2 Chronicles 10-12 The Message (MSG)
10 1-2 Rehoboam traveled to Shechem where all Israel had gathered to inaugurate him as king. Jeroboam was then in Egypt, where he had taken asylum from King Solomon; when he got the report of Solomon’s death, he came back.
3-4 Summoned by Israel, Jeroboam and all Israel went to Rehoboam and said, “Your father made life hard for us—worked our fingers to the bone. Give us a break; lighten up on us and we’ll willingly serve you.”
5 “Give me,” said Rehoboam, “three days to think it over; then come back.” So the people left.
6 King Rehoboam talked it over with the elders who had advised his father when he was alive: “What’s your counsel? How do you suggest that I answer the people?”
7 They said, “If you will be a servant to this people, be considerate of their needs and respond with compassion, work things out with them, they’ll end up doing anything for you.”
8-9 But he rejected the counsel of the elders and asked the young men he’d grown up with who were now currying his favor, “What do you think? What should I say to these people who are saying, ‘Give us a break from your father’s harsh ways—lighten up on us’?”
10-11 The young turks he’d grown up with said, “These people who complain, ‘Your father was too hard on us; lighten up’—well, tell them this: ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. If you think life under my father was hard, you haven’t seen the half of it. My father thrashed you with whips; I’ll beat you bloody with chains!’”
12-14 Three days later Jeroboam and the people showed up, just as Rehoboam had directed when he said, “Give me three days to think it over; then come back.” The king’s answer was harsh and rude. He spurned the counsel of the elders and went with the advice of the younger set: “If you think life under my father was hard, you haven’t seen the half of it: my father thrashed you with whips; I’ll beat you bloody with chains!”
15 Rehoboam turned a deaf ear to the people. God was behind all this, confirming the message that he had given to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah of Shiloh.
16-17 When all Israel realized that the king hadn’t listened to a word they’d said, they stood up to him and said,
Get lost, David!
And with that they left. Rehoboam continued to rule only those who lived in the towns of Judah.
18-19 When King Rehoboam next sent out Adoniram, head of the workforce, the Israelites ganged up on him, pelted him with stones, and killed him. King Rehoboam jumped in his chariot and escaped to Jerusalem as fast as he could. Israel has been in rebellion against the Davidic dynasty ever since.
11 When Rehoboam got back to Jerusalem he called up the men of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, 180,000 of their best soldiers, to go to war against Israel and recover the kingdom.
2-4 At the same time the word of God came to Shemaiah, a holy man, “Tell this to Rehoboam son of Solomon, king of Judah, along with all the Israelites in Judah and Benjamin, This is God’s word: Don’t march out; don’t fight against your brothers the Israelites. Go back home, every last one of you; I’m in charge here.” And they did it; they did what God said and went home.
5-12 Rehoboam continued to live in Jerusalem but built up a defense system for Judah all around: in Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, Beth Zur, Soco, Adullam, Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron—a line of defense protecting Judah and Benjamin. He beefed up the fortifications, appointed commanders, and put in supplies of food, olive oil, and wine. He installed arms—large shields and spears—in all the forts, making them very strong. So Judah and Benjamin were secure for the time.
13-17 The priests and Levites from all over Israel came and made themselves available to Rehoboam. The Levites left their pastures and properties and moved to Judah and Jerusalem because Jeroboam and his sons had dismissed them from the priesthood of God and replaced them with his own priests to preside over the worship centers at which he had installed goat and calf demon-idols. Everyone from all the tribes of Israel who determined to seek the God of Israel migrated with the priests and Levites to Jerusalem to worship there, sacrificing to the God of their ancestors. That gave a tremendous boost to the kingdom of Judah. They stuck with Rehoboam son of Solomon for three years, loyal to the ways of David and Solomon for this period.
18-21 Rehoboam married Mahalath daughter of Jerimoth, David’s son, and Abihail daughter of Eliab, Jesse’s son. Mahalath bore him Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. Then he married Maacah, Absalom’s daughter, and she bore him Abijah, Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. Maacah was Rehoboam’s favorite wife; he loved her more than all his other wives and concubines put together (and he had a lot—eighteen wives and sixty concubines who produced twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters!).
22-23 Rehoboam designated Abijah son of Maacah as the “first son” and leader of the brothers—he intended to make him the next king. He was shrewd in deploying his sons in all the fortress cities that made up his defense system in Judah and Benjamin; he kept them happy with much food and many wives.
