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Go to Bible: 2 Chronicles 28
“Ahaz was 20 years old when he began to reign.” The reign of Ahaz is also covered in 2 Kings 16.(top)
“the Baals.” In different locations, the god Baal was worshiped differently and also had somewhat different characteristics. This is not unusual. Even God, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, is worshiped differently and said to have different characteristics in the different Christian denominations. For example, a Calvinist and a Freewill Baptist see God quite a bit differently. This verse shows that Ahaz worshiped Baal in his different ways of being, or according to the different ways he was worshiped in the different locations.(top)
“Valley of the Son of Hinnom.” The word “valley” in Hebrew is “ge” and the phrase “valley of the son of Hinnom” is the “ge ben Hinnom,” which was eventually referred to in Greek as “Gehenna.” The valley was considered unclean because of all the human sacrifice that had taken place there, and by the time of Christ was the garbage dump of the City of Jerusalem (see commentary on Matthew 5:22, “Gehenna”).(top)
“at the local shrines.” The Hebrew word “shrines” is bamot, which referred to a place that was leveled and built up and on which were placed various idols and objects of worship. Many of the towns had such shrines (see commentary on Num. 33:52).(top)
“carried away from him.” That is, the Syrians carried away from his kingdom a great number of captives.(top)
“120,000.” This might also be 120 military units instead of 120,000.(top)
“Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim.” Zichri was obviously a nightly leader in the Israelite army.
“the Ruler of the House.” The “Ruler of the House” is the title for the top palace administrator, the top man over the palace, palace staff, etc.(top)
|2Ch 28:8||- (top)|
“a rage that has reached up to heaven.” That is, a rage that is so intense that it has gotten God’s attention. It is so intense that it is moving God to act, including sending a prophet to address the situation.(top)
“And now you intend to subjugate the children of Judah and Jerusalem.” The people of Israel were not to rule over one another harshly (Lev. 25:46).
“don’t you have transgressions.” The Hebrew is more literally, “are there not with you transgressions.” The Hebrew language does not really have the word “have” but speaks of things being “with” someone. For example, instead of saying “the man has wisdom,” it would say, “wisdom is with him.”(top)
“for the fierce wrath of Yahweh is hanging over you.” The Hebrew is more literally that the wrath of God is “upon” Israel or “over” Israel, but it had not yet actually happened; it was imminent if something did not change. A good way to bring that imminence into English is by saying that the wrath “is hanging over” Israel (cp. NJB).(top)
“heads of the children of Ephraim.” These are not prophets, but leaders that have some respect for Yahweh; we can assume that these men are older and experienced, and realize how disobeying Yahweh can mean real trouble.(top)
“guilt on us before Yahweh.” The text is literally, “the guilt of Yahweh upon us.” The phrase is idiomatic.(top)
|2Ch 28:14||- (top)|
“City of Date Palms.” The palm trees in Israel were date palms, not coconut palms.(top)
|2Ch 28:16||- (top)|
“For the Edomites had again come.” The Edomites came from the southeast. We learn that Ahaz was also attacked by Syria and Israel from the north and also from the Philistines from the west (2 Chron. 28:18).(top)
“Beth-shemesh...Aijalon...Gederoth…Soco...Timnah...Gimzo.” These are all towns in the Shephelah, west of the Judean hills. So the Philistines attacked both the Negev and the Shephelah, but the text only lists specific towns in the Shephelah.(top)
“Ahaz king of Israel.” Ahaz was technically the king of “Judah,” but “Israel” is often used in 2 Chronicles for Judah. This is perhaps because of their ancient history and perhaps due to the fact that when Jeroboam became king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel after Solomon died and turned to idols, many people of Israel moved to Judah.
“who caused a lack of restraint in Judah.” The Hebrew text indicates that Ahaz acted without restraint and sinned, and caused Judah to sin, in many ways. The exact nuance of the Hebrew text is hard to capture, and the versions vary greatly. For example, translations include that Ahaz, “dealt wantonly” (ASV); “exercised no restraint” (CEB); “caused disturbances” (CJB); “threw off restraint” (CSB); “made Judah lawless” (DBY); “made Judah act sinfully” (ESV); “made Judah naked” (KJV); “let Judah go its own way” (JPS); “encouraged Judah to sin” (NET); and “promoted wickedness in Judah” (NIV).
The sins of Ahaz the king were basically forced upon the people of Judah, and that, along with the people’s seemingly natural tendency to worship physical objects such as idols, meant that sins of all kinds abounded in Judah. The people ignored the Mosaic Law and turned away from Yahweh and sinned against Him, and Yahweh could not defend them against their spiritual and physical enemies.
“and was unfaithful, yes, unfaithful.” This is the figure of speech polyptoton, in which the verb is repeated twice for emphasis. The meaning is to be extremely unfaithful to Yahweh, which he did by sinning greatly (see commentary on Gen. 2:16).(top)
|2Ch 28:20||- (top)|
|2Ch 28:21||- (top)|
|2Ch 28:22||- (top)|
“to stumble.” The idol gods of Syria were a stumbling block to Ahaz and Israel. The worship of idols always causes problems. For one thing, it gives demons access to one’s life (or kingdom) and they cause nothing but trouble.(top)
|2Ch 28:24||- (top)|
|2Ch 28:25||- (top)|
|2Ch 28:26||- (top)|
|2Ch 28:27||- (top)|