2 Chronicles 34; 2 Chronicles 35; 2 Chronicles 36; John 19:1-22

1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for thirty-one years. 2 He did what was pleasing to the Lord; he followed the example of his ancestor King David, strictly obeying all the laws of God. 3 In the eighth year that Josiah was king, while he was still very young, he began to worship the God of his ancestor King David. Four years later he began to destroy the pagan places of worship, the symbols of the goddess Asherah, and all the other idols. 4 Under his direction the altars where Baal was worshiped were smashed, and the incense altars near them were torn down. They ground to dust the images of Asherah and all the other idols and then scattered the dust on the graves of the people who had sacrificed to them. 5 He burned the bones of the pagan priests on the altars where they had worshiped. By doing all this, he made Judah and Jerusalem ritually clean again. 6 He did the same thing in the cities and the devastated areas of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, and as far north as Naphtali. 7 Throughout the territory of the Northern Kingdom he smashed the altars and the symbols of Asherah, ground the idols to dust, and broke into bits all the incense altars. Then he returned to Jerusalem. 8 In the eighteenth year of his reign, after he had purified the land and the Temple by ending pagan worship, King Josiah sent three men to repair the Temple of the Lord God: Shaphan son of Azaliah, Maaseiah, the governor of Jerusalem, and Joah son of Joahaz, a high official. 9 The money that the Levite guards had collected in the Temple was turned over to Hilkiah the High Priest. (It had been collected from the people of Ephraim and Manasseh and the rest of the Northern Kingdom, and from the people of Judah, Benjamin, and Jerusalem.) 10 This money was then handed over to the three men in charge of the Temple repairs, and they gave it to 11 the carpenters and the builders to buy the stones and the timber used to repair the buildings that the kings of Judah had allowed to decay. 12 The men who did the work were thoroughly honest. They were supervised by four Levites: Jahath and Obadiah of the clan of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam of the clan of Kohath. (The Levites were all skillful musicians.) 13 Other Levites were in charge of transporting materials and supervising the workers on various jobs, and others kept records or served as guards. 14 While the money was being taken out of the storeroom, Hilkiah found the book of the Law of the Lord, the Law that God had given to Moses. 15 He said to Shaphan, "I have found the book of the Law here in the Temple." He gave Shaphan the book, 16 and Shaphan took it to the king. He reported, "We have done everything that you commanded. 17 We have taken the money that was kept in the Temple and handed it over to the workers and their supervisors." 18 Then he added, "I have here a book that Hilkiah gave me." And he read it aloud to the king. 19 When the king heard the book being read, he tore his clothes in dismay 20 and gave the following order to Hilkiah, to Ahikam son of Shaphan, to Abdon son of Micaiah, to Shaphan, the court secretary, and to Asaiah, the king's attendant: 21 "Go and consult the Lord for me and for the people who still remain in Israel and Judah. Find out about the teachings of this book. The Lord is angry with us because our ancestors have not obeyed the word of the Lord and have not done what this book says must be done." 22 At the king's command, Hilkiah and the others went to consult a woman named Huldah, a prophet who lived in the newer part of Jerusalem. (Her husband Shallum, the son of Tikvah and grandson of Harhas, was in charge of the Temple robes.) They described to her what had happened, 23 and she told them to go back to the king and give him 24 the following message from the Lord: "I am going to punish Jerusalem and all its people with the curses written in the book that was read to the king. 25 They have rejected me and have offered sacrifices to other gods, and so have stirred up my anger by all they have done. My anger is aroused against Jerusalem, and it will not die down. 26 As for the king himself, this is what I, the Lord God of Israel, say: You listened to what is written in the book, 27 and you repented and humbled yourself before me, tearing your clothes and weeping, when you heard how I threatened to punish Jerusalem and its people. I have heard your prayer, 28 and the punishment which I am going to bring on Jerusalem will not come until after your death. I will let you die in peace." The men returned to King Josiah with this message. 29 King Josiah summoned all the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, 30 and together they went to the Temple, accompanied by the priests and the Levites and all the rest of the people, rich and poor alike. Before them all the king read aloud the whole book of the covenant, which had been found in the Temple. 31 He stood by the royal column and made a covenant with the Lord to obey him, to keep his laws and commands with all his heart and soul, and to put into practice the demands attached to the covenant, as written in the book. 32 He made the people of Benjamin and everyone else present in Jerusalem promise to keep the covenant. And so the people of Jerusalem obeyed the requirements of the covenant they had made with the God of their ancestors. 33 King Josiah destroyed all the disgusting idols that were in the territory belonging to the people of Israel, and as long as he lived, he required the people to serve the Lord, the God of their ancestors.
