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2 Chronicles 34-35 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 34

Josiah’s Reforms. Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. He did what was right in the Lord’s sight, walking in the way of David his father, not turning right or left. In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still a youth, he began to seek after the God of David his father. Then in his twelfth year[a] he began to purify Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the asherahs, and the carved and molten images. In his presence, the altars of the Baals were torn down; the incense stands erected above them he broke down; the asherahs and the carved and molten images he smashed and beat into dust, which he scattered over the tombs of those who had sacrificed to them; and the bones of the priests he burned upon their altars. Thus he purified Judah and Jerusalem. He did likewise in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, and in the ruined villages of the surrounding country as far as Naphtali; he tore down the altars and asherahs, and the carved images he beat into dust, and broke down the incense stands throughout the land of Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem.

The Temple Restored. In the eighteenth year of his reign, in order to purify the land and the temple, he sent Shaphan, son of Azaliah, Maaseiah, the ruler of the city, and Joah, son of Joahaz, the chancellor, to restore the house of the Lord, his God. They came to Hilkiah the high priest and turned over the money brought to the house of God which the Levites, the guardians of the threshold, had collected from Manasseh, Ephraim, and all the remnant of Israel, as well as from all of Judah, Benjamin, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They turned it over to the master workers in the house of the Lord, and these in turn used it to pay the workers in the Lord’s house who were restoring and repairing it. 11 They also gave it to the carpenters and the masons to buy hewn stone and timber for the tie beams and rafters of the buildings which the kings of Judah had allowed to fall into ruin. 12 The men worked faithfully at their task; their overseers were Jahath and Obadiah, Levites of the line of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the Kohathites, who directed them. All those Levites who were skillful with musical instruments 13 were in charge of the men who carried the burdens, and they directed all the workers in every kind of labor. Some of the other Levites were scribes, officials, and gatekeepers.

The Finding of the Law. 14 When they brought out the money that had been deposited in the house of the Lord, Hilkiah the priest found the book of the law of the Lord given through Moses. 15 He reported this to Shaphan the scribe, saying, “I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord.” Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, 16 who brought it to the king at the same time that he made his report to him. He said, “Your servants are doing everything that has been entrusted to them; 17 they have smelted down the silver deposited in the Lord’s house and have turned it over to the overseers and the workers.” 18 Then Shaphan the scribe also informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book,” and then Shaphan read it in the presence of the king.

19 When the king heard the words of the law, he tore his garments. 20 The king then issued this command to Hilkiah, to Ahikam, son of Shaphan, to Abdon, son of Michah, to Shaphan the scribe, and to Asaiah, the king’s servant: 21 “Go, consult the Lord for me and for those who are left in Israel and Judah, about the words of the book that has been found, for the anger of the Lord burns furiously against us, because our ancestors did not keep the word of the Lord and have not done all that is written in this book.” 22 Then Hilkiah and others from the king went to Huldah the prophet, wife of Shallum, son of Tokhath, son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; she lived in Jerusalem, in the Second Quarter. They spoke to her as they had been instructed, 23 and she said to them: “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Say to the man who sent you to me, 24 Thus says the Lord: I am about to bring evil upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all the curses written in the book that was read before the king of Judah. 25 Because they have abandoned me and have burned incense to other gods, provoking me by all the works of their hands, my anger burns against this place and it cannot be extinguished.

26 “But to the king of Judah who sent you to consult the Lord, give this response: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: As for the words you have heard, 27 because you were heartsick and have humbled yourself before God when you heard his words concerning this place and its inhabitants; because you humbled yourself before me, tore your garments, and wept before me, I in turn have heard—oracle of the Lord. 28 I will gather you to your ancestors and you shall go to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the evil I am about to bring upon this place and upon its inhabitants.”

This they reported to the king.

