Reading 121/341, 2 Chronicles 13-17

...2 Chronicles...

In the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah. Three years reigned he in Jerusalem, and his mother's name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. Abijah joined battle with an army of valiant men of war, four hundred thousand chosen men, and Jeroboam set the battle in array against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, who were mighty men of valor. Abijah stood up on Mount Zemaraim, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, Hear me, Jeroboam and all Israel, Ought you not to know that the Lord, the God of Israel, gave the kingdom over Israel to David forever, to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt? Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up, and rebelled against his lord. There were gathered to him worthless men, base fellows, who strengthened themselves against Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and tender-hearted, and could not withstand them. Now you think to withstand the kingdom of the Lord in the hand of the sons of David, and you are a great multitude, and there are with you the golden calves which Jeroboam made you for gods. Have not you driven out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and made you priests after the manner of the peoples of other lands? so that whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams, the same may be a priest of those who are no gods. But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken him, and we have priests ministering to the Lord, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites in their work, and they burn to the Lord every morning and every evening burnt offerings and sweet incense, the bread of the Presence also set they in order on the pure table, and the lampstand of gold with the lamps of it, to burn every evening, for we keep the charge of the Lord our God; but you have forsaken him. Behold, God is with us at our head, and his priests with the trumpets of alarm to sound an alarm against you. Children of Israel, do not you fight against the Lord, the God of your fathers; for you shall not prosper. But Jeroboam caused an ambush to come about behind them, so they were before Judah, and the ambush was behind them. When Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind them, and they cried to the Lord, and the priests sounded with the trumpets. Then the men of Judah gave a shout, and as the men of Judah shouted, it happened, that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. The children of Israel fled before Judah, and God delivered them into their hand. Abijah and his people killed them with a great slaughter, so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men. Thus the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied on the Lord, the God of their fathers. Abijah pursued after Jeroboam, and took cities from him, Bethel with the towns of it, and Jeshanah with the towns of it, and Ephron with the towns of it. Nor did Jeroboam recover strength again in the days of Abijah, and the Lord struck him, and he died. But Abijah grew mighty, and took to himself fourteen wives, and became the father of twenty-two sons, and sixteen daughters. The rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways, and his sayings, are written in the commentary of the prophet Iddo. So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David, and Asa his son reigned in his place. In his days the land was quiet ten years. Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God, for he took away the foreign altars, and the high places, and broke down the pillars, and hewed down the Asherim, and commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment. Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the sun images, and the kingdom was quiet before him. He built fortified cities in Judah; for the land was quiet, and he had no war in those years, because the Lord had given him rest. For he said to Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars; the land is yet before us, because we have sought the Lord our God; we have sought him, and he has given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered. Asa had an army that bore bucklers and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand, and out of Benjamin, that bore shields and drew bows, two hundred eighty thousand, all these were mighty men of valor. There came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an army of a million troops, and three hundred chariots, and he came to Mareshah. Then Asa went out to meet him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. Asa cried to the Lord his God, and said, the Lord, there is none besides you to help, between the mighty and him who has no strength, help us, the Lord our God; for we rely on you, and in your name are we come against this multitude. The Lord, you are our God; do not let man prevail against you. So the Lord struck the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. Asa and the people who were with him pursued them to Gerar, and there fell of the Ethiopians so many that they could not recover themselves; for they were destroyed before the Lord, and before his army, and they carried away very much booty. They struck all the cities round about Gerar; for the fear of the Lord came on them, and they despoiled all the cities; for there was much spoil in them. They struck also the tents of livestock, and carried away sheep in abundance, and camels, and returned to Jerusalem. The Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Oded, and he went out to meet Asa, and said to him, Hear you me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin, the Lord is with you, while you are with him, and if you seek him, he will be found of you; but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. Now for a long season Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law, But when in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them. In those times there was no peace to him who went out, nor to him who came in; but great vexations were on all the inhabitants of the lands. They were broken in pieces, nation against