2 Chronicles 25-28 Common English Bible (CEB)
25 Amaziah was 25 years old when he became king, and he ruled for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan; she was from Jerusalem. 2 He did what was right in the Lord’s eyes but not with all his heart. 3 Once he had secured control over his kingdom, he executed the officials who had assassinated his father the king. 4 However, he didn’t kill their children because of what is written in the Instruction scroll from Moses, where the Lord commanded, Parents shouldn’t be executed because of what their children have done; neither should children be executed because of what their parents have done. Each person should be executed for their own guilty acts.[a]
5 Amaziah gathered the people of Judah, organizing them into family units under captains of thousands and hundreds for all Judah and Benjamin. He summoned everyone 20 years old and older and found that there were three hundred thousand select troops, ready for service and able to handle spears and body-sized shields. 6 He also hired one hundred thousand warriors from Israel for one hundred kikkars of silver.
7 But a man of God confronted him. “King,” he said, “the troops from Israel must not go with you, because the Lord isn’t on the side of Israel or any Ephraimite. 8 Should you go with them anyway, even if you fight fiercely, God will make you stumble before the enemy, because God has the ability to either help or make someone stumble.”
9 Amaziah asked the man of God, “What about the hundred kikkars I paid for the Israelite troops?”
“God can give you much more than that,” the man of God replied.
10 Amaziah released the Ephraimite troops who had joined him so they could go home, but this only infuriated them against Judah, and they left in a rage. 11 Amaziah courageously led his people to the Salt Valley, where they killed ten thousand people from Seir. 12 The Judean forces captured another ten thousand alive, brought them to the top of a cliff, and threw them off so that all were dashed to pieces. 13 Meanwhile, the troops Amaziah had released from fighting alongside him raided cities in Judah from Samaria to Beth-horon, killing three thousand people and carrying off a large amount of loot. 14 When Amaziah returned after defeating the Edomites, he brought the gods of the people of Seir. He set them up as his own gods, bowed down before them, and burned incense to them. 15 As a result, the Lord was angry with Amaziah and sent a prophet to him.
“Why do you seek the gods of this people?” the prophet asked. “They couldn’t even deliver their own people from you!”
16 “Since when do you give me advice?” Amaziah interrupted. “You better quit before you end up dead!”
So the prophet stopped, but not until he said, “I know God plans to destroy you because you’ve done this and because you’ve refused to listen to my advice.”
17 After Judah’s King Amaziah consulted with his advisors, he sent a challenge to Israel’s King Joash, Jehoahaz’s son and Jehu’s grandson. “Come on,” he said, “let’s go head-to-head!”
18 Israel’s King Joash sent the following reply to Judah’s King Amaziah: “Once upon a time, a thistle in Lebanon sent a message to a cedar: ‘Give your daughter to my son as a wife.’ But then a wild beast in Lebanon came along and trampled the thistle. 19 Do you think that because you’ve defeated Edom, you can arrogantly seek even more? Stay home! Why invite disaster when both you and Judah will fall?” 20 But Amaziah wouldn’t listen, because God intended to use this to destroy them since they had sought Edom’s gods. 21 So Israel’s King Joash moved against Judah’s King Amaziah and went head-to-head in battle at Beth-shemesh in Judah. 22 Judah was defeated by Israel, and everyone ran home. 23 At Beth-shemesh, Israel’s King Joash captured Judah’s King Amaziah, Jehoash’s[b] son and Ahaziah’s[c] grandson. Joash brought him to Jerusalem and broke down six hundred feet of the Jerusalem wall from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate. 24 Joash took[d] all the gold and silver, and all the objects he could find in God’s temple in the care of Obed-edom, and in the treasuries of the palace, along with some hostages. Then he returned to Samaria.
25 Judah’s King Amaziah, Jehoash’s son, lived fifteen years after the death of Israel’s King Joash, Jehoahaz’s son. 26 The rest of Amaziah’s deeds, from beginning to end, aren’t they written in the official records of Israel’s and Judah’s kings? 27 From the time Amaziah turned away from the Lord, some people conspired against him in Jerusalem. When Amaziah fled to Lachish, they sent men after him, and they murdered him in Lachish. 28 They carried him back on horses and he was buried with his ancestors in David’s City.[e]
Uzziah rules Judah
26 Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah,[f] who was 16 years old, and made him king after his father Amaziah. 2 He rebuilt Eloth, restoring it to Judah after King Amaziah had lain down with his ancestors.