Covenant Renewal. 29 The king then had all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem summoned before him. 30 The king went up to the house of the Lord with all the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: priests, Levites, and all the people, great and small. He read aloud to them all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord. 31 The king stood by the column[b] and made a covenant in the presence of the Lord to follow the Lord and to observe his commandments, statutes, and decrees with his whole heart and soul, carrying out the words of the covenant written in this book. 32 He thereby committed all who were in Jerusalem and Benjamin, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem acted according to the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors. 33 Josiah removed every abomination from all the territories belonging to the Israelites, and he obliged all who were in Israel to serve the Lord, their God. During his lifetime they did not turn away from following the Lord, the God of their ancestors.

Chapter 35

The Passover. Josiah celebrated in Jerusalem a Passover to honor the Lord; the Passover sacrifice was slaughtered on the fourteenth day of the first month. He reappointed the priests to their duties and confirmed them in the service of the Lord’s house. He said to the Levites who were to instruct all Israel, and who were consecrated to the Lord: “Put the holy ark in the house built by Solomon, son of David, king of Israel. It shall no longer be a burden on your shoulders. Serve now the Lord, your God, and his people Israel. Prepare yourselves by your ancestral houses and your divisions according to the prescriptions of David, king of Israel, and the prescriptions of his son Solomon. Stand in the sanctuary according to the branches of the ancestral houses of your kin, the common people, so that the distribution of the Levites and the families may be the same. Slaughter the Passover sacrifice, sanctify yourselves, and be at the disposition of your kin, that all may be done according to the word of the Lord given through Moses.”

Josiah contributed to the common people a flock of lambs and young goats, thirty thousand in number, each to serve as a Passover victim for all who were present, and also three thousand oxen; these were from the king’s property. His princes also gave a voluntary offering to the people, the priests, and the Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, prefects of the house of God, gave to the priests two thousand six hundred Passover victims along with three hundred oxen. Conaniah and his brothers Shemaiah, Nethanel, Hashabiah, Jehiel, and Jozabad, the rulers of the Levites, contributed to the Levites five thousand Passover victims, together with five hundred oxen.

10 When the service had been arranged, the priests took their places, as did the Levites in their divisions according to the king’s command. 11 The Passover sacrifice was slaughtered, whereupon the priests splashed some of the blood and the Levites proceeded with the skinning. 12 They separated out what was destined for the burnt offering and gave it to various groups of the ancestral houses of the common people to offer to the Lord, as is written in the book of Moses. They did the same with the oxen. 13 They cooked the Passover on the fire as prescribed, and also cooked the sacred portions in pots, caldrons, and pans, then brought them quickly to all the common people. 14 Afterward they prepared the Passover for themselves and for the priests. Indeed the priests, the sons of Aaron, were busy sacrificing burnt offerings and the fatty portions until night; therefore the Levites prepared for themselves and for the priests, the sons of Aaron. 15 The singers, the sons of Asaph, were at their posts as commanded by David and by Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun, the king’s seer. The gatekeepers were at every gate; there was no need for them to leave their stations, for their fellow Levites prepared for them. 16 Thus the entire service of the Lord was arranged that day so that the Passover could be celebrated and the burnt offerings sacrificed on the altar of the Lord, as King Josiah had commanded. 17 The Israelites who were present on that occasion kept the Passover and the feast of the Unleavened Bread for seven days. 18 No such Passover had been observed in Israel since the time of Samuel the prophet; no king of Israel had observed a Passover like that celebrated by Josiah, the priests, and Levites, all of Judah and Israel that were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 19 It was in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign that this Passover was observed.

