2 Kings 16
Ahaz Reigns over Judah
In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham, king of Judah, became king. Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord his God, as his father David had done. But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and even made his son pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had [a]driven out from before the sons of Israel. He sacrificed and burned incense on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.
Then Rezin king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem to wage war; and they besieged Ahaz, but could not [b]overcome him. At that time Rezin king of Aram recovered Elath for Aram, and cleared the Judeans out of [c]Elath entirely; and the [d]Arameans came to Elath and have lived there to this day.
Ahaz Seeks Help of Aram
So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son; come up and deliver me from the [e]hand of the king of Aram and from the [f]hand of the king of Israel, who are rising up against me.” Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasuries of the king’s house, and sent a present to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria listened to him; and the king of Assyria went up against Damascus and captured it, and carried the people of it away into exile to Kir, and put Rezin to death.
Now King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, and saw the altar which was at Damascus; and King Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the [g]pattern of the altar and its model, according to all its workmanship. So Urijah the priest built an altar; according to all that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus, thus Urijah the priest made it, [h]before the coming of King Ahaz from Damascus. When the king came from Damascus, the king saw the altar; then the king approached the altar and [i]went up to it, and [j]burned his burnt offering and his meal offering, and poured his drink offering and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings on the altar. The bronze altar, which was before the Lord, [k]he brought from the front of the house, from between his altar and the house of the Lord, and he put it on the north side of his altar. Then King Ahaz [l]commanded Urijah the priest, saying, “Upon the great altar [m]burn the morning burnt offering and the evening meal offering and the king’s burnt offering and his meal offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land and their meal offering and their drink offerings; and sprinkle on it all the blood of the burnt offering and all the blood of the sacrifice. But the bronze altar shall be for me to inquire by.” So Urijah the priest did according to all that King Ahaz commanded.
Then King Ahaz cut off the borders of the stands, and removed the laver from them; he also took down the sea from the bronze oxen which were under it and put it on a pavement of stone. The covered way for the sabbath which they had built in the house, and the outer entry of the king, he removed from the house of the Lord because of the king of Assyria.
Hezekiah Reigns over Judah
Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz which he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? So Ahaz slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David; and his son Hezekiah reigned in his place.
- 2 Kings 16:3 Or dispossessed
- 2 Kings 16:5 Lit fight
- 2 Kings 16:6 Heb Eloth
- 2 Kings 16:6 So with some ancient versions; Heb Edomites
- 2 Kings 16:7 Lit palm
- 2 Kings 16:7 Lit palm
- 2 Kings 16:10 Lit likeness
- 2 Kings 16:11 Lit until
- 2 Kings 16:12 Or offered on it
- 2 Kings 16:13 Lit offered in smoke
- 2 Kings 16:14 Lit he also
- 2 Kings 16:15 Lit commanded him, Urijah
- 2 Kings 16:15 Lit offer in smoke
2 Kings 17
Hoshea Reigns over Israel
In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah became king over Israel in Samaria, and reigned nine years. He did evil in the sight of the Lord, only not as the kings of Israel who were before him. Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against him, and Hoshea became his servant and paid him tribute. But the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea, who had sent messengers to So king of Egypt and had offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year; so the king of Assyria shut him up and bound him in prison.
Then the king of Assyria invaded the whole land and went up to Samaria and besieged it three years.
In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and carried Israel away into exile to Assyria, and settled them in Halah and Habor, on the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
Why Israel Fell
Now this came about because the sons of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and they had [a]feared other gods and walked in the [b]customs of the nations whom the Lord had driven out before the sons of Israel, and in the customs of the kings of Israel which they had [c]introduced. The sons of Israel [d]did things secretly which were not right against the Lord their God. Moreover, they built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city. They set for themselves sacred pillars and [e]Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, and there they burned incense on all the high places as the nations did which the Lord had carried away to exile before them; and they did evil things provoking the Lord. They served idols, concerning which the Lord had said to them, “You shall not do this thing.” Yet the Lord warned Israel and Judah through all His prophets and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments, My statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through My servants the prophets.” However, they did not listen, but stiffened their neck [f]like their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God. They rejected His statutes and His covenant which He made with their fathers and His warnings with which He warned them. And they followed vanity and became vain, and went after the nations which surrounded them, concerning which the Lord had commanded them not to do like them. They forsook all the commandments of the Lord their God and made for themselves molten images, even two calves, and made an [g]Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal. Then they made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, and practiced divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him. So the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them from His [h]sight; none was left except the tribe of Judah.
Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the [i]customs [j]which Israel had [k]introduced. The Lord rejected all the [l]descendants of Israel and afflicted them and gave them into the hand of plunderers, until He had cast them [m]out of His sight.
When He had torn Israel from the house of David, they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel away from following the Lord and made them [n]commit a great sin. The sons of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them until the Lord removed Israel from His sight, as He spoke through all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away into exile from their own land to Assyria until this day.
Cities of Israel Filled with Strangers
The king of Assyria brought men from Babylon and from Cuthah and from [o]Avva and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and settled them in the cities of Samaria in place of the sons of Israel. So they possessed Samaria and lived in its cities. At the beginning of their living there, they did not fear the Lord; therefore the Lord sent lions among them which killed some of them. So they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, “The nations whom you have carried away into exile in the cities of Samaria do not know the custom of the god of the land; so he has sent lions among them, and behold, they kill them because they do not know the custom of the god of the land.”
Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, “Take there one of the priests whom you carried away into [p]exile and let [q]him go and live there; and let him teach them the custom of the god of the land.” So one of the priests whom they had carried away into exile from Samaria came and lived at Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the Lord.
But every nation still made gods of its own and put them in the houses of the high places which the people of Samaria had made, every nation in their cities in which they lived. The men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech the gods of Sepharvaim. They also feared the Lord and [r]appointed from among themselves priests of the high places, who acted for them in the houses of the high places. They feared the Lord and served their own gods according to the custom of the nations from among whom they had been carried away into exile.
To this day they do according to the earlier customs: they do not fear the Lord, nor do they [s]follow their statutes or their ordinances or the law, or the commandments which the Lord commanded the sons of Jacob, whom He named Israel; with whom the Lord made a covenant and commanded them, saying, “You shall not fear other gods, nor bow down yourselves to them nor serve them nor sacrifice to them. But the Lord, who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm, Him you shall fear, and to Him you shall bow yourselves down, and to Him you shall sacrifice. The statutes and the ordinances and the law and the commandment which He wrote for you, you shall observe to do forever; and you shall not fear other gods. The covenant that I have made with you, you shall not forget, nor shall you fear other gods. But the Lord your God you shall fear; and He will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” However, they did not listen, but they did according to their earlier custom. So while these nations feared the Lord, they also served their [t]idols; their children likewise and their grandchildren, as their fathers did, so they do to this day.
- 2 Kings 17:7 Lit revered, and so throughout the ch
- 2 Kings 17:8 Lit statutes
- 2 Kings 17:8 Lit made
- 2 Kings 17:9 Or uttered words which
- 2 Kings 17:10 I.e. wooden symbols of a female deity
- 2 Kings 17:14 Lit like the neck of
- 2 Kings 17:16 I.e. a wooden symbol of a female deity
- 2 Kings 17:18 Lit face
- 2 Kings 17:19 Lit statutes
- 2 Kings 17:19 Lit of Israel which they
- 2 Kings 17:19 Lit made
- 2 Kings 17:20 Lit seed
- 2 Kings 17:20 Lit from His face
- 2 Kings 17:21 Lit sin
- 2 Kings 17:24 In 2 Kin 18:34, Ivvah
- 2 Kings 17:27 Lit exile from there
- 2 Kings 17:27 Lit them
- 2 Kings 17:32 Lit made for themselves from among
- 2 Kings 17:34 Lit do according to
- 2 Kings 17:41 Or graven images