2 Chronicles 21-23
King Jehoram of Judah(A)
21 Jehoshaphat lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried with them in the City of David. His son Jehoram succeeded him as king. 2 He had the following brothers, sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael, and Shephatiah. All were the sons of King Jehoshaphat of Israel. 3 Their father gave them many gifts: silver, gold, and other expensive things, along with fortified cities in Judah. But Jehoshaphat gave the kingdom to Jehoram, who was the firstborn.
4 After Jehoram had taken over his father’s kingdom, he strengthened his position and then executed all his brothers and some of the officials of Israel. 5 Jehoram was 32 years old when he became king, and he ruled for 8 years in Jerusalem. 6 He followed the ways of the kings of Israel, as Ahab’s family had done, because his wife was Ahab’s daughter. So he did what the Lord considered evil. 7 But the Lord, recalling the promise[a] he had made to David, didn’t want to destroy David’s family. The Lord had told David that he would always give him and his descendants a shining lamp.
Edom Wins Independence from Judah(B)
8 During Jehoram’s time Edom rebelled against Judah and chose its own king. 9 Jehoram took all his chariot commanders to attack. The Edomites and their chariot commanders surrounded him, but he got up at night and broke through their lines. 10 So Edom rebelled against Judah’s rule and is still independent today. At the same time Edom rebelled, Libnah rebelled because Jehoram had abandoned the Lord God of his ancestors. 11 Jehoram made illegal places of worship in the hills of Judah. This caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to chase after foreign gods as if they were prostitutes. So he led Judah astray.
12 Then a letter came to him from the prophet Elijah. It read, “This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: You haven’t followed the ways of your father Jehoshaphat or the ways of King Asa of Judah. 13 Instead, you have followed the ways of the kings of Israel. You, like Ahab’s family, have caused Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to chase after foreign gods as if they were prostitutes. You have killed your brothers, your father’s family. Your brothers were better than you. 14 The Lord will strike a great blow to your people, your sons, your wives, and all your property because you did this. 15 You will suffer from a chronic intestinal disease until your intestines come out.”
16 The Lord prompted the Philistines and the Arabs who lived near the people of Sudan to attack Jehoram. 17 They fought against Judah, broke into the country, and took away everything that could be found in the royal palace. They even took Jehoram’s sons and wives. The only son left was Ahaziah,[b] Jehoram’s youngest son. 18 After this, the Lord struck Jehoram with an incurable intestinal disease. 19 Two years later, as his life was coming to an end, his intestines fell out because of his sickness. He died a painful death.
His people did not make a bonfire in his honor as they had done for his ancestors. 20 He was 32 years old when he became king, and he ruled for 8 years in Jerusalem. No one was sorry to see him die. He was buried in the City of David but not in the tombs of the kings.
King Ahaziah of Judah(C)
22 The people of Jerusalem made Jehoram’s youngest son Ahaziah king in his place, because the raiders who came to the camp with the Arabs had killed all the older sons. So Jehoram’s son Ahaziah became king of Judah. 2 Ahaziah[c] was 42 years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for one year in Jerusalem. His mother was Athaliah, the granddaughter of Omri. 3 Ahaziah also followed the ways of Ahab’s family, because his mother gave him advice that led him to sin. 4 He did what the Lord considered evil, as Ahab’s family had done. After his father died, they advised him to do what Ahab’s family had done. They did this to destroy him.
5 Ahaziah followed their advice and went with Ahab’s son King Joram[d] of Israel to fight against King Hazael of Aram at Ramoth Gilead. There the Arameans wounded Joram. 6 Joram returned to Jezreel to let his wounds heal. (He had been wounded by the Arameans at Ramah when he fought against King Hazael of Aram.) Then Jehoram’s son Ahaziah[e] went to Jezreel to see Ahab’s son Joram, who was sick.
7 God brought about Ahaziah’s downfall when he went to Joram. He went with Joram to meet Jehu, grandson of Nimshi. (The Lord had anointed Jehu to destroy Ahab’s family.) 8 When Jehu was executing judgment on Ahab’s family, he found Judah’s leaders (Ahaziah’s nephews) who were serving Ahaziah, and he killed them. 9 He searched for Ahaziah, and Jehu’s men captured him while he was hiding in Samaria. They brought him to Jehu and killed him. Then they buried him. They explained, “Ahaziah is Jehoshaphat’s grandson. Jehoshaphat dedicated his life to serving the Lord with all his heart.” But no one in Ahaziah’s family was able to rule as king.
