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2 Chronicles 28:3 . Burnt his children. In 2 Kings 16:3, it is said he made his son “pass through the fire.” The Hebrew term has a double meaning. Sometimes it implies the burning of children in the arms of Moloch till they were consumed, and so it is explained in Ezekiel 16:20-21. Others made their children pass between two fires, to dedicate them to Moloch. Hence it appears that Ahaz burnt one of his sons, and dedicated all the others by making them pass between the fires. The Talmud has legendary tales here, little worthy of credit.
2 Chronicles 28:5 . They smote him. This was an expedition about three years after that mentioned in 2 Kings 16:5; for Ahaz then escaped.
2 Chronicles 28:19 . Ahaz king of Israel. The kings of Judah sometimes continued the title of king of Israel, because of the Lord’s covenant with David, and because many of the ten tribes still adhered to the house of David.
2 Chronicles 28:22 . This … king Ahaz. The silence of Ezra leaves the reader to fill up the dark shades of the portrait.
2 Chronicles 28:23 . He sacrificed to the gods of Damascus, which smote him, as he said, and on the same superstitious principle as Amaziah had sacrificed to the gods of Seir, and as Scipio had done before Carthage. See 2 Chronicles 25:14.
2 Chronicles 28:24 . Shut up the doors of the house of the Lord. Ahaz had no law for doing this: no king had ever done it before. The priests had lost all soul, and the nation all hope, under a doting monarch mad with superstition. To strip and desecrate the temple of the Lord, was the consummation of folly and of crime.
2 Chronicles 28:27 . Ahaz slept they buried him in the city. The French wrote on the equestrian statue of Louis xvth, statua statuæ, the statue of a statue. Another wrote
Voyez notre Roi comme il est à Versailles, Sans vertu, sans loi, sans entrailles.
Ahaz, corrupted no doubt by some unhappy means, began his reign by apostasy. He was so superstitious as to worship almost every idol known in his country, and in the neighbouring nations. He was the first of bad kings who introduced human sacrifices into Judah, and burnt his son to Moloch, after the manner of the seven nations whom the Lord had expelled before his people. Thus by forsaking the Lord, he cast off the defence and protection of his people; and it is highly probable that Urijah the highpriest contributed not a little to his ruin.
After notorious crimes and grievous wickedness, punishment soon follows. Ahaz had not much time to rejoice in the fire he had kindled, nor to exult in his liberty, after throwing off the yoke of the Lord. Rezin king of Syria gave him a defeat, took Eloth the key to the Indian trade, and carried away a multitude of his people into captivity. Pekah, son of Ramaliah, slew of the best troops of Judah one hundred and twenty thousand in one day, among whom were the kings son, and two of the king’s ministers or generals. And had it not been for the persuasive sermon of Oded the prophet, by which he moved the princes of Israel to restore the two hundred thousand captives, Judah had now received a fatal blow. The people had scarcely breathed from these disasters, before Philistia in the west, and Edom in the south, inflicted additional wounds on an apostate people. This is the fruit of leaving God; this is changing masters, and changing religion. Calamities so signal, and visitations so many, must have been sent by a supernatural hand. Yes, the God who gave his people, during the two preseding reigns, every blessing of the covenant, now in this time of apostasy, caused them to inherit all its curses.
Ahaz, mortified and oppressed on every hand, and what is worse, hardened to restless revenge, sent to Tilgath-pilneser king of Nineveh, who was then rising to great power: and when this prince had extended his victorious arms to Damascus, Ahaz went thither to congratulate him on his conquests, and invite him to Jerusalem. The king of Nineveh took all his presents, and marched to Jerusalem, which very much oppressed Judah with expenses, while it afforded them no real help. So it is with men that trust in an arm of flesh, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.
Ahaz, now in bondage to his idols, and tributary to Nineveh; (for the seat of government was not transferred from Nineveh to Babylon till the latter part of Hezekiah’s reign) Ahaz corrupted by every crime, instead of seeking divine aid, as other men do in their afflictions, “trespassed yet more against the Lord.” He worshipped all the gods of Nineveh, he filled Jerusalem and the high places of Judah with altars, and shut the doors of the Lord’s house. The mania seemed to take fast hold of his soul, to put his country under the protection of the idols of the heathen, to renounce the God of his fathers, and to dare his vengeance. By consequence, if superstition could have saved him, he would have been a happy man. But on the contrary, he was afflicted with a multitude of calamities, and appears to have been wholly abandoned of the Lord to a reprobate mind; for if there be a spark of grace unextinguished in the heart, the blasts of affliction will kindle it to a flame.
This prince is branded in the sacred volume with a name of infamy. “This is that king Ahaz,” who never discovered a single virtue worthy of record, who was guilty of every crime against the Lord, and who brought every calamity on his people. This is that Ahaz whom the Lord sent in anger to Judah, because under the pious reigns of Uzziah and of Jotham, the people would worship corruptly; and this is that Ahaz whom the Lord removed in compassion to his afflicted people. This is, in short, that most wicked Ahaz, who to complete his crimes, most profanely shut the doors of the Lord’s house; and thereby, we fear, shut heaven against his own soul, and whose body was justly shut out from the sepulchre of his fathers.
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Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 28". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany