Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 16:3

But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and even made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had driven out from before the sons of Israel.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ahaz;   Children;   Fire;   Idolatry;   Molech;   Offerings;   Rulers;   Thompson Chain Reference - Canaan, Land of;   Heathen;   Human;   Sacrifices;   The Topic Concordance - Sacrifice;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Heathen, the;   Kings;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Hinnom;   Pekah;   Temple;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ahaz;   Assyria;   Judah, tribe and kingdom;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Hell;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Pekah;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ahaz;   Micah;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ahaz;   Assyria, History and Religion of;   Baal;   Gentiles;   High Place;   Hinnom, Valley of;   Human Sacrifice;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ahaz;   Alliance;   Damascus;   Molech, Moloch;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ahaz ;   Assyria ;   Baal, Baalim ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Joash;   Pekah;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Hin'nom;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Moloch;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Ahaz;   Baal (1);   Fire;   Firstborn;   Molech;   Pass;   Sacrifice, Human;   Yea;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Made his son to pass through the fire - On this passage I beg leave to refer the reader to my notes on Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 20:2, Leviticus 20:14, where the subject is considered at large.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-16.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Ahaz was the worst of all the kings of Judah. He imitated the worst of the Israelite kings - Ahab and Ahaziah - by a re-introduction of the Baal worship, which had been rooted out of Israel by Jehu and out of Judah by Jehoiada.

And made Iris son to pass through the fire - i. e. Ahaz adopted the Moloch worship of the Ammonites and Moabites 2 Kings 3:27; Micah 6:7, and sacrificed at least one son, probably his firstborn, according to the horrid rites of those nations, and the Canaanite tribes Deuteronomy 12:31; Psalm 106:37-38. Hereto, apparently, the Jews had been guiltless of this abomination. They had been warned against it by Moses (marginal reference; Deuteronomy 18:10); and if (as some think) they had practiced it in the wilderness Ezekiel 20:26; Amos 5:26, the sin must have been rare and exceptional; from the date of their entrance into the promised land they had wholly put it away. Now, however, it became so frequent (compare 2 Kings 17:17; 2 Kings 21:6) as to meet with the strongest protest from Jeremiah and Ezekiel (Jeremiah 7:31-32; Jeremiah 19:2-6; Jeremiah 32:35; Ezekiel 16:20; Ezekiel 20:26; Ezekiel 23:37, etc.).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-kings-16.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel..... Worshipping the calves as they did; which, as it was contrary to the religious sentiments in which he was educated, so against his political interest, which was the only, or at least the principal thing, which swayed with the kings of Israel to continue that idolatry:

yea, and made his son to pass through the fire; between two fires to Molech, by way of lustration; which might be true of Hezekiah his son, and others of his sons, for he had more he burnt with fire, as appears from 2 Chronicles 28:3, both ways were used in that sort of idolatry; see Gill on Leviticus 18:21,

according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel; the old Canaanites; so the Carthaginians, a colony of the Phoenicians, used in time of calamity to offer human sacrifices, and even their children, to appease their deitiesF12Justin. e Trogo, Hist. l. 18. c. 6. Curt. Hist. l. 4. c. 3. Pescennius Festus apud Lactant. de fals. Relig. l. 1. c. 21. . Theodoret says, he had seen in some cities, in his time, piles kindled once a year, over which not only boys, but men, would leap, and infants were carried by their mothers through the flames; which seemed to be an expiation or purgation, and which he takes to be the same with the sin of Ahaz.

Copyright Statement
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 16:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-16.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to b pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel.

(b) That is, offered him to Molech or made him pass between two fires, as the manner of the Gentiles was, (Leviticus 18:21) ; (Deuteronomy 18:10).
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-kings-16.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

walked in the way of the kings of Israel — This is descriptive of the early part of his reign, when, like the kings of Israel, he patronized the symbolic worship of God by images but he gradually went farther into gross idolatry (2 Chronicles 28:2).

made his son to pass through the fire — (2 Kings 23:10). The hands of the idol Moloch being red hot, the children were passed through between them, which was considered a form of lustration. There is reason to believe that, in certain circumstances, the children were burnt to death (Psalm 106:37). This was strongly prohibited in the law (Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 20:2-5; Deuteronomy 18:10), although there is no evidence that it was practiced in Israel till the time of Ahaz.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-kings-16.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

Pass — By way of oblation, so as to be consumed for a burnt-offering, which was the practice of Heathens, and of some Israelites, in imitation of them.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-kings-16.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Kings 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!

