1And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.2In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.3For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own,4they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.5And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.6So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part.7But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you —see that you also excel in this grace of giving.8I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.9For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.10And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so.11Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.12For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.13Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality.14At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality,15as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”
16Thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you.17For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative.18And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel.19What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help.20We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift.21For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man.22In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you.23As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ.24Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it.
1In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, “This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”2Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD,3“Remember, LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.4Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him:5“Go back and tell Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD.6I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.’ ”7Then Isaiah said, “Prepare a poultice of figs.” They did so and applied it to the boil, and he recovered.8Hezekiah had asked Isaiah, “What will be the sign that the LORD will heal me and that I will go up to the temple of the LORD on the third day from now?”9Isaiah answered, “This is the LORD’s sign to you that the LORD will do what he has promised: Shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or shall it go back ten steps?”10“It is a simple matter for the shadow to go forward ten steps,” said Hezekiah. “Rather, have it go back ten steps.”11Then the prophet Isaiah called on the LORD, and the LORD made the shadow go back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.
12At that time Marduk-Baladan son of Baladan king of Babylon sent Hezekiah letters and a gift, because he had heard of Hezekiah’s illness.13Hezekiah received the envoys and showed them all that was in his storehouses—the silver, the gold, the spices and the fine olive oil—his armory and everything found among his treasures. There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.14Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah and asked, “What did those men say, and where did they come from?” “From a distant land,” Hezekiah replied. “They came from Babylon.”15The prophet asked, “What did they see in your palace?” “They saw everything in my palace,” Hezekiah said. “There is nothing among my treasures that I did not show them.”16Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the LORD:17The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the LORD.18And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.”19“The word of the LORD you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?”20As for the other events of Hezekiah’s reign, all his achievements and how he made the pool and the tunnel by which he brought water into the city, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?21Hezekiah rested with his ancestors. And Manasseh his son succeeded him as king.
1Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-five years. His mother’s name was Hephzibah.2He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, following the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.3He rebuilt the high places his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he also erected altars to Baal and made an Asherah pole, as Ahab king of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the starry hosts and worshiped them.4He built altars in the temple of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, “In Jerusalem I will put my Name.”5In the two courts of the temple of the LORD, he built altars to all the starry hosts.6He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced divination, sought omens, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, arousing his anger.7He took the carved Asherah pole he had made and put it in the temple, of which the LORD had said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever.8I will not again make the feet of the Israelites wander from the land I gave their ancestors, if only they will be careful to do everything I commanded them and will keep the whole Law that my servant Moses gave them.”9But the people did not listen. Manasseh led them astray, so that they did more evil than the nations the LORD had destroyed before the Israelites.10The LORD said through his servants the prophets:11“Manasseh king of Judah has committed these detestable sins. He has done more evil than the Amorites who preceded him and has led Judah into sin with his idols.12Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle.13I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line used against Samaria and the plumb line used against the house of Ahab. I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.14I will forsake the remnant of my inheritance and give them into the hands of enemies. They will be looted and plundered by all their enemies;15they have done evil in my eyes and have aroused my anger from the day their ancestors came out of Egypt until this day.”16Moreover, Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem from end to end—besides the sin that he had caused Judah to commit, so that they did evil in the eyes of the LORD.17As for the other events of Manasseh’s reign, and all he did, including the sin he committed, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?18Manasseh rested with his ancestors and was buried in his palace garden, the garden of Uzza. And Amon his son succeeded him as king.
19Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem two years. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth daughter of Haruz; she was from Jotbah.20He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as his father Manasseh had done.21He followed completely the ways of his father, worshiping the idols his father had worshiped, and bowing down to them.22He forsook the LORD, the God of his ancestors, and did not walk in obedience to him.23Amon’s officials conspired against him and assassinated the king in his palace.24Then the people of the land killed all who had plotted against King Amon, and they made Josiah his son king in his place.25As for the other events of Amon’s reign, and what he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?26He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza. And Josiah his son succeeded him as king.
1An attacker advances against you, Nineveh. Guard the fortress, watch the road, brace yourselves, marshal all your strength!2The LORD will restore the splendor of Jacob like the splendor of Israel, though destroyers have laid them waste and have ruined their vines.3The shields of the soldiers are red; the warriors are clad in scarlet. The metal on the chariots flashes on the day they are made ready; the spears of juniper are brandished.4The chariots storm through the streets, rushing back and forth through the squares. They look like flaming torches; they dart about like lightning.5Nineveh summons her picked troops, yet they stumble on their way. They dash to the city wall; the protective shield is put in place.6The river gates are thrown open and the palace collapses.7It is decreed that Nineveh be exiled and carried away. Her female slaves moan like doves and beat on their breasts.8Nineveh is like a pool whose water is draining away. “Stop! Stop!” they cry, but no one turns back.9Plunder the silver! Plunder the gold! The supply is endless, the wealth from all its treasures!10She is pillaged, plundered, stripped! Hearts melt, knees give way, bodies tremble, every face grows pale.11Where now is the lions’ den, the place where they fed their young, where the lion and lioness went, and the cubs, with nothing to fear?12The lion killed enough for his cubs and strangled the prey for his mate, filling his lairs with the kill and his dens with the prey.13“I am against you,” declares the LORD Almighty. “I will burn up your chariots in smoke, and the sword will devour your young lions. I will leave you no prey on the earth. The voices of your messengers will no longer be heard.”