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2nd KINGS 17
Israel exiled to Assyria

    17:1     In the twelfth year of Ahaz, king of Judah, Hoshea, the son of Elah, became king over Israel in Samaria, ruling for nine years. 2 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, though not like the kings of Israel before him. 3 Against him came up Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, and Hoshea became his servant and sent him offerings. 4 But Hoshea's broken faith became clear to the king of Assyria because he had sent representatives to So, king of Egypt, and did not send his offering to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year : so the king of Assyria had him shut up in prison and put in chains. 5 Then the king of Assyria went through all the land and came up to Samaria, shutting it in with his forces for three years. 6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria, and took Israel away to Assyria, placing them in Halah and in Habor on the river Gozan, and in the towns of the Medes.
    17:7 And the wrath of the Lord came on Israel because they had done evil against the Lord their God, who took them out of the land of Egypt from under the yoke of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and had become worshippers of other gods, 8 Living by the rules of the nations whom the Lord had sent out from before the children of Israel. 9 And the children of Israel did secretly against the Lord their God things which were not right, building high places for themselves in all their towns, from the tower of the watchmen to the walled town. 10 They put up pillars of stone and wood on every high hill and under every green tree : 11 Burning their offerings in all the high places, as those nations did whom the Lord sent away from before them ; they did evil things, moving the Lord to wrath ; 12 And they made themselves servants of disgusting things, though the Lord had said, You are not to do this. 13 And he gave witness to Israel and Judah, by every prophet and seer, saying, Come back from your evil ways, and do my orders and keep my rules, and be guided by the law which I gave to your fathers and sent to you by my servants the prophets. 14 And they did not give ear, but became stiff-necked, like their fathers who had no faith in the Lord their God. 15 And they went against his rules, and the agreement which he made with their fathers, and his laws which he gave them; they gave themselves up to things without sense or value, and became foolish like the nations round them, of whom the Lord had said, Do not as they do. 16 And turning their backs on all the orders which the Lord had given them, they made for themselves images of metal, and the image of Asherah, worshipping all the stars of heaven and becoming servants to Baal. 17 And they made their sons and their daughters go through the fire, and they made use of secret arts and unnatural powers, and gave themselves up to doing evil in the eyes of the Lord, till he was moved to wrath. 18 So the Lord was very angry with Israel, and his face was turned away from them : only the tribe of Judah kept its place.
    17:19 (But even Judah did not keep the orders of the Lord their God, but were guided by the rules which Israel had made. 20 So the Lord would have nothing to do with all the offspring of Israel, and sent trouble on them, and gave them up into the hands of their attackers, till he had sent them away from before his face.)
    17:21 For Israel was broken off from the family of David, and they made Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, king, who, driving them away from the laws of the Lord, made them do a great sin. 22 And the children of Israel went on with all the sins which Jeroboam did ; they did not keep themselves from them ; 23 Till the Lord put Israel away from before his face, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was taken away from their land to Assyria, to this day.
    17:24 Then the king of Assyria took men from Babylon and from Cuthah and Avva and Hamath and Sepharvaim, and put them in the towns of Samaria in place of the children of Israel ; so they got Samaria for their heritage, living in its towns. 25 Now when first they were living there they did not give worship to the Lord. So the Lord sent lions among them, causing the death of some of them. 26 So they said to the king of Assyria, The nations whom you have taken as prisoners and put in the towns of Samaria, have no knowledge of the way of the god of the land : so he has sent lions among them, causing their death, because they have no knowledge of his way. 27 Then the king of Assyria gave orders, saying, Send there one of the priests whom you took away, and let him be living there and teaching the people the way of the god of the land. 28 So one of the priests whom they had taken away as a prisoner from Samaria came back, and, living in Beth-el, became their teacher in the worship of the Lord.
    17:29 And every nation made gods for themselves, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in the towns where they were living. 30 The men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31 The Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites gave their children to be burned in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 So they went on worshipping the Lord, and made for themselves, from among all the people, priests for the high places, to make offerings for them in the houses of the high places. 33 They gave worship to the Lord, but they gave honour to their gods like the nations did from whom they had been taken as prisoners.
    17:34 So to this day they go on in their old ways,   not worshipping the Lord or keeping his orders or his ways or the law and the rule which the Lord gave to the children of Jacob, to whom he gave the name Israel ; 35 And the Lord made an agreement with them and gave them orders, saying, You are to have no other gods; you are not to give worship to them or be their servants or make them offerings : 36 But the Lord, who took you out of the land of Egypt with his great power and his outstretched arm, he is your God, to whom you are to give worship and make offerings : 37 And the rules and the orders and the law which he put in writing for you, you are to keep and do for ever ; you are to have no other gods. 38 And you are to keep in memory the agreement which I have made with you ; and you are to have no other gods. 39 And you are to give worship to the Lord your God ; for it is he who will give you salvation from the hands of all who are against you. 40 But they gave no attention, but went on in their old way.
    17:41 So these nations, worshipping the Lord, still were servants to the images they had made ; their children and their children's children did the same; as their fathers did, so do they, to this day.

