28 1AHAZ WAS twenty years old when he began his sixteen-year reign in Jerusalem. He did not do right in the sight of the Lord, like David his father [forefather]. 2But he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and even made molten images for the Baals. 3And he burned incense in the Valley of Ben-hinnom [son of Hinnom] and burned his sons as an offering, after the abominable customs of the [heathen] nations whom the Lord drove out before the Israelites. 4He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree. 5Therefore the Lord his God gave Ahaz into the power of the king of Syria, who defeated him and carried away a great multitude of the Jews as captives, taking them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hands of the king of Israel, who smote Judah with a great slaughter. 6For Pekah son of Remaliah slew in Judah 120,000 in one day, all courageous men, because they had forsaken the Lord, the God of their fathers. 7And Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, slew Maaseiah, King Ahaz’ son, and Azrikam the governor of the house, and Elkanah, who was second to the king. 8And the Israelites carried away captive 200,000 of their kinsmen [of Judah]--women, sons, and daughters--and also took much plunder from them and brought it to Samaria. 9But a prophet of the Lord was there whose name was Oded, and he went out to meet the army that was returning to Samaria and said to them, Behold, because the Lord, the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah, He delivered them into your hand; but you have slain them in a fury that reaches up to heaven. 10And now you intend to suppress the people of Judah and Jerusalem, both men and women, as your slaves. But are not you yourselves guilty of crimes against the Lord your God? 11Now hear me therefore, and set the prisoners free again whom you have taken captive of your kinsmen, for the fierce wrath of the Lord is upon you. 12Then certain of the heads of the Ephraimites [Israel]--Azariah son of Johanan, Berechiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai--stood up against those returning from the war 13And said, You shall not bring the captives in here; we are guilty before the Lord already, and what you intend will add more to our sins and our guilt. For our trespass (guilt) is great, and there is fierce anger against Israel. 14So the armed men [of Israel] left the captives and the spoil [of Judah] before the princes and all the assembly. 15And the men who have been mentioned by name rose up and took the captives, and with the spoil they clothed all who were naked among them; and having clothed them, shod them, given them food and drink, anointed them [as was a host’s duty], and carried all the feeble of them upon donkeys, they brought them to Jericho, the City of Palm Trees, to their brethren. Then they returned to Samaria. 16At that time King Ahaz sent to the king of Assyria to help him. 17For again the Edomites had come and smitten Judah and carried away captives. 18The Philistines had invaded the cities of the low country and of the South (the Negeb) of Judah, and had taken Beth-shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, and Soco, and also Timnah and Gimzo, with their villages, and they settled there. 19For the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel, for Ahaz had dealt with reckless cruelty against Judah and had been faithless [had transgressed sorely] against the Lord. 20So Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria came to him and distressed him without strengthening him. 21For Ahaz took [treasure] from the house of the Lord and out of the house of the king and from the princes and gave it as tribute to the king of Assyria, but it did not help Ahaz. 22In the time of his distress he became still more unfaithful to the Lord--this same King Ahaz. 23For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus, which had defeated him, for he said, Since the gods of the kings of Syria helped them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel. 24And Ahaz collected the utensils of the house of God and cut them in pieces; and he shut up the doors of the Lord’s temple [the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies] and made himself altars in every corner of Jerusalem. 25In each city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods, provoking to anger the Lord, the God of his fathers. 26Now the rest of his acts and of all his ways, from first to last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 27And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, in Jerusalem, but they did not bring him into the tombs of the kings of Israel. And Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.
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