2 Kings 23:31-25:30
Jehoahaz rules Judah
31 Jehoahaz was 23 years old when he became king, and he ruled for three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal; she was Jeremiah’s daughter and was from Libnah. 32 He did what was evil in the Lord’s eyes, just as all his ancestors had done. 33 Pharaoh Neco made Jehoahaz a prisoner at Riblah in the land of Hamath, ending his rule in Jerusalem. Pharaoh Neco imposed a fine on the land totaling one hundred kikkars of silver and one kikkar of gold.
Jehoiakim rules Judah
34 Pharaoh Neco made Eliakim, Josiah’s son, king after his father Josiah. Neco changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim. Neco took Jehoahaz away; he later died in Egypt. 35 Jehoiakim gave Pharaoh the silver and gold, but he taxed the land in order to meet Pharaoh’s financial demands. Each person was taxed appropriately. Jehoiakim exacted silver and the gold from the land’s people in order to give it to Pharaoh Neco. 36 Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he became king, and he ruled for eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zebidah; she was Pedaiah’s daughter and was from Rumah. 37 He did what was evil in the Lord’s eyes, just as all his ancestors had done.
24 In Jehoiakim’s days, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked. Jehoiakim had submitted to him for three years, but then Jehoiakim changed his mind and rebelled against him. 2 The Lord sent Chaldean, Aramean, Moabite, and Ammonite raiding parties against Jehoiakim, sending them against Judah in order to destroy it. This was in agreement with the word that the Lord had spoken through his servants the prophets. 3 Indeed, this happened to Judah because the Lord commanded them to be removed from his presence on account of all the sins that Manasseh had committed 4 and because of the innocent blood that he had spilled. Manasseh had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the Lord didn’t want to forgive that.
5 The rest of Jehoiakim’s deeds and all that he accomplished, aren’t they written in the official records of Judah’s kings? 6 Jehoiakim lay down with his ancestors. His son Jehoiachin succeeded him as king.
7 The Egyptian king never left his country again because the Babylonian king had taken over all the territory that had previously belonged to him—from the border of Egypt to the Euphrates River.
Jehoiachin rules Judah
8 Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he became king, and he ruled for three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Nehushta; she was Elnathan’s daughter and was from Jerusalem. 9 He did what was evil in the Lord’s eyes, just as all his ancestors had done. 10 At that time, the officers of Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem and laid siege to the city. 11 Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar himself arrived at the city while his officers were blockading it. 12 Judah’s King Jehoiachin, along with his mother, his servants, his officers, and his officials, came out to surrender to the Babylonian king. The Babylonian king took Jehoiachin prisoner in the eighth year of Jehoiachin’s rule.
13 Nebuchadnezzar also took away all the treasures of the Lord’s temple and of the royal palace. He cut into pieces all the gold objects that Israel’s King Solomon had made for the Lord’s temple, which is exactly what the Lord said would happen. 14 Then Nebuchadnezzar exiled all of Jerusalem: all the officials, all the military leaders—ten thousand exiles—as well as all the skilled workers and metalworkers. No one was left behind except the poorest of the land’s people. 15 Nebuchadnezzar exiled Jehoiachin to Babylon; he also exiled the queen mother, the king’s wives, the officials, and the land’s elite leaders from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 The Babylonian king also exiled seven thousand warriors—each one a hero trained for battle—as well as a thousand skilled workers and metalworkers to Babylon. 17 Then the Babylonian king made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, succeed Jehoiachin as king. Nebuchadnezzar changed Mattaniah’s name to Zedekiah.
Zedekiah rules Judah
18 Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king, and he ruled for eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal; she was Jeremiah’s daughter and was from Libnah. 19 He did what was evil in the Lord’s eyes, just as Jehoiakim had done. 20 It was precisely because the Lord was angry with Jerusalem and Judah that he thrust them out of his presence.