2nd KINGS 18
ASiege of Jerusalem

    18:1     Now in the third year of Hoshea, son of Elah, king of Israel, Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, became king of Judah. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, ruling in Jerusalem for twenty-nine years ; his mother's name was Abi, the daughter of Zechariah. 3 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord as David his father had done. 4 He had the high places taken away, and the stone pillars broken to bits, and the Asherah cut down ; and the brass snake which Moses had made was crushed to powder at his order, because in those days the children of Israel had offerings burned before it, and he gave it the name Nehushtan. 5 He had faith in the Lord, the God of Israel ; so that there was no one like him among all the kings of Judah who were before him. 6 For his heart was fixed on the Lord, not turning from his ways, and he did his orders which the Lord gave to Moses. 7 And the Lord was with him ; he did well in all his undertakings : and he took up arms against the king of Assyria and was his servant no longer. 8 He overcame the Philistines as far as Gaza and its limits, from the tower of the watchman to the walled town.
    18:9 Now in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea, son of Elah, king of Israel, Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, came up against Samaria, shutting it in with his armies. 10 And at the end of three years they took it ; in the sixth year of Hezekiah's rule, which was the ninth year of Hoshea, king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11 And the king of Assyria took Israel away as prisoners into Assyria, placing them in Halah and in Habor on the river Gozan, and in the towns of the Medes ; 12 Because they did not give ear to the voice of the Lord their God, but went against his agreement, even against everything ordered by Moses, the servant of the Lord, and they did not give ear to it or do it.
    18:13 Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came up against all the walled towns of Judah and took them. 14 And Hezekiah, king of Judah, sent to Lachish, to the king of Assyria, saying, I have done wrong; give up attacking me, and whatever you put on me I will undergo. And the payment he was to make was fixed by the king of Assyria at three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 So Hezekiah gave him all the silver in the house of the Lord, and in the king's store-house. 16 And at that time Hezekiah had the gold from the doors of the Lord's house, and from the door-pillars plated by him, cut off and gave it to the king of Assyria. 17 Then the king of Assyria sent the Tartan and the Rab-saris and the Rab-shakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem, to King Hezekiah, with a strong force. And they went up and came to Jerusalem, and took up their position by the stream of the higher pool, by the highway of the washerman's field. 18 And they sent for the king, and Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, who was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to them.
    18:19 And the Rab-shakeh said to them, Say now to Hezekiah, These are the words of the great king, the king of Assyria : In what are you placing your hope ? 20 You say you have a design, and strength for war, but these are only words. Now to whom are you looking for support, that you have gone against my authority ? 21 See, now, you are basing your hope on that broken rod of Egypt, which will go through a man's hand if he makes use of it for a support ; for so is Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to all who put their faith in him. 22 And if you say to me, Our hope is in the Lord our God : is it not he, whose high places and altars Hezekiah has taken away, saying to Judah and Jerusalem that worship may only be given before this altar in Jerusalem ? 23 And now, take a chance with my master, the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able to put horsemen on them. 24 How then may you put to shame the least of my master's servants ? and you have put your hope in Egypt for war-carriages and horsemen : 25 And have I now come up to send destruction on this place without the Lord's authority ? It was the Lord himself who said to me, Go up against this land and make it waste.
    18:26 Then Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna and Joah said to the Rab-shakeh, Will you kindly make use of the Aramaean language in talking to your servants, for we are used to it, and do not make use of the Jews' language in the hearing of the people on the wall. 27 But the Rab-shakeh said to them, Is it to your master or to you that my master has sent me to say these words? has he not sent me to the men seated on the wall ? for they are the people who will be short of food with you when the town is shut in.
    18:28 Then the Rab-shakeh got up and said with a loud voice in the Jews' language, Give ear to the words of the great king, the king of Assyria ; 29 This is what the king says : Do not be tricked by Hezekiah, for there is no salvation for you in him. 30 And do not let Hezekiah make you put your faith in the Lord, saying, The Lord will certainly keep us safe, and this town will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria. 31 Do not give ear to Hezekiah, for this is what the king of Assyria says : Make peace with me and come out to me; and everyone will be free to take the fruit of his vine and of his fig-tree, and the water of his spring ; 32 Till I come and take you away to a land like yours, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vine-gardens, a land of oil-giving olives and of honey, so that life and not death may be your fate. Give no attention to Hezekiah when he says to you, The Lord will keep us safe. 33 Has any one of the gods of the nations kept his land from falling into the hands of the king of Assyria ? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and of Arpad ? where are the gods of Sepharvaim, of Hena and Ivvah ? have they kept Samaria out of my hands ? 35 Who among all the gods of these countries have kept their country from falling into my hands, to give cause for the thought that the Lord will keep Jerusalem from falling into my hands ?
    18:36 But the people kept quiet and gave him no answer : for the king's order was, Give him no answer. 37 Then Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, who was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah, with their clothing parted as a sign of grief, and gave him an account of what the Rab-shakeh had said.

