2 Chronicles 28-29 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
Ahaz’s Misdeeds. 1 Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. He did not do what was right in the sight of the Lord as David his father had done. 2 He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and even made molten idols for the Baals. 3 Moreover, he offered sacrifice in the Valley of Ben-hinnom, and immolated his children by fire in accordance with the abominable practices of the nations whom the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites. 4 He sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on hills, and under every green tree.
Ahaz Punished. 5 [a]Therefore the Lord, his God, delivered him into the power of the king of Aram. The Arameans defeated him and carried away captive a large number of his people, whom they brought to Damascus. He was also delivered into the power of the king of Israel, who defeated him with great slaughter. 6 For Pekah, son of Remaliah, killed one hundred and twenty thousand of Judah in a single day, all of them valiant men, because they had abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 7 Zichri, an Ephraimite warrior, killed Maaseiah, the king’s son, and Azrikam, the master of the palace, and also Elkanah, who was second to the king. 8 The Israelites took away as captives two hundred thousand of their kinfolk’s wives, sons, and daughters; they also took from them much plunder, which they brought to Samaria.
Oded’s Prophecy. 9 In Samaria there was a prophet of the Lord by the name of Oded. He went out to meet the army returning to Samaria and said to them: “It was because the Lord, the God of your ancestors, was angry with Judah that he delivered them into your power. You, however, have killed them with a fury that has reached up to heaven. 10 And now you are planning to subjugate the people of Judah and Jerusalem as your slaves and bondwomen. Are not you yourselves, therefore, guilty of a crime against the Lord, your God? 11 Now listen to me: send back the captives you have carried off from among your kin, for the burning anger of the Lord is upon you.”
12 At this, some of the Ephraimite leaders, Azariah, son of Johanan, Berechiah, son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah, son of Shallum, and Amasa, son of Hadlai, themselves stood up in opposition to those who had returned from the war. 13 They said to them: “Do not bring the captives here, for what you are planning will make us guilty before the Lord and increase our sins and our guilt. Great is our guilt, and there is burning anger upon Israel.” 14 Therefore the soldiers left their captives and the plunder before the princes and the whole assembly. 15 Then the men just named proceeded to help the captives. All of them who were naked they clothed from the spoils; they clothed them, put sandals on their feet, gave them food and drink, anointed them, and all who were weak they set on donkeys. They brought them to Jericho, the City of Palms, to their kinfolk. Then they returned to Samaria.
Further Sins of Ahaz. 16 At that time King Ahaz sent an appeal for help to the kings of Assyria. 17 The Edomites had returned, attacked Judah, and carried off captives. 18 The Philistines too had raided the cities of the Shephelah and the Negeb of Judah; they captured Beth-shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco and its dependencies, Timnah and its dependencies, and Gimzo and its dependencies, and settled there. 19 For the Lord had brought Judah low because of Ahaz, king of Israel,[b] who let Judah go its own way and committed treachery against the Lord. 20 Tiglath-pilneser, king of Assyria, did indeed come to him, but to oppress him rather than to lend strength. 21 Though Ahaz plundered the Lord’s house and the houses of the king and the princes to pay off the king of Assyria, it was no help to him.
22 While he was already in distress, the same King Ahaz increased his treachery to the Lord. 23 He sacrificed to the gods of Damascus who had defeated him, saying, “Since it was the gods of the kings of Aram who helped them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me also.” However, they only furthered his downfall and that of all Israel. 24 Ahaz gathered up the utensils of God’s house and broke them in pieces. He closed the doors of the Lord’s house and made altars for himself in every corner of Jerusalem. 25 In every city throughout Judah he set up high places to offer sacrifice to other gods. Thus he provoked the Lord, the God of his ancestors, to anger.
26 The rest of his words and his deeds, first and last, are recorded in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 27 Ahaz rested with his ancestors and was buried in Jerusalem—in the city, for they did not bring him to the tombs of the kings of Israel. His son Hezekiah succeeded him as king.
Hezekiah’s Reforms. 1 Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah, daughter of Zechariah. 2 He did what was right in the Lord’s sight, just as David his father had done. 3 In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the Lord’s house and repaired them. 4 He summoned the priests and Levites, gathering them in the open space to the east, 5 and said to them: “Listen to me, you Levites! Sanctify yourselves now and sanctify the house of the Lord, the God of your ancestors, and clean out the filth from the sanctuary. 6 Our ancestors acted treacherously and did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord, our God. They abandoned him, turned away their faces from the Lord’s dwelling, and turned their backs on him. 7 They also closed the doors of the vestibule, extinguished the lamps, and failed to burn incense and sacrifice burnt offerings in the sanctuary to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore the anger of the Lord has come upon Judah and Jerusalem; he has made them an object of terror, horror, and hissing, as you see with your own eyes. 9 For our ancestors fell by the sword, and our sons, our daughters, and our wives have been taken captive because of this. 10 Now, I intend to make a covenant with the Lord, the God of Israel, that his burning anger may turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not be negligent any longer, for it is you whom the Lord has chosen to stand before him, to minister to him, to be his ministers and to offer incense.”
