בִּשְׁנַת שְׁבַע־עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה לְפֶקַח בֶּן־רְמַלְיָהוּ מָלַךְ אָחָז בֶּן־יוֹתָם מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה׃ 16:1
2Kin. 16:1 In the year of seventeen years for Pekah son of Remaliah, Ahaz son of Jotham, king of Judah, became king.
בֶּן־עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה אָחָז בְּמָלְכוֹ וְשֵׁשׁ־עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה מָלַךְ בִּירוּשָׁלִָם וְלֹא־עָשָׂה הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהָיו 16:2 כְּדָוִד אָבִיו׃
2Kin. 16:2 Ahaz was twenty years of age at the start of his reign and he was king in Jerusalem sixteen years, and he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord, his God, like David, his ancestor. [Return to 2Chr. 28:1]
וַיֵּלֶךְ בְּדֶרֶךְ מַלְכֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְגַם אֶת־בְּנוֹ הֶעֱבִיר בָּאֵשׁ כְּתֹעֲבוֹת הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר הוֹרִישׁ יְהוָה אֹתָם מִפְּנֵי 16:3 בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
2Kin. 16:3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and he also made his son pass in fire according to the abominable customs of the heathen whom the Lord had cast out from the presence of the children of Israel.
וַיְזַבֵּחַ וַיְקַטֵּר בַּבָּמוֹת וְעַל־הַגְּבָעוֹת וְתַחַת כָּל־עֵץ רַעֲנָן׃ 16:4
2Kin. 16:4 And he sacrificed and offered at the high places and on the hills and beneath every leafy tree. [Return to 2Chr. 28:2]
אָז יַעֲלֶה רְצִין מֶלֶךְ־אֲרָם וּפֶקַח בֶּן־רְמַלְיָהוּ מֶלֶךְ־יִשְׂרָאֵל יְרוּשָׁלִַם לַמִּלְחָמָה וַיָּצֻרוּ עַל־אָחָז וְלֹא יָכְלוּ 16:5 לְהִלָּחֵם׃
2Kin. 16:5 Then Rezin king of Aram, went up with Pekah son of Remaliah, king of Israel, to Jerusalem for war, and they lay siege on Ahaz but they were not able to prevail.
בָּעֵת הַהִיא הֵשִׁיב רְצִין מֶלֶךְ־אֲרָם אֶת־אֵילַת לַאֲרָם וַיְנַשֵּׁל אֶת־הַיְהוּדִים מֵאֵילוֹת (וַאֲרַמִּים) 16:6 [וַאֲדוֹמִים] בָּאוּ אֵילַת וַיֵּשְׁבוּ שָׁם עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה׃
2Kin. 16:6 At that time Rezin, king of Aram, restored Elath to Aram and drove out the Jews from Elath. And the Arameans came into Elath and have dwelt there up to this day.
This is the first time the name Jews is encountered in the bible. And besides being in one other verse in 2Kings, it appears repeatedly -- over 90 times -- in other (later?) books, namely Jeremiah, Zechariah (only once),Esther, Daniel (once), Ezra, Nehemiah, and once in 2Chronicles. Most likely the name came into use either after the fall of Israel or soon after Judah was conquered. That places the authorship of this book within a period of about 210 years, in the time frame from about 720 B.C.E. (toward the end of Ahaz’s reign) to possibly 576 B.C.E., ten years after the temple was destroyed. Most likely, unless later chapters of this book were added later, it was written sometime after the fall of Jerusalem or following the destruction of Solomon’s temple eleven years later.
Aside from this informative detail, we also have to address an alleged error in this verse. The word in parentheses, translated as and the Arameans, is thought by some scholars to be more correctly translated either as and the Assyrians or and the Edomites. Considering the next verse, which differentiates between the Arameans and the Assyrians, I imagine substitution of the latter term for the former in this verse is inappropriate. Up to at least the time of Saul, first king of Israel, the Edomites and the Arameans are referred to as distinctly separate peoples. It seems during the period of 2Kings, their separateness is questioned (notwithstanding the next verse). I prefer to follow the earlier separation, and accept that the word Arameans is not incorrect. Nevertheless, I show both the alleged error and its alleged correction.