1 King Josiah celebrated the Passover at Jerusalem in honor of the Lord; on the fourteenth day of the first month they killed the animals for the festival. 2 He assigned to the priests the duties they were to perform in the Temple and encouraged them to do them well. 3 He also gave these instructions to the Levites, the teachers of Israel, who were dedicated to the Lord: "Put the sacred Covenant Box in the Temple that King Solomon, the son of David, built. You are no longer to carry it from place to place, but you are to serve the Lord your God and his people Israel. 4 Take your places in the Temple by clans, according to the responsibilities assigned to you by King David and his son King Solomon, 5 and arrange yourselves so that some of you will be available to help each family of the people of Israel. 6 You are to kill the Passover lambs and goats. Now make yourselves ritually clean and prepare the sacrifices in order that your fellow Israelites may follow the instructions which the Lord gave through Moses." 7 For the use of the people at the Passover, King Josiah contributed from his own herds and flocks 30,000 sheep, lambs, and young goats, and 3,000 bulls. 8 His officials also made contributions for the people, the priests, and the Levites to use. And the officials in charge of the Temple - Hilkiah, the High Priest, Zechariah, and Jehiel - gave the priests 2,600 lambs and young goats and 300 bulls for sacrifices during the festival. 9 The leaders of the Levites - Conaniah, Shemaiah and his brother Nethanel, Hashabiah, Jeiel, and Jozabad - contributed 5,000 lambs and young goats and 500 bulls for the Levites to offer as sacrifices. 10 When everything was arranged for the Passover, the priests and the Levites took their posts, as commanded by the king. 11 After the lambs and goats had been killed, the Levites skinned them, and the priests sprinkled the blood on the altar. 12 Then they divided among the people, by family groups, the animals for burnt offerings, so that they could offer them according to the instructions in the Law of Moses. 13 The Levites roasted the Passover sacrifices over the fire, according to the regulations, and boiled the sacred offerings in pots, kettles, and pans, and quickly distributed the meat to the people. 14 After this was done, the Levites provided meat for themselves and for the priests descended from Aaron, for the priests were kept busy until night, burning the animals that were burned whole and the fat of the sacrifices. 15 The following musicians of the Levite clan of Asaph were in the places assigned to them by King David's instructions: Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, the king's prophet. The guards at the Temple gates did not need to leave their posts, because the other Levites prepared the Passover for them. 16 So, as King Josiah had commanded, everything was done that day for the worship of the Lord, the keeping of the Passover Festival, and the offering of burnt offerings on the altar. 17 For seven days all the people of Israel who were present celebrated the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. 18 Since the days of the prophet Samuel, the Passover had never been celebrated like this. None of the former kings had ever celebrated a Passover like this one celebrated by King Josiah, the priests, the Levites, and the people of Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem 19 in the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign. 20 After King Josiah had done all this for the Temple, King Neco of Egypt led an army to fight at Carchemish on the Euphrates River. Josiah tried to stop him, 21 but Neco sent Josiah this message: "This war I am fighting does not concern you, King of Judah. I have not come to fight you, but to fight my enemies, and God has told me to hurry. God is on my side, so don't oppose me, or he will destroy you." 22 But Josiah was determined to fight. He refused to listen to what God was saying through King Neco, so he disguised himself and went into battle on the plain of Megiddo. 23 During the battle King Josiah was struck by Egyptian arrows. He ordered his servants, "Take me away; I'm badly hurt!" 24 They lifted him out of his chariot, placed him in a second chariot which he had there, and took him to Jerusalem. There he died and was buried in the royal tombs. All the people of Judah and Jerusalem mourned his death. 25 The prophet Jeremiah composed a lament for King Josiah. It has become a custom in Israel for the singers, both men and women, to use this song when they mourn for him. The song is found in the collection of laments. 26 Everything that Josiah did - his devotion to the Lord, his obedience to the Law, 27 and his history from beginning to end - is all recorded in [The History of the Kings of Israel and Judah.]
