Ahaz’s Sin in the Valley of Ben-hinnom
1Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king, and he reigned 16 years in Jerusalem. But he did not do what was right in the eyes of Adonai as his father David had done,
2but followed the ways of the kings of Israel, and even made molten images for the Baalim.
3Moreover, he burned incense in the valley of Ben-hinnom and burned his children in the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom Adonai had driven out before Bnei-Yisrael.
4He offered sacrifices and burned incense in the high places, on the hills and under every leafy tree.
5Therefore Adonai his God gave him into the hand of the king of Aram who defeated him and took away from him many prisoners and brought them to Damascus. He was also given into the hand of the king of Israel, who inflicted many casualties on him.
6In one day, Pekah the son of Remaliah killed 120,000 valiant soldiers of Judah—because they had forsaken Adonai, the God of their fathers.
Mercy Shown to Judah’s Captives
7Also Zichri, a warrior from Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king’s son, Azrikam the official in charge of the palace and Elkanah the second to the king.
8Men of Israel carried away captive 200,000 of their kinsmen, women, sons and daughters. They also took away a great deal of plunder from them that they brought to Samaria.
9But a prophet of Adonai named Oded was there and he went out to meet the army on its return to Samaria. He said to them, “Behold, because Adonai, the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah, He has given them into your hand and you have slaughtered them in a rage that reaches to heaven.
10So now you intend to bring into bondage the children of Judah and Jerusalem as your male and female slaves? Are you not also guilty of transgressions against Adonai your God?
11So now, listen to me. Send back the prisoners you have captured from your kinsmen—for the fierce wrath of Adonai is upon you!”
12Then some of the leaders of the sons of Ephraim—Azariah son of Jehohanan, Berechiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai—confronted those coming from the campaign,
13and said to them, “Do not bring the captives in here, for that would cause us to trespass against Adonai. Do you intend to add to our sins and our guilt? For our guilt is already great, and his fierce anger is already against Israel.”
14So the soldiers released the captives and the plunder in the presence of the chieftains and the entire congregation.
15Then the men designated by name stood up and took the captives, and they clothed all who were naked from the plunder. They gave them clothes and sandals, food and drink, anointed them, led all the feeble ones on donkeys, and brought them back to their kinsmen at Jericho, the city of palm trees. Then they returned to Samaria.
Ahaz Leads Judah Into Idolatry
16About that time King Ahaz sent to the kings of Assyria for help.
17Once again the Edomites had come and invaded Judah and taken captives,
18while the Philistines had raided the towns in the foothills and in the South of Judah. They captured and occupied Beth-shemesh, Aijalon and Gederot, as well as Soho, Timnah and Gimzo with their villages.
19For Adonai humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he threw off restraint in Judah and trespassed against Adonai.
20Tilgat-pilneser king of Assyria came against him and afflicted him instead of strengthening him—
21even though Ahaz plundered the House of Adonai, the house of the king and the princes, and gave it to the king of Assyria—it did not help him.
22In his time of distress, this same King Ahaz acted even more unfaithfully to Adonai.
23He even sacrificed to the gods of Damascus after he had been defeated, for he said, “Because the gods of the kings of Aram helped them, I will sacrifice to them and they will help me.” But they caused the downfall of him and all Israel.
24Ahaz even collected the utensils of the House of God and cut the utensils of the House of God into pieces. He shut the doors of the House of Adonai and made himself altars in every corner of Jerusalem.
25In every town of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods—provoking Adonai, the God of his fathers.
26Now the rest of his acts and all his ways, the first and the last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
27Then Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of Jerusalem, but he was not brought into the tombs of the kings of Israel. Hezekiah his son became king in his place.