Dave Burnette's Commentary

2 Chronicles Chapter 32

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Ezra
Date Penned: (430 BC)
Overview: A History of God's Chosen People (c 1-36)
Theme: The Kingdom of Judah (c 10-36)
Message: Assyria Invades Judah (1-33)

2 Chronicles 32 Commentary 

(32:1-8) Hezekiah Faces An Assyrian Invasion - When Hezekiah was confronted with the frightening prospect of an Assyrian invasion, he made two important decisions: (1) He did everything he could to deal with the situation, and (2) he trusted God for the outcome. That is exactly what we must do when faced with overwhelming or frightening circumstances. Take all the steps you possibly can to solve the problem or improve the situation. But also commit what happens to God in prayer, trusting him for the solution.

(32:1) A Huge Enemy - Assyria was a great empire by Hezekiah's time, controlling most of the ancient Middle East. From a small strip of land located in present-day Iran and Irag, it began to establish its power under Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 BC) and his son Shalmaneser II (859-824). Under Pul (Tiglath-Pileser III; 745-727), Assyria's boundaries extended to the borders of Israel, making it one of the largest empires in ancient history. Shalmaneser V and Sargon II destroyed the northern kingdom in 722, and Sennacherib (705-681) tried to bring Judah, the southern kingdom, under his control. Less than a century later, Assyria would lie in ruins (612).

(32:2) The Tribute - Sennacherib wanted to conquer these cities so he could force them to pay tribute. Forcing captured cities to pay tribute was : for kings to build their income base. Often Assyria would require an oath of allegiance from a country, including the promise to pay taxes in the form of livestock, wine, battle equipment (horses, chariots, weapons), gold, silver, and anything else that pleased the invading king. Tribute was more important to Assyria than captives were because captives cost money. Thus, captives would be taken only in cases of extreme rebellion or to repopulate cities elsewhere that had been destroved.

(32:3-4) The Water Source - Cities had to be built near reliable water sources. Natural springs were some of Jerusalem's major sources of water. In a brilliant military move, Hezekiah plugged the springs outside the city and channeled the water into the city through an underground tunnel (32:30); that way, Jerusalem would have water even through long sieges. Hezekiah's tunnel has been discovered, along with an inscription describing how it was built; two groups of workers started digging underground, one in Jerusalem and one at the Gihon Spring, and they met in the middle.

(32:7-8) Hezekiah Faith - Hezekiah could see with eyes of faith. The number of his opponents meant nothing as long as he was on the Lord's side. Victory is "not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts" (Zechariah 4:6). Hezekiah could confidently encourage his men because he had no doubt about where he stood with God. Are you on the Lord's side? You may never face an enemy army, but the battles you face every day can be won with God's strength.

(32:31) The Rise Of Babylon - Babylon was slowly and quietly rising to become a world power. At the same time, the Assyrian Empire was slowly declining due to internal strife and a succession of weak kings. When Assyria was finally crushed in 612 BC, Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar moved into its place of prominence. (For more information on Babylon, see the note on 2 Kings 20:14.)

(32:31) God Test Hezekiah - A test can bring out a person's true character. God tested Hezekiah to see what he was really like and to show him his own shortcomings and the attitude of his heart. God did not totally abandon Hezekiah, nor did he tempt him to sin or trick him. The test was meant to strengthen Hezekiah, remind him of his purpose, develop his character, and prepare him for the tasks ahead. In times of success, most of us can live good lives. But testing from pressure, trouble, heartache, or painful situations will quickly peel away our thin veneer of goodness unless our strength comes from God. What are you like under pressure or when everything is going wrong? Do you

give in or turn to God? Those who are consistently in touch with God don't have to worry about what pressure may reveal about them.

