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2Ch 28:1 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign; and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: and he didn’t do that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, as David his father did-
Isaiah, Hosea and Micah all prophesied during his evil reign and provide more details about the awful nature of his sins.

2Ch 28:2 but he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and additionally made molten images for the Baals-
Although Israel is often described as the source of Judah's apostacy, we must give due weight to Ezekiel's word that Judah was in fact more wicked than Israel. This could have been because Judah fell further, from greater spiritual potential. Or maybe because sinners can provoke people to sin worse than they do.

2Ch 28:3 Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom Yahweh cast out before the children of Israel-
Hezekiah his son somehow survived this, but may have reacted to his father's murder of his brothers by turning right against such idolatry. This means that his apparent zeal for Yahweh [remembering that he turned away from Him in the end and raised Manasseh] was partly due to a psychological reaction against his father and traumatic childhood experiences. For he would have lived in constant fear that he would also be offered, at the whim of the gods of his father. It was common to make children pass through fire as a kind of dedication ceremony; but he actually burnt his children in the fire, such was his obsession.

The valley of Hinnom, Ge Hinnom, was to later be known as Gehenna, and became a symbol used by the Lord for complete destruction (Mt. 5:22). As they burnt their children there, to destruction, so sinners would be burnt to destruction in that same place.

2Ch 28:4 He sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places and on the hills, and under every green tree-
Large, flourishing green trees weren't so common in the landscape, and they therefore came to be seen as the presence of fertility gods. This is the huge significance of the old covenant promising fertility from Yahweh- for most of the pagan gods were seen as fertility gods, and this is why they were worshipped by largely agricultural people.

2Ch 28:5 Therefore Yahweh his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they struck him, and carried away from him a great multitude of captives, and brought them to Damascus. He was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who struck him with a great slaughter-
Heb. 11:16 says that God was not ashamed to be called the God of His faithful people. The implication is that He has been ashamed of some who call Him their God, and Ahaz would be a parade example. The problem with Israelite idolatry was that they still considered Yahweh as their God. But Yahweh wanted his reformation, and repeated situations twice in this area- He "delivered" him to his enemies, who "struck" him. But still he didn't learn. "He", Ahaz, was "struck with a great slaughter". But he didn't die himself; other people did. Lots of them. We see here the nature of sin; that it brings suffering to others. Although in this case it is confirmed that "they" who were struck in this great slaughter had themselves forsaken Yahweh (:6). This would explain why R.V. has the correct but otherwise strange rendering: "carried away of his a great multitude of captives". If we enquire why Ahaz himself wasn't struck down, the answer surely is that God wanted him to repent; but he didn't. See on :7. Kings adds that the Syrians took Elath, and also shut up Ahaz in Jerusalem, presumably by siege.   

2Ch 28:6 For Pekah the son of Remaliah killed in Judah one hundred and twenty thousand in one day, all of them valiant men; because they had forsaken Yahweh, the God of their fathers-
The large numbers we read of are nearly all in the context of military men being slain. This is because a "thousand" was not a literal 1000, but a name for some kind of military unit, even quite a small one, perhaps the size of a modern 'fire team' of up to five men. 

2Ch 28:7 Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king’s son, and Azrikam the ruler of the house, and Elkanah who was next to the king-
As pondered on :5, we wonder why Ahaz somehow escaped. The reason ultimately was that through this salvation by grace, when he was not at all believing, Ahaz was being appealed to. Just as Manasseh was. It worked with him, eventually, but not with Ahaz. Truly God took the initiative with that man, time and again, over many years.

2Ch 28:8 The children of Israel carried away captive of their brothers two hundred thousand, women, sons and daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria-
Again, "thousand" may mean something like 'families' or some group definition, and not literally 1000. This was in studied disobedience to 2 Chron. 11:4: “You shall not… fight against your brothers”. Yet God empowered them to defeat Judah, because that was part of His agenda. We see here just something of the amazingly multi factorial manner in which God operates in human affairs.

2Ch 28:9 But a prophet of Yahweh was there, whose name was Oded. He went out to meet the army that came to Samaria and said to them, Behold, because Yahweh, the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah, He has delivered them into your hand, and you have slain them in a rage which has reached up to heaven-
The allusion is how the blood of Abel, slain by his brother, was a vice which reached to heaven (Gen. 4:10). As noted on :8, God works in a very complex manner with people. He empowered Israel to defeat Judah, but then He was angry with them for murdering their brothers and now abusing their families as slaves. Just as Assyria was used by God to punish Judah but was then punished for doing so. It would be a willfully simplistic person who accuses God of injustice here. This kind of multi factorial judgment and action is going to be typical of a Divine being, and it is obvious that tiny man, seeing only some fragments of His operations on earth, is not going to get the full picture nor completely understand. Those who vent against the supposed injustice of God are really guilty of arrogance before the court of Heaven.