2nd KINGS 19
Hezekiah's prayer

    19:1     And on hearing it, King Hezekiah took off his robe, and put on haircloth, and went into the house of the Lord. 2 And he sent Eliakim, who was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and the chief priests, dressed in haircloth, to Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz. 3 And they said to him, Hezekiah says, This day is a day of trouble and punishment and shame ; for the children are ready to come to birth, but there is no strength to give birth to them. 4 It may be that the Lord your God will give ear to the words of the Rab-shakeh, whom the king of Assyria, his master, sent to say evil things against the living God, and will make his words come to nothing : so then make your prayer for the rest of the people. 5 So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah. 6 And Isaiah said to them, This is what you are to say to your master : The Lord says, Be not troubled by the words which the servants of the king of Assyria have said against me in your hearing. 7 See, I will put a spirit into him, and bad news will come to his ears, and he will go back to his land; and there I will have him put to death by the sword.
    19:8 So the Rab-shakeh went back, and when he got there the king of Assyria was making war against Libnah, for it had come to his ears that he had gone away from Lachish. 9 And when news came to him that Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia, had made an attack on him, he sent representatives to Hezekiah again, saying, 10 This is what you are to say to Hezekiah, king of Judah : Let not your God, in whom is your faith, give you a false hope, saying, Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria. 11 No doubt the story has come to your ears of what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, putting them to the curse ; and will you be kept safe ? 12 Did the gods of the nations keep safe those on whom my fathers sent destruction, Gozan and Haran and Rezeph and the children of Eden who were in Telassar ? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the town of Sepharvaim, of Hena and of Ivvah?
    19:14 And Hezekiah took the letter from the hands of those who had come with it ; and after reading it, Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, opening the letter there before the Lord. 15 And Hezekiah made his prayer to the Lord, saying, O Lord, the God of Israel, seated between the winged ones, you only are the God of all the kingdoms of the earth ; you have made heaven and earth. 16 Let your ear be turned to us, O Lord, and let your eyes be open, O Lord, and see ; take note of all the words of Sennacherib who has sent men to say evil against the living God. 17 Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have made waste the nations and their lands, 18 And have given their gods to the fire ; for they were no gods, but wood and stone, the work of men's hands ; so they have given them to destruction. 19:19 But now, O Lord our God, give us salvation from his hands, so that it may be clear to all the kingdoms of the earth that you and only you, O Lord, are God.
    19:20 Then Isaiah, the son of Amoz, sent to Hezekiah, saying, The Lord, the God of Israel, says, The prayer which you have made to me against Sennacherib, king of Assyria, has come to my ears. 19:21 This is the word which the Lord has said about him : In the eyes of the virgin daughter of Zion you are shamed and laughed at; the daughter of Jerusalem has made sport of you.
    19:22 Against whom have you said evil and bitter things ? against whom has your voice been loud and your eyes lifted up ? even against the Holy One of Israel. 19:23 You have sent your servants with evil words against the Lord, and have said, With all my war-carriages I have come up to the top of the mountains, to the inmost parts of Lebanon ; its tall cedars will be cut down, and the best trees of its woods ; I will come up into his highest places, into his thick woods. 19:24 I have made water-holes and taken their waters, and with my foot I have made all the rivers of Egypt dry.
    19:25 Has it not come to your ears how I did it long before, purposing it in times long past ? Now I have given effect to my design, so that by you strong towns might be turned into masses of broken walls. 19:26 This is why their townsmen had no power, they were broken and put to shame ; they were like the grass of the field and the green plant, like grass on the house-tops. 19:27 But I have knowledge of your getting up and your resting, of your going out and your coming in. 19:28 Because your wrath against me and your words of pride have come up to my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my cord in your lips, and I will make you go back by the way you came.
    19:29 And this will be the sign to you : you will get your food this year from what comes up of itself ; and in the second year from the produce of the same; and in the third year you will put in your seed and get in the grain and make vine-gardens and take of their fruit. 19:30 And those of Judah who are still living will again take root in the earth and give fruit. 19:31 For from Jerusalem those who have been kept safe will go out, and those who are still living will go out of Mount Zion : by the fixed purpose of the Lord of armies this will be done.
    19:32 For this cause the Lord says about the king of Assyria, He will not come into this town, or send an arrow against it ; he will not come before it with arms, or put up an earthwork against it ; 33 By the way he came he will go back, and he will not get into this town, says the Lord. 34 For I will keep this town safe, for my honour, and for the honour of my servant David.
    19:35 And that night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death in the army of the Assyrians a hundred and eighty-five thousand men ; and when the people got up early in the morning, there was nothing to be seen but dead bodies. 36 So Sennacherib, king of Assyria, went back to his place at Nineveh. 37 And it came about, when he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer put him to death with the sword ; and they went in flight into the land of Ararat. And Esar-haddon his son became king in his place.

