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Bible Commentaries
2 Kings 16

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary


Second Kings Chapter 16

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."

In the 2 Kings 15, we learned that Jotham had been a king that pleased the LORD. We, also, noted that Ahab did not follow in the footsteps of his father. He was very evil. We have mentioned before, that Israel had all evil kings after they broke away into the ten tribes. Judah had some good kings and some evil.

2 Kings 16:2 "Twenty years old [was] Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not [that which was] right in the sight of the LORD his God, like David his father."

Ahaz is descended from David, but he does not please God as David did. Ahaz picks up the idolatrous ways of Israel. He even goes further with his idolatry, than some of the kings of Israel. ‘

2 Kings 16:3 "But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel."

Speaking of the ways of Israel, here, was speaking actually of the ways of Ahab and Jezebel. He worshipped Molech, because that false god involved having your children walk through the fire. The practice of human sacrifice came from the Ammonites and the Moabites. Jeremiah and Chronicles relate the walking through the fire with human sacrifice.

2 Kings 16:4 "And he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree."

Some of the other kings had allowed the worship in high places. The difference is, here, that false gods were worshipped there during the reign of Ahaz.

2 Kings 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 [him]."

We read in the previous lesson, how Israel and Syria had made a pact to come against Judah together. It appears, at this point, the two countries had come against Ahaz at Jerusalem, after taking some of the outlying towns. They were turned back at Jerusalem. They could not overcome Ahaz at Jerusalem.

2 Kings 16:6 "At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath: and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day."

Elath was one of the little towns that Rezin did take. It appears, the Jews there fled, and left it with the Syrians.

2 Kings 16:7 "So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser 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."

It appears, that Ahaz had become afraid that he would not be able to continue to fight off the Syrians and the Israelites, and he calls for help from the Assyrians. Tiglath-pileser was king of Assyria at the time. Ahaz even offers to be subordinate to the Assyrian king. That is what is meant, when he calls himself his son.

2 Kings 16:8 "And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king’s house, and sent [it for] a present to the king of Assyria."

Ahaz had no respect for the house of the LORD. His only idea was to take the wealth of the temple, and buy them an ally. This had been done before, when it appeared Jerusalem and the temple might be destroyed. He even sent the silver and gold from the palace.

2 Kings 16:9 "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."

The Assyrians seemed to be more interested in capturing the enemy and putting them into slavery, than killing them. Assyria attacked Syria immediately, and took Damascus. The king was the only one mentioned, who was killed.

2 Kings 16:10 "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 fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof."

When king Ahaz of Judah went to meet with the Assyrian king in Damascus, he went as a subordinate to the Assyrian king. This altar that Ahaz saw was, probably, a portable altar that the Assyrian king had with him. Ahaz was, probably, trying to please the Assyrian king, when he sent instructions to Urijah the priest of the temple in Jerusalem to build one like it. Ahaz was already worshipping heathen gods at this time. This was just one more of many sins he committed.

2 Kings 16:11 "And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus: so Urijah the priest made [it] against king Ahaz came from Damascus."

Urijah is, probably, the same as Uriah, and was high priest at the time this happened. It is difficult for me to believe a high priest would stoop so low as to build this heathen altar, even if the wicked king did require him to do it. He did build it, however.

2 Kings 16:12 "And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon."

The offering of the king was, probably, done for him by the high priest. He brought the offering, and the high priest offered it would, probably, be correct.

2 Kings 16:13 "And he burnt his burnt offering and his meat offering, and poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings, upon the altar."

This is just saying, the various kinds of offerings that were made on this heathen altar.

2 Kings 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 north side of the altar."

The brazen altar of judgment was removed from the place of prominence, and put at a lesser location than this heathen altar. Each thing in the temple had a spiritual meaning for its location and the metal it was made with. This is all disregarded by Ahaz.

2 Kings 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 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 brasen altar shall be for me to inquire [by]."

The great altar is speaking of the heathen altar. Urijah might have feared for his life, but he should never have allowed this. All of the offerings were to be made on the heathen altar. It would be determined later by Ahaz, what should be done with God’s bronze altar.

2 Kings 16:16 "Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded."

A high priest should not conform to the wishes of the king, when they are opposite to the LORD’s wishes. This is an abomination of Ahaz, but also of Urijah.

2 Kings 16:17 "And king Ahaz cut off the borders of the bases, and removed the laver from off them; and took down the sea from off the brasen oxen that [were] under it, and put it upon a pavement of stones."

There had been five of these on either side of the entrance of the temple. They were held up by brazen oxen. These were for the numerous washings. It appears, that Ahaz had them dismantled also. The sea of water will, now, just sit on pavement stones. Ahaz is destroying the temple worship little by little.

2 Kings 16:18 "And the covert for the sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king’s entry without, turned he from the house of the LORD for the king of Assyria."

This is, probably, a covered walkway that Solomon had built to get into the house of the Lord for worship. Ahaz tears it down, and makes an entrance way for the king of Assyria.

2 Kings 16:19 "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?"

2 Kings 16:20 "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."

Ahaz was so evil, he did not even seem to be of Judah. There are numerous battles, that are mentioned in this record book. He is buried in Jerusalem with the kings. That really seems too good for him, however.

2 Kings 16 Questions

1. How did Ahaz differ from his father Jotham?

2. How old was Ahaz, when he began to reign?

3. How long did he reign?

4. Who is Ahaz descended from, who was a king who pleased God?

5. He walked in the way of the kings of _________.

6. The ways of Israel was actually speaking of the ways of ______ and ____________.

7. What did he cause his children to do?

8. What heathen practice was this?

9. Where did he burn incense, instead of in the temple?

10. What two kings joined forces against Ahaz and Judah?

11. Were they able to overcome Ahaz?

12. What little place did Rezin take?

13. Who was king of Assyria at the time of Ahaz?

14. What did Ahaz ask him to do?

15. What did Ahaz bribe him with?

16. What city of Syria did the Assyrian king take?

17. What did Ahaz see, when he met with the Assyrian king?

18. Who was high priest at the temple at the time?

19. What did Ahaz have him to make?

20. What did they do with the brazen altar?

21. Ahaz made Urijah offer the offerings on which altar?

22. What did Ahaz do to the great sea at the temple?

23. What did he do with the covert for the sabbath?

Verse 1

2Ki 16:1

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 2 Kings 16". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/2-kings-16.html.
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