2 Chronicles 27-29
Judah Defeated by Syria and Israel
5 Therefore the Lord his God delivered Ahaz into the hand of the king of Syria. They defeated him and carried away a great multitude of them as captives, and brought them to Damascus. He then was delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who defeated him with a great slaughter. 6 For Pekah the son of Remaliah, the king of Israel, killed one hundred twenty thousand mighty men in Judah in one day, because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers. 7 Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king’s son, Azrikam the officer over the house, and Elkanah, who was second to the king. 8 And the sons of Israel carried away captive three hundred thousand of their brethren—their wives, the sons, and their daughters—and they took away a great deal of spoil from them and brought the spoil to Samaria.
Israel Releases Her Captives
9 But a prophet of the Lord was there whose name was Oded, and he went out before the army that came to Samaria and said to them, “Look, the wrath of the Lord God of your fathers is on Judah. He has delivered them into your hand, but you killed them in a rage that reaches up to heaven. 10 And now do you propose to force the sons of Judah and Jerusalem to be your male and female servants? Will I not bear witness about you before the Lord your God? 11 Therefore, now hear me and return the captives you took from your brethren, for the fierce wrath of the Lord is upon you.”
12 Then some of the leaders of the sons of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against those who came from the war 13 and said to them, “You shall not bring the captives here to us, for we have already offended the Lord. You intend to add to our sins and to our guilt, for our guilt is great and there is fierce wrath against Israel.” 14 So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the leaders and all the assembly. 15 And the men who were designated by name rose up and took the captives. From the spoil they clothed all who were naked among them, dressed them and gave them sandals, gave them food and drink, and anointed them. They let all the feeble ones ride on donkeys. So they brought them to their brethren at Jericho, the city of palm trees. Then they returned to Samaria.
Assyria Will Not Help Judah
16 At that time King Ahaz sent to the kings of Assyria to help him. 17 For again the Edomites had come and attacked Judah and carried away captives. 18 The foreigners had also invaded the cities of the lowland and the South of Judah and had taken Beth Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Sochoh with its villages, Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo with its villages, and settled there. 19 For the Lord brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Judah, for he had rebelled against the Lord. 20 Also Tiglath-Pileser, king of Assyria, came to him and struck him. 21 For Ahaz took what was in the house of the Lord and the house of the king and the leaders, and gave it to the king of Assyria, and he did not help him.
Sins and Death of Ahaz
22 Now in the time of his distress, King Ahaz became increasingly unfaithful to the Lord. And the king said, 23 “I shall seek the gods of Damascus, who defeated me.” And he said, “Because the gods of the king of Syria help them, I will sacrifice to them and they will help me.” But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel.
24 So Ahaz gathered the articles of the house of God, cut the articles of the house of God in pieces, shut the doors of the house of the Lord, and made altars for himself in every corner of Jerusalem. 25 And in every single city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to foreign gods, and provoked the Lord God of his fathers to anger. 26 Now the rest of his acts and all his deeds, from first to last, indeed they are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 27 So Ahaz rested with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, in Jerusalem. But they did not place him in the tombs of the kings of Israel. Then Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.
Hezekiah Is King of Judah
1 Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. 2 And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to everything his father David had done.
Cleansing the Temple
3 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. 4 Then he brought in the priests and the Levites and gathered them in the East Square, 5 and said to them, “Hear me, Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the Lord God of your fathers, and cast out the uncleanness from the holy place; 6 for our fathers trespassed and did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God. They forsook Him, they turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord and turned their backs on Him. 7 They also shut up the doors of the temple, put out the lamps, and did not burn incense or offer burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore the Lord turned His anger against Judah and Jerusalem, and as you see with your eyes, He gave them up to terror, to desolation, and to jeering. 9 For indeed, because of this our fathers fell by the sword, and our wives, our sons, and our daughters are in captivity. 10 Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, to turn the fierce wrath of His anger from us. 11 Now do not be negligent, for the Lord chose you to stand before Him and serve Him, to minister to Him and burn incense.”
12 Then these Levites arose: the sons of Kohath, Mahath the son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah; of the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi and Azariah the son of Jehallelel; of the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah and Eden the son of Joah; 13 of the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeiel; of the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14 of the sons of Heman, Jehiel and Shimei; and of the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel.
15 And they gathered their brethren and sanctified themselves according to the commandment of the king, at the words of the Lord, to cleanse the house of the Lord. 16 Then the priests went into the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness they found in the temple of the Lord and in the court of the house of the Lord. And the Levites took it out and carried it to the Brook Kidron. 17 They began to sanctify it on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the vestibule of the Lord. They sanctified the house of the Lord in eight days and finished on the sixteenth day of the first month.
