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Gimzo also, and the villages thereof: and they dwelt there.
For the LORD brought Judah low, because of Ahaz king of Israel: for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the LORD.
So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy son: come up and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me.
And Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king's house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria.
And the king of Assyria hearkened unto him: for the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and slew Rezin.
And Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, came unto him, and distressed him, but strengthened him not.
For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of the LORD, and out of the house of the king, and of the princes, and gave it unto the king of Assyria: but he helped him not.
And king Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, and saw an altar that was at Damascus and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship thereof.
And Urijah the priest built an altar according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus : so Urijah the priest made it against king Ahaz came from Damascus.
And when the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king approached to the altar, and offered thereon.
And he burned his burnt-offering and his meat-offering, and poured his drink-offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace-offerings upon the altar.
And he brought also the brazen altar which was before the LORD, from the fore-front of the house, from between the altar and the house of the LORD, and put it on the north side of the altar.
And king Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, Upon the great altar burn the morning burntoffering, and the evening meat-offering; and the king's burnt sacrifice, and his meat-offering; with the burntoffering, of all the people of the land, and their meatoffering, and their drink-offerings; and sprinkle upon it all the blood of the burnt-offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice: and the brazen altar shall be for me to enquire by.
Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded.
And king Ahaz cut off the borders of the bases, and removed the laver from off them; and took down the sea from off the brazen oxen that were under it, and put it upon a pavement of stones.
And the covert for the sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king's entry without, turned he from the house of the LORD, for the king of Assyria.
And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD: this is that king Ahaz.
For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel.
And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of GOD
GOD, and shut up the doors of the house of the LORD, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem.
And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense unto other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD GOD of his fathers.
And Ahaz reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and he slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the eity, even in Jerusalem: but they brought him not into the sepulchres of the kings of Israel. And Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
It is evident that Ahaz either forgot, or paid no regard to, the threatenings of the prophet, that the king of Assyria should be a hired razor to cut off the house of Israel and Judah. For when he found himself oppressed by enemies on every side, instead of applying to the LORD for relief, he put himself under subjection to this very monarch, and endeavoured to hire his friendship with those treasures, which were appropriated to the LORD. His impious views were however defeated; for Tiglath-Pileser, instead of assisting Ahaz, came up and distressed him, but strengthened him not. It is supposed that he turned his whole force against Syria, and that, after killing Rezin the king of Damascus, he seized on that place, which was the capital city, and put an end to the kingdom of Syria.
What shocking impieties did Ahaz commit! That of removing the altar was a presumptuous breach of the Divine law; and his paying adoration to the gods of Syria, was an open act of rebellion against the KING
Ahaz had a very unquiet reign. What death he died is not mentioned; but it is evident that his memory
was abhorred by his subjects, for he was not allowed an honourable burial in the sepulchres of the kings of Israel; but was interred like a private person.
THE BEGINNING OF THE REIGN OF HEZEKIAN
From 2 Chronicles, Chap. xxix.
Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.
Hezekiah began to reign when he was five and twenty years old.
And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done.
He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made; for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it; and he called it Nehushtan.
He, in the first year of his reign, in the first month opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them.
And he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the east street, and said unto them, Hear me, ye Levites, sanctify now yourselves, and sanctify the house of the LORD GOD of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place;
For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the eyes of the LORD our GoD, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs:
Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense, nor offered burnt-offerings in the holy place, unto the God of Israel.
Wherefore the wrath of the LORD was upon Judah and Jerusalem, and he hath delivered them to trouble, to astonishment, and to hissing, as ye see with your eyes.
For lo, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons, and our daughters, and our wives, are in captivity for this.
Now it is mine heart to make a covenant with the LORD GOD of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us.
My sons, be not now negligent: for the LORD hath chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense.
Then the Levites arose, and gathered their brethren, and sanctified themselves, and cleansed the house of the LORD.
Then they went in to Hezekiah the king, and said, We have cleansed all the house of the LORD, and the altar of burnt-offering with all the vessels thereof, and the shew-bread table, with all the vessels thereof.
Moreover, all the vessels which king Ahaz in his reign did cast away in his transgression, have we prepared and sanctified, and behold, they are before the altar of the LORD.
Then Hezekiah the king rose early, and gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the LORD.
And they offered sacrifices and burnt-offerings for all Israel, by the king's commandment.
And he set the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with psalteries, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the