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2 Chronicles 32; 2 Chronicles 33; 2 Chronicles 34

1 After Hezekiah did all these things to serve the Lord, Sennacherib king of Assyria came and attacked Judah. He and his army surrounded and attacked the strong, walled cities, hoping to take them for himself. 2 Hezekiah knew that Sennacherib had come to Jerusalem to attack it. 3 So Hezekiah and his officers and army commanders decided to cut off the water from the springs outside the city. So the officers and commanders helped Hezekiah. 4 Many people came and cut off all the springs and the stream that flowed through the land. They said, "The king of Assyria will not find much water when he comes here." 5 Then Hezekiah made Jerusalem stronger. He rebuilt all the broken parts of the wall and put towers on it. He also built another wall outside the first one and strengthened the area that was filled in on the east side of the old part of Jerusalem. He also made many weapons and shields. 6 Hezekiah put army commanders over the people and met with them at the open place near the city gate. Hezekiah encouraged them, saying, 7 "Be strong and brave. Don't be afraid or worried because of the king of Assyria or his large army. There is a greater power with us than with him. 8 He only has men, but we have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles." The people were encouraged by the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. 9 After this King Sennacherib of Assyria and all his army surrounded and attacked Lachish. Then he sent his officers to Jerusalem with this message for King Hezekiah of Judah and all the people of Judah in Jerusalem: 10 Sennacherib king of Assyria says this: "You have nothing to trust in to help you. It is no use for you to stay in Jerusalem under attack. 11 Hezekiah says to you, 'The Lord our God will save us from the king of Assyria,' but he is fooling you. If you stay in Jerusalem, you will die from hun- ger and thirst. 12 Hezekiah himself removed your Lord's places of worship and altars. He told you people of Judah and Jerusalem that you must worship and burn incense on only one altar. 13 "You know what my ancestors and I have done to all the people in other nations. The gods of those nations could not save their people from my power. 14 My ancestors destroyed those nations; none of their gods could save them from me. So your god cannot save you from my power. 15 Do not let Hezekiah fool you or trick you, and do not be-lieve him. No god of any nation or kingdom has been able to save his people from me or my ancestors. Your god is even less able to save you from me." 16 Sennacherib's officers said worse things against the Lord God and his servant Hezekiah. 17 King Sennacherib also wrote letters insulting the Lord, the God of Israel. They spoke against him, saying, "The gods of the other nations could not save their people from me. In the same way Hezekiah's god won't be able to save his people from me." 18 Then the king's officers shouted in Hebrew, calling out to the people of Jerusalem who were on the city wall. The officers wanted to scare the people away so they could capture Jerusalem. 19 They spoke about the God of Jerusalem as though he were like the gods the people of the world worshiped, which are made by human hands. 20 King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz prayed to heaven about this. 21 Then the Lord sent an angel who killed all the soldiers, leaders, and officers in the camp of the king of Assyria. So the king went back to his own country in disgrace. When he went into the temple of his god, some of his own sons killed him with a sword. 22 So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the people in Jerusalem from Sennacherib king of Assyria and from all other people. He took care of them on every side. 23 Many people brought gifts for the Lord to Jerusalem, and they also brought valuable gifts to King Hezekiah of Judah. From then on all the nations respected Hezekiah. 24 At that time Hezekiah became so sick he almost died. When he prayed to the Lord, the Lord spoke to him and gave him a sign. 25 But Hezekiah did not thank God for his kindness, because he was so proud. So the Lord was angry with him and the people of Judah and Jerusalem. 26 But later Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem were sorry and stopped being proud, so the Lord did not punish them while Hezekiah was alive. 27 Hezekiah had many riches and much honor. He made treasuries for his silver, gold, gems, spices, shields, and other valuable things. 28 He built storage buildings for grain, new wine, and oil and stalls for all the cattle and pens for the sheep. 29 He also built many towns. He had many flocks and herds, because God had given Hezekiah much wealth. 30 It was Hezekiah who cut off the upper pool of the Gihon spring and made those waters flow straight down to the west side of the older part of Jerusalem. And Hezekiah was successful in everything he did. 31 But one time the leaders of Babylon sent messengers to Hezekiah, asking him about a strange signn that had happened in the land. When they came, God left Hezekiah alone to test him so he could know everything that was in Hezekiah's heart. 32 Hezekiah's love for God and the other things he did as king are written in the vision of the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. This is in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 33 Hezekiah died and was buried on a hill, where the graves of David's ancestors are. All the people of Judah and Jerusalem honored Hezekiah when he died, and his son Manasseh became king in his place.
