2 Chronicles 35; 2 Chronicles 36

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2 Chronicles 35

1 King Josiah celebrated the Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem. The Passover lamb was killed on the fourteenth day of the first month.
2 Josiah chose the priests to do their duties, and he encouraged them as they served in the Temple of the Lord.
3 The Levites taught the Israelites and were made holy for service to the Lord. Josiah said to them, "Put the Holy Ark in the Temple that David's son Solomon, the king of Israel, built. Do not carry it from place to place on your shoulders anymore. Now serve the Lord your God and his people Israel.
4 Prepare yourselves by your family groups for service, and do the jobs that King David and his son Solomon gave you to do.
5 "Stand in the holy place with a group of the Levites for each family group of the people.
6 Kill the Passover lambs, and make yourselves holy to the Lord. Prepare the lambs for your relatives, the people of Israel, as the Lord through Moses commanded us to do."
7 Josiah gave the Israelites thirty thousand sheep and goats to kill for the Passover sacrifices, and he gave them three thousand cattle. They were all his own animals.
8 Josiah's officers also gave willingly to the people, the priests, and the Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, the officers in charge of the Temple, gave the priests twenty-six hundred lambs and goats and three hundred cattle for Passover sacrifices.
9 Conaniah, his brothers Shemaiah and Nethanel, and Hashabiah, Jeiel, and Jozabad gave the Levites five thousand sheep and goats and five hundred cattle for Passover sacrifices. These men were leaders of the Levites.
10 When everything was ready for the Passover service, the priests and Levites went to their places, as the king had commanded.
11 The Passover lambs were killed. Then the Levites skinned the animals and gave the blood to the priests, who sprinkled it on the altar.
12 Then they gave the animals for the burnt offerings to the different family groups so the burnt offerings could be offered to the Lord as was written in the book of Moses. They also did this with the cattle.
13 The Levites roasted the Passover sacrifices over the fire as they were commanded, and they boiled the holy offerings in pots, kettles, and pans. Then they quickly gave the meat to the people.
14 After this was finished, the Levites prepared meat for themselves and for the priests, the descendants of Aaron. The priests worked until night, offering the burnt offerings and burning the fat of the sacrifices.
15 The Levite singers from Asaph's family stood in the places chosen for them by King David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, the king's seer. The gatekeepers at each gate did not have to leave their places, because their fellow Levites had prepared everything for them for the Passover.
16 So everything was done that day for the worship of the Lord, as King Josiah commanded. The Passover was celebrated, and the burnt offerings were offered on the Lord's altar.
17 The Israelites who were there celebrated the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days.
18 The Passover had not been celebrated like this in Israel since the prophet Samuel was alive. None of the kings of Israel had ever celebrated a Passover like it was celebrated by King Josiah, the priests, the Levites, the people of Judah and Israel who were there, and the people of Jerusalem.
19 This Passover was celebrated in the eighteenth year Josiah was king.
20 After Josiah did all this for the Temple, Neco king of Egypt led an army to attack Carchemish, a town on the Euphrates River. And Josiah marched out to fight against Neco.
21 But Neco sent messengers to Josiah, saying, "King Josiah, there should not be war between us. I did not come to fight you, but my enemies. God told me to hurry, and he is on my side. So don't fight God, or he will destroy you."
22 But Josiah did not go away. He wore different clothes so no one would know who he was. Refusing to listen to what Neco said at God's command, Josiah went to fight on the plain of Megiddo.
23 In the battle King Josiah was shot by archers. He told his servants, "Take me away because I am badly wounded."
24 So they took him out of his chariot and put him in another chariot and carried him to Jerusalem. There he died and was buried in the graves where his ancestors were buried. All the people of Judah and Jerusalem were very sad because he was dead.
25 Jeremiah wrote some sad songs about Josiah. Even to this day all the men and women singers remember and honor Josiah with these songs. It became a custom in Israel to sing these songs that are written in the collection of sad songs.
27 The other things Josiah did as king, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. It tells how he loved what was written in the Lord's teachings.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 Chronicles 36

1 The people of Judah chose Josiah's son Jehoahaz and made him king in Jerusalem in his father's place.
2 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he was king in Jerusalem for three months.
3 Then King Neco of Egypt removed Jehoahaz from being king in Jerusalem. Neco made the people of Judah pay about seventy-five hundred pounds of silver and about seventy-five pounds of gold.
4 The king of Egypt made Jehoahaz's brother Eliakim the king of Judah and Jerusalem and changed his name to Jehoiakim. But Neco took his brother Jehoahaz to Egypt.
5 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he was king in Jerusalem for eleven years. He did what the Lord his God said was wrong.
6 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked Judah, captured Jehoiakim, put bronze chains on him, and took him to Babylon.
7 Nebuchadnezzar removed some of the things from the Temple of the Lord, took them to Babylon, and put them in his own palace.
8 The other things Jehoiakim did as king, the hateful things he did, and everything he was guilty of doing, are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. And Jehoiakim's son Jehoiachin became king in his place.
9 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king of Judah, and he was king in Jerusalem for three months and ten days. He did what the Lord said was wrong.
10 In the spring King Nebuchadnezzar sent for Jehoiachin and brought him and some valuable treasures from the Temple of the Lord to Babylon. Then Nebuchadnezzar made Jehoiachin's uncle Zedekiah the king of Judah and Jerusalem.
11 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king of Judah, and he was king in Jerusalem for eleven years.
12 Zedekiah did what the Lord his God said was wrong. The prophet Jeremiah spoke messages from the Lord, but Zedekiah did not obey.
13 Zedekiah turned against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had forced him to swear in God's name to be loyal to him. But Zedekiah became stubborn and refused to obey the Lord, the God of Israel.
14 Also, all the leaders of the priests and the people of Judah became more wicked, following the evil example of the other nations. The Lord had made the Temple in Jerusalem holy, but the leaders made it unholy.
15 The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent prophets again and again to warn his people, because he had pity on them and on his Temple.
16 But they made fun of God's prophets and hated God's messages. They refused to listen to the prophets until, finally, the Lord became so angry with his people that he could not be stopped.
17 So God brought the king of Babylon to attack them. The king killed the young men even when they were in the Temple. He had no mercy on the young men or women, the old men or those who were sick. God handed all of them over to Nebuchadnezzar.
18 Nebuchadnezzar carried away to Babylon all the things from the Temple of God, both large and small, and all the treasures from the Temple of the Lord and from the king and his officers.
19 Nebuchadnezzar and his army set fire to God's Temple and broke down Jerusalem's wall and burned all the palaces. They took or destroyed every valuable thing in Jerusalem.
20 Nebuchadnezzar took captive to Babylon the people who were left alive, and he forced them to be slaves for him and his descendants. They remained there as slaves until the Persian kingdom defeated Babylon.
21 And so what the Lord had told Israel through the prophet Jeremiah happened: The country was an empty wasteland for seventy years to make up for the years of Sabbath restn that the people had not kept.
22 In the first year Cyrus was king of Persia, the Lord had Cyrus send an announcement to his whole kingdom. This happened so the Lord's message spoken by Jeremiah would come true. He wrote:
23 This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has appointed me to build a Temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Now may the Lord your God be with all of you who are his people. You are free to go to Jerusalem.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.