2 Chronicles 35-36
King Josiah Celebrates the Passover(A)
35 Josiah celebrated the Passover for the Lord in Jerusalem. The Passover lamb was slaughtered on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2 Josiah appointed the priests to their duties and encouraged them to serve in the Lord’s temple. 3 He told the Levites, who instructed all Israel and performed ceremonies to make themselves holy to the Lord, “Put the holy ark in the temple that Solomon, son of David and king of Israel, built. It shouldn’t be carried on your shoulders any longer. Serve the Lord your God and his people Israel. 4 Get yourselves ready with the family groups of your divisions, which are listed in the records of King David of Israel and the records of his son Solomon. 5 Stand in the holy place representing the family divisions of your relatives, the people ⌞of Israel⌟. Let the Levites be considered a part of each family. 6 Slaughter the Passover lamb, perform the ceremonies to make yourselves holy, and prepare ⌞the lambs⌟ for the other Israelites as the Lord instructed ⌞us⌟ through Moses.”
7 Josiah provided the people with 33,000 sheep and goats to be sacrificed as Passover offerings for all who were present. In addition, he provided 3,000 bulls. (These animals were the king’s property.) 8 His officials also voluntarily gave animals to the people, priests, and Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, the men in charge of God’s temple, gave the priests 2,600 sheep and goats and 300 bulls for Passover sacrifices. 9 Conaniah and his brothers Shemaiah and Nethanel, and Hashabiah, Jeiel, and Jozabad, the leaders of the Levites, gave the Levites 5,000 sheep and goats and 500 bulls as Passover sacrifices.
10 So the service was prepared. The priests took their positions with the Levites according to their divisions, as the king had ordered. 11 They slaughtered the Passover lambs. The priests sprinkled the blood with their hands while the Levites skinned the lambs. 12 They set aside the burnt offerings to give them to the laypeople according to their family divisions. The laypeople could then present them to the Lord as written in the Book of Moses. The Levites did the same with the bulls. 13 They roasted the Passover lambs according to the directions. They boiled the holy offerings in pots, kettles, and pans and immediately served them to all the people. 14 Later, they prepared ⌞the animals⌟ for themselves and for the priests because the priests (Aaron’s descendants) were sacrificing the burnt offerings and the fat until that evening.
So the Levites prepared ⌞the animals⌟ for themselves and the priests. 15 The singers (Asaph’s descendants) were in their places as David, Asaph, Heman, and the king’s seer [a] Jeduthun had commanded. The gatekeepers were stationed at each gate. They didn’t need to leave their work, because their relatives, the Levites, prepared ⌞animals⌟ for them.
16 So everything was arranged that day for the worship of the Lord. The Passover was celebrated, and the burnt offerings were sacrificed on the Lord’s altar as King Josiah had commanded. 17 The Israelites who were present celebrated the Passover at that time. They also celebrated the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days.
18 Never had a Passover like this been celebrated in Israel during the time of the prophet Samuel or the kings of Israel. They did not celebrate the Passover as Josiah celebrated it with priests, Levites, all of Judah, the people of Israel who could be found, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 19 In the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign, this Passover was celebrated.
Josiah’s Sin Leads to His Death(B)
20 After all this, when Josiah had repaired the temple, King Neco of Egypt came to fight a battle at Carchemish at the Euphrates River. Josiah went to attack him. 21 But Neco sent messengers to Josiah to say, “What’s your quarrel with me, king of Judah? I’m not attacking you. I’ve come to fight those who are at war with me. God told me to hurry. God is with me, so stop now or else he will destroy you.”
22 But Josiah would not stop his attack. He disguised himself as he went into battle. He refused to listen to Neco’s words, which came from God, and he went to fight in the valley of Megiddo.
23 Some archers shot King Josiah. The king told his officers, “Take me away because I’m badly wounded.”
24 His officers took him out of the chariot and brought him to Jerusalem in his other chariot. He died and was buried in the tombs of his ancestors. All Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. 25 Jeremiah sang a funeral song about Josiah. All the male and female singers still sing funeral songs about Josiah today. This became a tradition in Israel. They are written in ⌞the Book of⌟ the Funeral Songs.
26 Everything else about Josiah—including his devotion to God by following what is written in the Lord’s Teachings 27 and his acts from first to last—are written in the records of the kings of Israel and Judah.
King Jehoahaz of Judah(C)
36 Then people of the land took Josiah’s son Jehoahaz and made him king in Jerusalem in place of his father. 2 Jehoahaz was 23 years old when he became king, and he was king in Jerusalem for 3 months. 3 The king of Egypt removed him from office in Jerusalem and fined the country 7,500 pounds of silver and 75 pounds of gold. 4 The king of Egypt made Jehoahaz’s brother Eliakim king of Judah and Jerusalem and changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim. Neco took Jehoahaz away to Egypt.