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:3". 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

Made his son to pass through the fire; either,

1. By way of lustration, to pass hastily through it, so as to be scorched, and, as it were, baptized with it. Or,

2. By way of oblation, so as to be utterly consumed, and offered for a burntoffering, which was the practice of heathens, and of some Israelites, in imitation of them; of which see 2 Kings 21:6 Psalms 105:35 Jeremiah 7:31; which seems best to agree with 2 Chronicles 28:3, where it is said he burnt his children, i.e., some of them; first one, as is here noted; and afterwards others of them, as is there observed. Of these practices, see more on Leviticus 18:21 Deuteronomy 18:10.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:3". 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

3.Walked in the way of the kings of Israel — By running into all sorts of idolatry, and forming leagues with the heathen. His reign was a period of enormous wickedness, and to Judah one of numerous disasters.

Made his son to pass through the fire — This expression, more fully written in 2 Kings 23:10, to pass through the fire to Molech, is interpreted by the rabbies to mean merely the passing between two burning pyres as a purificatory rite. But this is refuted by the parallel passage in 2 Chronicles 28:3: He burnt his children in the fire, and also by the unequivocal statements of the following texts: Psalms 106:37-38; Jeremiah 7:31; Jeremiah 19:4-5; Ezekiel 16:20-21; Ezekiel 23:37. A comparison of all these passages will show that the victims were slain before they were burned. The laws of Moses warned the Israelites against this very abomination, Compare Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 20:2-4; Deuteronomy 18:10. The rabbinical theory evidently sprung from a desire to escape the charge of the atrocious idolatries of the ancient Jews.

Abominations of the heathen — Several of the Canaanitish nations, as well as the Ammonites and Moabites, appear to have practised this horrible rite. According to Movers, “the burning of the children was regarded as a passing through, by which they attained to purification with the deity after the dissolution of the earthly, impure dross of the body.”

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:3". "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 16:3. He walked in the way of the kings of Israel — Who all worshipped the calves, and were therefore idolaters. He was not joined in any affinity with them, as Jehoram and Ahaziah were with the house of Ahab, but of his own accord and voluntary motion, and, without any instigation, he walked in their way. The kings of Israel pleaded policy and reasons of state for their idolatry; but Ahaz had no such pretence: in him it was the most unreasonable and impolitic conduct that could be. They were his enemies, and had manifested that they were enemies to themselves too by their idolatry; yet he walked in their way. And made his son to pass through the fire — By way of oblation, so as to be consumed for a burnt- offering, which was the practice of heathen, and of some Israelites in imitation of them. Thus 2 Chronicles 28:3, it is said, He burned his children in the fire, that is, some of them, first one, as is here mentioned, and afterward others, as is there observed. See on Leviticus 18:21, and Deuteronomy 18:10. According to the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out — It was an instance of his great folly that, in his religion, he would be guided by and imitate those whom he saw fallen into the ditch before his eyes; and of his great impiety, that he would conform to those usages which God had declared to be abominable to him.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:3". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-kings-16.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Fire, to purify him (or them, Paralipomenon filios, all were treated thus. Haydock) according to the superstitions of the pagans: omnia purgat edax ignis. (Ovid, Fast.) (Theodoret, q. 16.) (Menochius) --- Others believe that the child was burnt to death in honour of Moloch, and in imitation of the Chanaanites, Psalm cv. 37., and Deuteronomy xviii. 10. The Carthaginians were required by Gelon, king of Syracuse, to lay aside this most barbarous custom. (Phil. apoph.) Yet, "infants were publicly immolated to Saturn, in Africa, till the proconsulate of Tiberius, who ordered the priests to be exposed on those same trees which shaded their crimes, as on votive crosses. This the soldiers, my countrymen, who executed the proconsul's orders, can testify; and still the sacred crime is perpetrated in secret." (Tertullian, Apol. viii.) --- How tenacious are people of old errors! (Haydock)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-16.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

he walked. Compare 2 Chronicles 28:2.

