Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: 2 Kings
Book: 2 Kings
Chapter: 18

Good reign of Hezekiah in Judah, Idolatry. (1-8) Sennacherib
invades Judah. (9-16) Rabshakeh's blasphemies. (17-37)

1-8 Hezekiah was a true son of David. Some others did that
which was right, but not like David. Let us not suppose that
when times and men are bad, they must needs grow worse and
worse; that does not follow: after many bad Kings, God raised
one up like David himself. The brazen Serpent had been carefully
preserved, as a memorial of God's Goodness to their fathers in
the Wilderness; but it was idle and wicked to burn Incense to
it. All Helps to devotion, not warranted By the Word of God,
interrupt the Exercise of Faith; they always lead to
superstition and other dangerous evils. Human nature perverts
every thing of this kind. True Faith needs not such aids; the
Word of God, daily thought upon and prayed over, is all the
outward help we need.

9-16 The descent Sennacherib made upon Judah, was a great
calamity to that kingdom, By which God would try the Faith of
Hezekiah, and chastise the people. The secret dislike, the
hypocrisy, and lukewarmness of Numbers, require correction; such
trials purify the Faith and Hope of the upright, and bring them
to simple dependence On God.

17-37 Rabshakeh tries to convince the Jews, that it was to No
purpose for them to stand it out. What confidence is this
wherein thou trustest? It were Well if sinners would submit to
the force of this argument, in seeking peace with God. It is,
therefore, our Wisdom to yield to him, because it is in vain to
contend with him: what confidence is that which those trust in
who stand out against him? A great Deal of art there is in this
speech of Rabshakeh; but a great Deal of pride, malice,
falsehood, and Blasphemy. Hezekiah's nobles held their peace.
There is a time to keep silence, as Well as a time to speak; and
there are those to whom to offer any thing religious or
rational, is to cast pearls before Swine. Their silence made
Rabshakeh yet more proud and secure. It is often best to leave
such persons to rail and blaspheme; a decided expression of
abhorrence is the best Testimony against them. The matter must
be left to the Lord, who has all hearts in his hands, committing
ourselves unto him in humble submission, believing Hope, and
fervent Prayer.