"You must not bring those prisoners here," they said, "or we will be guilty before the LORD. Do you intend to add to our sin and guilt? For our guilt is already great, and his fierce anger rests on Israel."
So the soldiers gave up the prisoners and plunder in the presence of the officials and all the assembly.
The men designated by name took the prisoners, and from the plunder they clothed all who were naked. They provided them with clothes and sandals, food and drink,1 and healing balm. All those who were weak they put on donkeys. So they took them back to their fellow countrymen at Jericho, the City of Palms,2 and returned to Samaria.316
At that time King Ahaz sent to the kinga of Assyria4 for help.
The Edomites5 had again come and attacked Judah and carried away prisoners,618
while the Philistines7 had raided towns in the foothills and in the Negev of Judah. They captured and occupied Beth Shemesh, Aijalon8 and Gederoth,9 as well as Soco,10 Timnah11 and Gimzo, with their surrounding villages.
The LORD had humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel,b for he had promoted wickedness in Judah and had been most unfaithful12 to the LORD.
Tiglath-Pileserc13 king of Assyria14 came to him, but he gave him trouble15 instead of help.1621
Ahaz17 took some of the things from the temple of the LORD and from the royal palace and from the princes and presented them to the king of Assyria, but that did not help him.1822
In his time of trouble King Ahaz became even more unfaithful19 to the LORD.
He offered sacrifices to the gods20 of Damascus, who had defeated him; for he thought, "Since the gods of the kings of Aram have helped them, I will sacrifice to them so they will help me."21 But they were his downfall and the downfall of all Israel.22