The southern kingdom falls
Now Zedekiah rebelled against the Babylonian king. 25 1 So in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s rule, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar attacked Jerusalem with his entire army. He camped beside the city and built a siege wall all around it. 2 The city was under attack until King Zedekiah’s eleventh year. 3 On the ninth day of the month, the famine in the city got so bad that no food remained for the common people. 4 Then the enemy broke into the city. All the soldiers fled[a] by night using the gate between the two walls near the King’s Garden. The Chaldeans were surrounding the city, so the soldiers ran toward the desert plain. 5 But the Chaldean army chased King Zedekiah and caught up with him in the Jericho plains. His entire army deserted him. 6 So the Chaldeans captured the king and brought him back to the Babylonian king, who was at Riblah. There his punishment was determined. 7 Zedekiah’s sons were slaughtered right before his eyes. Then he was blinded, put in bronze chains, and taken off to Babylon.
8 On the seventh day of the fifth month in the nineteenth year of Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan arrived at Jerusalem. He was the commander of the guard and an official of the Babylonian king. 9 He burned down the Lord’s temple, the royal palace, and all of Jerusalem’s houses. He burned down every important building. 10 The whole Chaldean army under the commander of the guard tore down the walls surrounding Jerusalem. 11 Then Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard exiled the people who were left in the city, those who had already surrendered to Babylon’s king, and the rest of the population. 12 The commander of the guard left some of the land’s poor people behind to work the vineyards and be farmers. 13 The Chaldeans shattered the bronze columns, the stands, and the bronze Sea that were in the Lord’s temple. They carried the bronze off to Babylon. 14 They also took the pots, the shovels, the wick trimmers, the dishes, and all the bronze items that had been used in the temple. 15 The commander of the guard took the fire pans and the sprinkling bowls, which were made of pure gold and pure silver. 16 The bronze in all these objects—the two pillars, the Sea, and the stands that Solomon had made for the Lord’s temple—was too heavy to weigh. 17 Each pillar was twenty-seven feet high. The bronze capital on top of the first pillar was four and a half feet high. Decorative lattices and pomegranates, all made from bronze, were around the capital. And the second pillar was decorated with lattices just like the first.
18 The commander of the guard also took away Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest next in rank, and the three doorkeepers. 19 Of those still left in the city, Nebuzaradan took away an officer who was in charge of the army and five royal advisors who were discovered in the city. He also took away the secretary of the officer responsible for drafting the land’s people to fight, as well as sixty people who were discovered in the city. 20 Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard took all of these people and brought them to the Babylonian king at Riblah. 21 The king of Babylon struck them down, killing them in Riblah in the land of Hamath.
So Judah was exiled from its land.
Gedaliah governs Judah
22 Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar put Gedaliah, Ahikam’s son and Shaphan’s grandson, in charge of the people he had left behind in the land of Judah. 23 All the army officers and their soldiers heard that the Babylonian king had appointed Gedaliah as governor, so they came with their men to Gedaliah at Mizpah. The officers were Ishmael, Nethaniah’s son; Johanan, Kareah’s son; Seraiah, Tanhumeth’s son who was a Netophathite; and Jaazaniah, Maacathite’s son. 24 Gedaliah made a solemn pledge to them and their soldiers, telling them, “Don’t be afraid of the Chaldean officials. Stay in the land and serve the Babylonian king, and things will go well for you.”
25 But in the seventh month, Ishmael, Nethaniah’s son and Elishama’s grandson, who was from the royal family, came with ten soldiers, and they struck Gedaliah, and he died. They also killed the Judeans and the Chaldeans who were with him at Mizpah. 26 Then all the people, young and old, along with the army officers, departed for Egypt because they were afraid of the Chaldeans.
Jehoiachin in Babylon
27 In the year that Awil-merodach[b] became king of Babylon, he released Judah’s King Jehoiachin from prison. This happened in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin, on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month. 28 Awil-merodach spoke kindly to Jehoiachin and seated him above the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 So Jehoiachin took off his prisoner clothes and ate regularly in the king’s presence for the rest of his life. 30 At the king’s command, a regular food allowance was given to him every day for the rest of his life.
