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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Melachim II - II Kings - Chapter 16

Melachim II - II Kings - Chapter 16

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 16

1. In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham the king of Judah became king.   א. בִּשְׁנַת שְׁבַע עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה לְפֶקַח בֶּן רְמַלְיָהוּ מָלַךְ אָחָז בֶּן יוֹתָם מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה:
2. Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do what was proper in the eyes of the Lord his God like David his father.   ב. בֶּן עֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה אָחָז בְּמָלְכוֹ וְשֵׁשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה מָלַךְ בִּירוּשָׁלָםִ וְלֹא עָשָֹה הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינֵי יהֹוָה אֱלֹהָיו כְּדָוִד אָבִיו:
3. He went in the ways of the kings of Israel, and also he passed his son through fire in the abominable manner of the nations whom the Lord had driven out from before the children of Israel.   ג. וַיֵּלֶךְ בְּדֶרֶךְ מַלְכֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְגַם אֶת בְּנוֹ הֶעֱבִיר בָּאֵשׁ כְּתֹעֲבוֹת הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר הוֹרִישׁ יְהֹוָה אֹתָם מִפְּנֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל:
4. And he slaughtered sacrifices and burnt incense on the high places and on the hills, and under every green tree.   ד. וַיְזַבֵּחַ וַיְקַטֵּר בַּבָּמוֹת וְעַל הַגְּבָעוֹת וְתַחַת כָּל עֵץ רַעֲנָן:
5. Then Rezin the king of Aram and Pekah the son of Remaliah the king of Israel, went up to Jerusalem to wage war, and they besieged Ahaz, but could not wage war [with him].   ה. אָז יַעֲלֶה רְצִין מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם וּפֶקַח בֶּן רְמַלְיָהוּ מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל יְרוּשָׁלַםִ לַמִּלְחָמָה וַיָּצֻרוּ עַל אָחָז וְלֹא יָכְלוּ לְהִלָּחֵם:
6. At that time, Rezin the king of Aram restored Elath to Aram, and drove out the Judeans from Eloth, and Edomites came to Elath and dwelt there until this day.   ו. בָּעֵת הַהִיא הֵשִׁיב רְצִין מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם אֶת אֵילַת לַאֲרָם וַיְנַשֵּׁל אֶת הַיְהוּדִים מֵאֵילוֹת וַאֲדֹמִים בָּאוּ אֵילַת וַיֵּשְׁבוּ שָׁם עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה:
7. And Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser the 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 have risen up against me."   ז. וַיִּשְׁלַח אָחָז מַלְאָכִים אֶל תִּגְלַת פְּלֶסֶר מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר לֵאמֹר עַבְדְּךָ וּבִנְךָ אָנִי עֲלֵה וְהוֹשִׁעֵנִי מִכַּף מֶלֶךְ אֲרָם וּמִכַּף מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל הַקּוֹמִים עָלָי:
8. And Ahaz took the silver and the gold that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasuries of the king's palace, and sent them to the king of Assyria as a bribe.   ח. וַיִּקַּח אָחָז אֶת הַכֶּסֶף וְאֶת הַזָּהָב הַנִּמְצָא בֵּית יְהֹוָה וּבְאֹצְרוֹת בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיִּשְׁלַח לְמֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר שֹׁחַד:
9. And the king of Assyria heeded him, and the king of Assyria went up to Damascus and seized it, and exiled [its inhabitants] to Kir, and he slew Rezin.   ט. וַיִּשְׁמַע אֵלָיו מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר וַיַּעַל מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר אֶל דַּמֶּשֶׂק וַיִּתְפְּשֶֹהָ וַיַּגְלֶהָ קִירָה וְאֶת רְצִין הֵמִית:
and exiled it to Kir: The people therein he exiled to a province named Kir.  
10. And King Ahaz went toward Tiglath-Pileser the king of Assyria to Damascus, and he saw the altar that was in Damascus, and King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest the likeness of the altar and its pattern, according to all its workmanship.   י. וַיֵּלֶךְ הַמֶּלֶךְ אָחָז לִקְרַאת תִּגְלַת פִּלְאֶסֶר מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר דּוּמֶּשֶׂק וַיַּרְא אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ אֲשֶׁר בְּדַמָּשֶׂק וַיִּשְׁלַח הַמֶּלֶךְ אָחָז אֶל אוּרִיָּה הַכֹּהֵן אֶת דְּמוּת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וְאֶת תַּבְנִיתוֹ לְכָל מַעֲשֵֹהוּ:
11. And Uriah the priest built the altar, according to all that King Ahaz sent from Damascus, so did Uriah the priest make it until King Ahaz came from Damascus.   יא. וַיִּבֶן אוּרִיָּה הַכֹּהֵן אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר שָׁלַח הַמֶּלֶךְ אָחָז מִדַּמֶּשֶׂק כֵּן עָשָׂה אוּרִיָּה הַכֹּהֵן עַד בּוֹא הַמֶּלֶךְ אָחָז מִדַּמָּשֶׂק:
until King Ahaz came: [i.e.,] before the king came from Damascus.  
12. And the king came from Damascus, and the king saw the altar, and the king approached the altar and offered up [sacrifices] thereon.   יב. וַיָּבֹא הַמֶּלֶךְ מִדַּמֶּשֶׂק וַיַּרְא הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶת הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וַיִּקְרַב הַמֶּלֶךְ עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וַיַּעַל עָלָיו:
