Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Kings 16:5

Then Rezin king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem to wage war; and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome him.
New American Standard

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ahaz;   Alliances;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Jerusalem;   Remaliah;   Rezin;   Siege;   Thompson Chain Reference - Israel;   Jerusalem;   Jews;   Pekah;   Rezin;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Jerusalem;   Kings;   Syria;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Pekah;   Rezin;   Temple;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ahaz;   Assyria;   Judah, tribe and kingdom;   Pekah;   Syria;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Gods and Goddesses, Pagan;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Isaiah;   Pekah;   Rezin;   Tiglath-Pileser Iii.;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Damascus;   Jerusalem;   Rezin;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Assyria, History and Religion of;   Damascus;   Rezin;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ahaz;   Alliance;   Damascus;   Jerusalem;   Nations;   Tiglath-Pileser;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ahaz ;   Assyria ;   Damascus;   Pekah ;   Rezin ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Pekah;   Rezin;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Alliances;   Remali'ah;   Re'zin;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Assyria;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Ahaz;   Damascus;   Hosea;   Isaiah;   Oded;   Pekah;   Rezin;   Shallum (2);   Syrians;   Tiglath-Pileser;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Alliances;   Assyria;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

But could not overcome him - It is likely that this was the time when Isaiah was sent to console Ahaz; (see Isaiah 7:1;); and predicted the death both of Rezin and Pekah, his enemies.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:5". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-kings-16.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Rezin and Pekah, who had already begun their attacks upon Judaea in the reign of Jotham 2 Kings 15:37, regarded the accession of a boy-king, only 16 years of age, as especially favorable to their projects, and proceeded without loss of time to carry them out. The earlier scenes of the war, omitted by the writer of Kings, are given at some length in 2 Chronicles 28:5-15.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:5". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-kings-16.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

THE WAR AGAINST AHAZ BY PEKAH AND REZIN OF SYRIA

"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. At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drove the Jews from Elath; and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there, unto this day."

" 2 Kings 16:5 here is practically identical with Isaiah 7:1."[10] In fact, Isaiah probably is the author of a great many passages in Kings. From the account in Isaiah we learn the reason for this war against Judah. Syria, mentioned first here, was the leader of a coalition in which they had also enlisted Pekah with a projected purpose of forming a wide-spread alliance against the rising authority of Assyria. They desperately wanted Judah to join this coalition, and when Ahaz refused, Syria and Israel under Pekah decided to replace Ahaz on the throne of Judah with a man of their own choice, Ben-Tabeel (Isaiah 7:6).

Cook pointed out that, "A large party in Judah were weary of the house of David (Isaiah 7:13) and were ready to join the coalition."[11] Their siege of Jerusalem was for that purpose, but although they inflicted great damage and casualties upon Judah, they could not compel the removal of Ahaz.

We shall not comment on 2 Kings 16:6, as it appears here, because scholars generally agree that the text is defective, as indicated by the RSV rendition as follows:

"2 Kings 16:6, (RSV): At that time the king of Edom recovered Elath for Edom, and drove the men of Judah from Elath, and the Edomites came to Elath, where they dwell to this day."

The Hebrew words for Aram and Edom are quite similar, and the translators switched the passage to Edom, rather than Aram (Syria), because of the more appropriate meaning. The inclusion of this information here seems to have been for the purpose of showing how the difficulties against Ahaz were multiplied.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:5". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/2-kings-16.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then Rezin king of Syria, and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem to war,.... To fight with Ahaz, moved to it by the Lord, to chastise Ahaz for his idolatry, 2 Kings 15:37.

but could not overcome him; so as to take Jerusalem, and set up another king there, as their scheme was, Isaiah 7:5 though they had both at other times got great advantages over him, and slew many of his people, and carried them captive, see 2 Chronicles 28:5.

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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 16:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-kings-16.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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 c [him].

(c) For the Lord preserved the city and his people for the sake of his promise made to David.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:5". "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

Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem — Notwithstanding their great efforts and military preparations, they failed to take it and, being disappointed, raised the siege and returned home (compare Isaiah 7:1).

