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Ahaz of Judah

28 Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he ruled in Jerusalem for sixteen years. He did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord as his father David had done. Instead, he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. He even made cast images for the Baals and sent up sacrifices in smoke in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom. He burned his sons in the fire, in keeping with the disgusting practices of the nations whom the Lord had driven out before the people of Israel. He also sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every leafy tree.

So the Lord his God gave him into the hand of the king of Aram. The Arameans defeated him and captured a great number of prisoners, who were taken to Damascus. Ahaz was also given into the hand of the king of Israel, who dealt him a heavy blow.

In one day, Pekah son of Remaliah killed one hundred twenty thousand men in Judah, all of them strong warriors, because they had forsaken the Lord, the God of their fathers. Zikri, a strong warrior from Ephraim, killed the king’s son Ma’aseiah, as well as Azrikam chief officer of the palace, and Elkanah second in command to the king.

The men from Israel took two hundred thousand of their fellow Israelites captive, including wives, sons, and daughters. They also seized a large amount of plunder from them and took it to Samaria.

There was a prophet of the Lord there, whose name was Oded. He went out to meet the army that came to Samaria and said to them, “Look! Because the Lord, the God of your fathers, was angry against Judah, he gave them into your hand. You have killed them in a rage that reaches up to heaven. 10 Now you intend to subjugate the people of Judah and Jerusalem as male and female slaves for yourselves. Do you not have enough guilt of your own against the Lord your God? 11 Now hear me. Send back the captives whom you have taken from your brothers, because the fierce anger of the Lord is upon you.”

12 Some of the leaders of Ephraim, Azariah son of Johanan, Berekiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai, took a stand against those returning from the battle. 13 They said to them, “You must not bring the captives here, because it would make us guilty before the Lord. You are proposing to increase our sins and our guilt, because great guilt rests upon us and fierce anger burns against Israel.”

14 So the armed men left the captives and the plunder in front of the officials and the whole assembly. 15 The men who had been designated by name got up and took custody of the captives. From the spoils they provided clothing for all those who were naked. They clothed them and provided them with sandals, with food and drink, and with salve for their wounds. They transported all those who were weak on donkeys. They brought them to Jericho, the City of Palms, to their fellow Israelites. Then they returned to Samaria.

16 At that time King Ahaz sent a request for help to the kings of Assyria.

17 Once again the Edomites came and defeated Judah and carried away captives.

18 The Philistines also made raids on the cities in the Shephelah and the Negev of Judah. They captured Beth Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soko with its villages, Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo with its villages, and they settled there.

19 The Lord brought Judah low, because Ahaz king of Israel[a] had led Judah to throw off all restraint. He had been very unfaithful to the Lord.

20 When Tiglath Pileser[b] king of Assyria came, he marched against Ahaz and oppressed him instead of strengthening him. 21 Ahaz took some things from the House of the Lord, from the palace of the king, and from the officials, and he gave them to the king of Assyria, but it did not help him.

22 In the time of his distress King Ahaz became even more unfaithful to the Lord. That was the way he was. 23 He sacrificed to the gods of Damascus that had defeated him. He said, “Because the gods of the kings of Aram helped them, I will sacrifice to them so that they may help me.” But they were his ruin and the ruin of all Israel.

24 Ahaz gathered the articles from the House of God and cut all these things from the House of God to pieces. He shut the doors of the House of the Lord and made altars for himself in every corner of Jerusalem. 25 In each and every city throughout Judah, he made high places to burn incense to other gods. He provoked the Lord, the God of his fathers, to anger.

26 As for the rest of his acts and all his ways, from first to last, you can find them written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.

27 Ahaz rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of Jerusalem. They did not bury him in the tombs of the kings of Israel. His son Hezekiah ruled as king in his place.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 28:19 Some Hebrew manuscripts and some versions read Judah.
  2. 2 Chronicles 28:20 The Hebrew here has a variant spelling, Tilgath Pilneser.

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