Ahaz’s Reign over Judah

1 In the seventeenth year of the reign of Pekah son of Remaliah, Jotham’s son Ahaz became king over Judah. 2 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem.1 He did not do what pleased the Lord his God, in contrast to his ancestor David.2 3 He followed in the footsteps of3 the kings of Israel. He passed his son through the fire,4 a horrible sin practiced by the nations5 whom the Lord drove out from before the Israelites. 4 He offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.

5 At that time King Rezin of Syria and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel attacked Jerusalem.6 They besieged Ahaz,7 but were unable to conquer him.8 6 (At that time King Rezin of Syria9 recovered Elat for Syria; he drove the Judahites from there.10 Syrians11 arrived in Elat and live there to this very day.) 7 Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your dependent.12 March up and rescue me from the power13 of the king of Syria and the king of Israel, who have attacked14 me.” 8 Then Ahaz took the silver and gold that were15 in the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the royal palace and sent it as tribute16 to the king of Assyria. 9 The king of Assyria responded favorably to his request;17 he18 attacked Damascus and captured it. He deported the people19 to Kir and executed Rezin.

10 When King Ahaz went to meet with King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria in Damascus, he saw the altar there.20 King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest a drawing of the altar and a blueprint for its design.21 11 Uriah the priest built an altar in conformity to the plans King Ahaz had sent from Damascus.22 Uriah the priest finished it before King Ahaz arrived back from Damascus.23 12 When the king arrived back from Damascus and24 saw the altar, he approached it25 and offered a sacrifice on it.26 13 He offered his burnt sacrifice and his grain offering. He poured out his libation and sprinkled the blood from his peace offerings on the altar. 14 He moved the bronze altar that stood in the Lord’s presence from the front of the temple (between the altar and the Lord’s temple) and put it on the north side of the new27 altar. 15 King Ahaz ordered Uriah the priest, “On the large altar28 offer the morning burnt sacrifice, the evening grain offering, the royal burnt sacrifices and grain offering, the burnt sacrifice for all the people of Israel, their grain offering, and their libations. Sprinkle all the blood of the burnt sacrifice and other sacrifices on it. The bronze altar will be for my personal use.”29 16 So Uriah the priest did exactly as30 King Ahaz ordered.

17 King Ahaz took off the frames of the movable stands, and removed the basins from them. He took “The Sea31 down from the bronze bulls that supported it32 and put it on the pavement. 18 He also removed the Sabbath awning33 that had been built34 in the temple and the king’s outer entranceway, on account of the king of Assyria.35

19 The rest of the events of Ahaz’s reign, including his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah.36 20 Ahaz passed away37 and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David. His son Hezekiah replaced him as king.

116:2map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4. 216:2tn Heb “and he did not do what was proper in the eyes of the Lord his God, like David his father.” 316:3tn Heb “he walked in the way of.” 416:3sn This may refer to child sacrifice, though some interpret it as a less drastic cultic practice. For discussion see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 266-67. 516:3tn Heb “like the abominable practices of the nations.” 616:5tn Heb “went up to Jerusalem for battle.” 716:5tn That is, Jerusalem, Ahaz’s capital city. 816:5tn Heb “they were unable to fight.” The object must be supplied from the preceding sentence. Elsewhere when the Niphal infinitive of לָחָם (lakham) follows the verb יָכֹל (yakhol), the infinitive appears to have the force of “prevail against.” See Num 22:11; 1 Sam 17:9; and the parallel passage in Isa 7:1. 916:6tc Some prefer to read “the king of Edom” and “for Edom” here. The names Syria (Heb “Aram,” אֲרָם, ’aram) and Edom (אֱדֹם, ’edom) are easily confused in the Hebrew consonantal script. 1016:6tn Heb “from Elat.” 1116:6tc The consonantal text (Kethib), supported by many medieval Hebrew mss, the Syriac version, and some mss of the Targum and Vulgate, read “Syrians” (Heb “Arameans”). The marginal reading (Qere), supported by the LXX, Targums, and Vulgate, reads “Edomites.” 1216:7tn Heb “son.” Both terms (“servant” and “son”) reflect Ahaz’s subordinate position as Tiglath-pileser’s subject. 1316:7tn Heb “hand, palm.” 1416:7tn Heb “who have arisen against.” 1516:8tn Heb “that was found.” 1616:8tn Or “bribe money.” 1716:9tn Heb “listened to him.” 1816:9tn Heb “the king of Assyria.” 1916:9tn Heb “it.” 2016:10tn Heb “in Damascus.” 2116:10tn Heb “the likeness of the altar and its pattern for all its work.” 2216:11tn Heb “according to all that King Ahaz sent from Damascus.” 2316:11tn Heb “so Uriah the priest did, until the arrival of King Ahaz from Damascus.” 2416:12tn Heb “and the king.” 2516:12tn Heb “the altar.” 2616:12tn Or “ascended it.” 2716:14tn The word “new” is added in the translation for clarification. 2816:15tn That is, the newly constructed altar. 2916:15tn Heb “for me to seek.” The precise meaning of בָּקַר (baqar), “seek,” is uncertain in this context. For discussion see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 189. 3016:16tn Heb “according to all which.” 3116:17sn See the note at 1 Kgs 7:23. 3216:17tn Heb “that [were] under it.” 3316:18tn The precise meaning of the Hebrew term מוּסַךְ (musakh; Qere) / מִיסַךְ (misakh; Kethib) is uncertain. For discussion see HALOT 557 s.v. מוּסַךְ and M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 189-90. 3416:18tn Heb “that they built.” 3516:18sn It is doubtful that Tiglath-pileser ordered these architectural changes. Ahaz probably made these changes so he could send some of the items and materials to the Assyrian king as tribute. See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 190, 193. 3616:19tn Heb “As for the rest of the events of Ahaz, and that which he did, are they not written on the scroll of the events of the days of the kings of Judah?” 3716:20tn Heb “lay down with his fathers.”