2 Paralipomenon xxviii.
Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 3. Benennom, “the son of Ennom,” 4 Kings xvi. — Consecrated. Hebrew, “burnt.” (Haydock)
Ver. 4. Tree. Remarkable for its size and beauty; as the heathens supposed that some deity lay there concealed. (Mariana) (Tirinus)
Ver. 5. Booty. Hebrew, “number of captives.” (Haydock) — The two kings had besieged Jerusalem without success: (4 Kings) but now their forces were divided. (Menochius) — The motives of this war were unjust, (Micheas ii. 8.)
Ver. 7. At the same time, is not in Hebrew (Calmet) or Septuagint. (Haydock) — Zechri, one of the generals of Phacee, slew the king’s son, &c., after the engagement. — Next. Joseph and Aman enjoyed the like dignity, Genesis xli. 42., and Esther xiii. 3. The high priests had also seconds, 4 Kings xxv. 18. Septuagint, “vicar of the king.” (Calmet)
Ver. 9. Heaven, and cries for vengeance against you. Though God designed to punish his people, your cruelty will not be excused. (Haydock) — The effect of this remonstrance, shews that all the kingdom of Israel was not devoid (Calmet) of feeling and religion. (Haydock) — They set a noble example for Christian princes to follow after a victory. (Du Hamel)
Ver. 10. God, who forbids this, Leviticus xxv. 43., and Micheas ii. 8, 9. Hebrew, “are there not with you, yea, with you, sins against?” &c. If Juda have deserved punishment, reflect if you also be not guilty, ver. 13. Septuagint, “Behold, am I not here with you to bear witness to the Lord?”
Ver. 13. Our, is expressed in Hebrew and Septuagint. These people justly confess that they stand in need of pardon, without adding fresh crimes. (Haydock) — The cruel treatment of the people of Juda, and the design to make them slaves, were grievous sins. (Calmet)
Ver. 15. Above. Hebrew, “by name.” They deserved to be immortalized. (Haydock) — Anointed. This was very common, (Menochius) and refreshing. (Celsus i. 3.)
Ver. 16. Kings. Hebrew, “kings.” But Septuagint have the singular, 4 Kings xvi. 7.
Ver. 17. And. Septuagint, “Because the Edomites had come,…and taken many prisoners.” Protestants, “for again,” &c. (Haydock)
Ver. 18. Gamzo. Syriac, “Garam,” perhaps Gaza, (Calmet) or a city south of Juda. (Menochius)
Ver. 19. Of Juda. Hebrew, “Israel.” But the Septuagint have “Juda.” (Haydock) — The names are often used promiscuously. (Calmet) — For he. Septuagint, “because he or it had apostatised from the Lord.” — Stript. Protestants, “he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore,” &c. Thus were the idolatrous Israelites exposed to shame and misery, after they had adored the golden calf, Exodus xxxii. 25. (Haydock) — In the Bacchanalian riots, the pagans threw off their garments, to shew that they trusted entirely in their false gods. (Tirinus) — Achaz had plunged his country in distress, (Calmet) both of soul and body, (Haydock) by his scandalous deportment. (Calmet) — Of all help, is added by way of explanation; (Tirinus) as God would no longer rescue his rebellious people from the hands of the enemy. (Haydock)
Ver. 20. And. Hebrew and Septuagint, “And….the king….came against him, and smote him.” Hebrew continues, “but strengthened him not” in the end; though he had been invited, (ver. 16.; Haydock) and had actually made a diversion in favour of Achaz. But not being satisfied, he afterwards returned, and made cruel havoc in the country, imposing tribute upon the king, ver. 21., 4 Kings xvi. 7., and xviii. 7. It is therefore unnecessary to correct the Hebrew, with Grotius, to make it agree with 4 Kings xvi. 7. Thus—he “came to his aid, and relieved him from his distress, (ver. 21,) and granted him assistance.”
Ver. 21. Gifts. Tribute. (Calmet) — Hebrew, “and gave it to, &c.: but he did not help him.” (Haydock)
Ver. 22. Moreover. Septuagint, “but to distress him.” — Wicked policy availeth nothing, but entails much evil. (Worthington) — King. Hebrew, “that king Achaz.” The sacred writer thus stigmatizes the impious king, who grew worse the more he was scourged. (Haydock) — This was the monster, which could not be tamed. (Amama) — Eva. “ille,” is five times used as a reproach, and often to signify applause. (Kimchi) — By himself, is an addition. (Amama) — It gives us to understand (Haydock) that Achaz acted thus of his own accord. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “And king Achaz said, (23) I will studiously seek the gods of Damascus, who have buffetted me,” &c. (Haydock) — This resolution he took while the arms of Rasin were formidable to him: but he put it in execution after the king of Assyria had delivered him, when he went to Damascus to return him thanks, 4 Kings xvi. 10. This stupid blindness and impiety irritated God so much, that he abandoned Juda to the arms of the king, who had been called in as a protector. How could he expect aid from gods who had suffered their own country and people of Damascus to fall a prey to the invader! (Calmet)
Ver. 24. God: first through fear of the Assyrian, (4 Kings) but afterwards he permitted it to continue in the same state of irreligion. (Calmet) — So easily do people fall into this abyss, who begin to neglect instruction! (Haydock) — Ezechias took care to open the temple again, chap. xxix. 3. (Calmet) — None of the former kings had dared (Haydock) to prohibit the worship of the true God. (Tirinus)
Ver. 27. Israel is put as comprising Juda. (Haydock) (Chap. xx. 34., and xxiv. 16., &c.) (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The wicked and unhappy reign of Achaz.