(32:31) God Withdrawals From Hezekiah   - Why did God withdraw from Hezekiah? After Hezekiah was healed of his sickness, he developed excessive pride. When envoys came to inquire about his miraculous healing, God stepped back and watched to see how Hezekiah would respond. Unfortunately, Hezekiah's actions revealed his runaway pride. He pointed to his own accomplishments rather than to God (see 2 Kings 20:12-19). Pride is any attitude that elevates our effort or abilities above God's, or treats with disdain his work in us. It causes us to congratulate ourselves for our successes and to look down on other people. God does not object to self-confidence, healthy self-esteem, or good feelings about our accomplishments. He objects to the foolish attitude of taking credit for what he has done or setting ourselves up as superior to others.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Experiencing Joy

 Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of 2 Chronicles with Chapter 32 and we see Assyria invading Judah and how Hezekiah handled the battle, his trials, his mistakes, and his death. Hezekiah was a great man of God but he made his mistakes. His faith is noted which provided great victories along with his pride that caused a distance in his relationship with God. In making application we see that after we are saved we make decisions that draw us close to God and if we sin we experience the distance that Hezekiah experienced. Obedience draws us close while sin distances us from the Holy Spirit even though He lives in our Heart. Many have shared with me how their sin has robbed them of their Joy but is restored with a repentant heart. Many things in this world are our of our control but we can control our decision to obey the Lord. How about you? Have you experienced the distance from God that Hezekiah did? Let us learn from our text today and the example Hezekiah left us to remember that our Joy comes from obedience to our Lord.


2 Chronicles 32

2 Chronicles 32

 1After these things, and the establishment thereof, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fenced cities, and thought to win them for himself.

 2And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem,

 3He took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city: and they did help him.

 4So there was gathered much people together, who stopped all the fountains, and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?

 5Also he strengthened himself, and built up all the wall that was broken, and raised it up to the towers, and another wall without, and repaired Millo in the city of David, and made darts and shields in abundance.

 6And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the street of the gate of the city, and spake comfortably to them, saying,

 7Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him:

 8With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

 9After this did Sennacherib king of Assyria send his servants to Jerusalem, (but he himself laid siege against Lachish, and all his power with him,) unto Hezekiah king of Judah, and unto all Judah that were at Jerusalem, saying,

 10Thus saith Sennacherib king of Assyria, Whereon do ye trust, that ye abide in the siege in Jerusalem?

 11Doth not Hezekiah persuade you to give over yourselves to die by famine and by thirst, saying, The LORD our God shall deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria?

 12Hath not the same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall worship before one altar, and burn incense upon it?

 13Know ye not what I and my fathers have done unto all the people of other lands? were the gods of the nations of those lands any ways able to deliver their lands out of mine hand?

 14Who was there among all the gods of those nations that my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of mine hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of mine hand?

 15Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you on this manner, neither yet believe him: for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of mine hand, and out of the hand of my fathers: how much less shall your God deliver you out of mine hand?

 16And his servants spake yet more against the LORD God, and against his servant Hezekiah.

 17He wrote also letters to rail on the LORD God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, As the gods of the nations of other lands have not delivered their people out of mine hand, so shall not the God of Hezekiah deliver his people out of mine hand.

 18Then they cried with a loud voice in the Jews' speech unto the people of Jerusalem that were on the wall, to affright them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city.

 19And they spake against the God of Jerusalem, as against the gods of the people of the earth, which were the work of the hands of man.

 20And for this cause Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven.

 21And the LORD sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword.

 22Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all other, and guided them on every side.

 23And many brought gifts unto the LORD to Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah: so that he was magnified in the sight of all nations from thenceforth.

 24In those days Hezekiah was sick to the death, and prayed unto the LORD: and he spake unto him, and he gave him a sign.

 25But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem.

 26Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.

 27And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honour: and he made himself treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of pleasant jewels;

 28Storehouses also for the increase of corn, and wine, and oil; and stalls for all manner of beasts, and cotes for flocks.

 29Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance: for God had given him substance very much.

 30This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper watercourse of Gihon, and brought it straight down to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works.

 31Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.

 32Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his goodness, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.

 33And Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the chiefest of the sepulchres of the sons of David: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honour at his death. And Manasseh his son reigned in his stead.