2 Chronicles 23; 2 Chronicles 24; John 15 (New Century Version)

1 In the seventh year Jehoiada decided to do something. He made an agreement with the commanders of the groups of a hundred men: Azariah son of Jeroham, Ishmael son of Jehohanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zicri. 2 They went around in Judah and gathered the Levites from all the towns, and they gathered the leaders of the families of Judah. Then they went to Jerusalem. 3 All the people together made an agreement with the king in the Temple of God. Jehoiada said to them, "The king's son will rule, as the Lord promised about David's descendants. 4 Now this is what you must do: You priests and Levites go on duty on the Sabbath. A third of you will guard the doors 5 A third of you will be at the king's palace, and a third of you will be at the Foundation Gate. All the other people will stay in the courtyards of the Temple of the Lord. 6 Don't let anyone come into the Temple of the Lord except the priests and Levites who serve. They may come because they have been made ready to serve the Lord, but all the others must do the job the Lord has given them. 7 The Levites must stay near the king, each man with his weapon in his hand. If anyone tries to enter the Temple, kill him. Stay close to the king when he goes in and when he goes out." 8 The Levites and all the people of Judah obeyed everything Jehoiada the priest had commanded. He did not excuse anyone from the groups of the priests. So each commander took his men who came on duty on the Sabbath with those who went off duty on the Sabbath. 9 Jehoiada gave the commanders of a hundred men the spears and the large and small shields that had belonged to King David and that were kept in the Temple of God. 10 Then Jehoiada told the men where to stand, each man with his weapon in his hand. There were guards from the south side of the Temple to the north side. They stood by the altar and the Temple and around the king. 11 Jehoiada and his sons brought out the king's son and put the crown on him and gave him a copy of the agreement. Then they appointed him king and poured olive oil on him and shouted, "Long live the king!" 12 When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she went to them at the Temple of the Lord. 13 She looked, and there was the king standing by his pillar at the entrance. The officers and the trumpeters were standing beside him, and all the people of the land were happy and blowing trumpets. The singers were playing musical instruments and leading praises. Then Athaliah tore her clothes and screamed, "Traitors! Traitors!" 14 Jehoiada the priest sent out the commanders of a hundred men, who led the army. He said, "Surround her with soldiers and take her out of the Temple area. Kill with a sword anyone who follows her." He had said, "Don't put Athaliah to death in the Temple of the Lord. 15 So they caught her when she came to the entrance of the Horse Gate near the palace. There they put her to death. 16 Then Jehoiada made an agreement with the people and the king that they would be the Lord's special people. 17 All the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down, smashing the altars and idols. They killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, in front of the altars. 18 Then Jehoiada chose the priests, who were Levites, to be responsible for the Temple of the Lord. David had given them duties in the Temple of the Lord. They were to offer the burnt offerings to the Lord as the Teachings of Moses commanded, and they were to offer them with much joy and singing as David had commanded. 19 Jehoiada put guards at the gates of the Temple of the Lord so that anyone who was unclean in any way could not enter 20 Jehoiada took with him the commanders of a hundred men, the important men, the rulers of the people, and all the people of the land to take the king out of the Temple of the Lord. They went through the Upper Gate into the palace, and then they seated the king on the throne. 21 So all the people of the land were very happy, and Jerusalem had peace, because Athaliah had been put to death with the sword 1 Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he ruled forty years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Zibiah, and she was from Beersheba. 2 Joash did what the Lord said was right as long as Jehoiada the priest was alive. 3 Jehoiada chose two wives for Joash, and Joash had sons and daughters. 4 Later, Joash decided to repair the Temple of the Lord. 5 He called the priests and the Levites together and said to them, "Go to the towns of Judah and gather the money all the Israelites have to pay every year. Use it to repair the Temple of your God. Do this now." But the Levites did not hurry. 6 So King Joash called for Jehoiada the leading priest and said to him, "Why haven't you made the Levites bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax money that Moses, the Lord's servant, and the people of Israel used for the Holy Tent?" 7 In the past the sons of wicked Athaliah had broken into the Temple of God and used its holy things for worshiping the Baal idols. 8 King Joash commanded that a box for contributions be made. They put it outside, at the gate of the Temple of the Lord. 9 Then the Levites made an announcement in Judah and Jerusalem, telling people to bring to the Lord the tax money Moses, the servant of God, had made the Israelites give while they were in the desert. 10 All the officers and people were happy to bring their money, and they put it in the box until the box was full. 11 When the Levites would take the box to the king's officers, they would see that it was full of money. Then the king's royal secretary and the leading priest's officer would come and take out the money and return the box to its place. They did this often and gathered much money. 