2 Chronicles 23; 2 Chronicles 24; John 15

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2 Chronicles 23

1 In the seventh year of Athaliah's reign, Jehoiada strengthened his position by making an agreement with the company commanders: Azariah, son of Jeroham, Ishmael, son of Jehohanan, Azariah, son of Obed, Maaseiah, son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat, son of Zichri.
2 They went around Judah, gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah and the leaders of the families of Israel, and came to Jerusalem.
3 The whole assembly made an agreement with the king in God's temple. Then Jehoiada said to them, "Here is the king's son. He should be king, as the LORD said about David's descendants.
4 This is what you must do: One third of you, the priests and Levites who are on duty on the day of worship, must guard the gates.
5 Another third must be at the royal palace. And another third must be at Foundation Gate. All the people must be in the courtyards of the LORD's temple.
6 No one should come into the LORD's temple except the priests and the Levites who are on duty with them. They may enter because they are holy, but all other people should follow the LORD's regulations.
7 The Levites should surround the king. Each man should have his weapon in his hand. Kill anyone who tries to come into the temple. Stay with the king wherever he goes."
8 So the Levites and all the Judeans did what the priest Jehoiada had ordered them. Each took his men who were coming on duty on the day of worship as well as those who were about to go off duty. Jehoiada had not dismissed the priestly divisions.
9 Jehoiada gave the commanders the spears and the small and large shields that had belonged to King David but were now in God's temple.
10 All the troops stood with their weapons drawn. They were stationed around the king and around the altar and the temple (from the south side to the north side of the temple).
11 Then they brought out the king's son, gave him the crown and the religious instructions, and Jehoiada and his sons made him king by anointing him. They said, "Long live the king!"
12 When Athaliah heard the people running and praising the king, she went into the LORD's temple, where the people were.
13 She looked, and the king was standing by the pillar at the entrance. The commanders and the trumpeters were by his side. All the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. The singers were leading the celebration with songs accompanied by musical instruments. As Athaliah tore her clothes [in distress], she said, "Treason, treason!"
14 Then the priest Jehoiada brought the company commanders who were in charge of the army out [of the temple]. He said to them, "Take her out of the temple. Use your sword to kill anyone who follows her." (The priest had said, "Don't kill her in the LORD's temple.")
15 So they arrested her as she entered Horse Gate of the royal palace, and they killed her there.
16 Jehoiada made a promise to the LORD on behalf of the king and his people that they would be the LORD's people.
17 Then all the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed Baal's altars and his statues and killed Mattan, the priest of Baal, in front of the altars.
18 Next, Jehoiada appointed officials to be in charge of the LORD's temple under the direction of the priests and Levites. (David had arranged them in divisions for the LORD's temple. They were appointed to sacrifice burnt offerings to the LORD as it is written in Moses' Teachings. They made these offerings with joy and singing as David had directed.)
19 Jehoiada appointed gatekeepers for the gates of the LORD's temple so that no one who was unclean for any reason could enter.
20 He took the company commanders, the nobles, the people's governors, and all the people of the land, and they brought the king from the LORD's temple. They went through Upper Gate to the royal palace and seated the king on the royal throne. The nobles, the governors of the people, and
21 all the people of the land were celebrating. But the city was quiet because they had killed Athaliah with a sword.