2nd KINGS 20
Hezekiah's sickness

    20:1     In those days Hezekiah was ill and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, came to him, and said to him, The Lord says, Put your house in order, for your death is near. 2 Then, turning his face to the wall, he made his prayer to the Lord, saying, 3 O Lord, keep in mind how I have been true to you with all my heart, and have done what is good in your eyes. And Hezekiah gave way to bitter weeping. 4 Now before Isaiah had gone out of the middle of the town, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 5 Go back and say to Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, The Lord, the God of David your father, says, Your prayer has come to my ears, and I have seen your weeping; see, I will make you well : on the third day you will go up to the house of the Lord. 6 I will give you fifteen more years of life ; and I will keep you and this town safe from the hands of the king of Assyria ; I will keep this town safe, for my honour, and for the honour of my servant David. 7 Then Isaiah said, Take a cake of figs. So they took it and put it on his wound, and he got better.
    20:8 And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, What is to be the sign that the Lord will make me well, and that I will go up to the house of the Lord on the third day ? 9 And Isaiah said, This is the sign the Lord will give you, that he will do what he has said ; will the shade go forward ten degrees or back ? 10 And Hezekiah said in answer, It is a simple thing for the shade to go forward ; but let it go back ten degrees. 11 Then Isaiah the prophet made prayer to the Lord, and he made the shade go back ten degrees from its position on the steps of Ahaz.
    20:12 At that time, Merodach-baladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters with an offering to Hezekiah, because he had news that Hezekiah had been ill. 13 And Hezekiah was glad at their coming and let them see all his store of wealth, the silver and the gold and the spices and the oil of great price, and the house of his arms, and everything there was in his stores ; there was nothing in all his house or his kingdom which Hezekiah did not let them see. 14 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and said to him, What did these men say and where did they come from ? And Hezekiah said, They came from a far country, even from Babylon. 15 And he said, What have they seen in your house ? And Hezekiah said in answer, They saw everything in my house : there is nothing among my stores which I did not let them see.
    20:16 And Isaiah said to Hezekiah, Give ear to the word of the Lord. 17 Truly, days are coming when everything in your house, and whatever your fathers have put in store till this day, will be taken away to Babylon : all will be gone, says the Lord. 18 And your sons, the offspring of your body, they will take away to be unsexed servants in the house of the king of Babylon. 19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, Good is the word of the Lord which you have said. Then he said, ... if in my time there is peace and righteousness ?
    20:20 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his power, and how he made the pool and the stream, to take water into the town, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah ? 21 And Hezekiah went to rest with his fathers ; and Manasseh his son became king in his place.

