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Ahaz, King of Judah(A)

28 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he was king in Jerusalem for sixteen years. And he did not do what was correct in the eyes of the Lord as David his father. And he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and he cast images for Baal worship. And he made sacrifices in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, and he burned his sons in the fire according to the detestable acts of the nations that the Lord had displaced before the sons of Israel. He even made sacrifices and offered incense on the high places of the hills and under every green tree.

Judah Defeated

So the Lord his God gave him into the hand of the king of Aram. They struck Ahaz and took captive many prisoners and brought them to Damascus.

He was even given into the hand of the king of Israel, and he attacked Ahaz with a great slaughter. And Pekah the son of Remaliah killed one hundred and twenty thousand in Judah in one day, and they were all strong men, but they abandoned the Lord God of their fathers. And Zikri, a mighty warrior from Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the son of the king, and Azrikam the official of the palace, and Elkanah second to the king. And the sons of Israel took captive two hundred thousand of their kin, women, sons, and daughters. They also took much plunder and brought the plunder to Samaria.

And there was a prophet there whose name was Oded, and he went out to the army as it approached Samaria and said to them, “See that the anger of the Lord God of your fathers is against Judah, and He gave them into your hand, and you all have killed them in a rage that has reached even to heaven. 10 And now you are planning to subdue for yourselves the people of Judah and Jerusalem as male and female slaves. Do you all not surely have among you guilt before the Lord your God? 11 And now listen to me. Return the captives whom you have taken captive from your relatives because the burning wrath of the Lord is on you all.”

12 And some men who were heads of the people of Ephraim rose up before those coming from the war: Azariah the son of Jehohanan, Berekiah the son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai. 13 And they said, “You will not bring the captives here, for guilt from the Lord will be on us, and you plan to add to our sin and guilt. Our guilt is great, and there is already a burning anger against Israel.”

14 So the soldiers left the captives and spoil before the officials and all the assembly. 15 Then the men who were designated by name took the captives and clothed those who were naked from the plunder. So they clothed them, gave them sandals, offered them food and drink, anointed them with oil, and led them on donkeys, even all those who stumbled. They brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, which was near their kinsmen. Then the officials returned to Samaria.

16 At that time King Ahaz sent to the king of Assyria for help. 17 The Edomites continually came and struck Judah and carried off captives. 18 Even the Philistines made raids on the cities of the lowlands of the Shephelah and the Negev of Judah. And they captured Beth Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soko and its villages, Timnah and its villages, and Gimzo and its villages; and they settled there. 19 For the Lord humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Judah, for he allowed depravity to spread in Judah and continually transgressed against the Lord. 20 So Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came against him, but he brought him distress and not strength. 21 For Ahaz took a portion from the house of the Lord and palace of the king and the officials, and he gave it to the king of Assyria, but the king did not help Ahaz.

The Death of Ahaz

22 And at the time that he was oppressed he increased in unfaithfulness against the Lord. 23 So he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus that had devastated him, for he said, “Because the gods of the kings of Aram have helped them, I will sacrifice to them so that they might help me.” But they were his downfall in Judah and the downfall for all of Israel.

24 And Ahaz gathered the vessels from the house of God, and he cut up the vessels. Then he shut the doors of the house of the Lord, and he made altars in every corner of Jerusalem. 25 Then in every city in Judah he made high places to make offerings to other gods. So he provoked the Lord God of his fathers.

26 Now the remainder of the acts and all his ways, from first to last, are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 27 So Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of Jerusalem because they did not bring him to the tombs of the kings of Israel. Then Hezekiah his son was king in his place.

Ahaz King of Judah(A)

28 Ahaz(B) 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 followed the ways of the kings of Israel and also made idols(C) for worshiping the Baals. He burned sacrifices in the Valley of Ben Hinnom(D) and sacrificed his children(E) in the fire, engaging in the detestable(F) practices 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 delivered him into the hands of the king of Aram.(G) 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(H) son of Remaliah killed a hundred and twenty thousand soldiers in Judah(I)—because Judah had forsaken the Lord, the God of their ancestors. Zikri, an Ephraimite warrior, killed Maaseiah the king’s son, Azrikam the officer in charge of the palace, and Elkanah, second to the king. The men of Israel took captive from their fellow Israelites who were from Judah(J) two hundred thousand wives, sons and daughters. They also took a great deal of plunder, which they carried back to Samaria.(K)

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 ancestors, was angry(L) with Judah, he gave them into your hand. But you have slaughtered them in a rage that reaches to heaven.(M) 10 And now you intend to make the men and women of Judah and Jerusalem your slaves.(N) But aren’t you also guilty of sins against the Lord your God? 11 Now listen to me! Send back your fellow Israelites you have taken as prisoners, for the Lord’s fierce anger rests on you.(O)

12 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. 13 “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.”

14 So the soldiers gave up the prisoners and plunder in the presence of the officials and all the assembly. 15 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,(P) and healing balm. All those who were weak they put on donkeys. So they took them back to their fellow Israelites at Jericho, the City of Palms,(Q) and returned to Samaria.(R)

16 At that time King Ahaz sent to the kings[a] of Assyria(S) for help. 17 The Edomites(T) had again come and attacked Judah and carried away prisoners,(U) 18 while the Philistines(V) had raided towns in the foothills and in the Negev of Judah. They captured and occupied Beth Shemesh, Aijalon(W) and Gederoth,(X) as well as Soko,(Y) Timnah(Z) and Gimzo, with their surrounding villages. 19 The Lord had humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel,[b] for he had promoted wickedness in Judah and had been most unfaithful(AA) to the Lord. 20 Tiglath-Pileser[c](AB) king of Assyria(AC) came to him, but he gave him trouble(AD) instead of help.(AE) 21 Ahaz(AF) took some of the things from the temple of the Lord and from the royal palace and from the officials and presented them to the king of Assyria, but that did not help him.(AG)

22 In his time of trouble King Ahaz became even more unfaithful(AH) to the Lord. 23 He offered sacrifices to the gods(AI) 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.”(AJ) But they were his downfall and the downfall of all Israel.(AK)

24 Ahaz gathered together the furnishings(AL) from the temple of God(AM) and cut them in pieces. He shut the doors(AN) of the Lord’s temple and set up altars(AO) at every street corner in Jerusalem. 25 In every town in Judah he built high places to burn sacrifices to other gods and aroused the anger of the Lord, the God of his ancestors.

26 The other events of his reign and all his ways, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 27 Ahaz rested(AP) with his ancestors and was buried(AQ) 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.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 28:16 Most Hebrew manuscripts; one Hebrew manuscript, Septuagint and Vulgate (see also 2 Kings 16:7) king
  2. 2 Chronicles 28:19 That is, Judah, as frequently in 2 Chronicles
  3. 2 Chronicles 28:20 Hebrew Tilgath-Pilneser, a variant of Tiglath-Pileser

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