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2 Kings 23; 2 Kings 24; 2 Kings 25

1 Then the king gathered all the older leaders of Judah and Jerusalem together. 2 He went up to the Temple of the Lord, and all the people from Judah and Jerusalem went with him. The priests, prophets, and all the people -- from the least important to the most important -- went with him. He read to them all the words of the Book of the Agreement that was found in the Temple of the Lord. 3 The king stood by the 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. Then all the people promised to obey the agreement. 4 The king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the next rank and the gatekeepers to bring out of the Temple of the Lord everything made for Baal, Asherah, and all the stars of the sky. Then Josiah burned them outside Jerusalem in the open country of the Kidron Valley and carried their ashes to Bethel 5 The kings of Judah had chosen priests for these gods. These priests burned incense in the places where gods were worshiped in the cities of Judah and the towns around Jerusalem. They burned incense to Baal, the sun, the moon, the planets, and all the stars of the sky. But Josiah took those priests away. 6 He removed the Asherah idol from the Temple of the Lord and took it outside Jerusalem to the Kidron Valley, where he burned it and beat it into dust. Then he threw the dust on the graves of the common people. 7 He also tore down the houses of the male prostitutes who were in the Temple of the Lord, where the women did weaving for Asherah. 8 King Josiah brought all the false priests from the cities of Judah. He ruined the places where gods were worshiped, where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba. He destroyed the places of worship at the entrance to the Gate of Joshua, the ruler of the city, on the left side of the city gate. 9 The priests at the places where gods were worshiped were not allowed to serve at the Lord's altar in Jerusalem. But they could eat bread made without yeast with their brothers. 10 Josiah ruined Topheth, in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could sacrifice his son or daughter to Molech. 11 Judah's kings had placed horses at the front door of the Temple of the Lord in the courtyard near the room of Nathan-Melech, an officer. These horses were for the worship of the sun. So Josiah removed them and burned the chariots that were for sun worship also. 12 The kings of Judah had built altars on the roofn of the upstairs room of Ahaz. Josiah broke down these altars and the altars Manasseh had made in the two courtyards of the Temple of the Lord. Josiah smashed them to pieces and threw their dust into the Kidron Valley. 13 King Josiah ruined the places where gods were worshiped east of Jerusalem, south of the Mount of Olives. Solomon king of Israel had built these places. One was for Ashtoreth, the hated goddess of the Sidonians. One was for Chemosh, the hated god of Moab. And one was for Molech, the hated god of the Ammonites. 14 Josiah smashed to pieces the stone pillars they worshiped, and he cut down the Asherah idols. Then he covered the places with human bones 15 Josiah also broke down the altar at Bethel -- the place of worship made by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had led Israel to sin. Josiah burned that place, broke the stones of the altar into pieces, then beat them into dust. He also burned the Asherah idol. 16 When he turned around, he saw the graves on the mountain. He had the bones taken from the graves, and he burned them on the altar to ruin it. This happened as the Lord had said it would through the man of God. 17 Josiah asked, "What is that monument I see?" The people of the city answered, "It's the grave of the man of God who came from Judah. This prophet announced the things you have done against the altar of Bethel." 18 Josiah said, "Leave the grave alone. No one may move this man's bones." So they left his bones and the bones of the prophet who had come from Samaria. 19 The kings of Israel had built temples for worshiping gods in the cities of Samaria, which had caused the Lord to be angry. Josiah removed all those temples and did the same things as he had done at Bethel 20 He killed all the priests of those places of worship; he killed them on the altars and burned human bones on the altars. Then he went back to Jerusalem. 21 The king commanded all the people, "Celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God as it is written in this Book of the Agreement. 22 The Passover had not been celebrated like this since the judges led Israel. Nor had one like it happened while there were kings of Israel and kings of Judah. 23 This Passover was celebrated to the Lord in Jerusalem in the eighteenth year of King Josiah's rule. 24 Josiah destroyed the mediums, fortune-tellers, house gods, and idols. He also destroyed all the hated gods seen in the land of Judah and Jerusalem. This was to obey the words of the teachings written in the book Hilkiah the priest had found in the Temple of the Lord. 25 There was no king like Josiah before or after him. He obeyed the Lord with all his heart, soul, and strength, following all the Teachings of Moses. 