2nd KINGS 21
Manasseh's evil reign

    21:1     Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king ; for fifty-five years he was ruling in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Hephzi-bah. 2 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, copying the disgusting ways of those nations whom the Lord had sent out before the children of Israel. 3 He put up again the high places which had been pulled down by Hezekiah his father ; he made altars for Baal, and an Asherah, as Ahab, king of Israel, had done ; he was a worshipper and servant of all the stars of heaven. 4 And he put up altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, In Jerusalem will I put my name. 5 And he put up altars for all the stars of heaven in the two outer squares of the house of the Lord. 6 And he made his son go through the fire, and made use of secret arts and signs for reading the future; he gave positions to those who had control of spirits and to wonder-workers ; he did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, moving him to wrath. 7 He put the image of Asherah which he had made in the house of which the Lord had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, the town which I have made mine out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name for ever. 8 And never again will I send the feet of Israel wandering from the land which I gave to their fathers ; if only they will take care to do all my orders, and keep all the law which my servant Moses gave them. 9 But they did not give ear ; and Manasseh made them do more evil than those nations did, whom the Lord gave up to destruction before the children of Israel.
    21:10 And the Lord said, by his servants the prophets, 11 Because Manasseh, king of Judah, has done these disgusting things, doing more evil than all the Amorites before him, and making Judah do evil with his false gods, 12 For this cause, says the Lord, the God of Israel, I will send such evil on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of all to whom the news comes will be burning. 13 And over Jerusalem will be stretched the line of Samaria and the weight of Ahab ; Jerusalem will be washed clean as a plate is washed, and turned over on its face. 14 And I will put away from me the rest of my heritage, and give them up into the hands of their haters, who will take their property and their goods for themselves ; 15 Because they have done evil in my eyes, moving me to wrath, from the day when their fathers came out of Egypt till this day.
    21:16 More than this, Manasseh took the lives of upright men, till Jerusalem from one end to the other was full of blood ; in addition to his sin in making Judah do evil in the eyes of the Lord.
    21:17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and all he did, and his sins, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah ? 18 So Manasseh went to rest with his fathers, and was put into the earth in the garden of his house, in the garden of Uzza; and Amon his son became king in his place.
    21:19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, ruling in Jerusalem for two years; his mother's name was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. 20 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as Manasseh his father had done. 21 He went in all the ways of his father, being a servant and worshipper of the false gods to which his father had been a servant ; 22 Turning away from the Lord, the God of his fathers, and not walking in his ways. 23 And the servants of Amon made a secret design against him, and put the king to death in his house. 24 But the people of the land put to death all those who had taken part in the design against the king, and made Josiah his son king in his place. 25 Now the rest of the acts which Amon did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah ? 26 He was put in his last resting-place in the garden of Uzza, and Josiah his son became king in his place.

2nd KINGS 22
Reform under King Josiah

    22:1     Josiah was eight years old when he became king ; and he was ruling in Jerusalem for thirty-one years ; his mother's name was Jedidah, daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, walking in the ways of David his father, without turning to the right hand or to the left.
    22:3 Now in the eighteenth year after he became king, Josiah sent Shaphan, the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of the Lord, saying to him, 4 Go up to Hilkiah, the chief priest, and let him give out the money which is taken into the house of the Lord, which the keepers of the door have got together from the people; 5 And let it be given to the overseers of the work of the Lord's house, to give to the workmen who are making good what was damaged in the house of the Lord ; 6 To the woodworkers and the builders and the stone-cutters ; and for getting wood and cut stones for the building up of the house. 7 They did not have to give any account of the money which was handed to them, for they made use of it with good faith.
    22:8 Then Hilkiah, the chief priest, said to Shaphan the scribe, I have made discovery of the book of the law in the house of the Lord. So Hilkiah gave it to Shaphan ; 9 Then, after reading it, Shaphan the scribe went in to the king and gave him an account of what had been done, saying, Your servants have given out the money which was in the house, and have given it to the overseers of the work of the house of the Lord. 10 Then Shaphan the scribe said to the king, Hilkiah the priest has given me a book ; and he was reading it before the king.
    22:11 And the king, hearing the words of the book of the law, took his robe in his hands, violently parting it as a sign of his grief ; 12 And he gave orders to Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, and Achbor, the son of Micaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king's servant, saying, 13 Go and get directions from the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah, about the words of this book which has come to light ; for great is the wrath of the Lord which is burning against us, because our fathers have not given ear to the words of this book, to do all the things which are recorded in it.
    22:14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam and Achbor and Shaphan and Asaiah, went to Huldah the woman prophet, the wife of Shallum, the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the robes, (now she was living in Jerusalem, in the second part of the town;) and they had talk with her. 15 And she said to them, The Lord, the God of Israel, says, Say to the man who sent you to me, 16 These are the words of the Lord : See, I will send evil on this place and on its people, even everything which the king of Judah has been reading in the book ; 17 Because they have given me up, burning offerings to other gods and moving me to wrath by all the work of their hands ; so my wrath will be on fire against this place, and will not be put out. 18 But to the king of Judah who sent you to get directions from the Lord, say, This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, has said : As to the words which have come to your ears, 19 Because your heart was soft, and you made yourself low before me, when you had word of what I said against this place and its people, that they would become a waste and a curse, and you gave signs of grief, weeping before me : truly, I have given ear to you, says the Lord. 20 For this cause I will let you go to your fathers and be put in your last resting-place in peace, and your eyes will not see all the evil which I will send on this place. So they took this news back to the king.

