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2Ki 16:1 In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign.
Ver. 1. Ahaz the son of Jotham. ] Under this most wicked prince prophesied Isaiah, Hosea, Micah, and Nahum, but with little good success, so incorrigibly flagitious were now all sorts grown.
2Ki 16:2 Twenty years old [was] Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD his God, like David his father.
Ver. 2. When he began to reign, ] i.e., Himself alone after his father’s death; in whose lifetime he had been designed to the kingdom, and then he was but twenty years old. Or, When he, that is, Jotham, began to reign. See the like, 2 Chronicles 36:9 .
And reigned sixteen years. ] But had an ill life of it all the while, by reason of oppressions and miseries.
2Ki 16:3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel.
Ver. 3. But he walked in the way, &c. ] He "did wickedly as he could," as if he had been "delivered to do all these abominations," as Jeremiah 7:10 .
According to the abominations of the heathen. ] Who offered their own flesh and blood in an idol’s fire. How gladly then should we offer to God our souls and bodies, which we may enjoy so much the more when they are his!
2Ki 16:4 And he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.
Ver. 4. And he sacrificed, &c. ] He "did evil with both hands earnestly," Mic 7:3 as if afraid to be outdone by any other; he took long strides toward hell, which was but a little afore him, and did even gape for him.
2Ki 16:5 Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war: and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome [him].
Ver. 5. Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah, &c. ] After a former invasion of the land, and great spoil made, 2Ch 28:5 these two confederate kings came up to Jerusalem, the chief city, which they had already devoured in their hopes, resolving to set up the son of Tabeal, some great man of Syria, for king. Isa 7:5-6
And besieged Ahaz. ] Who, with his people, was grievously frightened till confirmed by a sign, though most unworthy of such a favour. Isaiah 7:1 ; Isa 7:16
But could not overcome him. ] For they proved like two tails of smoking firebrands. Isa 7:4 They came into the country like thunder and lightning: but went out like a snuff.
2Ki 16:6 At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath: and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day.
Ver. 6. At that time. ] When he came against Jerusalem.
Recovered Elath. ] Josephus calleth it Aria by the Red Sea.
2Ki 16:7 So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, saying, I [am] thy servant and thy son: come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me.
Ver. 7. So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglathpileser. ] God had offered him a sign for his better assurance, saying, Ask it either in the depth or height above. Isa 7:11-12 Here was a fair offer to a foul sinner; that where sin abounded, grace might superabound. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I try the Lord, q.d., I will ask no asks, I will try no signs; I know a trick worth two of that; let God keep his signs to himself: I crave no such courtesy at his hands, I can otherwise relieve myself by sending to the Assyrian.
2Ki 16:8 And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king’s house, and sent [it for] a present to the king of Assyria.
Ver. 8. And sent it for a present to the king of Assyria. ] Who being ambitious of a universal monarchy, was glad of the opportunity, when he saw the gold especially.
2Ki 16:9 And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him: for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried [the people of] it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin.
Ver. 9. And carried the people of it captive to Kir. ] According to Amos 1:5 . This Kir some will have to be that Cyrene mentioned in Acts 2:10 ; others, Syromedia, which was so called from these Syrians translated thither, and Kir, that is a wall, because walled about, as it were, by the mountain Zagrus.
And slew Rezin. ] And so the event of this war proved answerable to the king of Assyria’s ambition, to the king of Syria’s wickedness, and to the king of Judah’s desires; who yet enjoyed it not long; for he was afterwards distressed by the same king of Assyria who now relieved him. 2Ch 28:20 So little is there got at length by such carnal combinations. It is better to trust in the Lord, &c. And here was an end of the kingdom of Damascus, as also of Hamath, Amo 6:2 of Arpad, Jer 49:23 Isaiah 10:9 ; Isaiah 36:19 ; Isa 37:12-13 and other places not a few; all which were swallowed up in the greatness of the Assyrian empire, as itself is now - together with the most glorious empire of the Greeks, the renowned kingdoms of Macedonia, Peloponnesus, Epirus, Bulgaria, Egypt, Judea, &c. - swallowed up in the greatness of the Turkish empire. As for this kingdom of Damascus, it had continued for ten generations, as Nicolaus Damascenus in Josephus a affirmeth; and as it began in Rezon, 1Ki 11:23-24 so in Rezin it ended. The like is observed of the Greek empire: which as it began in Constantine the Great, so it determined in Constantine Paleologus.
a Lib. vii., Antiq., cap. 6.