The Priest Jehoiada Opposes Queen Athaliah(D)
10 When Ahaziah’s mother, Athaliah, saw that her son was dead, she began to destroy the entire royal family of the house of Judah. 11 But Jehoshebath, daughter of the king and sister of Ahaziah, took Ahaziah’s son Joash. She saved him from being killed with the king’s other sons, and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Jehoshebath was the daughter of King Jehoram and wife of Jehoiada the priest. Because she was also Ahaziah’s sister, she hid Joash from Athaliah. So he wasn’t killed. 12 Joash was with the priests. He was hidden in God’s temple for six years while Athaliah ruled the country.
23 In the seventh year of Athaliah’s reign, Jehoiada strengthened his position by making an agreement with the company commanders: Azariah, son of Jeroham, Ishmael, son of Jehohanan, Azariah, son of Obed, Maaseiah, son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat, son of Zichri. 2 They went around Judah, gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah and the leaders of the families of Israel, and came to Jerusalem. 3 The whole assembly made an agreement with the king in God’s temple.
Then Jehoiada said to them, “Here is the king’s son. He should be king, as the Lord said about David’s descendants. 4 This is what you must do: One third of you, the priests and Levites who are on duty on the day of rest—a holy day, must guard the gates. 5 Another third must be at the royal palace. And another third must be at Foundation Gate. All the people must be in the courtyards of the Lord’s temple. 6 No one should come into the Lord’s temple except the priests and the Levites who are on duty with them. They may enter because they are holy, but all other people should follow the Lord’s regulations. 7 The Levites should surround the king. Each man should have his weapon in his hand. Kill anyone who tries to come into the temple. Stay with the king wherever he goes.”
8 So the Levites and all the Judeans did what the priest Jehoiada had ordered them. Each took his men who were coming on duty on the day of rest—a holy day, as well as those who were about to go off duty. Jehoiada had not dismissed the priestly divisions.
9 Jehoiada gave the commanders the spears and the small and large shields that had belonged to King David but were now in God’s temple. 10 All the troops stood with their weapons drawn. They were stationed around the king and around the altar and the temple (from the south side to the north side of the temple). 11 Then they brought out the king’s son, gave him the crown and the religious instructions, and Jehoiada and his sons made him king by anointing him. They said, “Long live the king!”
12 When Athaliah heard the people running and praising the king, she went into the Lord’s temple, where the people were. 13 She looked, and the king was standing by the pillar at the entrance. The commanders and the trumpeters were by his side. All the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. The singers were leading the celebration with songs accompanied by musical instruments. As Athaliah tore her clothes in distress, she said, “Treason, treason!”
14 Then the priest Jehoiada brought the company commanders who were in charge of the army out of the temple. He said to them, “Take her out of the temple. Use your sword to kill anyone who follows her.” (The priest had said, “Don’t kill her in the Lord’s temple.”) 15 So they arrested her as she entered Horse Gate of the royal palace, and they killed her there.
16 Jehoiada made a promise to the Lord on behalf of the king and his people that they would be the Lord’s people. 17 Then all the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed Baal’s altars and his statues and killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, in front of the altars.
18 Next, Jehoiada appointed officials to be in charge of the Lord’s temple under the direction of the priests and Levites.[f] (David had arranged them in divisions for the Lord’s temple. They were appointed to sacrifice burnt offerings to the Lord as it is written in Moses’ Teachings. They made these offerings with joy and singing as David had directed.) 19 Jehoiada appointed gatekeepers for the gates of the Lord’s temple so that no one who was unclean[g] for any reason could enter.
20 He took the company commanders, the nobles, the people’s governors, and all the people of the land, and they brought the king from the Lord’s temple. They went through Upper Gate to the royal palace and seated the king on the royal throne. The nobles, the governors of the people, and 21 all the people of the land were celebrating. But the city was quiet because they had killed Athaliah with a sword.
- 2 Chronicles 21:7 Or “covenant.”
- 2 Chronicles 21:17 In the Masoretic Text this king of Judah is also called Jehoahaz, an alternate form of Ahaziah.
- 2 Chronicles 22:2 In the Masoretic Text this king of Judah is also called Jehoahaz, an alternate form of Ahaziah.
- 2 Chronicles 22:5 In the Masoretic Text this king of Israel is also called Jehoram, a longer form of Joram.
