King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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2 Chronicles 28

The wicked reign of Ahaz in Judah.

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The wicked reign of Ahaz in Judah

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:

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

3 Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.

4 He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.

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.

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.

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.

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.

9 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.

10 And now ye purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondmen and bondwomen unto you: but are there not with you, even with you, sins against the LORD your God?

11 Now hear me therefore, and deliver the captives again, which ye have taken captive of your brethren: for the fierce wrath of the LORD is upon you.

12 Then certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against them that came from the war,

13 And said unto them, Ye shall not bring in the captives hither: for whereas we have offended against the LORD already, ye intend to add more to our sins and to our trespass: for our trespass is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel.

14 So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the congregation.

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.

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

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

18 The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the low country, and of the south of Judah, and had taken Bethshemesh, 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.

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

20 And Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria came unto him, and distressed him, but strengthened him not.

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.

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

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.

24 And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem.

25 And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense unto other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD God of his fathers.

26 Now the rest of his acts and of all his ways, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.

27 And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, even in Jerusalem: but they brought him not into the sepulchres of the kings of Israel: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 3. Benennon, “the son of Ennom.” 4 K. xvi. — Consecrated. Heb. “burnt.” H.

Ver. 4. Tree. Remarkable for its size and beauty; as the heathens supposed that some deity lay there concealed. Mariana. T.

Ver. 5. Booty. Heb. “number of captives.” H. — The two kings had besieged Jerusalem without success: (4 K.) but now their forces were divided. M. — The motives of this war were unjust. Mic. ii. 8.

Ver. 7. At the same time, is not in Heb. (C.) or Sept. H. — Zechri, one of the generals of Phacee, slew the king’s son, &c. after the engagement. — Next. Joseph and Aman enjoyed the like dignity. Gen. xli. 42. Est. xiii. 3. The high priests had also seconds. 4 K. xxv. 18. Sept. “vicar of the king.” C.

Ver. 9. Heaven, and cries for vengeance against you. Though God designed to punish his people, your cruelty will not be excused. H. — The effect of this remonstrance, shews that all the kingdom of Israel was not devoid (C.) of feeling and religion. H. — They set a noble example for Christian princes to follow after a victory. D.

Ver. 10. God, who forbids this. Lev. xxv. 43. Mic. ii. 8. 9. Heb. “are there not with you, yea, with you, sins against?” &c. If Juda have deserved punishment, reflect if you also be not guilty, v. 13. Sept. “Behold, am I not here with you to bear witness to the Lord?”

Ver. 13. Our, is expressed in Heb. and Sept. These people justly confess that they stand in need of pardon, without adding fresh crimes. H. — The cruel treatment of the people of Juda, and the design to make them slaves, were grievous sins. C.

Ver. 15. Above. Heb. “by name.” They deserved to be immortalized. H. — Anointed. This was very common, (M.) and refreshing. Celsus i. 3.

Ver. 16. Kings. Heb. “kings.” But Sept. have the singular. 4 K. xvi. 7.

Ver. 17. And. Sept. “Because the Edomites had come,…and taken many prisoners.” Prot. “for again,” &c. H.

Ver. 18. Gamzo. Syr. “Garam,” perhaps Gaza, (C.) or a city south of Juda. M.

Ver. 19. Of Juda. Heb. “Israel.” But the Sept. have “Juda.” H. — The names are often used promiscuously. C. — For he. Sept. “because he or it had apostatised from the Lord.” — Script. Prot. “he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore,” &c. Thus were the idolatrous Israelites exposed to shame and misery, after they had adored the golden calf. Ex. xxxii. 25. H. — In the Bacchanalian riots, the pagans threw off their garments, to shew that they trusted entirely in their false gods. T. — Achaz had plunged his country in distress, (C.) both of soul and body, (H.) by his scandalous deportment. C. — Of all help, is added by way of explanation; (T.) as God would no longer rescue his rebellious people from the hands of the enemy. H.

Ver. 20. And. Heb. and Sept. “And….the king….came against him, and smote him.” Heb. continues, “but strengthened him not” in the end; though he had been invited, (v. 16. H.) and had actually made a diversion in favour of Achaz. But not being satisfied, he afterwards returned, and made cruel havoc in the country, imposing tribute upon the king, v. 21. 4 K. xvi. 7. and xviii. 7. It is therefore unnecessary to correct the Heb. with Grotius, to make it agree with 4 K. xvi. 7. Thus—he “came to his aid, and relieved him from his distress, (v. 21,) and granted him assistance.”

Ver. 21. Gifts. Tribute. C. — Heb. “and gave it to, &c.: but he did not help him.” H.

Ver. 22. Moreover. Sept. “but to distress him.” — Wicked policy availeth nothing, but entails much evil. W. — King. Heb. “that king Achaz.” The sacred writer thus stigmatizes the impious king, who grew worse the more he was scourged. H. — This was the monster, which could not be tamed. Amama. — Eva. “ille,” is five times used as a reproach, and often to signify applause. Kimchi. — By himself, is an addition. Amama. — It gives us to understand (H.) that Achaz acted thus of his own accord. C. — Sept. “And king Achaz said, (23) I will studiously seek the gods of Damascus, who have buffetted me,” &c. H. — This resolution he took while the arms of Rasin were formidable to him: but he put it in execution after the king of Assyria had delivered him, when he went to Damascus to return him thanks. 4 K. xvi. 10. This stupid blindness and impiety irritated God so much, that he abandoned Juda to the arms of the king, who had been called in as a protector. How could he expect aid from gods who had suffered their own country and people of Damascus to fall a prey to the invader! C.

Ver. 24. God: first through fear of the Assyrian, (4 K.) but afterwards he permitted it to continue in the same state of irreligion. C. — So easily do people fall into this abyss, who begin to neglect instruction! H. — Ezechias took care to open the temple again. C. xxix. 3. C. — None of the former kings had dared (H.) to prohibit the worship of the true God. T.

Ver. 27. Israel is put as comprising Juda. H. C. xx. 34. and xxiv. 16. &c. C.