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2002 11 11
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Chapter 16


In the seventeenth year of Pekah, son of Remaliah, Ahaz, son of Jotham, king of Judah, began to reign.


Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. He did not please the LORD, his God, like his forefather David,


but conducted himself like the kings of Israel, and even immolated his son by fire, in accordance with the abominable practice of the nations whom the LORD had cleared out of the way of the Israelites.


Further, he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on hills, and under every leafy tree.


Then Rezin, king of Aram, and Pekah, son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem to attack it. Although they besieged Ahaz, they were unable to conquer him.


At the same time the king of Edom recovered Elath for Edom, driving the Judeans out of it. The Edomites then entered Elath, which they have occupied until the present.


Meanwhile, Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, with the plea: "I am your servant and your son. Come up and rescue me from the clutches of the king of Aram and the king of Israel, who are attacking me."


Ahaz took the silver and gold that were in the temple of the LORD and in the palace treasuries and sent them as a present to the king of Assyria,


1 who listened to him and moved against Damascus, which he captured. He deported its inhabitants to Kir and put Rezin to death.


King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria. When he saw the altar in Damascus, King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest a model of the altar and a detailed design of its construction.


Uriah the priest built an altar according to the plans which King Ahaz sent him from Damascus, and had it completed by the time the king returned home.


On his arrival from Damascus, the king inspected this altar, then went up to it and offered sacrifice on it,


burning his holocaust and cereal-offering, pouring out his libation, and sprinkling the blood of his peace-offerings on the altar.


The bronze altar that stood before the LORD he brought from the front of the temple - that is, from the space between the new altar and the temple of the LORD - and set it on the north side of his altar.


2 "Upon the large altar," King Ahaz commanded Uriah the priest, "burn the morning holocaust and the evening cereal offering, the royal holocaust and cereal offering, as well as the holocausts, cereal offerings, and libations of the people. You must also sprinkle on it all the blood of holocausts and sacrifices. But the old bronze altar shall be mine for consultation."


Uriah the priest did just as King Ahaz had commanded.


King Ahaz detached the frames from the bases and removed the lavers from them; he also took down the bronze sea from the bronze oxen that supported it, and set it on a stone pavement.


3 In deference to the king of Assyria he removed from the temple of the LORD the emplacement which had been built in the temple for a throne, and the outer entrance for the king.


The rest of the acts of Ahaz are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah.


Ahaz rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David. His son Hezekiah succeeded him as king.



1 [9] Firmly dated events bearing on chapters 16 through 20 are: the fall of Damascus ( 2 Kings 16:9) in 732 B.C., the fall of Samaria ( 2 Kings 18:9-11) in 721 B.C., and Sennacherib's invasion of Judah ( 2 Kings 18:13) in 701 B.C., which is equated both in Kgs and in Isaiah 36:1 with the 14th year of Hezekiah. These data make it necessary to credit Ahaz with at least a twenty-year reign, between 735 and c. 715 B.C., and to exclude the correlations between Hoshea of Israel and Hezekiah in 2 Kings 18. If the 14th-year correspondence for 701 B.C. is given up, other arrangements are possible. The alleged ages of Jotham ( 2 Kings 15:33), Ahaz ( 2 Kings 16:2), and Hezekiah ( 2 Kings 18:2) at their successive accessions to the throne do not argue for an early date for Hezekiah; but one or more of these may be artificial. Azariah ( 2 Kings 15:1-7; Isaiah 6:1) was still on the throne of Judah in 743 B.C.

2 [15] For consultation: perhaps the introduction into Judah of the Babylonian practice of omen sacrifices; cf Ezekiel 21:16.

3 [18] Emplacement . . . for a throne, and the outer entrance for the king: signs of sovereignty for the Hebrew kings.

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