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Pekahiah Reigns,

II. KINGS, XV.

and is Slain by Remalialu

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B.C. 759.

come forth.

thousand talents of silver, that his hand

Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made might be with him to confirm the king

Israel to sin, (25) But Pekah the son of dom in his hand. (20) And Menahem

Remaliah, a captain of his, conspired lexacted the money of Israel, even of all

against him, and smote him in Samaria, the mighty men of wealth, of each man

in the palace of the king's house, with fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king

Argob and Arieh, and with him fifty of Assyria. So the king of Assyria 1 Heb., caused to

men of the Gileadites: and he killed turned back, and stayed not there in

him, and reigned in his room. the land.

(26) And the rest of the acts of Peka(21) And the rest of the acts of Mena

hiah, and all that he did, behold, they hem, and all that he did, are they not

are written in the book of the chroniwritten in the book of the chronicles of

cles of the kings of Israel. the kings of Israel? (22) And Menahem

(27) In the two and fiftieth year of slept with his fathers; and Pekahiah his

Azariah king of Judah Pekah the son son reigned in his stead.

of Remaliah began to reign over Israel (23) In the fiftieth year of Azariah king

in Samaria, and reigned twenty years. of Judah Pekahiah the son of Menahem

(28) And he did that which was evil in the began to reign over Israel in Samaria,

sight of the LORD: he departed not and reigned two years. (24) And he did

from the sins of Jeroboam the son of that which was evil in the sight of the

Nebat, who made Israel to sin. LORD: he departed not from the sins of

(29) In the days of Pekah king of

B.C. 759.

B.C. 761.

B.C. 740.

pretenders as a vassal of Assyria. (Comp. Hosea v. person who bore this name was a native of the district 13, vii. 11, viii. 9.) Tiglath Pileser had first reduced of Bashan so designated (1 Kings iv. 13); Arieh Rézin king of Syria-Damascus, which was probably (" lion ”), like our own Cæur-de-Lion, betokens strength much weakened by the victories of Jeroboam II. (See and bravery. (Comp. 1 Chron. xii. 8, “ The Gadites, Note on verse 14.)

whose faces were as the faces of lions.") (20) Exacted.-Literally, caused to go out ;- a word And with him fifty men of the Gileadites. already used in the sense of to lay out, expend money -Or, and with him were fifty, &c.

Pekah was sup(chap. xii. 12). Probably, therefore, laid (vayyissu), ported by fifty soldiers, probably of the royal guard. i.e., imposed, should be read here (Gen. xxxi. 17). Menahem himself was of Gadite origin (verse 17), and Of.—Heb., upon.

so belonged to Gilead. He would therefore be likely The mighty men of wealth.-A later use of the to recruit his body-guard from among the Gileadites, Hebrew phrase, which, in older parlance, means the who were always famous for their prowess. (Comp. heroes of the host" (Judges vi. 12; 1 Sam. ix. 1). Josh. xvii. l; Judges xi. 12; 1 Chron. xxvi. 31.) The

Fifty shekels.-The talent of silver was worth two names Argob and Arieh agree with this supposi-
3,000 shekels. The payment of 1,000 talents (3,000,000 tion. The LXX. reads, in place of “the Gileadites,”
shekels) therefore implies a total of 60,000 persons ånd tâv Tetpakoolwv, “ of the four hundred,” which re-
able to contribute. Fifty shekels were one maneh minds us of David's 'six hundred Gibbórim (2 Sam.
(Assyrian, mana ; Greek, uvų, and Latin, mina). There xv. 18).
was no great Temple treasury to draw from in the Josephus accounts for the short reign of Pekahiah by
northern kingdom, and any palace hoards would have the statement that he imitated the cruelty of his
disappeared in the confusions attending the frequent father,
revolutions of the time.

(27—31) THE REIGN OF PEKAH, SON OF REMAThere.-Or, then (Ps. xiv. 5).

