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Go to Bible: 2 Kings 16
“Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign.” The reign of Ahaz is also covered in 2 Chronicles 28.(top)
|2Ki 16:2||- (top)|
“made his son pass through the fire.” Ahaz practiced human sacrifice in the form of burning his children to death. Although the text here in Kings says “son,” Chronicles lets us know he sacrificed many of his children (2 Chron. 28:3).(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)
|2Ki 16:5||- (top)|
“Elath.” Elath was a city on the northern tip of what is today called the Gulf of Aqaba. It was located near Ezion-geber.
“the Edomites came to Elath and lived there to this day.” There is some debate about whether the Syrians came to Elath. Although the Masoretic text is pointed as “Syrians,” the Jewish scribes understand the reading to be “Edomites.” The Septuagint text reads “Edomites,” which is almost certainly correct. The Hebrew word for “Syrians” (more technically, Arameans), is very similar to the word for “Edomites.” The Edomites lived in Elath at the time the Book of Kings was written, in fact, when 2 Kings was written down, the Assyrians had destroyed Syria. Also, 2 Chronicles 28:17 records Edomite attacks on Judah.(top)
“I am your servant and your son.” Ahaz should be saying this to Yahweh, but instead he is saying it to Tiglath Pileser.(top)
“the house of Yahweh.” That is, the Temple.
“the treasuries of the king’s house.” That is, the treasures of the palace.
“as a gift.” This is not the normal Hebrew word for a free gift. The king of Assyria did not demand this tribute, so this “gift” is basically a bribe, and it was effective. That Ahaz took the treasures from the Temple of Yahweh to hire the Assyrians to attack Syria and Israel was why when he spoke to Isaiah the prophet he pretended to be so holy and not ask God for a sign that he would not be conquered by Syria and Israel (Isa. 7:11).(top)
“went up against Damascus and captured it.” Damascus was the capital of Syria and the location of the palace of Rezin the king of Syria. The Assyrians conquered it in 732 BC.
“Kir.” The location of Kir is not known.(top)
“Urijah.” The name means “light of Yahweh” or “Yahweh is light,” but in any case this is one example that shows that a person’s name did not always reflect his character.
“a likeness of the altar and its pattern.” Although many translations have “model,” this is less likely to be a model and more likely to be a sketch or drawing (cp. NIV).(top)
|2Ki 16:11||- (top)|
“the king approached the altar and offered on it.” There is nothing godly about this! There is a pagan altar in the Temple of Yahweh and the king is a Judean not a priest, yet he is offering on the altar.
“and offered on it.” The Hebrew can also be understood as, “he went up on it.” A conflation would be “he went up on it to offer sacrifices.”(top)
“burned...into smoke.” See commentary on Exodus 29:13.(top)
“The bronze altar that was in the presence of Yahweh.” Here Yahweh is represented as being in the Temple, and the bronze altar was in His presence.
“the north side.” That is the left side, the place of lesser honor. This shows the lack of respect that Ahaz had for God and the things of God.(top)
“will be for me to inquire by.” Perhaps to deliberately humilitate Yahweh, Ahaz uses his new altar to offer the offerings required by the Law of Moses, but uses the altar from Yahweh’s temple to perform his acts of divination. Divination was strictly prohibited in the Mosaic Law (Deut. 18:9-14).(top)
|2Ki 16:16||- (top)|
“King Ahaz cut off the panels of the bases.” There is more detail on this in 2 Chron. 28:24. This was done “on account of the king of Assyria,” that is, it seems Ahaz used the bronze to help pay tribute to the king of Assyria.(top)
“The covered place.” The exact meaning of this word is unknown, but it seems to refer to some kind of covering or covered place. In modern Hebrew, the word is used for a garage for cars.
“because of the king of Assyria.” The covered pathway that was apparently made of bronze and perhaps other valuable things became part of the tribute Ahaz paid to the king of Assyria (see HALOT for the definition “removed”).(top)
“the Chronicles of the kings of Judah?” See 2 Chron. 28. Ahaz takes the entire chapter.(top)
|2Ki 16:20||- (top)|