2 Kings 19; 2 Kings 20; 2 Kings 21; John 4:1-30

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2 Kings 19

1 When King Hezekiah heard the message, he tore his clothes in grief, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the LORD's temple.
2 Then he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, Shebna the scribe, and the leaders of the priests, clothed in sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz.
3 They said to him, "This is what Hezekiah says: Today is a day filled with misery, punishment, and disgrace. We are like a woman who is about to give birth but doesn't have the strength to do it.
4 The LORD your God may have heard all the words of the field commander. His master, the king of Assyria, sent him to defy the living God. The LORD your God may punish him because of the message that the LORD your God heard. Pray for the few people who are left."
5 So King Hezekiah's men went to Isaiah.
6 Isaiah answered them, "Say this to your master, 'This is what the LORD says: Don't be afraid of the message that you heard when the Assyrian king's assistants slandered me.
7 I'm going to put a spirit in him so that he will hear a rumor and return to his own country. I'll have him assassinated in his own country.'"
8 The field commander returned and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah. He had heard that the king left Lachish.
9 Now, Sennacherib heard that King Tirhakah of Sudan was coming to fight him. Sennacherib sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,
10 "Tell King Hezekiah of Judah, 'Don't let the god whom you trust deceive you by saying that Jerusalem will not be put under the control of the king of Assyria.
11 You heard what the kings of Assyria did to all countries, how they totally destroyed them. Will you be rescued?
12 Did the gods of the nations which my ancestors destroyed rescue Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar?
13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, and the king of the cities of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?'"
14 Hezekiah took the letters from the messengers, read them, and went to the LORD's temple. He spread them out in front of the LORD
15 and prayed to the LORD, "LORD of Armies, God of Israel, you are enthroned over the angels. You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the world. You made heaven and earth.
16 Turn your ear toward me, LORD, and listen. Open your eyes, LORD, and see. Listen to the message that Sennacherib sent to defy the living God.
17 It is true, LORD, that the kings of Assyria have leveled nations.
18 They have thrown the gods from these countries into fires because these gods aren't real gods. They're only wooden and stone statues made by human hands. So the Assyrians have destroyed them.
19 Now, LORD our God, rescue us from Assyria's control so that all the kingdoms on earth will know that you alone are the LORD God."
20 Then Isaiah, son of Amoz, sent a message to Hezekiah, "This is what the LORD God of Israel says: You prayed to me about King Sennacherib of Assyria. I have heard you.
21 This is the message that the LORD speaks to him, 'My dear people in Zion despise you and laugh at you. My people in Jerusalem shake their heads behind your back.
22 Whom are you defying and slandering? Against whom are you shouting? Who are you looking at so arrogantly? It is the Holy One of Israel!
23 Through your servants you defy the Lord and say, "With my many chariots I'll ride up the high mountains, up the slopes of Lebanon. I'll cut down its tallest cedars and its finest cypresses. I'll come to its most distant borders and its most fertile forests.
24 I'll dig wells and drink foreign water. I'll dry up all the streams of Egypt with the trampling of my feet."
25 "'Haven't you heard? I did this long ago. I planned it in the distant past. Now I make it happen so that you will turn fortified cities into piles of rubble.
26 Those who live in these cities are weak, discouraged, and ashamed. They will be like plants in the field, like fresh, green grass on the roofs, scorched before it sprouted.
27 I know when you [get up] and sit down, when you go out and come in, and how you rage against me.
28 Since you rage against me and your boasting has reached my ears, I will put my hook in your nose and my bridle in your mouth. I will make you go back the way you came.
29 "'And this will be a sign for you, Hezekiah: You will eat what grows by itself this year and next year. But in the third year you will plant and harvest, plant vineyards, and eat what is produced.
30 Those few people from the nation of Judah who escape will again take root and produce crops.
31 Those few people will go out from Jerusalem, and those who escape will go out of Mount Zion. The LORD is determined to do this.'
32 "This is what the LORD says about the king of Assyria: He will never come into this city, shoot an arrow here, hold a shield in front of it, or put up dirt ramps to attack it.
33 He will go back the way he came, and he won't come into this city," declares the LORD of Armies.
34 "I will shield this city to rescue it for my sake and for the sake of my servant David."
35 It happened that night. The LORD's angel went out and killed 185,000 [soldiers] in the Assyrian camp. When the Judeans got up early in the morning, they saw all the corpses.
36 Then King Sennacherib of Assyria left. He went home to Nineveh and stayed there.
37 While he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, Adrammelech and Sharezer assassinated him and escaped to the land of Ararat. His son Esarhaddon succeeded him as king.

