2 Kings 23-25 Amplified Bible (AMP)
23 King Josiah sent word and they brought to him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. 2 The king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, both small and great; and he read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house (temple) of the Lord. 3 The king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord and to keep His commandments, His testimonies, and His statutes with all his heart and soul, to confirm the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people entered into the covenant.
Reforms under Josiah
4 Then the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest and the priests of the second rank and the doorkeepers to bring out of the temple of the Lord all the articles made for Baal, for [the goddess] Asherah, and for all the [starry] host of heaven; and he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel [where Israel’s idolatry began]. 5 He got rid of the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense [to pagan gods] in the high places in Judah’s cities and all around Jerusalem—also those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, to the moon, to the constellations [of the zodiac], and to all the [starry] host of heaven. 6 Josiah brought out the Asherah from the house of the Lord to the Brook Kidron outside Jerusalem, and burned it there, and ground it to dust, and threw its dust on the graves of the common people [who had sacrificed to it]. 7 And he tore down the houses of the [male] cult prostitutes, which were at the house (temple) of the Lord, where the women were weaving [tent] hangings for the Asherah [shrines]. 8 Then Josiah brought all the [idolatrous] priests from the cities of Judah, and desecrated the high places where the priests had burned incense [to idols], from Geba to Beersheba, [that is, north to south]; and he tore down the high places of the gates which were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on one’s left at the city gate. 9 However, the priests of the high places were not allowed to go up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem [to serve], but they ate unleavened bread among their brothers. 10 Josiah also defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of Ben-hinnom (son of Hinnom), so that no man could make his son or his daughter pass through the fire [as a burnt offering] for Molech. 11 And he got rid of the horses that the kings of Judah had given [in worship] to the sun at the entrance of the house of the Lord, by the chamber of Nathan-melech the official, which was in the annex; and he burned the chariots of the sun. 12 The altars [dedicated to the starry host of heaven] which were on the roof, the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courtyards of the house of the Lord, the king tore down; and he smashed them there and threw their dust into the Brook Kidron. 13 The king desecrated the high places which were opposite [east of] Jerusalem, which were on the right (south) of the mount of corruption which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the repulsiveness of the Sidonians, for Chemosh the repulsiveness of Moab, and for Milcom the repulsiveness of the sons (descendants) of Ammon. 14 He broke in pieces the sacred pillars (cultic memorial stones, images) and cut down the Asherim and replaced them with human bones [to desecrate the places forever].
15 Further, the altar that was at Bethel, the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, had made, even that altar and the high place he tore down. Then he demolished its stones, ground them to dust, and burned the Asherah. 16 And as Josiah turned, he saw the graves that were there on the mountain, and he sent men and had the bones taken from the graves, and burned them on the altar and [thereby] desecrated it, in accordance with the word of the Lord which the man of God prophesied, who proclaimed these things [about this altar, naming Josiah before he was born]. 17 Then Josiah said, “What is this monument (gravestone) that I see?” The men of the city told him, “It is the grave of the man of God who came from Judah and proclaimed these things which you have done to the altar of Bethel.” 18 He said, “Let him alone; let no one disturb his bones.” So they left his bones undisturbed, with the bones of the prophet who came from Samaria. 19 Josiah also removed all the houses of the high places which were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made provoking the Lord [to anger]; and he did to them just as he had done [to those] in Bethel. 20 All the priests of the high places who were there he slaughtered on the altars, and burned human bones on them [to desecrate the places forever]. Then he returned to Jerusalem.
21 Then the king commanded all the people, saying, “Celebrate the Passover to the Lord your God as it is written in this book of the covenant.” 22 Indeed, such a Passover as this had not been held since the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah. 23 But in the eighteenth year of King Josiah, this Passover to the Lord was kept in Jerusalem.
24 Moreover, Josiah removed the mediums and the soothsayers and the teraphim (household gods) and the idols and all the repulsive things that were seen in Judah and in Jerusalem, so that he might fulfill the words of the law written in the book which Hilkiah the priest found in the house (temple) of the Lord. 25 Before him there was no king like Josiah who turned to the Lord with all his heart and all his soul and all his might, in accordance with all the Law of Moses; nor did anyone like him arise after him.
26 However, the Lord did not turn from the fierceness of His great wrath which was kindled against Judah because of all the [a]despicable acts with which Manasseh had provoked Him. 27 The Lord said, “I will also remove Judah from My sight, just as I have removed Israel; and will reject this city which I have chosen, this Jerusalem, and the house, of which I said, ‘My Name [and the pledge of My Presence] shall be there.’”
Jehoahaz Succeeds Josiah
28 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, everything that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 29 In his days Pharaoh Neco (Necho) king of Egypt went up to the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates [to help him fight Nabopolassar the king of Babylon]. King Josiah went out to meet him, but Pharaoh killed Josiah at Megiddo when he saw him. 30 Josiah’s servants carried his dead body in a chariot from Megiddo, brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own tomb. Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah and anointed him and made him king in his father’s place.
31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned for [only] three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 32 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, in accordance with everything that his forefathers had done. 33 Pharaoh Neco imprisoned him at Riblah in the land of Hamath, so that he would not reign in Jerusalem, and imposed a fine on the land of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.
Jehoiakim Made King by Pharaoh
34 Pharaoh Neco made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in place of his father Josiah, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. But he took Jehoahaz and brought him to Egypt, where he died. 35 Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh, but he taxed the land to give the money as Pharaoh commanded. He collected the silver and gold from the people of the land, from everyone according to his assessment, to give it to Pharaoh Neco.
36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zebidah daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. 37 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, in accordance with everything that his forefathers had done.
