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2Ch 28:1 Ahaz [was] twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father:
Ver. 1. Ahaz was twenty years old. ] And reigned but sixteen years; and yet when he died, Hezekiah his son was twenty-five years old. 2Ch 29:1 Some a say this was extraordinary, and render this reason: Ahaz so young a father, as Elizabeth an old mother, should have hoped in Emmanuel, born of a virgin. Others b solve it thus: The beginning of that reign, when Ahaz was but twenty years old, is to be referred to Jotham, his father; for Ahaz was twenty years old when he - namely Jotham - began to reign: as Jehoiachin was eight years old when he - namely Jehoiakim his father - began to reign: for Jehoiachin was eighteen when he himself began to reign. 2Ch 36:9 2Ki 24:8
Like David his father. ] No, nor like either Jotham, his immediate father, or Hezekiah, his son and successor; betwixt which two Ahaz standeth here in the history, as a thorn between two lilies, or as a collier between a couple of fullers, himself being so much the worse and more wicked, by how much better they were, and more virtuous.
a Brought. Consent.
b Dr Gouge.
2Ch 28:2 For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim.
Ver. 2. For hs walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. ] Yea, he outdid them in wickedness. See on 2 Kings 16:3-12.16.4 . Sundry holy prophets, as Isaiah, Micah, Nahum, &c., declaimed earnestly against his abominable practices, and proclaimed hell-fire in case he repented not; but he either turned the deaf ear to them, or, if he gave them the hearing, yet he heeded them not; luporum instar, ingenium non mutavit.
2Ch 28:3 Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.
Ver. 3. And burnt his children in the fire. ] Some he burnt outright, in honour of Moloch, or Saturn (indeed the devil), and others he caused to pass through the fire, with the safeguard of their lives, though not haply of their hair; believing that thereby they were purged from their spiritual filthiness. The Tartars do the like at this day: the Papists also, in their supposed purgatory, dream of such a like purgation. The king of Spain put his eldest son into the hands of the bloody Inquisitors, to be murdered by them, that he might approve himself an obedient son to the Pope, who thereupon blasphemously applied unto him that saying of the apostle, He spared not his own son, but gave him for us. See 2 Kings 16:3 . a
a Jerome. Caten.
2Ch 28:4 He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.
Ver. 4. He sacrificed also, &c. ] See 2 Kings 16:4 .
2Ch 28:5 Wherefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought [them] to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter.
Ver. 5. Wherefore the Lord his God, ] i.e., That should have been his God, and would have been too, had he been oughts [as he ought].
Into the hand of the king of Syria, ] i.e., Of Rezin, whom God raised up to be a scourge to Judah, to chastise them for their idolatry and other impieties.
And they smote him, ] viz., When they took Elah. See 2 Kings 16:6 .
2Ch 28:6 For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, [which were] all valiant men; because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers.
Ver. 6. For Pekah the son of Remaliah. ] Here was aliud ex alio malum: the other evil from other man, but these hammers of the Most High did but beat upon cold iron. See 2 Kings 15:27 .
2Ch 28:7 And Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, slew Maaseiah the king’s son, and Azrikam the governor of the house, and Elkanah [that was] next to the king.
Ver. 7. And Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim. ] Heros fortis Ephraita, a man of extraordinary courage and strength: he must be so, that slew so many grandees and their guards.
2Ch 28:8 And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand, women, sons, and daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria.
Ver. 8. Two hundred thousand women, sons and daughters. ] These also were sinners against their own souls: for "the children gathered wood, and the fathers kindled the fire, and the women kneaded dough to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, to provoke the Lord to anger." Jer 7:18
2Ch 28:9 But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name [was] Oded: and he went out before the host that came to Samaria, and said unto them, Behold, because the LORD God of your fathers was wroth with Judah, he hath delivered them into your hand, and ye have slain them in a rage [that] reacheth up unto heaven.
Ver. 9. And he went before the host. ] He put his life in his hand, and met them in the face. This was a bold attempt: and God, of whom it was, succeeded it. Prophets have ever been reverenced; poets were among the Greeks, as Tyrtaeus and others; the Bard; a kind of priests, were here in Albion by the greatest commanders. Zedekiah, a king, is here taxed for not humbling himself before Jeremiah, a poor prophet. 2Ch 36:12
And ye have slain them with a rage. ] Which is the worst counsellor, as knowing neither mean nor measure.
That reacheth unto heaven. ] That thing must needs be very great, one end whereof reacheth as high as heaven.
2Ch 28:10 And now ye purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondmen and bondwomen unto you: [but are there] not with you, even with you, sins against the LORD your God?
Ver. 10. But are there not with you, even with you, sins against the Lord? ] At the loss of Calais, when a proud Frenchman asked an English captain, When will you fetch Calais again? he gravely answered, When your sins shall weigh down ours.
2Ch 28:11 Now hear me therefore, and deliver the captives again, which ye have taken captive of your brethren: for the fierce wrath of the LORD [is] upon you.
Ver. 11. Now hear me therefore. ] Here we have the picture of a good preacher. Oded teacheth, reproveth, exhorteth, turneth himself into all shapes, of spirit and of speech, that he may work upon his hearers; and he had his desire. See Timothy’s task. 2Ti 4:2-3
2Ch 28:12 Then certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against them that came from the war,
Ver. 12. Then certain of the heads. ] So mightily did the word of God in the mouth of this one prophet work upon them; although he used not the Lord’s name unto them, because he thought them, saith Jerome, for their idolatries, unworthy.
2Ch 28:13 And said unto them, Ye shall not bring in the captives hither: for whereas we have offended against the LORD [already], ye intend to add [more] to our sins and to our trespass: for our trespass is great, and [there is] fierce wrath against Israel.
