2 Chronicles 28-29 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Ahaz Succeeds Jotham in Judah
28 Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem. He did not do right in the sight of the Lord, as his father (forefather) David had done. 2 Instead he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and even made cast images for the Baals. 3 And he burned incense in the Valley of Ben-hinnom and burned his sons [as an offering], in accordance with the repulsive acts of the [pagan] nations whom the Lord had driven out before the sons (descendants) of Israel. 4 He also sacrificed and burned incense on the high places [of pagan worship], on the hills and under every green tree.
Judah Is Invaded
5 Therefore the Lord his God handed over Ahaz to the king of Aram (Syria), who defeated him and led away a great number [of the people] as captives, and brought them to Damascus. And he was also handed over to the king of Israel, who struck Judah with a great slaughter. 6 For Pekah son of Remaliah killed 120,000 in Judah in one day, all courageous men, because they had abandoned (turned away from) the Lord God of their fathers. 7 And Zichri, a warrior of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king’s son, and Azrikam the governor of the house, and Elkanah, who was second [in power] to the king.
8 And the sons of Israel led away captive 200,000 of their kinsmen [of Judah]—women, sons, and daughters—and they also took a great quantity of spoil from them and brought it to Samaria. 9 But a prophet of the Lord was there, whose name was Oded; and he went out to meet the army that was returning to Samaria and said to them, “Behold, because the Lord, the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah, He handed them over to you; but you have killed them in a rage that has reached as far as heaven. 10 And now you intend to subjugate the people of Judah and Jerusalem as male and female slaves for yourselves. But are you yourselves not guilty of transgressions against the Lord your God? 11 Now therefore, hear me and return the captives whom you have captured from your brothers (fellow descendants of Israel, i.e. Jacob), for the burning anger of the Lord is against you.” 12 Then some of the heads of the Ephraimites (Israel)—Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai—took a stand against those who were returning from the battle, 13 and said to them, “You must not bring the captives in here; for we are guilty before the Lord already, and what you intend to do will add more to our sins and our guilt. For our guilt is so great that His burning anger is against Israel.” 14 So the armed men [of Israel] left the captives and the spoil [of Judah] before the officers and all the assembly. 15 Then the men who were designated by name rose up and took the captives, and from the spoil they clothed all those who were naked; they clothed them and gave them sandals, and fed them and gave them [something to] drink, anointed them [with oil, as was a host’s duty], and led all the feeble ones on donkeys, and they brought them to Jericho, the City of Palm Trees, to their brothers (fellow descendants of Israel, i.e. Jacob). Then they returned to Samaria.
Compromise with Assyria
16 At that time King Ahaz sent word to the king of Assyria [to ask him] for help. 17 For the Edomites had come again and attacked Judah and led away captives. 18 The Philistines had also invaded the cities of the low country and of the Negev (the South country) of Judah, and had taken Beth-shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, and Soco with their villages, and also Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo with its villages, and they settled there. 19 For the Lord humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, for Ahaz had allowed unrestrained and undisciplined behavior in Judah and had been very unfaithful to the Lord. 20 So Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria came against him and harassed him instead of strengthening and supporting him. 21 Although Ahaz took a portion [of treasure] from the house of the Lord and from the house (palace) of the king and from the leaders, and gave it [as tribute] to the king of Assyria, it did not help Ahaz.
22 In the time of his distress, this same King Ahaz became yet more unfaithful to the Lord. 23 For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus, which had defeated him, and he said, “Since the gods of the kings of Aram (Syria) helped them, I will sacrifice to them so that they may help me.” But they became the ruin and downfall of him and all of Israel. 24 Then Ahaz collected the utensils of the house of God and he cut them in pieces; and he shut the doors of the house of the Lord and made altars for himself in every corner of Jerusalem. 25 In every city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods, provoking to anger the Lord, the God of his fathers. 26 Now the rest of his acts and of all his ways, from the first to the last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 27 And Ahaz slept with his fathers [in death], and they buried him in the city, in Jerusalem, but they did not bring him into the tombs of the kings of Israel. And his son Hezekiah reigned in his place.
