- 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 in the eyes of the LORD.
- He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel
and also made cast idols for worshiping the Baals.
- He burned sacrifices in the Valley of Ben
Hinnom and sacrificed his sons in the fire, following the detestable ways
of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.
- He offered sacrifices and burned incense
at the high places, on the hilltops and under every spreading tree.
- Therefore the LORD his God handed him over
to the king of Aram. The Arameans defeated him and took many of his people
as prisoners and brought them to Damascus. He was also given into the hands
of the king of Israel, who inflicted heavy casualties on him.
- In one day Pekah son of Remaliah killed
a hundred and twenty thousand soldiers in Judah -- because Judah had forsaken
the LORD, the God of their fathers.
- Zicri, an Ephraimite warrior, killed Maaseiah
the king's son, Azrikam the officer in charge of the palace, and Elkanah,
second to the king.
- The Israelites took captive from their kinsmen
two hundred thousand wives, sons and daughters. They also took a great deal
of plunder, which they carried back to Samaria.
- But a prophet of the LORD named Oded was
there, and he went out to meet the army when it returned to Samaria. He said
to them, "Because the LORD, the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah,
he gave them into your hand. But you have slaughtered them in a rage that
reaches to heaven.
- And now you intend to make the men and women
of Judah and Jerusalem your slaves. But aren't you also guilty of sins against
the LORD your God?
- Now listen to me! Send back your fellow
countrymen you have taken as prisoners, for the LORD'S fierce anger rests
- Then some of the leaders in Ephraim--Azariah
son of Jehohanan, Berekiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum,
and Amasa son of Hadlai -- confronted those who were arriving from the war.
- "You must not bring those prisoners
here," they said, "or we will be guilty before the LORD. Do you
intend to add to our sin and guilt? For our guilt is already great, and his
fierce anger rests on Israel."
- So the soldiers gave up the prisoners and
plunder in the presence of the officials and all the assembly.
- The men designated by name took the prisoners,
and from the plunder they clothed all who were naked. They provided them with
clothes and sandals, food and drink, and healing balm. All those who were
weak they put on donkeys. So they took them back to their fellow countrymen
at Jericho, the City of Palms, and returned to Samaria.
- At that time King Ahaz sent to the king
of Assyria for help.
- The Edomites had again come and attacked
Judah and carried away prisoners,
- while the Philistines had raided towns in
the foothills and in the Negev of Judah. They captured and occupied Beth Shemesh,
Aijalon and Gederoth, as well as Soco, Timnah and Gimzo, with their surrounding
- The LORD had humbled Judah because of Ahaz
king of Israel, for he had promoted wickedness in Judah and had been most
unfaithful to the LORD.
- Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came to
him, but he gave him trouble instead of help.
- Ahaz took some of the things from the temple
of the LORD and from the royal palace and from the princes and presented them
to the king of Assyria, but that did not help him.
- In his time of trouble King Ahaz became
even more unfaithful to the LORD.
- He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus,
who had defeated him; for he thought, "Since the gods of the kings of
Aram have helped them, I will sacrifice to them so they will help me."
But they were his downfall and the downfall of all Israel.
- Ahaz gathered together the furnishings from
the temple of God and took them away. He shut the doors of the LORD'S temple
and set up altars at every street corner in Jerusalem.
- In every town in Judah he built high places
to burn sacrifices to other gods and provoked the LORD, the God of his fathers,
- The other events of his reign and all his
ways, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Judah
- Ahaz rested with his fathers and was buried
in the city of Jerusalem, but he was not placed in the tombs of the kings
of Israel. And Hezekiah his son succeeded him as king.