2 Kings 10; 2 Kings 11; 2 Kings 12; John 1:29-51

1 There were seventy descendants of King Ahab living in the city of Samaria. Jehu wrote a letter and sent copies to the rulers of the city, to the leading citizens, and to the guardians of Ahab's descendants. The letter read: 2 "You are in charge of the king's descendants, and you have at your disposal chariots, horses, weapons, and fortified cities. So then, as soon as you receive this letter, 3 you are to choose the best qualified of the king's descendants, make him king, and fight to defend him." 4 The rulers of Samaria were terrified. "How can we oppose Jehu," they said, "when neither King Joram nor King Ahaziah could?" 5 So the officer in charge of the palace and the official in charge of the city, together with the leading citizens and the guardians, sent this message to Jehu: "We are your servants, and we are ready to do anything you say. But we will not make anyone king; do whatever you think best." 6 Jehu wrote them another letter: "If you are with me and are ready to follow my orders, bring the heads of King Ahab's descendants to me at Jezreel by this time tomorrow." The seventy descendants of King Ahab were under the care of the leading citizens of Samaria, who were bringing them up. 7 When Jehu's letter was received, the leaders of Samaria killed all seventy of Ahab's descendants, put their heads in baskets, and sent them to Jehu at Jezreel. 8 When Jehu was told that the heads of Ahab's descendants had been brought, he ordered them to be piled up in two heaps at the city gate and to be left there until the following morning. 9 In the morning he went out to the gate and said to the people who were there, "I was the one who plotted against King Joram and killed him; you are not responsible for that. But who killed all these? 10 This proves that everything that the Lord said about the descendants of Ahab will come true. The Lord has done what he promised through his prophet Elijah." 11 Then Jehu put to death all the other relatives of Ahab living in Jezreel, and all his officers, close friends, and priests; not one of them was left alive. 12 Jehu left Jezreel to go to Samaria. On the way, at a place called "Shepherds' Camp," 13 he met some relatives of the late King Ahaziah of Judah and asked them, "Who are you?" "Ahaziah's relatives," they answered. "We are going to Jezreel to pay our respects to the children of Queen Jezebel and to the rest of the royal family." 14 Jehu ordered his men, "Take them alive!" They seized them, and he put them to death near a pit there. There were forty-two people in all, and not one of them was left alive. 15 Jehu started out again, and on his way he was met by Jonadab son of Rechab. Jehu greeted him and said, "You and I think alike. Will you support me?" "I will," Jonadab answered. "Give me your hand, then," Jehu replied. They clasped hands, and Jehu helped him up into the chariot, 16 saying, "Come with me and see for yourself how devoted I am to the Lord." And they rode on together to Samaria. 17 When they arrived there, Jehu killed all of Ahab's relatives, not sparing even one. This is what the Lord had told Elijah would happen. 18 Jehu called the people of Samaria together and said, "King Ahab served the god Baal a little, but I will serve him much more. 19 Call together all the prophets of Baal, all his worshipers, and all his priests. No one is excused; I am going to offer a great sacrifice to Baal, and whoever is not present will be put to death." (This was a trick on the part of Jehu by which he meant to kill all the worshipers of Baal.) 20 Then Jehu ordered, "Proclaim a day of worship in honor of Baal!" The proclamation was made, 21 and Jehu sent word throughout all the land of Israel. All who worshiped Baal came; not one of them failed to come. They all went into the temple of Baal, filling it from one end to the other. 22 Then Jehu ordered the priest in charge of the sacred robes to bring the robes out and give them to the worshipers. 23 After that, Jehu himself went into the temple with Jonadab son of Rechab and said to the people there, "Make sure that only worshipers of Baal are present and that no worshiper of the Lord has come in." 24 Then he and Jonadab went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings to Baal. He had stationed eighty men outside the temple and had instructed them: "You are to kill all these people; anyone who lets one of them escape will pay for it with his life!" 25 As soon as Jehu had presented the offerings, he said to the guards and officers, "Go in and kill them all; don't let anyone escape!" They went in with drawn swords, killed them all, and dragged the bodies outside. Then they went on into the inner sanctuary of the temple, 26 brought out the sacred pillar that was there, and burned it. 27 So they destroyed the sacred pillar and the temple, and turned the temple into a latrine - which it still is today. 28 That was how Jehu wiped out the worship of Baal in Israel. 29 But he imitated the sin of King Jeroboam, who led Israel into the sin of worshiping the gold bull-calves he set up in Bethel and in Dan. 30 The Lord said to Jehu, "You have done to Ahab's descendants everything I wanted you to do. So I promise you that your descendants, down to the fourth generation, will be kings of Israel." 31 But Jehu did not obey with all his heart the Law of the Lord, the God of Israel; instead, he followed the example of Jeroboam, who led Israel into sin. 32 At that time the Lord began to reduce the size of Israel's territory. King Hazael of Syria conquered all the Israelite territory 33 east of the Jordan, as far south as the town of Aroer on the Arnon River - this included the territories of Gilead and Bashan, where the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and East Manasseh lived. 34 Everything else that Jehu did, including his brave deeds, is recorded in [The History of the Kings of Israel.] 35 He died and was buried in Samaria, and his son Jehoahaz succeeded him as king. 36 Jehu had ruled in Samaria as king of Israel for twenty-eight years.
