2 Kings 24; 2 Kings 25; John 5:1-24

1 While Jehoiakim was king, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia invaded Judah, and for three years Jehoiakim was forced to submit to his rule; then he rebelled. 2 The Lord sent armed bands of Babylonians, Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites against Jehoiakim to destroy Judah, as the Lord had said through his servants the prophets that he would do. 3 This happened at the Lord's command, in order to banish the people of Judah from his sight because of all the sins that King Manasseh had committed, 4 and especially because of all the innocent people he had killed. The Lord could not forgive Manasseh for that. 5 Everything that Jehoiakim did is recorded in [The History of the Kings of Judah.] 6 Jehoiakim died, and his son Jehoiachin succeeded him as king. 7 The king of Egypt and his army never marched out of Egypt again, because the king of Babylonia now controlled all the territory that had belonged to Egypt, from the Euphrates River to the northern border of Egypt. 8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for three months. His mother was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan from Jerusalem. 9 Following the example of his father, Jehoiachin sinned against the Lord. 10 It was during his reign that the Babylonian army, commanded by King Nebuchadnezzar's officers, marched against Jerusalem and besieged it. 11 During the siege Nebuchadnezzar himself came to Jerusalem, 12 and King Jehoiachin, along with his mother, his sons, his officers, and the palace officials, surrendered to the Babylonians. In the eighth year of Nebuchadnezzar's reign he took Jehoiachin prisoner 13 and carried off to Babylon all the treasures in the Temple and the palace. As the Lord had foretold, Nebuchadnezzar broke up all the gold utensils which King Solomon had made for use in the Temple. 14 Nebuchadnezzar carried away as prisoners the people of Jerusalem, all the royal princes, and all the leading men, ten thousand in all. He also deported all the skilled workers, including the blacksmiths, leaving only the poorest of the people behind in Judah. 15 Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin to Babylon as a prisoner, together with Jehoiachin's mother, his wives, his officials, and the leading men of Judah. 16 Nebuchadnezzar deported all the important men to Babylonia, seven thousand in all, and one thousand skilled workers, including the blacksmiths, all of them able-bodied men fit for military duty. 17 Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiachin's uncle Mattaniah king of Judah and changed his name to Zedekiah. 18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for eleven years. His mother was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah from the city of Libnah. 19 King Zedekiah sinned against the Lord, just as King Jehoiakim had done. 20 The Lord became so angry with the people of Jerusalem and Judah that he banished them from his sight.
1 Zedekiah rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia, and so Nebuchadnezzar came with all his army and attacked Jerusalem on the tenth day of the tenth month of the ninth year of Zedekiah's reign. They set up camp outside the city, built siege walls around it, 2 and kept it under siege until Zedekiah's eleventh year. 3 On the ninth day of the fourth month of that same year, when the famine was so bad that the people had nothing left to eat, 4 the city walls were broken through. Although the Babylonians were surrounding the city, all the soldiers escaped during the night. They left by way of the royal garden, went through the gateway connecting the two walls, and fled in the direction of the Jordan Valley. 5 But the Babylonian army pursued King Zedekiah, captured him in the plains near Jericho, and all his soldiers deserted him. 6 Zedekiah was taken to King Nebuchadnezzar, who was in the city of Riblah, and there Nebuchadnezzar passed sentence on him. 7 While Zedekiah was looking on, his sons were put to death; then Nebuchadnezzar had Zedekiah's eyes put out, placed him in chains, and took him to Babylon. 8 On the seventh day of the fifth month of the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia, Nebuzaradan, adviser to the king and commander of his army, entered Jerusalem. 9 He burned down the Temple, the palace, and the houses of all the important people in Jerusalem, 10 and his soldiers tore down the city walls. 11 Then Nebuzaradan took away to Babylonia the people who were left in the city, the remaining skilled workers, and those who had deserted to the Babylonians. 12 But he left in Judah some of the poorest people, who owned no property, and put them to work in the vineyards and fields. 13 The Babylonians broke in pieces the bronze columns and the carts that were in the Temple, together with the large bronze tank, and they took all the bronze to Babylon. 14 They also took away the shovels and the ash containers used in cleaning the altar, the tools used in tending the lamps, the bowls used for catching the blood from the sacrifices, the bowls used for burning incense, and all the other bronze articles used in the Temple service. 15 They took away everything that was made of gold or silver, including the small bowls and the pans used for carrying live coals. 