2nd KINGS 23
Book of he covenant

    23:1     Then the king sent and got together all the responsible men of Judah and of Jerusalem. 2 And the king went up to the house of the Lord, with all the men of Judah and all the people of Jerusalem, and the priests and the prophets and all the people, small and great ; and they were present at his reading of the book of the law which had come to light in the house of the Lord. 3 And the king took his place by the pillar, and made an agreement before the Lord, to go in the way of the Lord, and keep his orders and his decisions and his rules with all his heart and all his soul, and to keep the words of the agreement recorded in the book; and all the people gave their word to keep the agreement.
    23:4 Then the king gave orders to Hilkiah, the chief priest, and to the priests of the second order, and to the keepers of the door, to take out of the house of the Lord all the vessels made for Baal and for the Asherah and for all the stars of heaven; and he had them burned outside Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and took the dust of them to Beth-el. 5 And he put an end to the false priests, who had been put in their positions by the kings of Judah to see to the burning of offerings in the high places in the towns of Judah and the outskirts of Jerusalem, and all those who made offerings to Baal and to the sun and the moon and the twelve signs and all the stars of heaven. 6 And he took the Asherah from the house of the Lord, outside Jerusalem to the stream Kidron, burning it by the stream and crushing it to dust, and he put the dust on the place where the bodies of the common people were put to rest. 7 And he had the houses pulled down of those who were used for sex purposes in the house of the Lord, where women were making robes for the Asherah. 8 And he made all the priests from the towns of Judah come into Jerusalem, and he made unclean the high places where the priests had been burning offerings, from Geba to Beer-sheba ; and he had the high places of the evil spirits pulled down which were by the doorway of Joshua, the ruler of the town, on the left side of the way into the town. 9 Still the priests of the high places never came up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem ; but they took their food of unleavened bread among their brothers. 10 And Topheth, in the valley of the sons of Hinnom, he made unclean, so that no man might make his son or his daughter go through the fire to Molech. 11 And he took away the horses which the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the way into the house of the Lord, by the room of Nathan-melech, the unsexed servant, which was in the outer part of the building, and the carriages of the sun he put on fire. 12 And the altars on the roof of the high room of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two outer squares of the house of the Lord, were pulled down and crushed to bits, and the dust of them was put into the stream Kidron. 13 And the high places before Jerusalem, on the south side of the mountain of destruction, which Solomon, king of Israel, had made for Ashtoreth, the disgusting god of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh, the disgusting god of Moab, and for Milcom, the disgusting god of the children of Ammon, the king made unclean. 14 The stone pillars were broken to bits and the wood pillars cut down, and the places where they had been were made full of the bones of the dead.
    23:15 And the altar at Beth-el, and the high place put up by Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel do evil, that altar and that high place were pulled down ; and the high place was burned and crushed to dust and the Asherah was burned. 16 Then Josiah, turning round, saw on the mountain the places of the dead, and he sent and had the bones taken out of their places and burned on the altar, so making it unclean, as the Lord had said by the man of God when Jeroboam was in his place by the altar on that feast-day. And he, turning his eyes to the resting-place of the man of God who had given word of these things, said : 17 What is that headstone I see over there? And the men of the town said to him, It is the resting-place of the man of God who came from Judah and gave word of all these things which you have done to the altar of Beth-el. 18 So he said, Let him be; let not his bones be moved. So they let his bones be with the bones of the prophet who came from Samaria. 19 Then Josiah took away all the houses of the high places in the towns of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had put up, moving the Lord to wrath, and he did with them as he had done in Beth-el. 20 And all the priests of the high places there he put to death on the altars, burning the bones of the dead on them; and then he went back to Jerusalem.
    23:21 And the king gave orders to all the people, saying, Keep the Passover to the Lord your God, as it says in this book of the law. 22 Truly, such a Passover had not been kept in all the days of the judges of Israel or of the kings of Israel or the kings of Judah ; 23 In the eighteenth year of the rule of King Josiah this Passover was kept to the Lord in Jerusalem.
    23:24 And all those who had control of spirits, and the wonder-workers, and the images, and the false gods, and all the disgusting things which were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, Josiah put away, so that he might give effect to the words of the agreement recorded in the book which Hilkiah the priest made discovery of in the house of the Lord. 25 Never before had there been a king like him, turning to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his power, as the law of Moses says ; and after him there was no king like him.
    23:26 But still the heat of the Lord's wrath was not turned back from Judah, because of all Manasseh had done in moving him to wrath. 27 And the Lord said, I will send Judah away from before my face, as I have sent Israel ; I will have nothing more to do with this town, which I had made mine, even Jerusalem, and the holy house of which I said, My name will be there.
    23:28 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah ? 29 In his days, Pharaoh-necoh, king of Egypt, sent his armies against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates ; and King Josiah went out against him ; and he put him to death at Megiddo, when he had seen him. 30 And his servants took his body in a carriage from Megiddo to Jerusalem, and put him into the earth there. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz, the son of Josiah, and put the holy oil on him and made him king in place of his father.
    23:31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, ruling in Jerusalem for three months ; his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 32 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as his fathers had done. 33 And Pharaoh-necoh put him in chains at Riblah in the land of Hamath, so that he might not be king in Jerusalem; and took from the land a tax of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. 34 Then Pharaoh-necoh made Eliakim, the son of Josiah, king in place of Josiah his father, changing his name to Jehoiakim; but Jehoahaz he took away to Egypt, where he was till his death. 35 And Jehoiakim gave the silver and gold to Pharaoh, taxing the land by his orders to get the money; the people of the land had to give silver and gold, everyone as he was taxed, to make the payment to Pharaoh-necoh.
    23:36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king ; he was ruling in Jerusalem for eleven years ; his mother's name was Zebidah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. 37 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord as his fathers had done.

