2 Kings 16:1-20

Ahaz becomes the king of Judah

1 Jotham's son Ahaz became the king of Judah when Remaliah's son Pekah had been king of Israel for 17 years. 2 Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king. He ruled Judah as king in Jerusalem for 16 years. He did not do the things that the Lord his God said were good. So he was not like his ancestor, King David. 3 He lived in the same bad way that the kings of Israel did. He even caused his son to walk through fire. In this way he copied the terrible sins of the other nations in Canaan. Those were the nations that the Lord had chased out so that the Israelites could live there. 4 Ahaz offered sacrifices and he burned incense on altars on the hills, as well as under all the big trees.

16:3‘Walk through fire’ may mean that he burned his son as a sacrifice to a false god.

5 At that time, King Rezin of Syria and Remaliah's son, King Pekah of Israel, attacked Jerusalem. Their armies made a camp all around the city while Ahaz was there. But they could not win the battle against him. 6 (At the same time, King Rezin got Elath town back for Syria. He chased out the people of Judah who were living there. People from Edom then moved into Elath, and they are still living there.)

7 King Ahaz sent a message to Tiglath-Pileser, the king of Assyria. He said, ‘I am your servant and I need your help. The king of Syria and the king of Israel have brought their armies to attack me in Jerusalem. Please come here to rescue me.’ 8 Ahaz took the silver and gold things that were stored in the Lord's temple and in the palace. He sent them all as a gift to the king of Assyria. 9 So the king of Assyria agreed to do what Ahaz had asked him to do. He attacked Damascus and he took the city for himself. He sent the people who had lived there to Kir as his prisoners. He punished King Rezin with death.

16:7These are the words of Ahaz, which the men repeated to Tiglath-Pileser.
16:9Damascus was the capital city of Syria.

10 King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet King Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria. When he was there, he saw an altar. He sent a picture and a plan of the altar to Uriah, the priest, so that someone could build one for him. 11 So Uriah built an altar that copied the plan that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus. Uriah finished it before King Ahaz returned. 12 When the king arrived in Jerusalem from Damascus, he saw the new altar. He went near it to offer sacrifices on it.

13 He made a burnt offering and a grain offering. He poured wine as a drink offering. He splashed the blood from his peace offerings onto the altar.

14 A bronze altar stood in front of the Lord's temple to bring sacrifices to him. Now it stood between the new altar and the front of the temple. So Ahaz moved it away from there. He put it on the north side of the new altar. 15 Then King Ahaz commanded Uriah the priest, ‘On the large new altar, offer these gifts:

  • A burnt offering for each morning.
  • A grain offering for each evening.
  • A burnt offering and a grain offering on behalf of the king.
  • A burnt offering on behalf of all the people of Israel.
  • A grain offering and drink offerings on behalf of the people.
  • Splash the blood from all these sacrifices on the new altar. But I will use the bronze altar myself, to find out about my future times.’

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

    17 King Ahaz also removed the pieces on the sides of the carts which carried the buckets for water. He also removed the buckets. He took the large bath called ‘the Sea’ from the top of the bronze bulls that it stood on. He stood it on a big flat stone instead. 18 He removed the roof that gave shade for people in the temple yard on the Sabbath days. He also removed the king's special entrance into the temple yard. He did these things to please the king of Assyria.

    16:17We can read about these things in 1 Kings 7:23-39.

    19 The other things that happened while Ahaz was king are written in a book. The book is called ‘The history of Judah's kings’. It tells about the things that Ahaz did. 20 Ahaz died and they buried him beside his ancestors in the City of David. His son Hezekiah became king after him.