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
F13 see ( 2 Chronicles 28:5 ) for the Spirit of God would never ascribe the smiting of him to idols, though he himself might;
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.