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Ahaz, King of Judah(A)

28 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he was king in Jerusalem for sixteen years. And he did not do what was correct in the eyes of the Lord as David his father. And he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and he cast images for Baal worship. And he made sacrifices in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, and he burned his sons in the fire according to the detestable acts of the nations that the Lord had displaced before the sons of Israel. He even made sacrifices and offered incense on the high places of the hills and under every green tree.

Judah Defeated

So the Lord his God gave him into the hand of the king of Aram. They struck Ahaz and took captive many prisoners and brought them to Damascus.

He was even given into the hand of the king of Israel, and he attacked Ahaz with a great slaughter. And Pekah the son of Remaliah killed one hundred and twenty thousand in Judah in one day, and they were all strong men, but they abandoned the Lord God of their fathers. And Zikri, a mighty warrior from Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the son of the king, and Azrikam the official of the palace, and Elkanah second to the king. And the sons of Israel took captive two hundred thousand of their kin, women, sons, and daughters. They also took much plunder and brought the plunder to Samaria.

And there was a prophet there whose name was Oded, and he went out to the army as it approached Samaria and said to them, “See that the anger of the Lord God of your fathers is against Judah, and He gave them into your hand, and you all have killed them in a rage that has reached even to heaven. 10 And now you are planning to subdue for yourselves the people of Judah and Jerusalem as male and female slaves. Do you all not surely have among you guilt before the Lord your God? 11 And now listen to me. Return the captives whom you have taken captive from your relatives because the burning wrath of the Lord is on you all.”

12 And some men who were heads of the people of Ephraim rose up before those coming from the war: Azariah the son of Jehohanan, Berekiah the son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai. 13 And they said, “You will not bring the captives here, for guilt from the Lord will be on us, and you plan to add to our sin and guilt. Our guilt is great, and there is already a burning anger against Israel.”

14 So the soldiers left the captives and spoil before the officials and all the assembly. 15 Then the men who were designated by name took the captives and clothed those who were naked from the plunder. So they clothed them, gave them sandals, offered them food and drink, anointed them with oil, and led them on donkeys, even all those who stumbled. They brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, which was near their kinsmen. Then the officials returned to Samaria.

16 At that time King Ahaz sent to the king of Assyria for help. 17 The Edomites continually came and struck Judah and carried off captives. 18 Even the Philistines made raids on the cities of the lowlands of the Shephelah and the Negev of Judah. And they captured Beth Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soko and its villages, Timnah and its villages, and Gimzo and its villages; and they settled there. 19 For the Lord humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Judah, for he allowed depravity to spread in Judah and continually transgressed against the Lord. 20 So Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came against him, but he brought him distress and not strength. 21 For Ahaz took a portion from the house of the Lord and palace of the king and the officials, and he gave it to the king of Assyria, but the king did not help Ahaz.

The Death of Ahaz

22 And at the time that he was oppressed he increased in unfaithfulness against the Lord. 23 So he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus that had devastated him, for he said, “Because the gods of the kings of Aram have helped them, I will sacrifice to them so that they might help me.” But they were his downfall in Judah and the downfall for all of Israel.

24 And Ahaz gathered the vessels from the house of God, and he cut up the vessels. Then he shut the doors of the house of the Lord, and he made altars in every corner of Jerusalem. 25 Then in every city in Judah he made high places to make offerings to other gods. So he provoked the Lord God of his fathers.

26 Now the remainder of the acts and all his ways, from first to last, are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 27 So Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of Jerusalem because they did not bring him to the tombs of the kings of Israel. Then Hezekiah his son was king in his place.