Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. He didn’t live right in the eyes of God; he wasn’t at all like his ancestor David. Instead he followed in the track of Israel in the north, even casting metal figurines for worshiping the pagan Baal gods. He participated in the outlawed burning of incense in the Valley of Ben Hinnom and—incredibly!—indulged in the outrageous practice of “passing his sons through the fire,” a truly abominable thing he picked up from the pagans God had earlier thrown out of the country. He also joined in the activities of the neighborhood sex-and-religion shrines that flourished all over the place.
Instead, he acted like the kings of the Northern Kingdom and worshiped their gods. He polluted all the land with his idolatry, cast idols of the Baals, burned incense in the valley of Ben-hinnom (Jerusalem’s refuse pit), and sacrificed his own children. Such evil things had not happened throughout the land, on high places, hills, and under trees, since the Eternal conquered the previous inhabitants and gave the land to the Israelites.
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