2 Chronicles 28:19
For the LORD brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the LORD.
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(19) Ahaz king of Israel.—Most commentators see an irony in this expression. But, as has been stated before, the southern kingdom was Israel in the chronicler’s idea; although that of the Ten Tribes was, politically speaking, as much more important, as the cedar of Lebanon was in comparison with the blackthorn growing beside it (2Chronicles 25:18. See Note on 2Chronicles 12:6; 2Chronicles 21:2). (Some Hebrew MSS., and all ancient versions, read “Judah.” Other Hebrew MSS. remark that in seven places “king of Judah” should be read instead of “king of Israel.”)

He made Judah naked.—Rather, he behaved loosely, dealt licentiously in Judah (hiphri’a). The verb is so used here only. (Comp. Exodus 5:4, where it is transitive: “Why loose ye the people from their works?”) (LXX. omits, Authorised version follows the Vulg.)

Transgressed sore.Done unfaithfulness (1Chronicles 10:13).

28:1-27 The wicked reign of Ahaz in Judah. - Israel gained this victory because God was wroth with Judah, and made them the rod of his indignation. He reminds them of their own sins. It ill becomes sinners to be cruel. Could they hope for the mercy of God, if they neither showed mercy nor justice to their brethren? Let it be remembered, that every man is our neighbour, our brother, our fellow man, if not our fellow Christian. And no man who is acquainted with the word of God, need fear to maintain that slavery is against the law of love and the gospel of grace. Who can hold his brother in bondage, without breaking the rule of doing to others as he would they should do unto him? But when sinners are left to their own heart's lusts, they grow more desperate in wickedness. God commands them to release the prisoners, and they obeyed. The Lord brought Judah low. Those who will not humble themselves under the word of God, will justly be humbled by his judgments. It is often found, that wicked men themselves have no real affection for those that revolt to them, nor do they care to do them a kindness. This is that king Ahaz! that wretched man! Those are wicked and vile indeed, that are made worse by their afflictions, instead of being made better by them; who, in their distress, trespass yet more, and have their hearts more fully set in them to do evil. But no marvel that men's affections and devotions are misplaced, when they mistake the author of their trouble and of their help. The progress of wickedness and misery is often rapid; and it is awful to reflect upon a sinner's being driven away in his wickedness into the eternal world.Ahaz king of Israel - An instance of the lax use of the word "Israel" 2 Chronicles 12:6; 2 Chronicles 21:2. It is simply equivalent to "king of Judah."

He made Judah naked - literally, "he had caused licentiousness in Judah" - i. e. he had allowed Judah to break loose from all restraints of true religion, and to turn to any idolatry that they preferred 2 Chronicles 28:2-4. In this and in the following expression there is implied an apostasy resembling the unfaithfulness of a wife.

18. Gederoth—on the Philistine frontier (Jos 15:41).

Shocho—or Socoh (Jos 15:35), now Shuweikeh, a town in the Valley of Judah (see on [462]1Sa 17:1).

Gimzo—now Jimza, a little east of Ludd (Lydda) [Robinson]. All these disasters, by which the "Lord brought Judah low," were because of Ahaz, king of Israel (Judah), see 2Ch 21:2; 24:16; 28:27, who made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the Lord.

He made Judah naked; taking away their ornament and their defence and strength, to wit, their treasures, which he sent to the Assyrian to no purpose; their frontier towns, and other strong holds, which by his folly and wickedness were lost; their religion, and the Divine protection, which was their great and only firm security, which by his sins he forfeited. See Poole "Exodus 32:25".

For the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel,.... Because of his impieties and idolatries, which the people by his example went into; he is called king of Israel, because he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and because he ruled over two of the tribes of Israel, and of right was king over all Israel, as David and Solomon his ancestors were; though the Vulgate Latin, Septuagint, and Syriac versions, read, king of Judah; and so the Targum: "for he made Judah naked"; stripped them of their religion, and the worship of God, and so of the divine protection, whereby they were exposed to their enemies, see Exodus 32:25 the Targum is,"for the house of Judah ceased from the worship of the Lord;"

transgressed sore against the Lord; by committing gross idolatry the same Targum is,"they dealt falsely with the Word of the Lord.''

For the LORD brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of {n} Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the LORD.

(n) He means Judah, because Ahaz forsook the Lord and sought help from the infidels. See Geneva (l) 2Ch 15:17 for when Judah was called Israel.