2Ki 16:10 And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that [was] at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof.
Ver. 10. To meet Tiglathpileser. ] As well to congratulate his victory, as further to ingratiate; but God crossed his expectation, 2 Chronicles 28:18 ; 2 Chronicles 28:20-21 ; 2Ch 28:23 because he trusted in the arm of flesh, and hoped for help from the Syrian gods, who yet could not help their own proper servant, whom he worshipped to curry favour, likely, with Tiglathpileser.
And king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest. ] Who was a fit handle for such a hatchet. He had been a maintainer of God’s true worship in the temple, and by the prophet Isaiah counted and called a faithful witness; Isa 8:1-2 but now he becometh an apostate, as Damascen turned Mohammedan, after that he had written against that execrable impiety, and Ahaz knew him, belike, to be but a temporiser.
2Ki 16:11 And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus: so Urijah the priest made [it] against king Ahaz came from Damascus.
Ver. 11. And Urijah the priest built an altar. ] So in the year of grace 610, Pope Boniface IV, after that he had by the Emperor’s appointment placed in the Pantheon at Rome the Virgin Mary, instead of Cybele the mother of the gods, he further ordained the feast of All Saints.
2Ki 16:12 And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon.
Ver. 12. And the king approached to the altar. ] Urijah suffering him so to do; whereas that zealous priest Azariah would not endure his grandfather Uzziah, a far better man, to offer sacrifice. 2Ch 26:17-18
2Ki 16:13 And he burnt his burnt offering and his meat offering, and poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings, upon the altar.
Ver. 13. And he burnt his burnt offering. ] Uzziah for so doing was smitten with leprosy; but Ahaz of a far worse disease, an incurable hardness of heart. So was Gardiner, Bonner, Pool, Stokesley, &c.
2Ki 16:14 And he brought also the brasen altar, which [was] before the LORD, from the forefront of the house, from between the altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the north side of the altar.
Ver. 14. And put it on the north side. ] As it were, in a corner out of the way. a
a Quasi vicarium et precarium in angulo collocavit. - Vatab.
2Ki 16:15 And king Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, Upon the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening meat offering, and the king’s burnt sacrifice, and his meat offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings; and sprinkle upon it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice: and the brasen altar shall be for me to enquire [by].
Ver. 15. Upon the great altar, ] i.e., The new Damascen altar, quantitate vel dignitate maiore.
And sprinkle upon it. ] A type of the application of Christ’s blood; Heb 9:13-14 the abuse therefore was the greater.
And the brazen altar shall be for me to inquire by. ] Or, To see to: q.d., I will do with it as I see good. And Lyra saith that Ahaz afterwards made that famous dial of it. 2Ki 20:11 See to the contrary, 2 Chronicles 29:18-19 .
2Ki 16:16 Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded.
Ver. 16. Thus did Urijah the priest. ] A fawning parasite to that wicked king; and one of those qui sacerdotium in aucupium vertunt, principum mensas et cellaria obsident, et qui quaestus causa ad dominorum suorum fistulas saltant, accinentes illud, Mihi placet quicquid regi placet, a who will please the prince howsoever.
2Ki 16:17 And king Ahaz cut off the borders of the bases, and removed the laver from off them; and took down the sea from off the brasen oxen that [were] under it, and put it upon a pavement of stones.
Ver. 17. And king Ahaz cut off the borders. ] He took away both the ornaments and instruments of the true religion.
2Ki 16:18 And the covert for the sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king’s entry without, turned he from the house of the LORD for the king of Assyria.
Ver. 18. And the covert for the Sabbath. ] a Where the priests, who had served all the week before, reposed themselves on the Sabbath; and next day went home. This place was covered over to keep them from wind and weather. 2Ch 28:24
For the king of Assyria. ] Either to make money for him, or to flatter with him, that he might appear profane enough, and alien from God’s true service; or for fear of his force, lest by that entry he should break into the palace.
a Musach quoque sabbati. - Vulg.
2Ki 16:19 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz which he did, [are] they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
Ver. 19. Now the rest of the acts, &c. ] See 1 Kings 14:29 .
2Ki 16:20 And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.
Ver. 20. And Hezekiah his son. ] A most pious prince, who standeth between his father Ahaz and his son Manasseh, as a rose betwixt two thistles, &c.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Sunday after Epiphany