2 Chronicles 33:14-34:33
14 After this, Manasseh rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David from west of Gihon Spring in the valley to the entrance of Fish Gate. He made the wall go around the Ophel, and he built it very high. He put army commanders in every fortified city in Judah.
15 Manasseh got rid of the foreign gods and the idol in the Lord’s temple. He got rid of the altars he had built in the temple on the Lord’s mountain and in Jerusalem. 16 He built the Lord’s altar and sacrificed fellowship offerings and thank offerings on it. And he told Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel. 17 The people continued to sacrifice at the illegal places of worship, but they sacrificed only to the Lord their God.
18 Everything else about Manasseh—including his prayer to his God and the words that the seers [a] spoke to him in the name of the Lord God of Israel—are in the records of the kings of Israel. 19 His prayer and how God accepted it are written in the records of Hozai. The things he did before he humbled himself are also written there. This includes all his sins and unfaithfulness and the places where he built illegal worship sites and set up idols and poles dedicated to the goddess Asherah.
20 Manasseh lay down in death with his ancestors. They buried him in his own palace. His son Amon succeeded him as king.
King Amon of Judah(A)
21 Amon was 22 years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for 2 years in Jerusalem. 22 He did what the Lord considered evil, as his father Manasseh had done. Amon sacrificed to all the idols his father Manasseh had made, and he worshiped them. 23 He didn’t humble himself in front of the Lord as his father Manasseh had humbled himself. Instead, Amon continued to sin.
24 His officials plotted against him and killed him in his palace. 25 Then the people of the land killed everyone who had plotted against King Amon. They made his son Josiah king in his place.
King Josiah Reforms Judah’s Worship(B)
34 Josiah was 8 years old when he began to rule, and he was king for 31 years in Jerusalem. 2 He did what the Lord considered right. He lived in the ways of his ancestor David and never stopped living this way.
3 In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still a boy, he began to dedicate his life to serving the God of his ancestor David. In his twelfth year as king, he began to make Judah and Jerusalem clean [b] by destroying the illegal places of worship, poles dedicated to the goddess Asherah, carved idols, and metal idols. 4 He had the altars of the various Baal gods torn down. He cut down the incense altars that were above them. He destroyed the Asherah poles, carved idols, and metal idols. He ground them into powder and scattered the powder over the tombs of those who had sacrificed to them. 5 He burned the bones of the priests on their altars. So he made Judah and Jerusalem clean. 6 In the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, and as far as Naphtali, he removed all their temples, 7 tore down the altars, beat the Asherah poles and idols into powder, and cut down all the incense altars everywhere in Israel. Then he went back to Jerusalem.
King Josiah Rededicates Judah to God’s Promise(C)
8 In the eighteenth year of his reign as he was making the land and the temple clean, Josiah sent Shaphan, son of Azaliah, Maaseiah, the mayor of the city, and Joah, the royal historian and son of Joahaz, to repair the temple of the Lord his God. 9 They came to the chief priest Hilkiah and gave him the money that had been brought to God’s temple, the money that the Levite doorkeepers had collected from the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim, from all who were left in Israel, from everyone in the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and from the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They gave the money to the foremen who were in charge of the Lord’s temple. These foremen gave it to the workmen who were restoring and repairing the temple. 11 (These workers included carpenters and builders.) They were to buy quarried stones and wood for the fittings and beams of the buildings that the kings of Judah had allowed to become run-down. 12 The men did their work faithfully under the supervision of Jahath and Obadiah (Levites descended from Merari), and Zechariah and Meshullam (descendants of Kohath). The Levites, who were skilled musicians, 13 also supervised the workers and directed all the workmen on the various jobs. Some of the Levites served as scribes, officials, or gatekeepers.
14 When they brought out the money that had been deposited in the Lord’s temple, the priest Hilkiah found the Book of the Lord’s Teachings written by Moses. 15 Hilkiah told the scribe Shaphan, “I have found the Book of the Teachings in the Lord’s temple.” Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan.
16 Shaphan took the book to the king and reported, “We are doing everything you told us to do. 17 We took the money that was donated in the Lord’s temple and gave it to the supervisors and the workmen.” 18 Then the scribe Shaphan told the king, “The priest Hilkiah has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it to the king.
19 When the king heard what the Teachings said, he tore his clothes ⌞in distress⌟. 20 Then the king gave an order to Hilkiah, Ahikam (son of Shaphan), Abdon (son of Micah), the scribe Shaphan, and the royal official Asaiah. He said, 21 “On behalf of those who are left in Israel and Judah and me, ask the Lord about the words in this book that was found. The Lord’s fierce anger has been poured on us because our ancestors did not obey the Lord’s word by doing everything written in this book.”
