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CHAPTER 28 Oct. 30 
The Wickedness of Ahaz
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; 2but he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and additionally made molten images for the Baals. 3Moreover 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. 4He sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places and on the hills, and under every green tree. 5Therefore 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. 6For 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. 7Zichri, 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. 8The 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. 9But 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. 10Now 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? 11Now 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. 12Then 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. 13They 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. 14So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the assembly. 15The 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. 16At that time king Ahaz sent to the kings of Assyria to help him. 17For again the Edomites had come and struck Judah, and carried away captives. 18The 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. 19For Yahweh brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he had dealt wantonly in Judah, and trespassed severely against Yahweh. 20Tilgath Pilneser king of Assyria came to him and distressed him, but didn’t strengthen him. 21For 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. 22In the time of his distress, he trespassed yet more against Yahweh, this same king Ahaz. 23For 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. 24Ahaz 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. 25In every city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods, and provoked to anger Yahweh, the God of his fathers. 26Now 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. 27Ahaz 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.


28:5 Therefore Yahweh his God- Yahweh was still his God even through this very evil part of his life when Ahaz had forsaken God (:6); we too shouldn’t give up on our brethren who clearly leave God’s principles. Even if we disbelieve God, He still remains faithful to us (2 Tim. 2:13). God is still working with our lost brethren, and so should we, after the pattern of the shepherd who searches until he finds the lost sheep. 
28:9 The “rage” of sinful Israel against sinful Judah was likely because they transferred their own sins onto their brethren, and then eagerly punished them for them. This psychological phenomenon explains why there is so much judgmentalism and anger against other members within the church. To avoid it, we must face up to our own sins, and believe that the judgment for them has truly been laid upon Jesus. We will therefore know our guilt to have been lifted and will not feel the need to transfer it onto others.
28:11 Fierce wrath- This seems a stronger term to the ‘anger’ of God with Judah for their idolatry (:9). Hypocrisy and harshly judging our brethren when we too are sinners is something which makes God fiercely angry.  
28:13 This kind of thing happens several times in the record of the kings; men had committed themselves already to a significant plan like hiring many soldiers and are then told to not go ahead with the plan (e.g. 25:9) at the risk of loss of face or money. This kind of thing ought to be a regular aspect of our lives- stopping in our tracks and turning back from a course of action because of God’s word. 
28:15 Clothing the naked, putting them on donkeys and taking them to Jericho is all the basis of the good Samaritan parable (Lk. 10). We can therefore understand that parable in terms of our having compassion upon those within the ecclesia who are suffering for their sins; we are to take care of them, considering our own sins deserve the same judgment (:10).
28:27 They didn’t bring him into the tombs of the kings- This is mentioned several times about the sinful kings. Although the people were themselves sinful and rebellious, they recognized that the kings who hadn’t followed the spirit of king David shouldn’t be buried together with him. There is in society a basic sense of right and wrong, which is reflected in such decisions as this. It’s not the case, therefore, that people are totally disinterested in spirituality and have no sense of right or wrong. There is interest in spirituality in people; it’s just connecting with it in an appropriate way which is our challenge.