Class Notes: 10/7/2020
Jonah, Nineveh, and Nemesis part 8
2Chron 7:13-14; "If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people,
14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Jer 17:5; Thus says the Lord, "Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the Lord.
Isaiah 40:28-31; Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.
29 He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks strength He increases power.
30 Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly,
31 Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
We are presently in a study of Jonah, Nineveh and Nemesis and now Israel Judah Assyria and Nemesis where we see God's policy of grace before judgment. God always provides the opportunity for repentance before he executes judgment.
Some principles we can derive from of our brief study of Jonah, Nineveh, Israel, Judah, Assyria and Nemesis is that anyone can repent, because God extends His mercy even to the merciless and help to the helpless but judgment is always waiting in the wings because ultimately the truth wins because God is truth and He cannot deny himself. 2Cor 13:8; John 17:17; 2Tim 2:13;
Last time we were noting the Rabshakeh scoffing at Hezekiah's attempt to gain an advantage by trusting in Egypt or the Lord God. He was attempting to create division between doctrinal believers who believed and trusted in the Lord God and the reversionists who believed in Baal and trusted in people. This is the same division that we have in our country today.
He goes on to employ sarcasm by making a fake proposal to Hezekiah's delegation. Isaiah 36:8 "Now therefore, come, make a deal with my master the king of Assyria. I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able to find enough riders on them.
v 9 - "Certainly you will not refuse one of the least of my cavalry division commanders? Or have you placed your confidence in Egypt for chariots and horsemen?" Net note 8
What this tells us is that most well-supported and well-trained armies of the eighth century BC possessed corps of charioteers and cavalry, Judah under Hezekiah had neither. The Rabshakeh knew this and he taunted Hezekiah's delegation about it.
Rabshakeh proposes a wager to Eliakim: I will give you 2,000 horses if you can provide the riders. The people of Judah and Jerusalem are seated on the wall listening to this exchange. They know they have no one in their army who is trained to ride chariots or horses.
Rabshakeh has used sarcasm to discredit the military of Judah. The definition of this rhetorical device adds insight into its use as a form of propaganda.
Sarkazo, ( sarx: flesh) tear the flesh like dogs The Greek word sarx is translated into the English as "flesh." The word sarkazo refers to the tearing of the flesh, such as in an attack of wild dogs or wolves.
Figuratively, the Rabshakeh uses sarcasm as a verbal attack on the leadership of Judah in order to discredit them in the minds of the people who are listening in from the walls of Jerusalem.
Sarcasm. Is a reproachful expression; a satirical remark or expression, uttered with some degree of scorn or contempt; a taunt; a gibe. It is an expression of reproach spoken so that the person addressed is insulted.
Rabshakeh taunts Hezekiah's delegation for Judah's lack of a cavalry and in doing so makes it obvious to the citizens that their army does not have the ability to defeat the Assyrian army.
Rabshakeh mocks Hezekiah by suggesting a deal with Sennacherib. The Rabshakeh gives the apodosis or main clause first: "I will give you two thousand horses." The delegation may have hurriedly assumed that some kind of arrangement might be possible instead of armed conflict.
But then Rabshakeh then hits them with the protasis or subordinate clause, "... if you are able to put riders on them."
The Assyrian implies that Hezekiah has riders that he knows he does not possess but the proposal he makes sarcastically asserts that he does have riders. This is a sarcastic way of stating the obvious in verse 9, "How can you refuse one of the least of my cavalry commanders?"
Rabshakeh then drives the insult home by asking them if instead they intend to rely on the defeated Egyptian army that is in full retreat back to Egypt?
With the use of the conditional sentence the truth of Judah's dire circumstances are revealed. This is sarcasm with satire because it exposes to the delegation and the people on the wall Judah's failure in not having its own cavalry and secondly their ill-advised dependence on Egypt, and finally the reality that Assyria has the best cavalry in the Middle East, and it is mounted and ready to ride from Lachish to attack Jerusalem.
Sarcasm is a form of wit intended to taunt and verbally wound, or subject another to ridicule or contempt. Irony is often employed to mockingly reveal the discrepancies between reality, with its shortcomings, and a more desirable state.
We see from this that the Rabshakeh has a sense of humor. He didn't use sarcasm to reflect bitterness but to display generosity on the part of the king of Assyria. His sarcasm offered 2,000 horses but only if Judah could provide the manpower to use them.
His proposal mocks Hezekiah because it reveals a very sharp distinction between the military preparedness in Assyria and Judah. The reality is that Judah is unprepared and Rabshakeh suggesting that if Judah had two thousand riders, he'd give them 2,000 horses makes this obvious.
What he said implies that Judah could defend herself if she just had horses. What he meant was that Judah couldn't defend herself against even one of Sennacherib's junior officers even if horses were available.
The Jewish people were fully aware of the Assyrian army's reputation. It was well trained, well armed, and vicious. Assyria had the best chariot and cavalry corps in the region. They had defeated the Egyptians whose chariot corps they had hired for protection and Judah had no cavalry or horses nor riders to put upon them even if they did.
Rabshakeh attempts to discredit the leadership of Judah and its military in the minds of the people using sarcasm he tells the people that they are in an impossible situation and their only option for escape is capitulation and surrender.
Isaiah 36:10; NET Furthermore it was by the command of the Lord that I marched up against this land to destroy it. The Lord told me, 'March up against this land and destroy it!'"'" Net note 9
Rabshakeh now moves from sarcasm to lying. The Lord has not said anything to the heathen Rabshakeh. Assyria has not been directly instructed to attack Israel through any divine communications to Sennacherib or the Rabshakeh.
