And the Philistines had raided towns located in the foothills of Judah a and in the Negev. They had already captured Beth-shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco with its villages, Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo with its villages, and the Philistines had occupied these towns.
The LORD was humbling Judah because of King Ahaz of Judah, b for he had encouraged his people to sin and had been utterly unfaithful to the LORD.
So when King Tiglath-pileser c of Assyria arrived, he oppressed King Ahaz instead of helping him.
Ahaz took valuable items from the LORD's Temple, the royal palace, and from the homes of his officials and gave them to the king of Assyria as tribute. But even this did not help him.
And when trouble came to King Ahaz, he became even more unfaithful to the LORD.
He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus who had defeated him, for he said, "These gods helped the kings of Aram, so they will help me, too, if I sacrifice to them." But instead, they led to his ruin and the ruin of all Israel.
The king took the utensils from the Temple of God and broke them into pieces. He shut the doors of the LORD's Temple so that no one could worship there and then set up altars to pagan gods in every corner of Jerusalem.
He made pagan shrines in all the towns of Judah for offering sacrifices to other gods. In this way, he aroused the anger of the LORD, the God of his ancestors.
The rest of the events of Ahaz's reign and all his dealings, from beginning to end, are recorded in The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.
When King Ahaz died, he was buried in Jerusalem but not in the royal cemetery. Then his son Hezekiah became the next king.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)