations of those lands any ways able to deliver their lands out of mine hand?

2 Chronicles 32:14 Who was there among all the gods of those nations that my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of mine hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of mine hand?

2 Chronicles 32:15 Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you on this manner, neither yet believe him: for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of mine hand, and out of the hand of my fathers: how much less shall your God deliver you out of mine hand?

2 Chronicles 32:16 And his servants spake yet more against the LORD God, and against his servant Hezekiah.

2 Chronicles 32:17 He wrote also letters to rail on the LORD God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, As the gods of the nations of other lands have not delivered their people out of mine hand, so shall not the God of Hezekiah deliver his people out of mine hand.

2 Chronicles 32:18 Then they cried with a loud voice in the Jews' speech unto the people of Jerusalem that were on the wall, to affright them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city.

2 Chronicles 32:19 And they spake against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth, which were the work of the hands of man.

gods of the people. This equating of “the God of Jerusalem,” who is the true God of creation, with “the gods of the people of the earth,” who are evil spirits and whose images are mere constructs of men's hands or men's philosophical speculations, is actually blasphemy, and such action cannot go unpunished forever. It is forbidden in the very first of God's Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3-5).

2 Chronicles 32:20 And for this cause Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven.

2 Chronicles 32:21 And the LORD sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword.

sent an angel. See note on 2 Kings 19:35.

slew him there. See note on 2 Kings 19:7.

2 Chronicles 32:22 Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all other, and guided them on every side.

saved Hezekiah. The famous “Sennacherib Prism” contains the boast of Sennacherib that he had conquered forty-six cities of Judah. However, he only could claim that he had “besieged” Hezekiah like a “caged bird” in Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 32:23 And many brought gifts unto the LORD to Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah: so that he was magnified in the sight of all nations from thenceforth.

2 Chronicles 32:24 In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the LORD: and he spake unto him, and he gave him a sign.

a sign. See note on 2 Kings 20:11.

2 Chronicles 32:25 But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 32:26 Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.

2 Chronicles 32:27 And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honour: 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;

2 Chronicles 32:28 Storehouses also for the increase of corn, and wine, and oil; and stalls for all manner of beasts, and cotes for flocks.

2 Chronicles 32:29 Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance: for God had given him substance very much.

2 Chronicles 32:30 This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works.

brought it straight down. See note on 2 Kings 20:20.

2 Chronicles 32:31 Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.

2 Chronicles 32:32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.

2 Chronicles 32:33 And Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the chiefest of the sepulchres of the sons of David: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honour at his death. And Manasseh his son reigned in his stead.