Josiah’s End. 20 After Josiah had done all this to restore the temple, Neco, king of Egypt, came up to fight at Carchemish on the Euphrates, and Josiah went out to meet him. 21 Neco sent messengers to him, saying: “What quarrel is between us, king of Judah? I have not come against you this day, for my war is with another kingdom, and God has told me to hasten. Do not interfere with God who is with me; let him not destroy you.” 22 But Josiah would not withdraw from him, for he was seeking a pretext to fight with him. Therefore he would not listen to the words of Neco that came from the mouth of God, but went out to fight in the plain of Megiddo. 23 Then the archers shot King Josiah, who said to his servants, “Take me away, I am seriously wounded.” 24 His servants took him from his own chariot, placed him in the one he had in reserve, and brought him to Jerusalem, where he died. He was buried in the tombs of his ancestors, and all Judah and Jerusalem mourned him. 25 Jeremiah also composed a lamentation for Josiah, which is recited to this day by all the male and female singers in their lamentations for Josiah. These have been made an ordinance for Israel, and can be found written in the Lamentations.[c]

26 The rest of the acts of Josiah, his good deeds in accord with what is written in the law of the Lord, 27 and his words, first and last, are recorded in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.


  1. 34:3 In his twelfth year: ca. 628 B.C., i.e., around the time of the Assyrian emperor Asshurbanipal’s death, which enabled Judah to free itself from Assyrian domination. On the basis of 2 Kgs 22:1–23:25 alone, one might suppose that Josiah’s reform began only after and as a result of the discovery of the book of the law in the Temple, in the eighteenth year of his reign (622 B.C.). But the Chronicler is no doubt right in placing the beginning of the reform at an earlier period. The repair of the Temple itself, which led to the finding of the book of the law, was likely part of a cultic reform initiated by Josiah.
  2. 34:31 The column: see note on 23:13.
  3. 35:25 There is no mention of such a lamentation for Josiah composed by Jeremiah in either 2 Kings or Jeremiah; but see note on Zec 12:11. Lamentations: probably a reference to the Book of Lamentations.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Proverbs 23:1-21 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 23

[a]When you sit down to dine with a ruler,
    mark well the one who is before you;
Stick the knife in your gullet[b]
    if you have a ravenous appetite.
Do not desire his delicacies;
    it is food that deceives.
Do not wear yourself out to gain wealth,
    cease to be worried about it;
When your glance flits to it, it is gone!
    For assuredly it grows wings,
    like the eagle that flies toward heaven.[c]
[d]Do not take food with unwilling hosts,
    and do not desire their delicacies;
For like something stuck in the throat is that food.
“Eat and drink,” they say to you,
    but their hearts are not with you;
The little you have eaten you will vomit up,
    and you will have wasted your agreeable words.
Do not speak in the hearing of fools;
    they will despise the wisdom of your words.
10 Do not remove the ancient landmark,
    nor invade the fields of the fatherless;[e]
11 For their redeemer is strong;
    he will defend their cause against you.
12 Apply your heart to instruction,
    and your ear to words of knowledge.
13 [f]Do not withhold discipline from youths;
    if you beat them with the rod, they will not die.
14 Beat them with the rod,
    and you will save them from Sheol.
15 My son, if your heart is wise,
    my heart also will rejoice;
16 And my inmost being will exult,
    when your lips speak what is right.
17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
    but only those who always fear the Lord;[g]
18 For you will surely have a future,
    and your hope will not be cut off.
19 Hear, my son, and be wise,
    and guide your heart in the right way.
20 Do not join with wine bibbers,
    nor with those who glut themselves on meat.
21 For drunkards and gluttons come to poverty,
    and lazing about clothes one in rags.


