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 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. He didn’t do that which was right in the LORD his God’s eyes, like David his father. 3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yes, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel. 4 He sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, 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 wage war. They besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome him. 6 At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drove the Jews from Elath; and the Syrians came to Elath, and lived there, to this day. 7 So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your 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 Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the LORD’s house, and in the treasures of the king’s house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria. 9 The king of Assyria listened to him; and the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried its people captive to Kir, and killed Rezin. 10 King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria, and saw the altar that was at Damascus; and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest a drawing of the altar and plans to build it. 11 Urijah the priest built an altar. According to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus, so Urijah the priest made it for the coming of king Ahaz from Damascus. 12 When the king had come from Damascus, the king saw the altar; and the king came near to the altar, and offered on it. 13 He burnt his burnt offering and his meal offering, poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings on the altar. 14 The bronze altar, which was before the LORD, he brought from the front of the house, from between his altar and the LORD’s house, and put it on the north side of his altar. 15 King Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, “On the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, the evening meal offering, the king’s burnt offering, his meal offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, their meal offering, and their drink offerings; and sprinkle on it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice; but the bronze altar will be for me to inquire by.” 16 Urijah the priest did so, according to all that king Ahaz commanded. 17 King Ahaz cut off the panels of the bases, and removed the basin from off them, and took down the sea from off the bronze oxen that were under it, and put it on a pavement of stone. 18 He removed the covered way for the Sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king’s entry outside to the LORD’s house, because of the king of Assyria. 19 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz which he did, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 20 Ahaz slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in David’s city, and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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.

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