LIAH, IN SAMARIA.
(23—26) THE REIGN OF PEKAHIAH
(Heb., Pěkahyāh).

(27) Reigned twenty years. This does not agree

with the duration assigned to the reign of Jotham (23) In the fiftieth year.–The forty-ninth, if verse (verse 33), and the year assigned as the beginning of seventeen were exact.

Hoshea's reign (chap. xvii. 1). For, according to verse (25) But ...a captain of his.- And ... his ad- 32, Pekah had reigned about two years when Jotham jutant (or knight, chap. vii. 2).

succeeded in Judah, and Jotham reigned sixteen years ; The palace of the king's house.-The same and, according to chap. xvii. 1, Pekah was succeeded by expression occurred in 1 Kings xvi. 18. The word Hoshea in the twelfth year of Jotham's successor, armôn, rendered “palace,” is usually explained as mean- Ahaz. These data make the duration of Pekah's reign ing citadel or keep, from a root meaning to be high. from twenty-eight to thirty years. We must, there(Comp. ñ ăxpu in Greek.) Ewald makes it the harem, fore, either assume, with Thenius, that “the numeral which, as the innermost and most strongly-guarded part sign for 30 (5) has been corrupted into 20 (5),” or, with of an Oriental palace, is probably meant here. Thither Ewald, that “and nine” has been accidentally omitted Pekahiah had fled for refuge before the conspirators. after “twenty.”

With Argob and Arieh.-Pekah slew these two (29) Tiglath-pileser. - This Assyrian sovereign, persous, probably officers of the royal guard, who stood who reigned from 745 to 727 B.C., is called in his own by their master, as well as the king himself.

inscriptions, Tukulti- (or Tuklat) 'abal-Esarra, which The peculiar names are an indication of the historical Schrader renders, “my trust is Adar”-literally, Trust character of the account. Argob suggests that the is the son of the temple of Sarra. (See Note on 1

Israel Invaded by Tiglath-pileser.

II. KINGS, XV.

The Reign of Jotham in Judah.

B.C. 739.

Israel came Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel-bethmaachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria.

(30) And Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and smote him, and slew him, and reigned in his stead, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah.

(31) And the rest of the acts of Pekah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.

(32) In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel began * Jotham the son of Uzziah king of Judah to reign. (33) Five and twenty

years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Jerusha, the daughter of Zadok. (34) And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD: he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done. (35) Howbeit the high places were not removed: the people sacrificed and burned incense still in the high places. He built the higher gate of the house of the Lord.

(36) Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

(37) In those days the Lord began to send against Judah Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah. (38) And Jotham slept with his fathers,

62 Chron. 27. 1.

B.C. 758.

B.C. cir. 742,

Chron. v. 26.) “The idea we get of this king from the chap. xvii. 3 represents Hoshea as paying tribute to remains of these inscriptions corresponds throughout Shalmaneser IV., the successor of Tiglath. to what we know of him from the Bible. Everywhere In the twentieth year of Jotham.-This is he is presented as a powerful warrior-king, who sub. a suspicious statement, as not agreeing with verse 33, jugated the entire tract of anterior Asia, from the according to which Jotham reigned sixteen years only. frontier mountains of Media in the east to the Mediterranean sea in the west, including a part of Cappa

(32—38) THE REIGN OF JOTHAM IN JERUSALEM. docia” (Schrader, K.A.T., p. 247).

(Comp. 2 Chron. xxvii.) Took Ijon, and Abel-beth-maachah

(32) In the second year of Pekah.-Who came all the land of Naphtali.-Comp. 1 Kings xv. to the throne in the last year of Uzziah (Azariah, verse 27). 20.

(31) According to all that his father Uzziah Janoah.-Not the border-town between Ephraim had done. — The chronicler qualifies this general and Manasseh (Josh. xvi. 6), as the context requires a statement by adding that Jotham did not, like his father, place in the northernmost part of Israel.

invade the Holy Place. (Comp. 2 Chron. xxvii. 2, Kedesh.-On the western shore of the waters of with 2 Chron. xxvi. 16.) Merom (Josh. xxi. 37).

