2 Chronicles 32:1-33:13
God Saves Judah from the Assyrians(A)
32 After everything Hezekiah had done so faithfully, King Sennacherib of Assyria came to invade Judah. He set up camp ⌞to attack⌟ the fortified cities. He intended to conquer them himself.
2 When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come to wage war against Jerusalem, 3 he, his officers, and his military staff made plans to stop the water from flowing out of the springs outside the city. They helped him do it. 4 A large crowd gathered as they stopped all the springs and the brook that flowed through the land. They said, “Why should the kings of Assyria find plenty of water?”
5 Hezekiah worked hard. He rebuilt all the broken sections of the wall, made the towers taller, built another wall outside ⌞the city wall⌟, strengthened the Millo [a] in the City of David, and made plenty of weapons and shields. 6 He appointed military commanders over the troops and gathered the commanders in the square by the city gate. He spoke these words of encouragement: 7 “Be strong and courageous. Don’t be frightened or terrified by the king of Assyria or the crowd with him. Someone greater is on our side. 8 The king of Assyria has human power on his side, but the Lord our God is on our side to help us and fight our battles.” So the people were encouraged by what King Hezekiah of Judah said.
9 After this, while King Sennacherib of Assyria and all his royal forces were attacking Lachish, he sent his officers to King Hezekiah of Judah and to all of the people in Judah who were in Jerusalem to say: 10 “This is what King Sennacherib of Assyria says: Why are you so confident as you live in Jerusalem while it is blockaded? 11 Isn’t Hezekiah misleading you and abandoning you to die from hunger and thirst when he says, ‘The Lord our God will rescue us from the king of Assyria?’ 12 Isn’t this the same Hezekiah who got rid of the Lord’s places of worship and altars and told Judah and Jerusalem, ‘Worship and sacrifice at one altar?’ 13 Don’t you know what I and my predecessors have done to the people of all other countries? Were any of the gods of these other nations ever able to rescue their countries from me? 14 Were the gods of these nations able to rescue their people from my control? My predecessors claimed and destroyed those nations. Is your God able to rescue you from my control? 15 Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you or persuade you like this. Don’t believe him. No god of any nation or kingdom could save his people from me or my ancestors. Certainly, your God will not rescue you from me!”
16 Sennacherib’s officers said more against the Lord God and his servant Hezekiah. 17 Sennacherib wrote letters cursing the Lord God of Israel. These letters said, “As the gods of the nations in other countries couldn’t rescue their people from me, Hezekiah’s God cannot rescue his people from me.” 18 Sennacherib’s officers shouted loudly in the Judean language to the troops who were on the wall of Jerusalem. They tried to frighten and terrify the troops so that they could capture the city. 19 They spoke about the God of Jerusalem as if he were one of the gods made by human hands and worshiped by the people in other countries.
20 Then King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, prayed about this and called to heaven. 21 The Lord sent an angel who exterminated all the soldiers, officials, and commanders in the Assyrian king’s camp. Humiliated, Sennacherib returned to his own country. When he went into the temple of his god, some of his own sons killed him with a sword. 22 So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the people living in Jerusalem from King Sennacherib of Assyria and from everyone else. The Lord gave them peace with all their neighbors.
23 Many people still went to Jerusalem to bring gifts to the Lord and expensive presents to King Hezekiah of Judah. From then on, he was considered important by all the nations.
Other Events in Hezekiah’s Life(B)
24 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was about to die. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. 25 But Hezekiah was conceited, so he didn’t repay the Lord for his kindness. The Lord became angry with him, with Judah, and with Jerusalem. 26 Hezekiah and the people living in Jerusalem humbled themselves when they realized they had become conceited. So the Lord didn’t vent his anger on them during Hezekiah’s time.
27 Hezekiah became richer and was highly honored. He prepared storerooms for himself to hold silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields, and all kinds of valuables. 28 He made sheds to store his harvests of grain, new wine, and fresh olive oil, and he made barns for all his cattle and stalls for his flocks. 29 He made cities for himself because he had many sheep and cattle. God had given him a lot of property. 30 Hezekiah was the one who stopped the water from flowing from the upper outlet of Gihon. He channeled the water directly underground to the west side of the City of David. Hezekiah succeeded in everything he did.
31 When the leaders of Babylon sent ambassadors to ask him about the miraculous sign that had happened in the land, God left him. God did this to test him, to find out everything that was in Hezekiah’s heart.
32 Everything else about Hezekiah, including his devotion to God, is written in the vision of the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, and in the records of the kings of Judah and Israel. 33 Hezekiah lay down in death with his ancestors. He was buried in the upper tombs of David’s descendants. When Hezekiah died, all of Judah and the people in Jerusalem honored him. His son Manasseh succeeded him as king.
