2 Chronicles 13-14 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
King Abijah of Judah
13 Abijah[a] became king of Judah in Jeroboam’s eighteenth year as king of Israel, 2 and he ruled from Jerusalem for three years. His mother was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel from Gibeah.
Some time later, Abijah and King Jeroboam of Israel went to war against each other. 3 Abijah’s army had four hundred thousand troops, and Jeroboam met him in battle with eight hundred thousand troops.
4 Abijah went to the top of Mount Zemaraim[b] in the hills of Ephraim and shouted:
Listen, Jeroboam and all you Israelites! 5 The Lord God of Israel has made a solemn promise that every king of Israel will be from David’s family. 6 But Jeroboam, you were King Solomon’s official, and you rebelled. 7 Then right after Rehoboam became king, you and your bunch of worthless followers challenged Rehoboam, who was too young to know how to stop you.
8 Now you and your powerful army think you can stand up to the kingdom that the Lord has given to David’s descendants. The only gods you have are those gold statues of calves that Jeroboam made for you. 9 You don’t even have descendants of Aaron on your side, because you forced out the Lord’s priests and Levites. In their place, you appoint ordinary people to be priests, just as the foreign nations do. In fact, anyone who brings a bull and seven rams to the altar can become a priest of your so-called gods.
10 But we have not turned our backs on the Lord God! Aaron’s own descendants serve as our priests, and the Levites are their assistants. 11 Two times every day they offer sacrifices and burn incense to the Lord. They set out the sacred loaves of bread on a table that has been purified, and they light the lamps in the gold lampstand every day at sunset. We follow the commands of the Lord our God—you have rejected him! 12 That’s why God is on our side and will lead us into battle when the priests sound the signal on the trumpets. It’s no use, Israelites. You might as well give up. There’s no way you can defeat the Lord, the God your ancestors worshiped.
13 But while Abijah was talking, Jeroboam had sent some of his troops to attack Judah’s army from behind, while the rest attacked from the front. 14 Judah’s army realized they were trapped, and so they prayed to the Lord. The priests blew the signal on the trumpet, 15 and the troops let out a battle cry. Then with Abijah leading them into battle, God defeated Jeroboam and Israel’s army. 16 The Israelites ran away, and God helped Judah’s soldiers slaughter 17 five hundred thousand enemy troops. 18 Judah’s army won because they had trusted the Lord God of their ancestors.
19 Abijah kept up his attack on Jeroboam’s army and captured the Israelite towns of Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephron, as well as the villages around them.
20 Jeroboam never regained his power during the rest of Abijah’s rule. The Lord punished Jeroboam, and he died, but Abijah became more powerful.
21 Abijah had a total of fourteen wives, twenty-two sons, and sixteen daughters. 22 Everything Abijah said and did while he was king is written in the records of Iddo the prophet.
King Asa of Judah
14 Abijah died and was buried in Jerusalem. Then his son Asa became king, and Judah had ten years of peace.
2 Asa obeyed the Lord his God and did right. 3 He destroyed the local shrines[c] and the altars to foreign gods. He smashed the stone images of gods and cut down the sacred poles[d] used in worshiping the goddess Asherah. 4 Then he told everyone in Judah to worship the Lord God, just as their ancestors had done, and to obey his laws and teachings. 5 He destroyed every local shrine and incense altar in Judah.
6 The Lord blessed Judah with peace while Asa was king, and so during that time, Asa fortified many of the towns. 7 He said to the people, “Let’s build walls and defense towers for these towns, and put in gates that can be locked with bars. This land still belongs to us, because we have obeyed the Lord our God. He has given us peace from all our enemies.” The people did everything Asa had suggested.
8 Asa had a large army of brave soldiers: Three hundred thousand of them were from the tribe of Judah and were armed with shields and spears; two hundred eighty thousand were from Benjamin and were armed with bows and arrows.
Judah Defeats Ethiopia’s Army
9 Zerah from Ethiopia[e] led an army of a million soldiers and three hundred chariots to the town of Mareshah[f] in Judah. 10 Asa met him there, and the two armies prepared for battle in Zephathah Valley.
11 Asa prayed:
Lord God, only you can help a powerless army defeat a stronger one. So we depend on you to help us. We will fight against this powerful army to honor your name, and we know that you won’t be defeated. You are the Lord our God.
12 The Lord helped Asa and his army defeat the Ethiopians. The enemy soldiers ran away, 13 but Asa and his troops chased them as far as Gerar. It was a total defeat—the Ethiopians could not even fight back![g]
The soldiers from Judah took everything that had belonged to the Ethiopians. 14 The people who lived in the villages around Gerar learned what had happened and were afraid of the Lord. So Judah’s army easily defeated them and carried off everything of value that they wanted from these towns. 15 They also attacked the camps where the shepherds lived and took a lot of sheep, goats, and camels. Then they went back to Jerusalem.
John 12:1-26 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
12 Six days before Passover Jesus went back to Bethany, where he had raised Lazarus from death. 2 A meal had been prepared for Jesus. Martha was doing the serving, and Lazarus himself was there.
3 Mary took a very expensive bottle of perfume[a] and poured it on Jesus' feet. She wiped them with her hair, and the sweet smell of the perfume filled the house.
4 A disciple named Judas Iscariot[b] was there. He was the one who was going to betray Jesus, and he asked, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?” 6 Judas did not really care about the poor. He asked this because he carried the moneybag and sometimes would steal from it.
7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone! She has kept this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor with you, but you won’t always have me.”
A Plot To Kill Lazarus
9 A lot of people came when they heard that Jesus was there. They also wanted to see Lazarus, because Jesus had raised him from death. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus. 11 He was the reason that many of the Jewish leaders were turning from them and putting their faith in Jesus.
Jesus Enters Jerusalem
12 The next day a large crowd was in Jerusalem for Passover. When they heard that Jesus was coming for the festival, 13 they took palm branches and went out to greet him.[c] They shouted,
14 Jesus found a donkey and rode on it, just as the Scriptures say,
15 “People of Jerusalem,
16 At first, Jesus' disciples did not understand. But after he had been given his glory,[e] they remembered all this. Everything had happened exactly as the Scriptures said it would.
17-18 A crowd had come to meet Jesus because they had seen him call Lazarus out of the tomb. They kept talking about him and this miracle.[f] 19 But the Pharisees said to each other, “There is nothing that can be done! Everyone in the world is following Jesus.”
Some Greeks Want To Meet Jesus
20 Some Greeks[g] had gone to Jerusalem to worship during Passover. 21 Philip from Bethsaida in Galilee was there too. So they went to him and said, “Sir, we would like to meet Jesus.” 22 Philip told Andrew. Then the two of them went to Jesus and told him.
The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up
23 Jesus said:
The time has come for the Son of Man to be given his glory.[h] 24 I tell you for certain that a grain of wheat that falls on the ground will never be more than one grain unless it dies. But if it dies, it will produce lots of wheat. 25 If you love your life, you will lose it. If you give it up in this world, you will be given eternal life. 26 If you serve me, you must go with me. My servants will be with me wherever I am. If you serve me, my Father will honor you.
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