  1. 23:1–9 Four admonitions for someone aspiring to be a sage: be careful about advancing your career by socializing with the great (vv. 1–3); avoid greed (vv. 4–5); do not force yourself on an unwilling host (vv. 6–8); do not waste your wisdom on those who cannot profit from it (v. 9).
  2. 23:2 Stick the knife in your gullet: a metaphor for self-restraint. The usual translation, “Put a knife to your throat,” is misleading, for in English it is a death threat. The exhortation is humorously exaggerated: stick the table-knife in your own gullet rather than take too much food. It assumes that the young courtier is unused to opulent banquets and will be tempted to overindulgence.
  3. 23:5 The frustration of covetous intent and elusiveness of wealth are portrayed by the sudden flight of an eagle. Amenemope, chap. 7, has a similar statement: “Do not set your heart on wealth. There is no ignoring Fate and Destiny; / Do not let your heart go straying.” Proverbs imagines covetous intent as a flight of the eyes, whereas Amenemope imagines it as a straying of the heart.
  4. 23:6–8 Some humorous advice on not trading on the courtesy of unwilling hosts who, for convention’s sake, use the language of welcome. Amenemope, chap. 11, gives similar advice: “Do not intrude on a man in his house, / Enter when you have been called; / He may say ‘Welcome’ with his mouth, / Yet deride you in his thoughts.” “Unwilling,” lit., “evil of eye,” is usually translated “stingy,” but the context suggests unwilling. In v. 8, the unwanted guest vomits up the food, thus destroying the desired good impression. Proverbs regards the uninvited banqueters as thieves who will suffer the consequences of their theft. Amenemope, chap. 11, is relevant: “Do not covet a poor man’s goods,…A poor man’s goods are a block in the throat, / It makes the gullet vomit.”
  5. 23:10 In Israel ownership of property and other legal rights were vested mainly in the father as head of the family; thus the widow and fatherless child were vulnerable, left prey to those who would exploit them.
  6. 23:13–14 The young will not die from instructional blows but from their absence, for (premature) death results from uncorrected folly. The sardonic humor means the exhortation is not to be taken literally, as an argument for corporal punishment. The next verses (vv. 15–16) are exceedingly tender toward the young.
  7. 23:17 Those whom one admires or associates with exercise enormous influence. Do not join the wicked, who are a doomed group. The warning is repeated in 24:1–2, 19–20.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Ephesians 1 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

I. Address

Chapter 1

Greeting.[a] Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the holy ones who are [in Ephesus][b] faithful in Christ Jesus: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Father’s Plan of Salvation. [c]Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens,[d] as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him. In love he destined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, in accord with the favor of his will, for the praise of the glory of his grace that he granted us in the beloved.

Fulfillment Through Christ. In him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace that he lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight, he has made known to us the mystery[e] of his will in accord with his favor that he set forth in him 10 as a plan for the fullness of times, to sum up all things in Christ, in heaven and on earth.

Inheritance Through the Spirit. 11 In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, 12 so that we might exist for the praise of his glory, we who first hoped[f] in Christ. 13 In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed[g] with the promised holy Spirit, 14 which is the first installment[h] of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s possession, to the praise of his glory.

II. Unity of the Church in Christ

The Church as Christ’s Body.[i] 15 Therefore, I, too, hearing of your faith in the Lord Jesus and of your love[j] for all the holy ones, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him. 18 May the eyes of [your] hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, 19 and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might, 20 which he worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens, 21 far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body,[k] the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.


