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II Kings 16-17; II Chronicles 28 Listen
Ahaz (Judah) - he was bad and paid for it (II Kings 16; II Chronicles 28)
II Kings 16
II Chronicles 28
|1 In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign.
2 Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD his God, like David his father.
3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel.
4 And he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.
5 Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war: and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome him.
6 At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath: and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day.
7 So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy son: come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me.
8 And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king’s house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria.
9 And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him: for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin.
10 And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus: and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof.
11 And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus: so Urijah the priest made it against king Ahaz came from Damascus.
12 And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon.
13 And he burnt his burnt offering and his meat offering, and poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings, upon the altar.
14 And he brought also the brasen altar, which was before the LORD, from the forefront of the house, from between the altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the north side of the altar.
15 And king Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, Upon the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening meat offering, and the king’s burnt sacrifice, and his meat offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their meat offering, and their drink offerings; and sprinkle upon it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice: and the brasen altar shall be for me to enquire by.
16 Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded.
17 And king Ahaz cut off the borders of the bases, and removed the laver from off them; and took down the sea from off the brasen oxen that were under it, and put it upon a pavement of stones.
18 And the covert for the sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king’s entry without, turned he from the house of the LORD for the king of Assyria.
19 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz which he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
20 And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.
|1 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father:
2 For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim.
3 Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.
4 He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.
5 Wherefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captives, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter.
6 For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men; because they had forsaken the LORD God of their fathers.
7 And Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, slew Maaseiah the king’s son, and Azrikam the governor of the house, and Elkanah that was next to the king.
8 And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand, women, sons, and daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria.
9 But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded: and he went out before the host that came to Samaria, and said unto them, Behold, because the LORD God of your fathers was wroth with Judah, he hath delivered them into your hand, and ye have slain them in a rage that reacheth up unto heaven.
10 And now ye purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondmen and bondwomen unto you: but are there not with you, even with you, sins against the LORD your God?
11 Now hear me therefore, and deliver the captives again, which ye have taken captive of your brethren: for the fierce wrath of the LORD is upon you.
12 Then certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against them that came from the war,
13 And said unto them, Ye shall not bring in the captives hither: for whereas we have offended against the LORD already, YE INTEND TO ADD MORE TO OUR SINS AND TO OUR TRESPASS: FOR OUR TRESPASS IS GREAT, AND THERE IS fierce wrath against Israel.
14 So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the congregation.
15 And the men which were expressed by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all that were naked among them, and arrayed them, and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them upon asses, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brethren: then they returned to Samaria.
16 At that time did king Ahaz send unto the kings of Assyria to help him.
17 For again the Edomites had come and smitten Judah, and carried away captives.
18 The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the low country, and of the south of Judah, and had taken Bethshemesh, and Ajalon, and Gederoth, and Shocho with the villages thereof, and Timnah with the villages thereof, Gimzo also and the villages thereof: and they dwelt there.
19 For the LORD brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the LORD.
20 And Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria came unto him, and distressed him, but strengthened him not.
21 For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of the LORD, and out of the house of the king, and of the princes, and gave it unto the king of Assyria: but he helped him not.
22 And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD: this is that king Ahaz.
23 For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.
24 And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem.
25 And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense unto other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD God of his fathers.
26 Now the rest of his acts and of all his ways, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
27 And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, even in Jerusalem: but they brought him not into the sepulchres of the kings of Israel: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.
Twenty-year-old Ahaz was just like the wicked Kings of Israel - no regard for the one true God. He even sacrificed his children on the pagan altar and rebuilt the altars to Baal. God abandons him because of his evilness. Syria and Israel (Northern Kingdom under King Pekah) team up against Judah (II King 15:37, see notes). First, King Resin of Syria comes after him and defeats him. Then it's his distant relatives from Israel who come and whip up on Judah - even take 200,000 prisoners to serve as slaves, but God speaks through the prophet, Oded, and makes Israel give them back.
Then the Edomites attack...and the Philistines too. What's a king to do? Against the counsel of Isaiah (Isaiah 7, see notes), Ahaz sends to Tiglathpileser of Assyria for help. He pays for this mercenary help by taking treasures from the temple. The problem is that Assyria doesn't actually help to any large degree. They do attack and beat the Syrians, but little more. When Ahaz makes his trip to Damascus, Syria after King Tiglathpileser of Assyria had taken that city, he is impressed with the Syrian gods he sees there. Never mind that those gods had not protected Syria from defeat against Assyria. He sends orders back to Jerusalem to the high priest, Urijah, to build an altar like the one in Syria. After some remodeling in Solomon's temple, they make way for a new kind of worship throughout Judah. Ahaz finally dies after a miserable 16-year reign; while he is buried where his ancestors were buried, they don't bury him in the same tomb with the other kings; he's just not worthy.