(35) Howbeit the high places. — The chronicler Hazor.--See 1 Kings ix. 15.

generalises this statement: “And the people did yet Gilead. See chap. xiv. 25; 1 Chron. v. 26. It was corruptly." no long time since Jeroboam II. had recovered it for He built.-Rather, He it was who built. For “the Israel. According to Schrader (K.A.T., pp. 254, seq.) higher gate,” see Note on 2 Chron. xxvii. 3. Thenius the reference of the verse is to Tiglath Pileser's expedi- considers that the term higher denotes rank rather than tion in B.c. 734, called in the Eponym list an expe- local position. (See Jer. xx. 2; Ezek. viii. 3, 5, 14, 16; dition to the land of Pilista (Pllilistia). With this ix. 2 ; xl. 38–43; and comp. chap. xii. 9.) Schrader connects a fragment of the amals which begins (36) Now the rest of the acts of Jotham.-Some with a list of towns conquered by Tiglath, and ends of these are related in 2 Chron. xxvii. 4–6. We read thus: ... “the town of Gaal (ad) . : . (A) bil there how Jotham built towns and castles, and towers of the upper part of the land of Beth-Omri (i.e., Sama- of refuge, and how he fought victoriously against ria) .. . in its whole extent I annexed to the territory Ammon, and exacted from that nation a heavy tribute of Assyria ; my prefects the sagans I appointed over three years running. Ewald and Thenius admit the them.' The fragment goes on to mention the flight of historical value of this brief narrative, which is indeed Hânûn, king of Gaza, to Egypt, and the carrying off evident on the face of it. of his goods and his gods by the conqueror. It is added, (37) In those days-i.e., in the last year of Jotham. “The land of Beth-Omri the whole body of his The attacks of the allies at first took the form of isomen, their goods, to the land of Assyria I led away, lated raids. In the next reign the country was invaded Pakaha (i.e., Pekah) their king I slew (so Schrader; by them in full force. (See chap. xvi. 6, seq., and the ? they slew'), and A-u-si-ha (i.e., Hoshea).

Notes there.) them I appointed. Ten (talents of gold, 1,000 talents Rezin.-Comp. Rezon, Heb., Rězón (1 Kings xi. 23), of silver) I received from them.”

the founder of the dynasty. The present name is spelt (30) Hoshea . . i slew him, and reigned in in the Hebrew of Kings and Isaiah (vii. 1) Récîn. his stead.-See the inscription of Tiglath Pileser, The Assyrian spelling in the records of Tiglath Pileser, quoted in the last Note, from which, as Schrader re- who conquered

and slew Rezin, suggests that the right marks, it is clear that Hoshea only secured his hold on spelling was Rūçón (Assyrian, Raçunnu). The first the crown by recognition of the suzerainty of Assyria. and last kings of the Syrian monarchy thus bore similar The brief record of Kings does not mention this; but names, beth, perhaps, meaning "prince.”

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XVI.

the last of a series of strong and generally successful THE REIGN OF AHAZ. (Comp. 2 Chron. xxviii.)

princes, had died at a critical moment, when Pekah

and Rezin were maturing their plans against his king(2) Twenty years old.—The number should pro- dom. The opposing parties in northern Israel sus. bably be twenty-and-five, according to the LXX., pended their feuds to make common cause against Syriac, and Arabic of 2 Chron. xxviii. 1. Otherwise, Judah (Isa. ix. 21), and the proud inhabitants of Ahaz was begotten when his father was ten (or, eleven) Samaria hoped by this policy to more than restore the years old—a thing perhaps not impossible in the East, prestige forfeited in previous years of calamity (Isa. ix. where both sexes reach maturity earlier than among 9, 10). At the same time the Syrians began to operate in Western races.

the eastern dependencies of Judah, their aim being to (3) But he walked in the way.-See Notes on 2 possess themselves of the harbour of Elath on the Red Chron. xxviii. 2.