16 The bronze objects that King Solomon had made for the Temple - the two columns, the carts, and the large tank - were too heavy to weigh. 17 The two columns were identical: each one was 27 feet high, with a bronze capital on top, 4 1/2 feet high. All around each capital was a bronze grillwork decorated with pomegranates made of bronze. 18 In addition, Nebuzaradan, the commanding officer, took away as prisoners Seraiah the High Priest, Zephaniah the priest next in rank, and the three other important Temple officials. 19 From the city he took the officer who had been in command of the troops, five of the king's personal advisers who were still in the city, the commander's assistant, who was in charge of military records, and sixty other important men. 20 Nebuzaradan took them to the king of Babylonia, who was in the city of Riblah 21 in the territory of Hamath. There the king had them beaten and put to death. So the people of Judah were carried away from their land into exile. 22 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia made Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, governor of Judah, and placed him in charge of all those who had not been taken away to Babylonia. 23 When the Judean officers and soldiers who had not surrendered heard about this, they joined Gedaliah at Mizpah. These officers were Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth from the town of Netophah, and Jezaniah from Maacah. 24 Gedaliah said to them, "I give you my word that there is no need for you to be afraid of the Babylonian officials. Settle in this land, serve the king of Babylonia, and all will go well with you." 25 But in the seventh month of that year, Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah and grandson of Elishama, a member of the royal family, went to Mizpah with ten men, attacked Gedaliah, and killed him. He also killed the Israelites and Babylonians who were there with him. 26 Then all the Israelites, rich and poor alike, together with the army officers, left and went to Egypt, because they were afraid of the Babylonians. 27 In the year that Evilmerodach became king of Babylonia, he showed kindness to King Jehoiachin of Judah by releasing him from prison. This happened on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month of the thirty-seventh year after Jehoiachin had been taken away as prisoner. 28 Evilmerodach treated him kindly and gave him a position of greater honor than he gave the other kings who were exiles with him in Babylonia. 29 So Jehoiachin was permitted to change from his prison clothes and to dine at the king's table for the rest of his life. 30 Each day, for as long as he lived, he was given a regular allowance for his needs.
1 After this, Jesus went to Jerusalem for a religious festival. 2 Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there is a pool with five porches; in Hebrew it is called Bethzatha. 3 A large crowd of sick people were lying on the porches - the blind, the lame, and the paralyzed. 5 A man was there who had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 Jesus saw him lying there, and he knew that the man had been sick for such a long time; so he asked him, "Do you want to get well?" 7 The sick man answered, "Sir, I don't have anyone here to put me in the pool when the water is stirred up; while I am trying to get in, somebody else gets there first." 8 Jesus said to him, "Get up, pick up your mat, and walk." 9 Immediately the man got well; he picked up his mat and started walking. The day this happened was a Sabbath, 10 so the Jewish authorities told the man who had been healed, "This is a Sabbath, and it is against our Law for you to carry your mat." 11 He answered, "The man who made me well told me to pick up my mat and walk." 12 They asked him, "Who is the man who told you to do this?" 13 But the man who had been healed did not know who Jesus was, for there was a crowd in that place, and Jesus had slipped away. 14 Afterward, Jesus found him in the Temple and said, "Listen, you are well now; so stop sinning or something worse may happen to you." 15 Then the man left and told the Jewish authorities that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 So they began to persecute Jesus, because he had done this healing on a Sabbath. 17 Jesus answered them, "My Father is always working, and I too must work." 18 This saying made the Jewish authorities all the more determined to kill him; not only had he broken the Sabbath law, but he had said that God was his own Father and in this way had made himself equal with God. 19 So Jesus answered them, "I tell you the truth: the Son can do nothing on his own; he does only what he sees his Father doing. What the Father does, the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. He will show him even greater things to do than this, and you will all be amazed. 21 Just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, in the same way the Son gives life to those he wants to. 22 Nor does the Father himself judge anyone. He has given his Son the full right to judge, 23 so that all will honor the Son in the same way as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24 "I am telling you the truth: those who hear my words and believe in him who sent me have eternal life. They will not be judged, but have already passed from death to life.
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