2 Kings 20

1 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was about to die. The prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, came to him and said, "This is what the LORD says: Give final instructions to your household, because you're about to die. You won't get well."
2 Hezekiah turned to the wall and prayed to the LORD,
3 "Please, LORD, remember how I've lived faithfully and sincerely in your presence. I've done what you consider right." And he cried bitterly.
4 Isaiah hadn't gone as far as the middle courtyard when the LORD spoke his word to him:
5 "Go back and say to Hezekiah, leader of my people, 'This is what the LORD God of your ancestor David says: I've heard your prayer. I've seen your tears. Now I'm going to heal you. The day after tomorrow you will go to the LORD's temple.
6 I'll give you 15 more years to live. I'll rescue you and defend this city from the control of the king of Assyria for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.'"
7 Then Isaiah said, "Get a fig cake, and put it on the boil so that the king will get well."
8 Hezekiah asked Isaiah, "What is the sign that the LORD will heal me and that I'll go to the LORD's temple the day after tomorrow?"
9 Isaiah said, "This is your sign from the LORD that he will do what he promises. Do you want the shadow to go forward ten steps or come back ten steps?"
10 Hezekiah replied, "It's easy for the shadow to extend ten [more] steps forward. No, let it come back ten steps."
11 Then the prophet Isaiah called on the LORD, and the LORD made the shadow that had gone down on Ahaz's stairway go back up ten steps.
12 At that time Baladan's son, King Merodach Baladan of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah because he heard that Hezekiah had been sick.
13 Hezekiah was so happy with them that he showed the messengers his warehouse: the silver, gold, balsam, fine olive oil, his entire armory, and everything in his treasury. Hezekiah showed them everything in his palace and every corner of his kingdom.
14 Then the prophet Isaiah came to King Hezekiah and asked, "What did these men say? And where did they come from?" Hezekiah answered, "They came to me from the distant country of Babylon."
15 Isaiah asked, "What did they see in your palace?" Hezekiah answered, "They saw everything in my palace, and I showed them everything in my treasury."
16 Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Hear the word of the LORD!
17 The LORD says, 'The days are going to come when everything in your palace, everything your ancestors have stored up to this day, will be taken away to Babylon. Nothing will be left.
18 Some of your own descendants will be taken away. They will become officials in the palace of the king of Babylon.'"
19 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, "The LORD's word that you have spoken is good." He added, "Isn't it enough if there is peace and security as long as I live?"
20 Isn't everything else about Hezekiah, all his heroic acts and how he made the pool and tunnel to bring water into the city, written in the official records of the kings of Judah?
21 Hezekiah lay down in death with his ancestors. His son Manasseh succeeded him as king.

