2 Kings 13-14
King Jehoahaz of Israel
13 Ahaziah’s son King Joash of Judah was in his twenty-third year as king of Judah when Jehoahaz,[a] son of Jehu, began to rule in Samaria as king of Israel. He ruled for 17 years. 2 He did what the Lord considered evil. He continued to commit the sins that Jeroboam (Nebat’s son) led Israel to commit. He never gave up committing those sins. 3 So the Lord became angry with Israel and put it at the mercy of King Hazael of Aram and Hazael’s son Benhadad as long as they lived.
4 Then Jehoahaz pleaded with the Lord, and the Lord heard him because he saw how the Aramean king was oppressing Israel. 5 So the Lord gave the Israelites someone to save them, and they were freed from Aram’s power. They were able to live in their homes again as they had done before. 6 But they didn’t turn away from the sins that Jeroboam and his dynasty led Israel to commit. They continued to commit those sins. In addition, the pole dedicated to the goddess Asherah remained standing in Samaria.
7 Jehoahaz had no army left except for 50 horses, 10 chariots, and 10,000 foot soldiers because the king of Aram had destroyed the rest. He had made them like dust that people trample. 8 Isn’t everything else about Jehoahaz—everything he did, his heroic acts—written in the official records of the kings of Israel? 9 Jehoahaz lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried in Samaria. His son Jehoash[b] ruled as king in his place.
King Jehoash of Israel
10 In Joash’s thirty-seventh year as king of Judah, Jehoahaz’s son Jehoash began to rule Israel in Samaria. He ruled for 16 years. 11 He did what the Lord considered evil and never gave up committing the sins that Jeroboam led Israel to commit. He continued to commit them. 12 Isn’t everything else about Jehoash—everything he did, his heroic acts when he fought against King Amaziah of Judah—written in the official records of the kings of Israel? 13 Jehoash lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried with the kings of Israel in Samaria. Then Jeroboam claimed the throne.
The Death of Elisha
14 Elisha became fatally ill. King Jehoash of Israel visited him, cried over him, and said, “Master! Master! Israel’s chariot and horses!”
15 Elisha told him, “Get a bow and some arrows.” So he got a bow and some arrows. 16 Then Elisha told the king of Israel, “Take the bow in your hand.” So the king picked up the bow. Elisha laid his hands on the king’s hands. 17 Elisha said, “Open the window that faces east.” So the king opened it. “Shoot,” Elisha said, and the king shot. Then Elisha said, “That is the arrow of the Lord’s victory, the arrow of victory against Aram. You will completely defeat the Arameans at Aphek.” 18 Then Elisha said, “Take the arrows.” So the king took them. “Stomp on them,” he told the king of Israel. The king stomped three times and stopped.
19 Then the man of God became angry with him. “You should have stomped five or six times!” he said. “Then you would have completely defeated the Arameans. But now you will only defeat the Arameans three times.”
20 Elisha died and was buried. Moabite raiding parties used to invade the country in the spring. 21 One day some people who were burying a man saw one of these raiding parties. So they quickly put the man into Elisha’s tomb. But when the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came back to life and stood up.
22 King Hazael of Aram oppressed Israel as long as Jehoahaz ruled. 23 But the Lord was kind and merciful to the Israelites because of his promise[c] to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He didn’t want to destroy the Israelites, and even now he hasn’t turned away from them.
24 King Hazael of Aram died, and his son Benhadad succeeded him as king. 25 Then Jehoash, son of Jehoahaz, reconquered the cities that Benhadad had taken from his father Jehoahaz. Jehoash defeated Benhadad three times and recovered those cities of Israel.
King Amaziah of Judah(A)
14 Jehoahaz’s son King Jehoash was in his second year as king of Israel when King Amaziah, son of Joash of Judah, began to rule. 2 Amaziah was 25 years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother was Jehoaddin from Jerusalem.
3 He did what the Lord considered right, but not exactly what his ancestor David had done. He did everything his father Joash had done. 4 But the illegal places of worship were still not torn down. The people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense at these worship sites.
5 As soon as he had a firm control over the kingdom, he executed the officials who had killed his father, the former king. 6 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.”
7 Amaziah killed 10,000 Edomites in the Dead Sea region and took the city of Sela in battle. He gave it the name Joktheel, which is still its name today.
King Amaziah’s Defeat and Death(B)
8 Then Amaziah sent messengers to King Jehoash, son of Jehoahaz and grandson of Jehu of Israel, to declare war on Israel.
9 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. 10 You certainly defeated Edom, and now you have become arrogant. Enjoy your fame, but stay home. Why must you invite disaster and your own defeat and take Judah with you?”
