2 Chronicles 28

CHAPTER XXVIII

Ahaz succeeds his father Jotham, and reigns wickedly for

sixteen years, 1.

He restores idolatry in its grossest forms, 2-4;

and is delivered Into the hands of the kings of Israel and

Syria, 5.

Pekah slays one hundred and twenty thousand Jews in one day,

and carries away captive two hundred thousand of the people,

whom, at the instance of Oded the prophet, they restore to

liberty, and send home, clothed and fed, 6-15.

Ahaz sends to the king of Assyria for help against the

Edomites, Philistines, &c., from whom he receives no effectual

succour, 16-21.

He sins yet more, spoils and shuts up the temple of God, and

propagates idolatry throughout the land, 22-25.

A reference to has acts, his death, and burial, 26, 27.

NOTES ON CHAP. XXVIII

Verse 1. Ahaz was twenty years old] For the difficulties in this

chronology, See Clarke on 2Ki 16:1.

Verse 3. Burnt his children in the fire] There is a most

remarkable addition here in the Chaldee which I shall give at

length: "Ahaz burnt his children in the fire; but the WORD of the

Lord snatched Hezekiah from among them; for it was manifest before

the Lord that the three righteous men, Hananiah, Mishael, and

Azariah, were to proceed from him; who should deliver up their

bodies that they might be cast into a burning fiery furnace, on

account of the great and glorious NAME, () and from which they

should escape. First, Abram escaped from the furnace of fire among

the Chaldeans, into which he had been cast by Nimrod, because he

would not worship their idols. Secondly, Tamar escaped burning in

the house of judgment of Judah, who had said, Bring her out, that

she may be burnt. Thirdly, Hezekiah the son of Ahaz escaped from

the burning, when Ahaz his father cast him into the valley of the

son of Hinnom, on the altars of Tophet. Fourthly, Hananiah,

Mishael, and Azariah, escaped from the burning fiery furnace of

Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. Fifthly, Joshua, the son of

Josedek the high priest, escaped, when the impious Nebuchadnezzar

had cast him into a burning fiery furnace, with Achaab the son of

Kolia, and Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, the false prophet. They

were consumed by fire; but Joshua the son of Josedek escaped

because of his righteousness."

Verse 5. Delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria] For

the better understanding of these passages, the reader is

requested to refer to what has been advanced in the notes on the

sixteenth chapter of 2Ki 16:5, &c.

Verse 6. A hundred and twenty thousand] It is very probable that

there is a mistake in this number. It is hardly possible that a

hundred and twenty thousand men could have been slain in one day;

yet all the versions and MSS. agree in this number. The whole

people seem to have been given up into the hands of their enemies.

Verse 9. But a prophet of the Lord-whose name was Oded] To this

beautiful speech nothing can be added by the best comment; it is

simple, humane, pious, and overwhelmingly convincing: no wonder it

produced the effect mentioned here. That there was much of

humanity in the heads of the children of Ephraim who joined with

the prophet on this occasion, the fifteenth verse sufficiently

proves. They did not barely dismiss these most unfortunate

captives, but they took that very spoil which their victorious

army had brought away; and they clothed, fed, shod, and anointed,

these distressed people, set the feeblest of them upon asses, and

escorted them safely to Jericho. We can scarcely find a parallel

to this in the universal history of the wars which savage man has

carried on against his fellows, from the foundation of the world.

Verse 16. The kings of Assyria to help him.] Instead of

malchey; KINGS; the Vulgate, Syriac, Arabic, and Chaldee, one

MS., and the parallel place, 2Ki 16:7, have

melek, KING, in the singular number. This king was

Tiglath-pileser, as we learn from the second book of Kings.

Verse 21. But he helped him not.] He did him no ultimate

service. See Clarke on 2Ki 16:9.

After ver. 15, the 23d, 24th, and 25th verses are introduced

before the 16th, in the Syriac and Arabic, and the 22d verse is

wholly wanting in both, though some of the expressions may be

found in the twenty-first verse.

Verse 23. He sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote

him] "This passage," says Mr. Hallet, "greatly surprised me; for

the sacred historian himself is here represented as saying, The

gods of Damascus had smitten Ahaz. But it is impossible to suppose

that an inspired author could say this; for the Scripture

everywhere represents the heathen idols as nothing and vanity,

and as incapable of doing either good or hurt. All difficulty is

avoided if we follow the old Hebrew copies, from which the Greek

translation was made, καιειπενοβασιλειςαχαζεκζητησωτους

θεουςδαμασκουτουςτυπτονταςμε, And King Ahaz SAID, I WILL SEEK

TO THE GODS OF DAMASCUS WHICH HAVE SMITTEN ME; and then it

follows, both in Hebrew and Greek, He said moreover, Because the

gods of the king of Syria help them; therefore will I sacrifice to

them, that they may help me. Both the Syriac and Arabic give it

a similar turn; and say that Ahaz sacrificed to the gods of

Damascus, and said, Ye are my gods and my lords; you will I

worship, and to you will I sacrifice."

Verse 24. Shut up the doors] He caused the Divine worship to be

totally suspended; and they continued shut till the beginning of

the reign of Hezekiah, one of whose first acts was to reopen them,

and thus to restore the Divine worship, 2Ch 29:3.

Verse 27. The kings of Israel] It is a common thing for the

writer of this book to put Israel for Judah. He still considers

them as one people, because proceeding from one stock. The

versions and MSS. have the same reading with the Hebrew; the

matter is of little importance, and with this interpretation none

can mistake.

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