"Ahaz, king of Judah,
Introduction. [1 - 4]"
Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
II Chronicles 28:1"Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: but he did not that which was right in the sight of the Lord, like David his father:"
Ahaz begin his reign in 622 BC and his reign ended in 616 BC. He was twenty when he began his reign, and died at the age of thirty six. Ahaz's son Hezekiah started his reign in 617, and ruled for twenty nine years. When we put the numbers to these years as to when these kings were born, died and when their first son's were born, it sounds strange and improbable only to Western ears. For in this case Ahaz's first born son Hezekiah was born when Ahaz was but eleven years old. But to Eastern ears and physiological phenomena, there is nothing unusual, and nothing to justify a conclusion that the text is corrupt. This is the usual excuse for one to claim ignorance to these facts. When Ahaz died at the age of thirty six, his oldest son Hezekiah was twenty five years old.
Ahaz was one of four kings reigning that the prophets Isaiah, Micah, Naham and others prophesied against.
II Chronicles 28:2 "For he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for Baalim."
Ahaz didn't just walk in the ways of the kings of Israel, making molten images, and bowing to the ways of Baalim, He outdid the ways of the kings of Israel. II Kings 16:3, 4; "But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel."  "And he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree." 
"To make his son to pass through the fire", is offering his male child to the gods of Molech. Ahaz was the first king of Judah to offer one of his own children on the altar of Molech and pass through the fire. In two generations his grandson King Manasseh of Judah would follow Ahaz and offer one of his childred to the fire of Molech.
II Chronicles 28:3 "Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, after the abominations of the heathen whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel."
"Hinnom" was a Jebusite, from one of the heathen nations that founded and lived in the area called Jerusalem. Jerusalem was referred to as "Jabez" in I Chronicles 2:55. Jerusalem in it's most heathen state was called Jabez here, for the Kenites had taken over the duties of the priests and scribes, and the return of Judah was to rebuild the temple and the city for worship of our Heavenly Father. Ahaz brought back those heathen forms of the Jebusites, and one of those heathen practices was the burning of their children on the altar of Molech.
"Molech" worship was a heathen religious practice of the Ammonites. Leviticus 18:21; "And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord."
God was trying to save His children and their souls, and here Azah is throwing one his own sons into the blazing fire to please the Baal god, in Molech worship. Can you see how warped this young man's mind has become? This was the king of Judah, one of the lineages of David doing this to his own child.
II Chronicles 28:4 "He sacrificed also and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree."
Many times before in the centuries before Ahaz the nations of Israel and Judah, when their leader died, the nation drifted back into these heathen forms of worship. When Gideon died during the time of the Judges, and this drifting into sin happened in Judah. Now here under Ahaz the nation has also drifted to an all time low in their wickedness. So lets stop and take a closer look at what this Balaam, or Baal-berith god is all about. Ask yourself; What made Baal, grove worship [under the green trees] and Molech so inviting to these Israelites.
"Baal-berith" in the Strong's Hebrew dictionary is # 1170; "Ba'al Beriyth, bah'-ai-ath beh-ayr' "; from 1168 and 1285; baal of (the) covenant, Baal Berith, a special deity of the Shechemites: Baal berith." Under 1168 we are told that the Baal of the Phoenician deity, is the same Baal as the Shechemites. However in # 1285 we read, "Beriyth, ber-eeth': comes from 1262 in a sense of cutting; a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh); a covenant or league."
Where ever Baal worship exists, the groves are mentioned, as well as this word "Asherah". The word " is from the root word "ashar", which is "to be straight, erect, or upright". It is from this word "Asherah" that we get the moral reference, "to be upright", hence happy or prosper. When the word "Asherah" is given in Scripture, it is the same as groves or grove worship and is left as a proper name. So from this summary of all the times that Baal, Asherah and groves are used in the form of worship, they are all tied together. It deals with a tree with the tops cut off, and the trunk or stump fashioned into a certain phallic shape.
Deuteronomy 16:21 "Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of the Lord thy God, which thou shalt make thee."
When we look up this word "grove", again it is the same as using "Asherah". God's commandment is to stay away from any form of this grove worship. This is just not talking about planting of groves of trees out in the country side, but refers to what you shape the trees to represent once they are fully mature. These tree stumps were actually cut down and shaped and set back into the ground.
Isaiah 17:8 "And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves or the images."
