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2 Kings Chapter 16 | Parsha:

1In the seventeenth year of Pekah son of Remaliah, Ahaz son of King Jotham of Judah became king. 2Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. He did not do what was pleasing to the Lord his God, as his ancestor David had done, 3but followed the ways of the kings of Israel. He even consigned his son to the fire, in the abhorrent fashion of the nations which the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites. 4He sacrificed and made offerings at the shrines, on the hills, and under every leafy tree.

5Then King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel advanced on Jerusalem for battle. They besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome [him]. 6At that time King Rezin of Aram recovered Elath for Aram; he drove out the Judites from Elath, and Edomites came to Elath and settled there, as is still the case.

7Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria to say, “I am your servant and your son; come and deliver me from the hands of the king of Aram and from the hands of the king of Israel, who are attacking me.” 8Ahaz took the gold and silver that were on hand in the House of the Lord and in the treasuries of the royal palace and sent them as a gift to the king of Assyria. 9The king of Assyria responded to his request; the king of Assyria marched against Damascus and captured it. He deported its inhabitants to Kir and put Rezin to death.

10When King Ahaz went to Damascus to greet King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, he saw the altar in Damascus. King Ahaz sent the priest Uriah a sketch of the altar and a detailed plan of its construction. 11The priest Uriah did just as King Ahaz had instructed him from Damascus; the priest Uriah built the altar before King Ahaz returned from Damascus. 12When the king returned from Damascus, and when the king saw the altar, the king drew near the altar, ascended it, 13and offered his burnt offering and meal offering; he poured his libation, and he dashed the blood of his offering of well-being against the altar. 14As for the bronze altar which had been before the Lord, he moved it from its place in front of the Temple, between the [new] altar and the House of the Lord, and placed it on the north side of the [new] altar. 15And King Ahaz commanded the priest Uriah: “On the great altar you shall offer the morning burnt offering and the evening meal offering and the king’s burnt offering and his meal offering, with the burnt offerings of all the people of the land, their meal offerings and their libations. And against it you shall dash the blood of all the burnt offerings and all the blood of the sacrifices. And I will decide about the bronze altar.” 16Uriah did just as King Ahaz commanded.

17King Ahaz cut off the insets—the laver stands—and removed the lavers from them. He also removed the tank from the bronze oxen that supported it and set it on a stone pavement— 18on account of the king of Assyria. He also extended to the House of the Lord the sabbath passage that had been built in the palace and the king’s outer entrance.

19The other events of Ahaz’s reign, and his actions, are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 20Ahaz slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the City of David; his son Hezekiah succeeded him as king.

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