Ahaz King of Judah
1Ahaz began to rule as king over Judah. It was in the 17th year of the rule of Pekah, the son of Remaliah. Ahaz was the son of Jotham. 2Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 16 years. Ahaz didn’t do what was right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He didn’t do what King David had done. 3He followed the ways of the kings of Israel. He even sacrificed his son in the fire to another god. He followed the practices of the nations. The Lord hated those practices. He had driven out those nations to make room for the Israelites. 4Ahaz offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places. He also did it on the tops of hills and under every green tree.
5Rezin and Pekah marched up to Jerusalem and surrounded it. Rezin was king of Aram. Pekah, the son of Remaliah, was king of Israel. They attacked Ahaz. But they couldn’t overpower him. 6At that time Rezin, the king of Aram, won back Elath for Aram. He drove out the people of Judah. Then the people of Edom moved into Elath. And they still live there to this day.
7Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-Pileser. He was king of Assyria. The message of Ahaz said, “I am your servant. You are my master. Come up and save me from the power of the kings of Aram and Israel. They are attacking me.” 8Ahaz took the silver and gold that were in the Lord’s temple. He also took the silver and gold that were among the treasures in the royal palace. He sent all of it as a gift to the king of Assyria. 9So the king of Assyria did what Ahaz asked him to do. He attacked the city of Damascus and captured it. He sent its people away to Kir. And he put Rezin to death.
10Then King Ahaz went to Damascus. He went there to see Tiglath-Pileser, the king of Assyria. Ahaz saw an altar in Damascus. He sent a drawing of it to Uriah the priest. Ahaz also sent him plans for building it. 11So Uriah the priest built an altar. He followed all the plans King Ahaz had sent from Damascus. He finished it before Ahaz returned. 12The king came back from Damascus. When he saw the altar, he approached it. Then he offered sacrifices on it. 13He offered up his burnt offering and grain offering. He poured out his drink offering. And he splashed the blood from his friendship offerings against the altar. 14The bronze altar for burnt offerings stood in front of the Lord. It was between the new altar and the Lord’s temple. Ahaz took the bronze altar away from the front of the temple. He put it on the north side of the new altar.
15Then King Ahaz gave orders to Uriah the priest. He said, “Offer sacrifices on the large new altar. Offer the morning burnt offering and the evening grain offering. Offer my burnt offering and my grain offering. Offer the burnt offering of all the people of the land. Offer their grain offering and their drink offering. Splash against this altar the blood from all the burnt offerings and sacrifices. But I will use the bronze altar to look for advice and direction.” 16Uriah the priest did just as King Ahaz had ordered.
17Ahaz cut off the sides of the bronze stands. He removed the bowls from the stands. He removed the huge bowl from the bronze bulls it stood on. He placed the bowl on a stone base. 18He took away the covered area that had been used on the Sabbath day. It had been built at the Lord’s temple. He removed the royal entrance that was outside the temple. Ahaz did all these things to honor the king of Assyria.
19The other events of the rule of Ahaz are written down. Everything he did is written in the official records of the kings of Judah. 20Ahaz joined the members of his family who had already died. He was buried in the family tomb in the City of David. Ahaz’s son Hezekiah became the next king after him.