2nd KINGS 24
Defeat and exile of Judah

    24:1     In his days, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came up and Jehoiakim was his servant for three years ; then he took up arms against him. 2 And the Lord sent against him bands of the Chaldaeans and of the Edomites and of the Moabites and of the children of Ammon ; sending them against Judah for its destruction, as he had said by his servants the prophets. 3 Only by the word of the Lord did this fate come on Judah, to take them away from before his face ; because of the sins of Manasseh and all the evil he did ; 4 And because of the death of those who had done no wrong, for he made Jerusalem full of the blood of the upright ; and the Lord had no forgiveness for it. 5 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah ? 6 So Jehoiakim went to rest with his fathers ; and Jehoiachin his son became king in his place. 7 And the king of Egypt did not come out of his land again, for the king of Babylon had taken all his country, from the stream of Egypt to the river Euphrates.
    24:8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, he was ruling in Jerusalem for three months, and his mother's name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. 9 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as his father had done.
    24:10 At that time the armies of Nebuchadnezzar came up to Jerusalem and the town was shut in on every side. 11 And Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came there, while his servants were shutting in the town; 12 Then Jehoiachin, king of Judah, went out to the king of Babylon, with his mother and his servants and his chiefs and his unsexed servants ; and in the eighth year of his rule the king of Babylon took him. 13 And he took away all the stored wealth of the Lord's house, and the goods from the king's store-house, cutting up all the gold vessels which Solomon, king of Israel, had made in the house of the Lord, as the Lord had said. 14 And he took away all the people of Jerusalem and all the chiefs and all the men of war, ten thousand prisoners; and all the expert workmen and the metal-workers; only the poorest sort of the people of the land were not taken away. 15 He took Jehoiachin a prisoner to Babylon, with his mother and his wives and his unsexed servants and the great men of the land ; he took them all as prisoners from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 And all the men of war, seven thousand of them, and a thousand expert workmen and metal-workers, all of them strong and able to take up arms, the king of Babylon took away as prisoners into Babylon. 17 And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, his father's brother, king in place of Jehoiachin, changing his name to Zedekiah.
    24:18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he was king in Jerusalem for eleven years ; his mother's name was Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 19 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as Jehoiakim had done. 20 And because of the wrath of the Lord, this came about in Jerusalem and Judah, till he had sent them all away from before him : and Zedekiah took up arms against the king of Babylon.

