II Kings 16

Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king of Judah, and he reigned 16 years. He was a polytheist who honored every god, holy place, and custom among his people. He even offered one of his surely numerous sons as a burnt sacrifice.

The major war in this reign was when the Syrian king Rezim made pact with Israelite king Pekah and together they besieged Jerusalem. They conquered some cities, but couldn’t defeat Judah because Ahaz made pact with King Tigleth-pilesar of Assyria and sent him tribute to entreat his aid for Judah. For good measure, Tigleth-pilesar also sacked Damascus and killed King Rezim.

While looting Damascus, King Ahaz saw this totally rad altar to some Syrian god–Dagon, Baal, El, doesn’t matter. This thing was killer with its cornices and bas relief. Ahaz had plans for it drawn up and sent to the high priest, Urich, with instructions to have one built up ASAP. Urich dutifully complied. Ahaz check it out when he got back into town, inspecting round and round. With a satisfied grunt, he snapped his fingers and ordered that all that beautiful gold and gilded ¬†furniture and treasure be removed from that drab old Temple and placed around this, his new beautiful altar, and that from now upon it only all the daily ritual sacrifices would be offered. But still, the dank temple had its uses. For cleromancy, the priests would still use the bronze altar.

When Ahaz died, his son Hezekiah  became king.

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