2 Kings 16

Ahaz King of Judah

16 Ahaz was the son of Jotham king of Judah. Ahaz became king of Judah in the seventeenth year Pekah son of Remaliah was king of Israel. 2 Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he ruled sixteen years in Jerusalem. Unlike his ancestor David, he did not do what the Lord his God said was right. 3 Ahaz did the same things the kings of Israel had done. He even made his son pass through fire. He did the same hateful sins as the nations had done whom the Lord had forced out of the land ahead of the Israelites. 4 Ahaz offered sacrifices and burned incense at the places where gods were worshiped, on the hills, and under every green tree.

5 Rezin king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah, the king of Israel, came up to attack Jerusalem. They surrounded Ahaz but could not defeat him. 6 At that time Rezin king of Aram took back the city of Elath for Aram, and he forced out all the people of Judah. Then Edomites moved into Elath, and they still live there today.

7 Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your friend. Come and save me from the king of Aram and the king of Israel, who are attacking me.” 8 Ahaz took the silver and gold that was in the Temple of the Lord and in the treasuries of the palace, and he sent these as a gift to the king of Assyria. 9 So the king of Assyria listened to Ahaz. He attacked Damascus and captured it and sent all its people away to Kir. And he killed Rezin.

10 Then King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria. Ahaz saw an altar at Damascus, and he sent plans and a pattern of this altar to Uriah the priest. 11 So Uriah the priest built an altar, just like the plans King Ahaz had sent him from Damascus. Uriah finished the altar before King Ahaz came back from Damascus. 12 When the king arrived from Damascus, he saw the altar and went near and offered sacrifices on it. 13 He burned his burnt offerings and grain offerings and poured out his drink offering. He also sprinkled the blood of his fellowship offerings on the altar.

14 Ahaz moved the bronze altar that was before the Lord at the front of the Temple. It was between Ahaz’s altar and the Temple of the Lord, but he put it on the north side of his altar. 15 King Ahaz commanded Uriah the priest, “On the large altar burn the morning burnt offering, the evening grain offering, the king’s burnt offering and grain offering, and the whole burnt offering, the grain offering, and the drink offering for all the people of the land. Sprinkle on the altar all the blood of the burnt offering and of the sacrifice. But I will use the bronze altar to ask questions of God.” 16 So Uriah the priest did everything as King Ahaz commanded him.

17 Then King Ahaz took off the side panels from the bases and removed the washing bowls from the top of the bases. He also took the large bowl, which was called the Sea, off the bronze bulls that held it up, and he put it on a stone base. 18 Ahaz took away the platform for the royal throne, which had been built at the Temple of the Lord. He also took away the outside entrance for the king. He did these things because of the king of Assyria.

19 The other things Ahaz did as king are written in the book of the history of the kings of Judah. 20 Ahaz died and was buried with his ancestors in Jerusalem, and Ahaz’s son Hezekiah became king in his place.

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