Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


2 Kings 16:18

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

And the covert for the Sabbath - There are a great number of conjectures concerning this covert, or, as it is in the Hebrew, the מוסך 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.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The covert … in the house - A canopied seat in the temple for the king and his family when they attended public worship on the sabbath. It stood no doubt in the inner court of the temple.

The king‘s entry without - This would seem to have been a private passage by which the king crossed the outer court to the east gate of the inner court when he visited the temple Ezekiel 46:1-2.

Turned he from the house of the Lord for the king of Assyria - This passage is very obscure. Some translate - “altered he in the house of the Lord, because of the kine of Assyria,” supposing the “covert” and the “passage” to have been of rich materials, and Ahaz to have taken them to eke out his “presents to the king of Assyria.” Others render, “removed he into the house of the Lord from fear of the king of Assyria.”

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Ahaz put contempt upon the sabbath, and thus opened a wide inlet to all manner of sin. This he did for the king of Assyria. When those who have had a ready passage to the house of the Lord, turn it another way to please their neighbours, they are going down-hill apace to ruin.
Cross References
The Fall of the Kingdom of Israel