Reading 107/341, 2 Kings 16-18.25

...2 Kings...

In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign. Twenty years old was Ahaz 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 his God, like David his father. But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yes, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel. He sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree. Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war, and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome him. At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drove the Jews from Elath, and the Syrians came to Elath, and lived there, to this day. So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria, saying, I am your servant and your son, come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, who rise up against me. Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasures of the king's house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria. The king of Assyria listened to him, and the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and killed Rezin. King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria, and saw the altar that was at Damascus, and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and the pattern of it, according to all the workmanship of it. Urijah the priest built an altar, according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus, so did Urijah the priest make it against the coming of king Ahaz from Damascus. When the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar, and the king drew near to the altar, and offered thereon. He burnt his burnt offering and his grain offering, and poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings, on the altar. The bronze altar, which was before the Lord, he brought from the forefront of the house, from between his altar and the house of the Lord, and put it on the north side of his altar. King Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, On the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening grain offering, and the king's burnt offering, and his grain offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their grain offering, and their drink offerings, and sprinkle on it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice, but the bronze altar shall be for me to inquire by. Thus did Urijah the priest, according to all that king Ahaz commanded. King Ahaz cut off the panels of the bases, and removed the basin from off them, and took down the sea from off the bronze oxen that were under it, and put it on a pavement of stone. The covered way for the Sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king's entry outside, turned he to the house of the Lord, because of the king of Assyria. Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz which he did, are not they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? Ahaz slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David, and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place. In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel, and reigned nine years. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, yet not as the kings of Israel who were before him. Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria, and Hoshea became his servant, and brought him tribute. The king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea; for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year, therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison. Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away to Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. It was so, because the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, and walked in the statutes of the nations, whom the Lord cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they made. The children of Israel did secretly things that were not right against the Lord their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fortified city, and they set them up pillars and Asherim on every high hill, and under every green tree, and there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the nations whom the Lord carried away before them, and they worked wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger, and they served idols, of which the Lord had said to them, You shall not do this thing. Yet the Lord testified to Israel, and to Judah, by every prophet, and every seer, saying, Turn you from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. Notwithstanding, they would not hear, but hardened their neck, like the neck of their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God. They rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified to them, and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the nations that were round about them, concerning whom the Lord had charged those who they should not do like them. They forsook all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, two calves, and made an Asherah, and worshiped all the army of the sky, and served Baal. They caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do what was evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger. Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight, there was none left but the tribe of Judah only. Also Judah did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. The Lord rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight. For he tore Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king, and Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord, and made them sin a great sin. The children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they did not depart from them; until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he spoke by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away out of their own land to Assyria to this day. The king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Avva, and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel, and they possessed Samaria, and lived in the cities of it. So it was, at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they did not fear the Lord, therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them. Therefore they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which you have carried away, and placed in the cities of Samaria, do not know the law of the god of the land, therefore he has sent lions among them, and behold, they kill them, because they do not know the law of the god of the land. Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry there one of the priests whom you brought from there, and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the law of the god of the land. So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and lived in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the Lord. However every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities in which they lived. The men of Babylon made Succoth Benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima, and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. So they feared the Lord, and made to them from among themselves priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places. They feared the Lord, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away. To this day they do after the former manner, they do not fear the Lord, nor do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or after the law or after the commandment which the Lord commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel; with whom the Lord had made a covenant, and charged them, saying, You shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them, but the Lord, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm, him shall you fear, and to him shall you bow yourselves, and to him shall you sacrifice, and the statutes and the ordinances, and the law and the commandment, which he wrote for you, you shall observe to do forevermore, and you shall not fear other gods, and the covenant that I have made with you you shall not forget; nor shall you fear other gods, but the Lord your God shall you fear, and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies. However they did not listen, but they did after their former manner. So these nations feared the Lord, and served their engraved images; their children likewise, and their children's children, as did their fathers, so do they to this day. Now it happened in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem, and his mother's name was Abi 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 removed the high places, and broke the pillars, and cut down the Asherah, and he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for to those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it, and he called it Nehushtan. He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among them that were before him. For he joined with the Lord; he did not depart from following him, but kept his commandments, which the Lord commanded Moses. The Lord was with him; wherever he went forth he prospered, and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and did not serve him. He struck the Philistines to Gaza and the borders of it, from the tower of the watchmen to the fortified city. It happened in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it. At the end of three years they took it, in the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. The king of Assyria carried Israel away to Assyria, and put them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, because they did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, but transgressed his covenant, all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded, and would not hear it, nor do it. Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fortified cities of Judah, and took them. Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended; return from me, what you put on me will I bear. The king of Assyria appointed to Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasures of the king's house. At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria. The king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great army to Jerusalem. They went up and came to Jerusalem. When they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller's field. When they had called to the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebnah the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder. Rabshakeh said to them, Say you now to Hezekiah, Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this in which you trust? You say (but they are but vain words), There is counsel and strength for the war. Now on whom do you trust, that you have rebelled against me? Now, behold, you trust on the staff of this bruised reed, on Egypt; on which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it, so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust on him. But if you tell me, We trust in the Lord our God; is not that he whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and has said to Judah and to Jerusalem, You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem? Now therefore, Please give pledges to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. How then can you turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants, and put your trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? Am I now come up without the Lord against this place to destroy it? the Lord said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.

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