- Ahaz reigns ill, verse 1-4.
- Is smitten by the Syrians and Israelites, verse 5-8.
- who send back the captives they had taken, verse 9-15.
- Ahaz sends for help to the king of Asyria, but in vain, verse 16-21.
- Yet he continues in idolatry, verse 22-25.
- and dies, verse 26, 27.
His God - God was his God, tho' not by special relation, (which Ahaz had renounced) yet by his sovereign dominion over him: for God did not forfeit his right by Ahaz's denying it.
Forsaken - Ahaz walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and God chose the king of Israel for his scourge: it is just with God, to make them a plague to us, whom we have made our patterns, or partners in sin.
A rage - An unbounded rage, which cries to God for vengeance, against such bloody men.
To keep under - It ill becomes sinners to be cruel. Shew mercy to them, for you are undone, unless God shew you mercy.
Left the captives - And herein they shewed a more truly heroic bravery, than they did in taking them. It is true honour for a man to yield to reason and religion even in spite of interest.
Were expressed - Who were appointed to take care about the management of this business.
Kings - Princes, who may be called kings in a more general signification of the word.
Low - As high as they were before in wealth and power. They that will not humble themselves under the word of God will be humbled by his judgments. Naked - Taking away their ornament and their defence and strength, namely their treasures, which he sent to the Assyrian to no purpose; their frontier towns, and other strong holds, which by his folly and wickedness were lost; their religion, and the Divine protection, which was their great and only firm security.
Distressed - Or, straitened him, by robbing him of his treasures. Strengthened not - A most emphatical expression: for tho' he weakened his present enemy the Syrian, yet all things considered, he did not strengthen Ahaz and his kingdom, but weaken them; for by removing the Syrian, who, tho' a troublesome neighbour, was a kind of bulwark to him, he smoothed the way for himself, a far more dangerous enemy, as appears in the very next king's reign.
That Ahaz - That monster and reproach of mankind, that unteachable and incorrigible prince, whom even grievous afflictions made worse, which commonly make men better. This is he, whose name deserves to be remembered and detested for ever.