Old Testament

2 Kings 16
Ahaz Son of Jotham, King of Judah
161In the seventeenth year of Pekah son of Remaliah, Ahaz son of Jotham, king of Judah, became king. 2Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he ruled in Jerusalem for sixteen years. He did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord his God, as his father David had done. 3He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. He even made his son pass through the fire, according to the shameful practices of the nations which the Lord had driven out before the people of Israel. 4He offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every leafy tree.
5Then Rezin king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah, the king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem for war. They laid siege to Ahaz, but they could not defeat him. 6At that time, Rezin king of Aram recovered Elat for Edom,[] and he drove the people of Judah away from Elat. Then Edomites[] came to Elat, and they have lived there to this day.
7So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your son. Come and save me from the hand of the king of Aram and from the hand of the king of Israel, who have come up against me.” 8Then Ahaz took the silver and the gold which were found in the House of the Lord and in the treasuries of the king's palace, and he sent them to the king of Assyria as tribute. 9So the king of Assyria listened to him and attacked Damascus. He exiled the inhabitants to Kir. He also killed Rezin.
The Altar of Ahaz
10King Ahaz went to meet Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria in Damascus. He saw the altar which was in Damascus, and King Ahaz sent a model of the altar and instructions for making one like it to Uriah the priest. 11So Uriah the priest built this altar. Uriah the priest did just as King Ahaz had instructed him from Damascus before King Ahaz returned from Damascus. 12When the king returned from Damascus, he saw the altar. He approached it and ascended it. 13He offered whole burnt offerings and grain offerings. He poured out drink offerings, and he sprinkled the blood of his fellowship offerings on the altar.
14He moved the bronze altar, which had been in the presence of the Lord, away from its location in front of the temple building, from between his altar and the Lord's house, and he put it on the north side of his altar.
15Then King Ahaz commanded Uriah the priest, “Present the morning burnt offering, the evening grain offering, the king's burnt offering, his grain offering, and all the people's burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings on the great altar. Sprinkle all the blood of the burnt offering and all the blood of the sacrifices on it. But the bronze altar will be mine for divination.” 16So Uriah the priest did everything just as King Ahaz commanded.
17Then King Ahaz cut off the side panels of the carts, and he removed the basins that were on them. He took the sea down from its position on the bronze cattle that were under it and put it on a stone pavement. 18In deference to the king of Assyria, he also removed the Sabbath canopy that had been built for the house[] and removed the king's entrance on the outside of the Lord's house.
19As for the rest of the acts of Ahaz, the things he did, are they not written in the annals of the kings of Judah? 20Ahaz rested with his fathers, and he was buried with his fathers in the City of David. Then his son Hezekiah became king in his place.


  • 16:6 The main Hebrew reading is Aram, but Elat had formerly been an Edomite possession not an Aramean possession. In Hebrew script the words Aram and Edom look alike.
  • 16:6 Variant Arameans
  • 16:18 The meaning of this verse is uncertain. Instead of the Sabbath canopy, the Greek Old Testament reads the canopy for the throne. The word house could, therefore, refer to either the temple or the palace. The context suggests that Ahaz was removing installations which might imply that he was the equal of the king of Assyria.