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What does it mean "the arm of flesh" and why will it fail (2 Chronicles 32:8)?

NIV
With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people gained confidence from what Hezekiah the king of Judah said.

2 Chronicles 32:8

KJV - 8 With 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.

Clarify Share Report Asked April 22 2023 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
The "arm of flesh" refers to all that can be accomplished or threatened by strictly human effort, apart from God. Hezekiah was telling the Israelites that, as ominous as such threats might appear (in this case involving Sennacherib the king of Assyria and his armies), God's supernatural presence and assistance among the Israelites would lead to the defeat of the Assyrians. And, as indicated in 2 Chronicles 32:21, God did so by sending an angel who annihilated the Assyrians in their camp, before they had even met the Israelites in battle, which led to the Assyrians' withdrawal.

April 30 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
I like how another translations puts it: (CJB)
"he has human strength, but we have Adonai our God to help us and fight our battles!” The people took heart at the words of Hizkiyahu king of Y’hudah."

But especially, I like how this Bible translation puts it: OJB -- Orthodox Jewish Bible:

"With him is zero’a basar, but with us is Hashem Eloheinu to help us, and to fight milchamoteinu (our battles). And HaAm took heart upon the words of Chizkiyahu Melech Yehudah."

To me "the arm of flesh" amounts to zero help. The foe is just a man. We have God on our side! Human help versus divine aid. God will win every time. Maybe not in the way we think that He should win, but He will win in His own way and in His own time. Wait for it.

April 30 2023 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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