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Monday, June 23 2014

2 Kings 18: Sennacherib's Turn From Israel To Judah

"Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them"

Hezekiah became king of Judah (see Hezekiah Of Judah) in the third year of the reign of Hoshea, the last king of Israel (see Hoshea Of Israel). Israel was about to be destroyed and re-populated by Assyria (see The Origin Of The Samaritans), while Judah was yet faithful to the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God). Hezekiah "trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him."

"18:1 Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 18:2 Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. 18:3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. 18:4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.

18:5 He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. 18:6 For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses. 18:7 And the LORD was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not. 18:8 He smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza, and the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city." (2 Kings 18:1-8 KJV)

Hezekiah witnessed the fall of the Kingdom of Israel from across the border in the Kingdom of Judah. The Assyrians then turned and began to invade Judah too. Hezekiah, at first, made the age-old mistake of trying to buy off a malignant aggressor. The Assyrians took the treasure, but soon resumed their invasion.

Sennacherib

"18:9 And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it. 18:10 And at the end of three years they took it: even in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 18:11 And the king of Assyria did carry away Israel unto Assyria, and put them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes: 18:12 Because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD their God, but transgressed his covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded, and would not hear them, nor do them.

18:13 Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them. 18:14 And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended; return from me: that which thou puttest on me will I bear. And the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 18:15 And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king's house.

18:16 At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria." (2 Kings 18:9-16 KJV)

Unlike Israel, Judah was still then relatively righteous in the LORD's sight. That alone would have guaranteed Judah's victory against any invader, but the Assyrians were about to make the biggest mistake than any nation could make - they arrogantly began to blaspheme the LORD.

"18:17 And the king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great host against Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller's field. 18:18 And when they had called to the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder.

18:19 And Rabshakeh said unto them, Speak ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest? 18:20 Thou sayest, (but they are but vain words,) I have counsel and strength for the war. Now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me? 18:21 Now, behold, thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt, on which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt unto all that trust on him. 18:22 But if ye say unto me, We trust in the LORD our God: is not that he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and hath said to Judah and Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem?

18:23 Now therefore, I pray thee, give pledges to my lord the king of Assyria, and I will deliver thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them. 18:24 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 horsemen? 18:25 Am I now come up without the LORD against this place to destroy it? The LORD said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.

18:26 Then said Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna, and Joah, unto Rabshakeh, Speak, I pray thee, to thy servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and talk not with us in the Jews' language in the ears of the people that are on the wall.

18:27 But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?" (2 Kings 18:17-27 KJV)

Jerusalem
As we will cover in the study for the next chapter, the Assyrians sealed their fate with the statement "Who are they among all the gods of the countries, that have delivered their country out of mine hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of mine hand?"

"18:28 Then Rabshakeh stood and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and spake, saying, Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria: 18:29 Thus saith the king, Let not Hezekiah deceive you: for he shall not be able to deliver you out of his hand: 18:30 Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD, saying, The LORD will surely deliver us, and this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.

18:31 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 then eat ye every man of his own vine, and every one of his fig tree, and drink ye every one the waters of his cistern: 18:32 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, a land of oil olive and of honey, that ye may live, and not die: and hearken not unto Hezekiah, when he persuadeth you, saying, The LORD will deliver us. 18:33 Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered at all his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 18:34 Where are the gods of Hamath, and of Arpad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah? have they delivered Samaria out of mine hand? 18:35 Who are they among all the gods of the countries, that have delivered their country out of mine hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of mine hand?

18:36 But the people held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king's commandment was, saying, Answer him not.

18:37 Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which 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." (2 Kings 18:28-37 KJV)

Fact Finder: Why did the LORD send Jonah to Nineveh, the capital of Assyria? Why didn't Jonah want to go?
See Jonah: Three Days And Three Nights


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This Day In History, June 23

79: Titus succeeded his father Vespasian as Roman Emperor. It was Titus who was in command of the Roman military forces that destroyed Jerusalem in 70, exactly as prophesied by the Messiah forty years before (see What Did Jesus Christ Say About Those Stones? and Israel In History and Prophecy: The Zealots).

Titus 1180: The Genpei War in Japan began with the First Battle of Uji.

1298: Albert I, a Hapsburg, son of Rudolf I, became the new king of the "Holy Roman Empire" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation) after deposing German king Adolf of Nassau.

1305: The Treaty of Athis-sur-Orge between King Philip IV of France and Robert de Bethune, count of Flanders, was signed. Strongly opposed by the Flemings (Flanders today composes the northern area of Belgium), the treaty involved the French for 20 years in military attempts to enforce it. Signed after Philip's victory over the Flemings at Mons-en-Pevele in 1304.

1314: The 2-day battle of Bannockburn began. A decisive battle in Scottish history; under the leadership of Robert I the Bruce, the Scots defeated the English under Edward II (1282-1327), regained their independence, and established Bruce on his throne. The battle was fought for possession of Stirling Castle, then the last stronghold of the English in Scotland. The Scots regard the battle as the culmination of their Wars of Independence, while the English regard it as a lamentable defeat. In 1964, on the 650th anniversary of the battle, an equestrian statue of Robert I the Bruce was unveiled on the site by Queen Elizabeth II.

1501: Pedro Cabral returned to Portugal after a voyage during which he claimed Brazil for Portugal.

1532: Henry VIII and Francois I signed a treaty of alliance against Emperor Charles V.

1565: Turgut Reis, commander of the Ottoman navy, was killed during the Siege of Malta (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1611: During his fourth voyage, English explorer Henry Hudson was set adrift in Hudson Bay (as it was later named after him) by mutineers on his ship Discovery. He was never seen again.

1683: English pioneer William Penn signed a friendship treaty with the native people in Pennsylvania (named after William Penn).

1700: Russia gave up its Black Sea fleet as part of a truce with the Ottoman Empire.

1713: Amidst an impending war with France, the French residents of Acadia (present-day Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Maine) were given an ultimatum to declare allegiance to Britain or leave. Some left, to various locations, including the French territory of Louisiana (named after King Louis of France) where they became known as "Cajuns" (a southern pronunciation of Acadian; the term "Dixie" originated from dix, the French word for ten).

1757: The Battle of Plassey. 3,000 British troops under the command of Robert Clive defeated a 50,000 man India army under Siraj Ud Daulah.

1758: During the Seven Years War, British and Hanoverian armies defeated the French at Krefeld in Germany.

1794: Empress Catherine II of Russia granted Jews permission to settle in Kiev.

1848: Workers in Paris rose in an insurrection known as the "June Days."

1868: Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for the "typewriter."

1887: The Canadian Rocky Mountains Park Act created the nation's first national park, Banff National Park.

1914: During the Mexican Revolution, Pancho Villa captured Zacatecas from Victoriano Huerta.

1940: Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) made a victory visit to Paris after his invasion armies conquered France to bring about "regime change" for the French people.

1967: Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical Sacerdotalis Caelibatus, reaffirming the Church of Rome's law on celibacy (listen also to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy).

1972: During the Watergate criminal investigation, U.S. President Richard Nixon and White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman were recorded (by Nixon's own Oval Office recording system) discussing how to use the CIA to obstruct the FBI investigation of the White House.

1985: 329 people died when Air India flight 182, a Boeing 747, was brought down by an on-board bomb off the Irish coast.



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