1 As soon as King Ahaziah's mother Athaliah learned of her son's murder, she gave orders for all the members of the royal family to be killed. 2 Only Ahaziah's son Joash escaped. He was about to be killed with the others, but was rescued by his aunt Jehosheba, who was King Jehoram's daughter and Ahaziah's half sister. She took him and his nurse into a bedroom in the Temple and hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not killed. 3 For six years Jehosheba took care of the boy and kept him hidden in the Temple, while Athaliah ruled as queen. 4 But in the seventh year Jehoiada the priest sent for the officers in charge of the royal bodyguard and of the palace guards, and told them to come to the Temple, where he made them agree under oath to what he planned to do. He showed them King Ahaziah's son Joash 5 and gave them the following orders: "When you come on duty on the Sabbath, one third of you are to guard the palace; 6 another third are to stand guard at the Sur Gate, and the other third are to stand guard at the gate behind the other guards. 7 The two groups that go off duty on the Sabbath are to stand guard at the Temple to protect the king. 8 You are to guard King Joash with drawn swords and stay with him wherever he goes. Anyone who comes near you is to be killed." 9 The officers obeyed Jehoiada's instructions and brought their men to him - those going off duty on the Sabbath and those going on duty. 10 He gave the officers the spears and shields that had belonged to King David and had been kept in the Temple, 11 and he stationed the men with drawn swords all around the front of the Temple, to protect the king. 12 Then Jehoiada led Joash out, placed the crown on his head, and gave him a copy of the laws governing kingship. Then Joash was anointed and proclaimed king. The people clapped their hands and shouted, "Long live the king!" 13 Queen Athaliah heard the noise being made by the guards and the people, so she hurried to the Temple, where the crowd had gathered. 14 There she saw the new king standing by the column at the entrance of the Temple, as was the custom. He was surrounded by the officers and the trumpeters, and the people were all shouting joyfully and blowing trumpets. Athaliah tore her clothes in distress and shouted, "Treason! Treason!" 15 Jehoiada did not want Athaliah killed in the Temple area, so he ordered the army officers: "Take her out between the rows of guards, and kill anyone who tries to rescue her." 16 They seized her, took her to the palace, and there at the Horse Gate they killed her. 17 The priest Jehoiada had King Joash and the people make a covenant with the Lord that they would be the Lord's people; he also made a covenant between the king and the people. 18 Then the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down; they smashed the altars and the idols, and killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, in front of the altars. Jehoiada put guards on duty at the Temple, 19 and then he, the officers, the royal bodyguard, and the palace guards escorted the king from the Temple to the palace, followed by all the people. Joash entered by the Guard Gate and took his place on the throne. 20 All the people were filled with happiness, and the city was quiet, now that Athaliah had been killed in the palace. 21 Joash became king of Judah at the age of seven.
