Burnt Offering on the Great Altar
It was the seventeenth year of the son of Remaliah, whose name was Pekah (the Samarian ruler), that Ahaz began to rule as king of Judah. He was twenty years of age when he took the throne and was in power for sixteen years in Jerusalem.
The king of Judah didn’t do the right things in the sight of the Lord his God as the righteous king David had done. He did like the kings of Israel (Samaria).
They Couldn’t Overcome Him
He made his son pass through fire as the atrocities the nations who lived in the land before Israel did. These are the same acts that led the Lord God to remove the Canaanites and give their land to the seed of Abraham.
Ahaz of Judah sacrificed and burned incense in high places, on hills, and under every green tree. These are all pagan practices. The Syrian ruler, Rezin, as well as Pekah, the king of Samaria (the ten tribes), made a visit to Jerusalem to war with Ahaz.
They were unable to overcome him. It was at this time that Rezin had recovered Elath to Syria and drove many Jews out of Elath. This still is where many of the Syrians dwell till the time of this chronicle.
While There He Saw an Altar…
When Ahaz of Judah saw this, he sent messengers to Tiglath-Pileser, who was the ruler of Assyria. The messengers of Ahaz said to the Assyrian ruler on behalf of Ahaz, “I am your servant and son, please come up and save me from the aggression of Syria and Samaria.”
Ahaz gave the Assyrian ruler silver and gold from within the house of the Lord as well as those found in the king’s house and sent it all as a gift to Tiglath-Pileser. The Assyrian king listened to Ahaz and went up and took Damascus (Syria), and carried away the people captive. He dropped them in Kir and killed Rezin, the Syrian king.
Ahaz went to Damascus to meet king Tiglath, and while there he saw an altar. Ahaz then sent Urijah the priest the dimensions and fashion of the altar. Urijah, the priest, then built an altar according to the pattern and dimensions that king Ahaz sent to him.
Burn the Morning Burnt Offering on the Great Altar
When Ahaz returned from Damascus he approached the altar and was happy with Urijah’s work. He began to offer sacrifices on it. Ahaz burned his burnt offerings, meat offerings, and poured drink-offerings on it as well. He also sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings on the altar.
Ahaz brought in the bronze altar, which used to be before the Lord in the forefront of the house (between the altar and the house of the Lord). He put it on the north side of the altar. The king of Judah ordered Urijah the priest to burn the morning burnt offering on the great altar.
In the evening, offer the king’s burnt and meat sacrifices, the people’s burnt, meat, and drink offerings, as well as the sprinkling of the blood on the great altar (the one brought from Damascus). The bronze altar was left for Ahaz to enquire by.
All to Please the King of Assyria
Urijah the priest did everything the king ordered him to do. In addition, king Ahaz cut off the borders of bases, removed the laver from them, and took down the washing vessel for priests from off the bronze oxen that were underneath. In its place, he put the pavement of stones.
Finally, he turned around the room and tent used on the Sabbath that he’d built in the Temple. He turned around the exclusive entrance for the king to come in and out of the Temple of the Lord, all to please the king of Assyria.
The rest of the deeds of Ahaz are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah. Ahaz died and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David. His son, Hezekiah, ruled in his place after his death.
Selah ( article written based on 2 Kings chapter 16)
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