1 After Hezekiah had faithfully carried out this work, King Sennacherib of Assyria invaded Judah. He laid siege to the fortified towns, giving orders for his army to break through their walls. 2 When Hezekiah realized that Sennacherib also intended to attack Jerusalem, 3 he consulted with his officials and military advisers, and they decided to stop the flow of the springs outside the city. 4 They organized a huge work crew to stop the flow of the springs, cutting off the brook that ran through the fields. For they said, “Why should the kings of Assyria come here and find plenty of water?” 5 Then Hezekiah worked hard at repairing all the broken sections of the wall, erecting towers, and constructing a second wall outside the first. He also reinforced the supporting terraces in the City of David and manufactured large numbers of weapons and shields. 6 He appointed military officers over the people and assembled them before him in the square at the city gate. Then Hezekiah encouraged them by saying: 7 “Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side! 8 He may have a great army, but they are merely men. We have the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!” Hezekiah’s words greatly encouraged the people. 9 While King Sennacherib of Assyria was still besieging the town of Lachish, he sent his officers to Jerusalem with this message for Hezekiah and all the people in the city: 10 “This is what King Sennacherib of Assyria says: What are you trusting in that makes you think you can survive my siege of Jerusalem? 11 Hezekiah has said, ‘The LORD our God will rescue us from the king of Assyria.’ Surely Hezekiah is misleading you, sentencing you to death by famine and thirst! 12 Don’t you realize that Hezekiah is the very person who destroyed all the LORD ’s shrines and altars? He commanded Judah and Jerusalem to worship only at the altar at the Temple and to offer sacrifices on it alone. 13 “Surely you must realize what I and the other kings of Assyria before me have done to all the people of the earth! Were any of the gods of those nations able to rescue their people from my power? 14 Which of their gods was able to rescue its people from the destructive power of my predecessors? What makes you think your God can rescue you from me? 15 Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you! Don’t let him fool you like this! I say it again—no god of any nation or kingdom has ever yet been able to rescue his people from me or my ancestors. How much less will your God rescue you from my power!” 16 And Sennacherib’s officers further mocked the LORD God and his servant Hezekiah, heaping insult upon insult. 17 The king also sent letters scorning the LORD, the God of Israel. He wrote, “Just as the gods of all the other nations failed to rescue their people from my power, so the God of Hezekiah will also fail.” 18 The Assyrian officials who brought the letters shouted this in Hebrew to the people gathered on the walls of the city, trying to terrify them so it would be easier to capture the city. 19 These officers talked about the God of Jerusalem as though he were one of the pagan gods, made by human hands. 20 Then King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz cried out in prayer to God in heaven. 21 And the LORD sent an angel who destroyed the Assyrian army with all its commanders and officers. So Sennacherib was forced to return home in disgrace to his own land. And when he entered the temple of his god, some of his own sons killed him there with a sword. 22 That is how the LORD rescued Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem from King Sennacherib of Assyria and from all the others who threatened them. So there was peace throughout the land. 23 From then on King Hezekiah became highly respected among all the surrounding nations, and many gifts for the LORD arrived at Jerusalem, with valuable presents for King Hezekiah, too. 24 About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill. He prayed to the LORD, who healed him and gave him a miraculous sign. 25 But Hezekiah did not respond appropriately to the kindness shown him, and he became proud. So the LORD ’s anger came against him and against Judah and Jerusalem. 26 Then Hezekiah humbled himself and repented of his pride, as did the people of Jerusalem. So the LORD ’s anger did not fall on them during Hezekiah’s lifetime. 27 Hezekiah was very wealthy and highly honored. He built special treasury buildings for his silver, gold, precious stones, and spices, and for his shields and other valuable items. 28 He also constructed many storehouses for his grain, new wine, and olive oil; and he made many stalls for his cattle and pens for his flocks of sheep and goats. 29 He built many towns and acquired vast flocks and herds, for God had given him great wealth. 30 He blocked up the upper spring of Gihon and brought the water down through a tunnel to the west side of the City of David. And so he succeeded in everything he did. 31 However, when ambassadors arrived from Babylon to ask about the remarkable events that had taken place in the land, God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart. 32 The rest of the events in Hezekiah’s reign and his acts of devotion are recorded in which is included in 33 When Hezekiah died, he was buried in the upper area of the royal cemetery, and all Judah and Jerusalem honored him at his death. And his son Manasseh became the next king.