3 Uzziah was 16 years old when he became king, and he ruled for fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah; she was from Jerusalem. 4 He did what was right in the Lord’s eyes, just as his father Amaziah had done. 5 He sought God as long as Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear[g] of God, was alive. And as long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success. 6 He marched against the Philistines and broke down the walls of Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod. Then he rebuilt towns near Ashdod and elsewhere among the Philistines. 7 God helped him against the Philistines, the Arabs who inhabited Gur,[h] and the Meunites. 8 The Meunites[i] paid taxes to Uzziah, whose fame spread even to Egypt because he had grown so powerful. 9 He built towers in Jerusalem, at the Corner Gate, the Valley Gate, and at the Angle, and reinforced them. 10 He also built towers in the wilderness and dug many wells for his large herds in the lowlands and the plain. He had many workers who tended his farms and vineyards, because he loved the soil. 11 Uzziah had a standing army equipped for combat whose units went to war according to the number determined by the scribe Jeiel and Maaseiah, an officer under the authority of Hananiah, one of the king’s officials. 12 The grand total of family heads in charge of these courageous warriors was twenty-six hundred. 13 They commanded an army of three hundred seven thousand five hundred. They formed a powerful force that could support the king against the enemy. 14 Uzziah supplied the entire force with shields, spears, helmets, armor, bows, and sling stones. 15 He set up clever devices in Jerusalem on the towers and corners of the wall designed to shoot arrows and large stones. And so Uzziah’s fame spread far and wide, because he had received wonderful help until he became powerful.
16 But as soon as he became powerful, he grew so arrogant that he acted corruptly. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God by entering the Lord’s sanctuary to burn incense upon the incense altar. 17 The priest Azariah, accompanied by eighty other of the Lord’s courageous priests, went in after him 18 and confronted King Uzziah.
“You have no right, Uzziah,” he said, “to burn incense to the Lord! That privilege belongs to the priests, Aaron’s descendants, who have been ordained to burn incense. Get out of this holy place because you have been unfaithful! The Lord God won’t honor you for this.”
19 Then Uzziah, who already had a censer in his hand ready to burn the incense, became angry. While he was fuming at the priests, skin disease[j] erupted on his forehead in the presence of the priests before the incense altar in the Lord’s temple. 20 When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests turned and saw the skin disease on his forehead, they rushed him out of there. Uzziah also was anxious to leave because the Lord had afflicted him. 21 King Uzziah had skin disease until the day he died. He lived in a separate house,[k] diseased in his skin, because he was barred from the Lord’s temple. His son Jotham supervised the palace administration and governed the people of the land. 22 The rest of Uzziah’s deeds, from beginning to end, were written down by the prophet Isaiah, Amoz’s son. 23 Uzziah died and was buried with his ancestors in a field belonging to the kings, because people said, “He had skin disease.” His son Jotham succeeded him as king.
27 Jotham was 25 years old when he became king, and he ruled for sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerushah; she was Zadok’s daughter. 2 Jotham did what was right in the Lord’s eyes, just as his father Uzziah had done. Unlike Uzziah, Jotham didn’t enter the Lord’s temple. But the people continued their crooked practices. 3 Jotham rebuilt the Upper Gate of the Lord’s temple and did extensive work on the wall of the elevated fortress.[l] 4 He built towns in Judah’s highlands and fortresses and towers in the wooded areas. 5 He fought against the king of the Ammonites and defeated the Ammonites. They paid him one hundred kikkars of silver, ten thousand kors[m] of wheat, and ten thousand kors of barley that year and for the next two years. 6 Jotham was securely established because he maintained a faithful life before the Lord his God. 7 The rest of Jotham’s deeds, including all his wars and accomplishments, are written in the official records of Israel’s and Judah’s kings. 8 He was 25 years old when he became king, and he ruled for sixteen years in Jerusalem. 9 Jotham lay down with his ancestors and was buried in David’s City. His son Ahaz succeeded him as king.
