VIII. THE REIGN OF AHAZ OVER JUDAH
A. Reigning for Sixteen Years
At the age of twenty, Ahaz began to reign in Jerusalem in the seventeenth year of Pekah king of Israel and reigned for sixteen years (16:1-2a).
B. Not Doing What Was Right
in the Sight of Jehovah His God
Ahaz did not do what was right in the sight of Jehovah his God, as David his father had. Rather, he walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He caused his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations that Jehovah had dispossessed before the children of Israel. Also, he sacrificed and burned incense in the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree (vv. 2b-4).
C. Rezin King of Syria and Pekah King of Israel
Coming to Attack Jerusalem
Rezin king of Syria and Pekah king of Israel came to attack Jerusalem. They besieged Ahaz but were not able to conquer him (v. 5).
D. Rezin King of Syria Restoring Elath to Syria
Rezin king of Syria restored Elath to Syria and drove the Jews from there. The Syrians then came to Elath and dwelt there (v. 6).
E. Ahaz Seeking the Help of the King of Assyria
Ahaz sought the help of the king of Assyria by humbling himself as his servant and his son and at the cost of giving to the king of Assyria a present of the silver and the gold of the house of Jehovah and of the treasuries of the king’s house. The king of Assyria attacked Damascus, took it, carried the people of it away captive, and killed Rezin (vv. 7-9).
F. Ahaz Going to Meet
the King of Assyria at Damascus
and Adopting the Pattern of the Altar There
Ahaz went to meet the king of Assyria at Damascus and saw the altar that was there. He adopted the pattern of this altar and through Urijah the priest he built an altar according to it in Jerusalem. Then Ahaz offered sacrifices upon it and charged Urijah the priest to burn all his offerings and the people’s offerings upon that great altar. Ahaz then removed the bronze altar from the front of the house of God and put it by the side of his altar. The bronze altar would now be for Ahaz to inquire by. Next, Ahaz changed the way of putting the laver and bronze sea made by Solomon. Then because of the king of Assyria, he removed the way to enter the house of God on the Sabbath and the king’s entry to enter the house of God (vv. 10-18).
(Life-Study of 1 & 2 Kings, Chapter 18, by Witness Lee)