16 In the seventeenth year of the reign of Pekah son of Remaliah, Jotham’s son Ahaz became king over Judah. 2 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem. 1 He did not do what pleased the Lord his God, in contrast to his ancestor David. 2 3 He followed in the footsteps of 3 the kings of Israel. He passed his son through the fire, 4 a horrible sin practiced by the nations 5 whom the Lord drove out from before the Israelites. 4 He offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.
5 At that time King Rezin of Syria and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel attacked Jerusalem. 6 They besieged Ahaz, 7 but were unable to conquer him. 8 6 (At that time King Rezin of Syria 9 recovered Elat for Syria; he drove the Judahites from there. 10 Syrians 11 arrived in Elat and live there to this very day.) 7 Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your dependent. 12 March up and rescue me from the power 13 of the king of Syria and the king of Israel, who have attacked 14 me.” 8 Then Ahaz took the silver and gold that were 15 in the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the royal palace and sent it as tribute 16 to the king of Assyria. 9 The king of Assyria responded favorably to his request; 17 he 18 attacked Damascus and captured it. He deported the people 19 to Kir and executed Rezin.
10 When King Ahaz went to meet with King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria in Damascus, he saw the altar there. 20 King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest a drawing of the altar and a blueprint for its design. 21 11 Uriah the priest built an altar in conformity to the plans King Ahaz had sent from Damascus. 22 Uriah the priest finished it before King Ahaz arrived back from Damascus. 23 12 When the king arrived back from Damascus and 24 saw the altar, he approached it 25 and offered a sacrifice on it. 26 13 He offered his burnt sacrifice and his grain offering. He poured out his libation and sprinkled the blood from his peace offerings on the altar. 14 He moved the bronze altar that stood in the Lord’s presence from the front of the temple (between the altar and the Lord’s temple) and put it on the north side of the new 27 altar. 15 King Ahaz ordered Uriah the priest, “On the large altar 28 offer the morning burnt sacrifice, the evening grain offering, the royal burnt sacrifices and grain offering, the burnt sacrifice for all the people of Israel, their grain offering, and their libations. Sprinkle all the blood of the burnt sacrifice and other sacrifices on it. The bronze altar will be for my personal use.” 29 16 So Uriah the priest did exactly as 30 King Ahaz ordered.
17 King Ahaz took off the frames of the movable stands, and removed the basins from them. He took “The Sea” 31 down from the bronze bulls that supported it 32 and put it on the pavement. 18 He also removed the Sabbath awning 33 that had been built 34 in the temple and the king’s outer entranceway, on account of the king of Assyria. 35
19 The rest of the events of Ahaz’s reign, including his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 36 20 Ahaz passed away 37 and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David. His son Hezekiah replaced him as king.
17 In the twelfth year of King Ahaz’s reign over Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria 1 for nine years. 2 He did evil in the sight of 2 the Lord, but not to the same degree as the Israelite kings who preceded him. 3 King Shalmaneser of Assyria threatened 3 him; Hoshea became his subject and paid him tribute. 4 The king of Assyria discovered that Hoshea was planning a revolt. 4 Hoshea had sent messengers to King So 5 of Egypt and had not sent his annual tribute to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria arrested him and imprisoned him. 6 5 The king of Assyria marched through 7 the whole land. He attacked Samaria and besieged it for three years. 6 In the ninth year of Hoshea’s reign, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the people of Israel 8 to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, along the Habor (the river of Gozan), and in the cities of the Medes.
