2 Chronicles 25-27Contemporary English Version (CEV)
King Amaziah of Judah
25 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he ruled twenty-nine years from Jerusalem, the hometown of his mother Jehoaddin.[a]
2 Even though Amaziah obeyed the Lord by doing right, he refused to be completely faithful. 3 For example, as soon as he had control of Judah, he arrested and killed the officers who had murdered his father. 4 But the children of those officers were not killed; the Lord had commanded in the Law of Moses that only the people who sinned were to be punished.[b]
Edom Is Defeated
5 Amaziah sent a message to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin and called together all the men who were twenty years old and older. Three hundred thousand men went to Jerusalem, all of them ready for battle and able to fight with spears and shields. Amaziah grouped these soldiers according to their clans and put them under the command of his army officers. 6 Amaziah also paid almost four tons of silver to hire one hundred thousand soldiers from Israel.
7 One of God’s prophets said, “Your Majesty, don’t let these Israelite soldiers march into battle with you. The Lord has refused to help anyone from the northern kingdom of Israel, 8 and so he will let your enemies defeat you, even if you fight hard. He is the one who brings both victory and defeat.”
9 Amaziah replied, “What am I supposed to do about all the silver I paid those troops?”
“The Lord will give you back even more than you paid,” the prophet answered.
10 Amaziah ordered the troops from Israel to go home, but when they left, they were furious with the people of Judah.
11 After Amaziah got his courage back, he led his troops to Salt Valley, where he killed ten thousand Edomite soldiers in battle. 12 He captured ten thousand more soldiers and dragged them to the top of a high cliff. Then he pushed them over the side, and they all were killed on the rocks below.
13 Meanwhile, the Israelite troops that Amaziah had sent home, raided the towns in Judah between Samaria and Beth-Horon. They killed three thousand people and carried off their possessions.
14 After Amaziah had defeated the Edomite army, he returned to Jerusalem. He took with him the idols of the Edomite gods and set them up. Then he bowed down and offered them sacrifices. 15 This made the Lord very angry, and he sent a prophet to ask Amaziah, “Why would you worship these foreign gods that couldn’t even save their own people from your attack?”
16 But before the prophet finished speaking, Amaziah interrupted and said, “You’re not one of my advisors! Don’t say another word, or I’ll have you killed.”
The prophet stopped. But then he added, “First you sinned and now you’ve ignored my warning. It’s clear that God has decided to punish you!”
Israel Defeats Judah
17 King Amaziah of Judah talked with his officials, then sent a message to King Jehoash[c] of Israel: “Come out and face me in battle!”
18 Jehoash sent back a reply that said:
Once upon a time, a small thornbush in Lebanon arranged the marriage between his son and the daughter of a large cedar tree. But a wild animal came along and trampled the small bush.
19 Amaziah, you think you’re so powerful because you defeated Edom. But stay at home and do your celebrating. If you cause any trouble, both you and your kingdom of Judah will be destroyed.
20 God made Amaziah stubborn because he was planning to punish him for worshiping the Edomite gods. Amaziah refused to listen to Jehoash’s warning, 21 so Jehoash led his army to the town of Beth-Shemesh in Judah to attack Amaziah and his troops. 22 During the battle, Judah’s army was crushed. Every soldier from Judah ran back home, 23 and Jehoash captured Amaziah.
Jehoash took Amaziah with him when he went to attack Jerusalem. Jehoash broke down the city wall from Ephraim Gate to Corner Gate, a section about six hundred feet long. 24 He carried away the gold, the silver, and all the valuable furnishings from God’s temple where the descendants of Obed-Edom stood guard. He robbed the king’s treasury, took hostages, then returned to Samaria.
Amaziah Is Killed
25 Amaziah lived fifteen years after Jehoash died. 26 Everything else Amaziah did while he was king is written in The History of the Kings of Judah and Israel.
27 As soon as Amaziah started disobeying the Lord, some people in Jerusalem plotted against Amaziah. He was able to escape to the town of Lachish, but another group of people caught him and killed him there. 28 His body was taken to Jerusalem on horseback and buried beside his ancestors.
King Uzziah of Judah
26 1-3 After the death of King Amaziah, the people of Judah crowned his son Uzziah[d] king, even though he was only sixteen at the time. Uzziah ruled fifty-two years from Jerusalem, the hometown of his mother Jecoliah. During his rule, he recaptured and rebuilt the town of Elath.
4 He obeyed the Lord by doing right, as his father Amaziah had done. 5 Zechariah was Uzziah’s advisor and taught him to obey God. And so, as long as Zechariah was alive, Uzziah was faithful to God, and God made him successful.
6 While Uzziah was king, he started a war against the Philistines. He smashed the walls of the cities of Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod, then rebuilt towns around Ashdod and in other parts of Philistia. 7 God helped him defeat the Philistines, the Arabs living in Gur-Baal, and the Meunites. 8 Even the Ammonites paid taxes to Uzziah. He became very powerful, and people who lived as far away as Egypt heard about him.
9 In Jerusalem, Uzziah built fortified towers at the Corner Gate, the Valley Gate, and the place where the city wall turned inward.[e] 10 He also built defense towers out in the desert.
He owned such a large herd of livestock in the western foothills and in the flatlands, that he had cisterns dug there to catch the rainwater. He loved farming, so he had crops and vineyards planted in the hill country wherever there was fertile soil, and he hired farmers to take care of them.
11 Uzziah’s army was always ready for battle. Jeiel and Maaseiah were the officers who kept track of the number of soldiers, and these two men were under the command of Hananiah, one of Uzziah’s officials. 12-13 There were 307,500 trained soldiers, all under the command of 2,600 clan leaders. These powerful troops protected the king against any enemy. 14 Uzziah supplied his army with shields, spears, helmets, armor, bows, and stones used for slinging. 15 Some of his skilled workers invented machines that could shoot arrows and sling large stones. Uzziah set these up in Jerusalem at his defense towers and at the corners of the city wall.
