2 Chronicles 35-37
1 Now Josiah kept a Passover to the Lord his God in Jerusalem, and they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2 He established the priests in their duties and encouraged them for the service of the house of the Lord. 3 Then he said to the Levites who had power in all Israel, to sanctify themselves for the Lord. And they put the holy ark in the house built by Solomon the son of David, king of Israel. And the king said, “It shall no longer be a burden on your shoulders. Now serve the Lord your God and His people Israel. 4 Prepare yourselves according to your fathers’ houses, by your divisions, following the written instruction of David king of Israel and the written instruction of Solomon his son. 5 And stand in the house according to the divisions of the fathers’ houses of your brethren, the sons of the people, and according to the division of the father’s house of the Levites. 6 Slaughter the Passover and prepare the holy things for your brethren so they may do according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses.”
7 Then Josiah began the sacrifice for the sons of the people, with sheep and lambs and young goats from the flock to the number of thirty thousand, as well as three thousand calves for all the Passover offerings, for all who were present. These were from the king’s possessions. 8 And the leaders began the offering for the people and the priests and the Levites, rulers of the house of God. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel gave the priests two thousand six hundred sheep and lambs and goats from the flock for the Passover offerings, and three hundred calves. 9 Conaniah and Banaiah and Shemaiah and Nethanel his brother, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, leaders of the Levites, began the offering for the Levites with five thousand sheep and five hundred calves for the Passover offerings.
10 So the service was prepared. And the priests stood in their places with the Levites in their divisions according to the king’s command. 11 And they slaughtered the Passover offerings. The priests sprinkled the blood with their hands, while the Levites skinned the animals. 12 Then they prepared the burnt offerings to give it to them by the divisions of the fathers’ houses of the sons of the people, to offer to the Lord as it is written in the Book of Moses. And so they did in the morning. 13 They roasted the Passover offerings with fire according to the ordinance. But they boiled the other holy offerings in bronze pots and in pans. And it went well, and they divided them quickly among all the sons of the people. 14 Afterward they prepared portions for themselves and for the priests, because the priests were busy offering burnt offerings and fat until night. Therefore the Levites prepared portions for themselves and their brethren, the sons of Aaron. 15 And the singers, the sons of Asaph, were in their places according to the command of David. Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, the king’s prophets and the gatekeepers, were at each gate. They did not have to leave their service of the holy things because their brethren the Levites prepared portions for them.
16 So all the service of the Lord was arranged and prepared on that day to keep the Passover and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord according to the command of King Josiah. 17 And the sons of Israel who were present kept the Passover at that time, and they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days. 18 No Passover like this was kept in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet, and none of the kings of Israel kept such a Passover to the Lord as Josiah kept, having the priests and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, 19 in the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah.
20 The ventriloquists, and the mediums, and the images and the idols, and the other abominations which were in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, King Josiah burned with fire, to confirm the words of the law written in the book which Hilkiah the priest found in the house of the Lord. 21 There was no one like him before him, who turned towards the Lord with all his heart and all his soul and all his strength in all the law of Moses. No one arose like him afterward. 22 But the Lord did not turn from the anger of His great wrath with which the Lord was enraged against Judah, because of all the provocations with which Mannaseh provoked Him. 23 And the Lord said, “I will remove Judah from before Me as I removed Israel, and I will reject Jerusalem, the city I chose, and the house where I said that My name would be there.”
Josiah Killed in Battle
24 Pharaoh Necho, the king of Egypt, came against the king of the Assyrians to fight at the river Euphrates. And King Josiah went out against him. 25 But Pharaoh sent messengers to him saying, “What do I have to do with you, king of Judah? I have not come to fight against you today, and God commanded me to make haste. Refrain from meddling with God, who is with me, so that He does not destroy you.” 26 Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but continued to fight with him. He did not heed the words of Necho from the mouth of God. So he came to fight in the Valley of Megiddo.