1 The people of Judah chose Josiah's son Joahaz and anointed him king in Jerusalem. 2 Joahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for three months. 3 King Neco of Egypt took him prisoner and made Judah pay 7,500 pounds of silver and 75 pounds of gold as tribute. 4 Neco made Joahaz' brother Eliakim king of Judah and changed his name to Jehoiakim. Joahaz was taken to Egypt by Neco. 5 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for eleven years. He sinned against the Lord his God. 6 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia invaded Judah, captured Jehoiakim, and took him to Babylonia in chains. 7 Nebuchadnezzar carried off some of the treasures of the Temple and put them in his palace in Babylon. 8 Everything that Jehoiakim did, including his disgusting practices and the evil he committed, is recorded in [The History of the Kings of Israel and Judah.] His son Jehoiachin succeeded him as king. 9 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for three months and ten days. He too sinned against the Lord. 10 When spring came, King Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin to Babylonia as a prisoner and carried off the treasures of the Temple. Then Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiachin's uncle Zedekiah king of Judah and Jerusalem. 11 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for eleven years. 12 He sinned against the Lord and did not listen humbly to the prophet Jeremiah, who spoke the word of the Lord. 13 Zedekiah rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had forced him to swear in God's name that he would be loyal. He stubbornly refused to repent and return to the Lord, the God of Israel. 14 In addition, the leaders of Judah, the priests, and the people followed the sinful example of the nations around them in worshiping idols, and so they defiled the Temple, which the Lord himself had made holy. 15 The Lord, the God of their ancestors, had continued to send prophets to warn his people, because he wanted to spare them and the Temple. 16 But they made fun of God's messengers, ignoring his words and laughing at his prophets, until at last the Lord's anger against his people was so great that there was no escape. 17 So the Lord brought the king of Babylonia to attack them. The king killed the young men of Judah even in the Temple. He had no mercy on anyone, young or old, man or woman, sick or healthy. God handed them all over to him. 18 The king of Babylonia looted the Temple, the Temple treasury, and the wealth of the king and his officials, and took everything back to Babylon. 19 He burned down the Temple and the city, with all its palaces and its wealth, and broke down the city wall. 20 He took all the survivors to Babylonia, where they served him and his descendants as slaves until the rise of the Persian Empire. 21 And so what the Lord had foretold through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: "The land will lie desolate for seventy years, to make up for the Sabbath rest that has not been observed." 22 In the first year that Cyrus of Persia was emperor, the Lord made what he had said through the prophet Jeremiah come true. He prompted Cyrus to issue the following command and send it out in writing to be read aloud everywhere in his empire: 23 "This is the command of Cyrus, Emperor of Persia. The Lord, the God of Heaven, has made me ruler over the whole world and has given me the responsibility of building a temple for him in Jerusalem in Judah. Now, all of you who are God's people, go there, and may the Lord your God be with you."
1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him whipped. 2 The soldiers made a crown out of thorny branches and put it on his head; then they put a purple robe on him 3 and came to him and said, "Long live the King of the Jews!" And they went up and slapped him. 4 Pilate went back out once more and said to the crowd, "Look, I will bring him out here to you to let you see that I cannot find any reason to condemn him." 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, "Look! Here is the man!" 6 When the chief priests and the Temple guards saw him, they shouted, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" Pilate said to them, "You take him, then, and crucify him. I find no reason to condemn him." 7 The crowd answered back, "We have a law that says he ought to die, because he claimed to be the Son of God." 8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid. 9 He went back into the palace and asked Jesus, "Where do you come from?" But Jesus did not answer. 10 Pilate said to him, "You will not speak to me? Remember, I have the authority to set you free and also to have you crucified." 11 Jesus answered, "You have authority over me only because it was given to you by God. So the man who handed me over to you is guilty of a worse sin." 12 When Pilate heard this, he tried to find a way to set Jesus free. But the crowd shouted back, "If you set him free, that means that you are not the Emperor's friend! Anyone who claims to be a king is a rebel against the Emperor!" 13 When Pilate heard these words, he took Jesus outside and sat down on the judge's seat in the place called "The Stone Pavement." (In Hebrew the name is "Gabbatha.") 14 It was then almost noon of the day before the Passover. Pilate said to the people, "Here is your king!" 15 They shouted back, "Kill him! Kill him! Crucify him!" Pilate asked them, "Do you want me to crucify your king?" The chief priests answered, "The only king we have is the Emperor!" 16 Then Pilate handed Jesus over to them to be crucified. So they took charge of Jesus. 17 He went out, carrying his cross, and came to "The Place of the Skull," as it is called. (In Hebrew it is called "Golgotha.") 18 There they crucified him; and they also crucified two other men, one on each side, with Jesus between them. 19 Pilate wrote a notice and had it put on the cross. "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews," is what he wrote. 20 Many people read it, because the place where Jesus was crucified was not far from the city. The notice was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. 21 The chief priests said to Pilate, "Do not write "The King of the Jews,' but rather, "This man said, I am the King of the Jews.' " 22 Pilate answered, "What I have written stays written."
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