2 Chronicles 32 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of 2 Chronicles 32)

Verse 1

[1] After 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.

After, … — An emphatical preface, signifying, that notwithstanding all his zeal for God, God saw fit to exercise him with a sore trial. And God ordered it at this time, that he might have an opportunity of shewing himself strong, on the behalf of his returning people. It is possible, we may be in the way of our duty, and yet meet with trouble and danger. God permits this, for the trial of our confidence in him, and the manifestation of his care over us.

Verse 3

[3] He 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.

To stop — And withal to draw the waters by secret pipes underground to Jerusalem.

Verse 21

[21] And 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.

The Lord sent an angel — The Jewish comment says the word of the Lord sent Gabriel to do this execution, and that it done with lightning, and in the passover night, the same night wherein the first-born in Egypt were slain.

Verse 25

[25] But 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.

Lifted up — For that prodigious victory over the Assyrians, for his miraculous restoration from sickness, and for the honour since done him by an embassy from the great king of Babylon. All which probably raised in him too great an opinion of himself, as if these things were done for his piety and virtues.

Verse 29

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

Provided — He repaired, fortified, and beautified them for the honour and safety of his kingdom.

Verse 30

[30] This 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.

Stopped, … — A rivulet near Jerusalem consisting of two streams, the upper which was brought into one pool, called the upper pool, Isaiah 7:3, and the lower which was brought into another, called the lower pool, Isaiah 22:9. The former he diverted and brought by pipes into Jerusalem, which was a work of great art and labour.

Verse 31

[31] Howbeit 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.

Wonder that was done — Either the destruction of the Assyrians, or the going back of the sun. These miracles were wrought to alarm and awaken a stupid, careless world, and to turn them from dumb and lame idols to the living God.

God left him — To himself, and suffered Satan to try him; that he might know he had infirmities and sins as well as virtues. O what need have great men, and good men, and useful men, to study their own follies and infirmities, and to beg earnestly of God, that he would hide pride from them!

Verse 33

[33] And 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.

Did him honour — It is a debt we owe to those who have been eminently useful, to do them honour at their death, when they are out of the reach of flattery, and we have seen the end of their conversation.