2 Chronicles 28; 2 Kings 16; 2 Kings 17

1 Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 16 years. He didn't do what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He didn't do what King David had done. 2 He followed the ways of the kings of Israel. He also made metal statues of gods that were named after Baal. 3 He burned sacrifices in the Valley of Ben Hinnom. He sacrificed his children in the fire to other gods. He followed the practices of the nations. The LORD hated those practices. He had driven out those nations to make room for the people of Israel. 4 Ahaz offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places. He also did it on the tops of hills and under every green tree. 5 So the LORD his God handed him over to the king of Aram. The men of Aram won the battle over him. They took many of his people as prisoners. They brought them to Damascus. God also handed Ahaz over to Pekah. His army wounded or killed many of the troops of Ahaz. Pekah was king of Israel. 6 In one day Pekah killed 120,000 soldiers in Judah. That's because Judah had deserted the Lord, the God of their people. Pekah was the son of Remaliah. 7 Zicri was a fighting man from Ephraim. He killed Maaseiah, Azrikam and Elkanah. Maaseiah was the king's son. Azrikam was the officer who was in charge of the palace. And Elkanah was next in command after the king. 8 The men of Israel captured 200,000 wives, sons and daughters from their relatives in Judah. They also took a large amount of goods. They carried all of it back to Samaria. 9 But a prophet of the LORD was there. His name was Oded. When the army returned to Samaria, he went out to meet them. He said to them, "The LORD is the God of your people. He burned with anger against Judah. So he handed them over to you. But you have killed them. Your anger reached all the way to heaven. 10 "Now you are planning 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? 11 Listen to me! You have taken your relatives from Judah as prisoners. The LORD's anger is burning against you. So send your relatives back." 12 Then some of the leaders in Ephraim stood up to those who were returning from the war. The leaders were Azariah, Berekiah, Jehizkiah and Amasa. Azariah was the son of Jehohanan. Berekiah was the son of Meshillemoth. Jehizkiah was the son of Shallum. And Amasa was the son of Hadlai. 13 "Don't bring those prisoners here," they said. "If you do, we'll be guilty in the sight of the Lord. Do you really want to add to our sin and guilt? We're already very guilty. The LORD's anger is burning against Israel." 14 So the soldiers gave up the prisoners and the goods they had taken. They did it in front of the officials and the whole community. 15 Azariah, Berekiah, Jehizkiah and Amasa received the prisoners. From the goods that had been taken they gave clothes to all those who were naked. They gave them clothes, sandals, food, drink and healing lotion. They put all of the weak people on donkeys. They took them back to their relatives at Jericho. Then they returned to Samaria. Jericho was also known as the City of Palm Trees. 16 At that time King Ahaz sent men to the king of Assyria to get help. 17 The men of Edom had come again and attacked Judah. They had carried prisoners away. 18 At the same time the Philistines had attacked towns in the western hills and in the Negev Desert of Judah. They had captured Beth Shemesh, Aijalon and Gederoth. They had also captured Soco, Timnah and Gimzo and the villages that were around them. They had settled down in all of them. 19 The LORD had brought Judah down because of Ahaz, their king. Ahaz had stirred up the people of Judah to do evil things. He hadn't been faithful to the LORD at all. 20 Tiglath-Pileser came to Ahaz. But he gave Ahaz trouble instead of help. Tiglath-Pileser was king of Assyria. 21 Ahaz took some things from the LORD's temple. He also took some from the royal palace and from the princes. He gave all of them to the king of Assyria. But that didn't help him. 22 When King Ahaz was in trouble, he became even more unfaithful to the Lord. 23 He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus. They had won the battle over him. He thought, "The gods of the kings of Aram have helped them. So I'll sacrifice to them. Then they'll help me." But they brought him down. In fact, they brought the whole nation of Israel down. 24 Ahaz gathered together everything that belonged to God's temple. He took all of it away. He shut the doors of the LORD's temple. He set up altars at every street corner in Jerusalem. 25 In every town in Judah he built high places. Sacrifices were burned there to other gods. That made the Lord, the God of his people, very angry. 26 The other events of the rule of Ahaz and all of his evil practices from beginning to end are written down. They are written in the records of the kings of Judah and Israel. 27 Ahaz joined the members of his family who had already died. His body was buried in the city of Jerusalem. But it wasn't placed in the tombs of the kings of Israel. His son Hezekiah became the next king after him.