7 This happened because the Israelites sinned against the Lord their God, who brought them up from the land of Egypt and freed them from the power of 9 Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped 10 other gods; 8 they observed the practices 11 of the nations whom the Lord had driven out from before Israel, and followed the example of the kings of Israel. 12 9 The Israelites said things about the Lord their God that were not right. 13 They built high places in all their cities, from the watchtower to the fortress. 14 10 They set up sacred pillars and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every green tree. 11 They burned incense on all the high places just like the nations whom the Lord had driven away from before them. Their evil practices made the Lord angry. 15 12 They worshiped 16 the disgusting idols 17 in blatant disregard of the Lord’s command. 18
13 The Lord solemnly warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and all the seers, “Turn back from your evil ways; obey my commandments and rules that are recorded in the law. I ordered your ancestors to keep this law and sent my servants the prophets to remind you of its demands.” 19 14 But they did not pay attention and were as stubborn as their ancestors, 20 who had not trusted the Lord their God. 15 They rejected his rules, the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and the laws he had commanded them to obey. 21 They paid allegiance to 22 worthless idols, and so became worthless to the Lord. 23 They copied the practices of the surrounding nations in blatant disregard of the Lord’s command. 24 16 They abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God; they made two metal calves and an Asherah pole, bowed down to all the stars in the sky, 25 and worshiped 26 Baal. 17 They passed their sons and daughters through the fire, 27 and practiced divination and omen reading. They committed themselves to doing evil in the sight of the Lord and made him angry. 28
18 So the Lord was furious 29 with Israel and rejected them; 30 only the tribe of Judah was left. 19 Judah also failed to keep the commandments of the Lord their God; they followed Israel’s example. 31 20 So the Lord rejected all of Israel’s descendants; he humiliated 32 them and handed them over to robbers, until he had thrown them from his presence. 21 He tore Israel away from David’s dynasty, and Jeroboam son of Nebat became their king. 33 Jeroboam drove Israel away 34 from the Lord and encouraged them to commit a serious sin. 35 22 The Israelites followed in the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat and did not repudiate 36 them. 23 Finally 37 the Lord rejected Israel 38 just as he had warned he would do 39 through all his servants the prophets. Israel was deported from its land to Assyria and remains there to this very day.
24 The king of Assyria brought foreigners 40 from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim and settled them in the cities of Samaria 41 in place of the Israelites. They took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities. 25 When they first moved in, 42 they did not worship 43 the Lord. So the Lord sent lions among them and the lions were killing them. 26 The king of Assyria was told, 44 “The nations whom you deported and settled in the cities of Samaria do not know the requirements of the God of the land, so he has sent lions among them. They are killing the people 45 because they do not know the requirements of the God of the land.” 27 So the king of Assyria ordered, “Take back one of the priests whom you 46 deported from there. He must settle there and teach them the requirements of the God of the land.” 47 28 So one of the priests whom they had deported from Samaria went back and settled in Bethel. 48 He taught them how to worship 49 the Lord.
29 But each of these nations made 50 its own gods and put them in the shrines on the high places that the people of Samaria 51 had made. Each nation did this in the cities where they lived. 30 The people from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, 52 the people from Cuth made Nergal, 53 the people from Hamath made Ashima, 54 31 the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, 55 and the Sepharvites burned their sons in the fire as an offering to Adrammelech and Anammelech, 56 the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 At the same time they worshiped 57 the Lord. They appointed some of their own people to serve as priests in the shrines on the high places. 58 33 They were worshiping 59 the Lord and at the same time serving their own gods in accordance with the practices of the nations from which they had been deported.
34 To this very day they observe their earlier practices. They do not worship 60 the Lord; they do not obey the rules, regulations, law, and commandments that the Lord gave 61 the descendants of Jacob, whom he renamed Israel. 35 The Lord made an agreement 62 with them 63 and instructed them, “You must not worship other gods. Do not bow down to them, serve them, or offer sacrifices to them. 36 Instead you must worship the Lord, who brought you up from the land of Egypt by his great power and military ability; 64 bow down to him and offer sacrifices to him. 37 You must carefully obey at all times the rules, regulations, law, and commandments he wrote down for you. You must not worship other gods. 38 You must never forget the agreement I made with you, and you must not worship other gods. 39 Instead you must worship the Lord your God; then he will rescue you from the power of all your enemies.” 40 But they 65 pay no attention; instead they observe their earlier practices. 41 These nations are worshiping the Lord and at the same time serving their idols; their sons and grandsons do just as their fathers have done, to this very day.