Reading 125/341, 2 Chronicles 29-31.11

...2 Chronicles...

Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem, and his mother's name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done. He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the Lord, and repaired them. He brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the broad place on the east, and said to them, Hear me, you Levites; now sanctify yourselves, and sanctify the house of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place. For our fathers have trespassed, and done what was evil in the sight of the Lord our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the Lord, and turned their backs. Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. Therefore the wrath of the Lord was on Judah and Jerusalem, and he has delivered them to be tossed back and forth, to be an astonishment, and a hissing, as you see with your eyes. For, behold, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, that his fierce anger may turn away from us. My sons, do not be negligent now; for the Lord has chosen you to stand before him, to minister to him, and that you should be his ministers, and burn incense. Then the Levites arose, Mahath, the son of Amasai, and Joel the son of Azariah, of the sons of the Kohathites, and of the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi, and Azariah the son of Jehallelel, and of the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah, and Eden the son of Joah, and of the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeuel, and of the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah, and of the sons of Heman, Jehuel and Shimei, and of the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. They gathered their brothers, and sanctified themselves, and went in, according to the commandment of the king by the words of the Lord, to cleanse the house of the Lord. The priests went in to the inner part of the house of the Lord, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the Lord into the court of the house of the Lord. The Levites took it, to carry it out abroad to the brook Kidron. Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of the Lord, and they sanctified the house of the Lord in eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end. Then they went in to Hezekiah the king within the palace, and said, We have cleansed all the house of the Lord, and the altar of burnt offering, with all the vessels of it, and the table of bread of the Presence, with all the vessels of it. Moreover all the vessels, which king Ahaz in his reign did cast away when he trespassed, have we prepared and sanctified, and behold, they are before the altar of the Lord. Then Hezekiah the king arose early, and gathered the princes of the city, and went up to the house of the Lord. They brought seven bulls, and seven rams, and seven lambs, and seven male goats, for a sin offering for the kingdom and for the sanctuary and for Judah. He commanded the priests the sons of Aaron to offer them on the altar of the Lord. So they killed the bulls, and the priests received the blood, and sprinkled it on the altar, and they killed the rams, and sprinkled the blood on the altar, they killed also the lambs, and sprinkled the blood on the altar. They brought near the male goats for the sin offering before the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them, and the priests killed them, and they made a sin offering with their blood on the altar, to make atonement for all Israel; for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel. He set the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with stringed instruments, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king's seer, and Nathan the prophet; for the commandment was of the Lord by his prophets. The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord began also, and the trumpets, together with the instruments of David king of Israel. All the assembly worshiped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. When they had made an end of offering, the king and all who were present with him bowed themselves and worshiped. Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praises to the Lord with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. They sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshiped. Then Hezekiah answered, Now you have consecrated yourselves to the Lord; come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of the Lord. The assembly brought in sacrifices and thank offerings, and as many as were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings. The number of the burnt offerings which the assembly brought was seventy bulls, one hundred rams, and two hundred lambs, all these were for a burnt offering to the Lord. The consecrated things were six hundred oxen and three thousand sheep. But the priests were too few, so that they could not flay all the burnt offerings, therefore their brothers the Levites helped them, until the work was ended, and until the priests had sanctified themselves; for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests. Also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace offerings, and with the drink offerings for every burnt offering. So the service of the house of the Lord was set in order. Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, because of what God had prepared for the people, for the thing was done suddenly. Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, to keep the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel. For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the assembly in Jerusalem, to keep the Passover in the second month. For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves in sufficient number, nor had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem. The thing was right in the eyes of the king and of all the assembly. So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, that they should come to keep the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem, for they had not kept it in great numbers in such sort as it is written. So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, You children of Israel, turn again to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that he may return to the remnant that have escaped of you out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. Do not be you like your fathers, and like your brothers, who trespassed against the Lord, the God of their fathers, so that he gave them up to desolation, as you see. Now do not you be stiff-necked, as your fathers were; but yield yourselves to the Lord, and enter into his sanctuary, which he has sanctified forever, and serve the Lord your God, that his fierce anger may turn away from you. For if you turn again to the Lord, your brothers and your children shall find compassion before those who led them captive, and shall come again into this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him. So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, to Zebulun, but they ridiculed them, and mocked them. Nevertheless certain men of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem. Also on Judah came the hand of God to give them one heart, to do the commandment of the king and of the princes by the word of the Lord. There assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great assembly. They arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron. Then they killed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the second month, and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought burnt offerings into the house of the Lord. They stood in their place after their order, according to the law of Moses the man of God, the priests sprinkled the blood which they received of the hand of the Levites. For there were many in the assembly who had not sanctified themselves, therefore the Levites had the charge of killing the Passovers for everyone who was not clean, to sanctify them to the Lord. For a multitude of the people, many of Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the Passover otherwise than it is written. For Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying, The good the Lord pardon everyone who sets his heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his fathers, though not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary. The Lord listened to Hezekiah, and healed the people. The children of Israel who were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness, and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day by day, singing with loud instruments to the Lord. Hezekiah spoke comfortably to all the Levites who had good understanding in the service of the Lord. So they ate throughout the feast for the seven days, offering sacrifices of peace offerings, and making confession to the Lord, the God of their fathers. The whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days, and they kept other seven days with gladness. For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the assembly for offerings one thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep, and the princes gave to the assembly a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep, and a great number of priests sanctified themselves. All the assembly of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the assembly who came out of Israel, and the immigrants who came out of the land of Israel, and who lived in Judah, rejoiced. So there was great joy in Jerusalem; for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem. Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy habitation, to heaven. Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah, and broke in pieces the pillars, and hewed down the Asherim, and broke down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities. Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests and the Levites after their divisions, every man according to his service, both the priests and the Levites, for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister, and to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the camp of the Lord. He appointed also the king's portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the Sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the Lord. Moreover he commanded the people who lived in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might give themselves to the law of the Lord. As soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel gave in abundance the first fruits of grain, new wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field, and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly. The children of Israel and Judah, who lived in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of dedicated things which were consecrated to the Lord their God, and laid them by heaps. In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month. When Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed the Lord, and his people Israel. Then Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps. Azariah the chief priest, of the house of Zadok, answered him and said, Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of the Lord, we have eaten and had enough, and have left plenty, for the Lord has blessed his people, and what is left is this great store. Then Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers in the house of the Lord, and they prepared them.