2Ch 28:10 Now you purpose to oppress the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondservants and bondmaids for yourselves. Aren’t there even with you trespasses of your own against Yahweh your God?-
The implication was that they were justifying oppression of their brethren because those brethren had sinned against Yahweh. But they had themselves done so, indeed it is Israel who are represented as having led Judah into sin. All oppression and abuse of brethren arises from this failure to realize that we are all sinners. "Oppress" is s.w. "bring into bondage" in Neh. 5:5. Chronicles was written from the exiles, and they had failed to learn from this historical example that they were not to "oppress" their brethren.

2Ch 28:11 Now hear me therefore, and send back the captives, that you have taken captive from your brothers; for the fierce wrath of Yahweh is on you-
As discussed on :8,9, Israel were used by God to punish Judah, but they went too far, as did Assyria. And the fierce wrath of God is upon all those who abuse people. The idea of taking the families captive "from your brothers" could be arguing that they were effectively breaking up families; although it could be pointing out the inappropriacy of having our brother in captivity to us in any sense.

2Ch 28:12 Then some of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against those who came back from the war-
They were brave and humble to do this, because in their culture, killing the men and taking the families captive was the done thing. And so they had to 'stand up against' men returning from the battlefield in triumph. When they who withstood them had not been on the front line. But this is the kind of bravery we have to show in standing up against abuse of brethren.

2Ch 28:13 They said to them, You shall not bring in the captives here; for you purpose that which will bring on us a trespass against Yahweh, to add to our sins and to our trespass; for our trespass is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel-
The basis of the appeal was that, as Oded had told them, they were serious sinners. And there would be fierce wrath, indeed that wrath was already against them, unless they immediately dropped their plans. The situation recalls how Amaziah paid money for Israelite mercenaries, but was told not to use them, and lose his money (2 Chron. 25:9). So often, spiritual argument means apparent loss of what is legitimately ours, in secular terms. We notice that sin can be 'added to'. There are degrees of sin, and God is sensitive to every sin, even in the lives of those who appear far gone in sin.

2Ch 28:14 So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the assembly-
"The armed men" are mentioned because it would have been so difficult for all concerned, to just allow the loss of war booty won in armed combat. The soldiers were being told by those who had not fought at the front to now resign their booty; and the soldiers agreed. Even though Israel were idolatrous, there was a conscience within them about their own sins. And this should encourage us in our witness to apparently conscienceless people. In fact, somewhere, everyone has a conscience which we can appeal to.

2Ch 28:15 The men mentioned by name rose up and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all who were naked among them, dressed them, gave them sandals, and gave them something to eat and to drink, anointed them, carried all the feeble of them on donkeys, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brothers. Then they returned to Samaria-
Jericho was apparently a border town between Israel and Judah. The war booty which was to be resigned was not just the captives, but the clothes they had taken. And clothing was valuable in those times, being a form of wealth (2 Kings 5:5,22). The giving of food to captives and sending them back is exactly what happened in 2 Kings 6:23. The Israelites of 2 Chron. 28:15 were intended to learn from the grace which had been shown to the Syrian captives. This is a great theme of the historical books; that situations in essence repeated, because God's people are expected to learn from Biblical history. And that is the relevance of these records for us today.

2Ch 28:16 At that time king Ahaz sent to the kings of Assyria to help him-
To Tiglath-pileser III (2 Kings 16:7). "Kings" therefore may be an intensive plural for 'the one great king'. 2 Kings 16:7-9 says that he paid Assyria with the gold stripped from the temple. 2 Kings 16:7 "Syria" is LXX "Edom". Although Kings then records the Assyrian attack upon Syria. So perhaps the idea is that the Edomites of :17 were in fact under the control of Syria.

2Ch 28:17 For again the Edomites had come and struck Judah, and carried away captives-
As explained on :16, it seems Edom was under the control of Syria. And so Ahaz paid Assyria to attack Syria. Or it could be [putting the Kings record together with this] that Ahaz paid Assyria to help him against Edom, but Assyria instead attacked Syria, claiming that was good enough work done for the money. Even though Assyria had their own agenda for attacking Syria (Aram).

2Ch 28:18 The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the lowland, and of the South of Judah, and had taken Beth Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco with its towns, Timnah with its towns, Gimzo also and its towns; and settled there-
The continual experience of attack and loss of people and territory was surely intended to teach Ahaz something. It kept on happening, and he kept on in his sins, stubbornly refusing to accept these things as God's knocking on his personal door. The achievements of others in subjugating Edom (2 Chron. 25:11,14) and the Philistines (2 Chron. 26:6,7) was all undone due to the stubbornness of Ahaz. One man brought so much suffering to so many. And yet God allowed him to continue, because He was so intent on searching for the lost sheep until He found him. Which He did not, in the end.

2Ch 28:19 For Yahweh brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he had dealt wantonly in Judah, and trespassed severely against Yahweh-
Ahaz king of Judah is called king of Israel, perhaps because he followed their idolatry. And yet the term is also used of Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. 21:2), and may reflect how God ultimately did not recognize the division of His people into Judah and Israel; just as He doesn't recognize the artificial divisions of His true people today, thanks to the sin of denominationalism.

