Hezekiah King of Judah(A)(B)(C)

18 In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah(D) son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years.(E) His mother’s name was Abijah[a] daughter of Zechariah. He did what was right(F) in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David(G) had done. He removed(H) the high places,(I) smashed the sacred stones(J) and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake(K) Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.[b])

Hezekiah trusted(L) in the Lord, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. He held fast(M) to the Lord and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses. And the Lord was with him; he was successful(N) in whatever he undertook. He rebelled(O) against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. From watchtower to fortified city,(P) he defeated the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory.

In King Hezekiah’s fourth year,(Q) which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and laid siege to it. 10 At the end of three years the Assyrians took it. So Samaria was captured in Hezekiah’s sixth year, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel. 11 The king(R) of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in towns of the Medes.(S) 12 This happened because they had not obeyed the Lord their God, but had violated his covenant(T)—all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded.(U) They neither listened to the commands(V) nor carried them out.

13 In the fourteenth year(W) of King Hezekiah’s reign, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah(X) and captured them. 14 So Hezekiah king of Judah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish:(Y) “I have done wrong.(Z) Withdraw from me, and I will pay whatever you demand of me.” The king of Assyria exacted from Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents[c] of silver and thirty talents[d] of gold. 15 So Hezekiah gave(AA) him all the silver that was found in the temple of the Lord and in the treasuries of the royal palace.

16 At this time Hezekiah king of Judah stripped off the gold with which he had covered the doors(AB) and doorposts of the temple of the Lord, and gave it to the king of Assyria.

Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem(AC)(AD)

17 The king of Assyria sent his supreme commander,(AE) his chief officer and his field commander with a large army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. They came up to Jerusalem and stopped at the aqueduct of the Upper Pool,(AF) on the road to the Washerman’s Field. 18 They called for the king; and Eliakim(AG) son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna(AH) the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went out to them.

19 The field commander said to them, “Tell Hezekiah:

“‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: On what are you basing this confidence(AI) of yours? 20 You say you have the counsel and the might for war—but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me? 21 Look, I know you are depending on Egypt,(AJ) that splintered reed of a staff,(AK) which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him. 22 But if you say to me, “We are depending on the Lord our God”—isn’t he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, “You must worship before this altar in Jerusalem”?

23 “‘Come now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses—if you can put riders on them! 24 How can you repulse one officer(AL) of the least of my master’s officials, even though you are depending on Egypt for chariots and horsemen[e]? 25 Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this place without word from the Lord?(AM) The Lord himself told me to march against this country and destroy it.’”

26 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, and Shebna and Joah said to the field commander, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic,(AN) since we understand it. Don’t speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people on the wall.”

27 But the commander replied, “Was it only to your master and you that my master sent me to say these things, and not to the people sitting on the wall—who, like you, will have to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?”

28 Then the commander stood and called out in Hebrew, “Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! 29 This is what the king says: Do not let Hezekiah deceive(AO) you. He cannot deliver you from my hand. 30 Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord when he says, ‘The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.’

31 “Do not listen to Hezekiah. This is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig tree(AP) and drink water from your own cistern,(AQ) 32 until I come and take you to a land like your own—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Choose life(AR) and not death!

“Do not listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us.’ 33 Has the god(AS) of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath(AT) and Arpad?(AU) Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah? Have they rescued Samaria from my hand? 35 Who of all the gods of these countries has been able to save his land from me? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?”(AV)

36 But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, “Do not answer him.”

37 Then Eliakim(AW) son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went to Hezekiah, with their clothes torn,(AX) and told him what the field commander had said.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Kings 18:2 Hebrew Abi, a variant of Abijah
  2. 2 Kings 18:4 Nehushtan sounds like the Hebrew for both bronze and snake.
  3. 2 Kings 18:14 That is, about 11 tons or about 10 metric tons
  4. 2 Kings 18:14 That is, about 1 ton or about 1 metric ton
  5. 2 Kings 18:24 Or charioteers

The prophecy(A) that Habakkuk the prophet received.