Again, Isaiah is calling attention to Ahaz and his building of these groves or images to worship and set before and around the altars of God. Notice how the groves and images are tied together, for they become idols set before God. Many of these groves are images to the sun. So grove worship can be either a living tree that is cut off at the top and shaped to form, or cut down and the trunk shaped and set back into the ground. However when these tree images are blended in the worship with stone objects it is called "Mazzeroth", or "pillars of stone". And these also are connected in Baal worship.
So as these tree and stone images are formed, the male part of the Baal worship is called the "asherah", and it is distinguished from the "Ashtoreth" or female goddess. Yet the images are both worshipped together. So in other words, Baal worship in the groves is using the process of producing life as part of their worship. It is using the sexual process in a form of worship, and the shaping of the trunks of trees as the idols and images to excite the worshippers into the practice, and God hates the practice and those that delve into it.
Stone worship of any forms of Baal and Asherah are set up all over the Semitic world; and even in Arabia. Even the Mohammedan's sacred stone, the "Kaaba" in Mecca, remains an object of reverence. Like every form of religion, the stones and the tree trunks have to do with the flesh, and thus points to the law of evolution also. Evolution is seen as the progress of man's works, because he considers himself to have begun in the most simplest form in ignorance, and through the development and learning process of mistakes and failures, to achieve to the point he is today.
Isaiah 57:6 "Among the smooth stones of the stream is the portion; they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these?"
When you join the term "smooth stones" with the word "lot", it forms in the ancient Greek word for "Stigma", which should be a warning to us. "Stigma" then is not as it refers to today; but comes from the number 6-6-6, which has nothing to do with an actual number. The word "stigma" is the counting of stones worn smooth over a long period of time. The number count of the stones are the number for a man, and that man is Satan. When you know Satan, you will know his children from the Garden of Eden.. This verse then is addressing the identity of the Kenites.
This verse is written to the generation of the end times, and we are living in those times. The "drink offerings" and "meat offerings" today are those things that you use in your worship service, to seek forgiveness for sin. Today most churches have allowed the Kenite traditions (the smooth stones of the stream) and their lot or traditions to become their "drink offering and meat offering to God". God is asking, "Should I receive comfort in these?" "Should I receive comfort from this religious man made form of worship?"
Isaiah 57:7, 8 "Upon a lofty and high mountain hast thou set thy bed: even thither wentest thou up to offer sacrifices."  "Behind the doors also and the posts hast thou set up thy remembrance: for thou hast discovered thyself to another then Me, and art gone up; thou hast enlarged thy bed, and made thee a covenant with them; thou lovedst their bed where thou sawest it." 
Though this is looking to the future, it is also what Isaiah was writing about king Ahaz. The bed is not something that you sleep in, but this bed represents something quite religious. Today instead of painting the door outside and over the top with the Lamb's blood, which is to say the blood of Jesus Christ by faith through repentance; for Jesus Christ became our Passover. Most Christians paint a substitute for the blood on the inside of the door post of their hearts through their works and other traditional religious forms. The Lamb's blood in ancient times forced Satan the death angel to pass over you, however when something other then the blood is on the inside of the door posts of your heart, it means that you have turned back to heathenism.
Symbols mean everything in religious forms, and the Ashrah, or the "phallus" became the symbol for the Baal worship. What started out to be of honoring of the origin of life, became corrupted into a form of pagan worship of the organs that produce that life. These symbols, in turn, became the incentive to all forms of impurity, which in time became nothing but sexual orgies out in the groves. The start of these principle forms started back in Nimrod's day, who was the grandson of Ham, the son of Noah. Ham had four sons and their names were Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan; and it were the children of Canaanites that were the originators of these sexual orgies into religious forms, which has been called "Baal" or "groves" worship.
So with this in mind, we see why God was so displeased with king Ahaz, for in time he strayed into Israel, where Baal worship had been brought in from the marriage of the Kenite princess Jezebel to Ahab, and then their children married into the family of Jehoshaphat. This form of heathen worship just never left when other kings tried to clean up Judah from these other heathen forms, and young king Ahaz turned his full attention to Baal worship, as he matured from his youth into manhood. God did not like what Ahaz was doing to His people, and He will step in and make the correction of what Ahaz has done.
II Chronicles 28:5 "Wherefore the Lord his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they smote him, and carried away a great multitude of them captive, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who smote him with a great slaughter."
