Matthew Poole's Commentary
Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father:Ahaz reigning ill, 2 Chronicles 28:1-4, is smitten by the Syrians, and by the Israelites, 2 Chronicles 28:5-7, who carry away captives; which, by the advice of a prophet, they return, 2 Chronicles 28:8-15. Ahaz sendeth to the king of Assyria for help against the Philistines and Edomites, but obtainth none, 2 Chronicles 28:16-21. His great idolatry, 2 Chronicles 28:22-25. he dieth, and Hezekiah is king, 2 Chronicles 28:26,27.
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For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim.To worship his Baalim, or false gods, in and by them.
Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.No text from Poole on this verse.
He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.No text from Poole on this verse.
Wherefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter.The Lord his God: God was his God, though not by covenant and grace, and special relation, which Ahaz had renounced, yet by his sovereign dominion over him; for God did not forfeit his right by Ahaz’s denying it.
For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men; because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers.No text from Poole on this verse.
And Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, slew Maaseiah the king's son, and Azrikam the governor of the house, and Elkanah that was next to the king.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand, women, sons, and daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria.No text from Poole on this verse.
But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded: and he went out before the host that came to Samaria, and said unto them, Behold, because the LORD God of your fathers was wroth with Judah, he hath delivered them into your hand, and ye have slain them in a rage that reacheth up unto heaven.i.e. In a most high and fierce manner. A usual hyperbole, withal signifying that their rage did cry aloud, and was heard to heaven, from whence it would pull down vengeance upon them.
And now ye purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondmen and bondwomen unto you: but are there not with you, even with you, sins against the LORD your God?Which, if not repented of, may bring down the like vengeance upon your own heads.
Now hear me therefore, and deliver the captives again, which ye have taken captive of your brethren: for the fierce wrath of the LORD is upon you.No text from Poole on this verse.
Then certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against them that came from the war,No text from Poole on this verse.
And said unto them, Ye shall not bring in the captives hither: for whereas we have offended against the LORD already, ye intend to add more to our sins and to our trespass: for our trespass is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel.No text from Poole on this verse.
So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the congregation.No text from Poole on this verse.
And the men which were expressed by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all that were naked among them, and arrayed them, and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them upon asses, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brethren: then they returned to Samaria.Which were expressed by name; which were appointed to take care about the management of this business.
At that time did king Ahaz send unto the kings of Assyria to help him.The kings of Assyria, i.e. the king; the plural number for the singular; either,
1. Because he was a great king and a king of kings; as the elephant, or, as others think, the crocodile, is called behemoth, which signifies beasts, Job 40, because of his vast bulk and eminency above other beasts. Or,
2. Because he wrote to divers of the kings or great princes, who may be called kings in a more general signification of the word, and indeed are so called, Isaiah 10:8, Are not my princes altogether kings?
For again the Edomites had come and smitten Judah, and carried away captives.No text from Poole on this verse.
The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the low country, and of the south of Judah, and had taken Bethshemesh, and Ajalon, and Gederoth, and Shocho with the villages thereof, and Timnah with the villages thereof, Gimzo also and the villages thereof: and they dwelt there.The low country; that part of Judah which was towards the sea, and towards the Philistines’ land.
The south of Judah; of which see Joshua 15:21.
For the LORD brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the LORD.He made Judah naked; taking away their ornament and their defence and strength, to wit, their treasures, which he sent to the Assyrian to no purpose; their frontier towns, and other strong holds, which by his folly and wickedness were lost; their religion, and the Divine protection, which was their great and only firm security, which by his sins he forfeited. See Poole "Exodus 32:25".
And Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria came unto him, and distressed him, but strengthened him not.No text from Poole on this verse.
For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of the LORD, and out of the house of the king, and of the princes, and gave it unto the king of Assyria: but he helped him not.Distressed him, or, straitened him, by robbing him of his treasures. But he helped him not, but strengthened him not; a most emphatical expression: for though he weakened his present enemy the Syrian, as is related, 2 Kings 16:9, yet really, and all things considered, he did not strengthen Ahaz and his kingdom, but rather weaken them; for by the removing the Syrian, who, though a troublesome neighbour, was a kind of bulwark to him, as to many other enemies, he smoothed the way for himself, a far more dangerous and mischievous enemy, as appears by his invasion of Judah in the very next king’s reign.
And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD: this is that king Ahaz.That monster and reproach of mankind, that unteachable and incorrigible prince, whom even grievous afflictions made worse, which commonly make men better. This is he whose name deserves to be remembered and detested for ever. Or, king Ahaz was the same, no changeling, not a whit better by all the methods which God used with him.
For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.Which smote him; or, which had smitten him formerly, i.e. had enabled their worshippers, the Syrians, to smite him, as he fondly imagined; which yet he saw confuted, having now found by experience that they could not save them from the Assyrian power.
And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem.No text from Poole on this verse.
And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense unto other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD God of his fathers.No text from Poole on this verse.
Now the rest of his acts and of all his ways, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.No text from Poole on this verse.
And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, even in Jerusalem: but they brought him not into the sepulchres of the kings of Israel: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.No text from Poole on this verse.