2 Kings 16:11
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
And Uriah the priest built the altar; in accordance with all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus, so Uriah the priest made it, before King Ahaz arrived from Damascus.

King James Bible
And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus: so Urijah the priest made it against king Ahaz came from Damascus.

American Standard Version
And Urijah the priest built an altar: according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus, so did Urijah the priest make it against the coming of king Ahaz from Damascus.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Urias the priest built an altar according to all that king Achaz had commanded from Damascus, so did Urias the priest, until king Achaz came from Damascus.

English Revised Version
And Urijah the priest built an altar: according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus, so did Urijah the priest make it against king Ahaz came from Damascus.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus: so Urijah the priest made it against king Ahaz came from Damascus.

2 Kings 16:11 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Of the war which the allied Syrians and Israelites waged upon Ahaz, only the principal fact is mentioned in 2 Kings 16:5, namely, that the enemy marched to Jerusalem to war, but were not able to make war upon the city, i.e., to conquer it; and in 2 Kings 16:6 we have a brief notice of the capture of the port of Elath by the Syrians. We find 2 Kings 16:5 again, with very trifling alterations, in Isaiah 7:1 at the head of the prophecy, in which the prophet promises the king the help of God and predicts that the plans of his enemies will fail. According to this, the allied kings intended to take Judah, to dethrone Ahaz, and to install a vassal king, viz., the son of Tabeel. We learn still more concerning this war, which had already begun, according to 2 Kings 15:37, in the closing years of Jotham, from 2 Chronicles 28:5-15; namely, that the two kings inflicted great defeats upon Ahaz, and carried off many prisoners and a large amount of booty, but that the Israelites set their prisoners at liberty again, by the direction of the prophet Oded, and after feeding and clothing them, sent them back to their brethren. It is now generally admitted that these statements are not at variance with our account (as Ges., Winer, and others maintain), but can be easily reconciled with it, and simply serve to complete it.

(Note: Compare C. P. Caspari's article on the Syro-Ephraimitish war in the reigns of Jotham and Ahaz (Univers. Progr. von Christiania, 1849), where the different views concerning the relation between the two accounts are fully discussed, and the objections to the credibility of the account given in the Chronicles most conclusively answered.)

The only questions in dispute are, whether the two accounts refer to two different campaigns, or merely to two different events in the same campaign, and whether the battles to which the Chronicles allude are to be placed before or after the siege of Jerusalem mentioned in our text. The first question cannot be absolutely decided, since there are no decisive arguments to be found in favour of either the one supposition or the other; and even "the one strong argument" which Caspari finds in Isaiah 7:6 against the idea of two campaigns is not conclusive. For if the design which the prophet there attributes to the allied kings, "we will make a breach in Judah," i.e., storm his fortresses and his passes and conquer them, does obviously presuppose, that at the time when the enemy spake or thought in this manner, Judah was still standing uninjured and unconquered, and therefore the battles mentioned in 2 Chronicles 28:5-6 cannot yet have been fought; it by no means follows from the connection between Isaiah 7:6 and Isaiah 7:1 (of the same chapter) that Isaiah 7:6 refers to plans which the enemy had only just formed at the time when Isaiah spoke (2 Kings 7:4.). On the contrary, Isaiah is simply describing the plans which the enemy devised and pursued, and which they had no doubt formed from the very commencement of the war, and now that they were marching against Jerusalem, hoped to attain by the conquest of the capital. All that we can assume as certain is, that the war lasted longer than a year, since the invasion of Judah by these foes had already commenced before the death of Jotham, and that the greater battles (2 Chronicles 28:5-6) were not fought till the time of Ahaz, and it was not till his reign that the enemy advanced to the siege of Jerusalem. - With regard to the second question, it cannot be at all doubtful that the battles mentioned preceded the advance of the enemy to the front of Jerusalem, and therefore our account merely mentions the last and principal event of the war, and that the enemy was compelled to retreat from Jerusalem by the fact that the king of Assyria, Tiglath-pileser, whom Ahaz had called to his help, marched against Syria and compelled Rezin to hurry back to the defence of his kingdom. - It is more difficult to arrange in the account of the capture of Elath by the Syrians (2 Kings 16:6) among the events of this war. The expression ההיא בּעת merely assigns it in a perfectly general manner to the period of the war. The supposition of Thenius, that it did not take place till after the siege of Jerusalem had been relinquished, and that Rezin, after the failure of his attempt to take Jerusalem, that he might not have come altogether in vain, marched away from Jerusalem round the southern point of the Dead Sea and conquered Elath, is impossible, because he would never have left his own kingdom in such a defenceless state to the advancing Assyrians. We must therefore place the taking of Elath by Rezin before his march against Jerusalem, though we still leave it undecided how Rezin conducted the war against Ahaz: whether by advancing along the country to the east of the Jordan, defeating the Judaeans there (2 Chronicles 28:5), and then pressing forward to Elath and conquering that city, while Pekah made a simultaneous incursion into Judah from the north and smote Ahaz, so that it was not till after the conquest of Elath that Rezin entered the land from the south, and there joined Pekah for a common attack upon Jerusalem, as Caspari supposes; or whether by advancing into Judah along with Pekah at the very outset, and after he had defeated the army of Ahaz in a great battle, sending a detachment of his own army to Idumaea, to wrest that land from Judah and conquer Elath, while he marched with the rest of his forces in combination with Pekah against Jerusalem.

