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2 Chronicles 23-26New English Translation (NET Bible)

23 In the seventh year Jehoiada made a bold move. He made a pact with the officers of the units of hundreds: Azariah son of Jehoram, Ishmael son of Jehochanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zikri. They traveled throughout Judah and assembled the Levites from all the cities of Judah, as well as the Israelite family leaders.

They came to Jerusalem, and the whole assembly made a covenant with the king in the temple of God. Jehoiada said to them, “The king’s son will rule, just as the Lord promised David’s descendants. This is what you must do. One third of you priests and Levites who are on duty during the Sabbath will guard the doors. Another third of you will be stationed at the royal palace and still another third at the Foundation Gate. All the others will stand in the courtyards of the Lord’s temple. No one must enter the Lord’s temple except the priests and Levites who are on duty. They may enter because they are ceremonially pure. All the others should carry out their assigned service to the Lord. The Levites must surround the king. Each of you must hold his weapon in his hand. Whoever tries to enter the temple must be killed. You must accompany the king wherever he goes.”

The Levites and all the men of Judah did just as Jehoiada the priest ordered. Each of them took his men, those who were on duty during the Sabbath as well as those who were off duty on the Sabbath. Jehoiada the priest did not release his divisions from their duties. Jehoiada the priest gave to the officers of the units of hundreds King David’s spears and shields that were kept in God’s temple. 10 He placed the men at their posts, each holding his weapon in his hand. They lined up from the south side of the temple to the north side and stood near the altar and the temple, surrounding the king. 11 Jehoiada and his sons led out the king’s son and placed on him the crown and the royal insignia. They proclaimed him king and poured olive oil on his head. They declared, “Long live the king!”

12 When Athaliah heard the royal guard shouting and praising the king, she joined the crowd at the Lord’s temple. 13 Then she saw the king standing by his pillar at the entrance. The officers and trumpeters stood beside the king and all the people of the land were celebrating and blowing trumpets, and the musicians with various instruments were leading the celebration. Athaliah tore her clothes and yelled, “Treason! Treason!” 14 Jehoiada the priest sent out the officers of the units of hundreds, who were in charge of the army, and ordered them, “Bring her outside the temple to the guards. Put the sword to anyone who follows her.” The priest gave this order because he had decided she should not be executed in the Lord’s temple. 15 They seized her and took her into the precincts of the royal palace through the horses’ entrance. There they executed her.

16 Jehoiada then drew up a covenant stipulating that he, all the people, and the king should be loyal to the Lord. 17 All the people went and demolished the temple of Baal. They smashed its altars and idols. They killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars. 18 Jehoiada then assigned the duties of the Lord’s temple to the priests, the Levites whom David had assigned to the Lord’s temple. They were responsible for offering burnt sacrifices to the Lord with joy and music, according to the law of Moses and the edict of David. 19 He posted guards at the gates of the Lord’s temple, so no one who was ceremonially unclean in any way could enter. 20 He summoned the officers of the units of hundreds, the nobles, the rulers of the people, and all the people of land, and he then led the king down from the Lord’s temple. They entered the royal palace through the Upper Gate and seated the king on the royal throne. 21 All the people of the land celebrated, for the city had rest now that they had killed Athaliah.

Joash’s Reign

24 Joash was seven years old when he began to reign. He reigned for forty years in Jerusalem. His mother was Zibiah, who was from Beer Sheba. Joash did what the Lord approved throughout the lifetime of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada chose two wives for him who gave him sons and daughters.

Joash was determined to repair the Lord’s temple. He assembled the priests and Levites and ordered them, “Go out to the cities of Judah and collect the annual quota of silver from all Israel for repairs on the temple of your God. Be quick about it!” But the Levites delayed.

