Asa Reigns in Judah

14 [a] (A)Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David. And Asa his son reigned in his place. In his days the land had rest for ten years. [b] And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He took away the foreign altars (B)and the high places and broke down (C)the pillars and cut down the (D)Asherim and commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, and to keep the law and the commandment. He also took out of all the cities of Judah (E)the high places and the (F)incense altars. And the kingdom had rest under him. He built (G)fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest. He had no war in those years, (H)for the Lord gave him peace. And he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with (I)walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the Lord our God. We have sought him, (J)and he has given us peace on every side.” So they built and prospered. And Asa had an army of (K)300,000 from Judah, armed with large shields and spears, and 280,000 men from Benjamin that carried shields and drew bows. All these were mighty men of valor.

Zerah (L)the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots, and came as far as (M)Mareshah. 10 And Asa went out to meet him, and (N)they drew up their lines of battle in the Valley of Zephathah at (O)Mareshah. 11 And Asa (P)cried to the Lord his God, “O Lord, there is none like you to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, (Q)for we rely on you, (R)and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let not man prevail against you.” 12 (S)So the Lord defeated the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. 13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as (T)Gerar, and the Ethiopians fell until none remained alive, for they were broken before the Lord and his army. The men of Judah[c] carried away very much spoil. 14 And they attacked all the cities around (U)Gerar, (V)for the fear of the Lord was upon them. They plundered all the cities, for there was much plunder in them. 15 And they struck down the tents of those who had livestock and carried away sheep in abundance and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.

Asa's Religious Reforms

15 (W)The Spirit of God came[d] upon Azariah the son of Oded, and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: (X)The Lord is with you while you are with him. (Y)If you seek him, he will be found by you, (Z)but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. (AA)For a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law, (AB)but when in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. In those times there was no peace (AC)to him who went out or to him who came in, for great disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. They were broken in pieces. Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every sort of distress. (AD)But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, (AE)for your work shall be rewarded.”

As soon as Asa heard these words, (AF)the prophecy of Azariah the son of Oded, he took courage and put away the detestable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from (AG)the cities that he had taken in (AH)the hill country of Ephraim, and he repaired the altar of the Lord (AI)that was in front of the vestibule of the house of the Lord.[e] And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, (AJ)and those from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who were residing with them, for great numbers had deserted to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. 10 They were gathered at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11 They sacrificed to the Lord on that day (AK)from the spoil that they had brought 700 oxen and 7,000 sheep. 12 (AL)And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul, 13 but that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, (AM)should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman. 14 They swore an oath to the Lord with a loud voice and with shouting and with trumpets and with horns. 15 And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them, (AN)and the Lord gave them rest all around.

16 (AO)Even Maacah, (AP)his mother, King Asa removed from being queen mother because she had made a detestable image (AQ)for Asherah. Asa cut down her image, (AR)crushed it, and burned it at the brook Kidron. 17 (AS)But the high places were not taken out of Israel. Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true all his days. 18 And he brought into the house of God the sacred gifts of his father and his own sacred gifts, silver, and gold, and vessels. 19 And there was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Asa.

Asa's Last Years

16 (AT)In the (AU)thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and built Ramah, (AV)that he might permit no one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. Then Asa took silver and gold from the treasures of the house of the Lord and the king's house and sent them to Ben-hadad king of Syria, who lived in Damascus, saying, “There is a covenant[f] between me and you, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I am sending to you silver and gold. Go, break your covenant with Baasha king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me.” And Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and they conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-maim, and all the (AW)store cities of Naphtali. And when Baasha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah and let his work cease. Then King Asa took all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber, with which Baasha had been building, and with them he built Geba and Mizpah.

At that time (AX)Hanani (AY)the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, (AZ)“Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you. Were not (BA)the Ethiopians and (BB)the Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet (BC)because you relied on the Lord, he gave them into your hand. (BD)For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those (BE)whose heart is blameless[g] toward him. (BF)You have done foolishly in this, for from now on (BG)you will have wars.” 10 Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him (BH)in the stocks in prison, for he was in a rage with him because of this. And Asa inflicted cruelties upon some of the people at the same time.

11 (BI)The acts of Asa, from first to last, are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians. 13 And Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign. 14 They buried him in the tomb that he had cut for himself in the city of David. They laid him on a bier (BJ)that had been filled with various kinds of spices prepared by the perfumer's art, (BK)and they made a very great fire in his honor.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 14:1 Ch 13:23 in Hebrew
  2. 2 Chronicles 14:2 Ch 14:1 in Hebrew
  3. 2 Chronicles 14:13 Hebrew They
  4. 2 Chronicles 15:1 Or was
  5. 2 Chronicles 15:8 Hebrew the vestibule of the Lord
  6. 2 Chronicles 16:3 Or treaty; twice in this verse
  7. 2 Chronicles 16:9 Or whole

God's Sovereign Choice

(A)I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For (B)I could wish that I myself were (C)accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers,[a] my kinsmen (D)according to the flesh. They are (E)Israelites, and to them belong (F)the adoption, (G)the glory, (H)the covenants, (I)the giving of the law, (J)the worship, and (K)the promises. To them belong (L)the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, (M)who is God over all, (N)blessed forever. Amen.

But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham (O)because they are his offspring, but (P)“Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but (Q)the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: (R)“About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only so, but (S)also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of (T)him who calls— 12 she was told, (U)“The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, (V)“Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

14 What shall we say then? (W)Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, (X)“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion,[b] but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, (Y)“For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For (Z)who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, (AA)to answer back to God? (AB)Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 (AC)Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump (AD)one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience (AE)vessels of wrath (AF)prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known (AG)the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he (AH)has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he (AI)has called, (AJ)not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

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Footnotes

  1. Romans 9:3 Or brothers and sisters
  2. Romans 9:16 Greek not of him who wills or runs

The Law of the Lord Is Perfect

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

19 (A)The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above[a] proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
(B)Their (C)voice[b] goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for (D)the sun,
    (E)which comes out like (F)a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

(G)The law of the Lord is perfect,[c]
    (H)reviving the soul;
(I)the testimony of the Lord is (J)sure,
    (K)making wise (L)the simple;
(M)the precepts of the Lord are right,
    rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is (N)pure,
    (O)enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the Lord is clean,
    enduring forever;
the rules[d] of the Lord are (P)true,
    and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than (Q)gold,
    even much (R)fine gold;
(S)sweeter also than honey
    and drippings of (T)the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
    (U)in keeping them there is great reward.

12 (V)Who can discern his errors?
    (W)Declare me innocent from (X)hidden faults.
13 (Y)Keep back your servant also from (Z)presumptuous sins;
    let them not have (AA)dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
    and innocent of great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight,
    O Lord, my (AB)rock and my (AC)redeemer.

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Footnotes

  1. Psalm 19:1 Hebrew the expanse; compare Genesis 1:6–8
  2. Psalm 19:4 Or Their measuring line
  3. Psalm 19:7 Or blameless
  4. Psalm 19:9 Or just decrees

20 (A)Wine is a mocker, (B)strong drink a brawler,
    and whoever (C)is led astray by it is not wise.[a]

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Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 20:1 Or will not become wise

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