Verse 23. "He sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him" - "This passage," says Mr. Hallet, "greatly surprised me; for the sacred historian himself is here represented as saying, The gods of Damascus had smitten Ahaz. But it is impossible to suppose that an inspired author could say this; for the Scripture everywhere represents the heathen idols as nothing and vanity, and as incapable of doing either good or hurt. All difficulty is avoided if we follow the old Hebrew copies, from which the Greek translation was made, kai eipen o basileiv acaz, ekzhthsw touv qeouv damaskou touv tuptontav me, And King Ahaz SAID, I WILL SEEK TO THE GODS OF DAMASCUS WHICH HAVE SMITTEN ME; and then it follows, both in Hebrew and Greek, He said moreover, Because the gods of the king of Syria help them; therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. Both the Syriac and Arabic give it a similar turn; and say that Ahaz sacrificed to the gods of Damascus, and said, Ye are my gods and my lords; you will I worship, and to you will I sacrifice."
Verse 24. "Shut up the doors" - He caused the Divine worship to be totally suspended; and they continued shut till the beginning of the reign of Hezekiah, one of whose first acts was to reopen them, and thus to restore the Divine worship, 2 Chronicles xxix. 3.
Verse 27. "The kings of Israel" - It is a common thing for the writer of this book to put Israel for Judah. He still considers them as one people, because proceeding from one stock. The versions and MSS. have the same reading with the Hebrew; the matter is of little importance, and with this interpretation none can mistake.