2 Kings 16:16
Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
2 Kings 16:16. Thus did Urijah the priest, &c. — Having once begun to defile his conscience, he could not now make an honourable retreat, and therefore proceeds to execute all the king’s commands.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.The writer condemns the obsequiousness of Urijah, whose conduct was the more inexcusable after the noble example of his predecessor Azariah 2 Chronicles 26:17-20. 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). Having once began to debauch his conscience, he could not now make an honourable retreat; and therefore proceeds to execute all the king’s commands. Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that King Ahaz commanded. Not only concerning the structure of the altar, but the sacrifices to be offered on it; like king like priest, both apostates and idolaters. Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 16. - Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that King Ahaz commanded. An emphatic condemnation of the high priest, whose subserviency evidently pro-yokes the writer's indignation. Ahaz paid Tiglath-pileser a visit in Damascus, "to present to him his thanks and congratulations, and possibly also to prevent a visit from Tiglath-pileser to himself, which would not have been very welcome" (Thenius). The form דּוּמשׂק is neither to be altered into דּמּשׂק nor regarded as a copyist's error for דּרמשׂק, as we have several words in this chapter that are formed with dull Syriac u-sound. The visit of Ahaz to Damascus is simply mentioned on account of what follows, namely, that Ahaz saw an altar there, which pleased him so much that he sent a picture and model of it "according to all the workmanship thereof," i.e., its style of architecture, to Urijah the priest (see Isaiah 8:2), and had an altar made like it for the temple, upon which, on his return to Jerusalem, he ordered all the burnt-offerings, meat-offerings, and drink-offerings to be presented. The allusion here is to the offerings which he commanded to be presented for his prosperous return to Jerusalem.
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