God helped Uzziah become more and more powerful, and he was famous all over the world.
Uzziah Becomes Too Proud
16 Uzziah became proud of his power, and this led to his downfall.
One day, Uzziah disobeyed the Lord his God by going into the temple and burning incense as an offering to him.[f] 17 Azariah the priest and eighty other brave priests followed Uzziah into the temple 18 and said, “Your Majesty, this isn’t right! You are not allowed to burn incense to the Lord. That must be done only by priests who are descendants of Aaron. You will have to leave! You have sinned against the Lord, and so he will no longer bless you.”
19 Uzziah, who was standing next to the incense altar at the time, was holding the incense burner, ready to offer incense to the Lord. He became very angry when he heard Azariah’s warning, and leprosy[g] suddenly appeared on his forehead! 20 Azariah and the other priests saw it and immediately told him to leave the temple. Uzziah realized that the Lord had punished him, so he hurried to get outside.
21 Uzziah had leprosy the rest of his life. He was no longer allowed in the temple or in his own palace. That’s why his son Jotham lived there and ruled in his place.
22 Everything else Uzziah did while he was king is in the records written by the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 23 Since Uzziah had leprosy, he could not be buried in the royal tombs. Instead, he was buried in a nearby cemetery that the kings owned. His son Jotham then became king.
King Jotham of Judah
27 Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled from Jerusalem for sixteen years. Jerushah his mother was the daughter of Zadok.
2 Jotham obeyed the Lord and did right. He followed the example of his father Uzziah, except he never burned incense in the temple as his father had done. But the people of Judah kept sinning against the Lord.
3 Jotham rebuilt the Upper Gate of the temple and did a lot of work to repair the wall near Mount Ophel. 4 He built towns in the mountains of Judah and built fortresses and defense towers in the forests.
5 During his rule he attacked and defeated the Ammonites. Then every year for the next three years, he forced them to pay four tons of silver, sixty thousand bushels of wheat, and sixty thousand bushels of barley.
6 Jotham remained faithful to the Lord his God and became a very powerful king.
7 Everything else Jotham did while he was king, including the wars he fought, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel and Judah. 8 After he had ruled Judah sixteen years, he died at the age of forty-one. 9 He was buried in Jerusalem, and his son Ahaz became king.
John 16Contemporary English Version (CEV)
16 I am telling you this to keep you from being afraid. 2 You will be chased out of the Jewish meeting places. And the time will come when people will kill you and think they are doing God a favor. 3 They will do these things because they don’t know either the Father or me. 4 I am saying this to you now, so that when the time comes, you will remember what I have said.
The Work of the Holy Spirit
I was with you at the first, and so I didn’t tell you these things. 5 But now I am going back to the Father who sent me, and none of you asks me where I am going. 6 You are very sad from hearing all of this. 7 But I tell you that I am going to do what is best for you. That is why I am going away. The Holy Spirit cannot come to help [a] you until I leave. But after I am gone, I will send the Spirit to you.
8 The Spirit will come and show the people of this world the truth about sin and God’s justice and the judgment. 9 The Spirit will show them that they are wrong about sin, because they didn’t have faith in me. 10 They are wrong about God’s justice, because I am going to the Father, and you won’t see me again. 11 And they are wrong about the judgment, because God has already judged the ruler of this world.
12 I have much more to say to you, but right now it would be more than you could understand. 13 The Spirit shows what is true and will come and guide you into the full truth. The Spirit doesn’t speak on his own. He will tell you only what he has heard from me, and he will let you know what is going to happen. 14 The Spirit will bring glory to me by taking my message and telling it to you. 15 Everything that the Father has is mine. That is why I have said that the Spirit takes my message and tells it to you.
Sorrow Will Turn into Joy
16 Jesus told his disciples, “For a little while you won’t see me, but after a while you will see me. “
17 They said to each other, “What does Jesus mean by saying that for a little while we won’t see him, but after a while we will see him? What does he mean by saying that he is going to the Father? 18 What is this ‘little while’ that he is talking about? We don’t know what he means.”
19 Jesus knew that they had some questions, so he said:
You are wondering what I meant when I said that for a little while you won’t see me, but after a while you will see me. 20 I tell you for certain that you will cry and be sad, but the world will be happy. You will be sad, but later you will be happy.
21 When a woman is about to give birth, she is in great pain. But after it is all over, she forgets the pain and is happy, because she has brought a child into the world. 22 You are now very sad. But later I will see you, and you will be so happy that no one will be able to change the way you feel. 23 When that time comes, you won’t have to ask me about anything. I tell you for certain that the Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name. 24 You have not asked for anything in this way before, but now you must ask in my name.[b] Then it will be given to you, so that you will be completely happy.
25 I have used examples to explain to you what I have been talking about. But the time will come when I will speak to you plainly about the Father and will no longer use examples like these. 26 You will ask the Father in my name,[c] and I won’t have to ask him for you. 27 God the Father loves you because you love me, and you believe that I have come from him. 28 I came from the Father into the world, but I am leaving the world and returning to the Father.
29 The disciples said, “Now you are speaking plainly to us! You are not using examples. 30 At last we know that you understand everything, and we don’t have any more questions. Now we believe that you truly have come from God.”
31 Jesus replied:
Do you really believe me? 32 The time will come and is already here when all of you will be scattered. Each of you will go back home and leave me by myself. But the Father will be with me, and I won’t be alone. 33 I have told you this, so that you might have peace in your hearts because of me. While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world.[d]
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