2 Chronicles 24-25
King Joash of Judah(A)
24 Joash[a] was 7 years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for 40 years in Jerusalem. His mother was Zibiah from Beersheba. 2 Joash did what the Lord considered right, as long as the priest Jehoiada lived.
3 Jehoiada got Joash two wives, and Joash had sons and daughters.
4 After this, Joash wanted to renovate the Lord’s temple. 5 He gathered the priests and the Levites and said to them, “Go to the cities of Judah, and collect money throughout Israel to repair the temple of your God every year. Do it immediately!” But the Levites didn’t do it immediately.
6 So the king called for the chief priest Jehoiada and asked him, “Why didn’t you require the Levites to bring the contributions from Judah and Jerusalem? The Lord’s servant Moses and the assembly had required Israel to give contributions for the use of the tent containing the words of God’s promise.” 7 (The sons of that wicked woman Athaliah had broken into God’s temple and used all the holy things of the Lord’s temple to worship other gods—the Baals.)
8 The king issued an order, and they made a box and placed it outside the gate of the Lord’s temple. 9 Then they issued a proclamation in Judah and Jerusalem that the contributions should be brought to the Lord. (In the desert the Lord’s servant Moses had required Israel to make contributions.) 10 All the officials and all the people were overjoyed. They brought the money and dropped it into the box until it was full. 11 Whenever the Levites brought the box to the king’s officers and they saw a lot of money, the king’s scribe and the chief priest’s officer would empty the box and put it back in its place. They would do this every day, so they collected a lot of money. 12 The king and Jehoiada would give the money to the foremen who were working on the Lord’s temple, and they hired masons and carpenters to renovate the Lord’s temple. They also hired men who worked with iron and bronze to repair the Lord’s temple. 13 As the men worked, the project progressed under the foremen’s guidance. They restored God’s temple to its proper condition and reinforced it.
14 When they finished, they brought the rest of the money to the king and Jehoiada, who used it to make utensils for the Lord’s temple. They made dishes and gold and silver utensils for the service and for the offerings. As long as Jehoiada lived, they sacrificed burnt offerings in the Lord’s temple.
Joash’s Sin Leads to His Assassination(B)
15 When Jehoiada was old and had lived out his years, he died. He was 130 years old when he died. 16 He was buried in the City of David with the kings because of the good he had done in Israel for God and the temple.
17 After he died, the officials of Judah bowed in front of the king with their faces touching the ground. Then the king listened to their advice. 18 They abandoned the temple of the Lord God of their ancestors and worshiped idols and the poles dedicated to the goddess Asherah. This offense of theirs brought God’s anger upon Judah and Jerusalem.
19 The Lord sent them prophets to bring them back to himself. The prophets warned them, but they wouldn’t listen. 20 God’s Spirit gave Zechariah, son of the priest Jehoiada, strength. Zechariah stood in front of the people and said to them, “This is what God says: Why are you breaking the Lord’s commands? You won’t prosper that way! The Lord has abandoned you because you have abandoned him.” 21 But they plotted against Zechariah, and by the king’s order they stoned him to death in the courtyard of the Lord’s temple. 22 King Joash did not remember how kind Zechariah’s father, Jehoiada, had been to him. Instead, he killed Jehoiada’s son. As Zechariah died, he said, “May the Lord see this and get revenge!”
23 At the end of the year, the Aramean army attacked Joash. They came to Judah and Jerusalem and destroyed all the people’s leaders. The Arameans sent all the loot they took from Judah and Jerusalem to the king of Damascus. 24 The Aramean army had come with a small number of men, but the Lord handed Joash’s large army over to them because Joash’s soldiers had abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors. So the Arameans carried out the Lord’s judgment on Joash. 25 When the Arameans withdrew, they left him suffering from many wounds. His own officials plotted against him for murdering the son of the priest Jehoiada. They killed Joash in his bed. When he died, they buried him in the City of David, but they didn’t bury him in the tombs of the kings. 26 These were the men who conspired against him: Zabad, son of an Ammonite woman named Shimeath, and Jehozabad, son of a Moabite woman named Shimrith. 27 The record about his sons, the many divine revelations against him, and the rebuilding of God’s temple is in the notes made in the Book of the Kings. His son Amaziah succeeded him as king.
