16:3 he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. The sin of Jeroboam I (1 Kin. 12:26–33), continued by all subsequent Israelite kings, was the construction of ritual religious centers in Bethel and Dan. These northern cult sites were conduits for bringing foreign religions into the northern kingdom. In the southern kingdom, Ahaz built a foreign altar in Jerusalem. Like Jeroboam I, Ahaz officiated at inaugural sacrifices for the new altar (vv. 10–13; 1 Kin. 12:32, 33).
burned his son as an offering. The atrocity of child sacrifice was practiced by some of Judah’s neighbors, although it was outlawed by the law of Moses (Lev. 18:21; Deut. 18:10; cf. 2 Kin. 3:27). Ahaz was not the only Judean king who disobeyed this law (21:6; 23:10; Jer. 7:31; 32:35).
the despicable practices of the nations. In its behavior, Judah was becoming indistinguishable from the nations that God drove out of Canaan so that the Israelites could inhabit the land. The people were betraying their sacred calling to be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:6).