2 Chronicles 32; 2 Chronicles 33; John 18:19-40

1 After these things and these faithful acts, Assyria's King Sennacherib invaded Judah and attacked its fortified cities, intending to capture them. 2 When Hezekiah realized that Sennacherib also planned on fighting Jerusalem, 3 he consulted with his officials and soldiers about stopping up the springs outside the city, and they supported him. 4 A large force gathered to stop up all the springs and the streams that flowed through the land. "Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?" they asked. 5 Hezekiah vigorously rebuilt all the broken sections of the wall, erected towers, constructed another wall outside the first, reinforced the terrace of David's City, and made a large supply of weapons and shields. 6 He appointed military officers over the troops, assembled them in the square of the city gate, and spoke these words of encouragement: 7 "Be brave and be strong! Don't let the king of Assyria and all those warriors he brings with him scare you or cause you dismay, because our forces are greater than his. 8 All he has is human strength, but we have the LORD our God, who will help us fight our battles!" The troops trusted Judah's King Hezekiah. 9 After this Assyria's King Sennacherib, who was attacking Lachish with all his forces, sent his servants to Jerusalem with the following message for Judah's King Hezekiah and all the people of Judah who were in Jerusalem: 10 This is what Assyria's King Sennacherib says: What makes you so confident that you stay put in Jerusalem while it is being attacked? 11 Obviously, Hezekiah has fooled you into surrendering yourselves to death by hunger and thirst when he says, "The LORD our God will rescue us from Assyria's king." 12 Isn't this the same Hezekiah who got rid of his shrines and altars, and then demanded of Judah and Jerusalem, "You must worship and burn incense before only one altar"? 13 Don't you know what I and my predecessors have done to the people of other nations? Were any of the gods of these other nations able to rescue their lands from my power? 14 Which one of any of the gods of these nations that my predecessors destroyed was able to rescue them from my power? So why should your god be able to rescue you from my power? 15 Don't let Hezekiah seduce you like fools. Don't believe him! No god of any other nation or kingdom has been able to rescue their people from me or from my predecessors. No, your gods won't rescue you from my power. 16 The Assyrian king's servants continued to make fun of the LORD God and his servant Hezekiah. 17 He wrote other letters insulting the LORD God of Israel, defying him by saying, "Just as the gods of the nations in other countries couldn't rescue their people from my power, Hezekiah's god won't be able to rescue his people from my power." 18 Then they shouted loudly in Hebrew at the people of Jerusalem gathered on the wall, in an attempt to frighten and demoralize them, in order to capture the city. 19 They spoke about the God of Jerusalem as though he were the work of human hands, like the gods of the other peoples of the earth. 20 King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah, Amoz's son, prayed about this, crying out to heaven. 21 Then the LORD sent a messenger who destroyed every warrior, leader, and officer in the camp of the Assyrian king. When Sennacherib went home in disgrace, he entered the temple of his god, and his own sons killed him with a sword. 22 This is how the LORD rescued Hezekiah and the citizens of Jerusalem from the power of Assyria's King Sennacherib, and all others, giving them rest on all sides. 23 Many people brought offerings to the LORD in Jerusalem and costly gifts to Judah's King Hezekiah, who was highly regarded by all the nations from then on. 24 Around that same time, Hezekiah became deathly ill and prayed to the LORD, who answered him with a miraculous sign. 25 But Hezekiah was too proud to respond appropriately to the kindness he had received, and he, along with Judah and Jerusalem, experienced anger. 26 However, Hezekiah and the citizens of Jerusalem humbled themselves in their pride, and so they didn't experience the LORD's anger for the rest of Hezekiah's reign. 27 Hezekiah became very wealthy and greatly respected. He made storehouses for his silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields, and other valuables. 28 He made barns to store the harvest of grain, wine, and olive oil; stalls for all kinds of cattle; and pens for flocks. 29 He acquired towns for himself and many flocks and herds because God had given him great wealth. 30 Hezekiah was the one who blocked the upper outlet of the waters of the Gihon Spring, channeling them down to the west side of David's City. Hezekiah succeeded in all that he did, 31 even in the matter of the ambassadors sent from Babylonian officials to find out about the miraculous sign that occurred in the land, when God had abandoned him in order to test him and to discover what was in his heart. 32 The rest of Hezekiah's deeds, including his faithfulness, are written in the vision of the prophet Isaiah, Amoz's son, in the records of Israel's and Judah's kings. 33 Hezekiah lay down with his ancestors and was buried in the upper area of the tombs of David's sons. All Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem honored him at his death. His son Manasseh succeeded him as king.