13. And he burnt his burnt-offering and his meal-offering, and he poured his libation, and he sprinkled the blood of his peace-offering on the altar.   יג. וַיַּקְטֵר אֶת עֹלָתוֹ וְאֶת מִנְחָתוֹ וַיַּסֵּךְ אֶת נִסְכּוֹ וַיִּזְרֹק אֶת דַּם הַשְּׁלָמִים אֲשֶׁר לוֹ עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ:
14. And the copper altar that was before the Lord, he brought near from before the Temple, from between the altar and the house of the Lord, and he placed it on the side of the altar to the north.   יד. וְאֵת הַמִּזְבַּח הַנְּחשֶׁת אֲשֶׁר לִפְנֵי יְהֹוָה וַיַּקְרֵב מֵאֵת פְּנֵי הַבַּיִת מִבֵּין הַמִּזְבֵּחַ וּמִבֵּין בֵּית יְהֹוָה וַיִּתֵּן אֹתוֹ עַל יֶרֶךְ הַמִּזְבֵּחַ צָפוֹנָה:
And the copper altar… he brought near…: It is impossible to say that this was the copper altar that Moses made, since it was hidden. It is also impossible to say that this was the stone altar that Solomon made, and he called it in II Chron. (7:7) the copper altar, for it was impossible to move it from one corner to another without demolishing it. Indeed, we learned (Zebahim 61b): The fire that descended in Solomon’s time, did not leave the altar until Manasseh came and removed it, for he demolished the altar, as we find in the Aggadah of the chapter entitled ‘Chelek.’ I have no way to explain this except as referring to the lavers and the laver stands of copper, which were accessories of the altar and were near the holy altar. Now when Ahaz made the altar for the idols, he removed the laver and brought it near to another side, farther away from the Temple, so as not to intervene between the altar he made and the house of the Lord, and he placed it next to the holy altar on the north. We find that our Rabbis explained [a passage] in a similar manner in Tractate Shabbath 55a: “And they came and stood next to the copper altar” (Ezekiel 9:2). Did the copper altar exist [at that time]? He said to them, “Commence from the place where they recite songs before Me.” Thus we see here that copper musical instruments are called an altar. [Similarly, the copper laver, also an accessory to the altar, is called “the copper altar.”]  
15. And King Ahaz commanded Uriah the priest, saying, "On the great altar burn the the morning burnt-offering and the evening meal-offering and the king's burnt-offering and his meal-offering and the burnt-offering of the entire people of the land, and their meal- offering and their libations and the blood of every burnt-offering and the blood of every sacrifice you shall sprinkle on it, and the copper altar shall be for me to visit.   טו. וַיְצַוֶּה הַמֶּלֶךְ אָחָז אֶת אוּרִיָּה הַכֹּהֵן לֵאמֹר עַל הַמִּזְבֵּחַ הַגָּדוֹל הַקְטֵר אֶת עֹלַת הַבֹּקֶר וְאֶת מִנְחַת הָעֶרֶב וְאֶת עֹלַת הַמֶּלֶךְ וְאֶת מִנְחָתוֹ וְאֵת עֹלַת כָּל עַם הָאָרֶץ וּמִנְחָתָם וְנִסְכֵּיהֶם וְכָל דַּם עֹלָה וְכָל דַּם זֶבַח עָלָיו תִּזְרֹק וּמִזְבַּח הַנְּחשֶׁת יִהְיֶה לִּי לְבַקֵּר:
shall be for me to visit: at intervals, when it would enter his mind to visit it.  
16. And Uriah the priest did according to all that King Ahaz had commanded.   טז. וַיַּעַשׂ אוּרִיָּה הַכֹּהֵן כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה הַמֶּלֶךְ אָחָז:
17. And King Ahaz cut off the insets of the laver stands, and he removed the lavers from upon them, and he took the tank off the copper cattle that were under it, and put it on a stone floor.   יז. וַיְקַצֵּץ הַמֶּלֶךְ אָחָז אֶת הַמִּסְגְּרוֹת הַמְּכֹנוֹת וַיָּסַר מֵעֲלֵיהֶם אֶת הַכִּיֹּר וְאֶת הַיָּם הוֹרִד מֵעַל הַבָּקָר הַנְּחשֶׁת אֲשֶׁר תַּחְתֶּיהָ וַיִּתֵּן אֹתוֹ עַל מַרְצֶפֶת אֲבָנִים:
the insets of the laver stands: the rows upon which the laver stands were made as it is said (I Kings 7:28), “And this is the work of the laver stand, they had insets.”  
18. And the Sabbath canopy that they built in the house and the king's outside entrance he switched to the house of the Lord because of the king of Assyria.   יח. וְאֶת מוּסַךְ הַשַּׁבָּת אֲשֶׁר בָּנוּ בַבַּיִת וְאֶת מְבוֹא הַמֶּלֶךְ הַחִיצוֹנָה הֵסֵב בֵּית יְהֹוָה מִפְּנֵי מֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר:
And the Sabbath canopy: the roof of a tent, made for shade, to sit under it in the Temple court on the Sabbath day.  
and the king’s… entrance: through which he would come from his house to the house of the Lord through the outside, he switched to a concealed place because of the king of Assyria, lest he covet those vessels, and also the entrance he switched, perhaps he would have to hide and escape surreptitiously.  
19. And the rest of Ahaz's deeds that he did are written in the book of chronicles of the kings of Judah.   יט. וְיֶתֶר דִּבְרֵי אָחָז אֲשֶׁר עָשָֹה הֲלֹא הֵם כְּתוּבִים עַל סֵפֶר דִּבְרֵי הַיָּמִים לְמַלְכֵי יְהוּדָה:
20. And Ahaz slept with his forefathers and was buried with his forefathers in the city of David, and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.   כ. וַיִּשְׁכַּב אָחָז עִם אֲבֹתָיו וַיִּקָּבֵר עִם אֲבֹתָיו בְּעִיר דָּוִד וַיִּמְלֹךְ חִזְקִיָּהוּ בְנוֹ תַּחְתָּיו:
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