Babylon Controls Jehoiakim
24 In his days, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant for three years; then he turned and rebelled against him. 2 The Lord sent marauding bands of Chaldeans, Arameans (Syrians), Moabites, and Ammonites against Jehoiakim. And He sent them against Judah to destroy it, in accordance with the word of the Lord which He spoke through His servants the prophets. 3 Surely this came on Judah at the command of the Lord, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of [King] Manasseh, in accordance with everything that he had done, 4 and also for the innocent blood that he shed, for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; and the Lord would not pardon it. 5 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and everything that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?
6 So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers [in death], and his son Jehoiachin became king in his place. 7 The king of Egypt did not come out of his land again, because the [b]king of Babylon had taken everything that belonged to the king of Egypt, from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates.
8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned [only] three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Nehushta daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. 9 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, in accordance with everything that his father had done.
Deportation to Babylon
10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon went up to Jerusalem, and the city came under siege. 11 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to the city while his servants were besieging it. 12 Jehoiachin king of Judah surrendered to the king of Babylon, he and his mother and his servants and his captains and his [palace] officials. So the king of Babylon took him prisoner in the eighth year of his [own] reign. 13 He carried out of there (Jerusalem) all the treasures of the house (temple) of the Lord, and the treasures of the house (palace) of the king, and cut in pieces all the articles of gold in the temple of the Lord, which Solomon king of Israel had made, just as the Lord had said. 14 He led away into exile all Jerusalem and all the captains and all the brave men, ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and the smiths. None remained except the poorest people of the land.
15 Nebuchadnezzar led Jehoiachin away into exile to Babylon; also he took the king’s mother and the king’s wives and his officials and the leading men of the land [including Ezekiel] as exiles from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 And the king of Babylon brought as exiles to Babylon all the brave men, seven thousand [of them], and the craftsmen and the smiths, a thousand [of them], all strong and fit for war.
Zedekiah Made King
17 Then the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah.
18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 19 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, in accordance with everything that Jehoiakim had done. 20 Because of the anger of the Lord these things happened in Jerusalem and Judah, and it [finally] came to the point that He cast them from His presence. And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar Besieges Jerusalem
25 Now in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he with all his army, against Jerusalem, and camped against it and built siege works surrounding it. 2 The city came under siege [for nearly two years] until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 3 On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine [caused by the siege] was severe in the city; there was no food for the people of the land. 4 Then the city [wall] was broken into [and conquered]; all the men of war fled by night by way of the gate between the two walls by the king’s garden, though the [c]Chaldeans (Babylonians) were all around the city. And they went by way of the Arabah (the plain of the Jordan). 5 The army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. Then his entire army was dispersed from him. 6 So they seized the king (Zedekiah) and brought him to the king of Babylon at Riblah [on the Orontes River], and sentence was passed on him. 7 They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, then put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him [hand and foot] with bronze fetters and brought him to Babylon.
Jerusalem Burned and Plundered
8 On the seventh day of the fifth month in the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, captain of the bodyguard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. 9 He burned the house (temple) of the Lord, the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. 10 All the army of the Chaldeans (Babylonians) who were with the captain of the bodyguard tore down the walls around Jerusalem. 11 Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard deported [into exile] the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had joined the king of Babylon, and the rest of the multitude. 12 But the captain of the bodyguard left some of the unimportant and poorest people of the land to be vineyard workers and farmers.
13 Now the Chaldeans (Babylonians) smashed the bronze pillars which were in the house of the Lord and their bases and the bronze sea (large basin) which were in the house of the Lord, and carried the bronze to Babylon. 14 They took away the pots, the shovels, the snuffers, the spoons, and all the bronze articles which were used in the temple service, 15 the captain of the bodyguard also took away the firepans and basins, anything made of fine gold and anything made of fine silver. 16 The two pillars, the one sea (large basin), and the bases which Solomon had made for the house of the Lord, the bronze of all these articles was incalculable. 17 The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits (27 ft.), and a capital of bronze was on top of it. The height of the capital was three cubits (4.5 ft.); a network (lattice work) and pomegranates around the capital were all of bronze. And the second pillar had the same as these, with a network.
18 The captain of the bodyguard took [captive] Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the second priest, and the three doorkeepers [of the temple]. 19 And from the city [of Jerusalem] he took an officer who was in command of the men of war, and five men from the king’s personal advisors who were found in the city, and the scribe of the captain of the army who mustered the people of the land [for military service] and sixty men from the people of the land who were found in the city. 20 Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 Then the king of Babylon struck them down and killed them at Riblah in the land of Hamath [north of Damascus]. So Judah was taken into exile from its land.
Gedaliah Made Governor
22 Now over the people whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left in the land of Judah, he appointed [as governor] Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan. 23 When all the captains of the forces, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah governor, they came with their men to Gedaliah at Mizpah, namely, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of the Maacathite. 24 Gedaliah swore [an oath] to them and their men, and said to them, “Do not be afraid of the servants (officials) of the Chaldeans. Live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will be well with you.”
25 But in the seventh month Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the royal family [who had a claim to be governor], came with ten men and struck and killed Gedaliah and the Jews and the Chaldeans who were with him at Mizpah. 26 Then all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the forces set out and went to Egypt; for they were afraid of the Chaldeans (Babylonians).
27 Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he became king, showed favor to Jehoiachin king of Judah and released him from prison; 28 and he spoke kindly to him and set his throne above the throne of the [other] kings [of captive peoples] who were with him in Babylon. 29 Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes [for palace garments] and he dined regularly in the king’s presence for the remainder of his life; 30 and his allowance, a continual one, was given to him by the king (Evil-meridach), a portion every day, for the rest of his life.
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