3 He made offerings in the Valley of Ben-hinnom and burned his sons in fire, in the abhorrent fashion of the nations which Hashem had dispossessed before the Israelites.
v’-HU hik-TEER b’-GAY ven hi-NOM va-yav-AYR et ba-NAV ba-AYSH k’-to-a-VOT ha-go-YIM a-SHER ho-REESH a-do-NAI mi-p’-NAY b’-NAY yis-ra-AYL
ג וְהוּא הִקְטִיר בְּגֵיא בֶן־הִנֹּם וַיַּבְעֵר אֶת־בָּנָיו בָּאֵשׁ כְּתֹעֲבוֹת הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר הֹרִישׁ יְהֹוָה מִפְּנֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
28:3 He made offerings in the Valley of Ben-hinnom
Unlike his father and grandfather, Achaz was an evil king who reintroduces systematic idol worship and intentionally spreads it to every city in the kingdom (verse 25). In this verse, we are told that he worships Baal and burns his children in the Valley of Hinnom. In biblical times this cursed valley was known as the place where the sinful Israelites worshipped the false god Baal and offered their children as sacrifices to the fire god Molech (Jeremiah 32:35). Therefore, this valley, which is located just outside of the present-day Jerusalem Old City walls, was thought to be cursed. Figuratively, it became associated with hell. As the Sages teach (Eiruvin 19a), “The gate [to hell] lies between two palm trees in the valley of Hinnom, from which smoke is continually rising.” The term ‘Gehenna,’ referring to hell, is derived from the Hebrew name for the valley, Gei ben Hinnom (גיא בן הנום).