18 And they went in to King Hezekiah and said, “We have cleansed everything in the house of the Lord, the altar of burnt offerings with all its articles, and the table of the showbread with all its articles. 19 Moreover, we have prepared and sanctified all the articles King Ahaz polluted in his reign and his apostasy. We have prepared and sanctified them all, and there they are before the altar of the Lord.”
Worship Is Restored
20 Then King Hezekiah rose early, gathered the rulers of the city, and went up to the house of the Lord. 21 He offered seven calves, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats for a sin offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary, and for Judah. Then he commanded the priests, the sons of Aaron, to offer them on the altar of the Lord. 22 So they sacrificed the calves, and the priests received the blood and sprinkled it on the altar. Likewise they sacrificed the rams and sprinkled the blood on the altar. They also killed the lambs and sprinkled the blood on the altar. 23 Then they brought out the male goats for the sin offering before the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them. 24 And the priests sacrificed them. They presented their blood on the altar as a sin offering to make an atonement for all Israel, for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering be made for all Israel.
25 And he stationed the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with stringed instruments, and with harps, according to the commandment of David and Gad the king’s seer and Nathan the prophet; for this was the commandment of the Lord by his prophets. 26 The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 Then Hezekiah commanded them to offer the burnt offering on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, they started to sing to the Lord with the trumpets and with the instruments of David king of Israel. 28 So all the assembly worshiped. The singers sang and the trumpeters sounded until the burnt offering was finished. 29 And when they had finished offering, the king and all who were present with him bowed. 30 And King Hezekiah and the leaders commanded the Levites to sing praise to the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the prophet. So they sang praises with gladness, and bowed their heads and worshiped.
31 Then Hezekiah spoke up and said, “Now that you have cleansed your hands for the Lord, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of the Lord.” So the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all who were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings. 32 And the number of the burnt offerings the assembly brought was seventy calves, one hundred rams, and two hundred lambs. All these were for a burnt offering to the Lord. 33 And there were six hundred consecrated calves and three thousand sheep. 34 But there were not enough priests, so they could not skin all the burnt offerings. Therefore their brethren the Levites helped them until the task was finished and until the other priests had sanctified themselves, for the Levites were more diligent in sanctifying themselves than the priests. 35 There were many burnt offerings, 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. 36 Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced that God had prepared the people, since the events took place so suddenly.
1 An ode of ascents.
“If the Lord had not been with us,”
Let Israel now say,
2 “If the Lord had not been with us,
When men rose up against us,
3 Then they would have swallowed us alive,
When their anger raged against us,
4 Then the water would have drowned us;
Our soul would have passed through a torrent,
5 Then our soul would have passed through
A water that is overwhelming.”
6 Blessed is the Lord,
Who did not give us as prey to their teeth.
7 Our soul was delivered like a sparrow
From the snare of the hunters;
The snare was broken, and we were delivered.
8 Our help is in the name of the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
1 An ode of ascents.
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion;
He who dwells in Jerusalem shall be unshaken forever.
2 The mountains surround her,
And the Lord surrounds His people
From this present time and unto the ages.
3 The Lord will not permit the rod of sinners
To be upon the inheritance of the righteous,
Lest the righteous stretch out
Their hands in lawlessness.
4 Do good, O Lord, to the good,
And to the upright in heart;
5 But those who turn aside to crooked ways,
The Lord shall lead away with the workers of lawlessness.
Peace be upon Israel.
25 Know thoroughly the souls of your sheep,
And you will set your heart on your flocks,
26 Since strength and might are not in man forever,
Neither are they transmitted from generation to generation.
27 Take care of the green plants in the field, and cut the herbs short,
And gather the grass of the mountains.
28 That you may have the wool of sheep for clothing,
Honor the field, so there may be lambs for you.
29 My son, you have strong sayings from me for your life
And for the life of your servants.
1 “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble.
2 “They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.
3 “And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.
4 “But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.
The Work of the Holy Spirit
5 “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’
6 “But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.
7 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.
8 “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9 “of sin, because they do not believe in Me;
10 “of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;
11 “of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
14 “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.
15 “All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
Sorrow Will Turn to Joy
16 “A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.”
17 Then some of His disciples said among themselves, “What is this that He says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’; and, ‘because I go to the Father’?”
18 They said therefore, “What is this that He says, ‘A little while’? We do not know what He is saying.”
19 Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, “Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, ‘A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’?
20 “Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.
21 “A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.
22 “Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.
23 “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.
24 “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Jesus Christ Has Overcome the World
25 “These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about the Father.
26 “In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you;
27 “for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.
28 “I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.”
29 His disciples said to Him, “See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech!
30 “Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.”
31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe?
32 “Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.
33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”