1 In the seventh year of the reign of King Jehu of Israel, Joash became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for forty years. His mother was Zibiah from the city of Beersheba. 2 Throughout his life he did what pleased the Lord, because Jehoiada the priest instructed him. 3 However, the pagan places of worship were not destroyed, and the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense there. 4 Joash called the priests and ordered them to save up the money paid in connection with the sacrifices in the Temple, both the dues paid for the regular sacrifices and the money given as freewill gifts. 5 Each priest was to be responsible for the money brought by those he served, and the money was to be used to repair the Temple, as needed. 6 But by the twenty-third year of Joash's reign the priests still had not made any repairs in the Temple. 7 So he called in Jehoiada and the other priests and asked them, "Why aren't you repairing the Temple? From now on you are not to keep the money you receive; you must hand it over, so that the repairs can be made." 8 The priests agreed to this and also agreed not to make the repairs in the Temple. 9 Then Jehoiada took a box, made a hole in the lid, and placed the box by the altar, on the right side as one enters the Temple. The priests on duty at the entrance put in the box all the money given by the worshipers. 10 Whenever there was a large amount of money in the box, the royal secretary and the High Priest would come, melt down the silver, and weigh it. 11 After recording the exact amount, they would hand the silver over to the men in charge of the work in the Temple, and these would pay the carpenters, the builders, 12 the masons, and the stone cutters, buy the timber and the stones used in the repairs, and pay all other necessary expenses. 13 None of the money, however, was used to pay for making silver cups, bowls, trumpets, or tools for tending the lamps, or any other article of silver or of gold. 14 It was all used to pay the workers and to buy the materials used in the repairs. 15 The men in charge of the work were thoroughly honest, so there was no need to require them to account for the funds. 16 The money given for the repayment offerings and for the offerings for sin was not deposited in the box; it belonged to the priests. 17 At that time King Hazael of Syria attacked the city of Gath and conquered it; then he decided to attack Jerusalem. 18 King Joash of Judah took all the offerings that his predecessors Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah had dedicated to the Lord, added to them his own offerings and all the gold in the treasuries of the Temple and the palace, and sent them all as a gift to King Hazael, who then led his army away from Jerusalem. 19 Everything else that King Joash did is recorded in [The History of the Kings of Judah.] 20 King Joash's officials plotted against him, and two of them, Jozacar son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer, killed him at the house built on the land that was filled in on the east side of Jerusalem, on the road that goes down to Silla. Joash was buried in the royal tombs in David's City, and his son Amaziah succeeded him as king.
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming to him, and said, "There is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I was talking about when I said, "A man is coming after me, but he is greater than I am, because he existed before I was born.' 31 I did not know who he would be, but I came baptizing with water in order to make him known to the people of Israel." 32 And John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and stay on him. 33 I still did not know that he was the one, but God, who sent me to baptize with water, had said to me, "You will see the Spirit come down and stay on a man; he is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' 34 I have seen it," said John, "and I tell you that he is the Son of God." 35 The next day John was standing there again with two of his disciples, 36 when he saw Jesus walking by. "There is the Lamb of God!" he said. 37 The two disciples heard him say this and went with Jesus. 38 Jesus turned, saw them following him, and asked, "What are you looking for?" They answered, "Where do you live, Rabbi?" (This word means "Teacher.") 39 "Come and see," he answered. (It was then about four o'clock in the afternoon.) So they went with him and saw where he lived, and spent the rest of that day with him. 40 One of them was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 At once he found his brother Simon and told him, "We have found the Messiah." (This word means "Christ.") 42 Then he took Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "Your name is Simon son of John, but you will be called Cephas." (This is the same as Peter and means "a rock.") 43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, "Come with me! 44 (Philip was from Bethsaida, the town where Andrew and Peter lived.) 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one whom Moses wrote about in the book of the Law and whom the prophets also wrote about. He is Jesus son of Joseph, from Nazareth." 46 "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" Nathanael asked. "Come and see," answered Philip. 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, he said about him, "Here is a real Israelite; there is nothing false in him!" 48 Nathanael asked him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered, "I saw you when you were under the fig tree before Philip called you." 49 "Teacher," answered Nathanael, "you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!" 50 Jesus said, "Do you believe just because I told you I saw you when you were under the fig tree? You will see much greater things than this!" 51 And he said to them, "I am telling you the truth: you will see heaven open and God's angels going up and coming down on the Son of Man."
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