22 So Hilkiah and the king’s officials went to talk to the prophet Huldah about this matter. She was the wife of Shallum, son of Tokhath and grandson of Hasrah. Shallum was in charge of the ⌞royal⌟ wardrobe. Huldah was living in the Second Part of Jerusalem.
23 She told them, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: Tell the man who sent you to me, 24 ‘This is what the Lord says: I’m going to bring disaster on this place and on the people living here according to the curses written in the book that was read to the king of Judah. 25 I will do this because they have abandoned me and sacrificed to other gods in order to make me furious. Therefore, my anger will be poured on this place and will never come to an end.’ ”
26 ⌞Huldah added,⌟ “Tell Judah’s king who sent you to me to ask the Lord a question, ‘This is what the Lord God of Israel says about the words you heard: 27 You had a change of heart and humbled yourself in front of God when you heard my words against this place and those who live here. You humbled yourself, tore your clothes ⌞in distress⌟, and cried in front of me. So I will listen ⌞to you⌟, declares the Lord. 28 That is why I’m going to bring you to your ancestors. I’m going to bring you to your grave in peace, and your eyes will not see any of the disaster I’m going to bring on this place and those who live here.’ ”
So they reported this to the king.
29 Then the king sent for all the respected leaders of Judah and Jerusalem to join him. 30 The king, everyone in Judah, everyone living in Jerusalem, the priests, the Levites, and all the people (young and old) went up to the Lord’s temple. He read everything written in the Book of the Promise [c] found in the Lord’s temple so that they could hear it. 31 The king stood in his place and made a promise to the Lord that he would follow the Lord and obey his commands, instructions, and laws with all his heart and soul. He said he would live by the terms of the promise written in this book. 32 He also made all those found in Jerusalem and Benjamin join with him ⌞in the promise⌟. Then the people of Jerusalem lived according to the promise of God, the God of their ancestors.
33 Josiah got rid of all the disgusting idols throughout Israelite territory. He made all people found in Israel serve the Lord their God. As long as he lived, they didn’t stop following the Lord God of their ancestors.
10 Greet Apelles, a true Christian.
Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus.
11 Greet Herodion, who is Jewish by birth like me.
Greet those Christians who belong to the family of Narcissus.
12 Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who have worked hard for the Lord.
Greet dear Persis, who has worked very hard for the Lord.
13 Greet Rufus, that outstanding Christian, and his mother, who has been a mother to me too.
14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters who are with them.
15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all God’s people who are with them.
16 Greet each other with a holy kiss.
All the churches of Christ greet you.
17 Brothers and sisters, I urge you to watch out for those people who create divisions and who make others fall away ⌞from the Christian faith⌟ by teaching doctrine that is not the same as you have learned. Stay away from them. 18 People like these are not serving Christ our Lord. They are serving their own desires. By their smooth talk and flattering words they deceive unsuspecting people.
19 Everyone has heard about your obedience and this makes me happy for you. I want you to do what is good and to avoid what is evil. 20 The God of peace will quickly crush Satan under your feet. May the good will [a] of our Lord Jesus be with you!
21 Timothy my coworker greets you; so do Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, who are Jewish by birth like me.
22 I, Tertius, who wrote this letter, send you Christian greetings.
23 Gaius greets you. He is host to me and the whole church.
Erastus, the city treasurer, greets you.
Quartus, our brother in the Christian faith, greets you.[b]
25 God can strengthen you by the Good News and the message I tell about Jesus Christ. He can strengthen you by revealing the mystery that was kept in silence for a very long time 26 but now is publicly known. The everlasting God ordered that what the prophets wrote must be shown to the people of every nation to bring them to the obedience that is associated with faith. 27 God alone is wise. Glory belongs to him through Jesus Christ forever! Amen.
26 Judge me favorably, O Lord,
because I have walked with integrity
and I have trusted you without wavering.
2 Examine me, O Lord, and test me.
Look closely into my heart and mind.
3 I see your mercy in front of me.
I walk in the light of your truth.
4 I did not sit with liars,
and I will not be found among hypocrites.
5 I have hated the mob of evildoers
and will not sit with wicked people.
6 I will wash my hands in innocence.
I will walk around your altar, O Lord,
7 so that I may loudly sing a hymn of thanksgiving
and tell about all your miracles.
8 O Lord, I love the house where you live,
the place where your glory dwells.
9 Do not sweep away my soul along with hardened sinners
or my life along with bloodthirsty people.
10 Evil schemes are in their hands.
Their right hands are full of bribes.
11 But I walk with integrity.
Rescue me, and have pity on me.
12 My feet stand on level ground.
I will praise the Lord with the choirs in worship.
19 Whoever goes around as a gossip tells secrets.
Do not associate with a person whose mouth is always open.