2 Chronicles 24

1 Joash was 7 years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for 40 years in Jerusalem. His mother was Zibiah from Beersheba.
2 Joash did what the LORD considered right, as long as the priest Jehoiada lived.
3 Jehoiada got Joash two wives, and Joash had sons and daughters.
4 After this, Joash wanted to renovate the LORD's temple.
5 He gathered the priests and the Levites and said to them, "Go to the cities of Judah, and collect money throughout Israel to repair the temple of your God every year. Do it immediately!" But the Levites didn't do it immediately.
6 So the king called for the chief priest Jehoiada and asked him, "Why didn't you require the Levites to bring the contributions from Judah and Jerusalem? The LORD's servant Moses and the assembly had required Israel to give contributions for the use of the tent containing the words of God's promise."
7 (The sons of that wicked woman Athaliah had broken into God's temple and used all the holy things of the LORD's temple [to worship] other gods--the Baals.)
8 The king issued an order, and they made a box and placed it outside the gate of the LORD's temple.
9 Then they issued a proclamation in Judah and Jerusalem that the contributions should be brought to the LORD. (In the desert the LORD's servant Moses had required Israel to make contributions.)
10 All the officials and all the people were overjoyed. They brought the money and dropped it into the box until it was full.
11 Whenever the Levites brought the box to the king's officers and they saw a lot of money, the king's scribe and the chief priest's officer would empty the box and put it back in its place. They would do this every day, so they collected a lot of money.
12 The king and Jehoiada would give the money to the foremen who were working on the LORD's temple, and they hired masons and carpenters to renovate the LORD's temple. They also hired men who worked with iron and bronze to repair the LORD's temple.
13 As the men worked, the project progressed under the foremen's guidance. They restored God's temple to its proper condition and reinforced it.
14 When they finished, they brought the rest of the money to the king and Jehoiada, who used it to make utensils for the LORD's temple. They made dishes and gold and silver utensils for the service and for the offerings. As long as Jehoiada lived, they sacrificed burnt offerings in the LORD's temple.
15 When Jehoiada was old and had lived out his years, he died. He was 130 years old when he died.
16 He was buried in the City of David with the kings because of the good he had done in Israel for God and the temple.
17 After he died, the officials of Judah bowed in front of the king with their faces touching the ground. Then the king listened to their advice.
18 They abandoned the temple of the LORD God of their ancestors and worshiped idols and the poles dedicated to the goddess Asherah. This offense of theirs brought God's anger upon Judah and Jerusalem.
19 The LORD sent them prophets to bring them back to himself. The prophets warned them, but they wouldn't listen.
20 God's Spirit gave Zechariah, son of the priest Jehoiada, strength. Zechariah stood in front of the people and said to them, "This is what God says: Why are you breaking the LORD's commands? You won't prosper that way! The LORD has abandoned you because you have abandoned him."
21 But they plotted against Zechariah, and by the king's order they stoned him to death in the courtyard of the LORD's temple.
22 King Joash did not remember how kind Zechariah's father, Jehoiada, had been to him. Instead, he killed Jehoiada's son. As Zechariah died, he said, "May the LORD see [this] and get revenge!"
23 At the end of the year, the Aramean army attacked Joash. They came to Judah and Jerusalem and destroyed all the people's leaders. The Arameans sent all the loot they took from Judah and Jerusalem to the king of Damascus.
24 The Aramean army had come with a small number of men, but the LORD handed Joash's large army over to them because Joash's soldiers had abandoned the LORD God of their ancestors. So the Arameans carried out [the LORD's] judgment on Joash.
25 When the Arameans withdrew, they left him suffering from many wounds. His own officials plotted against him for murdering the son of the priest Jehoiada. They killed Joash in his bed. When he died, they buried him in the City of David, but they didn't bury him in the tombs of the kings.
26 These were the men who conspired against him: Zabad, son of an Ammonite woman named Shimeath, and Jehozabad, son of a Moabite woman named Shimrith.
27 The record about his sons, the many divine revelations against him, and the rebuilding of God's temple is in the notes made in the Book of the Kings. His son Amaziah succeeded him as king.

John 15

1 [Then Jesus said,] "I am the true vine, and my Father takes care of the vineyard.
2 He removes every one of my branches that doesn't produce fruit. He also prunes every branch that does produce fruit to make it produce more fruit.
3 "You are already clean because of what I have told you.
4 Live in me, and I will live in you. A branch cannot produce any fruit by itself. It has to stay attached to the vine. In the same way, you cannot produce fruit unless you live in me.
5 "I am the vine. You are the branches. Those who live in me while I live in them will produce a lot of fruit. But you can't produce anything without me.
6 Whoever doesn't live in me is thrown away like a branch and dries up. Branches like this are gathered, thrown into a fire, and burned.
7 If you live in me and what I say lives in you, then ask for anything you want, and it will be yours.
8 You give glory to my Father when you produce a lot of fruit and therefore show that you are my disciples.
9 "I have loved you the same way the Father has loved me. So live in my love.
10 If you obey my commandments, you will live in my love. I have obeyed my Father's commandments, and in that way I live in his love.
11 I have told you this so that you will be as joyful as I am, and your joy will be complete.
12 Love each other as I have loved you. This is what I'm commanding you to do.
13 The greatest love you can show is to give your life for your friends.
14 You are my friends if you obey my commandments.
15 I don't call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn't know what his master is doing. But I've called you friends because I've made known to you everything that I've heard from my Father.
16 You didn't choose me, but I chose you. I have appointed you to go, to produce fruit that will last, and to ask the Father in my name to give you whatever you ask for.
17 Love each other. This is what I'm commanding you to do.
18 "If the world hates you, realize that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If you had anything in common with the world, the world would love you as one of its own. But you don't have anything in common with the world. I chose you from the world, and that's why the world hates you.
20 Remember what I told you: 'A servant isn't greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they did what I said, they will also do what you say.
21 Indeed, they will do all this to you because you are committed to me, since they don't know the one who sent me.
22 If I hadn't come and spoken to them, they wouldn't have any sin. But now they have no excuse for their sin.
23 The person who hates me also hates my Father.
24 If I hadn't done among them what no one else has done, they wouldn't have any sin. But now they have seen and hated both me and my Father.
25 In this way what is written in their Scriptures has come true: 'They hate me for no reason.'
26 "The helper whom I will send to you from the Father will come. This helper, the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father, will declare the truth about me.
27 You will declare the truth, too, because you have been with me from the beginning."