And now you intend to make the men and women of Judah and Jerusalem your slaves. But aren't you also guilty of sins against the LORD your God?
Now listen to me! Send back your fellow countrymen you have taken as prisoners, for the LORD's fierce anger rests on you."
Then some of the leaders in Ephraim--Azariah son of Jehohanan, Berekiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai--confronted those who were arriving from the war.
"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, 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, and returned to Samaria.
At that time King Ahaz sent to the king of Assyria for help.
The Edomites had again come and attacked Judah and carried away prisoners,
while the Philistines had raided towns in the foothills and in the Negev of Judah. They captured and occupied Beth Shemesh, Aijalon and Gederoth, as well as Soco, Timnah and Gimzo, with their surrounding villages.
The LORD had humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had promoted wickedness in Judah and had been most unfaithful to the LORD.
Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came to him, but he gave him trouble instead of help.
Ahaz 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.
In his time of trouble King Ahaz became even more unfaithful to the LORD.
He offered sacrifices to the gods 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." But they were his downfall and the downfall of all Israel.
Ahaz gathered together the furnishings from the temple of God and took them away. He shut the doors of the LORD's temple and set up altars at every street corner in Jerusalem.
In every town in Judah he built high places to burn sacrifices to other gods and provoked the LORD, the God of his fathers, to anger.
The other events of his reign and all his ways, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
Ahaz rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of Jerusalem, but he was not placed in the tombs of the kings of Israel. And Hezekiah his son succeeded him as king.