So the king summoned Jehoiada the chief priest, and said to him, “Why have you not made the Levites collect from Judah and Jerusalem the tax authorized by Moses the Lord’s servant and by the assembly of Israel at the tent containing the tablets of the law?” (Wicked Athaliah and her sons had broken into God’s temple and used all the holy items of the Lord’s temple in their worship of the Baals.) The king ordered a chest to be made and placed outside the gate of the Lord’s temple. An edict was sent throughout Judah and Jerusalem requiring the people to bring to the Lord the tax that Moses, God’s servant, imposed on Israel in the wilderness. 10 All the officials and all the people gladly brought their silver and threw it into the chest until it was full. 11 Whenever the Levites brought the chest to the royal accountant and they saw there was a lot of silver, the royal scribe and the accountant of the high priest emptied the chest and then took it back to its place. They went through this routine every day and collected a large amount of silver.

12 The king and Jehoiada gave it to the construction foremen assigned to the Lord’s temple. They hired carpenters and craftsmen to repair the Lord’s temple, as well as those skilled in working with iron and bronze to restore the Lord’s temple. 13 They worked hard and made the repairs. They followed the measurements specified for God’s temple and restored it. 14 When they were finished, they brought the rest of the silver to the king and Jehoiada. They used it to make items for the Lord’s temple, including items used in the temple service and for burnt sacrifices, pans, and various other gold and silver items. Throughout Jehoiada’s lifetime, burnt sacrifices were offered regularly in the Lord’s temple.

15 Jehoiada grew old and died at the age of 130. 16 He was buried in the City of David with the kings, because he had accomplished good in Israel and for God and his temple.

17 After Jehoiada died, the officials of Judah visited the king and declared their loyalty to him. The king listened to their advice. 18 They abandoned the temple of the Lord God of their ancestors, and worshiped the Asherah poles and idols. Because of this sinful activity, God was angry with Judah and Jerusalem. 19 The Lord sent prophets among them to lead them back to him. They warned the people, but they would not pay attention. 20 God’s Spirit energized Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood up before the people and said to them, “This is what God says: ‘Why are you violating the commands of the Lord? You will not be prosperous! Because you have rejected the Lord, he has rejected you!’” 21 They plotted against him and by royal decree stoned him to death in the courtyard of the Lord’s temple. 22 King Joash disregarded the loyalty his father Jehoiada had shown him and killed Jehoiada’s son. As Zechariah was dying, he said, “May the Lord take notice and seek vengeance!”

23 At the beginning of the year the Syrian army attacked Joash and invaded Judah and Jerusalem. They wiped out all the leaders of the people and sent all the plunder they gathered to the king of Damascus. 24 Even though the invading Syrian army was relatively weak, the Lord handed over to them Judah’s very large army, for the people of Judah had abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors. The Syrians gave Joash what he deserved. 25 When they withdrew, they left Joash badly wounded. His servants plotted against him because of what he had done to the son of Jehoiada the priest. They murdered him on his bed. Thus he died and was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings. 26 The conspirators were Zabad son of Shimeath (an Ammonite woman) and Jehozabad son of Shimrith (a Moabite woman).

27 The list of Joash’s sons, the many prophetic oracles pertaining to him, and the account of his building project on God’s temple are included in the record of the Scroll of the Kings. His son Amaziah replaced him as king.

Amaziah’s Reign

25 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother was Jehoaddan, who was from Jerusalem. He did what the Lord approved, but not with wholehearted devotion.

When he had secured control of the kingdom, he executed the servants who had assassinated his father. However, he did not execute their sons. He obeyed the Lord’s commandment as recorded in the law scroll of Moses, “Fathers must not be executed for what their sons do, and sons must not be executed for what their fathers do. A man must be executed only for his own sin.”

Amaziah assembled the people of Judah and assigned them by families to the commanders of units of a thousand and the commanders of units of a hundred for all Judah and Benjamin. He counted those twenty years old and up and discovered there were 300,000 young men of fighting age equipped with spears and shields. He hired 100,000 Israelite warriors for a hundred talents of silver.

But a prophet visited him and said: “O king, the Israelite troops must not go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel or any of the Ephraimites. Even if you go and fight bravely in battle, God will defeat you before the enemy. God is capable of helping or defeating.” Amaziah asked the prophet: “But what should I do about the hundred talents of silver I paid the Israelite troops?” The prophet replied, “The Lord is capable of giving you more than that.” 10 So Amaziah dismissed the troops that had come to him from Ephraim and sent them home. They were very angry at Judah and returned home incensed. 11 Amaziah boldly led his army to the Valley of Salt, where he defeated 10,000 Edomites. 12 The men of Judah captured 10,000 men alive. They took them to the top of a cliff and threw them over. All the captives fell to their death. 13 Now the troops Amaziah had dismissed and had not allowed to fight in the battle raided the cities of Judah from Samaria to Beth Horon. They killed 3,000 people and carried off a large amount of plunder.

14 When Amaziah returned from defeating the Edomites, he brought back the gods of the people of Seir and made them his personal gods. He bowed down before them and offered them sacrifices. 15 The Lord was angry at Amaziah and sent a prophet to him, who said, “Why are you following these gods that could not deliver their own people from your power?” 16 While he was speaking, Amaziah said to him, “Did we appoint you to be a royal counselor? Stop prophesying or else you will be killed!” So the prophet stopped, but added, “I know that the Lord has decided to destroy you, because you have done this thing and refused to listen to my advice.”

17 After King Amaziah of Judah consulted with his advisers, he sent this message to the king of Israel, Joash son of Jehoahaz, the son of Jehu, “Come, face me on the battlefield.” 18 King Joash of Israel sent this message back to King Amaziah of Judah, “A thorn bush in Lebanon sent this message to a cedar in Lebanon, ‘Give your daughter to my son as a wife.’ Then a wild animal of Lebanon came by and trampled down the thorn bush. 19 You defeated Edom and it has gone to your head. Gloat over your success, but stay in your palace. Why bring calamity on yourself? Why bring down yourself and Judah along with you?”

20 But Amaziah did not heed the warning, for God wanted to hand them over to Joash because they followed the gods of Edom. 21 So King Joash of Israel attacked. He and King Amaziah of Judah faced each other on the battlefield in Beth Shemesh of Judah. 22 Judah was defeated by Israel, and each man ran back home. 23 King Joash of Israel captured King Amaziah of Judah, son of Joash son of Jehoahaz, in Beth Shemesh and brought him to Jerusalem. He broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the Gate of Ephraim to the Corner Gate—a distance of about six hundred feet. 24 He took away all the gold and silver, all the items found in God’s temple that were in the care of Obed-Edom, the riches in the royal palace, and some hostages. Then he went back to Samaria.

25 King Amaziah son of Joash of Judah lived for fifteen years after the death of King Joash son of Jehoahaz of Israel. 26 The rest of the events of Amaziah’s reign, from start to finish, are recorded in the Scroll of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 27 From the time Amaziah turned from following the Lord, conspirators plotted against him in Jerusalem, so he fled to Lachish. But they sent assassins after him and they killed him there. 28 His body was carried back by horses, and he was buried in Jerusalem with his ancestors in the City of David.

Uzziah’s Reign

26 All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in his father Amaziah’s place. Uzziah built up Elat and restored it to Judah after King Amaziah had passed away.

Uzziah was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecholiah, who was from Jerusalem. He did what the Lord approved, just as his father Amaziah had done. He followed God during the lifetime of Zechariah, who taught him how to honor God. As long as he followed the Lord, God caused him to succeed.

Uzziah attacked the Philistines and broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod. He built cities in the region of Ashdod and throughout Philistine territory. God helped him in his campaigns against the Philistines, the Arabs living in Gur Baal, and the Meunites. The Ammonites paid tribute to Uzziah and his fame reached the border of Egypt, for he grew in power.

Uzziah built and fortified towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, Valley Gate, and at the Angle. 10 He built towers in the desert and dug many cisterns, for he owned many herds in the lowlands and on the plain. He had workers in the fields and vineyards in the hills and in Carmel, for he loved agriculture.

11 Uzziah had an army of skilled warriors trained for battle. They were organized by divisions according to the muster rolls made by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the officer under the authority of Hananiah, a royal official. 12 The total number of family leaders who led warriors was 2,600. 13 They commanded an army of 307,500 skilled and able warriors who were ready to defend the king against his enemies. 14 Uzziah supplied shields, spears, helmets, breastplates, bows, and slingstones for the entire army. 15 In Jerusalem he made war machines carefully designed to shoot arrows and large stones from the towers and corners of the walls. He became very famous, for he received tremendous support and became powerful.

16 But once he became powerful, his pride destroyed him. He disobeyed the Lord his God. He entered the Lord’s temple to offer incense on the incense altar. 17 Azariah the priest and eighty other brave priests of the Lord followed him in. 18 They confronted King Uzziah and said to him, “It is not proper for you, Uzziah, to offer incense to the Lord. That is the responsibility of the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who are consecrated to offer incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have disobeyed and the Lord God will not honor you!” 19 Uzziah, who had an incense censer in his hand, became angry. While he was ranting and raving at the priests, a skin disease appeared on his forehead right there in front of the priests in the Lord’s temple near the incense altar. 20 When Azariah the high priest and the other priests looked at him, there was a skin disease on his forehead. They hurried him out of there; even the king himself wanted to leave quickly because the Lord had afflicted him. 21 King Uzziah suffered from a skin disease until the day he died. He lived in separate quarters, afflicted by a skin disease and banned from the Lord’s temple. His son Jotham was in charge of the palace and ruled over the people of the land.

22 The rest of the events of Uzziah’s reign, from start to finish, were recorded by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 23 Uzziah passed away and was buried near his ancestors in a cemetery belonging to the kings. (This was because he had a skin disease.) His son Jotham replaced him as king.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

Acts 7:27-60New English Translation (NET Bible)

27 But the man who was unfairly hurting his neighbor pushed Moses aside, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us? 28 You don’t want to kill me the way you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you? 29 When the man said this, Moses fled and became a foreigner in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.

30 “After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the desert of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning bush. 31 When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight, and when he approached to investigate, there came the voice of the Lord, 32 I am the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.’ Moses began to tremble and did not dare to look more closely. 33 But the Lord said to him,Take the sandals off your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34 I have certainly seen the suffering of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to rescue them. Now come, I will send you to Egypt.’ 35 This same Moses they had rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge?’ God sent as both ruler and deliverer through the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 This man led them out, performing wonders and miraculous signs in the land of Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years. 37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your brothers.’ 38 This is the man who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors, and he received living oracles to give to you. 39 Our ancestors were unwilling to obey him, but pushed him aside and turned back to Egypt in their hearts, 40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go in front of us, for this Moses, who led us out of the land of Egypt—we do not know what has happened to him! 41 At that time they made an idol in the form of a calf, brought a sacrifice to the idol, and began rejoicing in the works of their hands. 42 But God turned away from them and gave them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: ‘It was not to me that you offered slain animals and sacrifices forty years in the wilderness, was it, house of Israel? 43  But you took along the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of the god Rephan, the images you made to worship, but I will deport you beyond Babylon.’ 44 Our ancestors had the tabernacle of testimony in the wilderness, just as God who spoke to Moses ordered him to make it according to the design he had seen. 45 Our ancestors received possession of it and brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our ancestors, until the time of David. 46 He found favor with God and asked that he could find a dwelling place for the house of Jacob. 47 But Solomon built a house for him. 48 Yet the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands, as the prophet says,

49 Heaven is my throne,
and earth is the footstool for my feet.
What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,
or what is my resting place?
50 Did my hand not make all these things?

51 “You stubborn people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, like your ancestors did! 52 Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold long ago the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become! 53 You received the law by decrees given by angels, but you did not obey it.”

Stephen is Killed

54 When they heard these things, they became furious and ground their teeth at him. 55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked intently toward heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look!” he said. “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” 57 But they covered their ears, shouting out with a loud voice, and rushed at him with one intent. 58 When they had driven him out of the city, they began to stone him, and the witnesses laid their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 They continued to stone Stephen while he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 60 Then he fell to his knees and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” When he had said this, he died.

New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

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