1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he was king for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. 2 He did what the Lord said was wrong. He did the hateful things the nations had done -- the nations that the Lord had forced out of the land ahead of the Israelites. 3 Manasseh's father, Hezekiah, had torn down the places where gods were worshiped, but Manasseh rebuilt them. He also built altars for the Baal gods, and he made Asherah idols and worshiped all the stars of the sky and served them. 4 The Lord had said about the Temple, "I will be worshiped in Jerusalem forever," but Manasseh built altars in the Temple of the Lord. 5 He built altars to worship the stars in the two courtyards of the Temple of the Lord. 6 He made his children pass through fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom. He practiced magic and witchcraft and told the future by explaining signs and dreams. He got advice from mediums and fortune-tellers. He did many things the Lord said were wrong, which made the Lord angry. 7 Manasseh carved an idol and put it in the Temple of God. God had said to David and his son Solomon about the Temple, "I will be worshiped forever in this Temple and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel. 8 I will never again make the Israelites leave the land I gave to their ancestors. But they must obey everything I have commanded them in all the teachings, rules, and commands I gave them through Moses." 9 But Manasseh led the people of Judah and Jerusalem to do wrong. They did more evil than the nations the Lord had destroyed ahead of the Israelites. 10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they did not listen. 11 So the Lord brought the king of Assyria's army commanders to attack Judah. They captured Manasseh, put hooks in him, placed bronze chains on his hands, and took him to Babylon. 12 As Manasseh suffered, he begged the Lord his God for help and humbled himself before the God of his ancestors. 13 When Manasseh prayed, the Lord heard him and had pity on him. So the Lord let him return to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord is the true God. 14 After that happened, Manasseh rebuilt the outer wall of Jerusalem and made it higher. It was in the valley on the west side of the Gihon spring and went to the entrance of the Fish Gate and around the hill of Ophel. Then he put commanders in all the strong, walled cities in Judah. 15 Manasseh removed the idols of other nations, including the idol in the Temple of the Lord. He removed all the altars he had built on the Temple hill and in Jerusalem and threw them out of the city. 16 Then he set up the Lord's altar and sacrificed on it fellowship offerings and offerings to show thanks to God. Manasseh commanded all the people of Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel. 17 The people continued to offer sacrifices at the places of worship, but their sacrifices were only to the Lord their God. 18 The other things Manasseh did as king, his prayer to his God, and what the seers said to him in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel -- all are recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Israel. 19 Manasseh's prayer and God's pity for him, his sins, his unfaithfulness, the places he built for worshiping gods and the Asherah idols before he humbled himself -- all are written in the book of the seers. 20 Manasseh died and was buried in his palace. Then Manasseh's son Amon became king in his place. 21 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he was king for two years in Jerusalem. 22 He did what the Lord said was wrong, as his father Manasseh had done. Amon worshiped and offered sacrifices to all the carved idols Manasseh had made. 23 Amon did not humble himself before the Lord as his father Manasseh had done. Instead, Amon sinned even more. 24 King Amon's officers made plans against him and killed him in his palace. 25 Then the people of the land killed all those who had made plans to kill King Amon, and they made his son Josiah king in his place.
