2 Corinthians 2; 2 Corinthians 3; 2 Kings 15; 2 Kings 16; Micah 5:2-15

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2 Corinthians 2

1 In fact, I made up my mind about this: not to come to you on another painful visit.
2 For if I cause you pain, then who will cheer me other than the one hurt?
3 I wrote this very thing so that when I came I wouldn't have pain from those who ought to give me joy, because I am confident about all of you that my joy is yours.
4 For out of an extremely troubled and anguished heart I wrote to you with many tears-not that you should be hurt, but that you should know the abundant love I have for you.
5 If anyone has caused pain, he has not caused pain to me, but in some degree-not to exaggerate-to all of you.
6 The punishment by the majority is sufficient for such a person,
7 so now you should forgive and comfort him instead; otherwise, this one may be overwhelmed by excessive grief.
8 Therefore I urge you to confirm your love to him.
9 It was for this purpose I wrote: so I may know your proven character, if you are obedient in everything.
10 Now to whom you forgive anything, I do too. For what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, it is for you in the presence of Christ,
11 so that we may not be taken advantage of by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his intentions.
12 When I came to Troas for the gospel of Christ, a door was opened to me by the Lord.
13 I had no rest in my spirit because I did not find my brother Titus, but I said good-bye to them and left for Macedonia.
14 But thanks be to God, who always puts us on display in Christ, and spreads through us in every place the scent of knowing Him.
15 For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
16 To some we are a scent of death leading to death, but to others, a scent of life leading to life. And who is competent for this?
17 For we are not like the many who make a trade in God's message [for profit], but as those with sincerity, we speak in Christ, as from God and before God.

2 Corinthians 3

1 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or like some, do we need letters of recommendation to you or from you?
2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, recognized and read by everyone,
3 since it is plain that you are Christ's letter, produced by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God; not on stone tablets but on tablets that are hearts of flesh.
4 We have this kind of confidence toward God through Christ:
5 not that we are competent in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our competence is from God.
6 He has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit produces life.
7 Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel were not able to look directly at Moses' face because of the glory from his face-a fading [glory]-
8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious?
9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness overflows with even more glory.
10 In fact, what had been glorious is not glorious in this case because of the glory that surpasses it.
11 For if what was fading away was glorious, what endures will be even more glorious.
12 Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness-
13 not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel could not look at the end of what was fading away.
14 But their minds were closed. For to this day, at the reading of the old covenant, the same veil remains; it is not lifted, because it is set aside [only] in Christ.
15 However, to this day, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their hearts,
16 but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
18 We all, with unveiled faces, are reflecting the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.

2 Kings 15

1 In the twenty-seventh year of Israel's King Jeroboam, Azariah son of Amaziah became king of Judah.
2 He was 16 years old when he became king; he reigned 52 years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jecoliah; [she was] from Jerusalem.
3 Azariah did what was right in the Lord's sight just as his father Amaziah had done.
4 Yet, the high places were not taken away; the people continued sacrificing and burning incense on the high places.
5 The Lord afflicted the king, and he had a serious skin disease until the day of his death. He lived in a separate house,while Jotham, the king's son, was over the household governing the people of the land.
6 The rest of the events of Azariah's [reign], along with all his accomplishments, are written about in the Historical Record of Judah's Kings.
7 Azariah rested with his fathers, and he was buried with his fathers in the city of David. His son Jotham became king in his place.
8 In the thirty-eighth year of Judah's King Azariah, Zechariah son of Jeroboam became king over Israel in Samaria for six months.
9 He did what was evil in the Lord's sight as his fathers had done. He did not turn away from the sins Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit.
10 Shallum son of Jabesh conspired against Zechariah. He struck him down publicly, killed him, and became king in his place.
11 As for the rest of the events of Zechariah's [reign], they are written about in the Historical Record of Israel's Kings.
12 The word of the Lord that He spoke to Jehu was, "Four generations of your sons will sit on the throne of Israel." And it was so.
13 In the thirty-ninth year of Judah's King Uzziah, Shallum son of Jabesh became king; he reigned in Samaria a full month.
14 Then Menahem son of Gadi came up from Tirzah to Samaria and struck down Shallum son of Jabesh there. He killed him and became king in his place.
15 As for the rest of the events of Shallum's [reign], along with the conspiracy that he formed, they are written about in the Historical Record of Israel's Kings.
16 At that time, [starting] from Tirzah, Menahem attacked Tiphsah, all who were in it, and its territory. Because they wouldn't surrender, he attacked [it and] ripped open all the pregnant women.
17 In the thirty-ninth year of Judah's King Azariah, Menahem son of Gadi became king over Israel; [he reigned] 10 years in Samaria.
18 He did what was evil in the Lord's sight. Throughout his reign, he did not turn away from the sins Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit.
19 Pul king of Assyria invaded the land, so Menahem gave Pul 75,000 pounds of silver so that Pul would support him to strengthen his grip on the kingdom.
20 Then Menahem exacted 20 ounces of silver from each of the wealthy men of Israel to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria withdrew and did not stay there in the land.
21 The rest of the events of Menahem's [reign], along with all his accomplishments, are written about in the Historical Record of Israel's Kings.
22 Menahem rested with his fathers, and his son Pekahiah became king in his place.
23 In the fiftieth year of Judah's King Azariah, Pekahiah son of Menahem became king over Israel in Samaria; [he reigned] two years.
24 He did what was evil in the Lord's sight and did not turn away from the sins Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit.
25 Then his officer, Pekah son of Remaliah, conspired against him and struck him down, as well as Argob and Arieh, in Samaria at the citadel of the king's palace. There were 50 Gileadite men with Pekah. He killed Pekahiah and became king in his place.
26 As for the rest of the events of Pekahiah's [reign], along with all his accomplishments, they are written about in the Historical Record of Israel's Kings.
27 In the fifty-second year of Judah's King Azariah, Pekah son of Remaliah became king over Israel in Samaria; [he reigned] 20 years.
28 He did what was evil in the Lord's sight. He did not turn away from the sins Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to commit.
29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel-beth-maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, and Galilee-all the land of Naphtali-and deported the people to Assyria.
30 Then Hoshea son of Elah organized a conspiracy against Pekah son of Remaliah. He attacked him, killed him, and became king in his place in the twentieth year of Jotham son of Uzziah.
31 As for the rest of the events of Pekah's [reign], along with all his accomplishments, they are written about in the Historical Record of Israel's Kings.
32 In the second year of Israel's King Pekah son of Remaliah, Jotham son of Uzziah became king of Judah.
33 He was 25 years old when he became king; he reigned 16 years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jerusha daughter of Zadok.
34 He did what was right in the Lord's sight just as his father Uzziah had done.
35 Yet, the high places were not taken away; the people continued sacrificing and burning incense on the high places. It was Jotham who built the Upper Gate of the Lord's temple.
36 The rest of the events of Jotham's [reign], along with all his accomplishments, are written about in the Historical Record of Judah's Kings.
37 In those days the Lord began sending Rezin king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah against Judah.
38 Jotham rested with his fathers, and he was buried with his fathers in the city of his ancestor David. His son Ahaz became king in his place.