26 Even so, the Lord did not stop his strong and terrible anger. His anger burned against Judah because of all Manasseh had done to make him angry. 27 The Lord said, "I will send Judah out of my sight, as I have sent Israel away. I will reject Jerusalem, which I chose. And I will take away the Temple about which I said, 'I will be worshiped there.'" 28 Everything else Josiah did is written in the book of the history of the kings of Judah. 29 While Josiah was king, Neco king of Egypt went to help the king of Assyria at the Euphrates River. King Josiah marched out to fight against Neco, but at Megiddo, Neco faced him and killed him. 30 Josiah's servants carried his body in a chariot from Megiddo to Jerusalem and buried him in his own grave. Then the people of Judah chose Josiah's son Jehoahaz and poured olive oil on him to make him king in his father's place. 31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he was king in Jerusalem for three months. His mother's name was Hamutal, who was the daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah. 32 Jehoahaz did what the Lord said was wrong, just as his ancestors had done. 33 King Neco took Jehoahaz prisoner at Riblah in the land of Hamath so that Jehoahaz could not rule in Jerusalem. Neco made the people of Judah pay about seventy-five hundred pounds of silver and about seventy-five pounds of gold. 34 King Neco made Josiah's son Eliakim the king in place of Josiah his father. Then Neco changed Eliakim's name to Jehoiakim. But Neco took Jehoahaz to Egypt, where he died. 35 Jehoiakim gave King Neco the silver and gold he demanded. Jehoiakim taxed the land and took silver and gold from the people of the land to give to King Neco. Each person had to pay his share. 36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he was king in Jerusalem for eleven years. His mother's name was Zebidah daughter of Pedaiah, who was from Rumah 37 Jehoiakim did what the Lord said was wrong, just as his ancestors had done.
1 While Jehoiakim was king, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon attacked the land of Judah. So Jehoiakim became Nebuchadnezzar's servant for three years. Then he turned against Nebuchadnezzar and broke away from his rule. 2 The Lord sent raiding parties from Babylon, Aram, Moab, and Ammon against Jehoiakim to destroy Judah. This happened as the Lord had said it would through his servants the prophets. 3 The Lord commanded this to happen to the people of Judah, to remove them from his presence, because of all the sins of Manasseh. 4 He had killed many innocent people and had filled Jerusalem with their blood. And the Lord would not forgive these sins. 5 The other things that happened while Jehoiakim was king and all he did are written in the book of the history of the kings of Judah. 6 Jehoiakim died, and his son Jehoiachin became king in his place. 7 The king of Egypt did not leave his land again, because the king of Babylon had captured all that belonged to the king of Egypt, from the brook of Egypt to the Euphrates River. 8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he was king three months in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Nehushta daughter of Elnathan from Jerusalem. 9 Jehoiachin did what the Lord said was wrong, just as his father had done. 10 At that time the officers of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up to Jerusalem. When they reached the city, they attacked it. 11 Nebuchadnezzar himself came to the city while his officers were attacking it. 12 Jehoiachin king of Judah surrendered to the king of Babylon, along with Jehoiachin's mother, servants, older leaders, and officers. So Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiachin a prisoner in the eighth year he was king of Babylon. 13 Nebuchadnezzar took all the treasures from the Temple of the Lord and from the palace. He cut up all the gold objects Solomon king of Israel had made for the Temple of the Lord. This happened as the Lord had said it would. 14 Nebuchadnezzar took away all the people of Jerusalem, including all the leaders, all the wealthy people, and all the craftsmen and metal workers. There were ten thousand prisoners in all. Only the poorest people in the land were left. 15 Nebuchadnezzar carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, as well as the king's mother and his wives, the officers, and the leading men of the land. They were taken captive from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 The king of Babylon also took all seven thousand soldiers, who were strong and able to fight in war, and about a thousand craftsmen and metal workers. Nebuchadnezzar took them as prisoners to Babylon. 17 Then he made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin's uncle, king in Jehoiachin's place. He also changed Mattaniah's name to Zedekiah. 18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he was king in Jerusalem for eleven years. His mother's name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiahn from Libnah. 19 Zedekiah did what the Lord said was wrong, just as Jehoiakim had done. 20 All this happened in Jerusalem and Judah because the Lord was angry with them. Finally, he threw them out of his presence. Zedekiah turned against the king of Babylon.