1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. 2 He did what was evil in the LORD ’s sight, following the detestable practices of the pagan nations that the LORD had driven from the land ahead of the Israelites. 3 He rebuilt the pagan shrines his father, Hezekiah, had broken down. He constructed altars for the images of Baal and set up Asherah poles. He also bowed before all the powers of the heavens and worshiped them. 4 He built pagan altars in the Temple of the LORD, the place where the LORD had said, “My name will remain in Jerusalem forever.” 5 He built these altars for all the powers of the heavens in both courtyards of the LORD ’s Temple. 6 Manasseh also sacrificed his own sons in the fire in the valley of Ben-Hinnom. He practiced sorcery, divination, and witchcraft, and he consulted with mediums and psychics. He did much that was evil in the LORD ’s sight, arousing his anger. 7 Manasseh even took a carved idol he had made and set it up in God’s Temple, the very place where God had told David and his son Solomon: “My name will be honored forever in this Temple and in Jerusalem—the city I have chosen from among all the tribes of Israel. 8 If the Israelites will be careful to obey my commands—all the laws, decrees, and regulations given through Moses—I will not send them into exile from this land that I set aside for your ancestors.” 9 But Manasseh led the people of Judah and Jerusalem to do even more evil than the pagan nations that the LORD had destroyed when the people of Israel entered the land. 10 The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they ignored all his warnings. 11 So the LORD sent the commanders of the Assyrian armies, and they took Manasseh prisoner. They put a ring through his nose, bound him in bronze chains, and led him away to Babylon. 12 But while in deep distress, Manasseh sought the LORD his God and sincerely humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. 13 And when he prayed, the LORD listened to him and was moved by his request. So the LORD brought Manasseh back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh finally realized that the LORD alone is God! 14 After this Manasseh rebuilt the outer wall of the City of David, from west of the Gihon Spring in the Kidron Valley to the Fish Gate, and continuing around the hill of Ophel. He built the wall very high. And he stationed his military officers in all of the fortified towns of Judah. 15 Manasseh also removed the foreign gods and the idol from the LORD ’s Temple. He tore down all the altars he had built on the hill where the Temple stood and all the altars that were in Jerusalem, and he dumped them outside the city. 16 Then he restored the altar of the LORD and sacrificed peace offerings and thanksgiving offerings on it. He also encouraged the people of Judah to worship the LORD, the God of Israel. 17 However, the people still sacrificed at the pagan shrines, though only to the LORD their God. 18 The rest of the events of Manasseh’s reign, his prayer to God, and the words the seers spoke to him in the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, are recorded in 19 Manasseh’s prayer, the account of the way God answered him, and an account of all his sins and unfaithfulness are recorded in It includes a list of the locations where he built pagan shrines and set up Asherah poles and idols before he humbled himself and repented. 20 When Manasseh died, he was buried in his palace. Then his son Amon became the next king. 21 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. 22 He did what was evil in the LORD ’s sight, just as his father, Manasseh, had done. He worshiped and sacrificed to all the idols his father had made. 23 But unlike his father, he did not humble himself before the LORD . Instead, Amon sinned even more. 24 Then Amon’s own officials conspired against him and assassinated him in his palace. 25 But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and they made his son Josiah the next king.
19 Inside, the high priest began asking Jesus about his followers and what he had been teaching them. 20 Jesus replied, “Everyone knows what I teach. I have preached regularly in the synagogues and the Temple, where the people gather. I have not spoken in secret. 21 Why are you asking me this question? Ask those who heard me. They know what I said.” 22 Then one of the Temple guards standing nearby slapped Jesus across the face. “Is that the way to answer the high priest?” he demanded. 23 Jesus replied, “If I said anything wrong, you must prove it. But if I’m speaking the truth, why are you beating me?” 24 Then Annas bound Jesus and sent him to Caiaphas, the high priest. 25 Meanwhile, as Simon Peter was standing by the fire warming himself, they asked him again, “You’re not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it, saying, “No, I am not.” 26 But one of the household slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Didn’t I see you out there in the olive grove with Jesus?” 27 Again Peter denied it. And immediately a rooster crowed. 28 Jesus’ trial before Caiaphas ended in the early hours of the morning. Then he was taken to the headquarters of the Roman governor. His accusers didn’t go inside because it would defile them, and they wouldn’t be allowed to celebrate the Passover. 29 So Pilate, the governor, went out to them and asked, “What is your charge against this man?” 30 “We wouldn’t have handed him over to you if he weren’t a criminal!” they retorted. 31 “Then take him away and judge him by your own law,” Pilate told them. “Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone,” the Jewish leaders replied. 32 (This fulfilled Jesus’ prediction about the way he would die. ) 33 Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he asked him. 34 Jesus replied, “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?” 35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate retorted. “Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.” 37 Pilate said, “So you are a king?” Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.” 38 “What is truth?” Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, “He is not guilty of any crime. 39 But you have a custom of asking me to release one prisoner each year at Passover. Would you like me to release this ‘King of the Jews’?” 40 But they shouted back, “No! Not this man. We want Barabbas!” (Barabbas was a revolutionary.)