GOD'S WORD® Translation
1Ahaz was 20 years old when he began to rule. He ruled for 26 years in Jerusalem. He didn't do what the LORD considered right, as his ancestor David had done. 2He followed the example of the kings of Israel and even made metal idols for worshiping other gods-the Baals. 3He burned sacrifices in the valley of Ben Hinnom and sacrificed his son by burning him alive, one of the disgusting things done by the nations that the LORD had forced out of the Israelites' way. 4He offered sacrifices and burned incense as an offering at the illegal worship sites, which were on hills and under every large tree.
5So the LORD 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. 6In one day Pekah, son of Remaliah, killed 120,000 soldiers in Judah because they had abandoned the LORD God of their ancestors. 7Zichri, a fighting man from Ephraim, killed Maaseiah, who was the king's son, Azrikam, who was in charge of the palace, and Elkanah, who was the king's second-in-command.
8The Israelites captured 200,000 women, boys, and girls from their relatives [the Judeans]. They also took a lot of goods from Judah and brought them to Samaria. 9A prophet of the LORD named Oded was there. He went to meet the army coming home to Samaria. He said to them, "The LORD God of your ancestors handed Judah over to you in his anger. You killed them in a rage that reaches up to heaven. 10Now you intend to enslave the men and women of Judah and Jerusalem. But aren't you also guilty of sinning against the LORD your God? 11Listen to me. Return these prisoners you have captured from your relatives, because the LORD is very angry with you." 12Then 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. 13They said to the army, "Don't bring the prisoners here. You'll make us responsible for this sin against the LORD. Do you intend to add to all our sins? The LORD is very angry with Israel because we have already sinned." 14So the army left the prisoners and the loot in front of the leaders and the whole assembly. 15Then 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.
16At that time King Ahaz sent for help from the kings of Assyria. 17The Edomites had again invaded and defeated Judah and captured prisoners. 18The Philistines had 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. 19The LORD humbled Judah because of King Ahaz of Israel. Ahaz had spread sin throughout Judah and was unfaithful to the LORD. 20King Tillegath Pilneser of Assyria attacked Ahaz. Instead of strengthening Ahaz, Tillegath Pilneser made trouble for him. 21Ahaz took some of the things from the LORD's temple, the royal palace, and the princes, and he gave them to the king of Assyria. But that didn't help him.
22When he had this trouble, King Ahaz became more unfaithful to the LORD. 23He sacrificed to the gods of Damascus, the gods who had defeated him. He thought, "The gods of the kings of Aram are helping them. I'll sacrifice to them so that they will help me." But they ruined him and all Israel. 24Ahaz collected the utensils in God's temple, cut them up, and closed the doors to the LORD's temple. He made altars for himself on every corner in Jerusalem. 25And in each city of Judah, he made places of worship to sacrifice to other gods. So he made the LORD God of his ancestors angry.
26Everything else about him-everything from beginning to end-is written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 27Ahaz lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried in the city of Jerusalem because they didn't put him into the tombs of the kings of Israel. His son Hezekiah succeeded him as king.