King Amaziah of Judah(C)
25 Amaziah was 25 years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother was Jehoaddan from Jerusalem. 2 He did what the Lord considered right, but he did not do it wholeheartedly. 3 As soon as he had firm control over the kingdom, he executed the officials who killed his father, the former king. 4 But he didn’t execute their children. He obeyed the Lord’s command written in the Book of Moses’ Teachings: “Parents must never be put to death for the crimes of their children, and children must never be put to death for the crimes of their parents. Each person must be put to death for his own crime.”
5 Amaziah called the people of Judah together and assigned them by families to regiment and battalion commanders for all of Judah and Benjamin. He organized those who were at least 20 years old and found that he had 300,000 of the best men for the army, those who could handle a spear and a shield. 6 He also hired 100,000 soldiers from Israel for 7,500 pounds of silver.
7 But a man of God came to him and said, “Your Majesty, Israel’s army must not go with you, because the Lord isn’t with Israel. He’s not with these men from Ephraim. 8 If you go into battle with them, no matter how courageous you are, God will use the enemy to defeat you, because God has the power to help you or to defeat you.”
9 Amaziah asked the man of God, “What should I do about the 7,500 pounds of silver I gave the troops from Israel?”
The man of God answered, “The Lord can give you much more than that.”
10 Then Amaziah dismissed the troops that had come to him from Ephraim. But they became furious with Judah and returned home.
11 Amaziah courageously led his troops. When he came to the Dead Sea region, he killed 10,000 men from Seir. [b] 12 The Judeans captured another 10,000 alive, took them to the top of a cliff, and threw them off the top of the cliff so that they were dismembered.
13 The troops that Amaziah sent back so that they couldn’t go with him into battle raided the towns in Judah from Samaria to Beth Horon. They killed 3,000 people and took a lot of goods.
King Amaziah’s Sin Leads to His Defeat(D)
14 After Amaziah came back from defeating the Edomites, he brought the gods of the people of Seir, set them up as his gods, bowed down to them, and burned sacrifices to them. 15 The Lord became angry with Amaziah. He sent him a prophet who asked him, “Why do you dedicate your life to serving the gods of those people? Those gods couldn’t save their own people from you.”
16 As he was talking, the king asked him, “Did we make you an adviser to the king? Stop! Do you want me to have you killed?”
The prophet stopped. He said, “I know that God has decided to destroy you because you did this, but you refuse to listen to my advice.”
17 After getting advice from his advisers, King Amaziah of Judah sent messengers to King Jehoash,[c] son of Jehoahaz and grandson of Jehu of Israel, to declare war on Israel.
18 King Jehoash of Israel sent this message to King Amaziah of Judah: “A thistle in Lebanon sent a message to a cedar in Lebanon. It said, ‘Let your daughter marry my son,’ but a wild animal from Lebanon came along and trampled the thistle. 19 You say you defeated Edom, and now you’ve become arrogant enough to look for more fame. Stay home! Why must you invite disaster and your own defeat and take Judah with you?”
20 But Amaziah wouldn’t listen. (God made this happen because he wanted to hand over the Judeans to Jehoash because they had sought help from Edom’s gods.) 21 So King Jehoash of Israel attacked, and King Amaziah of Judah met him in battle at Beth Shemesh in Judah. 22 Israel defeated the army of Judah, and the Judeans fled to their homes. 23 King Jehoash of Israel captured King Amaziah, son of Joash and grandson of Ahaziah of Judah, at Beth Shemesh and brought him to Jerusalem. He tore down a 600-foot section of the wall around Jerusalem from Ephraim Gate to Corner Gate. 24 He took all the gold, silver, and all the utensils he found in God’s temple with Obed Edom and in the royal palace treasury. He also took hostages. Then he returned to Samaria.