"Rezin brought Elath to Aram and drove the Jews out of Elath, and Aramaeans came to Elath and dwelt therein to this day." השׁיב does not mean "to lead back" here, but literally to turn, to bring to a person; for Elath had never belonged to Aram before this, but was an Edomitish city, so that even if we were to read אדום for ארם, השׁיב could not mean to bring back. But there is no ground whatever for altering לארם into לאדום (Cler., Mich., Ew., Then., and others), whereas the form ארם is at variance with such an alteration through the assumption of an exchange of r and d, because אדום is never written defective אדם except in Ezekiel 25:14. There are also no sufficient reasons for altering וארומים into וארומים (Keri); ארומיּם is merely a Syriac form for ארמּים with the dull Syriac u-sound, several examples of which form occur in this very chapter, - e.g., הקּומים for הקּמים 2 Kings 16:7, דּוּמשׂק for דּמּשׂק 2 Kings 16:10, and אילות for אילת 2 Kings 16:6, - whereas אדום, with additions, is only written plene twice in the ancient books, and that in the Chronicles, where the scriptio plena is generally preferred (2 Chronicles 25:14 and 2 Chronicles 28:17), but is always written defective (אדמים). Moreover the statement that "אדומים (Edomites, not the Edomites) came thither," etc., would be very inappropriate, since Edomites certainly lived in this Idumaean city in perfect security, even while it was under Judaean government. And there would be no sense in the expression "the Edomites dwelt there to this day," since the Edomites remained in their own land to the time of the captivity. All this is applicable to Aramaeans alone. As soon as Rezin had conquered this important seaport town, it was a very natural thing to establish an Aramaean colony there, which obtained possession of the trade of the town, and remained there till the time when the annals of the kings were composed (for it is to this that the expression הזּה עד־היּום refers), even after the kingdom of Rezin had long been destroyed by the Assyrians, since Elath and the Aramaeans settled there were not affected by that blow.

(Note: If we only observe that ארומים has not the article, and therefore the words merely indicate the march of an Aramaean colony to Elath, it is evident that אדומים would be unsuitable; for when the יהודים had been driven from the city which the Syrians had conquered, it was certainly not some Edomites but the Edomites who took possession again. Hence Winer, Caspari, and others are quite right in deciding that ארומים is the only correct reading.)

As soon as the Edomites had been released by Rezin from the control of Judah, to which they had been brought back by Amaziah and Uzziah (2 Kings 14:7, 2 Kings 14:22), they began plundering Judah again (2 Chronicles 28:17); and even the Philistines took possession of several cities in the lowland, to avenge themselves for the humiliation they had sustained at the hand of Uzziah (2 Chronicles 28:18).

2 Kings 16:11 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

built an altar

1 Kings 21:11-13 And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent to them...

2 Chronicles 26:17,18 And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men...

Jeremiah 23:11 For both prophet and priest are profane; yes, in my house have I found their wickedness, said the LORD.

Ezekiel 22:26 Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned my holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane...

Daniel 3:7 Therefore at that time, when all the people heard the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and all kinds of music...

Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you...

Hosea 5:11 Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment.

Malachi 2:7-9 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts...

Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.

Urijah

Isaiah 8:2 And I took to me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah.

Cross References
2 Kings 16:10
When King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, he saw the altar that was at Damascus. And King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest a model of the altar, and its pattern, exact in all its details.

2 Kings 16:12
And when the king came from Damascus, the king viewed the altar. Then the king drew near to the altar and went up on it

2 Kings 16:14
And the bronze altar that was before the LORD he removed from the front of the house, from the place between his altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the north side of his altar.

Isaiah 8:2
And I will get reliable witnesses, Uriah the priest and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah, to attest for me."

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