2 Kings 16

1 In the seventeenth year of Pekah son of Remaliah, Ahaz son of Jotham became king of Judah.
2 Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king; he reigned 16 years in Jerusalem. He did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord his God like his ancestor David
3 but walked in the way of the kings of Israel. He even made his son pass through the fire, imitating the abominations of the nations the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites.
4 He sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.
5 Then Aram's King Rezin and Israel's King Pekah son of Remaliah came to wage war against Jerusalem. They besieged Ahaz but were not able to conquer him.
6 At that time Rezin king of Aram recovered Elath for Aram and expelled the Judahites from Elath. Then the Arameans came to Elath, and they live there until today.
7 So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria, saying, "I am your servant and your son. March up and save me from the power of the king of Aram and of the king of Israel, who are rising up against me."
8 Ahaz also took the silver and gold found in the Lord's temple and in the treasuries of the king's palace and sent [them] to the king of Assyria as a gift.
9 So the king of Assyria listened to him and marched up to Damascus and captured it. He deported its people to Kir but put Rezin to death.
10 King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria. When he saw the altar that was in Damascus, King Ahaz sent a model of the altar and complete plans for its construction to Uriah the priest.
11 Uriah built the altar according to all [the instructions] King Ahaz sent from Damascus. Therefore, by the time King Ahaz came back from Damascus, Uriah the priest had made it.
12 When the king came back from Damascus, he saw the altar. Then he approached the altar and ascended it.
13 He offered his burnt offering and his grain offering, poured out his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his fellowship offerings on the altar.
14 He took the bronze altar that was before the Lord in front of the temple between [his] altar and the Lord's temple, and put it on the north side of [his] altar.
15 Then King Ahaz commanded Uriah the priest, "Offer on the great altar the morning burnt offering, the evening grain offering, and the king's burnt offering and his grain offering. [Also offer] the burnt offering of all the people of the land, their grain offering, and their drink offerings. Sprinkle on the altar all the blood of the burnt offering and all the blood of sacrifice. The bronze altar will be for me to seek guidance."
16 Uriah the priest did everything King Ahaz commanded.
17 Then King Ahaz cut off the frames of the water carts and removed the bronze basin from [each of] them. He took the reservoirfrom the bronze oxen that were under it and put it on a stone pavement.
18 To satisfy the king of Assyria, he removed from the Lord's temple the Sabbath canopy they had built in the palace, and [he closed] the outer entrance for the king.
19 The rest of the events of Ahaz's [reign], along with his accomplishments, are written about in the Historical Record of Judah's Kings.
20 Ahaz rested with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David, and his son Hezekiah became king in his place.

Micah 5:2-15

2 Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are small among the clans of Judah; One will come from you to be ruler over Israel for Me. His origin is from antiquity, from eternity.
3 Therefore, He will abandon them until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of His brothers will return to the people of Israel.
4 He will stand and shepherd [them] in the strength of Yahweh, in the majestic name of Yahweh His God. They will live securely, for then His greatness will extend to the ends of the earth.
5 There will be peace. When Assyria invades our land, when it marches against our fortresses, we will raise against it seven shepherds, even eight leaders of men.
6 They will shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, the land of Nimrod with a drawn blade. So He will rescue us from Assyria when it invades our land, when it marches against our territory.
7 Then the remnant of Jacob will be among many peoples like dew from the Lord, like showers on the grass, which do not wait for anyone or linger for mankind.
8 Then the remnant of Jacob will be among the nations, among many peoples, like a lion among animals of the forest, like a young lion among flocks of sheep, which tramples and tears as it passes through, and there is no one to rescue [them].
9 Your hand will be lifted up against your adversaries, and all your enemies will be destroyed.
10 In that day- the Lord's declaration- I will remove your horses from you and wreck your chariots.
11 I will remove the cities of your land and tear down all your fortresses.
12 I will remove sorceries from your hands, and you will not have any more fortune-tellers.
13 I will remove your carved images and sacred pillars from you, so that you will not bow down again to the work of your hands.
14 I will pull up the Asherah poles from among you and demolish your cities.
15 I will take vengeance in anger and wrath against the nations that have not obeyed [Me].