2 Kings 22-23 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
King Josiah of Judah
22 Josiah was eight years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled thirty-one years from Jerusalem. His mother Jedidah was the daughter of Adaiah from Bozkath. 2 Josiah always obeyed the Lord, just as his ancestor David had done.
Hilkiah Finds The Book of God’s Law
3 After Josiah had been king for eighteen years, he told Shaphan,[a] one of his highest officials:
Go to the Lord’s temple 4 and ask Hilkiah the high priest to collect from the guards all the money that the people have donated. 5 Have Hilkiah give it to the men supervising the repairs to the temple. They can use some of the money to pay 6 the workers, and with the rest of it they can buy wood and stone for the repair work. 7 They are honest, so we won’t ask them to keep track of the money.
8 While Shaphan was at the temple, Hilkiah handed him a book and said, “Look what I found here in the temple—The Book of God’s Law.”
Shaphan read it, 9 then went back to Josiah and reported, “Your officials collected the money in the temple and gave it to the men supervising the repairs. 10 But there’s something else, Your Majesty. The priest Hilkiah gave me this book.” Then Shaphan read it out loud.
11 When Josiah heard what was in The Book of God’s Law, he tore his clothes in sorrow. 12 At once he called together Hilkiah, Shaphan, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Achbor son of Micaiah, and his own servant Asaiah. He said, 13 “The Lord must be furious with me and everyone else in Judah, because our ancestors did not obey the laws written in this book. Go find out what the Lord wants us to do.”
14 The five men left right away and went to talk with Huldah the prophet. Her husband was Shallum,[b] who was in charge of the king’s clothes. Huldah lived in the northern part of Jerusalem, and when they met in her home, 15 she said:
You were sent here by King Josiah, and this is what the Lord God of Israel says to him: 16 “Josiah, I am the Lord! And I will see to it that this country and everyone living in it will be destroyed. It will happen just as this book says. 17 The people of Judah have rejected me. They have offered sacrifices to foreign gods and have worshiped their own idols. I cannot stand it any longer. I am furious.
18 “Josiah, listen to what I am going to do. 19 I noticed how sad you were when you read that this country and its people would be completely wiped out. You even tore your clothes in sorrow, and I heard you cry. 20 So I will let you die in peace, before I destroy this place.”
The men left and took Huldah’s answer back to Josiah.
Josiah Reads The Book of God’s Law
23 King Josiah called together the older leaders of Judah and Jerusalem. 2 Then he went to the Lord’s temple, together with the people of Judah and Jerusalem, the priests, and the prophets. Finally, when everybody was there, he read aloud The Book of God’s Law[c] that had been found in the temple.
3 After Josiah had finished reading, he stood by one of the columns. He asked the people to promise in the Lord’s name to faithfully obey the Lord and to follow his commands. The people agreed to do everything written in the book.
Josiah Follows the Teachings of God’s Law
4 Josiah told Hilkiah the priest, the assistant priests, and the guards at the temple door to go into the temple and bring out the things used to worship Baal, Asherah, and the stars. Josiah had these things burned in Kidron Valley just outside Jerusalem, and he had the ashes carried away to the town of Bethel.
5 Josiah also got rid of the pagan priests at the local shrines in Judah and around Jerusalem. These were the men that the kings of Judah had appointed to offer sacrifices to Baal and to the sun, moon, and stars. 6 Josiah had the sacred pole[d] for Asherah brought out of the temple and taken to Kidron Valley, where it was burned. He then had its ashes ground into dust and scattered over the public cemetery there. 7 He had the buildings torn down where the male prostitutes[e] lived next to the temple, and where the women wove sacred robes[f] for the idol of Asherah.
8 In almost every town in Judah, priests had been offering sacrifices to the Lord at local shrines.[g] Josiah brought these priests to Jerusalem and had their shrines made unfit for worship—every shrine from Geba just north of Jerusalem to Beersheba in the south. He even tore down the shrine at Beersheba that was just to the left of Joshua Gate, which was named after the highest official of the city. 9 Those local priests could not serve at the Lord’s altar in Jerusalem, but they were allowed to eat sacred bread,[h] just like the priests from Jerusalem.
10 Josiah sent some men to Hinnom Valley just outside Jerusalem with orders to make the altar there unfit for worship. That way, people could no longer use it for sacrificing their children to the god Molech. 11 He also got rid of the horses that the kings of Judah used in their ceremonies to worship the sun, and he destroyed the chariots along with them. The horses had been kept near the entrance to the Lord’s temple, in a courtyard[i] close to where an official named Nathan-Melech lived.
12 Some of the kings of Judah, especially Manasseh, had built altars in the two courts of the temple and in the room that Ahaz had built on the palace roof. Josiah had these altars torn down and smashed to pieces, and he had the pieces thrown into Kidron Valley, just outside Jerusalem. 13 After that, he closed down the shrines that Solomon had built east of Jerusalem and south of Spoil Hill to honor Astarte the disgusting goddess of Sidon, Chemosh the disgusting god of Moab, and Milcom the disgusting god of Ammon.[j] 14 He tore down the stone images of foreign gods and cut down the sacred pole used in the worship of Asherah. Then he had the whole area covered with human bones.[k]
15 But Josiah was not finished yet. At Bethel he destroyed the shrine and the altar that Jeroboam son of Nebat had built and that had caused the Israelites to sin. Josiah had the shrine and the Asherah pole burned and ground into dust. 16 As he looked around, he saw graves on the hillside. He had the bones in them dug up and burned on the altar, so that it could no longer be used. This happened just as God’s prophet had said when Jeroboam was standing at the altar, celebrating a festival.[l]
Then Josiah saw the grave of the prophet who had said this would happen 17 and he asked,[m] “Whose grave is that?”
