Verse 18. "And the covert for the Sabbath" - There are a great number of conjectures concerning this covert, or, as it is in the Hebrew, the ûswm musach, of the Sabbath. As the word, and others derived from the same root, signify covering or booths, it is very likely that this means either a sort of canopy which was erected on the Sabbath days for the accommodation of the people who came to worship, and which Ahaz took away to discourage them from that worship; or a canopy under which the king and his family reposed themselves, and which he transported to some other place to accommodate the king of Assyria when he visited him.
Jarchi supposes that it was a sort of covert way that the kings of Judah had to the temple, and Ahaz had it removed lest the king of Assyria, going by that way, and seeing the sacred vessels, should covet them. If that way had been open, he might have gone by it into the temple, and have seen the sacred vessels, and so have asked them from a man who was in no condition to refuse them, however unwilling he might be to give them up.
The removing of this, whatever it was, whether throne or canopy, or covered way, cut off the communication between the king's house and the temple; and the king of Assyria would not attempt to go into that sacred place by that other passage to which the priests alone had access.
Verse 20. "Was buried with his fathers in the city of David" - But it is expressly declared, 2 Chron. xxviii. 27, that he was not buried in the sepulchres of the kings of Israel; and this was undoubtedly intended as a mark of degradation.
His reign was disastrous and impious; and it was disastrous because it was impious. He had been a scourge, not a blessing, to his people. He had not only made illegal alterations in the temple, and in the mode of worship prescribed by the true God, but he had polluted all the cities of Judah with idolatry, and brought ruin upon the nation. On the whole, a worse king than himself had not as yet sat on the Jewish throne; and yet he had many advantages: he had for counsellor one of the greatest men ever produced in the Jewish nation, ISAIAH the prophet; and God condescended to interpose especially for him when grievously straitened by the kings of Israel and Syria, both of whom were cut off according to the prediction of this prophet. But he would not lay it to heart, and therefore the wrath of God fell heavily upon him, and upon the stiff-necked and rebellious people whom he governed. He had sufficient warning and was without excuse. He would sin, and therefore he must suffer.