King Manasseh of Judah(C)
33 Manasseh was 12 years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for 55 years in Jerusalem.
2 He did what the Lord considered evil by copying the disgusting things done by the nations that the Lord had forced out of the Israelites’ way. 3 He rebuilt the illegal places of worship that his father Hezekiah had torn down. He set up altars dedicated to other gods—the Baals—and made a pole dedicated to the goddess Asherah as King Ahab of Israel had done. Manasseh, like Ahab, worshiped and served the entire army of heaven. 4 He built altars in the Lord’s temple, where the Lord had said, “My name will be in Jerusalem forever.” 5 In the two courtyards of the Lord’s temple, he built altars for the entire army of heaven. 6 He burned his son as a sacrifice in the valley of Ben Hinnom, consulted fortunetellers, cast evil spells, practiced witchcraft, and appointed ⌞royal⌟ mediums and psychics. He did many things that made the Lord furious. 7 Manasseh had a carved idol made. Then he set it up in God’s temple, where God had said to David and his son Solomon, “I have chosen this temple and Jerusalem from all the tribes of Israel. I will put my name here forever. 8 I will never again remove Israel from the land that I set aside for their ancestors if they will obey all the commands, all the teachings, the ordinances, and the regulations ⌞I gave⌟ through Moses.” 9 Manasseh misled Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem so that they did more evil things than the nations that the Lord had destroyed when the Israelites arrived in the land.
10 When the Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, they wouldn’t even pay attention. 11 So the Lord made the army commanders of the king of Assyria invade Judah. They took Manasseh captive, put a hook in his nose, put him in bronze shackles, and brought him to Babylon.
12 When he experienced this distress, he begged the Lord his God to be kind and humbled himself in front of the God of his ancestors. 13 He prayed to the Lord, and the Lord accepted his prayer and listened to his request. The Lord brought him back to his kingdom in Jerusalem. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is God.
- 32:5 The exact place referred to as “the Millo” is unknown.
23 But now I have no new opportunities for work in this region. For many years I have wanted to visit you. 24 Now I am on my way to Spain, so I hope to see you when I come your way. After I have enjoyed your company for a while, I hope that you will support my trip to Spain.
25 Right now I’m going to Jerusalem to bring help to the Christians there. 26 Because the believers in Macedonia and Greece owe a debt to the Christians in Jerusalem, they have decided to take up a collection for the poor among the Christians in Jerusalem. 27 These Macedonians and Greeks have shared the spiritual wealth of the Christians in Jerusalem. So they are obligated to use their earthly wealth to help them.
28 When the collection is completed and I have officially turned the money over to the Christians in Jerusalem, I will visit you on my way to Spain. 29 I know that when I come to you I will bring the full blessing of Christ.
30 Brothers and sisters, I encourage you through our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love that the Spirit creates, to join me in my struggle. Pray to God for me 31 that I will be rescued from those people in Judea who refuse to believe. Pray that God’s people in Jerusalem will accept the help I bring. 32 Also pray that by the will of God I may come to you with joy and be refreshed when I am with you.
33 May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
16 With this letter I’m introducing Phoebe to you. She is our sister in the Christian faith and a deacon of the church in the city of Cenchrea. 2 Give her a Christian welcome that shows you are God’s holy people. Provide her with anything she may need, because she has provided help to many people, including me.
3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my coworkers in the service of Christ Jesus. 4 They risked their lives to save me. I’m thankful to them and so are all the churches among the nations. 5 Also greet the church that meets in their house.
Greet my dear friend Epaenetus. He was the first person in the province of Asia to become a believer in Christ.
6 Greet Mary, who has worked very hard for you.
7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, who are Jewish by birth like me. They are prisoners like me and are prominent among the apostles. They also were Christians before I was.
8 Greet Ampliatus my dear friend in the service of the Lord.
9 Greet Urbanus our coworker in the service of Christ, and my dear friend Stachys.
16 Turn to me, and have pity on me.
I am lonely and oppressed.
17 Relieve my troubled heart,
and bring me out of my distress.
18 Look at my misery and suffering,
and forgive all my sins.
19 See how my enemies have increased in number,
how they have hated me with vicious hatred!
20 Protect my life, and rescue me!
Do not let me be put to shame.
I have taken refuge in you.
21 Integrity and honesty will protect me because I wait for you.
22 Rescue Israel, O God, from all its troubles!
16 Hold on to the garment of one who guarantees a stranger’s loan,
and hold responsible the person who makes a loan on behalf of a foreigner.
17 Food gained dishonestly tastes sweet to a person,
but afterwards his mouth will be filled with gravel.
18 Plans are confirmed by getting advice,
and with guidance one wages war.