2 Chronicles 28International Children’s Bible (ICB)
Ahaz King of Judah
28 Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king. And he ruled 16 years in Jerusalem. He was not like his ancestor David. He did not do what the Lord said was right. 2 Ahaz did the same things the kings of Israel had done. He made metal idols to worship Baal. 3 He burned incense in the Valley of Ben Hinnom. He sacrificed his own sons by burning them in the fire. He did the same terrible sins as the other nations had done. And the Lord had forced these nations out of the land ahead of the Israelites. 4 Ahaz offered sacrifices and burned incense at the places where false gods were worshiped. And he did this on the hills and under every green tree.
5 So the Lord his God let the king of Aram defeat Ahaz. The Arameans defeated Ahaz and took many people of Judah as prisoners. The Arameans took them to Damascus.
The Lord also let Pekah king of Israel defeat Ahaz. Pekah’s army killed many soldiers of Ahaz. 6 Pekah was the son of Remaliah. Pekah’s army killed 120,000 brave soldiers from Judah in one day. Pekah defeated them because they had left the Lord. He is the God their ancestors obeyed. 7 Zicri was a warrior from Ephraim. He killed King Ahaz’s son Maaseiah. He also killed Azrikam, the officer in charge of the palace and Elkanah, second in command to the king. 8 The Israelite army captured 200,000 of their own relatives. They took women, sons and daughters and many valuable things from Judah. Then they carried them back to Samaria. 9 But a prophet of the Lord named Oded was there. He met the Israelite army when it returned to Samaria. He said to them, “The Lord is the God your ancestors obeyed. He let you defeat Judah because he was angry with those people. But God has seen the cruel way you killed them. 10 Now you plan to make the people of Judah and Jerusalem your slaves. But you also have sinned against the Lord your God. 11 Now listen to me. Send back your brothers and sisters whom you captured. Do this because the Lord is very angry with you.”
12 Then some of the leaders in Israel met the Israelite soldiers coming home from war. These leaders were Azariah son of Jehohanan, Berekiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum and Amasa son of Hadlai. 13 They warned the soldiers, “Don’t bring the prisoners from Judah here. If you do, we will be guilty of sin. That will make our sin and guilt even worse. And our guilt is already so much that the Lord is angry with Israel.”
14 So the soldiers left the prisoners and valuable things in front of the officers and people there. 15 The leaders who were named took the prisoners. These four men got the clothes that the Israelite army had taken. And they gave them to these people who were naked. They gave the prisoners clothes, sandals, food, drink and medicine. They put the weak prisoners on donkeys. Then they took them back to their families in Jericho, the city of palm trees. Then they returned home to Samaria.
16-17 At that same time the Edomites came again. They attacked Judah and carried away prisoners. So King Ahaz asked the king of Assyria for help. 18 The Philistines also robbed the towns in the western mountain slopes and in southern Judah. They captured the towns of Beth Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco, Timnah and Gimzo. They also captured the villages around them. Then the Philistines lived in those towns. 19 The Lord brought trouble on Judah because of Ahaz their king. Ahaz had caused the people of Judah to sin. And he had been unfaithful to the Lord. 20 Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came to Ahaz. But he gave Ahaz trouble instead of help. 21 Ahaz took some valuable things from the Temple of the Lord. He also took some from the king’s palace and from the princes. Ahaz gave them to the king of Assyria, but it did not help.
22 In Ahaz’s troubles he was even more unfaithful to the Lord. 23 He offered sacrifices to the gods the people of Damascus worshiped. These people had defeated him. So he thought, “The gods of the kings of Aram helped them. If I offer sacrifices to them, they will help me also.” But this brought ruin to Ahaz and all Israel.
24 Ahaz gathered the things from the Temple of God and broke them into pieces. Then he closed the doors of the Temple of the Lord. He made altars and put them on every street corner in Jerusalem. 25 In every town in Judah, Ahaz made places for burning sacrifices to worship other gods. He made the Lord, the God his ancestors worshiped, very angry.
26 The other things Ahaz did as king, from the beginning to the end, are written down. They are in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 27 Ahaz died and was buried in the city of Jerusalem. But he was not buried in the graves of the kings of Israel. Ahaz’s son Hezekiah became king in his place.
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