27 And the archers shot King Josiah, and the king said to his servants, “Take me away, for I am severely wounded.” 28 His servants took him out of the chariot and put him in a second chariot he had, and brought him to Jerusalem. So he died and was buried with his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. 29 Jeremiah also lamented for Josiah. And to this day, all the important men and women speak of Josiah in their lamentations. They made it a custom in Israel, and it is written in the Lamentations. 30 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah and his hope are written in the Law of the Lord, 31 and his deeds from first to last, indeed they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.
Jehoahaz Is King of Judah
1 Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz, the son of Josiah, and anointed him and established him as king in his father’s place in Jerusalem. 2 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned for three months in Jerusalem. 3 And his mother’s name was Amital the daughter of Jeremiah from Lobema. 4 And he did evil before the Lord according to everything his fathers did. 5 And Pharoah Necho bound him in Deble in the land of Emath, lest he reign in Jerusalem. 6 The king of Egypt carried him away to Egypt, and he imposed on the land a tribute of one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.
Jehoiakim Is King of Judah
7 Then Pharaoh Necho made Josiah’s son Eliakim king over Judah in place of his father Josiah, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. And Pharaoh Necho took Jehoahaz his brother and carried him off to Egypt, where he died. 8 And he gave silver and gold to Pharaoh. Then the land began to be taxed to give silver to feed Pharaoh, and each one asked as he was able for silver and gold from the people of the land to give to Pharaoh Necho.
9 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Zechora the daughter of Neriou from Rama. And as his fathers did, he did evil in the sight of the Lord his God in all things. 10 In those days, Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon came to the land, and he served him three years and revolted from him. 11 And the Lord sent the Chaldeans against them, and bands of robbers from Syria, and bands of robbers from the Moabites, and the sons of Ammon and Samaria. But after this they departed, according to the word of the Lord by the hand of his servants the prophets.
12 But the wrath of the Lord was on Judah because they rebelled against Him through the sins of Manasseh in all he did, 13 and in the innocent blood Jehoiakim shed, for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the Lord did not want to destroy him. 14 Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came up against him and bound him in bronze fetters and carried him off to Babylon. 15 He carried off some of the articles from the house of the Lord to Babylon and put them in his temple in Babylon. 16 And the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim and all he did, are they not written in the Book of the Kings of Judah? And Jehoiakim rested with his fathers and was buried in Ganoza with his fathers, and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place.
Jehoiachin Is King of Judah
17 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem for three months and ten days. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord. 18 At the turn of the year, King Nebuchadnezzar summoned him and brought him to Babylon with the costly articles from the house of the Lord, and made Zedekiah, his father’s brother, king over Judah and Jerusalem.
Zedekiah Is King of Judah
19 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem. 20 He did evil in the sight of the Lord his God and was not ashamed before Jeremiah the prophet, nor because of the word of the Lord. 21 He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar and broke the oath he swore by God. But he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart, turning against the Lord God of Israel.
22 Moreover all the nobles of Judah and the leaders and the priests and the people transgressed more and more, following all the abominations of the nations, and defiled the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. 23 And the Lord God of their fathers sent them warnings by His messengers, rising up early and sending His messengers, because He spared His people and His dwelling place. 24 But they mocked His messengers, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord rose against His people and there was no remedy.
25 Therefore He brought against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of His sanctuary, and did not spare Zedekiah or have pity on the virgins, and he led away the aged. He gave everything into their hands. 26 And all the articles from the house of God, great and small, the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king and his nobles, he took all these to Babylon. 27 Then he burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions. 28 And he settled those remaining in Babylon, where they became servants to him and his sons until the rule of the kingdom of the Medes, 29 to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate, she kept the Sabbath, until seventy years had passed.