  1. 1:1–2 For the epistolary form used at the beginning of letters, see note on Rom 1:1–7. Twenty-two of the thirty Greek words in Eph 1:1–2 also occur in Col 1:1–2.
  2. 1:1 [In Ephesus]: the phrase is lacking in important early witnesses such as P46 (3rd cent.), and Sinaiticus and Vaticanus (4th cent.), appearing in the latter two as a fifth-century addition. Basil and Origen mention its absence from manuscripts. See Introduction. Without the phrase, the Greek can be rendered, as in Col 1:2, “to the holy ones and faithful brothers in Christ.”
  3. 1:3–14 While a Pauline letter usually continues after the greeting with a prayer of thanksgiving, as in Eph 1:15–23 below, Ephesians first inserts a blessing of God for the blessings Christians have experienced, as in 2 Cor 1:3–4 and 1 Pt 1:3–12. The blessing here, akin to a Jewish berakah, is rich in images almost certainly drawn from hymns and liturgy. Many ideas here are also found in Col 1:3–23. Certain phrases are frequently repeated, such as in Christ (Eph 1:3, 10, 12) or in him (Eph 1:4, 7, 9, 11, 13) or in the beloved (Eph 1:6) and (for) the praise of (his) glory (Eph 1:6, 12, 14). Some terms like chose (Eph 1:4) and destined (Eph 1:5) reflect Old Testament theology (Dt 7:7; 9:4–6; 23:5) or Pauline themes (redemption, Eph 1:7, 14; grace, Eph 1:6, 7) or specific emphases in Colossians (forgiveness, Col 1:14). A triadic structure is discernible in Eph 1:3–14: God the Father (Eph 1:3–6, 8, 11), Christ (Eph 1:3, 5, 7–10, 12), and the Spirit (Eph 1:13–14). The spiritual blessings Christians have received through Christ (Eph 1:3) are gratefully enumerated: the call to holiness (Eph 1:4; cf. Col 1:22); the gift of divine adoption establishing a unique spiritual relationship with God the Father through Christ (Eph 1:5; cf. Gal 4:5); liberation from sin through Christ’s sacrificial death (Eph 1:7); revelation of God’s plan of salvation in Christ (Eph 1:9; cf. Eph 3:3–4; Rom 16:25); the gift of election and faith in Christ bestowed upon Jewish Christians (see note on Eph 1:12, we who first hoped in Christ); and finally, the same gift granted to Gentiles (Eph 1:13, you also). In the Christ-centered faith and existence of the Christian communities the apostle sees the predetermined plan of God to bring all creation under the final rule of Christ (Eph 1:4–5, 9–10) being made known (Eph 1:9) and carried through, to God’s glory (Eph 1:6, 12, 14).
  4. 1:3 In the heavens: literally, “in the heavenlies” or “in the heavenly places,” a term in Ephesians for the divine realm.
  5. 1:9 Mystery: as in Rom 16:25; Col 1:26–27 and elsewhere, a secret of God now revealed in the plan to save and sum up all things in Christ (Eph 1:10); cf. Eph 3:3–6.
  6. 1:12 We who first hoped: probably Jewish Christians (contrast Eph 1:13, you, the Gentiles); possibly the people of Israel, “we who already enjoyed the hope of Christ,” or perhaps present hope in contrast to future redemption (cf. Eph 1:14).
  7. 1:13 Sealed: by God, in baptism; cf. Eph 4:30; 2 Cor 1:22.
  8. 1:14 First installment: down payment by God on full salvation, as at 2 Cor 1:22.
  9. 1:15–23 See note on Rom 1:8 for the thanksgiving form in a letter. Much of the content parallels thoughts in Col 1:3–20. The prayer moves from God and Christ (Eph 1:17, 20–21) to the Ephesians (Eph 1:17–19) and the church (Eph 1:22–23). Paul asks that the blessing imparted by God the Father (Eph 1:3) to the Ephesians will be strengthened in them through the message of the gospel (Eph 1:13, 17–19). Those blessings are seen in the context of God’s might in establishing the sovereignty of Christ over all other creatures (Eph 1:19–21) and in appointing him head of the church (Eph 1:22–23). For the allusion to angelic spirits in Eph 1:21, see Rom 8:38 and Col 1:16. Here, as in 1 Cor 15:24–25 and Col 2:15, every such principality and power is made subject to Christ.
  10. 1:15 Your faith…your love: some manuscripts omit the latter phrase, but cf. Col 1:4.
  11. 1:23 His body: the church (Eph 1:22); cf. note on Col 1:18. Only in Ephesians and Colossians is Christ the head of the body, in contrast to the view in 1 Cor 12 and Rom 12:4–8 where Christ is equated with the entire body or community. Fullness: see note on Col 1:19. Some take the one who fills as God, others as Christ (cf. Eph 4:10). If in Christ “dwells the fullness of the deity bodily” (Col 2:9), then, as God “fills” Christ, Christ in turn fills the church and the believer (Eph 3:19; 5:18). But the difficult phrases here may also allow the church to be viewed as the “complement” of Christ who is “being filled” as God’s plan for the universe is carried out through the church (cf. Eph 3:9–10).
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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