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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

2 Chronicles 28

 

 

Verse 1

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 was twenty years old - (see the notes at 2 Kings 16:1-4.) This prince, discarding the principles and example of his excellent father, early betrayed a strong bias to idolatry. He ruled with an arbitrary and absolute authority, and not as a theocratic sovereign: he not only forsook the temple of God, but embraced first the symbolic worship established in the sister kingdom, and afterward the gross idolatry practiced by the Canaanites.


Verses 2-4

For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 5

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 ... delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria. This verse, without alluding to the formation of a confederacy between the Syrian and Israelite kings to invade the kingdom of Judah, or relating the commencement of the war in the close of Jotham's reign (2 Kings 15:37), gives the issue only of some battles that were fought in the early part of the campaign.

And they smote him ... he was also delivered - i:e., his army, because Ahaz was not personally included in the number either of the slain or the captives. They attempted to besiege him in Jerusalem, which, however, they found impregnable, and raised the siege; but he ventured to pursue the retreating enemy, who resisted him on the plains north of the city in a pitched battle, and totally defeated his troops. The slaughter of 120,000 in one day was a terrible calamity, which, it is expressly said (2 Chronicles 28:6), was inflicted as a judgment on Judah, "because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers." Among the slain were some persons of distinction.


Verse 6

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 JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 7

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.

Maaseiah the king's son. Jerome ('Quaest. Hebraicae'), on this passage, renders the words "the king's son," 'the seed of Molech,' or the seed royal. The sons of Ahaz being too young to take part in a battle, this individual must have been a younger son of the late king Jotham.

Azrikam the governor of the house - i:e., the palace.

And Elkanah that was next to the king ie the vizier or prime minister (Genesis 41:40; Esther 10:3) These And Elkanah that was next to the king - i:e., the vizier or prime minister (Genesis 41:40; Esther 10:3). These were all cut down on the field by Zichri, an Israelite warrior, or, as some think, ordered to be put to death after the battle. A vast number of captives also fell into the power of the conquerors; and an equal division of war prisoners being made between the allies, they were sent off under a military escort to the respective capitals of Syria and Israel.


Verse 8

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.

The children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand. These captives included a great number of women, boys, and girls-a circumstance which creates a presumption that the Hebrews, like other Orientals, were accompanied in the war by multitudes of non-combatants (see the note at Judges 6:8). The report of these "brethren" being brought as captives to Samaria excited general indignation among the better disposed inhabitants; and Oded, a prophet, accompanied by the princes (2 Chronicles 28:12, compared with 2 Chronicles 28:14), went out, as the escort was approaching, to prevent the disgraceful outrage of introducing such prisoners into the city.

The officers of the squadron were, of course, not to blame; they were simply doing their military duty in conducting those prisoners of war to their destination. But Oded clearly showed that the Israelite army had gained the victory, not by the superiority of their arms, but in consequence of the divine judgment against Judah; he forcibly exposed the enormity of the offence of keeping "their brethren" as slaves obtained in war; he protested earnestly against adding this great offence of unnatural and sinful cruelty (Leviticus 25:43-44; Micah 2:8-9) to the already overwhelming amount of their own national sins; and such was the effect of his spirited remonstrance, and the opposing tide of popular feeling, that "the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the congregation."


Verses 9-14

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.

No JFB commentary on these verses.


Verse 15

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.

The men which were expressed by name rose up. These were either the "heads of the children of Ephraim" (mentioned in 2 Chronicles 28:12), or some other leading individuals chosen for the benevolent office. Under their kindly superintendence, the prisoners were not only released, but out of the spoils were comfortably relieved with food and clothing and conveyed as far as Jericho on their way back to their own homes. This is a beautiful incident, and full of interest, as showing that even at this period of national decline there were not a few who stedfastly adhered to the law of God.


Verse 16

At that time did king Ahaz send unto the kings of Assyria to help him.

At that time did king Ahaz send unto the kings of Assyria - "kings," the plural for the singular, which in many ancient versions is found. "At that time" refers to the period of Ahaz's great distress, when, after a succession of defeats, he retreated within the walls of Jerusalem, where, either in the same or a subsequent campaign, the Syrian and Israelite allies marched to besiege him (see the note at 2 Kings 16:7-9). Though delivered from this danger, other enemies infested his dominions both on the south and the west.


Verse 17

For again the Edomites had come and smitten Judah, and carried away captives.

Again the Edomites had come. This invasion must have been after Rezin (at the beginning of the late Syro-Israelite war) had released that people from the yoke of Judah (2 Chronicles 15:11 : cf. 2 Kings 16:6; Isaiah 7:1; Isaiah 8:1-22; Isaiah 9:1-21 relating to this period).


Verse 18

The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the low country, and of the south of Judah, and had taken Beth-she'mesh, 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.

Gederoth - on the Philistine frontier (Joshua 15:41).

Shocho - or Socah (Joshua 15:35), now Shuweikeh, a town in the valley of Judah (see the note at 1 Samuel 17:1).

Gimzo - now Jimzu, a little east of Ludd (Lydda) (Robinson's 'Biblical Researches,' 3:, p. 56). All these disasters, by which the "Lord brought Judah low," was because of Ahaz, king of Israel (Judah) (see 2 Chronicles 21:2; 2 Chronicles 24:16; 2 Chronicles 28:27), who "made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the Lord."


Verse 19

For the LORD brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the LORD.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 20

And Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria came unto him, and distressed him, but strengthened him not.

Tilgath-pilneser ... distressed him, but strengthened him not - i:e., notwithstanding the temporary relief which Tilgath-pilneser afforded him by the conquest of Damascus and the slaughter of Rezin (2 Kings 16:9), little advantage resulted from it, because Tilgath-pilneser spent the winter in voluptuous revelry at Damascus; and the connection formed with the Assyrian king was eventually a source of new and greater calamities and humiliation to the kingdom of Judah (2 Chronicles 28:2-3). 'The expression, "distressed him, but strengthened him not," should probably be understood simply of the exhausting effects of the tribute payments, and not of any failure of the Assyrian king to perform his compact relating to the Syro-Israelite invasion.

The silence of the Chronicles as to the aid given on that occasion is remarkable, and not easy to explain. Possibly the chronicler deemed it but of little worth, seeing that, after all, it had proved unable to save either Ahaz from further transgression or his kingdom from the hostile inroads of his bitterest enemies' (Vance Smith, 'Prophecies relating to the Assyrians,' p. 27). The unhappy case of Judah, after Ahaz had invoked the aid of the Assyrians, is paralleled in our early history by the Britons invoking the Saxons against the Scots and Picts. The Saxons did come and help them in repelling the northern invaders, but they remained masters of the country.


Verse 21

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.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 22

And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD: this is that king Ahaz.

In the time of his distress did he trespass yet more. This infatuated king surrendered himself to the influence of idolatry, and exerted his royal authority to extend it, with the intensity of a passion, with the ignorance and servile fear of a pagan (2 Chronicles 28:23 : cf. Jeremiah 44:16-18; Hosea 2:5), and a ruthless defiance of God (2 Kings 16:10-20).

This is that king Ahaz. The original, 'this king Ahaz,' is more terse and pointed.


Verse 23

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.

For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus. His superstitious mind led him to believe that he would, by doing them homage, obtain some share of the favours they had bestowed on the Syrians.

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 28:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-chronicles-28.html. 1871-8.

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