Sea, while the Philistines attacked the Judeans in the Made his son to pass through the fire. The rear, and ravaged the fertile lowlands (Isa ix. 12, verse chronicler rightly explains this as a sacrifice by fire. 6). A heavy and sudden disaster had already fallen on That such an appalling rite is really intended may

be the Judean arms, a defeat in which 'head and tail, seen by reference to chap. xvii. 31; Jer. xix. 5; Ezek. palm-branch and rush' had been mown down in indisxvi. 20, xxiii. 37; Jer. xxxii. 35. The expression, " To criminate slanghter (Isa. ix. 14). Ahaz was no fit make to pass through the fire to Moloch(Lev. xviii. leader in so critical a time; his character was petulant 21) may have originated, as Movers suggests, in the and childish, his policy was dictated in the harem (Isa. idea that the burning was a kind of passage to union iii. 12). Nor was the internal order of the state calcuwith the deity, after the dross of the flesh had been lated to inspire confidence. Wealth, indeed, had greatly purged away; or it may be a mere euphemism. Ahaz accumulated in the preceding time of prosperity, but appears to have been the first Israelite king who its distribution had been such that it weakened rather offered such a sacrifice. He, no doubt, regarded it as than added strength to the nation. The rich nobles a last desperate resource against the oppression of his were steeped in sensual luxury, the court was full of northern enemies. It is absurd to suppose that the king gallantry, feminine extravagance and vanity gave the intended it in love to his child, as I'henius suggests. tone to aristocratic society (Isa. v. 11, iii. 16; comp. iii. (See Judges xi. 31.) Such dreadful sacrifices were only 12, iv. 4), which, like the noblesse of France on the eve made in cases of dire extremity. (Comp. chap. iii. 27.) of the Revolution, was absorbed in gaiety and pleasure,

The heathen.-More particularly the Ammonites, while the masses were ground down by oppression, and who made such sacrifices to Molech or Milcom.

the of their distress filled the land (Isa. ii. 15, v. (1) In the high places.-These are evidently dis- 7).”—Prof. Robertson Smith. tinguished from “ the hills,” two different prepositions They besieged Ahaz.-The allies wanted to combeing used in the Hebrew as in the English. A pel Judah to join them in their attempt to throw off the bāmāh, or “ high-place,” was a local sanctuary, and it burdensome yoke of Assyria, imposed in 738 B.C. (chap. appears that a sacred pillar or altar might be called a xv. 19); and thought the best way to secure this was to bāmāh. Mesha king of Moab speaks of his pillar as dethrone the dynasty of David, and set up a creature * this bāmath.(See Note on chap. i. 1.)

of their own—" the son of Tabeal” (Isa. vii

. 6). Under every green tree.-Comp. 1 Kings xiv. Could not overcome him.-Literally, they were 23; Hosea xiv. 8. Thenius says not so much a green not able to war, as in Isa. vii. 2. The allies could not as a thick-foliaged and shadow-yielding tree. " They storm the city, which had been strongly fortified by burn incense .. under oaks, and poplars, and teil Uzziah and Jotham (2 Chron. xxvi. 9, xxvii. 3). trees, because the shadow thereof is good ” (Hosea (6) At that time.-Bähr regards this verse as a iv. 13).

parenthesis, so that verse 7 is the strict continuation of

verse 5, and “At that time” simply assigns this war as THE SYRO-EPHRAIMITIC WAR, AND THE INTER

the epoch when Judah lost its only harbour and chief VENTION OF TIGLATH PILESER. (Comp. Isa. vii. -ix. 7, “an epitome of the discourses delivered by

emporium-a grave blow to the national prosperity:

It is perhaps impossible to weave the various data of the prophet at this great national crisis.”—Cheyne.)

