|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:1-9 Few and evil were the days of Ahaz. Those whose hearts condemn them, will go any where in a day of distress, rather than to God. The sin was its own punishment. It is common for those who bring themselves into straits by one sin, to try to help themselves out by another.
Verse 6. - At that time Rezin, King of Syria recovered Elath to Syria. The Syrians had certainly never previously been masters of Elath, which had always hitherto been either Jewish or Edomite (see 1 Kings 9:26; 1 Kings 22:48; 2 Kings 14:22). Hence it seems to be necessary that we should either translate the Hebrew verb חֵשִׁיב by "gained," "conquered," instead of "recovered;" or else change אַרַם, "Syria," into ךאדֹם "Edom." The Syrians could "recover" Elath for Edom; they could only "gain" it for themselves. And drave the Jews from Elath - i.e. expelled the Jewish garrison which had been maintained in Elath from the time of its conquest by Uzziah (2 Kings 14:22) - and the Syrians came to Elath; rather, the Edomites - רוט אֲדומִים אֲרומִים. Rezin could not have thought of holding a place so remote from Damascus as Elath; and, had he done so, the danger of his kingdom in the next year would have necessitated the relinquishment of so distant a possession. And dwelt there unto this day. It is quite certain that Elath belonged to Edom, and not to Syria, at the time when the Books of Kings were written.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria,.... A port on the Red sea, that formerly belonged to Edom, taken from them by David, retaken by them when they revolted in Joram's time, and perhaps taken by Amaziah again, since his son Azariah rebuilt it, and restored it to Judah, 2 Kings 14:22 and it seems by this that it had been in the hands of the Syrians, who now recovered it; unless instead of Aram, rendered Syrians, we could substitute Edom, which Le Clerc has ventured to do without any authority:
and drave the Jews from Elath; who were in possession of it. This is the first time that the inhabitants of the kingdom of Judah are called Jews, from the name of their original patriarch, and principal tribe; though some think (m) they had this name from the time this tribe went up first against the Canaanites, Judges 1:1, however, it is a mistake of R. Elias Levita (n), that it is never found in the Bible they were called Jews, but from the time the ten tribes were carried captive, and not before; and a greater mistake still it is of Tacitus (o), that they were called Jews or Judaeans, as if they were Idaeans from Mount Ida in Crete, from whence he supposes they came:
and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day; the marginal reading is Edomites; and so read the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions; and Kimchi observes that it is written "Aramim", Syrians, because the king of Syria took it, and by his means the Edomites returned to it, but is read "Edomim", Edomites, because it belonged to the children of Edom; and it is certain the Edomites had come and smitten Judah, 2 Chronicles 28:17.
(m) Polydor. Virgil. de Invent. l. 4. c. 1.((n) Tishbi, p. 143. So David de Pomis Lexic. fol. 83. 4. (o) Hist. l. 5. sect. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. Rezin … recovered Elath—which Azariah had got into his possession (2Ki 14:22).
the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day—The Septuagint version has "the Edomites," which the most judicious commentators and travellers [Robinson] prefer.
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