28 Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king, and he ruled for sixteen years in Jerusalem. He didn’t do what was right in the Lord’s eyes, unlike his ancestor David. 2 Instead, he walked in the ways of Israel’s kings, making images of the Baals 3 and burning incense in the Ben-hinnom Valley. He even burned his own sons alive, imitating the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites. 4 He also sacrificed and burned incense at the shrines on every hill and beneath every shady tree. 5 So the Lord his God handed him over to Aram’s king, who defeated him and carried off many prisoners, bringing them to Damascus. Ahaz was also handed over to Israel’s king, who defeated him with a severe beating. 6 In Judah, Pekah, Remaliah’s son, killed one hundred twenty thousand warriors in the course of a single day because they had abandoned the Lord, God of their ancestors. 7 An Ephraimite warrior named Zichri killed the king’s son Maaseiah, the palace administrator Azrikam, and Elkanah, the king’s second in command. 8 The Israelites took captive two hundred thousand women, boys, and girls from their Judean relatives and seized enormous amounts of plunder, which they took back to Samaria.
9 One of the Lord’s prophets named Oded lived in Samaria. When the army arrived there, he went to meet them and said, “Don’t you see that the Lord God of your ancestors was angry with Judah and let you defeat them? But look what you’ve done! Your merciless slaughter of them stinks to high heaven! 10 And now you think you can enslave the men and women of Judah and Jerusalem? What about your own guilt before the Lord your God? 11 Listen to me! Send back the captives you took from your relatives, because the Lord is furious with you.”
12 At this, some of the Ephraimite leaders—Johanan’s son Azariah, Meshillemoth’s son Berechiah, Shallum’s son Jehizkiah, and Hadlai’s son Amasa—confronted those returning from battle. 13 “Don’t bring the captives here,” they told them. “Your plan will only add to our sin and guilt before the Lord. We’re already guilty enough, and great anger is already directed at Israel.” 14 So the warriors released the captives and brought the loot before the officers and the whole assembly. 15 Then people named for this task took charge of the captives and dressed everyone who was naked with items taken from the loot. They gave them clothing, sandals, food and drink, and bandaged their wounds. Everyone who couldn’t walk they placed on donkeys, and they brought them to Jericho, Palm City, near their Judean relatives. Then they returned to Samaria.
16 At that time King Ahaz sent for help from the king[n] of Assyria. 17 Once again, the Edomites had invaded Judah, defeating Judah and carrying off captives. 18 The Philistines had raided the towns in the lowlands and the arid southern plain of Judah, capturing Beth-shemesh, Aijalon, and Gederoth, along with Soco and its surrounding villages, Timnah and its surrounding villages, and Gimzo and its surrounding villages, and occupying all of these cities. 19 The Lord was humiliating Judah on account of Israel’s King Ahaz, because he had exercised no restraint in Judah and had been utterly unfaithful to the Lord. 20 Assyria’s King Tiglath-pileser[o] came to Ahaz, but he brought trouble, not support. 21 Even though Ahaz took items from the Lord’s temple, the royal palace, and the officials to buy off the king of Assyria, it was of no help.
22 It was during this troubled time that King Ahaz became even more unfaithful to the Lord 23 by sacrificing to the gods of Damascus, who had defeated him.
“Since the gods of Aram’s kings are helping them,” he said, “I’ll sacrifice to them too, so that they will help me.”
But they became the ruin of both him and all Israel. 24 Ahaz gathered the objects from God’s temple, cut them up, shut the doors of the Lord’s temple, and made himself altars on every corner in Jerusalem. 25 He made shrines in all the towns of Judah for burning incense to other gods. This made the Lord, the God of his ancestors, very angry.
26 The rest of Ahaz’s deeds, from beginning to end, are written in the official records of Israel’s and Judah’s kings. 27 Ahaz lay down with his ancestors and was buried in the city, in Jerusalem, but not in the royal cemetery of Israel’s kings. His son Hezekiah succeeded him as king.