17 “When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I had a visionary experience. 18 I saw the Lord speaking to me. ‘Hurry!’ he said. ‘Leave Jerusalem at once because they won’t accept your testimony about me.’ 19 I responded, ‘Lord, these people know I used to go from one synagogue to the next, beating those who believe in you and throwing them into prison. 20 When Stephen your witness was being killed, I stood there giving my approval, even watching the clothes that belonged to those who were killing him.’ 21 Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go! I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”
22 The crowd listened to Paul until he said this. Then they shouted, “Away with this man! He’s not fit to live!” 23 As they were screaming, throwing off their garments, and flinging dust into the air, 24 the commander directed that Paul be taken into the military headquarters. He ordered that Paul be questioned under the whip so that he could find out why they were shouting at him like this.
25 As they were stretching him out and tying him down with straps, Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Can you legally whip a Roman citizen who hasn’t been found guilty in court?”
26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. He asked, “What are you about to do? This man is a Roman citizen!”
27 The commander went to Paul and demanded, “Tell me! Are you a Roman citizen?”
He said, “Yes.”
28 The commander replied, “It cost me a lot of money to buy my citizenship.”
Paul said, “I’m a citizen by birth.” 29 At once those who were about to examine him stepped away. The commander was alarmed when he realized he had bound a Roman citizen.
Paul appears before the Jewish council
30 The commander still wanted to know the truth about why Paul was being accused by the Jews. Therefore, the next day he ordered the chief priests and the entire Jerusalem Council to assemble. Then he took Paul out of prison and had him stand before them.
23 Paul stared at the council and said, “Brothers, I have lived my life with an altogether clear conscience right up to this very day.” 2 The high priest Ananias ordered those standing beside Paul to strike him in the mouth. 3 Then Paul said to him, “God is about to strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit and judge me according to the Law, yet disobey the Law by ordering that I be struck.”
4 Those standing near him asked, “You dare to insult God’s high priest?”
5 Paul replied, “Brothers, I wasn’t aware that he was the high priest. It is written, You will not speak evil about a ruler of your people.”[a]
6 Knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, Paul exclaimed in the council, “Brothers, I’m a Pharisee and a descendant of Pharisees. I am on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead!”
7 These words aroused a dispute between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 This is because Sadducees say that there’s no resurrection, angel, or spirit, but Pharisees affirm them all. 9 Council members were shouting loudly. Some Pharisees who were legal experts stood up and insisted forcefully, “We find nothing wrong with this man! What if a spirit or angel has spoken to him?” 10 The dispute became so heated that the commander feared they might tear Paul to pieces. He ordered soldiers to go down and remove him by force from their midst. Then they took him back to the military headquarters.
2 Why do the nations rant?
Why do the peoples rave uselessly?
2 The earth’s rulers take their stand;
the leaders scheme together
against the Lord and
against his anointed one.
3 “Come!” they say.
“We will tear off their ropes
and throw off their chains!”
4 The one who rules in heaven laughs;
my Lord makes fun of them.
5 But then God speaks to them angrily;
then he terrifies them with his fury:
6 “I hereby appoint my king on Zion,
my holy mountain!”
7 I will announce the Lord’s decision:
He said to me, “You are my son,
today I have become your father.
8 Just ask me,
and I will make the nations your possession;
the far corners of the earth will be your property.
9 You will smash them with an iron rod;
you will shatter them like a pottery jar.”
10 So kings, wise up!
Be warned, you rulers of the earth!
11 Serve the Lord reverently—
trembling, 12 kiss his feet[a]
or else he will become angry,
and your way will be destroyed
because his anger ignites in an instant.
But all who take refuge in the Lord are truly happy!
- Psalm 2:12 Correction; Heb uncertain; MT rejoice with trembling, kiss the son (but with son in Aram, not Heb)
13 Those who answer before they listen
are foolish and disgraceful.