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.
Pass — By way of oblation, so as to be consumed for a burnt-offering, which was the practice of Heathens, and of some Israelites, in imitation of them.
 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.
Could not overcome — Because God of his own mere grace, undertook his protection, and disappointed the hopes of his enemies.
 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.
Sent messengers, … — But was it because there was no God in Israel, that he sent to the Assyrian for help? The sin itself was its own punishment; for tho' it served his present turn, yet he made but an ill bargain, seeing he not only impoverished himself, but enslaved both himself and his people.
 And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon.
Offered — A sacrifice, and that not to God, but to the Syrian idols, to whom that altar was appropriated.
 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.
Peace-offerings — For the Heathens; and Ahaz, in imitation of them, offered the same sorts of offerings to their false gods, which the Israelites did to the true.
 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.
Brazen attar — Of burnt-offerings, made by Solomon, and placed there by God's appointment.
From between, … — His new altar was at first set below the brazen altar, and at a farther distance from the temple. This he took for a disparagement to his altar; and therefore impiously takes that away, and puts his in its place.
And put, … — So he put God's altar out of its place and use! A bolder stroke than the very worst of kings had hitherto given to religion.
 And king Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, Upon the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening meat offering, and the king's burnt sacrifice, and his meat offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings; and sprinkle upon it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice: and the brasen altar shall be for me to enquire by.
Great altar — This new altar; which was greater than Solomon's.
Sacrifice — Whatsoever is offered to the true God, either in my name (for possibly he did not yet utterly forsake God, but worshipped idols with him) or on the behalf of the people, shall be offered on this new altar.
Enquire by — That shall be reserved for my proper use, to enquire by; at which I may seek God, or enquire of his will, by sacrifices joined with prayer, when I shall see fit. Having thrust it out from the use for which it was instituted, which was to sanctify the gifts offered upon it, he pretends to advance it above its institution, which it is common for superstitious people to do. But to overdo is to underdo. Our wisdom is, to do just what God has commanded.
 And the covert for the sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king's entry without, turned he from the house of the LORD for the king of Assyria.
The covert — The form and use whereof is now unknown. It is generally understood of some building, either that where the priests after their weekly course was ended, abode until the next course came; which was done upon the sabbath-day: or that in which the guard of the temple kept their station; or that under which the king used to sit to hear God's word, and see the sacrifices; which is called, the covert of the sabbath, because the chief times in which the king used it for those ends, was the weekly sabbath, and other solemn days of feasting, or fasting (which all come under the name of sabbaths in the Old Testament) upon which the king used more solemnly, to present himself before the Lord, than at other times.
The entry — By which the king used to go from his palace to the temple.