2nd KINGS 25
Sack of Jerusalem

    25:1     NOW in the ninth year of his rule, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came against Jerusalem with all his army and took up his position before it, building earthworks all round the town. 2 And the town was shut in by their forces till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 3 Now on the ninth day of the fourth month, the store of food in the town was almost gone, so that there was no food for the people of the land. 4 So an opening was made in the wall of the town, and all the men of war went in flight by night through the doorway between the two walls which was by the king's garden ; (now the Chaldaeans were stationed round the town:) and the king went by the way of the Arabah. 5 But the Chaldaean army went after the king, and overtook him in the lowlands of Jericho, and all his army went in flight from him in every direction. 6 And they made the king a prisoner and took him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah to be judged. 7 And they put the sons of Zedekiah to death before his eyes, and then they put out his eyes, and chaining him with iron bands, took him to Babylon.
    25:8 Now in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the armed men, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem ; 9 And he had the house of the Lord and the king's house and all the houses of Jerusalem, even every great house, burned with fire ; 10 And the walls round Jerusalem were broken down by the Chaldaean army which was with the captain. 11 And the rest of the people who were still in the town, and all those who had given themselves up to the king of Babylon, and all the rest of the workmen, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the armed men, took away as prisoners ; 12 But he let the poorest of the land go on living there, to take care of the vines and the fields.
    25:13 And the brass pillars in the house of the Lord, and the wheeled bases, and the great brass water-vessel in the house of the Lord, were broken up by the Chaldaeans, who took the brass to Babylon. 14 And the pots and the spades and the scissors for the lights and the spoons, and all the brass vessels used in the Lord's house, they took away. 15 And the fire-trays and the basins ; the gold of the gold vessels and the silver of the silver vessels, were all taken away by the captain of the armed men. 16 The two pillars, the great water-vessel and the wheeled bases, which Solomon had made for the house of the Lord: the brass of all these vessels was without weight. 17 One of the pillars was eighteen cubits high, with a crown of brass on it; the crown was three cubits high, circled with a network and apples all of brass; and the second pillar had the same.
    25:18 And the captain of the armed men took Seraiah, the chief priest, and Zephaniah, the second priest, and the three door-keepers ; 19 And from the town he took the unsexed servant who was over the men of war, and five of the king's near friends who were in the town, and the scribe of the captain of the army, who was responsible for getting the people of the land together in military order, and sixty men of the people of the land who were in the town. 20 These Nebuzaradan, the captain of the armed men, took with him to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 And the king of Babylon put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was taken away prisoner from his land.
    25:22 As for the people who were still living in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, did not take away, he made Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, ruler over them. :23 Now the captains of the armed forces, hearing that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah ruler, came with their men to Gedaliah at Mizpah ; Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan, the son of Kareah, and Seraiah, the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah, the son of the Maacathite, came with all their men. 24 Then Gedaliah gave his oath to them and their men, saying, Have no fear because of the servants of the Chaldaeans; go on living in the land under the rule of the king of Babylon, and all will be well. 25 But in the seventh month, Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the king's seed, came with ten men and made an attack on Gedaliah, causing his death and the death of the Jews and the Chaldaeans who were with him at Mizpah. 26 Then all the people, small and great, and the captains of the forces, got up and went away to Egypt, for fear of the Chaldaeans.
    25:27 And in the thirty-seventh year after Jehoiachin, king of Judah, had been taken prisoner, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, Evil-merodach, king of Babylon, in the first year of his rule, took Jehoiachin, king of Judah, out of prison ; 28 And said kind words to him, and put his seat higher than the seats of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 And his prison clothing was changed, and he was a guest at the king's table every day for the rest of his life. 30 And for his food, the king gave him a regular amount every day for the rest of his life.

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