וַיִּשְׁלַח אָחָז מַלְאָכִים אֶל־תִּגְלַת פְּלֶסֶר מֶלֶךְ־אַשּׁוּר לֵאמֹר עַבְדְּךָ וּבִנְךָ אָנִי עֲלֵה וְהוֹשִׁעֵנִי מִכַּף 16:7 מֶלֶךְ־אֲרָם וּמִכַּף מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל הַקּוֹמִים עָלָי׃
2Kin. 16:7 Then Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, saying, I am your servant and your son. Come up and save me from the hand of the king of Aram and from the hand of the king of Israel who are rising up against me.”
וַיִּקַּח אָחָז אֶת־הַכֶּסֶף וְאֶת־הַזָּהָב הַנִּמְצָא בֵּית יְהוָה וּבְאֹצְרוֹת בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיִּשְׁלַח לְמֶלֶךְ־אַשּׁוּר 16:8 שֹׁחַד׃
2Kin. 16:8 And Ahaz took the silver and the gold that was found of the house of the Lord and in the treasuries of the house of the king and sent a gift to the king of Assyria.
וַיִּשְׁמַע אֵלָיו מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר וַיַּעַל מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר אֶל־דַּמֶּשֶׂק וַיִּתְפְּשֶׂהָ וַיַּגְלֶהָ קִירָה וְאֶת־רְצִין הֵמִית׃ 16:9
2Kin. 16:9 And the king of Assyria listened to him and the king of Assyria went up to Damascus and took it and carried its people captive to Kir, and he put Rezin to death.
[Return to 2Chr. 28:20]
וַיֵּלֶךְ הַמֶּלֶךְ אָחָז לִקְרַאת תִּגְלַת פִּלְאֶסֶר מֶלֶךְ־אַשּׁוּר דּוּמֶּשֶׂק וַיַּרְא אֶת־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ אֲשֶׁר בְּדַמָּשֶׂק 16:10 וַיִּשְׁלַח הַמֶּלֶךְ אָחָז אֶל־אוּרִיָּה הַכֹּהֵן אֶת־דְּמוּת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְאֶת־תַּבְנִיתוֹ לְכָל־מַעֲשֵׂהוּ׃
2Kin. 16:10 And king Ahaz went to meet Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, in Damascus and saw the altar that was in Damascus, and king Ahaz sent to Urijah, the priest, a description of the altar and its structure as to all its workmanship.
וַיִּבֶן אוּרִיָּה הַכֹּהֵן אֶת־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־שָׁלַח הַמֶּלֶךְ אָחָז מִדַּמֶּשֶׂק כֵּן עָשָׂה אוּרִיָּה הַכֹּהֵן 16:11 עַד־בּוֹא הַמֶּלֶךְ־אָחָז מִדַּמָּשֶׂק׃
2Kin. 16:11 And Urijah, the priest, built the altar. According to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus, so Urijah, the priest, did until the coming of king Ahaz from Damascus.
וַיָּבֹא הַמֶּלֶךְ מִדַּמֶּשֶׂק וַיַּרְא הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וַיִּקְרַב הַמֶּלֶךְ עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וַיַּעַל עָלָיו׃ 16:12
2Kin. 16:12 And the king came from Damascus. And the king saw the altar, and the king came near against the altar and offered up on it.
וַיַּקְטֵר אֶת־עֹלָתוֹ וְאֶת־מִנְחָתוֹ וַיַּסֵּךְ אֶת־נִסְכּוֹ וַיִּזְרֹק אֶת־דַּם־הַשְּׁלָמִים אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּחַ׃ 16:13
2Kin. 16:13 So he offered his burnt offering and his meal offering and offered his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of the peace offering that was his against the altar.
וְאֵת הַמִּזְבַּח הַנְּחֹשֶׁת אֲשֶׁר לִפְנֵי יְהוָה וַיַּקְרֵב מֵאֵת פְּנֵי הַבַּיִת מִבֵּין הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וּמִבֵּין בֵּית יְהוָה וַיִּתֵּן 16:14 אֹתוֹ עַל־יֶרֶךְ הַמִּזְבֵּחַ צָפוֹנָה׃
2Kin. 16:14 Then he brought near the altar of brass that was before the Lord from the front of the house, from between the altar and the house of the Lord, and he put it on the north side of the altar.
