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2 Kings 20; 2 Kings 21; 2 Kings 22

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2 Kings 20

1 In those days Hezekiah became very sick. He knew he was about to die. The prophet Isaiah, the son of Amoz, went to him. Isaiah told Hezekiah, "The LORD says, 'Put everything in order. Make out your will. You are going to die soon. You will not get well again.' "
2 Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall. He prayed to the Lord. He said,
3 "Lord, please remember how faithful I've been to you. I've lived the way you wanted me to. I've served you with all my heart. I've done what is good in your sight." And Hezekiah cried bitterly.
4 Isaiah was leaving the middle courtyard. Before he had left it, a message came to him from the Lord. He said,
5 "Go back and speak to Hezekiah. He is the leader of my people. Tell him, 'The Lord, the God of King David, says, "I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. And I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to my temple.
6 I will add 15 years to your life. And I will save you and this city from the powerful hand of the king of Assyria. I will guard this city. I will do it for myself. And I will do it for my servant David." ' "
7 Then Isaiah said, "Press some figs together. Spread them on a piece of cloth." So that's what they did. Then they applied it to Hezekiah's boil. And he got well again.
8 Hezekiah had said to Isaiah, "You say the LORD will heal me. You say that I'll go up to his temple on the third day from now. What will the miraculous sign be to prove he'll really do that?"
9 Isaiah answered, "The LORD will do what he has promised. Here is his sign to you. Do you want the shadow the sun makes to go forward ten steps? Or do you want it to go back ten steps?"
10 "It's easy for the shadow to go forward ten steps," said Hezekiah. "So have it go back ten steps."
11 Then the prophet Isaiah called out to the Lord. And the LORD made the shadow go back ten steps. It went back the ten steps it had gone down on the stairway Ahaz had made.
12 At that time Merodach-Baladan, the king of Babylonia, sent Hezekiah letters and a gift. He had heard that Hezekiah had been sick. Merodach-Baladan was the son of Baladan.
13 Hezekiah received the messengers. He showed them everything that was in his storerooms. He showed them the silver and gold. He showed them the spices and the fine olive oil. He showed them where he kept his weapons. And he showed them all of his treasures. In fact, he showed them everything that was in his palace and in his whole kingdom.
14 Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah. He asked him, "What did those men say? Where did they come from?" "They came from a land far away," Hezekiah said. "They came from Babylon."
15 The prophet asked, "What did they see in your palace?" "They saw everything in my palace," Hezekiah said. "I showed them all of my treasures."
16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, "Listen to the LORD's message. He says,
17 'You can be sure the time will come when everything in your palace will be carried off to Babylon. Everything the kings before you have stored up until this day will be taken away. There will not be anything left,' says the Lord.
18 'Some of the members of your family line will be taken away. They will be your own flesh and blood. They will include the children who will be born into your family line in years to come. And they will serve the king of Babylonia in his palace.' "
19 "The message the LORD has spoken through you is good," Hezekiah replied. He thought, "There will be peace and safety while I'm still living."
20 The other events of the rule of Hezekiah are written down. Everything he accomplished is written down. That includes how he made the pool and the tunnel. He used them to bring water into Jerusalem. All of those things are written in the official records of the kings of Judah.
21 Hezekiah joined the members of his family who had already died. His son Manasseh became the next king after him.