King Jehoiakim of Judah(D)
5 Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for 11 years in Jerusalem. He did what the Lord his God considered evil. 6 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked Jehoiakim and put him in bronze shackles to take him to Babylon. 7 Nebuchadnezzar also brought some of the utensils of the Lord’s temple to Babylon. He put them in his palace in Babylon.
8 Everything else about Jehoiakim—the disgusting things he did and all the charges against him—is written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. His son Jehoiakin succeeded him as king.
King Jehoiakin of Judah(E)
9 Jehoiakin was eight years old when he began to rule as king. He was king for three months and ten days in Jerusalem. He did what the Lord considered evil.
10 In the spring King Nebuchadnezzar sent for Jehoiakin and brought him to Babylon with the valuable utensils from the Lord’s temple. Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiakin’s uncle Zedekiah king of Judah and Jerusalem.
King Zedekiah of Judah(F)
11 Zedekiah was 21 years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for 11 years in Jerusalem. 12 He did what the Lord his God considered evil and didn’t humble himself in front of the prophet Jeremiah, who spoke for the Lord. 13 Zedekiah also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar had made Zedekiah swear an oath of allegiance to him in God’s name. But Zedekiah became so stubborn and so impossible to deal with that he refused to turn back to the Lord God of Israel.
14 All the officials, the priests, and the people became increasingly unfaithful and followed all the disgusting practices of the nations. Although the Lord had made the temple in Jerusalem holy, they made the temple unclean.[b] 15 The Lord God of their ancestors repeatedly sent messages through his messengers because he wanted to spare his people and his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words, and made fun of his prophets until the Lord became angry with his people. He could no longer heal them.
17 So he had the Babylonian king attack them and execute their best young men in their holy temple. He didn’t spare the best men or the unmarried women, the old people or the sick people. God handed all of them over to him. 18 He brought to Babylon each of the utensils from God’s temple, the treasures from the Lord’s temple, and the treasures of the king and his officials. 19 They burned God’s temple, tore down Jerusalem’s walls, burned down all its palaces, and destroyed everything of value. 20 The king of Babylon took those who weren’t executed to Babylon to be slaves for him and his sons. They remained captives until the Persian Empire began to rule. 21 This happened so that the Lord’s words spoken through Jeremiah would be fulfilled. The land had its years of rest and was made acceptable ⌞again⌟. While it lay in ruins, ⌞the land had its⌟ 70 years of rest.
King Cyrus Allows the Jews to Return from Babylon(G)
22 The promise the Lord had spoken through Jeremiah was about to come true in Cyrus’ first year as king of Persia. The Lord inspired the king to make this announcement throughout his whole kingdom and then to put it in writing.
23 This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: The Lord God of heaven has given me all the kingdoms of the world. And he has ordered me to build a temple for him in Jerusalem (which is in Judah). May the Lord God be with all of you who are his people. You may go.
1 Corinthians 1:1-17
1 From Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and from Sosthenes, our brother in the Christian faith.
2 To God’s church that was made holy by Christ Jesus and called to be God’s holy people in the city of Corinth and to people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Good will [a] and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ are yours!
4 I always thank God for you because Christ Jesus has shown you God’s good will. 5 Through Christ Jesus you have become rich in every way—in speech and knowledge of every kind. 6 Our message about Christ has been verified among you. 7 Therefore, you don’t lack any gift as you wait eagerly for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will continue to give you strength until the end so that no one can accuse you of anything on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God faithfully keeps his promises. He called you to be partners with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
God’s Wisdom Is Better Than the World’s Wisdom
10 Brothers and sisters, I encourage all of you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to agree with each other and not to split into opposing groups. I want you to be united in your understanding and opinions. 11 Brothers and sisters, some people from Chloe’s family have made it clear to me that you are quarreling among yourselves. 12 This is what I mean: Each of you is saying, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” [b] or “I follow Christ.” 13 Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in Paul’s name? 14 I thank God that [c] I didn’t baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius 15 so that no one can say you were baptized in my name. 16 I also baptized Stephanas and his family. Beyond that, I’m not sure whether I baptized anyone else. 17 Christ didn’t send me to baptize. Instead, he sent me to spread the Good News. I didn’t use intellectual arguments. That would have made the cross of Christ lose its meaning.
27 The Lord is my light and my salvation.
Who is there to fear?
The Lord is my life’s fortress.
Who is there to be afraid of?
2 Evildoers closed in on me to tear me to pieces.
My opponents and enemies stumbled and fell.
3 Even though an army sets up camp against me,
my heart will not be afraid.
Even though a war breaks out against me,
I will still have confidence ⌞in the Lord⌟.
4 I have asked one thing from the Lord.
This I will seek:
to remain in the Lord’s house all the days of my life
in order to gaze at the Lord’s beauty
and to search for an answer in his temple.
5 He hides me in his shelter when there is trouble.
He keeps me hidden in his tent.
He sets me high on a rock.
6 Now my head will be raised above my enemies who surround me.
I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy in his tent.
I will sing and make music to praise the Lord.