¶ 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:
.2 For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim.
.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.
4 He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.
.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.
| 2 -
Images for Baalim See jg0211,
3 - Valley of Hinnom Curves west and south of Jerusalem. See jos1508, jos1816. See Jerusalem map.
¶ 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.
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.
|6 - Pekah ... slew See beginning of Hosea 7.|
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.
.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.
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?
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.
|8-14 - Captive ... own brethren "These captives included a great number of women, boys, and girls, a circumstance which creates a presumption that the Hebrews, like other Orientals, were accompanied in the war by multitudes of non-combatants (see on ... Jg 4:8). The report of these "brethren," being brought as captives to Samaria, excited general indignation among the better-disposed inhabitants; and Oded, a prophet, accompanied by the princes (2Ch 28:12 compared with 2Ch 28:14|), went out, as the escort was approaching, to prevent the disgraceful outrage of introducing such prisoners into the city. The officers of the squadron were, of course, not to blame; they were simply doing their military duty in conducting those prisoners of war to their destination. But Oded clearly showed that the Israelitish army had gained the victory--not by the superiority of their arms, but in consequence of the divine judgment against Judah. He forcibly exposed the enormity of the offense of keeping "their brethren" as slaves got in war. He protested earnestly against adding this great offense of unnatural and sinful cruelty (Le 25:43,44; Mic 2:8,9) to the already overwhelming amount of their own national sins. Such was the effect of his spirited remonstrance and the opposing tide of popular feeling, that "the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the congregation." (JFB)|
| 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,
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.
14 So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the congregation.
|.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.|| 15
- City of palm trees. See de3403.
Under their [those who 'rose up'] kindly superintendence, the prisoners were not only released, but out of the spoils were comfortably relieved with food and clothing, and conveyed as far as Jericho on their way back to their own homes. This is a beautiful incident, and full of interest, as showing that even at this period of national decline, there were not a few who steadfastly adhered to the law of God." (JFB)
¶ At that time did king Ahaz send unto the kings of Assyria to help
17 For again the Edomites had come and smitten Judah, and carried away captives.
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.
19 For the LORD brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the LORD.
And Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria came unto him, and distressed him,
but strengthened him not.
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.
22 And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD: this is that king Ahaz.
.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.
|23 - Because the gods ... help them The evil one who plays the roles of false gods can, at times, make it appear that they and the people who worship them have more power. This, however, is not how we decide who to worship.|
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.
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.
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.
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.
|24 - Shut up the doors "Shut up the doors] He caused the Divine worship to be totally suspended; and they continued shut till the beginning of the reign of Hezekiah, one of whose first acts was to reopen them, and thus to restore the Divine worship, 2Ch 29:3." (A Clarke's Commentary).|