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2 Kings 16:1-20

Context
Ahaz’s Reign over Judah

16:1 In the seventeenth year of the reign of Pekah son of Remaliah, Jotham’s son Ahaz became king over Judah. 16:2 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem. 1  He did not do what pleased the Lord his God, in contrast to his ancestor David. 2  16:3 He followed in the footsteps of 3  the kings of Israel. He passed his son through the fire, 4  a horrible sin practiced by the nations 5  whom the Lord drove out from before the Israelites. 16:4 He offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.

16:5 At that time King Rezin of Syria and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel attacked Jerusalem. 6  They besieged Ahaz, 7  but were unable to conquer him. 8  16:6 (At that time King Rezin of Syria 9  recovered Elat for Syria; he drove the Judahites from there. 10  Syrians 11  arrived in Elat and live there to this very day.) 16:7 Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your dependent. 12  March up and rescue me from the power 13  of the king of Syria and the king of Israel, who have attacked 14  me.” 16:8 Then Ahaz took the silver and gold that were 15  in the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the royal palace and sent it as tribute 16  to the king of Assyria. 16:9 The king of Assyria responded favorably to his request; 17  he 18  attacked Damascus and captured it. He deported the people 19  to Kir and executed Rezin.

16:10 When King Ahaz went to meet with King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria in Damascus, he saw the altar there. 20  King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest a drawing of the altar and a blueprint for its design. 21  16:11 Uriah the priest built an altar in conformity to the plans King Ahaz had sent from Damascus. 22  Uriah the priest finished it before King Ahaz arrived back from Damascus. 23  16:12 When the king arrived back from Damascus and 24  saw the altar, he approached it 25  and offered a sacrifice on it. 26  16:13 He offered his burnt sacrifice and his grain offering. He poured out his libation and sprinkled the blood from his peace offerings on the altar. 16:14 He moved the bronze altar that stood in the Lord’s presence from the front of the temple (between the altar and the Lord’s temple) and put it on the north side of the new 27  altar. 16:15 King Ahaz ordered Uriah the priest, “On the large altar 28  offer the morning burnt sacrifice, the evening grain offering, the royal burnt sacrifices and grain offering, the burnt sacrifice for all the people of Israel, their grain offering, and their libations. Sprinkle all the blood of the burnt sacrifice and other sacrifices on it. The bronze altar will be for my personal use.” 29  16:16 So Uriah the priest did exactly as 30  King Ahaz ordered.

16:17 King Ahaz took off the frames of the movable stands, and removed the basins from them. He took “The Sea” 31  down from the bronze bulls that supported it 32  and put it on the pavement. 16:18 He also removed the Sabbath awning 33  that had been built 34  in the temple and the king’s outer entranceway, on account of the king of Assyria. 35 

16:19 The rest of the events of Ahaz’s reign, including his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 36  16:20 Ahaz passed away 37  and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David. His son Hezekiah replaced him as king.

1 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

2 tn Heb “and he did not do what was proper in the eyes of the Lord his God, like David his father.”

3 tn Heb “he walked in the way of.”

4 sn This may refer to child sacrifice, though some interpret it as a less drastic cultic practice. For discussion see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 266-67.

5 tn Heb “like the abominable practices of the nations.”

6 tn Heb “went up to Jerusalem for battle.”

7 tn That is, Jerusalem, Ahaz’s capital city.

8 tn Heb “they were unable to fight.” The object must be supplied from the preceding sentence. Elsewhere when the Niphal infinitive of לָחָם (lakham) follows the verb יָכֹל (yakhol), the infinitive appears to have the force of “prevail against.” See Num 22:11; 1 Sam 17:9; and the parallel passage in Isa 7:1.

9 tc Some prefer to read “the king of Edom” and “for Edom” here. The names Syria (Heb “Aram,” אֲרָם, ’aram) and Edom (אֱדֹם, ’edom) are easily confused in the Hebrew consonantal script.

10 tn Heb “from Elat.”

11 tc The consonantal text (Kethib), supported by many medieval Hebrew mss, the Syriac version, and some mss of the Targum and Vulgate, read “Syrians” (Heb “Arameans”). The marginal reading (Qere), supported by the LXX, Targums, and Vulgate, reads “Edomites.”

12 tn Heb “son.” Both terms (“servant” and “son”) reflect Ahaz’s subordinate position as Tiglath-pileser’s subject.

13 tn Heb “hand, palm.”

14 tn Heb “who have arisen against.”

15 tn Heb “that was found.”

16 tn Or “bribe money.”

17 tn Heb “listened to him.”

18 tn Heb “the king of Assyria.”

19 tn Heb “it.”

20 tn Heb “in Damascus.”

21 tn Heb “the likeness of the altar and its pattern for all its work.”

22 tn Heb “according to all that King Ahaz sent from Damascus.”

23 tn Heb “so Uriah the priest did, until the arrival of King Ahaz from Damascus.”

24 tn Heb “and the king.”

25 tn Heb “the altar.”

26 tn Or “ascended it.”

27 tn The word “new” is added in the translation for clarification.

28 tn That is, the newly constructed altar.

29 tn Heb “for me to seek.” The precise meaning of בָּקַר (baqar), “seek,” is uncertain in this context. For discussion see M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 189.

30 tn Heb “according to all which.”

31 sn See the note at 1 Kgs 7:23.

32 tn Heb “that [were] under it.”

33 tn The precise meaning of the Hebrew term מוּסַךְ (musakh; Qere) / מִיסַךְ (misakh; Kethib) is uncertain. For discussion see HALOT 557 s.v. מוּסַךְ and M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 189-90.

34 tn Heb “that they built.”

35 sn It is doubtful that Tiglath-pileser ordered these architectural changes. Ahaz probably made these changes so he could send some of the items and materials to the Assyrian king as tribute. See M. Cogan and H. Tadmor, II Kings (AB), 190, 193.

36 tn Heb “As for the rest of the events of Ahaz, and that which he did, are they not written on the scroll of the events of the days of the kings of Judah?”

37 tn Heb “lay down with his fathers.”



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