God raised up Resin the king of Syria for the purpose of being a scourge on Ahaz and the nation of Judah. God put the desire in the hearts of the army of Israel and its king to come against Judah and destroy their brethren. When these armies of Syria and Israel took Elath, they smote Ahaz, and destroyed the army of Judah.
II Chronicles 28:6 "For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men; because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers."
This is spoken of in II Kings 16:6, and Isaiah 7. "At that time Resin king of Syria recovered Elath to Wyria, and drave the Jews from Elath: and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day."
In the Hebrew Text, "Jews stated here should read, "house of Judah". This event of the defeat of Judah by the Syrians and Israel happened after the time of Babylon; however the term "Jews", came out of the captivity of Judah in Babylon. Even though Syria and Israel allowed Judah to remain a nation, the Syrians would not give up the city of Elath. Remember that it was God that passed this judgment on Judah, and caused these two nations to correct king Ahaz and the house of Judah.
Ahaz had drifted so far into Baal and grove worship, with the house of Judah following close behind him, that God used these two heathen nations to correct Judah. When things started to fall apart in Judah, Ahaz should have called on YHVH, the living God for protection, but he didn't; he turned to Tiglath-peleser king of Assyria.
II Kings 16:7 "So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, I am thy servant and thy sons: come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, which rise up against me."
When the house of Israel went to Resin, king of Syria for help, instead of God: King Ahaz followed by going to the greater nation than those two, Assyria. We will see that the Assyrians came down hard on Judah's brethren in Israel, and in matter of just a few years from this event; Assyria will uproot all of the house of Israel and transplant them into northern Iraq. This would start the migrations of Israel, as these ten tribes of the House of Israel would flee through the Caucasus Mountains, and scatter out over Western Europe and one throughout the Americas. This house of Israel would be known only by their passing through the Caucasus Mountains, and each tribe would take the name of "Caucasians" even to our day in these end times.
This plea from Ahaz will start the dismantling of the house of Israel into small groups, to be known later by many names, such as Celts, Gauls, Cimmerons, Saxtons, and many more such names. Both houses; the house of Israel and the house of Judah will be marched shortly from this time, into captivity. The house of Israel by Assyria, and the House of Judah a few years later by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians.
II Chronicles 28:7 "And Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, slew Maaseiah the king's son, and Azrikam the governor of the house, and Elkanah that was next to the king."
II Chronicles 28:8 "And the children of Israel carried away captive of their brethren two hundred thousand, women sons, and daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria."
By the end of the conflict that God brought on Judah for their falling deep into sin and idolatry, many captives were taken. The army of Israel was hauling there own children of God back to Israel to be used as slaves. Would God put up with brothers holding brothers captive as slaves?
II Chronicles 28:9 "But a prophet of the Lord was there, whose name was Oded: and he went out before the host that came to Samaria, and said unto them, "Behold, because the Lord God of your fathers was wroth with Judah, He hath delivered them into your hand, and ye have slain them in a rage that reacheth up unto heaven."
The name "Oded" in the Hebrew means "establishing". God is using Oded as His prophet to tell the people and army of Israel that He is not pleased with their taking their brethren captive as slaves. If you continue on with this act, God will come down hard on you and our nation. Oded reminded these men of Israel that it was God that gave them the victory over Judah, for payment of their disobedience in following the ways of Baal and grove worship.
II Chronicles 28:10 "And now ye purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondmen and bondwomen unto you: but are there not with you, even with you, sins against the Lord your God?"
The prophet of the Lord Oded reminded these men of Israel that the sins that the children of Judah did are exactly what you have done. He reminded them that the rage of God will come down even harder on you when you bring your own brethren from Judah. Will these men of war listen to the prophet of God?
II Chronicles 28:11 "Now hear me therefore, and deliver the captives again, which ye have taken captive of your brethren: for the fierce wrath of the Lord is upon you."
God is warning them directly through this man of God sent to them on this road to Samaria. Thousands of people Judah were raged and tired, and they needed rest and food. It would take time to bring them back to health. Everyone could see this long line of prisoners being marched for many miles into Israel. Remember these are kin taking their brethren into captivity. Somebody has to make the decision to do things right, and at this time it would be the political leaders of tribe of Ephraim, not the king.
