Ahaz becomes king of Judah. He locks people out of the temple.
VERSE 1. Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. He didn’t do that which was right in the LORD’s eyes, like David his father,
He didn’t do that which was right. Asa is yet another wicked king.
VERSE 2. but he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and also made molten images for the Baals.
made molten images for the Baals. King Asa doesn’t just worship idols. He makes idols.
VERSE 3. Moreover he burned incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burned his children in the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.
burned his children in the fire. King Ahaz slaughtered his own children to an idol.
He commits human sacrifice.
This was the heinous evil for which the Canaanites were exterminated from the Holy Land.
Human sacrifice was particularly associated with the Ammonite god Molech. It was vehemently condemned in the Law.
VERSE 4. He sacrificed and burned incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.
VERSE 5. Therefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria. They struck him, and carried away from him a great multitude of captives, and brought them to Damascus. He was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who struck him with a great slaughter.
VERSE 6. For Pekah the son of Remaliah killed in Judah one hundred twenty thousand in one day, all of them valiant men, because they had forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers.
because they had forsaken the LORD. This is a common refrain during the era of the kings. It leads to a predictable sequence of events.
In broad brushstrokes, here it is:
- The king forsakes the LORD God
- The people follow his example
- The nation falls into corruption
- The nation is conquered
It all begins with the leader of the nation. The moral character of the leader sets the tone. The nation follows in the moral footsteps of the leader.
VERSE 7. Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king’s son, Azrikam the ruler of the house, and Elkanah who was next to the king.
VERSE 8. The children of Israel carried away captive of their brothers two hundred thousand women, sons, and daughters, and also took away much plunder from them, and brought the plunder to Samaria.
VERSE 9. But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded; and he went out to meet the army that came to Samaria, and said to them, “Behold, because the LORD, the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah, he has delivered them into your hand, and you have slain them in a rage which has reached up to heaven.
a prophet of the LORD. This particular prophet is named.
Oded. The Hebrew word is עוֹדֵד (‘Ōḏêḏ).
VERSE 10. Now you intend to degrade the children of Judah and Jerusalem as male and female slaves for yourselves. Aren’t there even with you trespasses of your own against the LORD your God?
VERSE 11. Now hear me therefore, and send back the captives that you have taken captive from your brothers, for the fierce wrath of the LORD is on you.”
VERSE 12. Then some of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Yochanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against those who came from the war,
VERSE 13. and said to them, “You must not bring in the captives here, for you intend that which will bring on us a trespass against the LORD, to add to our sins and to our guilt; for our guilt is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel.”
VERSE 14. So the armed men left the captives and the plunder before the princes and all the assembly.
VERSE 15. The men who have been mentioned by name rose up and took the captives, and with the plunder clothed all who were naked among them, dressed them, gave them sandals, gave them something to eat and to drink, anointed them, carried all the feeble of them on donkeys, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brothers. Then they returned to Samaria.
VERSE 16. At that time king Ahaz sent to the kings of Assyria to help him.
VERSE 17. For again the Edomites had come and struck Judah, and carried away captives.
VERSE 18. The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the lowland and of the South of Judah, and had taken Beth Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco with its villages, Timnah with its villages, and also Gimzo and its villages; and they lived there.
VERSE 19. For the LORD brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel, because he acted without restraint in Judah and trespassed severely against the LORD.
he acted without restraint in Judah. King Ahaz did not provide spiritual guidance for his people.
They were forced to wander aimlessly, like sheep without a shepherd.
When the Lord Jesus Christ saw people wandering aimlessly, he felt compassion for them.
The people of the LORD God are prone to going astray. In those times, they need a godly shepherd to bring them back. Read more »
trespassed severely against the LORD. King Ahaz was not committed to the LORD God. For that reason, he is not qualified to lead the people. Yet he is their leader.
Ahaz behaves like a politician with an agenda, and not as a lover of the LORD God.
In our day, many Christian churches are in this situation. At the highest levels, their leaders behave like politicians with agendas, and not as lovers of the LORD God.
VERSE 20. Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria came to him and gave him trouble, but didn’t strengthen him.
VERSE 21. For Ahaz took away a portion out of the LORD’s house, and out of the house of the king and of the princes, and gave it to the king of Assyria; but it didn’t help him.
VERSE 22. In the time of his distress, he trespassed yet more against the LORD, this same king Ahaz.
VERSE 23. For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus which had defeated him. He said, “Because 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.
VERSE 24. Ahaz gathered together the vessels of God’s house, cut the vessels of God’s house in pieces, and shut up the doors of the LORD’s house; and he made himself altars in every corner of Jerusalem.
gathered together the vessels of God’s house. King Ahaz robs the precious artifacts from the temple of the LORD God.
cut the vessels of God’s house in pieces. King Ahaz destroys the precious artifacts from the temple of the LORD God.
VERSE 25. In every city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods, and provoked the LORD, the God of his fathers, to anger.
VERSE 26. Now the rest of his acts, and all his ways, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
VERSE 27. Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, even in Jerusalem, because they didn’t bring him into the tombs of the kings of Israel; and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.
Ahaz slept with his fathers. That is, he died.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.