Isaiah, Kings, and Chronicles into a single narrative (5) Then Rezin king of Syria ... to war. which shall be free from all objection. But it seems This verse agrees almost word for word with Isa. vii. 1. probable that, after the successes recorded in 2 Chron. The time is soon after the accession of Ahaz.“ Jotham, xxviii. 5, seq., the confederates advanced upon Jerusa

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Judah Invaded by

II. KINGS, XVI.

Israel and Syria

Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and

king's house, and sent it for a present to drave the Jews from Elath: and the

the king of Assyria. (9) And the king of Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there

Assyria hearkened unto him: for the unto this day. (7) So Ahaz sent messen

king of Assyria went up against Damgers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria,

ascus, and took it, and carried the saying, I am thy servant and thy son:

people of it captive to Kir, and slew come up, and save me out of the hand 1 Heb. Dammesek. Rezin. of the king of Syria, and out of the hand

(10) And king Ahaz went to Damascus of the king of Israel, which rise up

to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, against me. (8) And Ahaz took the silver

and saw an altar that was at Damascus : and gold that was found in the house of

and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the LORD, and in the treasures of the

the fashion of the altar, and the pattern

The ap

lem, and that Ahaz despatched his envoys to Tiglath malaka of Edom, Hanun of Gaza, and other princes. Pileser. The allies soon despaired of a siege, and This probably relates to the expedition of 734 B.C., in Pekah fell to ravaging the country, while Rezin pushed which year, therefore, Ahaz (Jehoahaz) must have put on to Elath, determined not to return home without himself under the protection of Assyria (Schrader, having achieved some permanent success.

K.A.T., p. 257 seq.). proach of Tiglath Pileser compelled the two kings to (9) Went up against Damascus, and took it. give up their enterprise, and hasten to defend their -We learn from the inscriptions that Damascus stood own frontiers.

a two years' siege. (The Eponym-list makes Tiglath Recovered Elath to Syria ... the Syrians.- Pileser march against Damascus for two successive The words for Syria and Edom, Syrians and Edom- years, namely 733 and 732 B.C.) ites, are very much alike in Hebrew writing, and the Carried the people of it captive to Kir.Hebrew margin, many MSS., the LXX. and Vulg. read (Comp. Amos i. 5, ix. 7.) The name Kir is not found Edomites for Syrians here. If this be correct, we must in the fragmentary remains of the annals of Tiglath also restore Edom for Syria, as many critics propose. Pileser. Schrader (p. 261 seq.) gives a mutilated in. The meaning then becomes this : Rezin emancipated scription, apparently relating to the fall of Damaseus. the Edomites from the yoke of Judah imposed on them And slew Rezin.-Sir H. Rawlinson found this by Uzziah (chap. xiv. 22) in order to win their active fact recorded on a tablet of Tiglath Pileser's, since unco-operation against Judah. Bähr, however, prefers fortunately lost. In the inscription just referred to the readings of the ordinary text, and supposes that Tiglath says: “I entered the gate of his city; his Rezin simply expelled the Jews from Elath, and estab- chief officers alive (I took, and) on stakes I caused to lished there a commercial colony of Syrians.

lift them up” (i.e., impaled them). (7) So Ahaz sent messengers.--See Notes on 2 Kir was the aboriginal home of the Arameans, acChron. xxviii. 16, 20.

cording to Amos ix. 7. It is mentioned along with Which rise up against me.- Or, which are Elam in Isa. xxii. 6. “It has been generally identi. assailing me. “ The vain confidence of the rulers of fied with the district by the river Cyrus (the modern Judah, described by Isaiah in his first prophetic book, Georgia). But, besides the linguistic objection pointed was rudely shaken by the progress of the war with out by Delitzsch (Qir cannot be equivalent to Kúr), it Pekah and Rezin. Unreasoning confidence had given appears that the Assyrian empire never extended to the way to equally unreasoning panic. They saw only one Cyrus. We must, therefore, consider Kir to be a part way of escape--namely, to throw themselves upon the of Mesopotamia. (Cheyne.) protection of Assyria." (Robertson Smith.)