Remember that according to Genesis 48:16-20, just prior to Jacob's death, the Covenant promises of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, were passed from Israel [Jacob] on to Ephraim. Ephraim from that time forth would carry the covenant promises given to Abraham to the time of the end; yet it would be the lineage of David that would reign over Ephraim. This we see today as Queen Elizabeth II, of the lineage of David, sits over the throne of Great Britain. "Britain" means "Covenant People" [the tribe of Ephraim].
Genesis 48:19, 20 "And His father refused, and said, "I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a People, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations."  "And he blessed them that day, saying, "In thee shall Israel bless, saying, `God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh:' " and he set Ephraim before Manasseh." 
II Chronicles 28:12 "Then certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechaiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against them that came from the war,"
II Chronicles 28:13 "And said unto them, "Ye shall not bring in the captives hither: for whereas we have offended against the Lord already, ye intend to add more to our sins and to our trespass; for our trespass is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel."
II Chronicles 28:14 "So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the congregation."
II Chronicles 28:15 :And the men which were expressed by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all that were naked among them, and arrayed them, and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them upon asses, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brethren: then they returned to Samaria.
These family leaders of Israel did what they could to clothe, feed and tend to the needs of the people being marched into captivity. They were being returned to Judah to live out their lives.
II Chronicles 28:16 "At that time did King Ahaz send unto the kings of Assyria to help him."
As these thousands of people from the house of Judah were being carried away, King Ahaz sent for help from the Assyrians. The help that would come, would be the cause of the fall and scattering of the House of Israel, and the Edomites.
II Chronical 28:17 "For again the Edomites had come and smitten Judah, and carried away captives."
As Israel was carrying away captives to the north, Edomites were carrying away captives across the Jordan and to the south.
II Chronicles 28:18 "The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the low country, and of the south of Judah, and had taken Beth-shemesh, and Ajalon, and Gederoth, and Shocho with the villages thereof, and Timnah with the villages thereof, Gimzo also and the villages thereof: and they dwelt there."
For the sins of Ahaz, God allowed all the neighbors to come against Judah, and do much harm to them and their land.
II Chronicles 28:19 "For the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he made Judah naked, and transgressed sore against the Lord."
Though it states Ahaz was king of Israel, in the text it states "Israel king of Judah. Do you see the reason for all the trouble that king Ahaz and the people of Judah are having such a trying time with their neighbors? In the beginning of his reign Ahaz tried to please the Lord God, and in time he turned his back to God and chased after heathen gods, Baal worship, and even sacrificing a son to the sacrifice of the fire of Molech. As the king slipped into idolatry, so went the people. The king sets the standards for the nation.
II Chronicles 28:20 "And Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria came unto him, and distressed him, but strengthened him not."
When Ahaz called for help from the Assyrians, Tilgath-pilneser did come, but in return the Assyrians plundered Judah. They took away much of the goods from both the house of the Lord, and the king's house. Ahaz paid the tax and tribute that Tilgath-pilneser asked, and then Judah received no help from their enemies.
II Chronicles 28:21 "For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of the Lord, and out of the house of the king, and of the princes, and gave it unto the king of Assyria: but he helped him not."
II Chronicles 28:22 "And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the Lord: this is that king Ahaz."
As each day passed king Ahaz slipped deeper into idolatry, turning his back to God, and depending on his own plans.
II Chronicles 28:23 "For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, "Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me." But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel."
Think of this for a moment, when God brought His correction down on Judah, in the form of the armies of Syria and Israel, Ahaz took it that the gods of Damascus were stronger than YHVH his God. So Ahaz turned to the heathen gods for help; thinking that heathen gods were stronger than Judah's God. Each move that Ahaz made, caused him and Judah more ruin.
II Chronicles 28:24 "And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the Lord, and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem."
II Chronicles 28:25 "And in every several city of Judah he made high places to burn incense unto other gods, and provoked to anger the Lord God of his fathers."
King Ahaz was not satisfied in having his altars only in Jerusalem, so he made the altars of high places in every city in the land of Judah. Judah was becoming far worse spiritually under Ahaz than the house of Israel at this time.
II Chronicles 28:26 "Now the rest of his acts and of all his ways, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel."
II Chronicles 28:27 "And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, even in Jerusalem: but they brought him not into the sepulchres of the kings of Israel: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his stead."
With the death of Ahaz, his son Hezekiah rose to the throne in Judah. The nation will have a complete turn-around under King Hezekiah, as we will see over the course of the next three chapters.
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