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Saturday, June 21 2014
2 Kings 16: Why Did Ahaz Build A Syrian Altar In God's Temple?
"Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus"
Ahaz began his reign of the Kingdom of Judah (see The First Kings Of Israel and Judah) at age twenty (see also Old Boys Versus Greenhorns). His regime (see Solomon's Regime to understand the actual meaning of "regime") was that of a corrupt idol-worshiper who followed the heathenism of the neighboring kingdoms of Israel and Syria.
"16:1 In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign. 16:2 Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD his God, like David his father. 16:3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel. 16:4 And he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree." (2 Kings 16;1-4 KJV)
When Ahaz began to reign, he was attacked by Israel and Syria (ironically, the Israelite patriarchs originated in Syria; see A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria and The Syrian Tongue Of Jesus). Although the invaders put Jerusalem under siege, they were unable to capture Judah's capital city (see How Long Was Jerusalem The Capital Of Israel? and A History Of Jerusalem: The Capital Of Judah).
"16:5 Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war: and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome him. 16:6 At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath: and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day." (2 Kings 16:5-6 KJV)
While under siege, Ahaz "sent messengers to Tiglathpileser king of Assyria (not to be confused with Syria; Assyria was what is today northern Iraq), saying, I am thy servant and thy son: come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me." Assyria was no friend of Judah, but accepted the alliance because Ahaz bought it with "the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king's house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria." The result was a war between Israel and Syria, on one side, and Judah and Assyria on the other - during which the Assyrians captured the Syrian city of Damascus (see also Damascus In History And Prophecy).
"16:7 So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy son: come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me. 16:8 And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king's house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria. 16:9 And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him: for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin." (2 Kings 16:7-9 KJV)
Ahaz then journeyed to Damascus where he became impressed with "an altar that was at Damascus." Ahaz was an idol worshiper, so he ordered the Levite High Priest (who should have absolutely refused; see The Prophecy Of The Blood Upon The Anointed One) to make such an altar for the Temple in Jerusalem. To make room for it, Ahaz had the LORD's Temple vessels displaced. The heathen altar then became the altar that was used in the Temple of the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) in Jerusalem.
That Syrian-design altar that was built by Ahaz was a foreshadow of an even greater desecration that was committed many years later. The infamous "abomination of desolation" (see the Fact Finder question below) was committed by a Syrian king, on a Syrian altar, in the very same place in the Temple of the LORD.
"16:10 And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof. 16:11 And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus: so Urijah the priest made it against king Ahaz came from Damascus. 16:12 And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon. 16:13 And he burnt his burnt offering and his meat offering, and poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings, upon the altar. 16:14 And he brought also the brasen altar, which was before the LORD, from the forefront of the house, from between the altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the north side of the altar.
Ahaz died at about age 36 ("twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem"). He was buried in the city of David (see A History Of Jerusalem: The City Of David) where he awaits the Judgment Day.
"16:19 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 16:20 And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead." (2 Kings 16:19-20 KJV)
Fact Finder: What did Jesus Christ say about the "abomination of desolation"? How is it going to happen again - just a few days before the return of Jesus Christ?
This Day In History, June 21
217 BC: Carthaginian forces led by Hannibal (a Punic Carthaginian military commander, considered by many historians to be one of the greatest military commanders in history) destroyed a Roman army (see also Legions Of Men And Angels) under consul Gaius Flaminicy in a battle at Lake Trasimenus in central Italy (see The Politics Of Rome and A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
524: The Battle of Vezeronce. The Burgundians under King Godomar defeated the Franks.
533: A Byzantine fleet under Belisarius sailed from Constantinople to battle the Vandals (an east Germanic tribe; see also The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation) in Africa.
1307: Kulug Khan was crowned as Khagan of the Mongols and Wuzong of the Yuan (see also Gog and Magog).
1314: The Scots of Robert the Bruce defeated Edward II's army at Bannockburn.
1377: King Edward III of England died. King from 1327, he attempted to invade France in 1339 and 1340, thereby starting the Hundred Years War. He was succeeded by his grandson, Richard II.
1529: During the War of the League of Cognac, French military forces were routed out of northern Italy by Spanish forces at the Battle of Landriano.
1633: Galileo Galilei was forced by the Roman Catholic Church to "abjure, curse, and detest" his (entirely correct) theory that the earth orbits the sun.
1667: The Peace of Breda ended the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1664-67), with the Dutch ceding New Amsterdam, known today as New York, to the English.
1749: Halifax was founded when Col. Edward Cornwallis brought more than 2,500 English immigrants to Nova Scotia ("New Scotland").
1791: King Louis XVI of France and his family fled to Varennes during the French Revolution.
1824: During the Greek War of Independence, Egyptian forces captured Psara in the Aegean Sea.
1887: Queen Victoria celebrated her golden jubilee marking 50 years on the British throne.
1900: The Boxer Rebellion began in China to oppose foreign interference in Chinese affairs. An international force of Japanese, Russian, German, U.S., British, Italian and Austro-Hungarian troops put down the uprising by August 14 (which obviously proved that there was foreign interference in Chinese affairs).
1977: Menachem Begin became Israel's 6th Prime Minister (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah).
1982: John Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity of the attempted murder of U.S. President Reagan in 1981.
1990: An earthquake in northern Iran killed over 50,000 and injured more than 200,000.
1990: Hungary officially re-launched its stock exchange, 42 years after its closure by the Communist Party. The Budapest stock exchange was the first Western-style securities exchange in any Warsaw Pact country.
2006: The newly-discovered moons of the planet Pluto were officially named Nix and Hydra (although most scientists reject religion, they nevertheless very often name scientific discoveries and programs after pagan gods and idols).