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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 16:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-kings-16.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

Could not overcome — Because God of his own mere grace, undertook his protection, and disappointed the hopes of his enemies.

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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 16:5". "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 16:5 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, [2 Chronicles 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. [Isaiah 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; Isaiah 7:16]

But could not overcome him.] For they proved like two tails of smoking firebrands. [Isaiah 7:4] They came into the country like thunder and lightning: but went out like a snuff.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:5". 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

Because God of his own mere grace undertook their protection, as he promised to do, and disappointed the hopes and design of their enemies; of which see on Isa 7.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:5". 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

5.Rezin’ and Pekah’ came up — In the days of Jotham they had formed an alliance and commenced operations against the kingdom of Judah, but for some reason they seem not to have come up to Jerusalem until the beginning of Ahaz’s reign. Perhaps Jotham’s soldier-like power and valour were more than a match for the allied armies.

Besieged Ahaz — His weakness and wickedness emboldened his foes.

Could not overcome — The army of Jerusalem seems to have been inspirited by Isaiah’s words, who came forward at this season of alarm, and uttered the oracle of doom against “the two tails of these smoking firebrands, Rezin and the son of Remaliah.” Compare Isaiah 7:1-9.

But though unable to capture Jerusalem, they did immense injury to the kingdom of Judah. According to 2 Chronicles 28:5-15, they either slew or carried into exile hundreds of thousands of the people, and also took much spoil. The Israelites, however, at the expostulation of the prophet Obed, released their captives and sent them back to Jericho.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:5". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-kings-16.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Then. In punishment of such enormous crimes, God first delivered Achaz into the hands of Rasin, (2 Paralipomenon xxviii.; St. Jerome, in Isaias vii.) and afterwards Phacee destroyed 120,000 in one battle, and took 200,000 prisoners, whom the prophet Oded persuaded him to release, 2 Paralipomenon xxviii. 8, 11. Salien (the year before Christ 759.) observes that the two kings then joined their forces , and besieged Jerusalem the following year, but to no purpose. (Haydock) --- Isaias was sent before the siege to encourage Achaz, and to promise the miraculous birth of the Messias, as a sign that he should be delivered: and to convince him of it the more, he foretold that the two kings should be destroyed before his own son should be able to say father, Isaias vii. 8., &c. Yet as Achaz did not still amend his life, God sent the same kings the following year (the year of the world 3263.) to lay waste the country. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:5". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-kings-16.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Rezin. Compare Isa 7. He and Pekah are the two firebrands of 2 Kings 7:4. The events in verses: 2 Kings 16:5-9 are said by some to contradict 2 Chronicles 28:5-20; but the event recorded in 2 Chron. happened the year before, directly after (2 Chronicles 28:5-20), in 631 (see App-50.) Rezin and Pekah both attacked directly after his accession (successfully). But they confederated unsuccessfully, came up. Pekah"s design to persuade Ahaz failed; and he tried to supersede him himself ("Tabeal" being a cipher for Remaliah). Compare Isaiah 7:6.

could not: because of the promise to David. Compare Isaiah 7:7, Isaiah 7:16.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:5". "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

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.

Then Rezin ... and Pekah ... came up to Jerusalem to war. Notwithstanding their great efforts and military preparations, they failed to take it, and, being disappointed, raised the siege and returned home (cf. Isaiah 7:1). It appears from Isaiah 7:6 that the invasion of Judah by the confederate kings (confederate in one sense; but Rezin was the superior, and Pekah a tributary vassal, bound to follow his master) was not a mere predatory expedition, but that it was the permanent reduction of the country, the destruction of the whole family of David, and the establishment of another tributary prince, that they had in view. A close examination of the seventh and eighth chapters in the hook of that prophet will furnish clear proof that there was in Jerusalem itself a powerful faction who were actively favouring the designs of the northern allies. [The word qesher (Hebrew #7195), rendered (2 Kings 16:12) a confederacy, is used throughout the history of the kings to signify a conspiracy only (2 Kings 11:14; 2 Kings 12:21; 2 Kings 14:19; 2 Kings 15:30).]

