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2 Kings 16

Ahaz becomes the king of Judah

1 When Pekah had been king of Israel for nearly 17 years, Ahaz began to rule Judah. Pekah was the son of Remaliah and Ahaz was the son of King Jotham of Judah. 2 Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 16 years. The LORD his God saw that he did not do what was right. So he was not like his ancestor David. 3 He did the bad things that the kings of Israel did. He even caused his son to walk through fire. He did all the very bad things that people had done earlier in Canaan. These were the people that the LORD had caused to leave Canaan. He did this before his people the Jews came into Canaan. 4 Ahaz burned animals and other things, and also incense on the high places. He did it on the tops of hills and under every wide tree.

5 Rezin was the king of Aram. Pekah was the king of Israel. He was the son of Remaliah. Rezin and Pekah marched up to Jerusalem, to fight against it. Their armies stayed all round Ahaz and his city, but they could not beat him. 6 At that time, Rezin the king of Aram got Elath back for Aram. He caused the men from Judah to leave Elath. People from Edom then moved into Elath. They have lived there until now. 7 Then Ahaz sent people with messages to Tiglath Pileser, the king of Assyria. They said, ‘I am your servant. And I will do anything that you ask me to do. Come up to Jerusalem and save me from the power of the kings of Aram and Israel. They are attacking me.’ 8 Also, Ahaz took the silver and gold out of the house of the LORD. He took the valuable things out of his own palace. He sent them all as a gift to the king of Assyria. 9 So the king of Assyria did what Ahaz had asked. He attacked Damascus and he beat its people. He sent the people that had lived there to Kir. And he killed Rezin.

10 Then King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet King Tiglath Pileser of Assyria. Ahaz saw an altar in Damascus. He sent a picture of the altar to Uriah the priest. He also sent a plan, so that people could make one. 11 So Uriah the priest built an altar. It was the same as the one in the plans that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus. Uriah finished it before King Ahaz returned. 12 Then the king returned from Damascus. And he saw the altar. He went near it and he climbed up to it. He offered things to false gods on it.

13 He offered these things to his god on the altar:

an animal with its blood

something with flour but no blood in it

a drink that he poured on to the altar

the blood of animals to bring him peace.

14 A bronze altar stood in front of the LORD in his house. It was between the new altar and the house of the LORD. Ahaz brought it from the front of the house of the LORD. And he put it on the north side of the new altar.

15 Then King Ahaz said that Uriah the priest must do these things. ‘On the large new altar, offer these gifts:

an animal with its blood in the morning

something with flour in it in the evening

an animal on behalf of the king

something with flour in it on behalf of the king

an animal as a gift on behalf of all the people in the country

something with flour in it on behalf of the people in the country

all the blood from the animals that you kill.

But I will use the bronze altar to ask God to guide me.’

16 So Uriah the priest did what King Ahaz asked him to do.

17 King Ahaz also took away pieces from the sides of the bronze altar. He took the bowls away from the parts that people could move. He took the large bowl for water away from the bronze male cows that it was on. He put it on stone instead. 18 He took away the roof that they had made to cover the king's path on the Sabbath. It was at the house of the LORD. He removed the door outside the house of the LORD that the king used to come in through. The king of Assyria wanted him to do this. 19 Somebody wrote the other things that King Ahaz did, in a book. It is called ‘the reports about the kings of Judah’. The book contains everything that Ahaz did. 20 So Ahaz died like his ancestors. And people buried him with his ancestors in the City of David. And Hezekiah, his son, became king after him.

Notes about chapter 16

16:20Verse 3 ‘Walk through fire’ may mean that he killed his son by fire. 2 Chronicles 28:3 says that he burned his sons (plural) with fire. Bible students think that this was to make the false god Moloch happy.
16:20Verse 4 Some of the ‘other things’ are in verse 13.
16:20Verse 7 These are the words of Ahaz, which the men repeated to Tiglath Pileser.
16:20Verse 9 Damascus was the capital of Syria.
16:20Verse 13 Bible students are not sure whether Ahaz offered these things to the LORD or to Baal.