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2 Chronicles Chapter 28 | Parsha:

1Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. He did not do what was pleasing to the Lord as his father David had done, 2but followed the ways of the kings of Israel; he even made molten images for the Baals. 3He made offerings in the Valley of Ben-hinnom and burned his sons in fire, in the abhorrent fashion of the nations which the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites. 4He sacrificed and made offerings at the shrines, on the hills, and under every leafy tree. 5The Lord his God delivered him over to the king of Aram, who defeated him and took many of his men captive, and brought them to Damascus. He was also delivered over to the king of Israel, who inflicted a great defeat on him. 6Pekah son of Remaliah killed 120,000 in Judah—all brave men—in one day, because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers. 7Zichri, the champion of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king’s son, and Azrikam chief of the palace, and Elkanah, the second to the king. 8The Israelites captured 200,000 of their kinsmen, women, boys, and girls; they also took a large amount of booty from them and brought the booty to Samaria.

9A prophet of the Lord by the name of Oded was there, who went out to meet the army on its return to Samaria. He said to them, “Because of the fury of the Lord God of your fathers against Judah, He delivered them over to you, and you killed them in a rage that reached heaven. 10Do you now intend to subjugate the men and women of Judah and Jerusalem to be your slaves? As it is, you have nothing but offenses against the Lord your God. 11Now then, listen to me, and send back the captives you have taken from your kinsmen, for the wrath of the Lord is upon you!” 12Some of the chief men of the Ephraimites—Azariah son of Jehohanan, Berechiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai—confronted those returning from the campaign 13and said to them, “Do not bring these captives here, for it would mean our offending the Lord, adding to our sins and our offenses; for our offense is grave enough, and there is already wrath upon Israel.” 14So the soldiers released the captives and the booty in the presence of the officers and all the congregation. 15Then the men named above proceeded to take the captives in hand, and with the booty they clothed all the naked among them—they clothed them and shod them and gave them to eat and drink and anointed them and provided donkeys for all who were failing and brought them to Jericho, the city of palms, back to their kinsmen. Then they returned to Samaria.

16At that time, King Ahaz sent to the king of Assyria for help. 17Again the Edomites came and inflicted a defeat on Judah and took captives. 18And the Philistines made forays against the cities of the Shephelah and the Negeb of Judah; they seized Beth-shemesh and Aijalon and Gederoth, and Soco with its villages, and Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo with its villages; and they settled there. 19Thus the Lord brought Judah low on account of King Ahaz of Israel, for he threw off restraint in Judah and trespassed against the Lord. 20Tillegath-pilneser, king of Assyria, marched against him and gave him trouble, instead of supporting him. 21For Ahaz plundered the House of the Lord and the house of the king and the officers, and made a gift to the king of Assyria—to no avail.

22In his time of trouble, this King Ahaz trespassed even more against the Lord, 23sacrificing to the gods of Damascus which had defeated him, for he thought, “The gods of the kings of Aram help them; I shall sacrifice to them and they will help me”; but they were his ruin and that of all Israel. 24Ahaz collected the utensils of the House of God, and cut the utensils of the House of God to pieces. He shut the doors of the House of the Lord and made himself altars in every corner of Jerusalem. 25In every town in Judah he set up shrines to make offerings to other gods, vexing the Lord God of his fathers.

26The other events of his reign and all his conduct, early and late, are recorded in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 27Ahaz slept with his fathers and was buried in the city, in Jerusalem; his body was not brought to the tombs of the kings of Israel. His son Hezekiah succeeded him as king.

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