2 Kings 21

1 Manasseh was 12 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 55 years. His mother's name was Hephzibah.
2 Manasseh did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He followed the practices of the nations. The LORD hated those practices. He had driven those nations out to make room for the people of Israel.
3 Manasseh rebuilt the high places. His father Hezekiah had destroyed them. Manasseh also set up altars to the god Baal. He made a pole that was used to worship the goddess Asherah. Ahab, the king of Israel, had done those same things. Manasseh even bowed down to all of the stars. And he worshiped them.
4 He built altars in the LORD's temple. The LORD had said about his temple, "I will put my Name there in Jerusalem."
5 In both courtyards of the LORD's temple Manasseh built altars to honor all of the stars.
6 He sacrificed his own son in the fire to another god. He practiced all kinds of evil magic. He got messages from those who had died. He talked to the spirits of the dead. He did many things that were evil in the sight of the Lord. He made him very angry.
7 Manasseh had carved a pole for worshiping Asherah. He put it in the temple. The LORD had spoken to David and his son Solomon about the temple. He had said, "My Name will be in this temple and in Jerusalem forever. Out of all of the cities in the tribes of Israel I have chosen Jerusalem.
8 I gave this land to your people who lived long ago. I will not make the Israelites wander away from it again. But they must be careful to do everything I commanded them. They must obey the whole Law that my servant Moses gave them."
9 But the people didn't pay any attention. Manasseh led them down the wrong path. They did more evil things than the nations the LORD had destroyed to make room for the people of Israel.
10 The LORD spoke through his servants the prophets. He said,
11 "Manasseh, the king of Judah, has committed terrible sins. I hate them. Manasseh has done more evil things than the Amorites who were in the land before him. And he has led Judah to commit sin by worshiping his statues of gods.
12 "I am the God of Israel. I tell you, 'I am going to bring trouble on Jerusalem and Judah. It will be so horrible that the ears of everyone who hears about it will ring.
13 I will measure out punishment against Jerusalem, just as I did against Samaria. I used a plumb line against the royal family of Ahab to prove that they did not measure up to my standards. I will use the same plumb line against Jerusalem. I will wipe out Jerusalem, just as someone wipes a dish. I will wipe it and turn it upside down.
14 I will desert those who remain among my people. I will hand them over to their enemies. All of their enemies will rob them.
15 " 'That is because my people have done what is evil in my sight. They have made me very angry. They have done that from the day their own people came out of Egypt until this very day.' "
16 Manasseh also spilled the blood of many people who weren't guilty of doing anything wrong. He spilled so much blood that he filled Jerusalem with it from one end of the city to the other. And he caused Judah to commit sin. So they also did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.
17 The other events of the rule of Manasseh are written down. Everything he did is written down. That includes the sin he committed. All of those things are written in the official records of the kings of Judah.
18 Manasseh joined the members of his family who had already died. His body was buried in his palace garden. It was called the garden of Uzza. Manasseh's son Amon became the next king after him.
19 Amon was 22 years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for two years. His mother's name was Meshullemeth. She was the daughter of Haruz. She was from Jotbah.
20 Amon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, just as his father Manasseh had done.
21 He lived the way his father had lived. He worshiped the statues of the gods his father had worshiped. He bowed down to them.
22 He deserted the Lord, the God of his people. He didn't live the way the LORD wanted him to.
23 Amon's officials made plans against him. They murdered the king in his palace.
24 Then the people of the land killed all those who had made plans against King Amon. They made his son Josiah king in his place.
25 The other events of the rule of Amon are written down. Everything he did is written down. All of those things are written in the official records of the kings of Judah.
26 Amon's body was buried in his grave in the garden of Uzza. His son Josiah became the next king after him.

2 Kings 22

1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 31 years. His mother's name was Jedidah. She was the daughter of Adaiah. She was from Bozkath.
2 Josiah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. He lived the way King David had lived. He didn't turn away from it to the right or the left.
3 King Josiah sent his secretary Shaphan to the LORD's temple. It was in the 18th year of Josiah's rule. Shaphan was the son of Azaliah. Azaliah was the son of Meshullam. Josiah said,
4 "Go up to the high priest Hilkiah. Have him add up the money that has been brought into the LORD's temple. Those who guard the doors have collected it from the people.
5 "Have them put all of the money in the care of the men who have been put in charge of the work on the LORD's temple. Have them pay the workers who repair it.
6 Have them pay the builders and those who work with wood. Have them pay those who lay the stones. Also have them buy lumber and blocks of stone to repair the temple.
7 "But they don't have to report how they use the money that is given to them. That's because they are completely honest."
8 The high priest Hilkiah spoke to the secretary Shaphan. He said, "I've found the Scroll of the Law in the LORD's temple." He gave it to Shaphan, who read it.
9 Then Shaphan went to King Josiah. He told him, "Your officials have paid out the money that was in the LORD's temple. They've put it in the care of the workers and directors there."
10 Shaphan continued, "The priest Hilkiah has given me a scroll." Shaphan read some of it to the king.
11 The king heard the words of the Scroll of the Law. When he did, he tore his royal robes.
12 He gave orders to the priest Hilkiah, Ahikam, Acbor, the secretary Shaphan and Asaiah. Ahikam was the son of Shaphan. Acbor was the son of Micaiah. And Asaiah was the king's attendant. Josiah commanded them,
13 "Go. Ask the LORD for advice. Ask him about what is written in this scroll that has been found. Do it for me. Also do it for the people and the whole nation of Judah. The LORD's anger is burning against us. That's because our people before us didn't obey the words of this scroll. They didn't do everything that is written there about us."
14 The priest Hilkiah went to speak to the prophet Huldah. So did Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan and Asaiah. Huldah was the wife of Shallum. Shallum was the son of Tikvah. Tikvah was the son of Harhas. Shallum took care of the sacred robes. Huldah lived in the New Quarter of Jerusalem.
15 She said to them, "The LORD is the God of Israel. He says, 'Tell the man who sent you to me,
16 "The LORD says, 'I am going to bring horrible trouble on this place and its people. Everything that is written in the scroll the king of Judah has read will take place.
17 " ' " 'That is because the people have deserted me. They have burned incense to other gods. They have made me very angry because of the statues of gods their hands have made. So my anger will burn against this place. The fire of my anger will not be put out.' " '
18 "The king of Judah sent you to ask the LORD for advice. Tell him, 'The LORD is the God of Israel. He has a message for you about the things you heard. He says,
19 "Your heart was tender. You made yourself low in my sight. You heard what I spoke against this place and its people. I said they would be under a curse. I told them they would be destroyed. You tore your royal robes and sobbed. And I have heard you," announces the Lord.
20 " ' "You will join the members of your family who have already died. Your body will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all of the trouble I am going to bring on this place." ' " Huldah's answer was taken back to the king.