Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 16:2

Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord his God, as his father David had done.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Thompson Chain Reference - Ahaz;   The Topic Concordance - Sacrifice;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Kings;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Ahaz;   Pekah;   Raguel;   Temple;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ahaz;   Assyria;   Judah, tribe and kingdom;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Bedstead;   Pekah;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ahaz;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Assyria, History and Religion of;   David;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ahaz;   Alliance;   Damascus;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ahaz ;   Assyria ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Ahaz;   Pekah;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom of Israel;   Kingdom of Judah;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Immanuel;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Twenty years old was Ahaz - Here is another considerable difficulty in the chronology. Ahaz was but twenty years old when he began to reign, and he died after he had reigned sixteen years; consequently his whole age amounted only to thirty-six years. But Hezekiah his son was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and if this were so, then Ahaz must have been the father of Hezekiah when he was but eleven years of age! Some think that the twenty years mentioned here respect the beginning of the reign of Jotham, father of Ahaz; so that the passage should be thus translated: Ahaz was twenty years of age when his father began to reign; and consequently he was fifty-two years old when he died, seeing Jotham reigned sixteen years: and therefore Hezekiah was born when his father was twenty-seven years of age. This however is a violent solution, and worthy of little credit. It is better to return to the text as it stands, and allow that Ahaz might be only eleven or twelve years old when he had Hezekiah: this is not at all impossible; as we know that the youth of both sexes in the eastern countries are marriageable at ten or twelve years of age, and are frequently betrothed when they are but nine. I know a woman, an East Indian, who had the second of her two first children when she was only fourteen years of age, and must have had the first when between eleven and twelve. I hold it therefore quite a possible case that Ahaz might have had a son born to him when he was but eleven or twelve years old.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:2". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-16.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem,.... The same number of years his father did:

and did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord God, like David his father; his more remote progenitor, nor even like his more immediate father, from whom he received such good instructions, and of whom he had so good an example; but grace is neither propagated by blood, nor obtained through the force of education.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-16.html. 1999.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 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.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-kings-16.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign: of the difficulty hence arising, See Poole "2 Kings 18:2", to which it more properly belongs.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:2". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-kings-16.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

2.Twenty years old’ sixteen years — So his whole age was thirty-six years. But he was immediately succeeded by his son Hezekiah, who was at the time twenty-five years old. 2 Kings 18:2. Accordingly Ahaz must have begotten his son Hezekiah when he was only eleven years old. To meet this difficulty some copies of the Septuagint, and the Syriac and Arabic versions at the parallel place in Chronicles (2 Chronicles 28:1,) read twenty-five instead of twenty years. But most interpreters accept the common reading, and argue that it was nowise impossible for Ahaz to beget a son in his eleventh or twelfth year. Compare note on 2 Kings 18:2.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:2". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-16.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Kings 16:2. Ahaz did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord — Contrary to what might have been expected, considering the good education which, doubtless, Jotham, his pious father, gave him, and the excellent example he set him. Like David his father — Or progenitor. It was his honour that he was of the house and lineage of David, and it was owing to God’s ancient covenant with David, that he was now upon the throne: but he had none of that concern and affection for the instituted worship and service of God, for which David was so remarkable. He had no love for the temple, made no conscience of his duty to God, nor had any regard to his law, and therefore was a reproach to that honourable name and family, to which he was under such great obligations, and which, of consequence, was really a reproach to him, showing his wickedness in a more aggravated point of view.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:2". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-16.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

