King Jotham was a godly man that carefully followed the Lord and obeyed his commands. King Jotham tried to lead his people in this manner but they didn’t follow. So when his son Ahaz came to the throne he was more influenced by the people than he was his father. King Ahaz did acknowledge God but he did not follow his ways. Instead, he began to lead the people astray with false pagan practices. He ruled from 741 to 725BC which is where he appears on the Biblical Timeline Chart.
He molded statues of foreign gods and he allowed human sacrifice to occur in the land. King Ahaz even sacrificed his own children to his pagan deities. The Bible also goes on to say that he even imitated the pagan nations that God removed from the land of Canaan. The Bible does say that he burned incense on the pagan shrines and on the hills which often refers to idolatrous sexual activity.
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God became fed up with King Ahaz and allowed the kingdom of Aram to defeat him in battle. The Lord even allowed the king of Aram to carry off Israeli captives to Damascus. King Pekah of Israel defeated 120,000 of his troops in battle. King Ahaz’s wickedness was great and God was only just beginning to punish him for his sins. God even took his vengeance out against Ahaz by allowing his son to be murdered by a warrior from Ephraim named Zicri. One of his top military commanders was killed as well. When Israel defeated King Ahaz he took 200,000 captives but God was still upset with him.
God sent the prophet Obed to inform the leaders of Israel that they were going overboard in their punishment of Judah. Obed warned them that if they didn’t allow the prisoner to return back to Israel that God was going to turn his anger against them. This means that they would have been punished a great deal more for the sins that they had committed. Israel released the captives, provided them with clothing and healed their wounds before sending them back home.
King Ahaz still didn’t learn his lesson. Instead of repenting and turning away from his sins he continued to indulge in his transgressions. He sought out the help of the Assyrian king for help. When the king of Assyria arrived in Judah he began to oppress the people. King Ahaz paid him tribute from Solomon’s Temple to get him to stop. This didn’t work and the Assyrian king, Tiglith-pileser continued to harass Judah.
So the king of Judah went and offered sacrifices to the gods of Aram. He reasoned that if their gods helped them to win over Judah they would also help him against his enemies. The king ruined his life and the lives of his people with this act. He made pagan shrines all throughout Judah and had God’s anger burn strongly against him and the people of Judah.
King Ahaz’s name means “Yahweh has held” and he was twenty years old when he became king. Because of his wickedness he led the people of Judah into captivity by the Assyrians and did not heed the warning of the prophets of the time such as Isaiah. His was not obedient to God’s commands and many of his subjects turned from God while he was in power. King Ahaz eventually died and his reign was widely considered a disaster. He was succeeded by his son Hezekiah.
- 2 Chronicles 28: 1 – 4 Background information on King Ahaz’s life and how he worshipped false gods. He also offered human sacrifices killing his own son. His acts helped to lead the people astray.
- 2 Chronicles 28: 5 -8 God uses other kingdoms such as Aram to punish Ahaz. One of his sons and top military officials are murdered by his enemies. 200,000 people were captured and being marched back to Israel.
- 2 Chronicles 28: 9 – 11 God sends the prophet Obed to warn Israel to release the captives or they would receive punishment from God.
- 2 Chronicles 28: 12 -15 Israel returns the prisoners after clothing and dressing them.
- 2 Chronicles 28: 16 – 21 God sends more enemies against Israel to punish the nation for its sin. King Ahaz turns to Assyria for help, but the Assyrians cause them problems as well.
- 2 Chronicles 28: 22 – 25 King Ahaz turns to other false gods to get help from the tyranny of Assyria. He then sets up pagan shrines all over the land of Israel. In the end, his acts ruin the nation.
- 2 Chronicles 28: 26, 27 King Ahaz dies and is succeeded by his son Hezekiah.
- 2 kings 16 Provides an alternate account of King Ahaz’s reign.