2 Kings 16

16In the seventeenth year of Pekah son of Remaliah, Ahaz son of King Jotham of Judah became king. 2Ahaz 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 his God, as his ancestor David had done, 3but followed the ways of the kings of Israel. He even consigned his son to the 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.

5Then King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel advanced on Jerusalem for battle. They besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome [him]. 6At that time King Rezin of Aram recovered Elath for Aram; he drove out the Judites from Elath, and Edomites came to Elath and settled there, as is still the case.

7Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria to say, “I am your servant and your son; come and deliver me from the hands of the king of Aram and from the hands of the king of Israel, who are attacking me.” 8Ahaz took the gold and silver that were on hand in the House of the Lord and in the treasuries of the royal palace and sent them as a gift to the king of Assyria. 9The king of Assyria responded to his request; the king of Assyria marched against Damascus and captured it. He deported its inhabitants to Kir and put Rezin to death.

10When King Ahaz went to Damascus to greet King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, he saw the altar in Damascus. King Ahaz sent the priest Uriah a sketch of the altar and a detailed plan of its construction. 11The priest Uriah did just as King Ahaz had instructed him from Damascus; the priest Uriah built the altar before King Ahaz returned from Damascus. 12When the king returned from Damascus, and when the king saw the altar, the king drew near the altar, ascended it, 13and offered his burnt offering and meal offering; he poured his libation, and he dashed the blood of his offering of well-being against the altar. 14As for the bronze altar which had been before the Lord, he moved it from its place in front of the Temple, between the [new] altar and the House of the Lord, and placed it on the north side of the [new] altar. 15And King Ahaz commanded the priest Uriah- “On the great altar you shall offer the morning burnt offering and the evening meal offering and the king’s burnt offering and his meal offering, with the burnt offerings of all the people of the land, their meal offerings and their libations. And against it you shall dash the blood of all the burnt offerings and all the blood of the sacrifices. And I will decide about the bronze altar.” 16Uriah did just as King Ahaz commanded.

17King Ahaz cut off the insets—the laver stands—and removed the lavers from them. He also removed the tank from the bronze oxen that supported it and set it on a stone pavement—18on account of the king of Assyria. He also extended to the House of the Lord the sabbath passage that had been built in the palace and the king’s outer entrance.

19The other events of Ahaz’s reign, and his actions, are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 20Ahaz slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the City of David; his son Hezekiah succeeded him as king.

Isaiah 7

7In the reign of Ahaz son of Jotham son of Uzziah, king of Judah, King Rezin of Aram and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel marched upon Jerusalem to attack it; but they were not able to attack it.

2Now, when it was reported to the House of David that Aram had allied itself with Ephraim, their hearts and the hearts of their people trembled as trees of the forest sway before a wind. 3But the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out with your son Shear-jashub to meet Ahaz at the end of the conduit of the Upper Pool, by the road of the Fuller’s Field. 4And say to him- Be firm and be calm. Do not be afraid and do not lose heart on account of those two smoking stubs of firebrands, on account of the raging of Rezin and his Arameans and the son of Remaliah. 5Because the Arameans—with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah—have plotted against you, saying, 6‘We will march against Judah and invade and conquer it, and we will set up as king in it the son of Tabeel,’ 7thus said my Lord God-

It shall not succeed,

It shall not come to pass.

8For the chief city of Aram is Damascus,

And the chief of Damascus is Rezin;

9The chief city of Ephraim is Samaria,

And the chief of Samaria is the son of Remaliah.

And in another sixty-five years,

Ephraim shall be shattered as a people.

If you will not believe, for you cannot be trusted…”

10The Lord spoke further to Ahaz- 11“Ask for a sign from the Lord your God, anywhere down to Sheol or up to the sky.” 12But Ahaz replied, “I will not ask, and I will not test the Lord.” 13“Listen, House of David,” [Isaiah] retorted, “is it not enough for you to treat men as helpless that you also treat my God as helpless? 14Assuredly, my Lord will give you a sign of His own accord! Look, the young woman is with child and about to give birth to a son. Let her name him Immanuel. 15(By the time he learns to reject the bad and choose the good, people will be feeding on curds and honey.) 16For before the lad knows to reject the bad and choose the good, the ground whose two kings you dread shall be abandoned. 17The Lord will cause to come upon you and your people and your ancestral house such days as never have come since Ephraim turned away from Judah—that selfsame king of Assyria!

18“In that day, the Lord will whistle to the flies at the ends of the water channels of Egypt and to the bees in the land of Assyria; 19and they shall all come and alight in the rugged wadis, and in the clefts of the rocks, and in all the thornbrakes, and in all the watering places.

20“In that day, my Lord will cut away with the razor that is hired beyond the Euphrates—with the king of Assyria—the hair of the head and the hair of the legs, and it shall clip off the beard as well. 21And in that day, each man shall save alive a heifer of the herd and two animals of the flock. 22(And he shall obtain so much milk that he shall eat curds.) Thus everyone who is left in the land shall feed on curds and honey.

23“For in that day, every spot where there could stand a thousand vines worth a thousand shekels of silver shall become a wilderness of thornbush and thistle. 24One will have to go there with bow and arrows, for the country shall be all thornbushes and thistles. 25But the perils of thornbush and thistle shall not spread to any of the hills that could only be tilled with a hoe; and here cattle shall be let loose, and sheep and goats shall tramp about.”

Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, (Philadelphia, Jerusalem- Jewish Publication Society) 1985.