1 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to rule. He ruled for sixteen years in Jerusalem. He did not do what Jehovah considered right, as his ancestor David had done.
2 He followed the example of the kings of Israel. He even made metal idols for worshiping other gods such as the Baals.
3 He burned sacrifices in the valley of Ben Hinnom. He sacrificed his son by burning him alive. This was one of the disgusting things done by the nations that Jehovah had driven out from the land Israel possessed.
4 He offered sacrifices and burned incense as an offering at the illegal worship sites on hills and under every large tree.
5 Jehovah his God handed him over to the king of Aram, who defeated him, captured many prisoners, and brought them to Damascus. He also handed him over to the king of Israel, who decisively defeated him.
6 In one day Pekah, son of Remaliah, killed one hundred and twenty thousand soldiers in Judah because they had abandoned Jehovah the God of their ancestors.
7 Zichri, a fighting man from Ephraim, killed Maaseiah, who was the kings son, Azrikam, who was in charge of the palace, and Elkanah, who was the kings second-in-command.
8 The Israelites captured two hundred thousand women, boys, and girls from their relatives the Judeans. They also took a lot of goods from Judah and brought them to Samaria.
9 A prophet of Jehovah named Oded was there. He went to meet the army coming home to Samaria. He said: »Jehovah the God of your ancestors handed Judah over to you in his anger. You killed them in a rage that reaches up to heaven.
10 »Now you intend to enslave the men and women of Judah and Jerusalem. But are you not also guilty of sinning against Jehovah your God?
11 »Listen to me. Return the prisoners you have captured from your relatives, because Jehovah is very angry with you.«
12 Then Azariah, son of Jehohan, Berechiah, son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah, son of Shallum, and Amasa, son of Hadlai, some leaders of Ephraim, opposed those coming home from the army.
13 They said to the army: »Do not bring the prisoners here. You will make us responsible for this sin against Jehovah. Do you intend to add to all our sins? Jehovah is very angry at Israel because we have already sinned.«
14 Thus the army left the prisoners and the loot in front of the leaders and the whole assembly.
15 Then the men who were mentioned by name took charge of the prisoners and gave clothes from the loot to all the prisoners who were naked. They provided clothes for them, gave them sandals, gave them something to eat and drink, and let them bathe. They put everyone who was exhausted on donkeys and brought them to Jericho, the City of Palms, near their own people. Then they returned to Samaria.
16 King Ahaz then sent for help from the kings of Assyria.
17 The Edomites had again invaded and defeated Judah and captured prisoners.
18 The Philistines raided the foothills and the Negev in Judah. They captured and began living in Beth Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco and its villages, Timnah and its villages, and Gimzo and its villages.
19 Jehovah humbled Judah because of King Ahaz of Israel. Ahaz had spread sin throughout Judah and was unfaithful to Jehovah.
20 King Tillegath Pilneser of Assyria attacked Ahaz. Instead of strengthening Ahaz, Tillegath Pilneser made trouble for him.
21 Ahaz took some of the things from Jehovahs temple, the royal palace, and the princes. He gave them to the king of Assyria. But that did not help him.
22 When he had this trouble, King Ahaz became more unfaithful to Jehovah!
23 He sacrificed to the gods of Damascus. These were the gods who had defeated him. He thought: »The gods of the kings of Aram are helping them. I will sacrifice to them so that they will help me. But they ruined him and all Israel.«
24 Ahaz collected the utensils in Gods Temple. He cut them up and closed the doors to Jehovahs Temple. He made altars for himself on every corner in Jerusalem.
25 And in each city of Judah, he made places of worship to sacrifice to other gods. He angered Jehovah the God of his ancestors.
26 Everything else about him from beginning to end is written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.
27 Ahaz slept in death with his ancestors. He was buried in the city of Jerusalem because they did not put him into the tombs of the kings of Israel. His son Hezekiah succeeded him as king.