4 Kingdoms 21:1-23:20
1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he ruled for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. 2 And he did evil in the eyes of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the sons of Israel. 3 For he brought back and built the high places that Hezekiah his father had destroyed. He raised up an altar for Baal, and as Ahab king of Israel did, he made a wooden image. He worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. 4 He also built an altar in the house of the Lord, of which He had said, “In Jerusalem I will put My name.” 5 And he built an altar for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord.
6 Also, he made his sons pass through the fire and practiced divination. He read omens from the flight and cries of birds, and consulted wizards, and multiplied those familiar with them, to do evil in the sight of the Lord. He provoked Him to anger. 7 He even took a carved image of the wooden image and placed it in the house of which the Lord had said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I chose out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever. 8 But to those who shall keep all that I command, according to all the commandments which my servant Moses commanded them, I will not again let the foot of Israel be shaken from the land I gave their fathers.” 9 But they paid no attention as Manasseh led them astray. They did more evil than the nations whom the Lord had removed from before the sons of Israel.
10 And the Lord spoke by His servants the prophets, saying, 11 “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations, acting more wickedly than all the Amorites who were before him, and because he made Judah sin with his idols, 12 it shall not be so. Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Behold! I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle. 13 And I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line of Samaria and the plumb line of the house of Ahab. I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes an alabaster vessel, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 So I will drive away the remnant of My inheritance and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become victims of plunder by all their enemies. 15 For they have done evil in My eyes and have provoked Me to anger since the day I brought their fathers out of Egypt to this day.’ ” 16 Indeed, Manasseh poured out large quantities of innocent blood until it filled Jerusalem from end to end. This in addition to the sins which he led Judah to commit, in doing evil in the sight of the Lord.
17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, all he did, and all the sins he committed, are these not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Judah? 18 So Manasseh rested with his fathers and was buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza. Then his son Amon reigned in his place.
Amon Is King of Judah
19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he ruled for two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. 20 And he did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done. 21 And he walked in all the ways that his father walked, and he served the idols his father served, and worshiped them. 22 He forsook the Lord God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the Lord. 23 Then servants of Amon conspired against him and killed the king in his own house. 24 But the people of the land put to death all those who had conspired against King Amon. Then the people of the land made his son Josiah king in his place. 25 Now the rest of the acts Amon did, are these not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Judah? 26 And he was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza. Then Josiah his son reigned in his place.
Josiah Is King of Judah
1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he ruled for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. 2 And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and walked in all the ways of his father David. He did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
Discovery of the Book of the Law
3 Now in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, in the eighth month, the king sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe of the house of the Lord, saying, 4 “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, and take account of the money brought into the house of the Lord gathered from the people. 5 And let them deliver it into the hand of the appointed workers in the house of the Lord.” So he gave it to those in the house of the Lord doing the work to repair the damages of the house; 6 to the carpenters, and builders, and masons; to acquire wood and hewn stones, to strengthen the repairs of the house. 7 However, because they dealt faithfully, they were not asked to account for the money delivered into their hand.
8 Then Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, “I discovered the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. 9 Then he brought the book to King Josiah and turned to the king to report, saying, “Your servants have melted down the silver being found in the house of the Lord and given it to the ones having responsibility for repairs to the house of the Lord.” 10 So Shaphan the scribe spoke to the king, saying, “Hilkiah the priest gave me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king. 11 Now when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes. 12 Then the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Achbor the son of Michaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the servant of the king, saying, 13 “Go and inquire of the Lord for me, for all the people and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that was found. For great is the wrath of the Lord kindled against us, because our fathers did not hear and obey the words of this book, to do according to all the words of this book written concerning us.”
14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, the keeper of the wardrobe, who dwelt in Jerusalem studying the Law, and they spoke with her. 15 And she said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you to me, 16 ‘Thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will bring evil upon this place and upon those who dwell here, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read. 17 For they forsook Me and burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with the works of their hands. Therefore My wrath shall be kindled against this place. It shall not be quenched.’ ” 18 And to the king of Judah, sending you to seek out the Lord, thus you shall say this to him, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel, “The words which you heard, 19 because your heart was softened, and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard I spoke against this place and those dwelling in it, that it will disappear and become a curse, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, so I have heard you,” says the Lord. 20 “Behold, it shall not be so. I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace. Your eyes shall not see any of the evils which I shall bring on this place.” ’ ” They brought the message back to the king.
True Worship of God Is Restored
1 Now the king sent and gathered to himself all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 2 The king went up to the house of the Lord with all the men of Judah, and with him all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great. He read all the words of the Book of the Covenant discovered in the house of the Lord for them to hear. 3 Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord and to keep His commandments, and His testimonies, and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to conform to the words of this covenant written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant.