nation, and city against city; for God did vex them with all adversity. But be you strong, and do not let your hands be slack; for your work shall be rewarded. When Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominations out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from the hill country of Ephraim, and he renewed the altar of the Lord, that was before the porch of the Lord. He gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those who sojourned with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon, for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. So they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. They sacrificed to the Lord in that day, of the spoil which they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep. They entered into the covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul, and that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. They swore to the Lord with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets. All Judah rejoiced at the oath; for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire, and he was found of them, and the Lord gave them rest round about. Also Maacah, the mother of Asa the king, he removed from being queen, because she had made an abominable image for an Asherah, and Asa cut down her image, and made dust of it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron. But the high places were not taken away out of Israel, nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days. He brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated, and that he himself had dedicated, silver, and gold, and vessels. There was no more war to the five and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa. In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not allow anyone to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of the Lord and of the king's house, and sent to Ben Hadad king of Syria, who lived at Damascus, saying, There is a league between me and you, as there was between my father and your father, behold, I have sent you silver and gold; go, break your league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me. Ben Hadad listened to king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel, and they struck Ijon, and Dan, and Abel Maim, and all the storage cities of Naphtali. It happened, when Baasha heard of it, that he left off building Ramah, and let his work cease. Then Asa the king took all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and the timber of it, with which Baasha had built, and he built therewith Geba and Mizpah. At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him, Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore is the army of the king of Syria escaped out of your hand. Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubim a huge army, with chariots and horsemen exceeding many? yet, because you did rely on the Lord, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord run back and forth throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein you have done foolishly; for from henceforth you shall have wars. Then Asa was angry with the seer, and put him in the prison; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. Asa oppressed some of the people at the same time. Behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet; his disease was exceeding great, yet in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but to the physicians. Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign. They buried him in his own tombs, which he had hewn out for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odors and various kinds of spices prepared by the perfumers' art, and they made a very great burning for him. Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place, and strengthened himself against Israel. He placed forces in all the fortified cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim, which Asa his father had taken. The Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and did not seek the Baals, but sought to the God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel. Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand, and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat tribute, and he had riches and honor in abundance. His heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord, and furthermore he took away the high places and the Asherim out of Judah. Also in the third year of his reign he sent his princes, Ben Hail, and Obadiah, and Zechariah, and Nethanel, and Micaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah, and with them the Levites, Shemaiah, and Nethaniah, and Zebadiah, and Asahel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehonathan, and Adonijah, and Tobijah, and Tobadonijah, the Levites, and with them Elishama and Jehoram, the priests. They taught in Judah, having the book of the law of the Lord with them, and they went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught among the people. The fear of the Lord fell on all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat. Some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents, and silver for tribute; the Arabians also brought him flocks, seven thousand and seven hundred rams, and seven thousand and seven hundred male goats. Jehoshaphat grew great exceedingly, and he built in Judah castles and cities of store. He had many works in the cities of Judah, and men of war, mighty men of valor, in Jerusalem. This was the numbering of them according to their fathers' houses, Of Judah, the captains of thousands, Adnah the captain, and with him mighty men of valor three hundred thousand, and next to him Jehohanan the captain, and with him two hundred eighty thousand, and next to him Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself to the Lord, and with him two hundred thousand mighty men of valor. Of Benjamin, Eliada a mighty man of valor, and with him two hundred thousand armed with bow and shield, and next to him Jehozabad and with him one hundred eighty thousand ready prepared for war. These were those who waited on the king, besides those whom the king put in the fortified cities throughout all Judah.

