2 Kings 16

Ahaz King of Judah

1 In the seventeenth year of Pekah son of Remaliah, Ahaz son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign.
2 Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem sixteen years. Unlike David his father, he did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD his God.
3 He followed the ways of the kings of Israel and even sacrificed his son in the fire, engaging in the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.
4 He offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places, on the hilltops and under every spreading tree.
5 Then Rezin king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel marched up to fight against Jerusalem and besieged Ahaz, but they could not overpower him.
6 At that time, Rezin king of Aram recovered Elath for Aram by driving out the people of Judah. Edomites then moved into Elath and have lived there to this day.
7 Ahaz sent messengers to say to Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, “I am your servant and vassal. Come up and save me out of the hand of the king of Aram and of the king of Israel, who are attacking me.”
8 And Ahaz took the silver and gold found in the temple of the LORD and in the treasuries of the royal palace and sent it as a gift to the king of Assyria.
9 The king of Assyria complied by attacking Damascus and capturing it. He deported its inhabitants to Kir and put Rezin to death.
10 Then King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria. He saw an altar in Damascus and sent to Uriah the priest a sketch of the altar, with detailed plans for its construction.
11 So Uriah the priest built an altar in accordance with all the plans that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus and finished it before King Ahaz returned.
12 When the king came back from Damascus and saw the altar, he approached it and presented offerings[a] on it.
13 He offered up his burnt offering and grain offering, poured out his drink offering, and splashed the blood of his fellowship offerings against the altar.
14 As for the bronze altar that stood before the LORD, he brought it from the front of the temple—from between the new altar and the temple of the LORD—and put it on the north side of the new altar.
15 King Ahaz then gave these orders to Uriah the priest: “On the large new altar, offer the morning burnt offering and the evening grain offering, the king’s burnt offering and his grain offering, and the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their grain offering and their drink offering. Splash against this altar the blood of all the burnt offerings and sacrifices. But I will use the bronze altar for seeking guidance.”
16 And Uriah the priest did just as King Ahaz had ordered.
17 King Ahaz cut off the side panels and removed the basins from the movable stands. He removed the Sea from the bronze bulls that supported it and set it on a stone base.
18 He took away the Sabbath canopy[b] that had been built at the temple and removed the royal entryway outside the temple of the LORD, in deference to the king of Assyria.
19 As for the other events of the reign of Ahaz, and what he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?
20 Ahaz rested with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David. And Hezekiah his son succeeded him as king.

2 Kings 16 Commentary

Chapter 16

Ahaz, king of Judah, His wicked reign. (1-9) Ahaz takes a pattern from an idol's altar. (10-16) Ahaz spoils the temple. (17-20)

Verses 1-9 Few and evil were the days of Ahaz. Those whose hearts condemn them, will go any where in a day of distress, rather than to God. The sin was its own punishment. It is common for those who bring themselves into straits by one sin, to try to help themselves out by another.

Verses 10-16 God's altar had hitherto been kept in its place, and in use; but Ahaz put another in the room of it. The natural regard of the mind of man to some sort of religion, is not easily extinguished; but except it be regulated by the word, and by the Spirit of God, it produces absurd superstitions, or detestable idolatries. Or, at best, it quiets the sinner's conscience with unmeaning ceremonies. Infidels have often been remarkable for believing ridiculous falsehoods.

Verses 17-20 Ahaz put contempt upon the sabbath, and thus opened a wide inlet to all manner of sin. This he did for the king of Assyria. When those who have had a ready passage to the house of the Lord, turn it another way to please their neighbours, they are going down-hill apace to ruin.

Cross References 27

  • 1. Isaiah 1:1; Isaiah 7:1; Isaiah 14:28; Hosea 1:1; Micah 1:1
  • 2. S 1 Kings 14:8
  • 3. 2 Kings 17:19
  • 4. S Leviticus 18:21; S 2 Kings 3:27; 2 Kings 21:6
  • 5. S Leviticus 18:3; S Deuteronomy 9:4; Deuteronomy 12:31
  • 6. 2 Kings 22:17; 2 Kings 23:5
  • 7. Deuteronomy 12:2; Ezekiel 6:13
  • 8. S 2 Kings 15:37; Isaiah 7:1,4
  • 9. Isaiah 9:12
  • 10. S 1 Kings 9:26; 2 Kings 14:22; 2 Chronicles 26:2
  • 11. S 2 Kings 15:29
  • 12. Isaiah 2:6; Isaiah 10:20; Jeremiah 2:18; Jeremiah 3:1; Ezekiel 16:28; Ezekiel 23:5; Hosea 10:6
  • 13. S 1 Kings 15:18; 2 Kings 12:18
  • 14. S Genesis 14:15; S 2 Kings 15:29
  • 15. Isaiah 22:6; Amos 1:5; Amos 9:7
  • 16. ver 11,15,16; Isaiah 8:2
  • 17. 2 Chronicles 26:16
  • 18. Leviticus 6:8-13
  • 19. Leviticus 6:14-23
  • 20. S Exodus 29:40
  • 21. Leviticus 7:11-21
  • 22. S Exodus 20:24; S Exodus 40:6; S 1 Kings 8:64; 2 Chronicles 4:1
  • 23. Exodus 29:38-41
  • 24. 1 Samuel 9:9
  • 25. 1 Kings 7:27
  • 26. Ezekiel 16:28
  • 27. Isaiah 14:28

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or "and went up"
  • [b]. Or "the dais of his throne" (see Septuagint)

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains the reign of Ahaz only, relates his idolatry, 2Ki 16:1-4 his hiring the king of Assyria with the treasure of the temple, and his own, to assist him against the kings of Israel and Syria, who besieged him, 2Ki 16:5-9, his seeing the altar of an idol at Damascus, the fashion of which he took, and ordered one like it to be built at Jerusalem, 2Ki 16:10-16, his defacing and removing some things in the temple, 2Ki 16:17,18, and the chapter is concluded with his death and burial, 2Ki 16:19,20.

2 Kings 16 Commentaries

Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.