Called to the king - They wished him to come out that they might get possession of his person.
Eliakim - over the household - What we would call lord chamberlain.
Shebna the scribe - The king's secretary.
Joah - the recorder - The writer of the public annals.
When they had called to the king - The ambassadors summoned Hezekiah, as if their rank were equal to his. Careful of his dignity, he responds by sending officers of his court.
Eliakim which was over the household - Eliakim had been promoted to fill the place of Shebna Isaiah 22:20-22. He was a man of very high character. The comptroller of the household, whose position 1 Kings 4:6 must have been a subordinate one in the time of Solomon, appears to have now become the chief minister of the crown. On the “scribe” or secretary, and the “recorder,” see the 1 Kings 4:3 note.
The long-expected crisis finally came. The forces of Assyria, advancing from triumph to triumph, appeared in Judea. Confident of victory, the leaders divided their forces into two armies, one of which was to meet the Egyptian army to the southward, while the other was to besiege Jerusalem. PK 352.1
Judah's only hope was now in God. All possible help from Egypt had been cut off, and no other nations were near to lend a friendly hand. PK 352.2
The Assyrian officers, sure of the strength of their disciplined forces, arranged for a conference with the chief men of Judah, during which they insolently demanded the surrender of the city. This demand was accompanied by blasphemous revilings against the God of the Hebrews. Because of the weakness and apostasy of Israel and Judah, the name of God was no longer feared among the nations, but had become a subject for continual reproach. See Isaiah 52:5. PK 352.3Read in context »