Reading 120/341, 2 Chronicles 9-12

...2 Chronicles...

When the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great train, and camels that bore spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones, and when she was come to Solomon, she talked with him of all that was in her heart. Solomon told her all her questions, and there was not anything hid from Solomon which he did not tell her. When the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built, and the food of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their clothing, his cup bearers also, and their clothing, and his ascent by which he went up to the house of the Lord; there was no more spirit in her. She said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in my own land of your acts, and of your wisdom. However I did not believe their words, until I came, and my eyes had seen it, and behold, the half of the greatness of your wisdom was not told me, you exceed the fame that I heard. Happy are your men, and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you, and hear your wisdom. Blessed be the Lord your God, who delighted in you, to set you on his throne, to be king for the Lord your God, because your God loved Israel, to establish them forever, therefore made he you king over them, to do justice and righteousness. She gave the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold, and spices in great abundance, and precious stones, nor was there any such spice as the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon. The servants also of Huram, and the servants of Solomon, who brought gold from Ophir, brought algum trees and precious stones. The king made of the algum trees terraces for the house of the Lord, and for the king's house, and harps and stringed instruments for the singers, and there were none like these seen before in the land of Judah. King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatever she asked, besides what she had brought to the king. So she turned, and went to her own land, she and her servants. Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold, besides what the traders and merchants brought, and all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon. King Solomon made two hundred bucklers of beaten gold; six hundred shekels of beaten gold went to one buckler. he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three hundred shekels of gold went to one shield, and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold. And there were six steps to the throne, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne, and stays on either side by the place of the seat, and two lions standing beside the stays. Twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other on the six steps, there was nothing like it made in any kingdom. All king Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold, silver was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon. For the king had ships that went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram; once every three years came the ships of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. All the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. They brought every man his tribute, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and clothing, armor, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year. Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, that he stationed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. He ruled over all the kings from the River to the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt. The king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars to be as the sycamore trees that are in the lowland, for abundance. They brought horses for Solomon out of Egypt, and out of all lands. Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, are not they written in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat? Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. Solomon slept with his fathers, and he was buried in the city of David his father, and Rehoboam his son reigned in his place. Rehoboam went to Shechem; for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king. It happened, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it, (for he was in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of king Solomon), that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt. They sent and called him, and Jeroboam and all Israel came, and they spoke to Rehoboam, saying, Your father made our yoke grievous, now therefore make you the grievous service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, lighter, and we will serve you. He said to them, Come again to me after three days. The people departed. King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, What counsel give you me to return answer to this people? They spoke to him, saying, If you are kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever. But he forsook the counsel of the old men which they had given him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him. He said to them, What counsel give you, that we may return answer to this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke that your father did put on us lighter? The young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying, Thus shall you tell the people who spoke to you, saying, Your father made our yoke heavy, but make you it lighter to us; thus shall you say to them, My little finger is thicker than my father's waist. Now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke, my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king bade, saying, Come to me again the third day. The king answered them roughly, and king Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men, and spoke to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add thereto, my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. So the king did not listen to the people; for it was brought about of God, that the Lord might establish his word, which he spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. When all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? nor have we inheritance in the son of Jesse, every man to your tents, Israel, now see to your own house, David. So all Israel departed to their tents. But as for the children of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. Then king Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was over the men subject to forced labor, and the children of Israel stoned him to death with stones. King Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. So Israel rebelled against the house of David to this day. When Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, one hundred eighty thousand chosen men, who were warriors, to fight against Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam. But the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying, Thus says the Lord, You shall not go up, nor fight against your brothers, return every man to his house; for this thing is of me. So they listened to the words of the Lord, and returned from going against Jeroboam. Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem, and built cities for defense in Judah. He built Bethlehem, and Etam, and Tekoa, Beth Zur, and Soco, and Adullam, and Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph, and Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah, and Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin, fortified cities. He fortified the strongholds, and put captains in them, and stores of food, and oil and wine. In every city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong. Judah and Benjamin belonged to him. The priests and the Levites who were in all Israel resorted to him out of all their border. For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem, for Jeroboam and his sons cast them off, that they should not execute the priest's office to the Lord, and he appointed him priests for the high places, and for the male goats, and for the calves which he had made. After them, out of all the tribes of Israel, such as set their hearts to seek the Lord, the God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the Lord, the God of their fathers. So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years; for they walked three years in the way of David and Solomon. Rehoboam took him a wife, Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David, and of Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse, and she bore him sons, Jeush, and Shemariah, and Zaham. After her he took Maacah the daughter of Absalom, and she bore him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith. Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines, (for he took eighteen wives, and sixty concubines, and became the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.) Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah to be chief, the prince among his brothers; for he was minded to make him king. He dealt wisely, and dispersed of all his sons throughout all the lands of Judah and Benjamin, to every fortified city, and he gave them food in abundance. He sought for them many wives. It happened, when the kingdom of Rehoboam was established, and he was strong, that he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him. It happened in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had trespassed against the Lord, with twelve hundred chariots, and sixty thousand horsemen. The people were without number who came with him out of Egypt, the Lubim, the Sukkiim, and the Ethiopians. He took the fortified cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem. Now Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, who were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, Thus says the Lord, You have forsaken me, therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak. Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves, and they said, the Lord is righteous. When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves, I will not destroy them; but I will grant them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless they shall be his servants, that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries. So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house, he took all away, he took away also the shields of gold which Solomon had made. King Rehoboam made in their place shields of bronze, and committed them to the hands of the captains of the guard, who kept the door of the king's house. It was so, that as often as the king entered into the house of the Lord, the guard came and bore them, and brought them back into the guard chamber. When he humbled himself, the wrath of the Lord turned from him, so as not to destroy him altogether, and moreover in Judah there were good things found. So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned, for Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there, and his mother's name was Naamah the Ammonitess. He did what was evil, because he did not set his heart to seek the Lord. Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, are not they written in the histories of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer, after the manner of genealogies? There were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David, and Abijah his son reigned in his place.