King Cyrus: Go up to Jerusalem
30 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, after the fulfillment of the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia and told him to make a proclamation throughout all his kingdom in writing, saying, 31 “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia to all the kingdoms of the earth: ‘The Lord God of heaven gave to me even a command, to build for Him a house in Jerusalem of Judah. Is there anyone from among you, from among all the people God will be with? Let him go up to Jerusalem.’ ”
Prayer of King Manasseh
1 “O Lord Almighty, the God of our fathers, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their righteous seed; 2 who made heaven and earth with all their ornamentation; 3 who set the bounds of the sea by the word of Your command; who closed the abyss and sealed it by Your fearful and glorious name; 4 before whom all things tremble and fear because of Your power; 5 for the majesty of Your glory is unbearable, and the wrath of Your threats toward sinners cannot be withstood; 6 yet Your merciful promise is immeasurable and unsearchable. 7 For You are the Lord Most High, and are tenderhearted, patient, very merciful, and who repent toward the evils of man.
8 “Therefore You, O Lord God of the righteous, have not appointed repentance for the righteous, for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who have not sinned against You; but You have appointed repentance for me, a sinner, 9 because I have sinned more than the number of the sands on the seashore. My lawlessness, O Lord, is multiplied. Yes, my lawlessness is multiplied, and I am not worthy to fix my eyes to behold the heights of heaven because of the multitude of my wrongdoings. 10 I am bent down with so many iron chains that I shake my head over my sins, neither do I have any relief. For I have provoked Your anger and done evil in your sight. I have set up abominations and multiplied idols.
11 “Now therefore, I bow the knee of my heart, begging goodness from You. 12 I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, and I know my lawlessness. 13 I ask and beg you: forgive me, O Lord, forgive me, and do not destroy me because of my lawlessness; neither reserve evils for me, nor be wrathful forever; nor condemn me to the lowest parts of the earth; for You are the Lord God of those who repent. 14 And in me, though I am unworthy, You will show Your goodness, and will save me according to Your great mercy. 15 Therefore I shall praise You continually all the days of my life, for all the powers of the heavens praise You, and Yours is the glory unto the ages. Amen.”
1 An ode of ascents.
Out of the depths I have cried to You, O Lord;
2 O Lord, hear my voice;
Let Your ears be attentive
To the voice of my supplication.
3 If You, O Lord, should mark transgression,
O Lord, who would stand?
4 For there is forgiveness with You.
5 Because of Your law, O Lord, I waited for You;
My soul waited for Your word.
6 My soul hopes in the Lord,
From the morning watch until night;
From the morning watch until night,
Let Israel hope in the Lord.
7 For with the Lord there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption;
8 And He shall redeem Israel
From all his transgressions
1 An ode of ascents, by David.
O Lord, My heart is not exalted,
Neither are my eyes raised up;
Neither am I carried along in great things,
Nor in things too marvelous for me.
2 If I were not humble-minded,
But exalted my soul,
Like a child weaned from his mother,
So You would reward my soul.
3 Let Israel hope in the Lord
From this present time and unto the ages.
12 A rich man is wise in his own eyes,
But a poor man shall disapprove of his thoughts.
13 Great glory arises because of the help of the righteous,
But in places of the ungodly, men are conquered.
14 He who hides his own ungodliness shall not prosper,
But he who leads his own rebuttal shall be loved.
15 Blessed is the man who shall be discreet in all things because of godly fear,
But the man who hardens his heart shall fall into evils.
28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover.
29 Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?”
30 They answered and said to him, “If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you.”
31 Then Pilate said to them, “You take Him and judge Him according to your law.” Therefore the Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,”
32 that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die.
33 Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”
34 Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me?”
35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?”
36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”
37 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.
Taking the Place of Barabbas
(Matt. 27:15–23; Mark 15:6–14; Luke 23:13–23)
39 “But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”
40 Then they all cried again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
The Soldiers Mock Jesus
(Matt. 27:27–31; Mark 15:16–20)
1 So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him.
2 And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe.
3 Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands.
4 Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.”