(10) Ahaz went to Damascus, to meet Tig(8) Abaz took the silver and gold.—“He lath-pileser.-The great king appears to have held was well aware that the only conditions on which his court there after the capture of the city, and to protection would be vouchsafed were acceptance of the have summoned the vassal princes of Palestine thither Assyrian suzerainty with the payment of a huge tribute, to do him homage in person before his departure. (See and an embassy was despatched laden with all the the Note on verse 8.) treasures of the palace and the Temple. The ambassa

And saw an altar.-Rather, and he saw the dors had no difficulty in attaining their object, which altar, namely, that of the principal Temple. Upon the perfectly fell in with the schemes of the great king. account which follows Prof. Robertson Smith well reThe invincible army was set in motion, Damascus was marks that the frivolous character of Ahaz taken, and its inhabitants led captive, and Gilead and little capable of appreciating the dangers involved in Galilee suffered the same fate" (Robertson Smith). his new obligations, that he returned to Jerusalem with (Comp. chap. xv. 29.) According to Schrader, the ex. his head full of the artistic and religious curiosities he pedition“ to Philistia” in 734 B.C., was directed against had seen on his journey. In a national crisis of Pekah, who probably saved himself by an instant sub- the first magnitude he found no more pressing concern mission. It was only after Tiglath had settled matters than the erection of a new altar in the Temple on a with the northern kingdomn, and so isolated Damascus, pattern brought from Damascus. The sundial of that he turned his arms against Rezin. Two whole Ahaz (2 Kings xx. 11), and an erection on the roof of years were spent in reducing him (733—732 B.c.) In the Temple, with altars apparently designed for the an inscription dating from his seventeenth year, Tig- worship of the host of heaven (2 Kings xxiii. 12), were lath Pileser mentions that he received tribute from works equally characteristic of the trilling and superEniel, king of Hamath, Muthumbaal, king of Arvad, stitious virtuoso, who imagined that the introduction of Sanibu of Ammon, Salamanu of Moab, Mitinti of Asca- a few foreign novelties gave lustre to a reign which had lon, Jahuhazi (Jehoahaz, i.e., Ahaz) of Judah, Qaus

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of it, according to all the workmanship

king Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, thereof. (11) And Urijah the priest built

saying, Upon the great altar burn the an altar according to all that king Ahaz

morning burnt offering, and the evening had sent from Damascus : so Urijah the

meat offering, and the king's burnt priest made it against king Ahaz came

sacrifice, and his meat offering, with from Damascus. (12) And when the king

the burnt offering of all the people of was come from Damascus, the king saweb, which were the land, and their meat offering, and the altar: and the king approached to

their drink offerings; and sprinkle upon the altar, and offered thereon. (13) And

it all the blood of the burnt offering, he burnt his burnt offering and his

and all the blood of the sacrifice : and meat offering, and poured his drink

the brasen altar shall be for me to offering, and sprinkled the blood of this

enquire by. (16) Thus did Urijah the peace offerings, upon the altar. (14) And

priest, according to all that king Ahaz he brought also the brasen altar, which

commanded. (17) And king Ahaz cut off was before the LORD, from the forefront

the borders of the bases, and removed of the house, from between the altar

the laver from off them; and took down and the house of the LORD, and put it

the sea from off the brasen oxen that on the north side of the altar.

