“I know your rising up.
I know your sitting down.
I know your going out.
I know your coming in.
I know your raging against me.
Because you have raged against me,
Your arrogance has come to my ears.
I will put my hook in your nose.
I will put my bit in your mouth.
I will turn you back on the way
By which you came.”
Once again, this is almost word for word from 2 Kings, chapter 19. Yahweh knew about the Assyrian king’s comings and goings, as well as his rising and falling. He also had heard about his rage and rant against him. Yahweh was going to put a hook on his nose and a bit in his mouth like a horse. King Sennacherib was going to go back the same way that he came.
“Rabshakeh returned to his king.
He found the king of Assyria
Fighting against Libnah.
He had heard
That the king had left Lachish.
Now the king of Assyria heard
Concerning King Tirhakah of Ethiopia.
‘He has set out to fight against you.’”
Once again, this is almost word for word from 2 Kings, chapter 19. Rabshakeh wanted to return to his king to let him know what was happening in Jerusalem. However, the king of Assyria had left Lachish to fight against the town of Libnah since Lachish and Libnah were about 10 miles apart in the Judah territory, about 25 miles west of Jerusalem. The Assyrian king also got word that the Ethiopian King Tirhakah was setting out to fight against him. This King Tirhakah is sometimes known as Taharqa. As a young 20 year old general, he fought with King Sennacherib in Palestine. He then served as king of Egypt and Ethiopia from 690-664 BCE. So he would not have been king when this occurred about 10-15 years earlier. Nevertheless, there was a constant war between these two great Mideast powers, Egypt and Assyria.
“In the year
That the commander in chief,
Who was sent
By King Sargon of Assyria,
Came to Ashdod,
He took it.”
Isaiah attempts to put this episode into a specific historical event, perhaps 711 BCE. The Assyrian King Sargon II (722-705 BCE) sent his commander in chief on a successful attack to take the city of Ashdod, a Philistine city along the Mediterranean seacoast that had sought the protection of Egypt. This city had revolted against the Assyrian rulers at the instigation of the Egyptians.