19. king of Israel] Cp. 2 Chronicles 11:3 (note).

he made Judah naked] R.V. he had dealt wantonly in Judah (mg. “cast away restraint”). Cp. Exodus 32:25 (A.V. and R.V.) where the same Heb. verb is twice used.

Verse 19. - Ahaz King of Israel. So Jehoshaphat was called in 2 Chronicles 21:2 "King of Israel." If these two occasions are not merely cases of the writer's or of a copyist's easily imaginable mistake, they must be regarded as naming the king of the chief divided kingdom by the title of the whole kingdom or people. He made Judah naked; Revised Version, had dealt wantonly in Judah; or margin, Revised Version, had cast away restraint in Judah; Hebrew, הִפְרִיַע. 2 Chronicles 28:19Judah suffered this defeat, because God humbled them on account of Ahaz. Ahaz is called king of Israel, not because he walked in the ways of the kings of the kingdom of the ten tribes (2 Chronicles 28:2), but ironically, because his government was the bitterest satire upon the name of the king of Israel, i.e., of the people of God (Casp.); so that Israel here, and in 2 Chronicles 28:27, as in 2 Chronicles 21:2; 2 Chronicles 12:6, is used with reference to the pregnant signification of the word. הפריע כּי, for (Ahaz) had acted wantonly in Judah; not: made Judah wanton, for הפריע is construed with b, not with accus. obj., as in Exodus 5:4.

After this episode the narrator comes back upon the help which Ahaz sought of the Assyrians. The Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser (on the name, see on 1 Chronicles 5:6) did indeed come, but עליו, against him (Ahaz), and oppressed him, but strengthened him not. חזקו ולא לו ויּצר Thenius and Bertheau translate: he oppressed him, that is, besieged him, yet did not overcome him; adducing in support of this, that חזק c. accus. cannot be shown to occur in the signification to strengthen one, and according to Jeremiah 20:7; 1 Kings 16:22, is to be translated, to overcome. But this translation does not at all suit the reason given in the following clause: "for Ahaz had plundered the house of Jahve, ... and given it to the king of Asshur; but it did not result in help to him." The sending away of the temple and palace treasures to the Assyrian king, to obtain his help, cannot possibly be stated as the reason why Tiglath-pileser besieged Ahaz, but did not overcome him, but only as a reason why he did not give Ahaz the expected help, and so did not strengthen him. חזקו ולא corresponds to the לו לעזרה ולא, 2 Chronicles 28:21, and both clauses refer back to לו לעזר, 2 Chronicles 28:16. That which Ahaz wished to buy from Tiglath-pileser, by sending him the treasures of the palace and the temple, - namely, help against his enemies, - he did not thereby obtain, but the opposite, viz., that Tiglath-pileser came against him and oppressed him. When, on the contrary, Thenius takes the matter thus, that the subjection of Ahaz under Tiglath-pileser was indeed prevented by the treasures given, but the support desired was not purchased by them, he has ungrammatically taken חזק as imperfect, and violently torn away the לו לעזרה לו ולא from what precedes. If we connect these words, as the adversative ולא requires, with וגו ויּתּן, then the expression, "Ahaz gave the Assyrian king the treasures of the temple, ... but it did not result in help to him," gives no support to the idea that Tiglath-pileser besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome him. The context therefore necessarily demands that חזק should have the active signification, to strengthen, notwithstanding that חזק in Kal is mainly used as intransitive. Moreover, לו ויּצר also does not denote he besieged, as אליו ויּצר or עליו, 2 Samuel 20:15; 1 Samuel 23:8; but only, he oppressed him, and cannot here be translated otherwise than the לו חצר, 2 Chronicles 28:22, which corresponds to it, where Bertheau also has decided in favour of the signification oppress. It is not stated wherein the oppression consisted; but without doubt it was that Tiglath-pileser, after he had both slain Rezin and conquered his kingdom, and also taken away many cities in Galilee and the land of Naphtali from Pekah, carrying away the inhabitants to Assyria (2 Kings 16:9 and 2 Kings 15:29), advanced against Ahaz himself, to make him a tributary. The verbs חלק and ויּתּן (2 Chronicles 28:21) are pluperfects: "for Ahaz had plundered," etc. Not when Tiglath-pileser oppressed him, but when he besought help of that king, Ahaz had sent him the treasures of the temple and the palace as שׁחד, 2 Kings 16:7-8. חלק denotes to plunder, like חלק, a share of booty, Numbers 31:36, and booty, Job 17:5. The selection of this word for the taking away of the treasures of silver and gold out of the temple and palace arises from the impassioned nature of the language. The taking away of these treasures was, in fact, a plundering of the temple and of the palace. Had Ahaz trusted in the Lord his God, he would not have required to lay violent hands on these treasures. והשּׂרים is added to המּלך בּית, to signify that Ahaz laid hands upon the precious things belonging to the high officials who dwelt in the palace, and delivered them over to the Assyrian king (Berth.).