4 So the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and those who had charge of the weights, to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the articles made for Baal, and for the sacred wooden image, and for all the host of heaven. Then he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron and carried their ashes to Bethel. 5 And he put an end to the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had appointed to burn incense in the high places, in the cities of Judah, and in the places all around Jerusalem. This included those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, to the moon, to the constellations, and to all the host of heaven. 6 Then he took the wooden image from the house of the Lord to the Brook Kidron outside Jerusalem. He burned it at the Brook Kidron and ground it to ashes. He threw its ashes on the graves of the sons of the people. 7 So in the house of the Lord, he tore down the ritual booths of the male temple prostitutes, the place where the women wove linen garments for the wooden image. 8 Then he led up all the priests from the cities of Judah and defiled the high places where the priests burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba. And he pulled down the house of the gate by the entrance of the Gate of Joshua, the governor of the city, which was to the left of the city gate. 9 Only the priests of the high places did not come up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, for they only ate leavened bread among their brethren.
10 He defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, so no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire as an offering to Molech. 11 Then he removed the horses the kings of Judah dedicated to the sun at the entrance to the house of the Lord, by the offering box of Nathan, the king’s eunuch, in the court. He burned the chariot of the sun with fire. 12 As for the altars made by the kings of Judah on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, and the altars Manasseh made in the two courts of the house of the Lord, the king pulled them down and removed them by force. He cast their dust into the Brook Kidron. 13 Then the king defiled the house east of Jerusalem, on the south of the Mount of Corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel built for Ashtoreth, the abomination of the Sidonians, and for Chemosh, the abomination of the Moabites, and for Milcom, the abomination of the people of Ammon. 14 And he broke in pieces the sacred pillars, and he cut down the sacred wooden images and filled their places with human bones.
15 As for the altar at Bethel, the high altar which Jeroboam the son of Nebat had made, who led Israel to sin, that altar and that high place he tore down and crushed the stones. He ground them into dust and burned the wooden image. 16 As Josiah turned, he saw the tombs on the mountain there in the city. So he sent and took the bones out of the tombs and burned them on the altar. He defiled it according to the word of the Lord which the man of God had spoken when Jeroboam stood at the altar during the festival. And he turned and raised his eyes to the tomb of the man of God who spoke those words, 17 and he said, “What gravestone is this that I see?” So the men of the city told him, “It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and proclaimed these things you did against the altar of Bethel.” 18 Then he said, “Leave him alone. Let no one move his bones.” So his bones were saved along with the bones of the prophet who came from Samaria. 19 Now Josiah also took away all the shrines of the high places, the ones the kings of Israel made in the cities of Samaria to provoke the Lord to anger. And he did to them as he had done in Bethel. 20 He put to death all the priests of the high places on the altars, and burned human bones on them, and returned to Jerusalem.
1 A psalm by David.
The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand,
Until I make Your enemies the footstool of Your feet.”
2 The Lord shall send forth the rod of Your power from Zion,
And rule in the midst of Your enemies.
3 With You is the beginning in the day of Your power,
In the brightness of Your saints;
“I have begotten You from the womb before the morning star.”
4 The Lord swore and will not repent,
“You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
5 The Lord at Your right hand crushed kings in the day of His wrath;
6 He shall judge among the nations; He shall fill them with dead bodies;
He shall crush the heads of many on earth.
7 He shall drink from the brook on the way;
Therefore, He shall raise His head high.
I will give thanks to You, O Lord, with my whole heart,
In the council of the upright and in the assembly.
2 Great are the works of the Lord,
Sought out in all things with regard to His will;
3 Thanksgiving and majesty are His work,
And His righteousness continues unto ages of ages.
4 He made a remembrance of His wonders;
The Lord is merciful and compassionate;
5 He gave food to those who fear Him;
He shall remember His covenant forever.
6 He declared the strength of His works to His people,
So as to give them the inheritance of the nations.
7 The works of His hands are truth and judgment;
Faithful are all His commandments,
8 Established unto ages of ages,
Made in truth and uprightness.
9 He sent redemption to His people;
He commanded His covenant forever;
Holy and fearful is His name.
10 The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord;
A good understanding is in all who practice it.
His praise continues unto ages of ages.
13 My son, eat honey, for the honeycomb is good,
That your throat may be sweetened.
14 Thus you shall discern wisdom for your soul,
For if you find it, there will be a good end to your life;
And hope will not abandon you.
15 Do not bring an ungodly man to the dwelling of the righteous,
Neither be deceived by the full satisfaction of the stomach.
16 For a righteous man will fall seven times and rise again,
But the ungodly shall weaken in evils.
17 If your enemy falls, do not rejoice over him,
And do not exalt yourself at his stumbling;
18 Because the Lord will see this, and it will not please Him,
And He will turn His anger from him.
1 After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches.
3 In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.
4 For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.
5 Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”
7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.”
8 Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”
9 And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.
10 The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”
11 He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’ ”
12 Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?”
13 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place.
14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”15 The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.