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Ahaz Reigns in Judah and Seeks Help against the Assyrians

16 In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign. Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. He did not do right in the eyes of Yahweh his God as David his ancestor.[a] He walked in the way of the kings of Israel; he even let his son pass through the fire according to the detestable things of the nations which Yahweh drove out from before the Israelites.[b] He sacrificed and offered incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree. Then Rezin the king of Aram went up with Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel against Jerusalem for battle, and they besieged Ahaz but were not able to defeat[c] him. At that time, Rezin king of Aram recovered Elath for Aram and drove out the Judeans from Elath. The Arameans came to Elath and have lived there until this day.

Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son. Come up and rescue me from the hand of the king of Aram and from the hand of the king of Israel who are rising up against me.” Ahaz took the silver and gold found in the house of Yahweh and in the treasury rooms of the palace of the king, and he sent a gift to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria listened to him and he went up to Damascus and captured it and deported them to Kir. He also killed Rezin.

Damascus Falls to the Assyrians

10 So King Ahaz went to meet Tiglath-Pileser the king of Assyria in Damascus, and he saw the altar which was in Damascus, so King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest the builder’s plan of the altar and the exact model of how it had been made.[d] 11 So Uriah the priest built the altar according to all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus; thus Uriah the priest did before King Ahaz came from Damascus. 12 When the king came from Damascus, the king saw the altar, so he went near to the altar and went up on it. 13 Then he offered his burnt offerings and his grain offerings, he poured his libations and dashed the blood of his fellowship offerings against the altar. 14 Now the bronze altar which was before Yahweh, he brought over from the front of the temple, from between his altar and the temple of Yahweh, and he placed it at the side of his altar to the north. 15 Then King Ahaz commanded Uriah the priest, saying, “On the great altar burn the morning burnt offering and the grain offering of the evening, the burnt offering of the king and his grain offering, the burnt offering of all of the people of the land, their offerings, their libations, and all of the blood of the burnt offerings, the blood of the sacrifices you must dash on it. But the bronze altar shall be for me to inquire by.” 16 So Uriah the priest did according to all that King Ahaz commanded. 17 Then King Ahaz cut off the side panels of the water carts and removed from upon them the basin, and the sea he took down from the bronze oxen that were under it and put it on a stone base. 18 The covering for the Sabbath which they had built in the palace and in the entrance of the king to the outside, he removed from the temple of Yahweh because of the presence of the king of Assyria. 19 Now the remainder of the acts of Ahaz which he did, are they not written in the scroll of the events of the days of the kings of Judah? 20 So Ahaz slept with his ancestors[e] and was buried with his ancestors[f] in the city of David, and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.


  1. 2 Kings 16:2 Or “father”
  2. 2 Kings 16:3 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  3. 2 Kings 16:5 Literally “fight”
  4. 2 Kings 16:10 Literally “and its model according to all its work”
  5. 2 Kings 16:20 Or “fathers”
  6. 2 Kings 16:20 Or “fathers”