2 Chronicles 32:1-33:13
Sennacherib Invades Judah
32 After these faithful deeds were accomplished, King Sennacherib of Assyria invaded Judah. He besieged the fortified cities, intending to seize them. 2 When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had invaded and intended to attack Jerusalem, 3 he consulted with his advisers and military officers about stopping up the springs outside the city, and they supported him. 4 A large number of people gathered together and stopped up all the springs and the stream that flowed through the district. They reasoned, “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?” 5 Hezekiah energetically rebuilt every broken wall. He erected towers and an outer wall, and fortified the terrace of the City of David. He made many weapons and shields.
6 He appointed military officers over the army and assembled them in the square at the city gate. He encouraged them, saying, 7 “Be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic because of the king of Assyria and this huge army that is with him! We have with us one who is stronger than those who are with him. 8 He has with him mere human strength, but the Lord our God is with us to help us and fight our battles!” The army was encouraged by the words of King Hezekiah of Judah.
9 Afterward King Sennacherib of Assyria, while attacking Lachish with all his military might, sent his messengers to Jerusalem. The message was for King Hezekiah of Judah and all the people of Judah who were in Jerusalem. It read: 10 “This is what King Sennacherib of Assyria says: ‘Why are you so confident that you remain in Jerusalem while it is under siege? 11 Hezekiah says, “The Lord our God will rescue us from the power of the king of Assyria.” But he is misleading you and you will die of hunger and thirst! 12 Hezekiah is the one who eliminated the Lord’s high places and altars and then told Judah and Jerusalem, “At one altar you must worship and offer sacrifices.” 13 Are you not aware of what I and my predecessors have done to all the nations of the surrounding lands? Have the gods of the surrounding lands actually been able to rescue their lands from my power? 14 Who among all the gods of these nations whom my predecessors annihilated was able to rescue his people from my power? 15 Now don’t let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you like this. Don’t believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to rescue his people from my power or the power of my predecessors. So how can your gods rescue you from my power?’”
16 Sennacherib’s servants further insulted the Lord God and his servant Hezekiah. 17 He wrote letters mocking the Lord God of Israel and insulting him with these words: “The gods of the surrounding nations could not rescue their people from my power. Neither can Hezekiah’s god rescue his people from my power.” 18 They called out loudly in the Judahite dialect to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, trying to scare and terrify them so they could seize the city. 19 They talked about the God of Jerusalem as if he were one of the man-made gods of the nations of the earth.
20 King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz prayed about this and cried out to heaven. 21 The Lord sent a messenger and he wiped out all the soldiers, princes, and officers in the army of the king of Assyria. So Sennacherib returned home humiliated. When he entered the temple of his god, some of his own sons struck him down with the sword. 22 The Lord delivered Hezekiah and the residents of Jerusalem from the power of King Sennacherib of Assyria and from all the other nations. He made them secure on every side. 23 Many were bringing presents to the Lord in Jerusalem and precious gifts to King Hezekiah of Judah. From that time on he was respected by all the nations.
Hezekiah’s Shortcomings and Accomplishments
24 In those days Hezekiah was stricken with a terminal illness. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a sign confirming that he would be healed. 25 But Hezekiah was ungrateful; he had a proud attitude, provoking God to be angry at him, as well as Judah and Jerusalem. 26 But then Hezekiah and the residents of Jerusalem humbled themselves and abandoned their pride, and the Lord was not angry with them for the rest of Hezekiah’s reign.
27 Hezekiah was very wealthy and greatly respected. He made storehouses for his silver, gold, precious stones, spices, and all his other valuable possessions. 28 He made storerooms for the harvest of grain, wine, and olive oil, and stalls for all his various kinds of livestock and his flocks. 29 He built royal cities and owned a large number of sheep and cattle, for God gave him a huge amount of possessions.
30 Hezekiah dammed up the source of the waters of the Upper Gihon and directed them down to the west side of the City of David. Hezekiah succeeded in all that he did. 31 So when the envoys arrived from the Babylonian officials to visit him and inquire about the sign that occurred in the land, God left him alone to test him, in order to know his true motives.
32 The rest of the events of Hezekiah’s reign, including his faithful deeds, are recorded in the vision of the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz, included in the Scroll of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 33 Hezekiah passed away and was buried on the ascent of the tombs of the descendants of David. All the people of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem buried him with great honor. His son Manasseh replaced him as king.
33 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. 2 He did evil in the sight of the Lord and committed the same horrible sins practiced by the nations whom the Lord drove out ahead of the Israelites. 3 He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he set up altars for the Baals and made Asherah poles. He bowed down to all the stars in the sky and worshiped them. 4 He built altars in the Lord’s temple, about which the Lord had said, “Jerusalem will be my permanent home.” 5 In the two courtyards of the Lord’s temple he built altars for all the stars in the sky. 6 He passed his sons through the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom and practiced divination, omen reading, and sorcery. He set up a ritual pit to conjure up underworld spirits and appointed magicians to supervise it. He did a great amount of evil in the sight of the Lord and angered him. 7 He put an idolatrous image he had made in God’s temple, about which God had said to David and to his son Solomon, “This temple in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will be my permanent home. 8 I will not make Israel again leave the land I gave to their ancestors, provided that they carefully obey all I commanded them, the whole law, the rules and regulations given to Moses.” 9 But Manasseh misled the people of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem so that they sinned more than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed ahead of the Israelites.
10 The Lord confronted Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. 11 So the Lord brought against them the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria. They seized Manasseh, put hooks in his nose, bound him with bronze chains, and carried him away to Babylon. 12 In his pain Manasseh asked the Lord his God for mercy and truly humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. 13 When he prayed to the Lord, the Lord responded to him and answered favorably his cry for mercy. The Lord brought him back to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh realized that the Lord is the true God.
23 But now there is nothing more to keep me in these regions, and I have for many years desired to come to you 24 when I go to Spain. For I hope to visit you when I pass through and that you will help me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while.
25 But now I go to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia are pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 27 For they were pleased to do this, and indeed they are indebted to the Jerusalem saints. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are obligated also to minister to them in material things. 28 Therefore after I have completed this and have safely delivered this bounty to them, I will set out for Spain by way of you, 29 and I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of Christ’s blessing.
30 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, through our Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the Spirit, to join fervently with me in prayer to God on my behalf. 31 Pray that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea and that my ministry in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 33 Now may the God of peace be with all of you. Amen.
16 Now I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, 2 so that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and provide her with whatever help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many, including me.
3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their own necks for my life. Not only I, but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. 5 Also greet the church in their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. 6 Greet Mary, who has worked very hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my compatriots and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. 8 Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my good friend Stachys.
16 Turn toward me and have mercy on me,
for I am alone and oppressed!
17 Deliver me from my distress;
rescue me from my suffering!
18 See my pain and suffering!
Forgive all my sins!
19 Watch my enemies, for they outnumber me;
they hate me and want to harm me.
20 Protect me and deliver me!
Please do not let me be humiliated,
for I have taken shelter in you!
21 May integrity and godliness protect me,
for I rely on you!
22 O God, rescue Israel
from all their distress!
16 Take a man’s garment when he has given security for a stranger,
and when he gives surety for strangers, hold him in pledge.
17 Bread gained by deceit tastes sweet to a person,
but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.
18 Plans are established by counsel,
so make war with guidance.