2 Kings 21

1 Manasseh was 12 years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for 55 years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hephzibah.
2 He did what the LORD considered evil by copying the disgusting things done by the nations that the LORD had forced out of the Israelites' way.
3 He rebuilt the illegal places of worship that his father Hezekiah had destroyed. He set up altars dedicated to Baal and made a pole dedicated to the goddess Asherah as King Ahab of Israel had done. Manasseh, like Ahab, worshiped and served the entire army of heaven.
4 He built altars in the LORD's temple, where the LORD had said, "I will put my name in Jerusalem."
5 In the two courtyards of the LORD's temple, he built altars for the entire army of heaven.
6 He burned his son as a sacrifice, consulted fortunetellers, cast evil spells, and appointed [royal] mediums and psychics. He did many things that made the LORD furious.
7 Manasseh had an idol of Asherah made. Then he set it up in the temple, where the LORD had said to David and his son Solomon, "I have chosen this temple and Jerusalem from all the tribes of Israel. I will put my name here forever.
8 I will never again make Israel's feet wander from the land that I gave to their ancestors if they will obey all the commands and all the Teachings that my servant Moses gave them."
9 (But they wouldn't obey.) Manasseh misled Israel so that they did more evil things than the nations that the LORD had destroyed when the Israelites arrived in the land.
10 Then the LORD spoke through his servants the prophets:
11 "King Manasseh of Judah has done disgusting things, things more evil than what the Amorites who [were here] before him had done. Manasseh has also made Judah sin by [worshiping] his idols.
12 So this is what I, the LORD God of Israel, said: I'm going to bring such a disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears about it will ring.
13 I will measure Jerusalem with the measuring line used for Samaria and the plumb line used for Ahab's dynasty. I will wipe out Jerusalem in the same way that a dish is wiped out and turned upside down.
14 I will abandon the rest of my people. I will put them under the control of their enemies, and they will become property that their enemies capture.
15 I will do this because they have done what I consider evil and have been making me furious from the time their ancestors left Egypt until this day."
16 In addition to his sin that he led Judah to commit in front of the LORD, Manasseh also killed a lot of innocent people from one end of Jerusalem to the other.
17 Isn't everything else about Manasseh--everything he did, the sins he committed--written in the official records of the kings of Judah?
18 Manasseh lay down in death with his ancestors. He was buried in the garden of his own palace, in the garden of Uzza. His son Amon succeeded him as king.
19 Amon was 22 years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for 2 years in Jerusalem. His mother was Meshullemeth, daughter of Haruz from Jotbah.
20 He did what the LORD considered evil, as his father Manasseh had done.
21 He lived like his father in every way and worshiped and prayed to the idols his father had worshiped.
22 He abandoned the LORD God of his ancestors and didn't live the LORD's way.
23 Amon's officials plotted against him and killed him in his palace.
24 Then the people of the land killed everyone who had plotted against King Amon. They made his son Josiah king in his place.
25 Isn't everything else about Amon--the things he did--written in the official record of the kings of Judah?
26 He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza. His son Josiah succeeded him as king.

John 4:1-30

1 Jesus knew that the Pharisees had heard that he was making and baptizing more disciples than John.
2 (Actually, Jesus was not baptizing people. His disciples were.)
3 So he left the Judean countryside and went back to Galilee.
4 Jesus had to go through Samaria.
5 He arrived at a city in Samaria called Sychar. Sychar was near the piece of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
6 Jacob's Well was there. Jesus sat down by the well because he was tired from traveling. The time was about six o'clock in the evening.
7 A Samaritan woman went to get some water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink of water."
8 (His disciples had gone into the city to buy some food.)
9 The Samaritan woman asked him, "How can a Jewish man like you ask a Samaritan woman like me for a drink of water?" (Jews, of course, don't associate with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus replied to her, "If you only knew what God's gift is and who is asking you for a drink, you would have asked him for a drink. He would have given you living water."
11 The woman said to him, "Sir, you don't have anything to use to get water, and the well is deep. So where are you going to get this living water?
12 You're not more important than our ancestor Jacob, are you? He gave us this well. He and his sons and his animals drank water from it."
13 Jesus answered her, "Everyone who drinks this water will become thirsty again.
14 But those who drink the water that I will give them will never become thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give them will become in them a spring that gushes up to eternal life."
15 The woman told Jesus, "Sir, give me this water! Then I won't get thirsty or have to come here to get water."
16 Jesus told her, "Go to your husband, and bring him here."
17 The woman replied, "I don't have a husband." Jesus told her, "You're right when you say that you don't have a husband.
18 You've had five husbands, and the man you have now isn't your husband. You've told the truth."
19 The woman said to Jesus, "I see that you're a prophet!
20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain. But you Jews say that people must worship in Jerusalem."
21 Jesus told her, "Believe me. A time is coming when you Samaritans won't be worshiping the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem.
22 You don't know what you're worshiping. We [Jews] know what we're worshiping, because salvation comes from the Jews.
23 Indeed, the time is coming, and it is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. The Father is looking for people like that to worship him.
24 God is a spirit. Those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
25 The woman said to him, "I know that the Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will tell us everything." (Messiah is the one called Christ.)
26 Jesus told her, "I am he, and I am speaking to you now."
27 At that time his disciples returned. They were surprised that he was talking to a woman. But none of them asked him, "What do you want from her?" or "Why are you talking to her?"
28 Then the woman left her water jar and went back into the city. She told the people,
29 "Come with me, and meet a man who told me everything I've ever done. Could he be the Messiah?"
30 The people left the city and went to meet Jesus.