Ahaz, son of Jotham, became king of Judah in the seventeenth year of the reign of Pekah, son of Remaliah. Ahaz was twenty when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem for sixteen years. But unlike David his forefather, he did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord his God. He followed the ways of the kings of Israel, and he even sacrificed his son in the fire, participating in the disgusting practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. He sacrificed and presented burnt offerings on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.
Rezin, king of Aram, and Pekah, son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came and attacked Jerusalem. They besieged Ahaz but couldn't defeat him. This was when Rezin, king of Aram, recovered Elath for Edom.* He expelled the people of Judah, and sent Edomites to Elath, where they still live to this day.
Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, saying, “I'm your servant, and your son. Please come and rescue me from the kings of Aram and Israel who are attacking me.” Ahaz took the silver and gold from the Lord's Temple and from the treasuries of the king's palace, and he sent it to the king of Assyria as a gift.
The king of Assyria responded positively to him. He went and attacked Damascus, and captured it. He deported its inhabitants to Kir and executed Rezin.
10 King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser, king of Assyria. During his visit he saw an altar in Damascus, and he sent Uriah the priest a drawing of the altar, along with instructions how to build it. 11 So Uriah the priest built an altar following all the instructions King Ahaz had sent from Damascus, completing it before King Ahaz returned.
12 When the king came back from Damascus he saw the altar. He went over to it and made offerings on it. 13 He presented his burnt offering and his grain offering, he poured out his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his friendship offerings on it. 14 He also moved the bronze altar that stood before the Lord from the front of the Temple, between the new altar and the Lord's Temple, and he placed it to the north of the new altar.
15 Then King Ahaz ordered Uriah the priest: “Use this new important altar to offer the morning burnt offering, the evening grain offering, the king's burnt offering and grain offering, and the burnt offering of all the people, and their grain offerings and their drink offerings. Sprinkle on this altar the blood of all the burnt offerings and sacrifices. The old bronze altar I'll use for divination.”
16 Uriah the priest followed King Ahaz's orders. 17 King Ahaz also removed the frames of the movable carts, and also took out the bronze basin from each of them. He removed the Sea from the bronze bulls it rested on and placed it on a stone pedestal. 18 He took down the Sabbath canopy they had built in the Temple, as well as the king's outer entrance to the Lord's Temple. He did this to please the king of Assyria.
19 The rest of what happened in Ahaz's reign and all he did are recorded in the Book of Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. 20 Ahaz died and was buried with his forefathers in the City of David. His son Hezekiah succeeded him as king.
* 16:6 Aram/Edom. There two words are similar in Hebrew. It seems unlikely that the Arameans would have wished to hold a town so far from their own territory in the land of the Edomites. Some versions replace “Rezin, king of Aram” with “the king of Edom,” but he is not previously mentioned. The conclusion is that it is unsure as to whether Elath was conquered by Arameans or Edomites; however it is sure that the town was lost to the people of Judah and was occupied by Edomites. 16:10 Clearly a pagan altar, probably Assyrian. It is likely that Tiglath-pileser required subservient kings to prove their loyalty to him, and this action of Ahaz would have demonstrated this.