2 Kings 16:14
And he brought also the brasen altar, which was before the LORD, from the forefront of the house, from between the altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the north side of the altar.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) And he brought also the brasen altar . . .—Literally, And as for the brasen altar, he brought it near (to the new one), away from the front of the house, to wit, from between the (new) altar, and the house of Jehovah; and put it at the side of the (new) altar northward. The brasen altar used to stand “before the Lord,” i.e., in the middle of the court of the priests, and in front of the Temple proper. The verse seems to imply that Urijah had pushed it forward nearer to the sanctuary, and set the new Syrian altar in its place. Ahaz, not satisfied with this arrangement, which appeared to confer a kind of precedence on the old altar, drew it back again, and fixed it on the north side of his new altar.

16:10-16 God's altar had hitherto been kept in its place, and in use; but Ahaz put another in the room of it. The natural regard of the mind of man to some sort of religion, is not easily extinguished; but except it be regulated by the word, and by the Spirit of God, it produces absurd superstitions, or detestable idolatries. Or, at best, it quiets the sinner's conscience with unmeaning ceremonies. Infidels have often been remarkable for believing ridiculous falsehoods.Hereto the "Brasen altar" (marginal reference) had, it would seem, occupied a position directly in front of the temple porch, which it exactly equalled in width. Now Ahaz removed it from this place, and gave the honorable position to his new altar, which he designed to supersede the old far all ordinary purposes 2 Kings 16:15.

From between the altar ... - Urijah, having received no official directions, had placed the new altar in front of the old, between it and the eastern gate of the court. Ahaz consequently on his arrival found the brasen altar "between the (new) altar and the house of the Lord."

10-16. And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser—This was a visit of respect, and perhaps of gratitude. During his stay in that heathen city, Ahaz saw an altar with which he was greatly captivated. Forthwith a sketch of it was transmitted to Jerusalem, with orders to Urijah the priest to get one constructed according to the Damascus model, and let this new altar supersede the old one in the temple. Urijah, with culpable complaisance, acted according to his instructions (2Ki 16:16). The sin in this affair consisted in meddling with, and improving according to human taste and fancy, the altars of the temple, the patterns of which had been furnished by divine authority (Ex 25:40; 26:30; 27:1; 1Ch 28:19). Urijah was one of the witnesses taken by Isaiah to bear his prediction against Syria and Israel (Isa 8:2). The brazen altar of burnt-offerings, made by Solomon, and placed there by God’s appointment. Which was before the Lord, i.e. from before the Lord’s house: See Poole "Leviticus 1:3". From between the altar and the house of the Lord; or rather, from between his altar, &c., or, that altar, &c. His new altar was at first set below the brazen altar, and at a further distance from the temple. This he took for a disparagement to his altar; and therefore most impiously and audaciously takes that away, and puts his in its place.

On the north side of the altar; or, of that altar; or, of his altar; as before. So he put God’s altar out of its place and use.

And he brought also the brasen altar which was before the Lord,.... That which Solomon made, 2 Chronicles 4:1, which stood in the court by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord, Leviticus 1:5 from the forefront of the house; the frontispiece of the temple, which was at the eastern gate of it:

from between the altar and the house of the Lord for it seems Urijah had placed the new altar behind the old one, more out of sight; the brasen altar standing between that and the eastern gate, or entrance into the temple; wherefore he removed the brasen altar, and put his new one in the room of it:

and put it; that is, the brasen altar of Solomon:

on the north side of the altar; of the new altar, at the right hand as they went into the temple; where it was as in a corner, in greater obscurity, and the new altar more in view as they came into the temple.

And he brought also the brasen altar, which was before the LORD, from the forefront of the house, from between the altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the {i} north side of the altar.

(i) That is, at the right hand, as men went into the temple.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. And he brought &c.] The R.V. adheres to the Hebrew order. And the brasen altar which was before the Lord, he brought from the forefront of the house. This brasen altar is described 2 Chronicles 4:1, its length and breadth being each twenty cubits, and its height ten cubits. It is also mentioned, but not described, 1 Kings 8:64. This altar, placed in its position when the temple was built, and standing exactly in front of the porch and entrance to the temple, Ahaz now removed.

from between the [R.V. his] altar and the house] At first the new altar was set a little behind the brasen one, but on the same line as one looked at them from the temple-porch. This arrangement Ahaz changes, and taking away the brasen altar, he leaves his own in the front of the temple, and carries the older and more sacred altar to the north side of the new one. Thus they both stood in a line parallel to the front of the house, but the king’s new altar had the place of honour, before the temple-doors.

north side of the [R.V. his] altar] As before.

Verse 14. - And he brought also the brazen altar, which was before the Lord. One sin leads on to another. Having introduced his self-invented quasi-idolatrous altar into the temple, and so inserted "the thin end of the wedge," Ahaz was not satisfied, but proceeded to another innovation. Urijah, having had no express order from the king with respect to the position of the new altar, had placed it in front of the old one, between it and the eastern gate of the court. Thus the old altar, which was directly in front of the temple porch, seemed to cut the new altar off from the temple. Ahaz would not have this continue, and resolved on removing the altar of Solomon from, its place, and putting it elsewhere. From the forefront of the house (comp. 1 Kings 8:54), from between the altar - i.e., the new altar - and the house of the Lord - i.e. the temple building - and put it on the north side of the altar. The removal of Solomon's altar from its place of honor to a side position left the space clear between the temple and the new altar, which thus, without exactly occupying the same site, took practically the place of Solomon's altar. Solomon's altar, shifted to one side, was put, as it were, in the background; the eye rested on the new altar, right in front of the porch and temple, which so became "the main altar" (הַמִּזְבַּת חַגָּדול), as it is called in the next verse. 2 Kings 16:14Soon after this Ahaz went still further, and had "the copper altar before Jehovah," i.e., the altar of burnt-offering in the midst of the court before the entrance into the Holy Place, removed "from the front of the (temple-) house, from (the spot) between the altar (the new one built by Urijah) and the house of Jehovah (i.e., the temple-house(, and placed at the north side of the altar." הקריב does not mean removit, caused to be taken away, but admovit, and is properly to be connected with הם על־ירך, notwithstanding the fact that אתו ויּתּן is inserted between for the sake of greater clearness, as Maurer has already pointed out.

(Note: There is nothing in the text to support the view of Thenius, that Urijah had the brazen altar of burnt-offering erected by Solomon moved farther forwards, nearer to the temple-house, and the new one put in its place, whence it was afterwards shifted by Ahaz and the new one moved a little farther to the south, that is to say, that he placed the two altars close to one another, so that they now occupied the centre of the court.)

On the use of the article with המּזבּח in the construct state, see Ewald, 290, d.

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