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2 Kings 16:1-9

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.

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.”

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