וַיְצַוֵּהוּ) [וַיְצַוֶּה] הַמֶּלֶךְ־אָחָז אֶת־אוּרִיָּה הַכֹּהֵן לֵאמֹר עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ הַגָּדוֹל הַקְטֵר אֶת־עֹלַת־הַבֹּקֶר 16:15 וְאֶת־מִנְחַת הָעֶרֶב וְאֶת־עֹלַת הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאֶת־מִנְחָתוֹ וְאֵת עֹלַת כָּל־עַם הָאָרֶץ וּמִנְחָתָם וְנִסְכֵּיהֶם וְכָל־דַּם עֹלָה וְכָל־דַּם־זֶבַח עָלָיו תִּזְרֹק וּמִזְבַּח הַנְּחֹשֶׁת יִהְיֶה־לִּי לְבַקֵּר׃
2Kin. 16:15 And king Ahaz commanded Urijah, the priest, saying, “On the great altar offer the burnt offering of the morning and the meal offering of the evening, and the burnt offering of the king and his meal offering, and the burnt offering of all the people of the land and their meal offering and their drink offerings, and you shall sprinkle all the blood of the burnt offering and all the blood of the sacrifice upon it, and the brass altar shall be for me to care for.”
The word in the parentheses, translated as And ... commanded, is in error. It contains an extra vav suffix, which, if correct, would be translated as a third-person masculine pronoun, and the word would translate to And ... commanded him. The correction is in the brackets.
וַיַּעַשׂ אוּרִיָּה הַכֹּהֵן כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּה הַמֶּלֶךְ אָחָז׃ 16:16
2Kin. 16:16 And Urijah, the priest, did according to all that king Ahaz had commanded.
וַיְקַצֵּץ הַמֶּלֶךְ אָחָז אֶת־הַמִּסְגְּרוֹת הַמְּכֹנוֹת וַיָּסַר מֵעֲלֵיהֶם (ואת)־[אֶת־]הַכִּיֹּר וְאֶת־הַיָּם הוֹרִד 16:17
מֵעַל הַבָּקָר הַנְּחֹשֶׁת אֲשֶׁר תַּחְתֶּיהָ וַיִּתֵּן אֹתוֹ עַל מַרְצֶפֶת אֲבָנִים׃
2Kin. 16:17 And king Ahaz cut off the borders of the bases and removed the laver from them, and he took down the sea from over the oxen of brass that were under it and put it on a pavement of stone.
The word in the parentheses, the untranslatable direct object indicator of the noun laver, contains an inappropriate vav (which would be translated as the conjunction and). The correction is in the brackets.
וְאֶת־ (מיסך) [מוּסַךְ] הַשַּׁבָּת אֲשֶׁר־בָּנוּ בַבַּיִת וְאֶת־מְבוֹא הַמֶּלֶךְ הַחִיצוֹנָה הֵסֵב בֵּית יְהוָה מִפְּנֵי 16:18 מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר׃
2Kin. 16:18 And he made the covered place of the Sabbath that they had built in the house, and the outer entryway of the king, into a house of the Lord, because of the king of Assyria.
It looks to me like Ahaz was producing a second or substitute temple, either to distract the Assyrian king from Solomon’s temple or to please him. Also, the word in parentheses, translated as covered place, is misspelled, containing a yad that should be a vav. The correction is in the brackets.
וְיֶתֶר דִּבְרֵי אָחָז אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה הֲלֹא־הֵם כְּתוּבִים עַל־סֵפֶר דִּבְרֵי הַיָּמִים לְמַלְכֵי יְהוּדָה׃ 16:19
2Kin. 16:19 And the rest of the acts of Ahaz that he did, are they not written on the scroll of the chronicles of the days of the kings of Judah?
וַיִּשְׁכַּב אָחָז עִם־אֲבֹתָיו וַיִּקָּבֵר עִם־אֲבֹתָיו בְּעִיר דָּוִד וַיִּמְלֹךְ חִזְקִיָּהוּ בְנוֹ תַּחְתָּיו׃ 16:20
2Kin. 16:20 And Ahaz slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David, and his son, Hezekiah, became king in his place. [Return to 2Chr. 28:26]
[Return to 1&2Kings Chapters] [Prev.: 2Kin. 15] [Next: 2Kin. 17]