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2 Kings 19:21-28

Context
19:21 This is what the Lord says about him: 1 

“The virgin daughter Zion 2 

despises you, she makes fun of you;

Daughter Jerusalem

shakes her head after you. 3 

19:22 Whom have you taunted and hurled insults at?

At whom have you shouted, 4 

and looked so arrogantly? 5 

At the Holy One of Israel! 6 

19:23 Through your messengers you taunted the sovereign master, 7 

‘With my many chariots 8 

I climbed up the high mountains,

the slopes of Lebanon.

I cut down its tall cedars,

and its best evergreens.

I invaded its most remote regions, 9 

its thickest woods.

19:24 I dug wells and drank

water in foreign lands. 10 

With the soles of my feet I dried up

all the rivers of Egypt.’

19:25 11 Certainly you must have heard! 12 

Long ago I worked it out,

In ancient times I planned 13  it;

and now I am bringing it to pass.

The plan is this:

Fortified cities will crash

into heaps of ruins. 14 

19:26 Their residents are powerless, 15 

they are terrified and ashamed.

They are as short-lived as plants in the field,

or green vegetation. 16 

They are as short-lived as grass on the rooftops 17 

when it is scorched by the east wind. 18 

19:27 I know where you live,

and everything you do. 19 

19:28 Because you rage against me,

and the uproar you create has reached my ears; 20 

I will put my hook in your nose, 21 

and my bridle between your lips,

and I will lead you back the way

you came.”

1 tn Heb “this is the word which the Lord has spoken about him.”

2 sn Zion (Jerusalem) is pictured here as a young, vulnerable daughter whose purity is being threatened by the would-be Assyrian rapist. The personification hints at the reality which the young girls of the city would face if the Assyrians conquer it.

3 sn Shaking the head was a mocking gesture of derision.

4 tn Heb “have you raised a voice.”

5 tn Heb “and lifted your eyes on high?”

6 sn This divine title pictures the Lord as the sovereign king who rules over his covenant people and exercises moral authority over them.

7 tn The word is אֲדֹנָי (’adonai), “lord,” but some Hebrew mss have יְהוָה (yehvah), “Lord.”

8 tc The consonantal text (Kethib) has בְּרֶכֶב (bÿrekhev), but this must be dittographic (note the following רִכְבִּי [rikhbi], “my chariots”). The marginal reading (Qere) בְּרֹב (bÿrov), “with many,” is supported by many Hebrew mss and ancient versions, as well as the parallel passage in Isa 37:24.

9 tn Heb “the lodging place of its extremity.”

10 tn Heb “I dug and drank foreign waters.”

11 tn Having quoted the Assyrian king’s arrogant words in vv. 23-24, the Lord now speaks to the king.

12 tn Heb “Have you not heard?” The rhetorical question expresses the Lord’s amazement that anyone might be ignorant of what he is about to say.

13 tn Heb “formed.”

14 tn Heb “and it is to cause to crash into heaps of ruins fortified cities.” The subject of the third feminine singular verb תְּהִי (tÿhi) is the implied plan, referred to in the preceding lines with third feminine singular pronominal suffixes.

15 tn Heb “short of hand.”

16 tn Heb “they are plants in the field and green vegetation.” The metaphor emphasizes how short-lived these seemingly powerful cities really were. See Ps 90:5-6; Isa 40:6-8, 24.

17 tn Heb “[they are] grass on the rooftops.” See the preceding note.

18 tc The Hebrew text has “scorched before the standing grain” (perhaps meaning “before it reaches maturity”), but it is preferable to emend קָמָה (qamah), “standing grain,” to קָדִים (qadim), “east wind” (with the support of 1Q Isaa in Isa 37:27).

19 tc Heb “your going out and your coming in.” The MT also has here, “and how you have raged against me.” However, this line is probably dittographic (note the beginning of the next line).

20 tc Heb “and your complacency comes up into my ears.” The parallelism is improved if שַׁאֲנַנְךְ (shaanankh), “your complacency,” is emended to שַׁאֲוַנְךְ (shaavankh), “your uproar.” See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 237-38.

21 sn The word picture has a parallel in Assyrian sculpture. See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 238.



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