1 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army during Zedekiah's ninth year as king, on the tenth day of the tenth month. He made a camp around the city and piled dirt against the city walls to attack it. 2 The city was under attack until Zedekiah's eleventh year as king. 3 By the ninth day of the fourth month, the hunger was terrible in the city. There was no food for the people to eat. 4 Then the city was broken into, and the whole army ran away at night through the gate between the two walls by the king's garden. While the Babylonians were still surrounding the city, Zedekiah and his men ran away toward the Jordan Valley. 5 But the Babylonian army chased King Zedekiah and caught up with him in the plains of Jericho. All of his army was scattered from him, 6 so they captured Zedekiah and took him to the king of Babylon at Riblah. There he passed sentence on Zedekiah. 7 They killed Zedekiah's sons as he watched. Then they put out his eyes and put bronze chains on him and took him to Babylon. 8 Nebuzaradan was the commander of the king's special guards. This officer of the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem on the seventh day of the fifth month, in Nebuchadnezzar's nineteenth year as king of Babylon. 9 Nebuzaradan set fire to the Temple of the Lord and the palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building was burned. 10 The whole Babylonian army, led by the commander of the king's special guards, broke down the walls around Jerusalem. 11 Nebuzaradan, the commander of the guards, captured the people left in Jerusalem, those who had surrendered to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the people. 12 But the commander left behind some of the poorest people of the land to take care of the vineyards and fields. 13 The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars, the bronze stands, and the large bronze bowl, which was called the Sea, in the Temple of the Lord. Then they carried the bronze to Babylon. 14 They also took the pots, shovels, wick trimmers, dishes, and all the bronze objects used to serve in the Temple. 15 The commander of the king's special guards took away the pans for carrying hot coals, the bowls, and everything made of pure gold or silver. 16 There were two pillars and the large bronze bowl and the movable stands which Solomon had made for the Temple of the Lord. There was so much bronze that it could not be weighed. 17 Each pillar was about twenty-seven feet high. The bronze capital on top of the pillar was about four and one-half feet high. It was decorated with a net design and bronze pomegranates all around it. The other pillar also had a net design and was like the first pillar. 18 The commander of the guards took some prisoners -- Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest next in rank, and the three doorkeepers. 19 Of the people who were still in the city, he took the officer in charge of the fighting men, as well as five people who advised the king. He took the royal secretary who selected people for the army and sixty other men who were in the city. 20 Nebuzaradan, the commander, took all these people and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 There at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king had them killed. So the people of Judah were led away from their country as captives. 22 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon left some people in the land of Judah. He appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, as governor. 23 The army captains and their men heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor, so they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. They were Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, Jaazaniah son of the Maacathite, and their men. 24 Then Gedaliah promised these army captains and their men, "Don't be afraid of the Babylonian officers. Live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and everything will go well for you." 25 In the seventh month Ishmael son of Nethaniah, son of Elishama from the king's family, came with ten men and killed Gedaliah. They also killed the men of Judah and Babylon who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah. 26 Then all the people, from the least important to the most important, along with the army leaders, ran away to Egypt, because they were afraid of the Babylonians. 27 Jehoiachin king of Judah was held in Babylon for thirty-seven years. In the thirty-seventh year Evil-Merodach became king of Babylon, and he let Jehoiachin out of prison on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month. 28 Evil-Merodach spoke kindly to Jehoiachin and gave him a seat of honor above the seats of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 So Jehoiachin put away his prison clothes. For the rest of his life, he ate at the king's table. 30 Every day, for as long as Jehoiachin lived, the king gave him an allowance.
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