Why 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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)THE WAR WITH REZIN OF SYRIA AND PEKAH OF ISRAEL; OR, THE SYRO-EPHRAITE CAMPAIGN (2Chronicles 28:5-9). (Comp. 2Kings 16:5; Isaiah 7:1.)
(5) Wherefore (and) the Lord his God delivered him.—These opening words help us to understand the ground of the variations of the present account from that of 2 Kings 16. The chronicler purposes, not so much to describe a campaign, as to select those events of it which most conspicuously illustrate God’s chastisements of the apostate Ahaz. Accordingly, throughout the description, the historical is subordinated to the didactic motive. (Comp. the account of the Syrian invasion, 2Chronicles 24:23-24.) Not history for its own sake, but history teaching by example, is what the writer desires to present. At the same time, the events here recorded are above critical suspicion. Thenius characterises the whole section (2Chronicles 28:5-15) as “thoroughly historical.”
Into the hand of the king of Syria.—Rezin of Damascus. (Comp. 2Kings 16:5.) Instead of relating the joint attempt against Jerusalem, and the seizure of Elath by Rezin, the chronicler prefers to record two severe defeats suffered by Ahaz in the open field, before his retreat behind the walls of Jerusalem. (See Note on 2Chronicles 17:17; 2Chronicles 22:1.) After these successes the confederates converged upon the capital, and the panic inspired by the news of their coming is finely depicted in Isaiah 7:2. Their attempt proved ineffectual, as the prophet had foretold.
Smote him.—Literally, smote in him, i.e., in his army; defeated him. (A similar remark applies in the next sentence.)
Carried away . . . captives.—Literally, and led captive from him a great captivity (Deuteronomy 21:11).
And he was also delivered.—A second terrible reverse, which took place, perhaps, while Rezin was absent in Idumæa. “At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drove the Jews out of Elath: and the Arameans (or Edomites) came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day” (2Kings 16:6).2 Chronicles 28:5. Wherefore the Lord his God delivered him, &c. — Jehovah was his God, though not by special relation, which Ahaz had renounced, yet by his sovereign dominion over him: for God did not forfeit his right by Ahaz’s denying it. Into the hand of the king of Syria — Who insulted him, triumphed over him, beat him in the field, and carried away a great many of his people into captivity. He was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel — Who, though an idolater as well as Ahaz, was made a terrible scourge to him and his people, shedding their blood, wasting their country, and ruining their families. When they had a good king, and acted wickedly, his goodness in some sort sheltered them; but now they had a bad one, all their defence was departed from them, and an inundation of judgments broke in upon them. And they that knew not their happiness in the foregoing reign, were taught to value it by the miseries of this.
delivered him … smote him … he was also delivered—that is, his army, for Ahaz was not personally included in the number either of the slain or the captives. The slaughter of one hundred twenty thousand in one day was a terrible calamity, which, it is (2Ch 28:6) expressly said, was inflicted as a judgment on Judah, "because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers." Among the slain were some persons of distinction:The Lord his God: God was his God, though not by covenant and grace, and special relation, which Ahaz had renounced, yet by his sovereign dominion over him; for God did not forfeit his right by Ahaz’s denying it. 2 Kings 16:5, though that is an after expedition to this, which is there related. The Lord is called the God of Ahaz, because he was so of right; he had dominion over him, and ought to have been worshipped by him; and, besides, he was so by virtue of the national covenant between God and the people Ahaz was king of; and moreover, Ahaz professed he was his God, though in an hypocritical manner, and he forsook the true worship of him:
and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought them to Damascus; whereas in a later expedition, related in 2 Kings 16:5, they did not succeed:
and he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel; whose name was Pekah: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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)5. smote him] From 2 Kin. it appears that the Syrian king, (1) helped to shut up Ahaz in Jerusalem, (2) seized the port of Elath (Eloth) on the Red Sea which had belonged to Judah. Some of the “captives” taken to Damascus were no doubt brought from Elath.
carried away a great multitude of them captives] R.V. carried away of his a great multitude of captives.
5–7 (cp. 2 Kings 16:5-9; Isaiah 7:1-9). The Syro-Ephraimite War
The Chronicler describes the war from a different point of view from that taken in 2 Kin. In the latter the failure of the allies to take Jerusalem is the chief feature in the account, while in Chron. the damage and loss inflicted on Judah takes the first place. Thus far the two accounts supplement each other.Verse 5. - The King of Syria. The name of this king (Rezin) does not appear in this chapter, but it does in the parallel, vers. 5,6, 9. They smote him. A previous unsuccessful attempt of Rezin and Pekah is apparently passed over in our chapter (2 Kings 16:5), while the contents of our present yeas must be understood to have its place just before the last clause of ver. 5 in the parallel, and to be significantly confirmed by the contents of its following verse. They smote... carried away... brought. These plurals strongly indicate the dialocation of sentences in compiled matter. They probably came from original sources, where the conjoined names of Rezin and Pekah had been the antecedents (see on this history, Isaiah 7, 8, 9.). Brought them to Damascus. The mode of the first introduction of the name of Ahaz in connection with Damascus in the parallel (ver. 10) is a suggestive illustration of how these parallel but very various narratives proffer to piece themselves, and in a wonderful manner clear their, whole subject of any possible taint of the "cunningly devised fable." A great multitude of Judah's people had been carried captives and "brought to Damascus." When the King of Assyria (parallel, ver. 9) came to the help of Ahaz, he struck a fierce and evidently decisive blow against Damascus and Rezin, and to Damascus," to meat" Assyria's king, Tiglath-Pileser, the very next verso tells us, Ahaz. went - little doubt to pay his bills, over which a decent veil of silence is thrown. He was also delivered into the hand, etc. The form of this sentence, with its "also," and with its evidently tacked-on appearance, coupled with the conjunction "for" with which the following verso is dragged in, seems to give great probability to the idea, first, that the latter half of ver. 5 and all of ver. 6 find their real place before (say) the word "Damascus;" and secondly, that they are strictly and conterminously paralleled by the former part of ver. 5 parallel. 2 Chronicles 27:1 is probably to be explained by supposing that two authorities, each of which contained this remark, were used.
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