12 Then the Levites arose: Mahath, son of Amasai, and Joel, son of Azariah, of the Kohathites; of the descendants of Merari: Kish, son of Abdi, and Azariah, son of Jehallel; of the Gershonites: Joah, son of Zimmah, and Eden, son of Joah; 13 of the sons of Elizaphan: Shimri and Jeuel; of the sons of Asaph: Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14 of the sons of Heman: Jehuel and Shimei; of the sons of Jeduthun: Shemiah and Uzziel. 15 They gathered their kinfolk together and sanctified themselves; then they came as the king had ordered, in keeping with the words of the Lord, to cleanse the Lord’s house.
16 The priests entered the interior of the Lord’s house to cleanse it. Whatever they found in the Lord’s temple that was unclean they brought out to the court of the Lord’s house, where the Levites took it from them and carried it out to the Wadi Kidron. 17 They began the work of consecration on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they reached the vestibule of the Lord; they consecrated the Lord’s house over an eight-day period, and on the sixteenth day of the first month, they had finished.
18 Then they went inside to King Hezekiah and said: “We have cleansed the entire house of the Lord, the altar for burnt offerings with all its utensils, and the table for the showbread with all its utensils. 19 We have restored and consecrated all the articles which King Ahaz had thrown away during his reign because of his treachery; they are now before the Lord’s altar.”
The Rite of Expiation. 20 Then King Hezekiah hastened to convoke the princes of the city and went up to the Lord’s house. 21 Seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven he-goats were presented as a purification offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary, and for Judah. Hezekiah ordered the sons of Aaron, the priests, to offer them on the altar of the Lord. 22 They slaughtered the bulls, and the priests collected the blood and splashed it on the altar. Then they slaughtered the rams and splashed the blood on the altar; then they slaughtered the lambs and splashed the blood on the altar. 23 Then the he-goats for the purification offering were led before the king and the assembly, who laid their hands upon them. 24 The priests then slaughtered them and offered their blood on the altar to atone for the sin of all Israel. For the king had said, “The burnt offering and the purification offering are for all Israel.”
25 He stationed the Levites in the Lord’s house with cymbals, harps, and lyres, according to the command of David, of Gad the king’s seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for this command was from the Lord through his prophets. 26 The Levites were stationed with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 Then Hezekiah ordered the burnt offering to be sacrificed on the altar. At the very moment the burnt offering began, they also began the song of the Lord, to the accompaniment of the trumpets and the instruments of David, king of Israel. 28 The entire assembly bowed down, and the song was sung and the trumpets sounded until the burnt offering had been completed. 29 Once the burnt offering was completed, the king and all who were with him knelt and worshiped. 30 King Hezekiah and the princes then told the Levites to sing the praises of the Lord in the words of David and of Asaph the seer. They sang praises till their joy was full, then fell down and worshiped.
31 Hezekiah then said: “You have dedicated yourselves to the Lord. Approach, and bring forward the sacrifices and thank offerings for the house of the Lord.” Then the assembly brought forward the sacrifices and thank offerings and all their voluntary burnt offerings. 32 The number of burnt offerings that the assembly brought forward was seventy oxen, one hundred rams, and two hundred lambs: all of these as a burnt offering to the Lord. 33 As consecrated gifts there were six hundred oxen and three thousand sheep. 34 Since there were too few priests to skin all the victims for the burnt offerings, their fellow Levites assisted them until the task was completed and the priests had sanctified themselves. The Levites, in fact, were more careful than the priests to sanctify themselves. 35 The burnt offerings were indeed many, along with the fat of the communion offerings and the libations for the burnt offerings. Thus the service of the house of the Lord was re-established. 36 Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over what God had re-established for the people, and at how suddenly this had been done.
Proverbs 21:16-31 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
16 Whoever strays from the way of good sense
Romans 14 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
To Live and Die for Christ. 1 [a]Welcome anyone who is weak in faith, but not for disputes over opinions. 2 One person believes that one may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 3 The one who eats must not despise the one who abstains, and the one who abstains must not pass judgment on the one who eats; for God has welcomed him. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on someone else’s servant? Before his own master he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5 [For] one person considers one day more important than another, while another person considers all days alike. Let everyone be fully persuaded in his own mind.[b] 6 Whoever observes the day, observes it for the Lord. Also whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while whoever abstains, abstains for the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. 8 For if we live, we live for the Lord,[c] and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For this is why Christ died and came to life, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 Why then do you judge your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written:
“As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me,
12 So [then] each of us shall give an account of himself [to God].
Consideration for the Weak Conscience. 13 Then let us no longer judge one another, but rather resolve never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; still, it is unclean for someone who thinks it unclean. 15 If your brother is being hurt by what you eat, your conduct is no longer in accord with love. Do not because of your food destroy him for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let your good be reviled. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of food and drink, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the holy Spirit; 18 whoever serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by others. 19 Let us[d] then pursue what leads to peace and to building up one another. 20 For the sake of food, do not destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to become a stumbling block by eating; 21 it is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble. 22 Keep the faith [that] you have to yourself in the presence of God; blessed is the one who does not condemn himself for what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because this is not from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.[e]