1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he ruled thirty-one years in Jerusalem. 2 He did what the Lord said was right. He lived as his ancestor David had lived, and he did not stop doing what was right. 3 In his eighth year as king while he was still young, Josiah began to obey the God of his ancestor David. In his twelfth year as king, Josiah began to remove from Judah and Jerusalem the gods, the places for worshiping gods, the Asherah idols, and the wooden and metal idols. 4 The people tore down the altars for the Baal gods as Josiah directed. Then Josiah cut down the incense altars that were above them. He broke up the Asherah idols and the wooden and metal idols and beat them into powder. Then he sprinkled the powder on the graves of the people who had offered sacrifices to these gods. 5 He burned the bones of their priests on their own altars. So Josiah removed idol worship from Judah and Jerusalem, 6 and from the towns in the areas of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon all the way to Naphtali, and in the ruins near these towns. 7 Josiah broke down the altars and Asherah idols and beat the idols into powder. He cut down all the incense altars in all of Israel. Then he went back to Jerusalem. 8 In Josiah's eighteenth year as king, he made Judah and the Temple pure again. He sent Shaphan son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the city leader, and Joah son of Joahaz the recorder to repair the Temple of the Lord, the God of Josiah. 9 These men went to Hilkiah the high priest and gave him the money the Levite gatekeepers had gathered from the people of Manasseh, Ephraim, and all the Israelites who were left alive, and also from all the people of Judah, Benjamin, and Jerusalem. This is the money they had brought into the Temple of God. 10 Then the Levites gave it to the supervisors of the work on the Temple of the Lord, and they paid the workers who rebuilt and repaired the Temple. 11 They gave money to carpenters and builders to buy cut stone and wood. The wood was used to rebuild the buildings and to make beams for them, because the kings of Judah had let the buildings fall into ruin. 12 The men did their work well. Their supervisors were Jahath and Obadiah, who were Levites from the family of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, who were from the family of Kohath. These Levites were all skilled musicians. 13 They were also in charge of the workers who carried loads and all the other workers. Some Levites worked as secretaries, officers, and gatekeepers. 14 The Levites brought out the money that was in the Temple of the Lord. As they were doing this, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Lord's Teachings that had been given through Moses. 15 Hilkiah said to Shaphan the royal secretary, "I've found the Book of the Teachings in the Temple of the Lord!" Then he gave it to Shaphan. 16 Shaphan took the book to the king and reported to Josiah, "Your officers are doing everything you told them to do. 17 They have paid out the money that was in the Temple of the Lord and have given it to the supervisors and the workers." 18 Then Shaphan the royal secretary told the king, "Hilkiah the priest has given me a book." And Shaphan read from the book to the king. 19 When the king heard the words of the Teachings, he tore his clothes to show how upset he was. 20 He gave orders to Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the royal secretary, and Asaiah, the king's servant. These were the orders: 21 "Go and ask the Lord about the words in the book that was found. Ask for me and for the people who are left alive in Israel and Judah. The Lord is very angry with us, because our ancestors did not obey the Lord's word; they did not do everything this book says to do." 22 So Hilkiah and those the king sent with him went to talk to Huldah the prophetess. She was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, who took care of the king's clothes. Huldah lived in Jerusalem, in the new area of the city. 23 She said to them, "This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me, 24 'This is what the Lord says: I will bring trouble to this place and to the people living here. I will bring all the curses that are written in the book that was read to the king of Judah. 25 The people of Judah have left me and have burned incense to other gods. They have made me angry by all the evil things they have made. So I will punish them in my anger, which will not be put out.' 26 Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to ask the Lord, 'This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says about the words you heard: 27 When you heard my words against this place and its people, you became sorry for what you had done and you humbled yourself before me. You tore your clothes to show how upset you were, and you cried in my presence. This is why I have heard you, says the Lord. 28 So I will let you die and be buried in peace. You won't see all the trouble I will bring to this place and the people living here.'" So they took her message back to the king. 29 Then the king gathered all the older leaders of Judah and Jerusalem together. 30 He went up to the Temple of the Lord, and all the people from Judah and from Jerusalem went with him. The priests, the Levites, and all the people -- from the most important to the least important -- went with him. He read to them all the words in the Book of the Agreement that was found in the Temple of the Lord. 31 The king stood by his pillar and made an agreement in the presence of the Lord to follow the Lord and obey his commands, rules, and laws with his whole being and to obey the words of the agreement written in this book. 32 Then Josiah made all the people in Jerusalem and Benjamin promise to accept the agreement. So the people of Jerusalem obeyed the agreement of God, the God of their ancestors. 33 And Josiah threw out the hateful idols from all the land that belonged to the Israelites. He led everyone in Israel to serve the Lord their God. While Josiah lived, the people obeyed the Lord, the God of their ancestors.
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