1 Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king, and he ruled for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. 2 He did what was evil in the LORD's eyes, imitating the detestable practices of the nations that the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. 3 He rebuilt the shrines that his father Hezekiah had destroyed, set up altars for the Baals, and made sacred poles. He bowed down to all the stars in the sky and worshipped them. 4 He even built altars in the LORD's temple, the very place the LORD was speaking about when he said, "My name will remain in Jerusalem forever." 5 Manasseh built altars for all the stars in the sky in both courtyards of the LORD's temple. 6 He burned his own sons alive in the Ben-hinnom Valley, consulted sign readers, fortune-tellers, and sorcerers, and used mediums and diviners. He did much evil in the LORD's eyes and made him angry. 7 Manasseh set up the carved image he had made in God's temple, the very temple God had spoken about to David and his son Solomon, saying: In this temple and in Jerusalem, which I have selected out of all Israel's tribes, I will put my name forever. 8 I will never again remove Israel from the fertile land I gave to your ancestors, provided they carefully do everything I have commanded them—keeping all the Instruction, the regulations, and the case laws given through Moses. 9 In this way Manasseh led Judah and the residents of Jerusalem into doing even more evil than the nations that the LORD had wiped out before the Israelites. 10 The LORD spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they wouldn't listen. 11 So the LORD brought the army commanders of Assyria's king against them. They captured Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze chains, and carried him off to Babylon. 12 During his distress, Manasseh made peace with the LORD his God, truly submitting himself to the God of his ancestors. 13 He prayed, and God was moved by his request. God listened to Manasseh's prayer and restored him to his rule in Jerusalem. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was the true God. 14 After this, Manasseh rebuilt the outer wall of David's City, west of the Gihon Spring in the valley, extending as far as the entrance of the Fish Gate, enclosing the elevated fortress and greatly increasing its height. He also installed military commanders in all the fortified cities of Judah. 15 He removed the foreign gods and the idol from the LORD's temple, as well as all the altars he had built on the hill of the LORD's temple and in Jerusalem, dumping them outside the city. 16 He restored the LORD's altar, offered well-being sacrifices and thank offerings on it, and ordered the people of Judah to worship the LORD, Israel's God. 17 The people, however, still sacrificed at the shrines, but only to the LORD their God. 18 The rest of Manasseh's deeds, including his prayer to God and what the seers told him in the name of the LORD, Israel's God, are found in the records of Israel's kings. 19 Manasseh's prayer and its answer, all his sin and unfaithfulness, and the locations of the shrines, sacred poles, and idols he set up before he submitted are written in the records of Hozai. 20 Manasseh lay down with his ancestors and was buried in his palace. His son Amon succeeded him as king. 21 Amon was 22 years old when he became king, and he ruled for two years in Jerusalem. 22 He did what was evil in the LORD's eyes, just as his father Manasseh had done. He sacrificed to all the idols his father had made and worshipped them. 23 But unlike his father Manasseh, Amon didn't submit before the LORD; instead, Amon increased his guilt. 24 His own officials plotted against him and killed him in his palace. 25 The people of the land then executed all those who had plotted against King Amon and made his son Josiah the next king.
19 Meanwhile, the chief priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 Jesus answered, "I've spoken openly to the world. I've always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews gather. I've said nothing in private. 21 Why ask me? Ask those who heard what I told them. They know what I said." 22 After Jesus spoke, one of the guards standing there slapped Jesus in the face. "Is that how you would answer the high priest?" he asked. 23 Jesus replied, "If I speak wrongly, testify about what was wrong. But if I speak correctly, why do you strike me?" 24 Then Annas sent him, bound, to Caiaphas the high priest. 25 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing with the guards, warming himself. They asked, "Aren't you one of his disciples?" Peter denied it, saying, "I'm not." 26 A servant of the high priest, a relative of the one whose ear Peter had cut off, said to him, "Didn't I see you in the garden with him?" 27 Peter denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed. 28 The Jewish leaders led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Roman governor's palace. It was early in the morning. So that they could eat the Passover, the Jewish leaders wouldn't enter the palace; entering the palace would have made them ritually impure. 29 So Pilate went out to them and asked, "What charge do you bring against this man?" 30 They answered, "If he had done nothing wrong, we wouldn't have handed him over to you." 31 Pilate responded, "Take him yourselves and judge him according to your Law." The Jewish leaders replied, "The Law doesn't allow us to kill anyone." ( 32 This was so that Jesus' word might be fulfilled when he indicated how he was going to die.) 33 Pilate went back into the palace. He summoned Jesus and asked, "Are you the king of the Jews?" 34 Jesus answered, "Do you say this on your own or have others spoken to you about me?" 35 Pilate responded, "I'm not a Jew, am I? Your nation and its chief priests handed you over to me. What have you done?" 36 Jesus replied, "My kingdom doesn't originate from this world. If it did, my guards would fight so that I wouldn't have been arrested by the Jewish leaders. My kingdom isn't from here." 37 "So you are a king?" Pilate said. Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. I was born and came into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Whoever accepts the truth listens to my voice." 38 "What is truth?" Pilate asked. After Pilate said this, he returned to the Jewish leaders and said, "I find no grounds for any charge against him. 39 You have a custom that I release one prisoner for you at Passover. Do you want me to release for you the king of the Jews?" 40 They shouted, "Not this man! Give us Barabbas!" (Barabbas was an outlaw.)
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