Although the author of the Chronicle makes the further remark, that the giving of these treasures over did not result in help to Ahaz, yet it cannot be at all doubtful that he had the fact recorded in 2 Kings 16:7-9 before his eyes, and says nothing inconsistent with that account. According to 2 Kings 16:9, Tiglath-pileser, in consequence of the present sent him, took the field, conquered and destroyed the kingdom of Rezin, and also took possession of the northern part of the kingdom of Israel, as is narrated in 2 Kings 15:29. The author of the Chronicle has not mentioned these events, because Ahaz was not thereby really helped. Although the kings Rezin and Pekah were compelled to abandon their plan of capturing Jerusalem and subduing the kingdom of Judah, by the inroad of the Assyrians into their land, yet this help was to be regarded as nothing, seeing that Tiglath-pileser not only retained the conquered territories and cities for himself, but also undertook the whole campaign, not to strengthen Ahaz, but for the extension of his own (the Assyrian) power, and so made use of it, and, as we are told in 2 Chronicles 28:20 of the Chronicle, oppressed Ahaz. This oppression is, it is true, not expressly mentioned in 2 Kings 16, but is hinted in 2 Kings 16:18, and placed beyond doubt by 2 Kings 18:7, 2 Kings 18:14, 2 Kings 18:20; cf. Isaiah 36:5. In 2 Kings 16:18 it is recorded that Ahaz removed the covered sabbath portico which had been built to the house of God, and the external entrance of the king into the house of the Lord, because of (מפּני) the king of Assyria. Manifestly Ahaz feared, as J. D. Mich. has already rightly concluded from this, that the king of Assyria, whom he had summoned to his assistance, might at some time desire to take possession of the city, and that in such a case this covered sabbath porch and an external entrance into the temple might be of use to him in the siege. This note, therefore, notwithstanding its obscurity, yet gives sufficiently clear testimony in favour of the statement in the Chronicle, that the king of Assyria, who had been called upon by Ahaz for help, oppressed him, upon which doubt has been cast by Gesen. Isa. i. S. 269, etc. Tiglath-pileser must have in some way shown a desire to possess Jerusalem, and Ahaz have consequently feared that he might wish to take it by force. But from 2 Kings 18:7, 2 Kings 18:14, 2 Kings 18:20, cf. Isaiah 36:5, it is quite certain Ahaz had become tributary to the Assyrian king, and the kingdom dependent upon the Assyrians. It is true, indeed, that in these passages, strictly interpreted, this subjection of Judah is only said to exist immediately before the invasion of Sennacherib; but since Assyria made no war upon Judah between the campaign of Tiglath-pileser against Damascus and Samaria and Sennacherib's attack, the subjection of Judah to Assyria, which Hezekiah brought to an end, can only have dated from the time of Ahaz, and can only have commenced when Ahaz had called in Tiglath-pileser to aid him against his enemies. Certainly the exact means by which Tiglath-pileser compelled Ahaz to submit and to pay tribute cannot be recognised under, and ascertained from, the rhetorical mode of expression: Tiglath-pileser came against him, and oppressed him. Neither עליו ויּבא nor לו ויּצר require us to suppose that Tiglath-pileser advanced against Jerusalem with an army, although it is not impossible that Tiglath-pileser, after having conquered the Israelite cities in Galilee and the land of Naphtali, and carried away their inhabitants to Assyria (2 Kings 15:29), may have made a further advance, and demanded of Ahaz tribute and submission, ordering a detachment of his troops to march into Judah to enforce his demand. But the words quoted do not necessarily mean more than that Tiglath made the demand on Ahaz for tribute from Galilee, with the threat that, if he should refuse it, he would march into and conquer Judah; and that Ahaz, feeling himself unable to cope successfully with so powerful a king, promised to pay the tribute without going to war. Even in this last case the author of the Chronicle might say that the king who had been summoned by Ahaz to his assistance came against him and oppressed him, and helped him not. Cf. also the elaborate defence of the account in the Chronicle, in Caspari, S. 56ff.

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