At the head of this conspiracy was the son of Tabeal, whom the invaders intended to set, as their vassal, on the throne of Judah, as the geographical position of Syria excluded the possibility of dividing the former country, and annexing any part of it to the dominions of Rezin. Their ultimate object was to bring Judah as well as Israel under vassalage to Syria, that by the union of the three kingdoms (and it is probable, cf. 2 Kings 17:4, that Egypt secretly favoured this policy) a broad, compact phalanx of opposition might be presented to the overwhelming power of Assyria. The extirpation of whole dynasties was familiar to those who were connected with Oriental courts; and the older a dynasty was, the more venerated and beloved by the people, the more necessary it was that no survivor should be left to claim back the crown from its usurper. But the unconditional promise given to David, that his seed should for ever sit on the throne of Israel, irrespective of the conduct of his descendants (2 Samuel 7:12-16), prevented such dynastic changes in Judah, and occasioned purpose of the allied kings being defeated, in spite of Ahaz. This result was all the more striking, that at another time, and in other circumstances, he was left to himself under incomparably greater calamities, when his kingdom was all but annihilated (see the notes at 2 Chronicles 28:5; 2 Chronicles 28:8; 2 Chronicles 28:17-18) (see 'Jewish Intelligence,' March,

1867.)

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:5". "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

(5) Then Rezin king of Syria . . . to war.—This verse agrees almost word for word with Isaiah 7:1. The time is soon after the accession of Ahaz. “Jotham, the last of a series of strong and generally successful princes, had died at a critical moment, when Pekah and Rezin were maturing their plans against his kingdom. The opposing parties in northern Israel suspended their feuds to make common cause against Judah (Isaiah 9:21), and the proud inhabitants of Samaria hoped by this policy to more than restore the prestige forfeited in previous years of calamity (Isaiah 9:9-10). At the same time the Syrians began to operate in the eastern dependencies of Judah, their aim being to possess themselves of the harbour of Elath on the Red Sea, while the Philistines attacked the Judeans in the rear, and ravaged the fertile lowlands (Isaiah 9:12, 2 Kings 16:6). A heavy and sudden disaster had already fallen on the Judean arms, a defeat in which ‘head and tail, palm-branch and rush’ had been mown down in indiscriminate slaughter (Isaiah 9:14). Ahaz was no fit leader in so critical a time; his character was petulant and childish, his policy was dictated in the harem (Isaiah 3:12). Nor was the internal order of the state calculated to inspire confidence. Wealth, indeed, had greatly accumulated in the preceding time of prosperity, but its distribution had been such that it weakened rather than added strength to the nation. The rich nobles were steeped in sensual luxury, the court was full of gallantry, feminine extravagance and vanity gave the tone to aristocratic society (Isaiah 5:11; Isaiah 3:16; comp. Isaiah 3:12; Isaiah 4:4), which, like the noblesse of France on the eve of the Revolution, was absorbed in gaiety and pleasure, while the masses were ground down by oppression, and the cry of their distress filled the land (Isaiah 3:15; Isaiah 5:7).”—Prof. Robertson Smith.

They besieged Ahaz.—The allies wanted to compel Judah to join them in their attempt to throw off the burdensome yoke of Assyria, imposed in 738 B.C. (2 Kings 15:19); and thought the best way to secure this was to dethrone the dynasty of David, and set up a creature of their own—“the son of Tabeal” (Isaiah 7:6).

Could not overcome him.—Literally, they were not able to war, as in Isaiah 7:2. The allies could not storm the city, which had been strongly fortified by Uzziah and Jotham (2 Chronicles 26:9; 2 Chronicles 27:3).

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:5". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-kings-16.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
A. M. 3262. B.C. 742. Rezin
15:37; 2 Chronicles 28:5-15; Isaiah 7:1,2-9
but could not
1 Kings 11:36; 15:4; Isaiah 7:4-6,14; 8:6,9,10; 9:6,7
Reciprocal: 2 Chronicles 28:16 - did king;  Isaiah 8:12 - A confederacy;  Ezekiel 16:57 - reproach

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Kings 16:5". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-kings-16.html.