Reading 124/341, 2 Chronicles 25-28

...2 Chronicles...

Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem, and his mother's name was Jehoaddan, of Jerusalem. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart. Now it happened, when the kingdom was established to him, that he killed his servants who had killed the king his father. But he did not put their children to death, but did according to what is written in the law in the book of Moses, as the Lord commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, nor shall the children die for the fathers; but every man shall die for his own sin. Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together, and ordered them according to their fathers' houses, under captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, all Judah and Benjamin, and he numbered them from twenty years old and upward, and found them three hundred thousand chosen men, able to go forth to war, who could handle spear and shield. He hired also one hundred thousand mighty men of valor out of Israel for one hundred talents of silver. But there came a man of God to him, saying, O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you; for the Lord is not with Israel, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim. But if you will go, do valiantly, be strong for the battle, God will cast you down before the enemy; for God has power to help, and to cast down. Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? The man of God answered, the Lord is able to give you much more than this. Then Amaziah separated them, to wit, the army that had come to him out of Ephraim, to go home again, therefore their anger was greatly kindled against Judah, and they returned home in fierce anger. Amaziah took courage, and led forth his people, and went to the Valley of Salt, and struck of the children of Seir ten thousand. other ten thousand did the children of Judah carry away alive, and brought them to the top of the rock, and cast them down from the top of the rock, so that they all were broken in pieces. But the men of the army whom Amaziah sent back, that they should not go with him to battle, fell on the cities of Judah, from Samaria to Beth Horon, and struck of them three thousand, and took much spoil. Now it happened, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense to them. Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent to him a prophet, who said to him, Why have you sought after the gods of the people, which have not delivered their own people out of your hand? It happened, as he talked with him, that the king said to him, Have we made you of the king's counsel? Stop! Why should you be struck down? Then the prophet stopped, and said, I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this, and have not listened to my counsel. Then Amaziah king of Judah took advice, and sent to Joash, the son of Jehoahaz the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us look one another in the face. Joash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give your daughter to my son as wife, and there passed by a wild animal that was in Lebanon, and trod down the thistle. You say, Behold, you have struck Edom, and your heart lifts you up to boast, abide now at home; why should you meddle to your hurt, that you should fall, you, and Judah with you? But Amaziah would not hear; for it was of God, that he might deliver them into the hand of their enemies, because they had sought after the gods of Edom. So Joash king of Israel went up, and he and Amaziah king of Judah looked one another in the face at Beth Shemesh, which belongs to Judah. Judah was put to the worse before Israel, and they fled every man to his tent. Joash king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash the son of Jehoahaz, at Beth Shemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits. He took all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of God with Obed-Edom, and the treasures of the king's house, the hostages also, and returned to Samaria. Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years. Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, first and last, behold, are not they written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel? Now from the time that Amaziah did turn away from following the Lord they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish, but they sent after him to Lachish, and killed him there. They brought him on horses, and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah. All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah. He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers. Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem, and his mother's name was Jechiliah, of Jerusalem. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the vision of God, and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper. He went forth and warred against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod, and he built cities in the country of Ashdod, and among the Philistines. God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians who lived in Gur Baal, and the Meunim. The Ammonites gave tribute to Uzziah, and his name spread abroad to the entrance of Egypt; for he grew exceeding strong. Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them. He built towers in the desert, and hewed out many cisterns, for he had much livestock; in the lowland also, and in the plain, and he had farmers and vineyard keepers in the mountains and in the fruitful fields; for he loved farming. Moreover Uzziah had an army of fighting men, who went out to war by bands, according to the number of their reckoning made by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the officer, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king's captains. The whole number of the heads of fathers' houses, the mighty men of valor, was two thousand and six hundred. Under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, who made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy. Uzziah prepared for them, for all the army, shields, and spears, and helmets, and coats of mail, and bows, and stones for slinging. He made in Jerusalem engines, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and on the battlements, with which to shoot arrows and great stones. His name spread far abroad; for he was marvelously helped, until he was strong. But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up, so that he did corruptly, and he trespassed against the Lord his God; for he went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him eighty priests of the Lord, who were valiant men, and they withstood Uzziah the king, and said to him, It pertains not to you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense, go out of the sanctuary; for you have trespassed; nor shall it be for your honor from the Lord God. Then Uzziah was angry, and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense, and while he was angry with the priests, the leprosy broke forth in his forehead before the priests in the house of the Lord, beside the altar of incense. Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked on him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out quickly from there; yes, himself hurried also to go out, because the Lord had struck him. Uzziah the king was a leper to the day of his death, and lived in a separate house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the Lord, and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land. Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write. So Uzziah slept with his fathers, and they buried him with his fathers in the field of burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper, and Jotham his son reigned in his place. Jotham was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and his mother's name was Jerushah the daughter of Zadok. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that his father Uzziah had done, however he did not enter into the temple of the Lord. The people did yet corruptly. He built the upper gate of the house of the Lord, and on the wall of Ophel he built much. Moreover he built cities in the hill country of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers. He fought also with the king of the children of Ammon, and prevailed against them. The children of Ammon gave him the same year one hundred talents of silver, and ten thousand measures of wheat, and ten thousand of barley. So much did the children of Ammon render to him, in the second year also, and in the third. So Jotham became mighty, because he ordered his ways before the Lord his God. Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars, and his ways, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David, and Ahaz his son reigned in his place. Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord, like David his father; but he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for the Baals. Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel. He sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree. Therefore the Lord his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria, and they struck him, and carried away of his a great multitude of captives, and brought them to Damascus. He was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who struck him with a great slaughter. For Pekah the son of Remaliah killed in Judah one hundred twenty thousand in one day, all of them valiant men; because they had forsaken the Lord, the God of their fathers. Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king's son, and Azrikam the ruler of the house, and Elkanah who was next to the king. The children of Israel carried away captive of their brothers two hundred thousand, women, sons, and daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria. But a prophet of the Lord was there, whose name was Oded, and he went out to meet the army that came to Samaria, and said to them, Behold, because the Lord, the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah, he has delivered them into your hand, and you have slain them in a rage which has reached up to heaven. Now you purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondservants and bondmaids to you, but are not there with you trespasses of your own against the Lord your God? Now hear me therefore, and send back the captives, that you have taken captive of your brothers; for the fierce wrath of the Lord is on you. Then certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against those who came from the war, and said to them, You shall not bring in the captives here, for you purpose what will bring on us a trespass against the Lord, to add to our sins and to our trespass; for our trespass is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel. So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the assembly. The men who have been mentioned by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all who 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 on donkeys, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brothers, then they returned to Samaria. At that time did king Ahaz send to the kings of Assyria to help him. For again the Edomites had come and struck Judah, and carried away captives. The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the lowland, and of the South of Judah, and had taken Beth Shemesh, and Aijalon, and Gederoth, and Soco with the towns of it, and Timnah with the towns of it, Gimzo also and the towns of it, and they lived there. For the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he had dealt wantonly in Judah, and trespassed severely against the Lord. Tilgath Pilneser king of Assyria came to him, and distressed him, but did not strengthen him. 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 to the king of Assyria, but it did not help him. In the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the Lord, this same king Ahaz. For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus, which struck him, and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria helped them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel. 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. In every city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods, and provoked to anger the Lord, the God of his fathers. Now the rest of his acts, and all his ways, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, in Jerusalem; for they did not bring him into the tombs of the kings of Israel, and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.