Ahaz son of Jotham began to rule over Judah in the seventeenth year of King Pekah's reign in Israel.
Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. He did not do what was pleasing in the sight of the LORD his God, as his ancestor David had done.
Instead, he followed the example of the kings of Israel, even sacrificing his own son in the fire. a He imitated the detestable practices of the pagan nations the LORD had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites.
He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the pagan shrines and on the hills and under every green tree.
Then King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah of Israel declared war on Ahaz. They besieged Jerusalem but did not conquer it.
At that time the king of Edom b recovered the town of Elath for Edom. c He drove out the people of Judah and sent Edomites d to live there, as they do to this day.
King Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria with this message: "I am your servant and your vassal. e Come up and rescue me from the attacking armies of Aram and Israel."
Then Ahaz took the silver and gold from the Temple of the LORD and the palace treasury and sent it as a gift to the Assyrian king.
So the Assyrians attacked the Aramean capital of Damascus and led its population away as captives, resettling them in Kir. They also killed King Rezin.
King Ahaz then went to Damascus to meet with King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria. While he was there, he noticed an unusual altar. So he sent a model of the altar to Uriah the priest, along with its design in full detail.
Uriah built an altar just like it by following the king's instructions, and it was ready for the king when he returned from Damascus.
When the king returned, he inspected the altar and made offerings on it.
The king presented a burnt offering and a grain offering, poured a drink offering over it, and sprinkled the blood of peace offerings on it.
Then King Ahaz removed the old bronze altar from the front of the LORD's Temple, which had stood between the entrance and the new altar, and placed it on the north side of the new altar.
He said to Uriah the priest, "Use the new altar for the morning sacrifices of burnt offering, the evening grain offering, the king's burnt offering and grain offering, and the offerings of the people, including their drink offerings. The blood from the burnt offerings and sacrifices should be sprinkled over the new altar. The old bronze altar will be only for my personal use."
Uriah the priest did just as King Ahaz instructed him.
Then the king removed the side panels and basins from the portable water carts. He also removed the Sea from the backs of the bronze oxen and placed it on the stone pavement.
In deference to the king of Assyria, he also removed the canopy that had been constructed inside the palace for use on the Sabbath day, f as well as the king's outer entrance to the Temple of the LORD.
The rest of the events in Ahaz's reign and his deeds are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah.
When Ahaz died, he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. 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)