Habakkuk’s Complaint

How long,(B) Lord, must I call for help,
    but you do not listen?(C)
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
    but you do not save?(D)
Why do you make me look at injustice?
    Why do you tolerate(E) wrongdoing?(F)
Destruction and violence(G) are before me;
    there is strife,(H) and conflict abounds.
Therefore the law(I) is paralyzed,
    and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
    so that justice(J) is perverted.(K)

The Lord’s Answer

“Look at the nations and watch—
    and be utterly amazed.(L)
For I am going to do something in your days
    that you would not believe,
    even if you were told.(M)
I am raising up the Babylonians,[a](N)
    that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth(O)
    to seize dwellings not their own.(P)
They are a feared and dreaded people;(Q)
    they are a law to themselves
    and promote their own honor.
Their horses are swifter(R) than leopards,
    fiercer than wolves(S) at dusk.
Their cavalry gallops headlong;
    their horsemen come from afar.
They fly like an eagle swooping to devour;
    they all come intent on violence.
Their hordes[b] advance like a desert wind
    and gather prisoners(T) like sand.
10 They mock kings
    and scoff at rulers.(U)
They laugh at all fortified cities;
    by building earthen ramps(V) they capture them.
11 Then they sweep past like the wind(W) and go on—
    guilty people, whose own strength is their god.”(X)

Habakkuk’s Second Complaint

12 Lord, are you not from everlasting?(Y)
    My God, my Holy One,(Z) you[c] will never die.(AA)
You, Lord, have appointed(AB) them to execute judgment;
    you, my Rock,(AC) have ordained them to punish.
13 Your eyes are too pure(AD) to look on evil;
    you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.(AE)
Why then do you tolerate(AF) the treacherous?(AG)
    Why are you silent while the wicked
    swallow up those more righteous than themselves?(AH)
14 You have made people like the fish in the sea,
    like the sea creatures that have no ruler.
15 The wicked(AI) foe pulls all of them up with hooks,(AJ)
    he catches them in his net,(AK)
he gathers them up in his dragnet;
    and so he rejoices and is glad.
16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net
    and burns incense(AL) to his dragnet,
for by his net he lives in luxury
    and enjoys the choicest food.
17 Is he to keep on emptying his net,
    destroying nations without mercy?(AM)

Footnotes

  1. Habakkuk 1:6 Or Chaldeans
  2. Habakkuk 1:9 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  3. Habakkuk 1:12 An ancient Hebrew scribal tradition; Masoretic Text we

The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

10 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.(A) The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.(B) The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.(C) He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.(D) When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.(E) But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech,(F) but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.(G)

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am(H) the gate(I) for the sheep. All who have come before me(J) are thieves and robbers,(K) but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life,(L) and have it to the full.(M)

11 “I am(N) the good shepherd.(O) The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.(P) 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away.(Q) Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd;(R) I know my sheep(S) and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father(T)—and I lay down my life for the sheep.(U) 16 I have other sheep(V) that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock(W) and one shepherd.(X) 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life(Y)—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.(Z) I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”(AA)

19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided.(AB) 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed(AC) and raving mad.(AD) Why listen to him?”

21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon.(AE) Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”(AF)

Further Conflict Over Jesus’ Claims

22 Then came the Festival of Dedication[b] at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.(AG) 24 The Jews(AH) who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”(AI)

25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you,(AJ) but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me,(AK) 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.(AL) 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them,(AM) and they follow me.(AN) 28 I give them eternal life,(AO) and they shall never perish;(AP) no one will snatch them out of my hand.(AQ) 29 My Father, who has given them to me,(AR) is greater than all[c];(AS) no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”(AT)

31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him,(AU) 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”(AV)

34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law,(AW) ‘I have said you are “gods”’[d]?(AX) 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God(AY) came—and Scripture cannot be set aside(AZ) 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart(BA) as his very own(BB) and sent into the world?(BC) Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?(BD) 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father.(BE) 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”(BF) 39 Again they tried to seize him,(BG) but he escaped their grasp.(BH)

40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan(BI) to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. There he stayed, 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign,(BJ) all that John said about this man was true.”(BK) 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.(BL)

Footnotes

  1. John 10:9 Or kept safe
  2. John 10:22 That is, Hanukkah
  3. John 10:29 Many early manuscripts What my Father has given me is greater than all
  4. John 10:34 Psalm 82:6