16:1 In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah a Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign.
(a) This was a wicked son of a godly father, as of him again came godly Hezekiah, and of him wicked Manasseh, save that God in the end showed him mercy. Thus we see how uncertain it is to depend on the dignity of our fathers. 16:3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to b pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel.
(b) That is, offered him to Molech or made him pass between two fires, as the manner of the Gentiles was, ( Leviticus 18:21 ; Deuteronomy 18:10 ). 16:5 Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war: and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome c [him].
(c) For the Lord preserved the city and his people for the sake of his promise made to David. 16:6 At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered d Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath: and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day.
(d) Which Azariah had taken from the Syrians and fortified, ( 2 Kings 14:22 ). 16:7 So Ahaz sent e messengers to Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, saying, I [am] thy servant and thy son: come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me.
(e) Contrary to the admonition of the prophet Isaiah, ( Isaiah 7:4 ). 16:8 And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the f house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the kings house, and sent [it for] a present to the king of Assyria.
(f) Thus he did not spare the temple of God from being spoiled to gain help from men and would not once lift his heart to God to desire his help or hear his prophets counsel. 16:11 And Urijah the priest built an altar g according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus: so Urijah the priest made [it] against king Ahaz came from Damascus.
(g) We see that there is no prince so wicked that he cannot find liars and false ministers to serve his purposes. 16:12 And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered h thereon.
(h) Either offerings for peace or prosperity, or thanksgiving as in ( Leviticus 3:1 ) or else meaning the morning and evening offering, ( Exodus 29:38 ; Numbers 28:3 ) and thus he contemned the means and the altar which God had commanded by Solomon, to serve God after his own fantasy. 16:14 And he brought also the brasen altar, which [was] before the LORD, from the forefront of the house, from between the altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the i north side of the altar.
(i) That is, at the right hand, as men went into the temple. 16:15 And king Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, Upon the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening meat offering, and the kings burnt sacrifice, and his meat offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings; and sprinkle upon it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice: and the k brasen altar shall be for me to enquire [by].
(k) Here he establishes by commandment his own wicked proceedings, and abolishes the commandment and ordinance of God. 16:18 And the l covert for the sabbath that they had built in the house, and the kings entry without, turned he from the house of the LORD m for the king of Assyria.
(l) Or tent, in which they lay on the sabbath, who had served their week in the temple and so departed home.
(m) Either to flatter the king of Assyria, when he should thus see him change the ordinance of God or else that the temple might be a refuge for him if the king should suddenly assault his house.