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ACHAZ was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: he did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord as David his father had done,

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2 But walked in the ways of the kings of Israel; moreover also he cast statues for Baalim. 3 It was he that burnt incense in the valley of Benennom, and consecrated his sons in the fire according to the manner of the nations, which the Lord slew at the coming of the children of Israel.

Ver. 3.  Benennon, "the son of Ennom."  4 K. xvi.

 

--- Consecrated.  Heb. "burnt."  H.


4 He sacrificed also, and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.

Ver. 4.  Tree.  Remarkable for its size and beauty; as the heathens supposed that some deity lay there concealed.  Mariana.  T.


5 And the Lord his God delivered him into the hands of the king of Syria, who defeated him, and took a great booty out of his kingdom, and carried it to Damascus: he was also delivered into the hands of the king of Israel, who overthrew him with a great slaughter.

Ver. 5.  Booty.  Heb. "number of captives."  H.

 

--- The two  kings had besieged Jerusalem without success: (4 K.) but now their forces were divided.  M.

 

--- The motives of this war were unjust. Mic. ii. 8.




6 For Phacee the son of Romelia slew of Juda a hundred and twenty thousand in one day, all valiant men: because they had forsaken the Lord the God of their fathers.


7 At the same time Zechri a powerful man of Ephraim, slew Maasias the king's son, and Ezricam the governor of his house, and Elcana who was next to the king.

Ver. 7.  At the same time, is not in Heb. (C.) or Sept.  H.

 

--- Zechri, one of the generals of Phacee, slew the king's son, &c. after the engagement.

 

--- Next.  Joseph and Aman enjoyed the like dignity.  Gen. xli. 42.  Est. xiii. 3.  The high priests had also seconds.  4 K. xxv. 18.  Sept. "vicar of the king."  C.




8 And the children of Israel carried away of their brethren two hundred thousand women, boys, and girls, and an immense booty: and they brought it to Samaria.


9 At that time there was a prophet of the Lord there, whose name was Oded: and he went out to meet the army that came to Samaria, and said to them: Behold the Lord the God of your fathers being angry with Juda, hath delivered them into your hands, and you have butchered them cruelly, so that your cruelty hath reached up to heaven.

Ver. 9.  Heaven, and cries for vengeance against you.  Though God designed to punish his people, your cruelty will not be excused.  H.

 

--- The effect of this remonstrance, shews that all the kingdom of Israel was not devoid (C.) of feeling and religion.  H.

 

--- They set a noble example for Christian princes to follow after a victory.  D.




10 Moreover you have a mind to keep under the children of Juda and Jerusalem for your bondmen and bondwomen, which ought not to be done: for you have sinned in this against the Lord your God.

Ver. 10.  God, who forbids this.  Lev. xxv. 43.  Mic. ii. 8. 9.  Heb. "are there not with you, yea, with you, sins against?" &c.  If Juda have deserved punishment, reflect if you also be not guilty, v. 13.  Sept. "Behold, am I not here with you to bear witness to the Lord?"




11 But hear ye my counsel, and release the captives that you have brought of your brethren, because a great indignation of the Lord hangeth over you. 12 Then some of the chief men of the sons of Ephraim, Azarias the son of Johanan, Barachias the son of Mosollamoth, Ezechias the son of Sellum, and Amasa the son of Adali, stood up against them that came from the war.
13 And they said to them: You shall not bring in the captives hither, lest we sin against the Lord. Why will you add to our sins, and heap up upon our former offences? for the sin is great, and the fierce anger of the Lord hangeth over Israel.

Ver. 13.  Our, is expressed in Heb. and Sept.  These people justly confess that they stand in need of pardon, without adding fresh crimes.  H.

 

--- The cruel treatment of the people of Juda, and the design to make them slaves, were grievous sins.  C.


14 So the soldiers left the spoils, and all that they had taken, before the princes and all the multitude. 15 And the men, whom we mentioned above, rose up and took the captives, and with the spoils clothed all them that were naked: and when they had clothed and shed them, and refreshed them with meat and drink, and anointed them because of their labour, and had taken care of them, they set such of them as could not walk, and were feeble, upon beasts, and brought them to Jericho the city of palm trees to their brethren, and they returned to Samaria.

Ver. 15.  Above.  Heb. "by name."  They deserved to be immortalized.  H.

 

--- Anointed.  This was very common, (M.) and refreshing.  Celsus i. 3.




16 At that time king Achaz sent to the king of the Assyrians asking help.

Ver. 16.  Kings.  Heb. "kings."  But Sept. have the singular.  4 K. xvi. 7.

17 And the Edomites came and slew many of Juda, and took a great booty.

Ver. 17.  And.  Sept. "Because the Edomites had come,...and taken many prisoners."   Prot. "for again," &c.  H.




18 The Philistines also spread themselves among the cities of the plains, and to the south of Juda: and they took Bethsames, and Aialon, and Gaderoth, and Socho, and Thamnan, and Gamzo, with their villages, and they dwelt in them.

Ver. 18.  Gamzo.  Syr. "Garam," perhaps Gaza, (C.) or a city south of Juda.  M.



