2 Kings 16:16
Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded.
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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.
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. 2 Kings 16:16He also commanded that the daily morning and evening sacrifice, and the special offerings of the king and the people, should be presented upon the new altar, and thereby put a stop to the use of the Solomonian altar, "about which he would consider." The Chethb ויצוּהוּ is not to be altered; the pron. suff. stands before the noun, as is frequently the case in the more diffuse popular speech. The new altar is called "the great altar," probably because it was somewhat larger than that of Solomon. הקטר: used for the burning of the sacrifices. הערב מנחת is not merely the meat-offering offered in the evening, but the whole of the evening sacrifice, consisting of a burnt-offering and a meat-offering, as in 1 Kings 18:29, 1 Kings 18:36. לבקּר יהיה־לי, the brazen altar "will be to me for deliberation," i.e., I will reflect upon it, and then make further arrangements. On בּקּר in this sense see Proverbs 20:25. In the opinion of Ahaz, the altar which had been built after the model of that of Damascus was not to be an idolatrous altar, but an altar of Jehovah. The reason for this arbitrary removal of the altar of Solomon, which had been sanctified by the Lord Himself at the dedication of the temple by fire from heaven, was, in all probability, chiefly that the Damascene altar pleased Ahaz better; and the innovation was a sin against Jehovah, inasmuch as God Himself had prescribed the form for His sanctuary (cf. Exodus 25:40; Exodus 26:30; 1 Chronicles 28:19), so that any altar planned by man and built according to a heathen model was practically the same as an idolatrous altar. - The account of this altar is omitted from the Chronicles; but in v. 23 we have this statement instead: "Ahaz offered sacrifice to the gods of Damascus, who smote him, saying, The gods of the kings of Aram helped them; I will sacrifice to them that they may help me: and they were the ruin of him and of all Israel." Thenius and Bertheau find in this account an alteration of our account of the copying of the Damascene altar introduced by the chronicler as favouring his design, namely, to give as glaring a description as possible of the ungodliness of Ahaz. But they are mistaken. For even if the notice in the Chronicles had really sprung from this alone, the chronicler would have been able from the standpoint of the Mosaic law to designate the offering of sacrifice upon the altar built after the model of an idolatrous Syrian altar as sacrificing to these gods. But it is a question whether the chronicler had in his mind merely the sacrifices offered upon that altar in the temple-court, and not rather sacrifices which Ahaz offered upon some bamah to the gods of Syria, when he was defeated and oppressed by the Syrians, for the purpose of procuring their assistance. As Ahaz offered his son in sacrifice to Moloch according to 2 Kings 16:3, he might just as well have offered sacrifice to the gods of the Syrians.
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