2 Kings 23; 2 Kings 24; 2 Kings 25

1 So the king sent [messengers], and they gathered to him all the elders of Jerusalem and Judah. 2 Then the king went to the Lord's temple with all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, as well as the priests and the prophets-all the people from the youngest to the oldest. As they listened, he read all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the Lord's temple. 3 Next, the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant in the presence of the Lord to follow the Lord and to keep His commandments, His decrees, and His statutes with all his mind and with all his heart, and to carry out the words of this covenant that were written in this book; all the people agreed to the covenant. 4 Then the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second rank and the doorkeepers to bring out of the Lord's temple all the articles made for Baal, Asherah, and the whole heavenly host. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron and carried their ashes to Bethel 5 Then he did away with the idolatrous priests the kings of Judah had appointed to burn incense at the high places in the cities of Judah and in the areas surrounding Jerusalem. They had burned incense to Baal, and to the sun, moon, constellations, and the whole heavenly host. 6 He brought out the Asherah pole from the Lord's temple to the Kidron Valley outside Jerusalem. He burned it at the Kidron Valley, beat it to dust, and threw its dust on the graves of the common people. 7 He also tore down the houses of the male shrine prostitutes that were in the Lord's temple, in which the women were weaving tapestries for Asherah. 8 Then Josiah brought all the priests from the cities of Judah, and he defiled the high places from Geba to Beer-sheba, where the priests had burned incense. He tore down the high places of the gates at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city (on the left at the city gate). 9 The priests of the high places, however, did not come up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem; instead, they ate unleavened bread with their fellow priests. 10 He defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of Hinnom, so that no one could make his son or his daughter pass through the fire to Molech. 11 He did away with the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. [They had been] at the entrance of the Lord's temple in the precincts by the chamber of Nathan-melech the court official, and he burned up the chariots of the sun. 12 The king tore down the altars that were on the roof-Ahaz's upper chamber that the kings of Judah had made-and the altars that Manasseh had made in the two courtyards of the Lord's temple. Then he smashed them there and threw their dust into the Kidron Valley. 13 The king also defiled the high places that were across from Jerusalem, to the south of the Mount of Destruction, which Solomon king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth, the detestable idol of the Sidonians; for Chemosh, the detestable idol of Moab; and for Milcom, the abomination of the Ammonites. 14 He broke the sacred pillars into pieces, cut down the Asherah poles, then filled their places with human bones. 15 He even tore down the altar at Bethel and the high place that Jeroboam son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin, had made. Then he burned the high place, crushed it to dust, and burned the Asherah. 16 As Josiah turned, he saw the tombs there on the mountain. He sent [someone] to take the bones out of the tombs, and he burned them on the altar. He defiled it according to the word of the Lord proclaimed by the man of God who proclaimed these things. 17 Then he said, "What is this monument I see?" The men of the city told him, "It is the tomb of the man of God who came from Judah and proclaimed these things that you have done to the altar at Bethel." 18 So he said, "Let him rest. Don't let anyone disturb his bones." So they left his bones undisturbed with the bones of the prophet who came from Samaria. 19 Josiah also removed all the shrines of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke [the Lord]. Josiah did the same things to them that he had done at Bethel 20 He slaughtered on the altars all the priests of the high places who were there, and he burned human bones on the altars. Then he returned to Jerusalem. 21 The king commanded all the people, "Keep the Passover of the Lord your God as written in the book of the covenant." 22 No such Passover had ever been kept from the time of the judges who judged Israel through the entire time of the kings of Israel and Judah. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, this Passover was observed to the Lord in Jerusalem. 24 In addition, Josiah removed the mediums, the spiritists, household idols, images, and all the detestable things that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem. He did this in order to carry out the words of the law that were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the Lord's temple. 25 Before him there was no king like him who turned to the Lord with all his mind and with all his heart and with all his strength according to all the law of Moses, and no one like him arose after him. 26 In spite of all that, the Lord did not turn from the fierceness of His great wrath and anger, which burned against Judah because of all the provocations Manasseh had provoked Him with. 27 For the Lord had said, "I will also remove Judah from My sight just as I have removed Israel. I will reject this city Jerusalem, that I have chosen, and the temple about which I said, 'My name will be there.' " 28 The rest of the events of Josiah's [reign], along with all his accomplishments, are written about in the Historical Record of Judah's Kings. 29 During his reign, Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt marched up to the king of Assyria at the Euphrates river. King Josiah went to confront him, and at Megiddo when Neco saw him he killed him. 30 From Megiddo his servants carried his dead body in a chariot, brought him into Jerusalem, and buried him in his own tomb. Then the common people took Jehoahaz son of Josiah, anointed him, and made him king in place of his father. 31 Jehoahaz was 23 years old when he became king; he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah; [she was] from Libnah. 32 He did what was evil in the Lord's sight just as his ancestors had done. 33 Pharaoh Neco imprisoned him at Riblah in the land of Hamath to keep him from reigning in Jerusalem, and he imposed on the land a fine of 7,500 pounds of silver and 75 pounds of gold. 34 Then Pharaoh Neco made Eliakim son of Josiah king in place of his father Josiah and changed Eliakim's name to Jehoiakim. But Neco took Jehoahaz and went to Egypt, and he died there. 35 So Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh, but at Pharaoh's command he taxed the land to give the money. He exacted the silver and the gold from the people of the land, each man according to his valuation, to give it to Pharaoh Neco. 36 Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he became king; he reigned 11 years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Zebidah daughter of Pedaiah; [she was] from Rumah 37 He did what was evil in the Lord's sight just as his ancestors had done.
