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King Ahaz of Judah(A)

16 Pekah, son of Remaliah, was in his seventeenth year as king of Israel when King Ahaz, son of Jotham, began to rule as king of Judah. Ahaz was 20 years old when he began to rule. He ruled for 26 years in Jerusalem. He didn’t do what Yahweh his Elohim considered right, as his ancestor David had done. He followed the example of the kings of Israel and even sacrificed his son by burning him alive. Sacrificing children was one of the disgusting things done by the nations that Yahweh had forced out of the Israelites’ way. He offered sacrifices and burned incense as an offering at the illegal worship sites, which were on hills and under every large tree.

Then King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah, son of Remaliah of Israel, came to wage war against Jerusalem. They blockaded Ahaz but couldn’t get him to fight. At that time King Rezin of Aram drove the Judeans out of Elath and gave it back to Edom.[a] The Edomites came to Elath and still live there today.

Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath Pileser of Assyria to say, “I’m your servant, your son. Come and save me from the kings of Aram and Israel who are attacking me.” Ahaz took the silver and gold he found in Yahweh’s temple and in the treasury in the royal palace and sent them to the king of Assyria as a present.

The king of Assyria listened to him and attacked Damascus. He captured it, took the people to Kir as captives, and killed Rezin.

10 Then King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet King Tiglath Pileser of Assyria. He saw an altar there in Damascus. So King Ahaz sent the priest Urijah a model of the altar and a set of detailed plans. 11 Urijah built an altar exactly like the model King Ahaz sent from Damascus. He finished it before Ahaz returned home from Damascus.

12 When the king came from Damascus, he saw the altar. The king approached the altar and went up to it. 13 He sacrificed his burnt offering and grain offering, poured out his wine offering, and sprinkled the blood of his fellowship offering on the altar. 14 But he moved the bronze altar dedicated to Yahweh. It had been in front of the temple between his altar and Yahweh’s temple. Ahaz put it on the north side of his altar. 15 King Ahaz gave this command to the priest Urijah: “On this great altar you must burn the morning burnt offerings and the evening grain offering, the king’s burnt offerings and grain offerings, and the burnt offerings, grain offerings, and wine offerings of all the people of the land. Sprinkle all the blood of the burnt offerings and other sacrifices on it. I will use the bronze altar for prayer.” 16 The priest Urijah did what King Ahaz had commanded.

17 King Ahaz cut off the side panels of the bronze stands used in the temple and removed the basin from each of them. He took the bronze pool down from the bronze bulls that were under it and set it on a stone base. 18 Ahaz removed the covered walkway used on the day of worship. This walkway had been built in the temple. He also removed the outer entrance for the king from Yahweh’s temple. He did this to please the king of Assyria. 19 Isn’t everything else about Ahaz—the things he did—written in the official records of the kings of Judah? 20 Ahaz lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David. His son Hezekiah succeeded him as king.


  1. 2 Kings 16:6 Masoretic Text “Aram.” (The Hebrew words for “Aram” and “Edom” are nearly identical.)

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