For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him,
&c.] As he foolishly imagined, that they might do him no more hurt; as it is said of the Indians, that they worship the devil, that he may not hurt them; but that a king of Judah should do this is monstrous stupidity; rather therefore the meaning may be, that he worshipped the gods of those that smote him, those of the men or soldiers of Damascus
and he said, because the gods of the kings of Syria help them;
which looks as if this was before Damascus was taken by the king of Assyria, and when Rezin king of Syria prevailed over Ahaz:
therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me;
against the Edomites and Philistines; wherefore rather to this, his idolatry, respect is had in ( 2 Chronicles 28:22 ) ,
but they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel;
the worship of them was the cause of all the calamities that came upon that part of Israel of which he was king.
F13 So Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.