2 Chronicles 28:21
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 to the king of Assyria: but he helped him not.
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(21) Took away a portion . . . gave it.—Rather, For Ahaz had despoiled the house of the Lord, and the house of the king and the princes, and had given it. (Comp. 2Kings 16:8.)

The princesi.e., the great courtiers living in the palace, whose valuables as well as those of Ahaz were ransacked to make up the costly bribe. (Syriac and Arabic, “the vessels which were in the house of the Lord, and in the house of the former kings, and in the rich houses.”)

But he helped him not.And it was not for help (i.e., it resulted not in help) to him. His submission to Tiglath brought him no real advantage, but rather hastened the downfall of his kingdom.

“The Assyrians had no regard to the welfare of their vassals. The principle of the monarchy was plunder; and Ahaz, whose treasures had been exhausted by his first tribute, was soon driven, by the repeated demands of his masters, to strip the Temple even of its ancient bronze-work and other fixed ornaments (2Kings 16:17, seq.). The time was not far off when the rapacity of the Assyrian could no longer be satisfied, and his plundering hordes would be let loose upon the land” (Robertson Smith).

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.Tilgath-pilneser - This form of the name is doubly corrupt. See the properly Hebraized form in 2 Kings 15:29.

Distressed him, but strengthened him not - This statement, and that at the end of 2 Chronicles 28:21, is supplemental to, and not contradictory of, 2 Kings 16:9. Here it is the writer's object to note that the material assistance rendered by Tiglath-pileser to Ahab, was no real "help" or "strength," but rather a cause of "distress."

20. Tilgath-pilneser … distressed him, but strengthened him not—that is, notwithstanding the temporary relief which Tilgath-pilneser afforded him by the conquest of Damascus and the slaughter of Rezin (2Ki 16:9), little advantage resulted from it, for Tilgath-pilneser spent the winter in voluptuous revelry at Damascus; and the connection formed with the Assyrian king was eventually a source of new and greater calamities and humiliation to the kingdom of Judah (2Ch 28:2, 3). Distressed him, or, straitened him, by robbing him of his treasures. But he helped him not, but strengthened him not; a most emphatical expression: for though he weakened his present enemy the Syrian, as is related, 2 Kings 16:9, yet really, and all things considered, he did not strengthen Ahaz and his kingdom, but rather weaken them; for by the removing the Syrian, who, though a troublesome neighbour, was a kind of bulwark to him, as to many other enemies, he smoothed the way for himself, a far more dangerous and mischievous enemy, as appears by his invasion of Judah in the very next king’s reign. 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,.... A part out of the treasures of the temple, and a part out of his own treasures, and another which he levied upon his nobles:

and gave it unto the king of Assyria; sent it to him as a present, to engage him on his side, and assist him against his enemies, 2 Kings 16:10.

but he helped him not; See Gill on 2 Chronicles 28:20.

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.
21. took away a portion out of the house of the Lord, and out of the house] Render, plundered the house of the LORD and the house, etc.

but he helped] R.V. but it helped.Verse 21. - Add to references of last verse 2 Chronicles 16:2; 2 Kings 12:18; 2 Kings 18:15. But he helped him not. See the parallel in its ver. 9 (2 Kings 16.), and note on our foregoing verse. "And the men which were specified by name stood up." בשׁמות נקּבוּ אשׁר does not signify those before mentioned (2 Chronicles 28:12), but the men specified by name, distinguished or famous men (see on 1 Chronicles 12:31), among whom, without doubt, those mentioned in 2 Chronicles 28:12 are included, but not these alone; other prominent men are also meant. These received the prisoners and the booty, clothed all the naked, providing them with clothes and shoes (sandals) from the booty, gave them to eat and to drink, anointed them, and set all the feeble upon asses, and brought them to Jericho to their brethren (countrymen). The description is picturesque, portraying with satisfaction the loving pity for the miserable. מערמּים, nakedness, abstr. pro concr., the naked. לכל־כּושׁל is accus., and a nearer definition of the suffix in ynahaluwm: they brought them, (not all, but only) all the stumbling, who could not, owing to their fatigue, make the journey on foot. Jericho, the city of palm trees, as in Judges 3:13, in the tribe of Benjamin, belonged to the kingdom of Judah; see Joshua 18:21. Arrived there, the prisoners were with their brethren.

The speech of the prophet Oded is reckoned by Gesenius, on Isaiah, S. 269, among the speeches invented by the chronicler; but very erroneously so: cf. against him, Caspari, loc cit. i. S. 49ff. The speech cannot be separated from the fact of the liberation of the prisoners carried away from Judah, which it brought about; and that is shown to be a historical fact by the names of the tribal princes of Ephraim, who, in consequence of the warning of the prophet, took his part and accomplished the sending of them back; they being names which are not elsewhere met with (2 Chronicles 28:12). The spontaneous interference of these tribal chiefs would not be in itself impossible, but yet it is very improbable, and becomes perfectly comprehensible only by the statement that these men were roused and encouraged thereto by the word of a prophet. We must consequently regard the speech of the prophet as a fact which is as well established as that narrated in 2 Chronicles 28:12-15. "If that which is narrated in 2 Chronicles 28:12. be not invented, it would betray the greatest levity to hold that which is recorded in 2 Chronicles 28:9-11 to be incredible" (Casp.). And, moreover, the speech of the prophet does not contain the thoughts and phrases current with the author of the Chronicle, but is quite suitable to the circumstances, and so fully corresponds to what we should expect to hear from a prophet on such an occasion, that there is not the slightest reason to doubt the authenticity of its contents. Finally, the whole transaction is exactly parallel to the interference of the prophet Shemaiah in 1 Kings 12:22-24 (2 Chronicles 11:1-4), who exhorted the army of Judah, fully determined upon war with the ten tribes which had just revolted from the house of David, not to make war upon their brethren the Israelites, as the revolt had been brought about by God. "That fact at the beginning of the history of the two separated kingdoms, and this at the end of it, finely correspond to each other. In the one place it is a Judaean prophet who exhorts the men of Judah, in the other an Ephraimite prophet who exhorts the Ephraimites, to show a conciliatory spirit to the related people; and in both cases they are successful. If we do not doubt the truth of the even narrated in 1 Kings 12:22-24, why should that recorded in 2 Chronicles 28:9-11 be invented?" (Casp. S. 50.)

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