11 But Amaziah wouldn’t listen. So King Jehoash of Israel attacked, and King Amaziah of Judah met him in battle at Beth Shemesh in Judah. 12 Israel defeated the army of Judah, and the Judeans fled to their homes. 13 King Jehoash of Israel captured King Amaziah, son of Joash and grandson of Ahaziah of Judah, at Beth Shemesh and went to Jerusalem. He tore down a 600-foot section of the wall around Jerusalem from Ephraim Gate to Corner Gate. 14 He took all the gold, silver, and all the utensils he found in the Lord’s temple and in the royal palace treasury. He also took hostages. Then he returned to Samaria.
15 Isn’t everything else about Jehoash—what he did, his heroic acts when he fought against King Amaziah of Judah—written in the official records of the kings of Israel? 16 Jehoash lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried with the kings of Israel in Samaria. His son Jeroboam succeeded him as king.
17 Joash’s son King Amaziah of Judah lived 15 years after the death of Jehoahaz’s son King Jehoash of Israel. 18 Isn’t everything else about Amaziah written in the official records of the kings of Judah? 19 Conspirators in Jerusalem plotted against him, so he fled to Lachish. But they sent men to Lachish after him and killed him there. 20 They brought him back by horse, and he was buried in Jerusalem, in the City of David, with his ancestors.
21 All the people of Judah took Azariah, who was 16 years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah. 22 Azariah rebuilt Elath and returned it to Judah after King Amaziah lay down in death with his ancestors.
King Jeroboam II of Israel
23 Joash’s son Amaziah was in his fifteenth year as king of Judah when Jehoash’s son King Jeroboam of Israel began to rule in Samaria. Jeroboam ruled for 41 years. 24 He did what the Lord considered evil. He didn’t turn away from any of the sins that Jeroboam (Nebat’s son) led Israel to commit.
25 He restored Israel’s boundaries from the border of Hamath to the Dead Sea as the Lord God of Israel predicted through his servant Jonah, the prophet from Gath Hepher and the son of Amittai. 26 The Lord did this because he saw how bitterly everyone in Israel was suffering. No slave or free person could help Israel. 27 Since the Lord had said he was not going to wipe out Israel’s name completely, he saved them through Jeroboam, son of Jehoash.
28 Isn’t everything else about Jeroboam—everything he did, his heroic acts when he fought, how he recovered Damascus and Hamath for Israel[d]—written in the official records of the kings of Israel? 29 Jeroboam lay down in death with his ancestors, the kings of Israel. His son Zechariah succeeded him as king.
23 After spending some time in Antioch, Paul went through the regions of Galatia and Phrygia, where he strengthened the faith of all the disciples.
Apollos Tells Others about Jesus
24 A Jew named Apollos, who had been born in Alexandria, arrived in the city of Ephesus. He was an eloquent speaker and knew how to use the Scriptures in a powerful way. 25 He had been instructed in the Lord’s way and spoke enthusiastically. He accurately taught about Jesus but knew only about the baptism John performed. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him home with them and explained God’s way to him more accurately.
27 When Apollos wanted to travel to Greece, the believers in Ephesus encouraged him. They wrote to the disciples in Greece to tell them to welcome him. When he arrived in Greece, God’s kindness[a] enabled him to help the believers a great deal. 28 In public Apollos helped them by clearly showing from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah and that the Jews were wrong.
Paul in Ephesus
19 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior provinces to get to the city of Ephesus. He met some disciples in Ephesus 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?”
They answered him, “No, we’ve never even heard of the Holy Spirit.”
3 Paul asked them, “What kind of baptism did you have?”
They answered, “John’s baptism.”
4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance.[b] John told people to believe in Jesus, who was coming later.”
5 After they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came to them, and they began to talk in other languages and to speak what God had revealed. 7 About twelve men were in the group.
8 For three months Paul would go into the synagogue and speak boldly. He had discussions with people to convince them about God’s kingdom. 9 But when some people became stubborn, refused to believe, and had nothing good to say in front of the crowd about the way of Christ, he left them. He took his disciples and held daily discussions in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This continued for two years so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.
11 God worked unusual miracles through Paul. 12 People would take handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched Paul’s skin to those who were sick. Their sicknesses would be cured, and evil spirits would leave them.
Praise the Lord, my soul!
2 I want to praise the Lord throughout my life.
I want to make music to praise my God as long as I live.
3 Do not trust influential people,
mortals who cannot help you.
4 When they breathe their last breath, they return to the ground.
On that day their plans come to an end.
5 Blessed are those who receive help from the God of Jacob.
Their hope rests on the Lord their God,
6 who made heaven, earth,
the sea, and everything in them.
The Lord remains faithful forever.
7 He brings about justice for those who are oppressed.
He gives food to those who are hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free.
8 The Lord gives sight to blind people.
The Lord straightens the backs of those who are bent over.
The Lord loves righteous people.
9 The Lord protects foreigners.
The Lord gives relief to orphans and widows.
But he keeps wicked people from reaching their goal.
10 The Lord rules as king forever.
Zion, your God rules throughout every generation.
2 A fool does not find joy in understanding
but only in expressing his own opinion.
3 When wickedness comes, contempt also comes,
and insult comes along with disgrace.