25 Joash’s son King Amaziah of Judah lived 15 years after the death of Jehoahaz’s son King Jehoash of Israel. 26 Isn’t everything else about Amaziah, from beginning to end, written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel? 27 After Amaziah turned away from the Lord, conspirators in Jerusalem plotted against him. Amaziah fled to Lachish, but they sent men to Lachish after him and killed him there. 28 They brought him back by horse and buried him in the city of Judah with his ancestors.
Dedicate Your Lives to God
12 Brothers and sisters, in view of all we have just shared about God’s compassion, I encourage you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. This kind of worship is appropriate for you. 2 Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants—what is good, pleasing, and perfect.
3 Because of the kindness[a] that God has shown me, I ask you not to think of yourselves more highly than you should. Instead, your thoughts should lead you to use good judgment based on what God has given each of you as believers. 4 Our bodies have many parts, but these parts don’t all do the same thing. 5 In the same way, even though we are many individuals, Christ makes us one body and individuals who are connected to each other. 6 God in his kindness gave each of us different gifts. If your gift is speaking what God has revealed, make sure what you say agrees with the Christian faith. 7 If your gift is serving, then devote yourself to serving. If it is teaching, devote yourself to teaching. 8 If it is encouraging others, devote yourself to giving encouragement. If it is sharing, be generous. If it is leadership, lead enthusiastically. If it is helping people in need, help them cheerfully.
9 Love sincerely. Hate evil. Hold on to what is good. 10 Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other. 11 Don’t be lazy in showing your devotion. Use your energy to serve the Lord. 12 Be happy in your confidence, be patient in trouble, and pray continually. 13 Share what you have with God’s people who are in need. Be hospitable.
14 Bless those who persecute you. Bless them, and don’t curse them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy. Be sad with those who are sad. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be arrogant, but be friendly to humble people. Don’t think that you are smarter than you really are.
17 Don’t pay people back with evil for the evil they do to you. Focus your thoughts on those things that are considered noble. 18 As much as it is possible, live in peace with everyone. 19 Don’t take revenge, dear friends. Instead, let God’s anger take care of it. After all, Scripture says, “I alone have the right to take revenge. I will pay back, says the Lord.” 20 But,
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him.
If he is thirsty, give him a drink.
If you do this, you will make him feel guilty and ashamed.”
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil with good.
- Romans 12:3 Or “grace.”
19 Do not be so far away, O Lord.
Come quickly to help me, O my strength.
20 Rescue my soul from the sword,
my life from vicious dogs.
21 Save me from the mouth of the lion
and from the horns of wild oxen.
You have answered me.
22 I will tell my people about your name.
I will praise you within the congregation.
23 All who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you descendants of Jacob, glorify him!
Stand in awe of him, all you descendants of Israel.
24 The Lord has not despised or been disgusted
with the plight of the oppressed one.
He has not hidden his face from that person.
The Lord heard when that oppressed person
cried out to him for help.
25 My praise comes from you while I am among those assembled for worship.
I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who fear the Lord.
26 Oppressed people will eat until they are full.
Those who look to the Lord will praise him.
May you live forever.
27 All the ends of the earth will remember and return to the Lord.
All the families from all the nations will worship you
28 because the kingdom belongs to the Lord
and he rules the nations.
29 All prosperous people on earth will eat and worship.
All those who go down to the dust will kneel in front of him,
even those who are barely alive.
30 There will be descendants who serve him,
a generation that will be told about the Lord.
31 They will tell people yet to be born about his righteousness—
that he has finished it.
A psalm by David.
8 A king who sits on his throne to judge sifts out every evil with his eyes.
9 Who can say,
“I’ve made my heart pure.
I’m cleansed from my sin”?
10 A double standard of weights and measures—
both are disgusting to the Lord.