- 2 Chronicles 22:6 Some Hebrew manuscripts, 2 Kings 8:29, Greek, Syriac, Latin; other Hebrew manuscripts “Azariah.”
- 2 Chronicles 23:18 A few Hebrew manuscripts, Greek, Syriac, Latin; most Hebrew manuscripts “Levitical priests.”
- 2 Chronicles 23:19 “Unclean” refers to anything that Moses’ Teachings say is not presentable to God.
13 Now, I speak to you who are not Jewish. As long as I am an apostle sent to people who are not Jewish, I bring honor to my ministry. 14 Perhaps I can make my people jealous and save some of them. 15 If Israel’s rejection means that the world has been brought back to God, what does Israel’s acceptance mean? It means that Israel has come back to life.
16 If the first handful of dough is holy, the whole batch of dough is holy. If the root is holy, the branches are holy. 17 But some of the olive branches have been broken off, and you, a wild olive branch, have been grafted in their place. You get your nourishment from the roots of the olive tree. 18 So don’t brag about being better than the other branches. If you brag, remember that you don’t support the root, the root supports you. 19 “Well,” you say, “Branches were cut off so that I could be grafted onto the tree.” 20 That’s right! They were broken off because they didn’t believe, but you remain on the tree because you do believe. Don’t feel arrogant, but be afraid. 21 If God didn’t spare the natural branches, he won’t spare you, either. 22 Look at how kind and how severe God can be. He is severe to those who fell, but kind to you if you continue to hold on to his kindness. Otherwise, you, too, will be cut off from the tree.
23 If Jewish people do not continue in their unbelief, they will be grafted onto the tree again, because God is able to do that. 24 In spite of the fact that you have been cut from a wild olive tree, you have been grafted onto a cultivated one. So wouldn’t it be easier for these natural branches to be grafted onto the olive tree they belong to?
25 Brothers and sisters, I want you to understand this mystery so that you won’t become arrogant. The minds of some Israelites have become closed until all of God’s non-Jewish people are included. 26 In this way Israel as a whole will be saved, as Scripture says,
“The Savior will come from Zion.
He will remove godlessness from Jacob.
27 My promise[a] to them will be fulfilled
when I take away their sins.”
28 The Good News made the Jewish people enemies because of you. But by God’s choice they are loved because of their ancestors. 29 God never changes his mind when he gives gifts or when he calls someone. 30 In the past, you disobeyed God. But now God has been merciful to you because of the disobedience of the Jewish people. 31 In the same way, the Jewish people have also disobeyed so that God may be merciful to them as he was to you. 32 God has placed all people into the prison of their own disobedience so that he could be merciful to all people.
33 God’s riches, wisdom, and knowledge are so deep
that it is impossible to explain his decisions
or to understand his ways.
34 “Who knows how the Lord thinks?
Who can become his adviser?”
35 Who gave the Lord something
which the Lord must pay back?
36 Everything is from him and by him and for him.
Glory belongs to him forever! Amen!
- Romans 11:27 Or “covenant.”
For the choir director; according to ayyeleth hashachar;[a] a psalm by David.
1 My God, my God,
why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far away from helping me,
so far away from the words of my groaning?
2 My God,
I cry out by day, but you do not answer—
also at night, but I find no rest.
3 Yet, you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4 Our ancestors trusted you.
They trusted, and you rescued them.
5 They cried to you and were saved.
They trusted you and were never disappointed.
6 Yet, I am a worm and not a man.
I am scorned by humanity and despised by people.
7 All who see me make fun of me.
Insults pour from their mouths.
They shake their heads and say,
8 “Put yourself in the Lord’s hands.
Let the Lord save him!
Let God rescue him since he is pleased with him!”
9 Indeed, you are the one who brought me out of the womb,
the one who made me feel safe at my mother’s breasts.
10 I was placed in your care from birth.
From my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11 Do not be so far away from me.
Trouble is near, and there is no one to help.
12 Many bulls have surrounded me.
Strong bulls from Bashan have encircled me.
13 They have opened their mouths to attack me
like ferocious, roaring lions.
14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax.
It has melted within me.
15 My strength is dried up like pieces of broken pottery.
My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You lay me down in the dust of death.
16 Dogs have surrounded me.
A mob has encircled me.
They have pierced my hands and feet.
17 I can count all my bones.
They gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among themselves.
They throw dice for my clothing.
- Psalm 22:1 Unknown musical term.
7 A righteous person lives on the basis of his integrity.
Blessed are his children after he is gone.