Here's the rest of the story on the damage done by Ahaz. Certainly...the Northern Kingdom (Israel) had abused Ahaz. However, Isaiah promised Ahaz deliverance without the assistance of Tiglathpileser of Assyria (Isaiah 7, see notes). By inviting Assyria into the region for his protection, he actually facilitated the Assyrians in their move against the entire region. Subsequently, Assyria conquers and deports three and one-half of the tribes of Israel to Assyria in 733 B.C. (II Kings 15:29, see notes), followed by the remaining tribes eleven years later (II Kings 17:6, see below), and eventually, in 701 B.C., to bring about Judahs own devastation by the armies of Sennacherib (II Kings 18:13-19:37; II Chronicles 32:9-22; Isaiah 36-37, see notes). After that assault upon Judah, only Jerusalem remained unclaimed by Assyria...but only after a miracle from God himself. As you can see, Ahaz did a great deal of damage during his short reign as King of Judah.
A Summary of King #12 from 735 to 715 B.C. over Judah: Ahaz
|References||The Good||The Bad|
II Kings 16
|Not specified - he was evil||
II Kings 16:2-4 Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD his God, like David his father. But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel. And he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.
II Chronicles 28:1-4 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD, like David his father: For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim. Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel. He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.
The 9-year reign of Hoshea in Israel (II Kings 17:1-6)
1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel nine years.
2 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, but not as the kings of Israel that were before him.
3 Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and gave him presents.
4 And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea: for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and brought no present to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison.
5 Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years.
6 In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
The wicked King of Israel, Hoshea, paid off the King of Assyria (Shalmaneser V, son and successor to Tiglathpileser III), not to attack. However, it all fell through when Hoshea double crossed him by working another deal with So, the King of Egypt - a bad deal which landed King Hoshea in an Assyrian prison. Assyria subsequently came in and captured the Northern Kingdom in 721/722 B.C. So, Hoshea has the distinction of being the last king of the Northern Kingdom also known as Israel.
A Summary of King #19 from 732 to 722 B.C. over Israel: Hoshea
|References||The Good||The Bad|
II Kings 17:1-6
|Not specified - he was evil||
II Kings 17:2 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, but not as the kings of Israel that were before him.
The fall of Israel (Samaria, Northern Kingdom) and subsequent deportation (II Kings 17:7-23)
7 For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods,
8 And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made.
9 And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
10 And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree:
11 And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger:
12 For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.
13 Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.
14 Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God.
15 And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them.
16 And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal.
17 And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
18 Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.
19 Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.
20 And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight.
21 For he rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drave Israel from following the LORD, and made them sin a great sin.
22 For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them;
23 Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.
Israelites were deported out of Samaria into greater Assyria. Why? It destroys national pride - makes it easier to control the masses. When you're running an empire, that's important. A discourse is found here outlining why Israel fell (worship of pagan gods, verses 7-12), despite warnings from God's prophets (verse 13). However, they continued with their rejection of God (verses 14-17), until we see a sobering verse 18, "Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only."
Judah is still intact at this point, but we see in verse 19 that they don't lag far behind Israel in their wickedness. Then, beginning in verse 20, you will notice that Jeroboam, the first King of Israel after the reign of Solomon, gets the credit for corrupting Israel beyond repair. He set up calf worship from the very beginning, and Israel never served God from that point until their fall to the Assyrians.
The new residents of Samaria (Israel) (II Kings 17:24-41)
24 And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.
25 And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not the LORD: therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which slew some of them.
26 Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast removed, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land.
27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land.
28 Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.
29 Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt.
30 And the men of Babylon made Succothbenoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima,
31 And the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.
32 So they feared the LORD, and made unto themselves of the lowest of them priests of the high places, which sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places.
33 They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence.
34 Unto this day they do after the former manners: they fear not the LORD, neither do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or after the law and commandment which the LORD commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel;
35 With whom the LORD had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, Ye shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them:
36 But the LORD, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice.
37 And the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, which he wrote for you, ye shall observe to do for evermore; and ye shall not fear other gods.
38 And the covenant that I have made with you ye shall not forget; neither shall ye fear other gods.
39 But the LORD your God ye shall fear; and he shall deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.
40 Howbeit they did not hearken, but they did after their former manner.
41 So these nations feared the LORD, and served their graven images, both their children, and their children’s children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day.
To finish off the task, the Assyrians bring foreigners in to populate Israel since many of the Israelites had been deported. The Assyrians had a little problem, though; the new people weren't familiar with the religious practices in Samaria (WHAT RELIGIOUS PRACTICES?). Interestingly enough, this results in attacks by lions which the King of Assyria attributes to the new inhabitants' lack of familiarity with Israel's God. So they send back to where the Israelites had been deported for a Samaritan priest to provide orientation for the new inhabitants of Israel. So, the corrupted practices of religion instituted by Jeroboam became one of the many religions of the Assyrian Empire in Israel...with a sprinkling of Jehovah worship added into the mix. Why did Israel fall? They did not follow the one true God. This record continues in II Kings 18 (see notes).