2 Kings 16

1 In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign.
2 Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not do that which was right in the sight of the LORD his God, like David his father.
3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel.
4 And he sacrificed and burned incense in the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.
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 him.
6 At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath for Syria, and drove the Jews from Elath; and the Syrians came to Elath and dwelt there unto this day.
7 So Ahaz sent 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, who rise up against me."
8 And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD and in the treasuries of the king's house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria.
9 And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him; for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin.
10 And King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus; and King Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the design of the altar and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof.
11 And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus; so Urijah the priest made it for King Ahaz's coming from Damascus.
12 And when the king came from Damascus, the king saw the altar; and the king approached the altar and offered thereon.
13 And he burned his burnt offering and his meat offering, and poured his drink offering and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings upon the altar.
14 And he brought also the brazen 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 north side of the altar.
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 king's 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 brazen altar shall be for me to inquire by."
16 Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that King Ahaz commanded.
17 And King Ahaz cut off the borders of the bases and removed the laver from them, and took down the sea from off the brazen oxen that were under it and put it upon a pavement of stones.
18 And the covert for the Sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king's entry outside, he removed from the house of the LORD for the king of Assyria.
19 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
20 And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the City of David; and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.

2 Kings 16 Commentary

Chapter 16

Ahaz, king of Judah, His wicked reign. (1-9) Ahaz takes a pattern from an idol's altar. (10-16) Ahaz spoils the temple. (17-20)

Verses 1-9 Few and evil were the days of Ahaz. Those whose hearts condemn them, will go any where in a day of distress, rather than to God. The sin was its own punishment. It is common for those who bring themselves into straits by one sin, to try to help themselves out by another.

Verses 10-16 God's altar had hitherto been kept in its place, and in use; but Ahaz put another in the room of it. The natural regard of the mind of man to some sort of religion, is not easily extinguished; but except it be regulated by the word, and by the Spirit of God, it produces absurd superstitions, or detestable idolatries. Or, at best, it quiets the sinner's conscience with unmeaning ceremonies. Infidels have often been remarkable for believing ridiculous falsehoods.

Verses 17-20 Ahaz put contempt upon the sabbath, and thus opened a wide inlet to all manner of sin. This he did for the king of Assyria. When those who have had a ready passage to the house of the Lord, turn it another way to please their neighbours, they are going down-hill apace to ruin.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO 2 KINGS 16

This chapter contains the reign of Ahaz only, relates his idolatry, 2Ki 16:1-4 his hiring the king of Assyria with the treasure of the temple, and his own, to assist him against the kings of Israel and Syria, who besieged him, 2Ki 16:5-9, his seeing the altar of an idol at Damascus, the fashion of which he took, and ordered one like it to be built at Jerusalem, 2Ki 16:10-16, his defacing and removing some things in the temple, 2Ki 16:17,18, and the chapter is concluded with his death and burial, 2Ki 16:19,20.

2 Kings 16 Commentaries