Hezekiah Succeeds Ahaz in Judah
29 Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. 2 He did right in the sight of the Lord, in accordance with everything that David his father (forefather) had done.
3 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord [which his father had closed] and repaired them [and replaced the gold overlay]. 4 He brought in the priests and Levites and gathered them into the square on the east.
5 Then he said to them, “Levites, listen to me! Now consecrate (dedicate) yourselves and consecrate the house of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and get the filth [of idol worship] out of the Holy Place. 6 For our fathers have been unfaithful and have done evil in the sight of the Lord our God, and they have abandoned Him and have turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and have turned their backs [toward Him]. 7 They have also closed the doors of the [temple] porch and put out the lamps, and they have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the Holy Place to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore the wrath of the Lord has been against Judah and Jerusalem, and He has made them an object of terror, of horror, and of hissing, just as you see with your own eyes. 9 For behold, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity because of this. 10 Now it is in my heart to make a covenant (solemn agreement) with the Lord God of Israel, so that His burning anger will turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not be negligent and careless now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand in His presence, to attend to His service, and to be His ministers and burn incense.”
12 Then the Levites arose: Mahath the son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah, from the sons of the Kohathites; from the sons of Merari: Kish the son of Abdi, Azariah the son of Jehallelel; from the Gershonites: Joah the son of Zimmah and Eden the son of Joah; 13 from the sons of Elizaphan: Shimri and Jeiel; from the sons of Asaph: Zechariah, and Mattaniah; 14 from the sons of Heman: Jehiel and Shimei; and from the sons of Jeduthun: Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15 They gathered their brothers (fellow Levites) together, consecrated themselves, and went in to cleanse the house of the Lord, as the king had commanded by the words of the Lord. 16 The priests went into the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and every unclean thing they found in the temple of the Lord they brought out to the courtyard of the Lord’s house. Then the Levites received it to take out to the Kidron Valley [for disposal]. 17 Now they began the consecration on the first [day] of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the porch of the Lord. Then for eight days they [a]consecrated the house of the Lord, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished. 18 Then they went inside to King Hezekiah and said, “We have cleansed the entire house (temple) of the Lord, the altar of burnt offering with all of its utensils, and the table of showbread with all its utensils. 19 Moreover, we have prepared and consecrated all the utensils which King Ahaz had discarded during his reign in his unfaithfulness; and behold, they are in front of the altar of the Lord.”
Hezekiah Restores Temple Worship
20 Then King Hezekiah arose early and assembled the officials 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 for a sin offering for the kingdom, the sanctuary, and Judah. He commanded 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; then they slaughtered the lambs and sprinkled the blood on the altar. 23 Then they brought the male goats for the sin offering before the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them [to symbolize the transference of their sin]. 24 The priests slaughtered them and cleansed the altar from sin with their blood to atone for all Israel, because the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering be made for all Israel.
25 Hezekiah stationed the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with harps, and with lyres, in accordance with the command of David [his ancestor] and of Gad the king’s seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for the command was from the Lord through His prophets. 26 The Levites stood with the musical instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 Then Hezekiah gave the order to offer the burnt offering on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song to the Lord also began with the trumpets accompanied by the instruments of David, king of Israel. 28 The entire congregation worshiped, the singers also sang, and the trumpets sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.
29 When the burnt offerings were completed, the king and all who were present with him bowed down and worshiped [God]. 30 Also King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to exclaim praises to the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. And they exclaimed praises with joy, and bowed down and worshiped.
31 Then Hezekiah said, “Now you have consecrated yourselves to the Lord; approach and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of the Lord.” And the assembly brought in sacrifices and thank offerings, and all those who were willing brought burnt offerings. 32 The number of the burnt offerings which the assembly brought was 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs. All these were for a burnt offering to the Lord. 33 The consecrated things were 600 bulls and 3,000 sheep. 34 But there were too few priests and they were unable to skin all the burnt offerings; so until the other priests had consecrated themselves, their brothers, the Levites, helped them until the work was done. For the Levites were more upright in heart and more conscientious than the priests in consecrating themselves. 35 There were also many burnt offerings with the fat of the peace offerings and with 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 because of what God had prepared for the people, for the thing came about suddenly.
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