son. See note on 2 Chronicles 28:3.

to pass through the fire. The first king of Judah to do this. Followed in it by Manasseh (2 Kings 21:6; 2 Kings 23:10). Compare Jeremiah 7:31. Ezekiel 20:26, and Leviticus 18:21.

heathen = nations.

children = sons.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:3". "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

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.

Walked in the way of the kings of Israel. This is descriptive of the early part of his reign, when, like the kings of Israel, he patronized the symbolic worship of God by images, but he gradually went further into gross idolatry (2 Chronicles 28:2).

Made his son to pass through the fire (2 Kings 23:10). The hands of the idol Moloch, or Baal, being red hot, the children were passed through between them, which was considered a form of lustration; but there is reason to believe that in certain circumstances the children were burnt to death (Deuteronomy 12:31; Psalms 106:37; Jeremiah 7:31; Ezekiel 16:20-21; Ezekiel 23:37-39). It was the former of these practices Ahaz observed-that of purifying or sanctifying his children, by letting or 'making them pass through the fire,' and thereby dedicating them to that pagan divinity. It was a simple and quick operation, merely placing the child between the glowing arms of the idol; but the rite was considered symbolical of purity. And something like this is observed still in Persia by the king of Persia, who sends his son, seated on black horse, to ride through the flames, in order to prove the sacredness of his character, and to show to the crowd that fire will not hurt him. The practice, however, of making children pass through the fire was strongly prohibited in the law (Leviticus 18:21; Leviticus 20:2-5; Deuteronomy 18:10), although there is no evidence that it was practiced in Israel until the time of Ahaz.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:3". "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

(3) But he walked in the way.—See Notes on 2 Chronicles 28:2.

Made his son to pass through the fire.—The chronicler rightly explains this as a sacrifice by fire. That such an appalling rite is really intended may be seen by reference to 2 Kings 17:31; Jeremiah 19:5; Ezekiel 16:20; Ezekiel 23:37; Jeremiah 32:35. The expression, “To make-to pass through the fire to Moloch” (Leviticus 18:21) may have originated, as Movers suggests, in the idea that the burning was a kind of passage to union with the deity, after the dross of the flesh had been purged away; or it may be a mere euphemism. Ahaz appears to have been the first Israelite king who offered such a sacrifice. He, no doubt, regarded it as a last desperate resource against the oppression of his northern enemies. It is absurd to suppose that the king intended it in love to his child, as Thenius suggests. (See Judges 11:31.) Such dreadful sacrifices were only made in cases of dire extremity. (Comp. 2 Kings 3:27.)

The heathen.—More particularly the Ammonites, who made such sacrifices to Molech or Milcom.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-16.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
he walked
8:18; 1 Kings 12:28-30; 16:31-33; 21:25,26; 22:52,53; 2 Chronicles 22:3; 28:2-4
made his son
17:17; 23:10; Leviticus 18:21; 20:2; Deuteronomy 12:31; 18:10; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Psalms 106:37; Psalms 106:38; Jeremiah 32:35; Ezekiel 16:21; 20:26,31
according
21:2,11; Deuteronomy 12:31; 1 Kings 14:24; 2 Chronicles 33:2; Psalms 106:35; Ezekiel 16:47
Reciprocal: Leviticus 18:27 - General2 Kings 15:37 - In those days;  2 Kings 17:8 - walked;  2 Kings 17:19 - walked;  2 Kings 21:6 - he made;  2 Chronicles 28:3 - burnt;  Isaiah 57:5 - under;  Ezekiel 11:12 - but;  Ezekiel 16:20 - and these;  Micah 1:5 - they;  Micah 1:13 - for;  Micah 6:7 - shall;  Micah 6:16 - the works

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-16.html.