Bethsames

Bethsames, 1 (Josh 15:10, etc.; Dan); also Bethsemes (1Chron 6:59): 'Ain-Shems, 15 m. W. of Jerusalem. — 2 (Josh 19:22; Issachar), possibly 'Ain esh-Shemsiyeh, S. of Beisân; or Kh. Shemsin, S. of the Lake of Tiberias. — 3 (Josh 19:38; Nephtali), perhaps Kh. Shem'â (?), W. of Sãfed. --- Bethsames was in the tribe of Dan, (C.) but belonging to the king of Juda. --- Bethsames, "the house of the sun". Here the sight of the ark proved so fatal to 50,070 of the inhabitants, 1 K. vi. 19. C.

Aialon

Aialon 1- (Josh 10:12 etc.) town and valley: Yâlô, W. N.W. of Jerusalem, E. of Amwâs. 2- (Judg 12:12; Zabulon): Kh. Jalîm, E. of Acre. --- Aialon belonged to Dan. Jos. xix. 42. But it was near Benjamin, (M.) and was probably occupied by people chiefly of that tribe. H.

19 For the Lord had humbled Juda because of Achaz the king of Juda, for he had stripped it of help, and had contemned the Lord.

Ver. 19.  Of Juda.  Heb. "Israel."  But the Sept. have "Juda."  H.

 

--- The names are often used promiscuously.  C.

 

--- For he.  Sept. "because he or it had apostatised from the Lord."

 

--- Script.  Prot. "he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore," &c.  Thus were the idolatrous Israelites exposed to shame and misery, after they had adored the golden calf.  Ex. xxxii. 25.  H.

 

--- In the Bacchanalian riots, the pagans threw off their garments, to shew that they trusted entirely in their false gods.  T.

 

--- Achaz had plunged his country in distress, (C.) both of soul and body, (H.) by his scandalous deportment.  C.

 

--- Of all help, is added by way of explanation; (T.) as God would no longer rescue his rebellious people from the hands of the enemy.  H.




20 And he brought, against him Thelgathphalnasar king of the Assyrians, who also afflicted him, and plundered him without any resistance.

Ver. 20.  And.  Heb. and Sept. "And....the king....came against him, and smote him."  Heb. continues, "but strengthened him not" in the end; though he had been invited, (v. 16.  H.) and had actually made a diversion in favour of Achaz.  But not being satisfied, he afterwards returned, and made cruel havoc in the country, imposing tribute upon the king, v. 21.  4 K. xvi. 7. and xviii. 7.  It is therefore unnecessary to correct the Heb. with Grotius, to make it agree with 4 K. xvi. 7.  Thus---he "came to his aid, and relieved him from his distress, (v. 21,) and granted him assistance."



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21 And Achaz stripped the house of the Lord, and the house of the kings, and of the princes, and gave gifts to the king of the Assyrians, and yet it availed him nothing.

Ver. 21.  Gifts.  Tribute.  C.

 

--- Heb. "and gave it to, &c.: but he did not help him."  H.


22 Moreover also in the time of his distress he increased contempt against the Lord: king Achaz himself by himself,

Ver. 22.  Moreover.  Sept. "but to distress him."

 

--- Wicked policy availeth nothing, but entails much evil.  W.

 

--- King.  Heb. "that king Achaz."  The sacred writer thus stigmatizes the impious king, who grew worse the more he was scourged.  H.

 

--- This was the monster, which could not be tamed.  Amama.

 

--- Eva.  "ille," is five times used as a reproach, and often to signify applause.  Kimchi.

 

--- By himself, is an addition.  Amama.

 

--- It gives us to understand (H.) that Achaz acted thus of his own accord.  C.

 

--- Sept. "And king Achaz said, (23) I will studiously seek the gods of Damascus, who have buffetted me," &c.  H.

 

--- This resolution he took while the arms of Rasin were formidable to him: but he put it in execution after the king of Assyria had delivered him, when he went to Damascus to return him thanks.  4 K. xvi. 10.  This stupid blindness and impiety irritated God so much, that he abandoned Juda to the arms of the king, who had been called in as a protector.  How could he expect aid from gods who had suffered their own country and people of Damascus to fall a prey to the invader!  C.


23 Sacrificed victims to the gods of Damascus that struck him, and he said: The gods of the kings of Syria help them, and I will appease them with victims, and they will help me; whereas on the contrary they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.


24 Then Achaz having taken away all the vessels of the house of God, and broken them, shut up the doors of the temple of God, and made himself altars in all the corners of Jerusalem.

Ver. 24.  God: first through fear of the Assyrian, (4 K.) but afterwards he permitted it to continue in the same state of irreligion.  C.

 

--- So easily do people fall into this abyss, who begin to neglect instruction!  H.

 

--- Ezechias took care to open the temple again.  C. xxix. 3.  C.

 

--- None of the former kings had dared (H.) to prohibit the worship of the true God.  T.




25 And in all the cities of Juda he built altars to burn frankincense, and he provoked the Lord the God of his fathers to wrath.


26 But the rest of his acts, and all his works first and last are written in the book of the kings of Juda and Israel.


27 And Achaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of Jerusalem: for they received him not into the sepulchres of the kings of Israel. And Ezechias his son reigned in his stead.

Ver. 27.  Israel is put as comprising Juda.  H.  C. xx. 34. and xxiv. 16. &c.  C.



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