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2 Kings 18:28-35

Context

18:28 The chief adviser then stood there and called out loudly in the Judahite dialect, 1  “Listen to the message of the great king, the king of Assyria. 18:29 This is what the king says: ‘Don’t let Hezekiah mislead you, for he is not able to rescue you from my hand! 2  18:30 Don’t let Hezekiah talk you into trusting in the Lord when he says, “The Lord will certainly rescue us; this city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.” 18:31 Don’t listen to Hezekiah!’ For this is what the king of Assyria says, ‘Send me a token of your submission and surrender to me. 3  Then each of you may eat from his own vine and fig tree and drink water from his own cistern, 18:32 until I come and take you to a land just like your own – a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Then you will live and not die. Don’t listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, “The Lord will rescue us.” 18:33 Have any of the gods of the nations actually rescued his land from the power of the king of Assyria? 4  18:34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? 5  Indeed, did any gods rescue Samaria 6  from my power? 7  18:35 Who among all the gods of the lands has rescued their lands from my power? So how can the Lord rescue Jerusalem from my power?’” 8 

1 tn The Hebrew text also has, “and he spoke and said.”

2 tc The MT has “his hand,” but this is due to graphic confusion of vav (ו) and yod (י). The translation reads “my hand,” along with many medieval Hebrew mss, the LXX, Syriac Peshitta, Targum, and Vulgate.

3 tn Heb “make with me a blessing and come out to me.”

4 tn Heb “Have the gods of the nations really rescued, each his land, from the hand of the king of Assyria?” The infinitive absolute lends emphasis to the main verb. The rhetorical question expects the answer, “Of course not!”

5 tn The parallel passage in Isa 36:19 omits “Hena and Ivvah.” The rhetorical questions in v. 34a suggest the answer, “Nowhere, they seem to have disappeared in the face of Assyria’s might.”

6 map For location see Map2 B1; Map4 D3; Map5 E2; Map6 A4; Map7 C1.

7 tn Heb “that they rescued Samaria from my hand?” But this gives the impression that the gods of Sepharvaim were responsible for protecting Samaria, which is obviously not the case. The implied subject of the plural verb “rescued” must be the generic “gods of the nations/lands” (vv. 33, 35).

8 tn Heb “that the Lord might rescue Jerusalem from my hand?” The logic runs as follows: Since no god has ever been able to withstand the Assyrian onslaught, how can the people of Jerusalem possibly think the Lord will rescue them?



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