1. Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem. He did not do what is pleasing to Yahweh, as his ancestor David had done.

2. He followed the example of the kings of Israel, and even had Baal's idols made of metal.

3. He offered incense in the Valley of Ben-Hinnom and even sacrificed his own sons as burnt offerings to disgusting idols, copying the shameful practice of the people whom Yahweh had driven out of the land he would give to the Israelites.

4. He offered sacrifices and incense at the High places, on the hills and under every spreading tree.

5. Yahweh his God let the King of the Aramaeans defeat him and take great numbers of his people captive, carrying them off to Damascus. He was also delivered into the power of the king of Israel, who defeated him.

6. In a single day, Pekah son of Remaliah killed a hundred and twenty thousand in Judah, all brave fighting men; this was because they had abandoned Yahweh, the God of their ancestors.

7. Zichri, an Ephraimite champion, killed Maaseiah, son of the king, Azrikam the controller of the palace, and Elkanah the king's second-in-command.

8. The Israelites took two hundred thousand of their Judaean brothers captive, with wives, sons, and daughters; they also took quantities of loot, carrying everything off to Samaria.

9. A prophet of Yahweh, named Oded, was there and he went out to meet the troops returning to Samaria and said, "Yahweh, the God of your ancestors, was angry with Judah and so he delivered them into your power, but you have slaughtered with such fury as reaches to heaven.

10. And you intended to make the men and women of Jerusalem and Judah your slaves. But you yourselves are also guilty before Yahweh your God.

11. Now listen to me: release the prisoners you have taken of your brothers, or Yahweh will punish you in his anger."

12. Some of the Ephraimite chieftains then stood up in opposition to those who returned from the war: Azariah son of Jehohanan, Berechiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum and Amasa son of Hadlai.

13. They said, "You must not bring the captives in here for we are guilty enough before Yahweh. Will you add to our sins and to our guilt? But our guilt is already heavy and the fierce anger of Yahweh is hanging over Israel."

14. So in the presence of the officials and of the whole assembly, the army gave up the captives and the loot.

15. Four men were appointed to provide the prisoners with clothing. From the loot they clothed all those who were naked; they gave them clothing and sandals, provided them with food and drink, and washed them. Those who were too weak to walk they put on donkeys and took them back to their kinsmen at Jericho, the city of palm trees. Then they returned to Samaria.

16. It was then that King Ahaz sent asking the kings of Assyria to come to his assistance,

17. for the Edomites once again invaded and defeated Judah, and carried off prisoners.

18. The Philistines were raiding the towns in the lowlands and in the Negeb of Judah. They took Bethshemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, and Soco with its outlying villages, Timnah with its outlying villages, Gimzo with its outlying villages, and they settled in them.

19. Yahweh humbled Judah on account of Ahaz, king of Israel, who let Judah go its own way and was not faithful to Yahweh.

20. Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria attacked and besieged him but could not defeat him.

21. Ahaz however had to take part of the goods in Yahweh's House and in the palaces of the king and princes, to hand over to the king of Assyria, yet he received no help from him.

22. During the time Jerusalem was under siege, King Ahaz sinned against Yahweh more than ever,

23. by offering sacrifices to the gods of Damascus who had defeated him. He said, "Since the gods of the kings of Aram have been of help to them, I will sacrifice to them so that they may be of help to me." But they proved to be his downfall and that of Israel.

24. Ahaz then took implements of the House and broke them in pieces; he closed the doors of Yahweh's House and put up altars at every street corner in Jerusalem;

25. he set up High places in every town of Judah to offer incense to other gods, and so brought on himself the anger of Yahweh, the God of his ancestors.

26. The rest of his history, his whole policy, from first to last, is recorded in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel.

27. Then Ahaz rested with his ancestors and they buried him in the city, in Jerusalem, though he was not taken into the tombs of the kings of Israel. His son Hezekiah succeeded him.

“É sempre necessário ir para a frente, nunca para trás, na vida espiritual. O barco que pára em vez de ir adiante é empurrado para trás pelo vento.” São Padre Pio de Pietrelcina