2 Kings 16:1
In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign.
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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.The recent invasions of Pul and Tiglath-Pileser had effectually alarmed Pekah and Rezin, and had induced them to put aside the traditional jealousies which naturally kept them apart, and to make a league offensive and defensive. Into this league they were anxious that Judaea should enter; but they distrusted the house of David, which had been so long hostile both to Damascus and to Samaria. They consequently formed the design of transferring the Jewish crown to a certain Ben-Tabeal Isaiah 7:6, probably a Jewish noble, perhaps a refugee at one of their courts, whom they could trust to join heartily in their schemes (2 Kings 16:5 note). CHAPTER 16

2Ki 16:1-16. Ahaz' Wicked Reign over Judah.

1-4. Ahaz … did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord—[See on [345]2Ch 28:1.] The character of this king's reign, the voluptuousness and religious degeneracy of all classes of the people, are graphically portrayed in the writings of Isaiah, who prophesied at that period. The great increase of worldly wealth and luxury in the reigns of Azariah and Jotham had introduced a host of corruptions, which, during his reign, and by the influence of Ahaz, bore fruit in the idolatrous practices of every kind which prevailed in all parts of the kingdom (see 2Ch 28:24).Ahaz’s idolatry, 2 Kings 16:1-4. Rezin king of Syria, and Pekah king of Israel, war against him: he hireth Tiglath-pileser against them, 2 Kings 16:5-9. Ahaz goeth to Damascus to meet the king of Assyria; seeth an altar; the pattern whereof he sends to Urijah, who maketh one like it at Jerusalem: Ahaz sacrificeth on it, 2 Kings 16:10-16. He spoileth the temple: Hezekiah succeedeth him, 2 Kings 16:17-20.

In the seventeenth year of Pekah; of which See Poole "2 Kings 15:30".

In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign. Jotham began to reign in the second of Pekah, and he reigned sixteen years, and therefore his last year would fall in the eighteenth of Pekah; but as his first year might be at the beginning of the second of Pekah, his last was towards the end of the seventeenth of Pekah's, as here; see 2 Kings 15:32. In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah {a} Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign.

(a) This was a wicked son of a godly father, as of him again came godly Hezekiah, and of him wicked Manasseh, save that God in the end showed him mercy. Thus we see how uncertain it is to depend on the dignity of our fathers.

Ch. 16. Reign of Ahaz, king of Judah. He reigns wickedly. Israel and Syria make war upon Jerusalem. Ahaz obtains assistance from Tiglath-pileser (2 Chronicles 28:1-21)

1. In the seventeenth year of Pekah] It is clear that some error has crept into the chronological statements of this period. In the previous chapter (2 Kings 15:30) we read that Pekah was murdered by Hoshea in the twentieth year of Jotham. From the present verse it seems that Ahaz began to reign, and so Jotham died, before Pekah’s death. In reference to Ahaz too the figures are not without some difficulty. He begins his reign at 20 years old and reigns 16 years. But his son Hezekiah (2 Kings 18:2) was twenty-five years old at his accession, and so must have been born when Ahaz was not more than eleven.

With reference, however, to the death of Pekah in the reign of Jotham, we see from Isaiah 7:1, that Pekah was still alive and conducting operations against Judah in the reign of Ahaz. This agrees entirely with verse 5 of the present chapter. Therefore in any chronological calculation the words of 2 Kings 15:30 ought to be neglected. It is not easy to explain how the error arose, but it is manifest that there is an error.

Verse 1. - In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah Ahaz the son of Jotham King of Judah began to reign. (For the chronological difficulties connected with this statement, see the comment on 2 Kings 15:27.) 2 Kings 16:1On the time mentioned, "in the seventeenth year of Pekah Ahaz became king" see at 2 Kings 15:32. The datum "twenty years old" is a striking one, even if we compare with it 2 Kings 18:2. As Ahaz reigned only sixteen years, and at his death his son Hezekiah became king at the age of twenty-five years (2 Kings 18:2), Ahaz must have begotten him in the eleventh year of his age. It is true that in southern lands this is neither impossible nor unknown,

(Note: In the East they marry girls of nine or ten years of age to boys of twelve or thirteen (Volney, Reise, ii. p. 360). Among the Indians husbands of ten years of age and wives of eight are mentioned (Thevenot, Reisen, iii. pp. 100 and 165). In Abyssinia boys of twelve and even ten years old marry (Rppell, Abessynien, ii. p. 59). Among the Jews in Tiberias, mothers of eleven years of age and fathers of thirteen are not uncommon (Burckh. Syrien, p. 570); and Lynch saw a wife there, who to all appearance was a mere child about ten years of age, who had been married two years already. In the epist. ad N. Carbonelli, from Hieronymi epist. ad Vitalem, 132, and in an ancient glossa, Bochart has also cited examples of one boy of ten years and another of nine, qui nutricem suam gravidavit, together with several other cases of a similar kind from later writers. Cf. Bocharti Opp. i.((Geogr. sacr.) p. 920, ed. Lugd. 1692.)

but in the case of the kings of Judah it would be without analogy. The reading found in the lxx, Syr., and Arab. at 2 Chronicles 28:1, and also in certain codd., viz., five and twenty instead of twenty, may therefore be a preferable one. According to this, Hezekiah, like Ahaz, was born in his father's sixteenth year.

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