2 Chronicles 28:1-27 – Ahaz
SummaryIn Chronicles, Judah sinks to its lowest point with the reign of Ahaz, not Manasseh, as in 2 Kings.
The Chronicler's presentation of the period of the divided monarchy had begun with the apostasy of the northern tribes under Jeroboam (2 Chronicles 10-13). With his presentation of the reign of Ahaz, that period ends as it had begun. Comparison with Abijah's programmatic address in the early days of the divided monarchy (2 Chronicles 13:4-12), however, reveals that the Chronicler has reworked the portrayals of Ahaz and Judah to stress the reversal of the relationship between Israel and Judah:
- Ahaz is depicted as a second Jeroboam who casts images and worships foreign gods (28:2, 10-16, 23; cf. 13:8-9).
- Ahaz closes the temple doors (28:24), extinguishes the lamps, and stops the sacrifices in the temple (29:7), contrary to Abijah's claim of orthodoxy (13:11).
- In Abijah's day, Israel was defeated (13:18); in the days of Ahaz, Judah suffers defeat (28:17-19).
- At the beginning of the divided monarchy, Judah obeyed the prophet Shemaiah and did not invade Israel (11:1-4); now, Israel obeys Oded the prophet regarding Judah (28:9-15).
In other words, Judah at the end of the divided monarchy mirrored the apostasy of Israel at the beginning. Adding to the reversal, the northerners are here portrayed as repenting of their sin (vv. 8-15, especially 13-15). The Chronicler may be tipping his hand that their mutual sin will prepare the way for their mutual repentance and the reunification that will take place under Hezekiah.