Some people who lived nearby answered, “It belongs to the prophet from Judah who told what would happen to this altar.”
18 Josiah replied, “Then leave it alone. Don’t dig up his bones.” So they did not disturb his bones or the bones of the old prophet from Israel who had also been buried there.[n]
19 Some of the Israelite kings had made the Lord angry by building pagan shrines all over Israel. So Josiah sent troops to destroy these shrines just as he had done to the one in Bethel. 20 He killed the priests who served at them and burned their bones on the altars.
After all that, Josiah went back to Jerusalem.
Josiah and the People of Judah Celebrate Passover
21 Josiah told the people of Judah, “Celebrate Passover in honor of the Lord your God, just as it says in The Book of God’s Law.”[o]
22 This festival had not been celebrated in this way since kings ruled Israel and Judah. 23 But in Josiah’s eighteenth year as king of Judah, everyone came to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover.
The Lord Is Still Angry at the People of Judah
24 Josiah got rid of every disgusting person and thing in Judah and Jerusalem—including magicians, fortunetellers, and idols. He did his best to obey every law written in the book that the priest Hilkiah found in the Lord’s temple. 25 No other king before or after Josiah tried as hard as he did to obey the Law of Moses.
26 But the Lord was still furious with the people of Judah because Manasseh had done so many things to make him angry. 27 The Lord said, “I will desert the people of Judah, just as I deserted the people of Israel. I will reject Jerusalem, even though I chose it to be mine. And I will abandon this temple built to honor me.”
Josiah Dies in Battle
28 Everything else Josiah did while he was king is written in The History of the Kings of Judah. 29 During Josiah’s rule, King Neco of Egypt led his army north to the Euphrates River to help the king of Assyria. Josiah led his troops north to fight Neco, but when they met in battle at Megiddo, Josiah was killed.[p] 30 A few of Josiah’s servants put his body in a chariot and took it back to Jerusalem, where they buried it in his own tomb. Then the people of Judah found his son Jehoahaz and poured olive oil on his head to show that he was their new king.
King Jehoahaz of Judah
31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled from Jerusalem only three months. His mother Hamutal was the daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah. 32 Jehoahaz disobeyed the Lord, just as some of his ancestors had done.
33 King Neco of Egypt had Jehoahaz arrested and put in prison at Riblah[q] near Hamath. Then he forced the people of Judah to pay him almost four tons of silver and about seventy-five pounds of gold as taxes. 34 Neco appointed Josiah’s son Eliakim king of Judah, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. He took Jehoahaz as a prisoner to Egypt, where he died.
35 Jehoiakim forced the people of Judah to pay higher taxes, so he could give Neco the silver and gold he demanded.
King Jehoiakim of Judah
36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he was appointed king, and he ruled eleven years from Jerusalem. His mother Zebidah was the daughter of Pedaiah from Rumah. 37 Jehoiakim disobeyed the Lord by following the example of his ancestors.
John 4:31-54 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
31 While this was happening, Jesus' disciples were saying to him, “Teacher, please eat something.”
32 But Jesus told them, “I have food that you don’t know anything about.”
33 His disciples started asking each other, “Has someone brought him something to eat?”
34 Jesus said:
My food is to do what God wants! He is the one who sent me, and I must finish the work that he gave me to do. 35 You may say that there are still four months until harvest time. But I tell you to look, and you will see that the fields are ripe and ready to harvest.
36 Even now the harvest workers are receiving their reward by gathering a harvest that brings eternal life. Then everyone who planted the seed and everyone who harvests the crop will celebrate together. 37 So the saying proves true, “Some plant the seed, and others harvest the crop.” 38 I am sending you to harvest crops in fields where others have done all the hard work.
39 A lot of Samaritans in that town put their faith in Jesus because the woman had said, “This man told me everything I have ever done.” 40 They came and asked him to stay in their town, and he stayed on for two days.
41 Many more Samaritans put their faith in Jesus because of what they heard him say. 42 They told the woman, “We no longer have faith in Jesus just because of what you told us. We have heard him ourselves, and we are certain that he is the Savior of the world!”
Jesus Heals an Official’s Son
43-44 Jesus had said, “Prophets are honored everywhere, except in their own country.” Then two days later he left 45 and went to Galilee. The people there welcomed him, because they had gone to the festival in Jerusalem and had seen everything he had done.
46 While Jesus was in Galilee, he returned to the village of Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. There was an official in Capernaum whose son was sick. 47 And when the man heard that Jesus had come from Judea, he went and begged him to keep his son from dying.
48 Jesus told the official, “You won’t have faith unless you see miracles and wonders!”
49 The man replied, “Lord, please come before my son dies!”
50 Jesus then said, “Your son will live. Go on home to him.” The man believed Jesus and started back home.
51 Some of the official’s servants met him along the road and told him, “Your son is better!” 52 He asked them when the boy got better, and they answered, “The fever left him yesterday at one o’clock.”
53 The boy’s father realized that at one o’clock the day before, Jesus had told him, “Your son will live!” So the man and everyone in his family put their faith in Jesus.
54 This was the second miracle[a] that Jesus worked after he left Judea and went to Galilee.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.