1 Ahaz began to rule as king over Judah. It was in the 17th year of the rule of Pekah, the son of Remaliah. Ahaz was the son of Jotham. 2 Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 16 years. Ahaz didn't do what was right in the eyes of the LORD his God. He didn't do what King David had done. 3 He followed the ways of the kings of Israel. He even sacrificed his son in the fire to another god. He followed the practices of the nations. The LORD hated those practices. He had driven out those nations to make room for the people of Israel. 4 Ahaz offered sacrifices and burned incense at the high places. He also did it on the tops of hills and under every green tree. 5 Rezin and Pekah marched up to Jerusalem and surrounded it. Rezin was king of Aram. Pekah, the son of Remaliah, was king of Israel. They attacked Ahaz. But they couldn't overpower him. 6 At that time Rezin, the king of Aram, got back Elath for Aram. He drove out the people of Judah. Then the people of Edom moved into Elath. And they still live there to this very day. 7 Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-Pileser. He was king of Assyria. The message of Ahaz said, "I am your servant. You are my master. Come up and save me from the powerful hands of the kings of Aram and Israel. They are attacking me." 8 Ahaz took the silver and gold that were in the LORD's temple. He also took the silver and gold that were among the treasures in the royal palace. He sent all of it as a gift to the king of Assyria. 9 So the king of Assyria did what Ahaz asked him to do. He attacked the city of Damascus and captured it. He sent its people away to Kir. And he put Rezin to death. 10 Then King Ahaz went to Damascus. He went there to see Tiglath-Pileser, the king of Assyria. Ahaz saw an altar in Damascus. He sent a drawing of it to the priest Uriah. He also sent him plans for building it. 11 So the priest Uriah built an altar. He followed all of the plans King Ahaz had sent from Damascus. He finished it before Ahaz returned. 12 The king came back from Damascus. When he saw the altar, he approached it. Then he offered sacrifices on it. 13 He offered up his burnt offering and grain offering. He poured out his drink offering. And he sprinkled blood from his friendship offerings on the altar. 14 The bronze altar for burnt offerings stood in front of the Lord. It was between the new altar and the LORD's temple. Ahaz took it away from the front of the temple. He put it on the north side of the new altar. 15 Then King Ahaz gave orders to the priest Uriah. He said, "Offer sacrifices on the large new altar. Offer the morning burnt offering and the evening grain offering. Offer my burnt offering and my grain offering. Offer the burnt offering of all of the people of the land. Offer their grain offering and their drink offering. Sprinkle on the altar all of the blood from the burnt offerings and sacrifices. But I will use the bronze altar to look for advice and direction." 16 The priest Uriah did just as King Ahaz had ordered. 17 Ahaz took away the sides of the bronze stands. He removed the bowls from the stands. He removed the huge bowl from the bronze bulls it stood on. He placed the bowl on a stone base. 18 He took away the covered area that had been used on the Sabbath day. It had been built at the LORD's temple. He removed the royal entrance that was outside the temple. Ahaz did all of that to honor the king of Assyria. 19 The other events of the rule of Ahaz are written down. Everything he did is written down. All of those things are written in the official records of the kings of Judah. 20 Ahaz joined the members of his family who had already died. His body was buried in the family tomb in the City of David. His son Hezekiah became the next king after him.
1 Hoshea became king of Israel in Samaria. It was in the 12th year that Ahaz was king of Judah. Hoshea ruled for nine years. He was the son of Elah. 2 Hoshea did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. But he wasn't as evil as the kings of Israel who ruled before him. 3 Shalmaneser came up to attack Hoshea. Shalmaneser was king of Assyria. He had been Hoshea's master. He had forced Hoshea to bring him gifts. 4 But the king of Assyria found out that Hoshea had turned against him. Hoshea had sent messengers to So, the king of Egypt. Hoshea didn't send gifts to the king of Assyria anymore. He had been sending them every year. So Shalmaneser grabbed hold of him and put him in prison. 5 The king of Assyria marched into the whole land of Israel. He marched to Samaria and surrounded it for three years. From time to time he attacked it. 6 Finally, the king of Assyria captured Samaria. It was in the ninth year of Hoshea. The king of Assyria took the people of Israel away from their own land. He sent them off to Assyria. He settled some of them in Halah. He settled others in Gozan on the Habor River. And he settled still others in the towns of the Medes. 7 All of that took place because the people of Israel had committed sins against the LORD their God. He had brought them up out of Egypt. He had brought them out from under the power of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. But they worshiped other gods. 8 The LORD had driven out other nations to make room for them. But they followed the evil practices of those nations. They also followed the practices that the kings of Israel had started. 9 The people of Israel did things against the LORD their God in secret. What they did wasn't right. They built high places for worship in all of their towns. They built them at lookout towers. They also built them at cities that had high walls around them. 10 They set up sacred stones. And they set up poles that were used to worship the goddess Asherah. They did that on every high hill and under every green tree. 11 The LORD had driven out nations to make room for Israel. But the people of Israel burned incense at every high place, just as those nations had done. The Israelites did evil things that made the LORD very angry. 