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Then Rezin, king of Aram, and Pekah, son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem to attack it. Although they besieged Ahaz, they were unable to do battle.

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Ahaz Punished. [a]Therefore the Lord, his God, delivered him into the power of the king of Aram. The Arameans defeated him and carried away captive a large number of his people, whom they brought to Damascus. He was also delivered into the power of the king of Israel, who defeated him with great slaughter.(A) For Pekah, son of Remaliah, killed one hundred and twenty thousand of Judah in a single day, all of them valiant men, because they had abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors. Zichri, an Ephraimite warrior, killed Maaseiah, the king’s son, and Azrikam, the master of the palace, and also Elkanah, who was second to the king. The Israelites took away as captives two hundred thousand of their kinfolk’s wives, sons, and daughters; they also took from them much plunder, which they brought to Samaria.

Oded’s Prophecy. In Samaria there was a prophet of the Lord by the name of Oded. He went out to meet the army returning to Samaria and said to them: “It was because the Lord, the God of your ancestors, was angry with Judah that he delivered them into your power. You, however, have killed them with a fury that has reached up to heaven. 10 And now you are planning to subjugate the people of Judah and Jerusalem as your slaves and bondwomen. Are not you yourselves, therefore, guilty of a crime against the Lord, your God? 11 Now listen to me: send back the captives you have carried off from among your kin, for the burning anger of the Lord is upon you.”

12 At this, some of the Ephraimite leaders, Azariah, son of Johanan, Berechiah, son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah, son of Shallum, and Amasa, son of Hadlai, themselves stood up in opposition to those who had returned from the war. 13 They said to them: “Do not bring the captives here, for what you are planning will make us guilty before the Lord and increase our sins and our guilt. Great is our guilt, and there is burning anger upon Israel.” 14 Therefore the soldiers left their captives and the plunder before the princes and the whole assembly. 15 Then the men just named proceeded to help the captives. All of them who were naked they clothed from the spoils; they clothed them, put sandals on their feet, gave them food and drink, anointed them, and all who were weak they set on donkeys. They brought them to Jericho, the City of Palms, to their kinfolk. Then they returned to Samaria.(B)

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  1. 28:5–8, 16–23 The account of Ahaz’s reign in 2 Kings refers to hostilities of Syria (Aram) and Israel against Judah, the revolt of the Edomites, submission to Tiglath-pilneser, king of Assyria, the stripping of Temple treasures to pay him tribute, and, in deference to him, shaping the cult of the Jerusalem Temple according to patterns seen in Damascus (2 Kgs 16:5–18; cf. Is 7:1–2). The account in Kings relates all this to an attack of Syria and Israel on Judah (735 B.C.), as they attempted to force Judah into an anti-Assyrian coalition; but the Chronicler, who does not mention the attack, depicts these troubles as the result of, or examples of, Ahaz’s infidelity.