1 Achaz* was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: he did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord, as David, his father, had done.
2 But walked in the ways of the kings of Israel; moreover, also, he cast statues for Baalim.
3 It was he that burnt incense in the valley of Benennom, and consecrated his sons in the fire, according to the manner of the nations, which the Lord slew at the coming of the children of Israel.
4 He sacrificed also, and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.
5 *And the Lord, his God, delivered him into the hands of the king of Syria, who defeated him, and took a great booty out of his kingdom, and carried it to Damascus: he was also delivered into the hands of the king of Israel, who overthrew him with a great slaughter.
6 For Phacee, the son of Romelia, slew of Juda a hundred and twenty thousand in one day, all valiant men: because they had forsaken the Lord, the God of their fathers.
7 At the same time, Zechri, a powerful man of Ephraim, slew Maasias, the king’s son, and Ezricam, the governor of his house, and Elcana, who was next to the king.
8 And the children of Israel carried away of their brethren, two hundred thousand women, boys, and girls, and an immense booty: and they brought it to Samaria.
9 At that time there was a prophet of the Lord there, whose name was Oded: and he went out to meet the army that came to Samaria, and said to them: Behold the Lord, the God of your fathers, being angry with Juda, hath delivered them into your hands, and you have butchered them cruelly, so that your cruelty hath reached up to heaven.
10 Moreover, you have a mind to keep under the children of Juda and Jerusalem, for your bon-dmen and bond-women, which ought not to be done: for you have sinned in this against the Lord, your God.
11 But hear ye my counsel, and release the captives that you have brought of your brethren, because a great indignation of the Lord hangeth over you.
12 Then some of the chief men of the sons of Ephraim, Azarias, the son of Johanan, Barachias, the son of Mosollamoth, Ezechias, the son of Sellum, and Amasa, the son of Adali, stood up against them that came from the war.
13 And they said to them: You shall not bring in the captives hither, lest we sin against the Lord. Why will you add to our sins, and heap up upon our former offences? for the sin is great, and the fierce anger of the Lord hangeth over Israel.
14 So the soldiers left the spoils, and all that they had taken, before the princes and all the multitude.
15 And the men, whom we mentioned above, rose up and took the captives, and with the spoils, clothed all them that were naked: and when they had clothed and shod them, and refreshed them with meat and drink, and anointed them because of their labour, and had taken care of them: they set such of them as could not walk, and were feeble, upon beasts, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm-trees, to their brethren, and they returned to Samaria.
16 At that time king Achaz sent to the king of the Assyrians, asking help.
17 *And the Edomites came and slew many of Juda, and took a great booty.
18 The Philistines also spread themselves among the cities of the plains, and to the south of Juda: and they took Bethsames, and Aialon, and Gaderoth, and Socho, and Thamnan, and Gamzo, with their villages, and they dwelt in them.
19 For the Lord had humbled Juda, because of Achaz, the king of Juda, for he had stript it of all help, and had contemned the Lord.
20 And he brought against him Thelgathphalnasar, *king of the Assyrians, who also afflicted him, and plundered him without any resistance.
21 And Achaz stripped the house of the Lord, and the house of the kings, and of the princes, and gave gifts to the king of the Assyrians; and yet it availed him nothing.
22 Moreover, also, in the time of his distress, he increased contempt against the Lord; king Achaz himself, by himself,
23 Sacrificed victims to the gods of Damascus that struck him, and he said: The gods of the kings of Syria help them, and I will appease them with victims, and they will help me: whereas, on the contrary, they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.
24 Then Achaz having taken away all the vessels of the house of God, and broken them, shut up the doors of the temple of God, and made himself altars in all the corners of Jerusalem.
25 And in all the cities of Juda he built altars to burn frankincense, and he provoked the Lord, the God of his fathers, to wrath.
26 But the rest of his acts, and all his works, first and last, are written in the Book of the kings of Juda and Israel.
27 And Achaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of Jerusalem: for they received him not into the sepulchres of the kings of Israel. And Ezechias, his son, reigned in his stead.
1: Year of the World 3262, Year before Christ 742.; 4 Kings xvi. 2.
5: Year of the World 3263.
17: Year of the World 3264, Year before Christ 740.
20: 4 Kings xvi. 10.