12 They worshiped statues of gods. They did it even though the LORD had said, "Do not do that." 13 The LORD warned Israel and Judah through all of his prophets and seers. He said, "Turn from your evil ways. Keep my commands and rules. Obey every part of my Law. I commanded your people who lived long ago to obey it. And I gave it to you through my servants the prophets." 14 But the people wouldn't listen. They were as stubborn as their people of long ago had been. Those people didn't trust in the LORD their God. 15 They refused to obey his rules. They broke the covenant he had made with them. They didn't pay any attention to the warnings he had given them. They worshiped worthless statues of gods. Then they themselves became worthless. They followed the example of the nations that were around them. They did it even though the LORD had ordered them not to. He had said, "Do not do as they do." They did the very things the LORD had told them not to do. 16 They turned away from all of the commands of the LORD their God. They made two statues of gods for themselves. The statues were shaped like calves. They made a pole that was used to worship the goddess Asherah. They bowed down to all of the stars. And they worshiped the god Baal. 17 They sacrificed their sons and daughters in the fire. They practiced all kinds of evil magic. They gave themselves over to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord. All of those things made him very angry. 18 So the LORD was filled with anger against Israel. He removed them from his land. Only the tribe of Judah was left. 19 And even Judah didn't obey the commands of the LORD their God. They followed the practices Israel had started. 20 So the LORD turned his back on all of the people of Israel. He made them suffer. He handed them over to people who stole everything they had. And finally he threw them out of his land. 21 He tore Israel away from the royal house of David. The people of Israel made Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, their king. Jeroboam tried to get Israel to stop following the Lord. He caused them to commit a terrible sin. 22 The people of Israel were stubborn. They continued to commit all of the sins Jeroboam had committed. They didn't turn away from them. 23 So the LORD removed them from his land. That's what he had warned them he would do. He had given that warning through all of his servants the prophets. So the people of Israel were taken away from their country. They were forced to go to Assyria. And that's where they still are. 24 The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon. He also brought them from Cuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim. He settled all of them in the towns of Samaria. They took the place of the people of Israel. They took over Samaria and lived in its towns. 25 When they first lived there, they didn't worship the Lord. So he sent lions among them. And the lions killed some of the people. 26 A report was given to the king of Assyria. He was told, "You forced people to leave their own homes. You settled them in the towns of Samaria. But they don't know what the god of that country requires. So he has sent lions among them. And the lions are killing the people off. That's because the people don't know what that god requires." 27 Then the king of Assyria gave an order. He said, "Get one of the priests you captured from Samaria. Send him back to live there. Have him teach the people what the god of that land requires." 28 So one of the priests went back to live in Bethel. He was one of those who had been forced to leave Samaria. He taught the people there how to worship the Lord. 29 In spite of that, the people from each nation made statues of their own gods. They made them in all of the towns where they had settled. They set up those statues in small temples. The people of Samaria had built the temples at the high places. 30 The people from Babylon made statues of the god Succoth Benoth. Those from Cuthah made statues of Nergal. Those from Hamath made statues of Ashima. 31 The Avvites made statues of Nibhaz and Tartak. The Sepharvites sacrificed their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech. They were the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 So the people of Samaria worshiped the Lord. But they also appointed all kinds of their own people to serve them as priests. The priests served in the small temples at the high places. 33 The people worshiped the Lord. But they also served their own gods. They followed the evil practices of the nations from which they had been brought. 34 They are still stubborn. They continue in their old practices to this very day. And now they don't even worship the Lord. They don't follow his directions and rules. They don't obey his laws and commands. The LORD had given all of those laws to the family of Jacob. He gave the name Israel to Jacob. 35 The LORD made a covenant with the people of Israel. At that time he commanded them, "Do not worship any other gods. Do not bow down to them. Do not serve them or sacrifice to them. 36 I am the one you must worship. I brought you up out of Egypt by my great power. I saved you by reaching out my mighty arm. You must bow down to me. You must offer sacrifices to me. 37 You must always be careful to follow my directions and rules. You must obey the laws and commands I wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. 38 "Do not forget the covenant I made with you. And remember, you must not worship other gods. 39 Instead, worship me. I will save you from the powerful hand of all of your enemies. I am the LORD your God." 40 But the people wouldn't listen. Instead, they were stubborn. They continued in their old practices. 41 They worshiped the Lord. But at the same time, they served the statues of their gods. And to this very day their children and grandchildren continue to do what their people before them did.
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