When he, Joatham, "had begun," cœpisset. (Haydock) --- Thus Junius evades the following difficulty. (Du Hamel) --- Sixteen, consequently he died when he was 36 years old. As Ezechias was 25 when he came to the throne, Achab must have been a father at 11 (Calmet) or 12 year of age. (Bochart, Dissert. xxiii.) --- St. Jerome asserts the same of Solomon, and observes, that "many things which seem incredible in Scripture, are nevertheless true." (ep. ad Vital.) He, with some others, has recourse to a miracle. Others suppose that Ezechias was an adopted son, or kinsman, or that the numbers are incorrect, &c. But we are assured by respectable authors, (Haydock) that people have children very soon in the hotter climates. Busbeque (Ep. 3.) says, in Colchis many are mothers at ten years of age; and to convince the incredulous, produce their infants "not much bigger than a large frog." Albert the Great says he knew one who had a child at 10, and Navarre (following Sanchez, Matthew vii. 2, 5. disp. 104.) was credibly informed that a similar fact was seen at Naples. Mandesle observes that this is common in India. He says one had lately a child at six year of age, which was there thought remarkable. St. Jerome mentions a boy who became a father at 10, and Sanchez relates that the same happened in Spain. A boy under 12 had a child by a girl of 10, in Provence. (Scaliger Elenc.) The Romans laws fix upon the age of 14 for males, and 12 for females' lawfully marrying; (Haydock) though many examples of people having children before that age are produced by Tiraqueau, 6. conn. 36. Yet physicians require 13 in males, and 14 years complete in females before they are capable of this effect. (Genebrard) St. Augustine (City of God xv. 11., and xvi. c. ultra[last chap.] and in psalm civ.) maintains that a person of 10 years of age is unfit for generation. (Calmet) --- Malitia supplet ætatem. Achaz was a monster of wickedness. (Haydock) --- In the first year of his reign, and in the fifth Olympiad, the Ephori were appointed at Sparta under Theopompus, nephew of Lycurgus. (Salien, the year before Christ 59.)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:2". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-16.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Twenty years old . . . sixteen. There is no reason for concluding that "there must be an error in one of the passages" (viz. 2 Kings 16:2 and 2 Kings 18:2), for Ahaz begins in 622 and reigns till 616. As he was twenty when he began, he was born in 652, and died when thirty-six. Hezekiah begins in 617, and reigns twenty-nine years, till 588. As he was twenty-five when he began he was therefore born in 642, and died when he was fifty-four, From this it is clear that Ahaz was between ten and eleven when his son Hezekiah was born. This sounds improbable only to Western ears. But, to Eastern ears and physiological phenomena, there is nothing unusual, and nothing to justify a conclusion that the text is corrupt the usual excuse for ignorance of the facts.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:2". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-kings-16.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign. What kind of education this young king had received, and to what unhappy influences he had been subjected, was soon made apparent after he assumed the sole power of government. At the time of his accession the nation do not seem to have generally apostatized with their king to the worship of false gods. In the whole account given in this chapter of the idolatries of Ahaz, not the slightest hint in thrown out respecting the co-operation of his subjects. But the seeds of corruption were sown, and the baneful influence of royal example rapidly spread the contagion of idolatry.

And did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord. The character of this king's reign, the voluptuousness and religious degeneracy of all classes of the people, are graphically portrayed in the writings of Isaiah, who prophesied at that period. The great increase of worldly wealth and luxury in the reigns of Azariah and Jotham had introduced a host of corruptions, which, during the reign and by the influence of Ahaz, bore fruit in the idolatrous practices of every kind which prevailed in all parts of the kingdom (see the notes at 2 Chronicles 28:24).

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-kings-16.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

XVI.

THE REIGN OF AHAZ.
(Comp. 2 Chronicles 28)

(2) Twenty years old.—The number should probably be twenty -and- five, according to the LXX., Syriac, and Arabic of 2 Chronicles 28:1. Otherwise, Ahaz was begotten when his father was ten (or, eleven) years old—a thing perhaps not impossible in the East, where both sexes reach maturity earlier than among Western races.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-16.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
did not
14:3; 15:3,34; 18:3; 22:2; 1 Kings 3:14; 9:4; 11:4-8; 15:3; 2 Chronicles 17:3; 2 Chronicles 29:2; 34:2,3
Reciprocal: 2 Kings 17:7 - the Lord;  2 Kings 21:2 - And he did;  2 Chronicles 28:1 - Ahaz

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-16.html.