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the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 16

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-20

2 Kings 16:3 . Ahaz made his son pass through the fire. It appears from the poets that the heathens did commonly dedicate a child to a god by lustrations; that is, by causing him to pass between two fires, as described by Virgil, Æn. 6. Ovid. Fast. 4. But here Ahaz “burnt his children in the fire.” 2 Chronicles 28:3. Thus also Isaiah 1:15, “Your hands are full of blood.” See note on Leviticus 18:21.

2 Kings 16:5 . Rezin, uniting his forces with Remaliah king of Israel, slaughtered a hundred and twenty thousand men of Judah, and burnt all the cities except Jerusalem. They saw that Ahaz was weak and wicked, and formed a league to divide the kingdom of Judah between them, as in the seventh of Isaiah.

2 Kings 16:7 . Ahaz sent to Tiglath. Judah was ruined before, and now Jerusalem was impoverished, yet the scheme succeeded in the ruin of Damascus and Samaria, and in the western aggrandizement of the Babylonian empire: a dark day to western Asia. Where now is the God of David? These are the fruits of seeking to idols, and to an arm of flesh, instead of seeking to the Lord.

2 Kings 16:10 . Ahaz saw an altar at Damascus. The Lord had shown Moses the form of the altar on which he would have his sacrifices offered. Exodus 27:1-2. It was therefore the highest degree of impiety to supersede the Lord’s altar. Solomon enlarged it, but changed not its figure; and the mean spirit of Urijah, in accommodating himself to the humour of the king, made him highly culpable: it was indeed exalting his master above God. If he could not dissuade him from his profane purpose, he ought to have retired and wept. God has indeed appointed the powers that be, but he has nowhere allowed them so to decree rites and ceremonies in religion, as to force the conscience of the subject. See the Reflections on 2 Chronicles 28:0. and Isaiah 7:0.

2 Kings 16:11 . Urijah the priest built an altar, after the model which Ahaz had sent from Damascus, decorated with emblems of idolatry, and substituted it for the holy altar of the Lord. By this act he became the priest of Ahaz, and ceased to be the priest of the Lord. If he acted right, then Zachariah and his brothers were massacred in vain.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/2-kings-16.html. 1835.
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