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Ahaz Son of Jotham, King of Judah

16 In the seventeenth year of Pekah son of Remaliah, Ahaz son of Jotham, king of Judah, became king. Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he ruled in Jerusalem for sixteen years. He did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord his God, as his father David had done. He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. He even made his son pass through the fire, according to the shameful practices of the nations which the Lord had driven out before the people of Israel. He offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every leafy tree.

Then Rezin king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah, the king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem for war. They laid siege to Ahaz, but they could not defeat him. At that time, Rezin king of Aram recovered Elat for Edom,[a] and he drove the people of Judah away from Elat. Then Edomites[b] came to Elat, and they have lived there to this day.

So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son. Come and save me from the hand of the king of Aram and from the hand of the king of Israel, who have come up against me.” Then Ahaz took the silver and the gold which were found in the House of the Lord and in the treasuries of the king’s palace, and he sent them to the king of Assyria as tribute. So the king of Assyria listened to him and attacked Damascus. He exiled the inhabitants to Kir. He also killed Rezin.

The Altar of Ahaz

10 King Ahaz went to meet Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria in Damascus. He saw the altar which was in Damascus, and King Ahaz sent a model of the altar and instructions for making one like it to Uriah the priest. 11 So Uriah the priest built this altar. Uriah the priest did just as King Ahaz had instructed him from Damascus before King Ahaz returned from Damascus. 12 When the king returned from Damascus, he saw the altar. He approached it and ascended it. 13 He offered whole burnt offerings and grain offerings. He poured out drink offerings, and he sprinkled the blood of his fellowship offerings on the altar.

14 He moved the bronze altar, which had been in the presence of the Lord, away from its location in front of the temple building, from between his altar and the Lord’s house, and he put it on the north side of his altar.

15 Then King Ahaz commanded Uriah the priest, “Present the morning burnt offering, the evening grain offering, the king’s burnt offering, his grain offering, and all the people’s burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings on the great altar. Sprinkle all the blood of the burnt offering and all the blood of the sacrifices on it. But the bronze altar will be mine for divination.” 16 So Uriah the priest did everything just as King Ahaz commanded.

17 Then King Ahaz cut off the side panels of the carts, and he removed the basins that were on them. He took the sea down from its position on the bronze cattle that were under it and put it on a stone pavement. 18 In deference to the king of Assyria, he also removed the Sabbath canopy that had been built for the house[c] and removed the king’s entrance on the outside of the Lord’s house.

19 As for the rest of the acts of Ahaz, the things he did, are they not written in the annals of the kings of Judah? 20 Ahaz rested with his fathers, and he was buried with his fathers in the City of David. Then his son Hezekiah became king in his place.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Kings 16:6 The main Hebrew reading is Aram, but Elat had formerly been an Edomite possession not an Aramean possession. In Hebrew script the words Aram and Edom look alike.
  2. 2 Kings 16:6 Variant Arameans
  3. 2 Kings 16:18 The meaning of this verse is uncertain. Instead of the Sabbath canopy, the Greek Old Testament reads the canopy for the throne. The word house could, therefore, refer to either the temple or the palace. The context suggests that Ahaz was removing installations which might imply that he was the equal of the king of Assyria.

Ahaz King of Judah(A)

16 In the seventeenth year of Pekah son of Remaliah, Ahaz(B) son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign. Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. Unlike David his father, he did not do what was right(C) in the eyes of the Lord his God. He followed the ways of the kings of Israel(D) and even sacrificed his son(E) in the fire, engaging in the detestable(F) practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. He offered sacrifices and burned incense(G) at the high places, on the hilltops and under every spreading tree.(H)

Then Rezin(I) king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem and besieged Ahaz, but they could not overpower him. At that time, Rezin(J) king of Aram recovered Elath(K) for Aram by driving out the people of Judah. Edomites then moved into Elath and have lived there to this day.

Ahaz sent messengers to say to Tiglath-Pileser(L) king of Assyria, “I am your servant and vassal. Come up and save(M) me out of the hand of the king of Aram and of the king of Israel, who are attacking me.” And Ahaz took the silver and gold found in the temple of the Lord and in the treasuries of the royal palace and sent it as a gift(N) to the king of Assyria. The king of Assyria complied by attacking Damascus(O) and capturing it. He deported its inhabitants to Kir(P) and put Rezin to death.

10 Then King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria. He saw an altar in Damascus and sent to Uriah(Q) the priest a sketch of the altar, with detailed plans for its construction. 11 So Uriah the priest built an altar in accordance with all the plans that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus and finished it before King Ahaz returned. 12 When the king came back from Damascus and saw the altar, he approached it and presented offerings[a](R) on it. 13 He offered up his burnt offering(S) and grain offering,(T) poured out his drink offering,(U) and splashed the blood of his fellowship offerings(V) against the altar. 14 As for the bronze altar(W) that stood before the Lord, he brought it from the front of the temple—from between the new altar and the temple of the Lord—and put it on the north side of the new altar.

15 King Ahaz then gave these orders to Uriah the priest: “On the large new altar, offer the morning(X) burnt offering and the evening grain offering, the king’s burnt offering and his grain offering, and the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their grain offering and their drink offering. Splash against this altar the blood of all the burnt offerings and sacrifices. But I will use the bronze altar for seeking guidance.”(Y) 16 And Uriah the priest did just as King Ahaz had ordered.

17 King Ahaz cut off the side panels and removed the basins from the movable stands. He removed the Sea from the bronze bulls that supported it and set it on a stone base.(Z) 18 He took away the Sabbath canopy[b] that had been built at the temple and removed the royal entryway outside the temple of the Lord, in deference to the king of Assyria.(AA)

19 As for the other events of the reign of Ahaz, and what he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? 20 Ahaz rested(AB) with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David. And Hezekiah his son succeeded him as king.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Kings 16:12 Or and went up
  2. 2 Kings 16:18 Or the dais of his throne (see Septuagint)

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