What confidence is this - הזה הבטחן מה ma habbittachon hazzeh . The words are excessively insulting: What little, foolish, or unavailing cause of confidence is it, to which thou trustest? I translate thus, because I consider the word בטחון bittachon as a diminutive, intended to express the utmost contempt for Hezekiah's God.
The Rab-shakeh, the third in rank of the three Assyrian ambassadors, probably took the prominent part in the conference because he could speak Hebrew 2 Kings 18:26, whereas the Tartan and the Rabsaris could not do so.
The great king - This title of the monarchs of Assyria is found in use as early as 1120 B.C. Like the title, “king of kings,” the distinctive epithet “great” served to mark emphatically the vast difference between the numerous vassal monarchs and the suzerain of whom they held their crowns.
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 »