1 During his reign, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon attacked, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. Then he turned and rebelled against him. 2 The Lord sent Chaldean, Aramean, Moabite, and Ammonite raiders against Jehoiakim. He sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the Lord He had spoken through His servants the prophets. 3 This happened to Judah only at the Lord's command to remove them from His sight. It was because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all he had done, 4 and also because of all the innocent blood he had shed. He had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the Lord would not forgive. 5 The rest of the events of Jehoiakim's [reign], along with all his accomplishments, are written about in the Historical Record of Judah's Kings. 6 Jehoiakim rested with his fathers, and his son Jehoiachin became king in his place. 7 Now the king of Egypt did not march out of his land again, for the king of Babylon took everything that belonged to the king of Egypt, from the Brook of Egypt to the Euphrates River. 8 Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he became king; he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Nehushta daughter of Elnathan; [she was] from Jerusalem. 9 He did what was evil in the Lord's sight as his father had done. 10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched up to Jerusalem, and the city came under siege. 11 Then King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to the city while his servants were besieging it. 12 Jehoiachin king of Judah, along with his mother, his servants, his commanders, and his officials, surrendered to the king of Babylon. So the king of Babylon took him [captive] in the eighth year of his reign. 13 He also carried off from there all the treasures of the Lord's temple and the treasures of the king's palace, and he cut into pieces all the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the Lord's sanctuary, just as God had predicted. 14 Then he deported all Jerusalem and all the commanders and all the fighting men, 10,000 captives, and all the craftsmen and metalsmiths. Except for the poorest people of the land, nobody remained. 15 Nebuchadnezzar deported Jehoiachin to Babylon. Also, he took the king's mother, the king's wives, his officials, and the leading men of the land into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 The king of Babylon also brought captive into Babylon all 7,000 fighting men and 1,000 craftsmen and metalsmiths-all strong and fit for war. 17 Then the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin's uncle, king in his place and changed his name to Zedekiah. 18 Zedekiah was 21 years old when he became king; he reigned 11 years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah; [she was] from Libnah. 19 Zedekiah did what was evil in the Lord's sight just as Jehoiakim had done. 20 Because of the Lord's anger, it came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that He finally banished them from His presence. Then, Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
1 In the ninth year of Zedekiah's reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon advanced against Jerusalem with his entire army. They laid siege to the city and built a siege wall against it all around. 2 The city was under siege until King Zedekiah's eleventh year. 3 By the ninth day of the [fourth] month the famine was so severe in the city that the people of the land had no food. 4 Then the city was broken into, and all the warriors [fled] by night by way of the gate between the two walls near the king's garden, even though the Chaldeans surrounded the city. As the king made his way along the route to the Arabah, 5 the Chaldean army pursued him and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. Zedekiah's entire army was scattered from him. 6 The Chaldeans seized the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, and they passed sentence on him. 7 They slaughtered Zedekiah's sons before his eyes. Finally, the king of Babylon blinded Zedekiah, bound him in bronze [chains], and took him to Babylon. 8 On the seventh day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, a servant of the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem. 9 He burned the Lord's temple, the king's palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem; he burned down all the great houses. 10 The whole Chaldean army [with] the commander of the guards tore down the walls surrounding Jerusalem. 11 Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, deported the rest of the people who were left in the city, the deserters who had defected to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the population. 12 But the commander of the guards left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and farmers. 13 Now the Chaldeans broke into pieces the bronze pillars of the Lord's temple, the water carts, and the bronze reservoir, which were in the Lord's temple, and carried the bronze to Babylon. 14 They also took the pots, the shovels, the wick trimmers, the dishes, and all the bronze articles used in [temple] service. 15 The commander of the guards took away the firepans and the sprinkling basins-whatever was gold or silver. 16 As for the two pillars, the one reservoir, and the water carts that Solomon had made for the Lord's temple, the weight of the bronze of all these articles was beyond measure. 17 One pillar was 27 feet tall and had a bronze capital on top of it. The capital, encircled by a grating and pomegranates of bronze, stood five feet high. The second pillar was the same, with its own grating. 18 The commander of the guards also took away Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest of the second rank, and the three doorkeepers. 19 From the city he took a court official who had been appointed over the warriors; five trusted royal aides found in the city; the secretary of the commander of the army, who enlisted the people of the land for military duty; and 60 men from the common people who were found within the city. 20 Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 The king of Babylon put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah went into exile from its land. 22 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, over the rest of the people he left in the land of Judah. 23 When all the commanders of the armies-they and their men-heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah, they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. [The commanders included] Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah son of the Maacathite-they and their men. 24 Gedaliah swore an oath to them and their men, assuring them, "Don't be afraid of the servants of the Chaldeans. Live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well for you." 25 In the seventh month, however, Ishmael son of Nethaniah, son of Elishama, of the royal family, came with 10 men and struck down Gedaliah, and he died. Also, [they killed] the Jews and the Chaldeans who were with him at Mizpah. 26 Then all the people, from the youngest to the oldest, and the commanders of the army, left and went to Egypt, for they were afraid of the Chaldeans. 27 On the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month of the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Judah's King Jehoiachin, Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year he became king, pardoned King Jehoiachin of Judah [and released him] from prison. 28 He spoke kindly to him and set his throne over the thrones of the kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 So Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes, and he dined regularly in the presence of the king of Babylon for the rest of his life. 30 As for his allowance, a regular allowance was given to him by the king, a portion for each day, for the rest of his life.
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