In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel nine years.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
THE REIGN OF HOSHEA, THE LAST KING OF SAMARIA. THE FALL OF SAMARIA. CAPTIVITY OF ISRAEL, AND RE-PEOPLING OF THE LAND BY FOREIGNERS.
(1) In the twelfth year of Ahaz.—If Pekah reigned thirty years (see Note on 2Kings 15:27), and Ahaz succeeded in Pekah’s seventeenth year (2Kings 16:1), Ahaz must have reigned thirteen years concurrently with Pekah. Hoshea, therefore, succeeded Pekah in the fourteenth year of Ahaz.
Began Hoshea.—See the inscription of Tiglath Pileser, quoted at 2Kings 15:30, according to which, Hoshea (A-u-si-ha) only mounted the throne as a vassal of Assyria. On the news of the death of Tiglath, he probably refused further tribute.2 Kings 17:1. In the twelfth year of Ahaz, began Hoshea to reign — He usurped the kingdom in Ahaz’s fourth year; but either was not owned as king by the generality of the people, or was not accepted and established in his kingdom till Ahaz’s twelfth year. Nine years — After his confirmation and peaceable possession of his kingdom; for in all he reigned seventeen or eighteen years; twelve with Ahaz, who reigned sixteen years, and six with Hezekiah.2 Kings 15:30 note. The history of the kingdom of Israel is in this chapter brought to a close.
2Ki 17:1-6. Hoshea's Wicked Reign.
1. In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, began Hoshea … to reign—The statement in 2Ki 15:30 may be reconciled with the present passage in the following manner: Hoshea conspired against Pekah in the twentieth year of the latter, which was the eighteenth of Jotham's reign. It was two years before Hoshea was acknowledged king of Israel, that is, in the fourth of Ahaz, and twentieth of Jotham. In the twelfth year of Ahaz his reign began to be tranquil and prosperous [Calmet].Hoshea king of Israel, his wicked reign: being subdued by Shalmaneser king of Assyria, he conspireth against him with So king of Egypt: he is besieged; taken prisoner; and with all the people carried captive to Assyria for their sins, 2 Kings 17:1-23. The strange nations transplanted into Samaria are plagued with lions: an Israelitish priest is sent to them; whence followeth a mixture of religious, 2 Kings 17:24-41.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2 Kings 17:1-6. Reign of Hoshea king of Israel. Shalmaneser invades Israel, imprisons Hoshea and carries the people captive (Not in Chronicles)
1. In the twelfth year of Ahaz … began Hoshea … to reign] This is one more evidence that there is error in the chronological statements. In 2 Kings 15:30 Hoshea is said to have begun to reign in the twentieth year of Jotham. As in 2 Kings 15:33 Jotham’s reign is stated to have been only sixteen years, the two statements are contradictory. Moreover we find that Pekah was not slain in Jotham’s reign, but was an active monarch in the days of Ahaz. The reconciliation of the various statements is full of difficulty. See chronological notice.Verse 1. - In the twelfth year of Ahaz King of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria. In 2 Kings 15:30 Hoshea was said to have smitten Pekah and slain him, and become king in his stead, "in the twentieth year of Jotham." This has been supposed to mean "in the twentieth year from the accession of Jotham," or, in other words, in the fourth year of Ahaz, since Jotham reigned only sixteen years (2 Kings 15:33). But now the beginning of his reign is placed eight years later. An interregnum of this duration has been placed by some between Pekah and Doshea; but this is contradicted by 2 Kings 15:30, and also by an inscription of Tiglath-pileser ('Eponym Canon,' pp. 123,124, lines 17, 18). If Ahaz reigned sixteen years, the present statement would seem to be correct, and the former one wrong. Hoshea's accession may be confidently dated as in B.C. 730. Nine years (comp. 2 Kings 18:10). It is certain that Hoshea's reign came to an end in the first year of Sargon, B.C. 722, from which to B.C. 730 would be eight complete, or nine incomplete, years. 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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