2 Kings 16

Listen to 2 Kings 16

Ahaz Reigns in Judah

1 In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham, king of Judah, began to reign.
2 Ahaz was 1twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And he did not do what was right in the eyes of the LORD his God, as his father David had done,
3 but he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. 2He even burned his son as an offering,[a]3according to the despicable practices of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel.
4 4And he sacrificed and made offerings 5on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.
5 6Then Rezin king of Syria and 7Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to wage war on Jerusalem, and they besieged Ahaz 8but could not conquer him.
6 At that time Rezin the king of Syria recovered 9Elath for Syria and drove the men of Judah from 10Elath, and the Edomites came to Elath, where they dwell to this day.
7 11So Ahaz sent messengers to 12Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, "I am your servant and your son. Come up and rescue me from the hand of the king of Syria and from the hand of the king of Israel, who are attacking me."
8 Ahaz also 13took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD and in the treasures of the king's house and sent a present to the king of Assyria.
9 14And the king of Assyria listened to him. The king of Assyria marched up against Damascus 15and took it, carrying its people captive to 16Kir, and he killed Rezin.
10 When King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet 17Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, he saw the altar that was at Damascus. And King Ahaz sent to 18Uriah the priest a model of the altar, and its pattern, exact in all its details.
11 And Uriah the priest built the altar; in accordance with all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus, so Uriah the priest made it, before King Ahaz arrived from Damascus.
12 And when the king came from Damascus, the king viewed the altar. 19Then the king drew near to the altar and went up on it
13 and burned his burnt offering and his grain offering and poured his drink offering and threw the blood of his peace offerings on the altar.
14 And 20the bronze altar that was before the LORD he removed 21from the front of the house, from the place between 22his altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the north side of 23his altar.
15 And King Ahaz commanded Uriah the priest, saying, "On the great altar burn 24the morning burnt offering and the evening grain offering and the king's burnt offering and his grain offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their grain offering and their drink offering. And throw on it all the blood of the burnt offering and all the blood of the sacrifice, but 25the bronze altar shall be for me to inquire by."
16 Uriah the priest did all this, as King Ahaz commanded.
17 And King Ahaz cut off the frames of the stands and removed the basin from them, and he took down 26the sea[b] from off the bronze oxen that were under it and put it on a stone pedestal.
18 And the covered way for the Sabbath that had been built inside the house and the outer entrance for the king he caused to go around the house of the LORD, because of the king of Assyria.
19 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz that he did, are they not written 27in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?
20 And Ahaz slept with his fathers and 28was buried with his fathers in the city of David, and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.

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 28

  • 1. For ver. 2-4, see 2 Chronicles 28:1-4
  • 2. [Psalms 106:37, 38]; See Leviticus 18:21
  • 3. 2 Kings 21:2; [Deuteronomy 12:31; Deuteronomy 18:9]
  • 4. [2 Kings 14:4]
  • 5. Deuteronomy 12:2; 1 Kings 14:23
  • 6. 2 Kings 15:37
  • 7. 2 Kings 15:37
  • 8. [2 Chronicles 28:5, 6]
  • 9. See 2 Kings 14:22
  • 10. See 2 Kings 14:22
  • 11. See 2 Chronicles 28:16
  • 12. See 2 Kings 15:29
  • 13. See 2 Kings 12:18
  • 14. [2 Chronicles 28:21]
  • 15. [Amos 1:5]
  • 16. Isaiah 22:6; Amos 1:5; Amos 9:7
  • 17. See 2 Kings 15:29
  • 18. Isaiah 8:2
  • 19. See 2 Chronicles 26:16-19
  • 20. 2 Chronicles 4:1
  • 21. [Exodus 40:6, 29]
  • 22. ver. 11
  • 23. ver. 11
  • 24. Exodus 29:39-41
  • 25. ver. 14
  • 26. 1 Kings 7:23, 25
  • 27. [2 Chronicles 28:26]
  • 28. [2 Chronicles 28:27]

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or made his son pass through the fire
  • [b]. Compare 1 Kings 7:23

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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.