Ver. 13. Ye shall not bring in the captives hither. ] This was right; the commanders take part with the prophet in opposing and beating down the sins of the people.
To add more to our sins, and to our trespass. ] That is, To the iniquity of our sin, as David calleth it, Psa 32:5 the guilt that followeth upon it, that biteth like a serpent, and stingeth as an adder. Pro 23:32
2Ch 28:14 So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the congregation.
Ver. 14. So the armed men left the captives. ] See here what a few may do against a multitude, in a good cause, if they set to work in good earnest. See John 7:45 .
2Ch 28:15 And the men which were expressed by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all that were naked among them, and arrayed them, and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them upon asses, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brethren: then they returned to Samaria.
Ver. 15. And anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them. ] This was to "break off their iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, that there might be a lengthening of their tranquillity." Dan 4:27 Clementia plus potest quam violentia. a Courtesy can do no more than cruelty, said Antigonus. Julius Caesar, Vespasian, Aurelian, and our Queen Elizabeth, are famous in history for showing mercy to their enemies.
2Ch 28:16 At that time did king Ahaz send unto the kings of Assyria to help him.
Ver. 16. Did Ahaz send unto the king of Assyria. ] Heb., Kings; so he is called, because king of kings, a mighty monarch. To him, therefore, Ahaz sendeth for help, at that time when the prophet Isaiah bade him trust only in God, and offered him a most satisfying sign for his confirmation. Isa 7:14-16 See Trapp on " 2Ki 16:7 "
2Ch 28:17 For again the Edomites had come and smitten Judah, and carried away captives.
Ver. 17. For again the Edomites. ] "Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; whenas he that trusteth in the Lord" - which Ahaz would not hear of - "mercy shall compass him round about," Psa 32:10 as it did his good son Hezekiah.
2Ch 28:18 The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the low country, and of the south of Judah, and had taken Bethshemesh, and Ajalon, and Gederoth, and Shocho with the villages thereof, and Timnah with the villages thereof, Gimzo also and the villages thereof: and they dwelt there.
Ver. 18. The Philistines also. ] For a punishment of Judah’s incorrigibleness. The Syrians before and the Philistines behind, &c. Isa 9:12-13
2Ch 28:19 For the LORD brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the LORD.
Ver. 19. For he made Judah naked. ] He stripped them of the sincere service of God - which is the beauty and bulwark of a nation - and might have been called, as our Henry III was, regni dilapidator, the kingdom’s bane and break-neck.
2Ch 28:20 And Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria came unto him, and distressed him, but strengthened him not.
Ver. 20. And Tilgathpilneser. ] See 2 Kings 16:10 .
And distressed him, but strengthened him not. ] This beast observing the hedge to be low, went over it, making Ahaz his tributary: how else is it said, that Hezekiah rebelled against him? 2Ki 18:7 Many princes have lost what they had, by calling in foreigners to their help. The Romans and Turks got much by this means.
2Ch 28:21 For Ahaz took away a portion [out] of the house of the LORD, and [out] of the house of the king, and of the princes, and gave [it] unto the king of Assyria: but he helped him not.
Ver. 21. And Ahaz took away a portion. ] He hoped hereby to ingratiate with the Assyrian; but the hope of the wicked shall perish, saith Solomon. See on 2 Kings 16:8 .
2Ch 28:22 And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD: this [is that] king Ahaz.
Ver. 22. And yet in the time of his distress. ] So stubborn was he and stiff necked, he would sooner break than bend. Such refractories also were Pharaoh, Saul, the Scribes and Pharisees, the railing thief that suffered with our Saviour: "reprobate silver" the Scripture calleth them; Jer 6:30 they add rebellion to their sin, Job 34:37 and to their sinews of iron, brows of brass. Isa 48:4
This is that king Ahaz. ] That stigmatical Belialist. There are three men in Scripture that have a special brand or mark of ignominy set upon them: Cain, Gen 4:15 Dathan, Num 26:9 and Ahaz here; the reason whereof was, chiefly, the sin of stubbornness.
2Ch 28:23 For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, [therefore] will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.
Ver. 23. Unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him. ] So he thought, at least - for they could not smite him Jeremiah 10:5 1Co 8:4 - in the same sense as Christ is said to have bought reprobates, 2Pe 2:1 putative scilicet.
And he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria. ] That he might not seem to be mad without reason, he had somewhat to say for this absurd practice of his.
Therefore I will sacrifice. ] God had helped him against "the two tails of those smoking firebrands," Isa 7:4 yet he could not find in his heart to sacrifice to him.
But they were the ruin of him. ] So had the gods of Edom been of Amaziah, 2Ch 25:14-15 for a warning to him. So were their senseless idolatries the ruin of the Roman and Greek empires.
2Ch 28:24 And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem.
Ver. 24. And Ahaz gathered together. ] See 2 Kings 16:8 .
And shut up the doors of the house of the Lord. ] As Julian shut up the churches of the Christians. Herein Ahaz was worse than Athaliah; who suffered Jehoiada and the priests to execute their offices in the temple, though herself worshipped idols.
2Ch 28:25 And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense unto other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD God of his fathers.
Ver. 25. And in every several city of Judah. ] So zealous are idolaters, and busy in digging descents down to hell, and destroying souls; the pseudo-Catholics, for instance.
2Ch 28:26 Now the rest of his acts and of all his ways, first and last, behold, they [are] written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
Ver. 26. And all his ways. ] See 2 Chronicles 27:7 .
2Ch 28:27 And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, [even] in Jerusalem: but they brought him not into the sepulchres of the kings of Israel: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.
Ver. 27. And Ahaz slept with his fathers. ] He died a natural death, though he was so detestable a miscreant. God putteth off the punishment of many wicked wretches till the other world.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 28". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany