Hezekiah Reigns over Judah

18 Now it came about (A)in the third year of Hoshea, the son of Elah king of Israel, that (B)Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah became king. He was (C)twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. (D)He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, in accordance with everything that his father David had done. (E)He removed the high places and smashed the memorial stones to pieces, and cut down the [a]Asherah. He also crushed to pieces (F)the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the sons of Israel had been burning incense to it; and it was called [b]Nehushtan. (G)He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel; and (H)after him there was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who came before him. For he (I)clung to the Lord; he did not desist from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses.

Hezekiah Victorious

(J)And the Lord was with him; wherever he went he was successful. And (K)he revolted against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. (L)He [c]defeated the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, from (M)watchtower to fortified city.

Now in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, (N)Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and besieged it. 10 And at the end of three years they captured it; in the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was (O)the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was captured. 11 Then the king of Assyria led Israel into exile to Assyria, and put them in (P)Halah and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. 12 This happened because they (Q)did not obey the voice of the Lord their God, but violated His covenant, all that Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded; they would neither listen nor do it.

Invasion of Judah

13 (R)Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria marched against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them. 14 Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent messengers to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “(S)I have done wrong. [d]Withdraw from me; whatever you impose on me I will endure.” So the king of Assyria imposed on Hezekiah king of Judah the payment of three hundred [e]talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 (T)Hezekiah then gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasuries of the king’s house. 16 At that time Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the doorposts, which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and he gave it to the king of Assyria.

17 Then the king of Assyria sent (U)Tartan, Rab-saris, and Rabshakeh from Lachish to King Hezekiah with a large army to Jerusalem. So they went up and came to Jerusalem. And when they went up, they came and stood by the (V)conduit of the upper pool, which is on the road of the [f]fuller’s field. 18 Then they called to the king, and (W)Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the household, (X)Shebnah the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the secretary, went out to them.

19 And Rabshakeh said to them, “Say now to Hezekiah, ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria says: “(Y)What is this confidence that you [g]have? 20 You say—but they are only [h]empty words—‘I have a plan and strength for the war.’ Now on whom have you relied, (Z)that you have revolted against me? 21 Now behold, you have [i](AA)relied on the [j]support of this broken reed, on Egypt; on which if a man leans, it will go into his [k]hand and pierce it. That is how Pharaoh king of Egypt is to all who rely on him. 22 However, if you say to me, ‘We have trusted in the Lord our God,’ is it not He whose high places and (AB)whose altars Hezekiah has removed, and has said to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem’? 23 Now then, [l]come make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to put riders on them! 24 How then can you drive back even [m]one [n]official of the least of my master’s servants, and [o]rely on Egypt for chariots and horsemen? 25 Have I now come up without [p]the Lords approval against this place to destroy it? The Lord said to me, ‘Go up against this land and destroy it.’”’”

26 Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, Shebnah, and Joah, said to Rabshakeh, “Speak now to your servants in Aramaic, because we [q]understand it; and do not speak with us in [r](AC)Judean [s]so that the people who are on the wall hear you.” 27 But Rabshakeh said to them, “Has my master sent me only to your master and to you to speak these words? Has he not also sent me to the men who sit on the wall, doomed to eat their own dung and drink their own urine with you?”

28 Then Rabshakeh stood up and shouted with a loud voice in Judean, [t]saying, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! 29 This is what the king says: ‘(AD)Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to save you from [u]my hand. 30 And do not let Hezekiah lead you to trust in the Lord by saying, “The Lord will certainly save us, and this city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.” 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah, for this is what the king of Assyria says: “Make [v]your peace with me and come out to me, and eat, (AE)each one, from his vine and each from his fig tree, and drink, each one, the waters of his own cistern, 32 until I come and take you (AF)to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees producing oil, and of honey, so that you will live and not die.” But do not listen to Hezekiah, because he misleads you by saying, “The Lord will save us.” 33 (AG)Has any of the gods of the nations actually saved his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 (AH)Where are the gods of Hamath and (AI)Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and [w](AJ)Ivvah? Have they saved Samaria from my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands are there who have saved their land from my hand, (AK)that the Lord would save Jerusalem from my hand?’”

36 But the people were silent and did not answer him with even a word, because it was the king’s [x]command: “Do not answer him.” 37 Then (AL)Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was in charge of the household, and Shebna the scribe and Joah the son of Asaph, the secretary, came to Hezekiah (AM)with their clothes torn, and they reported to him the words of Rabshakeh.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Kings 18:4 I.e., a wooden symbol of a female deity
  2. 2 Kings 18:4 I.e., a bronze sculpture
  3. 2 Kings 18:8 Lit struck
  4. 2 Kings 18:14 Lit Turn back
  5. 2 Kings 18:14 A talent was about 75 lb. or 34 kg
  6. 2 Kings 18:17 I.e., launderer’s
  7. 2 Kings 18:19 Lit trust
  8. 2 Kings 18:20 Lit a word of lips
  9. 2 Kings 18:21 Lit relied for yourself
  10. 2 Kings 18:21 Or staff
  11. 2 Kings 18:21 Lit palm
  12. 2 Kings 18:23 Lit please exchange pledges
  13. 2 Kings 18:24 Lit the face of one
  14. 2 Kings 18:24 Or governor
  15. 2 Kings 18:24 Lit rely for yourself
  16. 2 Kings 18:25 Lit the Lord
  17. 2 Kings 18:26 Lit hear
  18. 2 Kings 18:26 I.e., Hebrew
  19. 2 Kings 18:26 Lit in the ears of...wall
  20. 2 Kings 18:28 Lit and spoke, saying,
  21. 2 Kings 18:29 MT his
  22. 2 Kings 18:31 Lit with me a blessing
  23. 2 Kings 18:34 In 2 Kin 17:24, Avva
  24. 2 Kings 18:36 Lit command, saying

Hezekiah Succeeds Ahaz in Judah

29 (A)Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old; and he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. (B)He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, in accordance with everything that his father David had done.

In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he (C)opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. He brought in the priests and the Levites and gathered them into the public square on the east.

Reforms Begun

Then he said to them, “Listen to me, you Levites. (D)Consecrate yourselves now, and consecrate the house of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and carry the uncleanness out of the holy place. For our fathers have been unfaithful and have done evil in the sight of the Lord our God, and they have abandoned Him and (E)turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and have [a]turned their backs. They have also (F)shut the doors of the porch and extinguished the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. Therefore (G)the wrath of the Lord was against Judah and Jerusalem, and He has made them an object of terror, of horror, and of (H)hissing, as you see with your own eyes. For behold, (I)our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons, our daughters, and our wives are in captivity because of this. 10 Now it is in my heart (J)to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, so that His burning anger may turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not be negligent now, for (K)the Lord has chosen you to stand before Him, to serve Him, and to be His ministers and burn incense.”

12 Then the Levites arose: (L)Mahath the son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah, from the sons of (M)the Kohathites; and from the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi and Azariah the son of Jehallelel; and from the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah and Eden the son of Joah; 13 and from the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and [b]Jeiel; and from the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14 and from the sons of Heman, [c]Jehiel and Shimei; and from the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15 They assembled their brothers, (N)consecrated themselves, and went in (O)to cleanse the house of the Lord, according to the commandment of the king (P)by the words of the Lord. 16 So the priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and they brought every unclean thing which they found in the temple of the Lord out to the courtyard of the house of the Lord. Then the Levites received it to carry out to (Q)the Kidron [d]Valley. 17 Now they began [e]the consecration (R)on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they entered the porch of the Lord. Then they consecrated the house of the Lord in eight days, and finished on the sixteenth day of the first month. 18 Then they went in to King Hezekiah and said, “We have cleansed the whole house of the Lord, the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the table of the showbread with all of its utensils. 19 Moreover, (S)all the utensils which King Ahaz had discarded during his reign in his unfaithfulness, we have prepared and consecrated; and behold, they are before the altar of the Lord.”

Hezekiah Restores Temple Worship

20 Then King Hezekiah got up early and assembled the princes of the city, and went up to the house of the Lord. 21 They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats (T)as a sin offering for the kingdom, the sanctuary, and Judah. And he ordered the priests, the sons of Aaron, to offer them on the altar of the Lord. 22 So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests took the blood and sprinkled it on the altar. They also slaughtered the rams and sprinkled the blood on the altar; they slaughtered the lambs as well, and (U)sprinkled the blood on the altar. 23 Then they brought the male goats of the sin offering before the king and the assembly, and (V)they laid their hands on them. 24 The priests slaughtered them and purified the altar with their blood (W)to atone for all Israel, because the king ordered the burnt offering and the sin offering for all Israel.

25 (X)He then stationed the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, harps, and lyres, (Y)according to the command of David and of (Z)Gad, the king’s seer, and of (AA)Nathan the prophet; for the command was from the Lord through His prophets. 26 The Levites stood with (AB)the musical instruments of David, and (AC)the priests with the trumpets. 27 Then Hezekiah gave the order to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, (AD)the song to the Lord also began with the trumpets, [f]accompanied by the instruments of David, king of Israel. 28 While the whole assembly worshiped, the singers also sang and the trumpets sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.

29 Now at the completion of the burnt offerings, (AE)the king and all who were present with him bowed down and worshiped. 30 Moreover, King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to sing praises to the Lord with the words of David and Asaph the seer. (AF)So they sang praises with joy, and bowed down and worshiped.

31 Then Hezekiah said, “(AG)Now that you have [g]consecrated yourselves to the Lord, come forward and bring sacrifices and thanksgiving offerings to the house of the Lord.” So the assembly brought sacrifices and thanksgiving offerings, and (AH)everyone who was [h]willing brought burnt offerings. 32 The number of the burnt offerings which the assembly brought was seventy bulls, a hundred rams, and two hundred lambs; all of these were for a burnt offering to the Lord. 33 The consecrated offerings were six hundred bulls and three thousand sheep. 34 But the priests were too few, so that they were unable to skin all the burnt offerings; (AI)therefore their brothers the Levites helped them until the work was finished and the other priests had consecrated themselves. For (AJ)the Levites were more [i]conscientious to consecrate themselves than the priests. 35 There were also [j](AK)many burnt offerings with (AL)the fat of the peace offerings and (AM)the drink offerings for the burnt offerings. So the service of the house of the Lord was established again. 36 Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over what God had prepared for the people, because the thing came about suddenly.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 29:6 Lit given
  2. 2 Chronicles 29:13 Or Jeuel
  3. 2 Chronicles 29:14 Another reading is Jehuel
  4. 2 Chronicles 29:16 Or wadi
  5. 2 Chronicles 29:17 Lit to consecrate
  6. 2 Chronicles 29:27 Lit and on the hands of
  7. 2 Chronicles 29:31 Lit filled your hands
  8. 2 Chronicles 29:31 Lit willing of heart
  9. 2 Chronicles 29:34 Lit upright of heart
  10. 2 Chronicles 29:35 Lit the burnt offerings to an abundance

All Israel Invited to the Passover

30 Now Hezekiah sent word to all Israel and Judah and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem to [a]celebrate the Passover to the Lord God of Israel. For the king and his princes and all the assembly in Jerusalem had decided (A)to celebrate the Passover in the second month, since they could not celebrate it (B)at that time, because the priests had not consecrated themselves in sufficient numbers, nor had the people been gathered to Jerusalem. So the [b]decision was right in the sight of the king and all the assembly. So they established a decree to circulate a [c]proclamation throughout Israel (C)from Beersheba to Dan, that they are to come to celebrate the Passover to the Lord God of Israel in Jerusalem. For they had not celebrated it in great numbers as was written. (D)The [d]couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with the letters from the hand of the king and his princes, even according to the command of the king, saying, “Sons of Israel, return to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that He may return to those of you who escaped and are left from (E)the [e]hand of the kings of Assyria. (F)Do not be like your fathers and your brothers, who were untrue to the Lord God of their fathers, so that (G)He made them an object of horror, just as you see. Now do not (H)stiffen your neck like your fathers, but [f]yield to the Lord and enter His sanctuary which He has consecrated forever, and serve the Lord your God, (I)that His burning anger may turn away from you. For (J)if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your sons will find compassion in the presence of those who led them captive, and will return to this land. (K)For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.”

10 So the [g]couriers passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun, but (L)they laughed at them with scorn and mocked them. 11 Nevertheless, (M)some men of Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 The (N)hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the Lord.

Passover Reinstituted

13 Now many people were gathered at Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread (O)in the second month, a very large assembly. 14 They got up and removed the altars which were in Jerusalem; they also (P)removed all the incense altars and (Q)threw them into the brook Kidron. 15 Then (R)they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth of the second month. And (S)the priests and Levites were ashamed of themselves, and consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings to the house of the Lord. 16 (T)They stood at their stations following their custom, according to the Law of Moses the man of God; the priests sprinkled the blood which they received from the hand of the Levites. 17 For there were many in the assembly who had not consecrated themselves; therefore, (U)the Levites were in charge of the slaughter of the Passover lambs for everyone who was unclean, in order to consecrate them to the Lord. 18 For a multitude of the people, (V)many from Ephraim and Manasseh, and Issachar and Zebulun, had not purified themselves, (W)yet they ate the Passover (X)contrary to what was written. For Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the good Lord pardon 19 (Y)everyone who prepares his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though not according to the purification rules of the sanctuary.” 20 So the Lord heard Hezekiah and (Z)healed the people. 21 The sons of Israel present in Jerusalem (AA)celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great joy, and the Levites and the priests were praising the Lord day after day with loud instruments to the Lord. 22 Then Hezekiah (AB)spoke [h]encouragingly to all the Levites who showed good insight in the things of the Lord. So they ate for the appointed seven days, sacrificing peace offerings and (AC)giving thanks to the Lord God of their fathers.

23 Then the whole assembly (AD)decided to celebrate the feast another seven days, so they celebrated the seven days with joy. 24 For (AE)Hezekiah king of Judah had contributed to the assembly a thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep, and the princes had contributed to the assembly a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep; and (AF)a large number of priests consecrated themselves. 25 All the assembly of Judah rejoiced, with the priests and the Levites and (AG)all the assembly that came from Israel, both the strangers who came from the land of Israel and those living in Judah. 26 So there was great joy in Jerusalem, because there was nothing like this in Jerusalem (AH)since the days of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel. 27 Then (AI)the Levitical priests stood and (AJ)blessed the people; and their voice was heard and their prayer came to (AK)His holy dwelling place, to heaven.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 30:1 Lit do, and so throughout the ch
  2. 2 Chronicles 30:4 Lit word
  3. 2 Chronicles 30:5 Lit voice
  4. 2 Chronicles 30:6 Lit runners
  5. 2 Chronicles 30:6 Lit palm
  6. 2 Chronicles 30:8 Lit give a hand
  7. 2 Chronicles 30:10 Lit runners
  8. 2 Chronicles 30:22 Lit to the heart of

Idols Are Destroyed

31 Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah, (A)broke the memorial stones in pieces, cut down the [a]Asherim and pulled down the high places and the altars throughout Judah and Benjamin, as well as in Ephraim and Manasseh, until [b]they had destroyed them all. Then all the sons of Israel returned to their cities, each to his possession.

And Hezekiah appointed (B)the divisions of the priests and the Levites by their divisions, each according to his service, both the priests and the Levites, (C)for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to serve and to give thanks and to praise in the gates of the camp of the Lord.

Reforms Continued

He also appointed (D)the king’s portion of his property for the burnt offerings, namely, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the Sabbaths and for the new moons and for the appointed festivals, (E)as it is written in the Law of the Lord. Also he told the people who lived in Jerusalem to give (F)the portion due to the priests and the Levites, so that they might devote themselves to (G)the Law of the Lord. As soon as the [c]order spread, the sons of Israel abundantly provided the first fruits of grain, new wine, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly (H)the tithe of everything. The sons of Israel and Judah who lived in the cities of Judah also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and (I)the tithe of [d]sacred gifts which were consecrated to the Lord their God, and placed them in heaps. In the third month they began to [e]make the heaps, and they finished them by the seventh month. When Hezekiah and the rulers came and saw the heaps, they blessed the Lord and (J)His people Israel. Then Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps. 10 Azariah, the chief priest (K)of the house of Zadok, said to [f]him, “(L)Since the contributions started coming into the house of the Lord, we have had enough to eat with plenty left over, for the Lord has blessed His people, and this great quantity is left over.”

11 Then Hezekiah commanded them to prepare (M)rooms in the house of the Lord, and they prepared them. 12 They faithfully brought in the contributions, the tithes, and the consecrated things; and Conaniah the Levite was the officer in charge (N)of them, and his brother Shimei was second. 13 Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, Mahath, and Benaiah were overseers [g]under the authority of Conaniah and his brother Shimei by the appointment of King Hezekiah, and (O)Azariah was the chief officer of the house of God. 14 Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, the keeper of the eastern gate, was in charge of the [h]voluntary offerings for God, to distribute the contributions for the Lord and the most holy things. 15 [i]Under his authority were (P)Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah, in (Q)the cities of the priests, to distribute their portions faithfully to their brothers by divisions, whether great or small, 16 without regard to their genealogical enrollment, to the males from [j](R)thirty years old and upward—everyone who entered the house of the Lord (S)for his daily obligations—for their work in their duties according to their divisions; 17 as well as the priests who were enrolled genealogically according to their fathers’ households, and the Levites (T)from twenty years old and upward, by their duties and their divisions. 18 The genealogical enrollment included [k]all their little children, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, for the whole assembly, for they consecrated themselves [l]faithfully in holiness. 19 Also for the sons of Aaron, the priests, who were in (U)the pasture lands of their cities, or in each and every city, (V)there were men who were designated by name to distribute portions to every male among the priests and to everyone genealogically enrolled among the Levites.

20 Hezekiah did this throughout Judah; and (W)he did what was good, right, and true before the Lord his God. 21 Every work which he began in the service of the house of God in the Law and in the commandment, seeking his God, he did with all his heart and (X)prospered.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 31:1 I.e., wooden symbols of a female deity (Asherah)
  2. 2 Chronicles 31:1 Lit to completion
  3. 2 Chronicles 31:5 Lit word
  4. 2 Chronicles 31:6 Lit consecrated things
  5. 2 Chronicles 31:7 Lit lay
  6. 2 Chronicles 31:10 Lit him, and he said
  7. 2 Chronicles 31:13 Lit from the hand of
  8. 2 Chronicles 31:14 Or freewill offerings
  9. 2 Chronicles 31:15 Lit On his hand
  10. 2 Chronicles 31:16 Heb three
  11. 2 Chronicles 31:18 Lit with all
  12. 2 Chronicles 31:18 Lit in their faithfulness

The Beauty and Glory of Zion.

A Song; a Psalm of the sons of Korah.

48 (A)Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised
In the (B)city of our God, His (C)holy mountain.
(D)Beautiful in elevation, (E)the joy of the whole earth,
Is Mount Zion in the far north,
The (F)city of the great King.
In its palaces,
God has made Himself known as a (G)stronghold.

For, behold, the (H)kings arrived,
They passed by together.
They saw it, then they were amazed;
They were (I)terrified, they fled in a hurry.
[a]Panic seized them there,
Anguish, as that of (J)a woman in childbirth.
With the (K)east wind
You (L)smash the (M)ships of Tarshish.
Just as we have heard, so have we seen
In the city of the Lord of armies, in the city of our God;
God will (N)establish her forever. Selah

We have thought over (O)Your goodness, God,
In the midst of Your temple.
10 As is Your (P)name, God,
So is Your (Q)praise to the ends of the earth;
Your (R)right hand is full of righteousness.
11 Mount (S)Zion shall be glad,
The (T)daughters of Judah shall rejoice
Because of Your judgments.
12 Walk around Zion and encircle her;
Count her (U)towers;
13 Consider her (V)ramparts;
Go through her palaces,
So that you may (W)tell of her to the next generation.
14 For [b]such is God,
Our God forever and ever;
He will (X)lead us [c]until death.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 48:6 Lit Trembling
  2. Psalm 48:14 Lit this
  3. Psalm 48:14 Lit upon; some mss and LXX forever