Flesh must be humbled- either we do it now, we humble ourselves that we may be exalted in due time; or it will have to be done to us through the terror of rejection. Time and again ‘bringing low’ or ‘humiliation’ is the result of condemnation (Dt. 28:43; 2 Chron. 28:19; Job 40:12; Ps. 106:43).

2Ch 28:20 Tilgath Pilneser king of Assyria came to him and distressed him, but didn’t strengthen him-
Giving God's money to Gentile powers never achieved anything but only ever made matters worse (2 Chron. 16:2; 2 Kings 12:18; 18:15). But even Hezekiah refused to learn this clearly taught theme in the history of God's people.

2Ch 28:21 For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of Yahweh, and out of the house of the king and of the princes, and gave it to the king of Assyria: but it didn’t help him-
"It didn't help him" was to be Judah's later experience in seeking help from Egypt against Babylon (s.w. Is. 31:1; Lam. 4:17). Again, they failed to learn the lessons from history, unwilling to see that these historical situations spoke directly to their own situations and lives. We too can fail to perceive this. In fact the choice of histories and biographies we have in the Bible have been carefully selected in order that man need never feel alone; in essence, every life situation has been met at some point and time in the past.

2Ch 28:22 In the time of his distress, he trespassed yet more against Yahweh, this same king Ahaz-
The "time of distress" is the phrase used in Neh. 9:27; but there the point is made that in the time of distress, a sinful Judah had called to God and He had answered them. So the even worse trespass of Ahaz was that in his distress he did not repent and turn to Yahweh, but rather devoted himself even more to idolatry (:23).

2Ch 28:23 For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus which struck him. He said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria helped them, so I will sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel-
As discussed on :22, the increasing distress upon Ahaz was intended to elicit his repentance and turning to Yahweh. But instead he turned even more to idolatry. This mad obsession with idolatry is described in Ezekiel and Hosea as like a kind of sexual addiction, whereby the more partners a sex addict has, the more they require. Most nations had a set of national gods, and they only changed them if they were conquered by other nations and forced to accept their gods. But God's people had an obsession with every kind of god, until the Jerusalem temple was filled with all manner of shrines to various gods at the time of its destruction. And the bizarre thing was that Syria was to fall at this time to Assyria (2 Kings 16:9); their gods didn't ultimately help them, and in fact Ahaz had paid money to Assyria to attack the Syrians. 

"And of all Israel" may be an example of where God calls Judah "Israel" because He never recognized the division amongst His people, as He doesn't today. Or the idea could be that Ahaz of Judah did what Israel had done, and worshipped the gods of Syria.

2Ch 28:24 Ahaz gathered together the vessels of God’s house, cut in pieces the vessels of God’s house, and shut up the doors of the house of Yahweh; and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem-
The destruction of the vessels was not complete as some were retained, perhaps for worshipping Yahweh in the name of the idols (2 Chron. 29:18,19). The cutting in pieces perhaps solely referred to the cutting off of the bases of the laver (2 Kings 16:17). This closure of the temple was presumably because he thought that the other gods wouldn't like the idea of a huge temple devoted to another god. But perhaps 2 Kings 16:18 helps understand this as meaning that he shut up one door or gate of the temple and devoted it to the idols of Assyria; without meaning that all the doors or gates of the temple were closed. It's doubtful Ahaz resigned all belief in Yahweh, but rather wanted to treat all his gods equally. Lest he offend any of them. The fundamental teaching that Yahweh is one, the one and only God, was ignored. The 'gathering together' of the vessels may mean he melted them down. However 2 Kings 16:17 implies this was only done to the huge supports of the laver. I suggest Ahaz retained some level of belief in Yahweh, for the temple services continued on some level (2 Kings 16:13,15), although Ahaz had brought idols into the holy place of the temple (2 Chron. 29:5). He had mixed Yahweh worship with idolatry, which in essence is the temptation we all have. Scientific atheism, a total rejection of our God, is likely not our biggest temptation; rather is it to mix His ways with those of the flesh and the secular world.

2Ch 28:25 In every city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods, and provoked to anger Yahweh, the God of his fathers-
This was the situation which continued until Jer. 2:28, and led to their final destruction. God can be grieved [s.w. 'provoke to anger']. He has emotions, and His potential foreknowledge doesn't mean that these feelings are not legitimate. They are presented as occurring in human time, as responses to human behaviour. This is the degree to which He has accommodated Himself to human time-space limits, in order to fully enter relationship and experience with us. As He can limit His omnipotence, so God can limit His omniscience, in order to feel and respond along with us. 

2Ch 28:26 Now the rest of his acts, and all his ways, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel-
His "last" ways were so significant, for God had set him up to repent- but he didn't. Manasseh is an example of a similarly evil man, who at the end of his life did repent. Clearly it had been God's hope that Ahaz would be a similar case.

2Ch 28:27 Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, even in Jerusalem; for they didn’t bring him into the tombs of the kings of Israel; and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place
Kings says Ahaz was "buried with his fathers", but 2 Chron. 28:27 says he was not brought into the tombs of the kings of Israel. This suggests that sleeping or being buried with ones' fathers was therefore an idiom for death, which should not be taken literally.