(15) And

were under it, and put it upon a pave

B.C, 739.

momentary deliverance by accepting a service the The morning burnt offering, and the evenburden of which was fast becoming intolerable" (Proph. ing meat offering. — Not that there was no meat of Israel, p. 251).

offering in the morning, and no burnt offering in the Urijah" the priest-i.e., the high priest, who ap- evening. (See Exod. xxix. 38–42; Num. xxviii. 3–8.) pears to be identical with the “ credible witness ” of The morning meat offering is implied in the mention of Isa. viii. 2. His high official position would secure the burnt offering, because no burnt offering was offered Urijah's credit as a witness.

without one (Num. vii. 87, xv. 2–12). On the other Fashion .. pattern workmanship.- hand, the evening meat offering was the only part of These terms indicate that the king's interest in the the evening sacrifice which the congregation could stay matter was artistic rather than religions.

out, for the burnt offering had to burn all the night (12) The king approached to the altar, and through (Lev. vi. 9). offered thereon.-So the Targum renders. But all The brasen altar.-The contrast seems to imply the other versions : "The king approached to the altar, that the new altar was of a different material. and went up thereon.” (Comp. 1 Kings xii. 32, 33.). It Shall be for me to enquire by-i.e., forcon. thus appears that Ahaz, like Uzziah, personally exercised sulting God. So Rashi. Others (as Keil): “I will the priestly function of sacrifice.

think about what to do with it." Perhaps it is simply, (13) And he burnt his burnt offering “It shall be for me to look at,” i.e.,

an ornamental dupliThe verse describes the thank-offering of Ahaz for his cate of the other altar. (Comp. Ps. xxvii. 4.) Grätz late deliverance from deadly peril. From the present suggests“ to draw near” (i.e., to sacrifice), transposing narrative it does not appear but that he offered it to the last two letters of the verb, which does not suit tho Jehovah. The account in 2 Chron. xxviii. 23 must be context; and Thenius would read,“ to seek," after the understood to refer to other sacrifices instituted by Syriac, which has “to ask ” (i.e., to pray), as if the old Ahaz, who, like most of his contemporaries, thought altar of sacrifice were henceforth to be an altar of the traditional worship of Jehovah not incompatible

prayer. (?) with the cultus of foreign deities. (Comp. verses (17, 18) And king Ahaz cut off.—The key to the

right understanding of these verses is given in the last (14) And he brought also the brasen altar words of verse 18. Ahaz spoiled the Temple of its -Literally, And as for the brasen altar, he brought it ornamental work, not out of wanton malice, but from near (to the new one), away from the front of the dire necessity. He had to provide a present for the house, to wit, from between the (new) altar, and the king of Assyria. Thus these verses are really a con. house of Jehovah; and put it at the side of the (new) tinuation of the first statement of verse 10. They inaltar northward. The brasen altar used to stand form us how Ahaz managed not to appear empty-handed “ before the Lord," i.e., in the middle of the court of at Damascus. (So Thenius.) Prof. R. Smith says: the priests, and in front of the Temple proper. The "Ahaz, whose treasures had been exhausted by his first verse seems to imply that Urijah had pushed it forward tribute, was soon driven by the repeated demands of his nearer to the sanctuary, and set the new Syrian altar in masters to strip the Temple even of its ancient bronze. its place. Ahaz, not satisfied with this arrangement, work and other fixed ornaments. The incidental men. which appeared to confer a kind of precedence on the tion of this fact in a fragment of the history of the old altar, drew it back again, and fixed it on the north Temple incorporated in the Book of Kings is sufficient side of his new altar.

evidence of the straits to which the kingdom of Judah (15) The great altar-i.e., as we say," the high

was reduced." altar,” the new Syrian one. So the high priest is Borders of the bases.-See 1 Kings vii. 28. sometimes called “the great priest” (kôhèn häggādól). Thenius thinks Ahaz replaced them with unadorned Ahaz orders that the daily national sacrifices, the royal plates, and set the laver up in a different fashion ; but offerings, and those of private individuals, shall all the text does not say so. (Comp., however, chap. XXV. be offered at the new altar.

13, 16; Jer. lii. 17.)

3, 4.)

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