Rabshakeh uses the lies of power politics to instill fear into the people who are listening from the wall. Rabshakeh asserts that the people cannot depend on God for protection since Hezekiah had insulted Him by tearing down His sacred altars throughout Judah.
He falsely claims that the God of Israel is not only on the side of Assyria but that God Himself has been instructed them to invade Judah. He is an unbeliever so he could not know or understand the doctrines that enable the believer to evaluate the directive will of God
The leftist media in our country is using these same tactics to try to overthrow establishment and dishearten those with Divine establishment viewpoint who support our president when they report fake poll numbers and other disparaging lies about our president.
God's permissive will has allowed the Assyrian army to invade client nation Judah just as it had allowed it to do so into the Northern Kingdom under Shalmaneser V and Sargon II in 721 B.C.
Idolatry had become so prevalent in Israel that the Lord permitted the cycles of discipline to run their course and remove the Northern Kingdom from history.
Southern Kingdom was headed down this same path when Sennacherib decided upon his campaign through the Levant while Hezekiah was in reversionism and about to die the sin unto death.
Had Hezekiah not rebounded in all probability, Judah would have suffered the fifth cycle when the Assyrian army arrived at Jerusalem. This is what Rabshakeh assumes is about to occur but he was unaware of Hezekiah and Judah's repentance.
He was under the impression that the gods of the Assyrian pantheon have sanctioned the campaign he assumed that since they had defeated everyone in their path that the God of Israel must also approve of it.
A stopped 12-hour clock accidentally reads out the proper time twice a day but it cannot keep time. The Rabshakeh's human viewpoint assumption was a good guess but he had no way of accurately comprehending the impact of the power of rebound and revival in Judah.
When Hezekiah recovered his spiritual life through rebound he led the nation into a national revival and went into action by fortifying Jerusalem and inspiring the people.
We noted this the same kind of revival that had occurred under Jonah's ministry in Nineveh 120 years earlier with the result that Assyria was spared. Jonah 3:8-10;
Since the faith-rest drill had been restored as the spiritual life of client nation Judah Rabshakeh's analysis was incorrect so he is using lies and fake news to try to terrorize both the leadership and the people with the assertion that the Lord had personally informed him that the Assyrian army would be victorious over Judah.
The leftist media and too many of the politicians in our country do not understand the impact of the 2016 election and like the Rabshakeh they are lying to voters in our country because they have no clue that their time is over for now.
Isaiah's prophecy had warned the people that the Assyrians would attack but this prophecy did not reveal the outcome.
God through omniscience knew the eventual outcome but permitted the attack to occur. It served as a Wake-Up Call for client nation Judah and Hezekiah and the people responded positively. His delegation sent from the palace to meet Rabshakeh will prove to be another story.
Rabshakeh had violated the Third Commandment: "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain" (Exodus 20:7;) in the assertion of his fake news propaganda.
Rabshakeh's purposeful uses of the name of the Lord for purely propaganda purposes in order to terrify a population he assumes had by now developed a guilt complex and thus become susceptible to the suggestion that they were deserving of divine punishment.
In the same way, the leftist fake news lying media in our country is also taking God's name in vain when they use God's name to make their fake news propaganda accusations against our president who believes in and is trying to restore the Divine establishment principles of our founding documents into the policies of our government.
God had actually promised Hezekiah that He would deliver Judah from the Assyrians and Hezekiah had not only believed Him but successfully motivated the people to rebound and resume their spiritual lives. Isa 38:5-6;
Rabshakeh sought to override Hezekiah's influence by asserting that the God of Israel personally sponsored the Assyrian invasion and defeat of Judah. His fake news to the people of Judah is, " It is God's will for you to surrender."
He is attempting to deceive the people by systematically removing all objects of faith and confidence from the people. He falsely invokes the name of God in an attempt to validate his assertions and to justify his actions.
The leftist media is spouting these same kinds of lies to the voters of the USA.
Isaiah 36:11; Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, "Speak now to your servants in the Aramaic language because we are the ones listening to you, and do not speak to us in the Hebrew language, in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.
When a government is ruled by weak and fearful people they do not want their constituency to know what's actually going on. Hezekiah's cabinet was fearful because of their lack of doctrinal viewpoint. They did not have confidence in Hezekiah or believe the prophecy that God had given to Isaiah.
These three were fearful. They thought their only hope was that the people would remain loyal to Hezekiah for the moment so they could buy enough time to figure out what to do to save themselves. In our country these three correspond to the deep state and the never Trumpers.
The motivation for almost all political discourse is to keep the politicians in office. The greater majority of all statements made to and by the press are written by hired writers whose job is to determine the way the political wind is blowing and then enable their bosses to gain momentum by riding the waves of popular opinion.
Until our president came along almost no politician, Republican or Democrat, has had the courage to stand against the fake news media, the anti establishment deep state, the corporatist internationalists, the environmentalist liars and the perverse anti establishment abortion lobby.
Hezekiah's delegation does not want the people to hear any more of Rabshakeh's threats, innuendos, and assertions so they request that he stop speaking Hebrew and converse with them in Aramaic so that the citizens listening from the wall can't understand what is being said.
This shows us that Rabshakeh was fluent in several languages including Hebrew and Aramaic.
We have seen that the Assyrians were highly educated and maintained one of the ancient world's largest libraries that was discovered in 1850 by English archaeologist Sir Austen Henry Layard. The details of his discovery enable us to appreciate Assyria's broad interest in literature, history, philology, language, and education in general.
The development of Mesopotamia's languages of literature and speech had their beginnings in Sumer and flourished during the Third Dynasty of Ur where Abram whose name was changed to Abraham after he moved to Canaan grew up.
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