12 King Joash and Jehoiada gave the money to the people who worked on the Temple of the Lord. And they hired stoneworkers and carpenters to repair the Temple of the Lord. They also hired people to work with iron and bronze to repair the Temple. 13 The people worked hard, and the work to repair the Temple went well. They rebuilt the Temple of God to be as it was before, but even stronger. 14 When the workers finished, they brought the money that was left to King Joash and Jehoiada. They used that money to make utensils for the Temple of the Lord, utensils for the service in the Temple and for the burnt offerings, and bowls and other utensils from gold and silver. Burnt offerings were given every day in the Temple of the Lord while Jehoiada was alive. 15 Jehoiada grew old and lived many years. Then he died when he was one hundred thirty years old. 16 Jehoiada was buried in Jerusalem with the kings, because he had done much good in Judah for God and his Temple. 17 After Jehoiada died, the officers of Judah came and bowed down to King Joash, and he listened to them. 18 The king and these leaders stopped worshiping in the Temple of the Lord, the God of their ancestors. Instead, they began to worship the Asherah idols and other idols. Because they did wrong, God was angry with the people of Judah and Jerusalem. 19 Even though the Lord sent prophets to the people to turn them back to him and even though the prophets warned them, they refused to listen. 20 Then the Spirit of God entered Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. Zechariah stood before the people and said, "This is what God says: 'Why do you disobey the Lord's commands? You will not be successful. Because you have left the Lord, he has also left you.'" 21 But the king and his officers made plans against Zechariah. At the king's command they threw stones at him in the courtyard of the Temple of the Lord until he died. 22 King Joash did not remember Jehoiada's kindness to him, so Joash killed Zechariah, Jehoiada's son. Before Zechariah died, he said, "May the Lord see what you are doing and punish you." 23 At the end of the year, the Aramean army came against Joash. They attacked Judah and Jerusalem, killed all the leaders of the people, and sent all the valuable things to their king in Damascus. 24 The Aramean army came with only a small group of men, but the Lord handed over to them a very large army from Judah, because the people of Judah had left the Lord, the God of their ancestors. So Joash was punished. 25 When the Arameans left, Joash was badly wounded. His own officers made plans against him because he had killed Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. So they killed Joash in his own bed. He died and was buried in Jerusalem but not in the graves of the kings. 26 The officers who made plans against Joash were Jozabad and Jehozabad. Jozabad was the son of Shimeath, a woman from Ammon. And Jehozabad was the son of Shimrith, a woman from Moab. 27 The story of Joash's sons, the great prophecies against him, and how he repaired the Temple of God are written in the book of the kings. Joash's son Amaziah became king in his place. 1 "I am the true vine; my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce fruit. And he trims and cleans every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the words I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. A branch cannot produce fruit alone but must remain in the vine. In the same way, you cannot produce fruit alone but must remain in me. 5 "I am the vine, and you are the branches. If any remain in me and I remain in them, they produce much fruit. But without me they can do nothing. 6 If any do not remain in me, they are like a branch that is thrown away and then dies. People pick up dead branches, throw them into the fire, and burn them. 7 If you remain in me and follow my teachings, you can ask anything you want, and it will be given to you. 8 You should produce much fruit and show that you are my followers, which brings glory to my Father. 9 I loved you as the Father loved me. Now remain in my love. 10 I have obeyed my Father's commands, and I remain in his love. In the same way, if you obey my commands, you will remain in my love. 11 I have told you these things so that you can have the same joy I have and so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy. 12 "This is my command: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 The greatest love a person can show is to die for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know what his master is doing. But I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me; I chose you. And I gave you this work: to go and produce fruit, fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you anything you ask for in my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other. 18 "If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as it loves its own. But I have chosen you out of the world, so you don't belong to it. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: A servant is not greater than his master. If people did wrong to me, they will do wrong to you, too. And if they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours, too. 21 They will do all this to you on account of me, because they do not know the One who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me also hates my Father. 24 I did works among them that no one else has ever done. If I had not done these works, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen what I have done, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this happened so that what is written in their law would be true: 'They hated me for no reason.' 26 "I will send you the Helpern from the Father; he is the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father. When he comes, he will tell about me, 27 and you also must tell people about me, because you have been with me from the beginning.
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