12 By the time Rehoboam had secured his kingdom and was strong again, he, and all Israel with him, had virtually abandoned God and his ways.
2-4 In Rehoboam’s fifth year, because he and the people were unfaithful to God, Shishak king of Egypt invaded as far as Jerusalem. He came with twelve hundred chariots and sixty thousand cavalry, and soldiers from all over—the Egyptian army included Libyans, Sukkites, and Ethiopians. They took the fortress cities of Judah and advanced as far as Jerusalem itself.
5 Then the prophet Shemaiah, accompanied by the leaders of Judah who had retreated to Jerusalem before Shishak, came to Rehoboam and said, “God’s word: You abandoned me; now I abandon you to Shishak.”
6 The leaders of Israel and the king were repentant and said, “God is right.”
7-8 When God saw that they were humbly repentant, the word of God came to Shemaiah: “Because they are humble, I’ll not destroy them—I’ll give them a break; I won’t use Shishak to express my wrath against Jerusalem. What I will do, though, is make them Shishak’s subjects—they’ll learn the difference between serving me and serving human kings.”
9 Then Shishak king of Egypt attacked Jerusalem. He plundered the treasury of The Temple of God and the treasury of the royal palace—he took everything he could lay his hands on. He even took the gold shields that Solomon had made.
10-11 King Rehoboam replaced the gold shields with bronze shields and gave them to the guards who were posted at the entrance to the royal palace. Whenever the king went to God’s Temple, the guards went with him carrying the shields, but they always returned them to the guardroom.
12 Because Rehoboam was repentant, God’s anger was blunted, so he wasn’t totally destroyed. The picture wasn’t entirely bleak—there were some good things going on in Judah.
13-14 King Rehoboam regrouped and reestablished his rule in Jerusalem. He was forty-one years old when he became king and continued as king for seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city God chose out of all the tribes of Israel as the special presence of his Name. His mother was Naamah from Ammon. But the final verdict on Rehoboam was that he was a bad king—God was not important to him; his heart neither cared for nor sought after God.
15-16 The history of Rehoboam, from start to finish, is written in the memoirs of Shemaiah the prophet and Iddo the seer that contain the family trees. There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam the whole time. Rehoboam died and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. His son Abijah ruled after him.
John 11:30-57 The Message (MSG)
29-32 The moment she heard that, she jumped up and ran out to him. Jesus had not yet entered the town but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When her sympathizing Jewish friends saw Mary run off, they followed her, thinking she was on her way to the tomb to weep there. Mary came to where Jesus was waiting and fell at his feet, saying, “Master, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33-34 When Jesus saw her sobbing and the Jews with her sobbing, a deep anger welled up within him. He said, “Where did you put him?”
34-35 “Master, come and see,” they said. Now Jesus wept.
36 The Jews said, “Look how deeply he loved him.”
37 Others among them said, “Well, if he loved him so much, why didn’t he do something to keep him from dying? After all, he opened the eyes of a blind man.”
38-39 Then Jesus, the anger again welling up within him, arrived at the tomb. It was a simple cave in the hillside with a slab of stone laid against it. Jesus said, “Remove the stone.”
The sister of the dead man, Martha, said, “Master, by this time there’s a stench. He’s been dead four days!”
40 Jesus looked her in the eye. “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
41-42 Then, to the others, “Go ahead, take away the stone.”
They removed the stone. Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and prayed, “Father, I’m grateful that you have listened to me. I know you always do listen, but on account of this crowd standing here I’ve spoken so that they might believe that you sent me.”
43-44 Then he shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And he came out, a cadaver, wrapped from head to toe, and with a kerchief over his face.
Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him loose.”
The Man Who Creates God-Signs
45-48 That was a turnaround for many of the Jews who were with Mary. They saw what Jesus did, and believed in him. But some went back to the Pharisees and told on Jesus. The high priests and Pharisees called a meeting of the Jewish ruling body. “What do we do now?” they asked. “This man keeps on doing things, creating God-signs. If we let him go on, pretty soon everyone will be believing in him and the Romans will come and remove what little power and privilege we still have.”
49-52 Then one of them—it was Caiaphas, the designated Chief Priest that year—spoke up, “Don’t you know anything? Can’t you see that it’s to our advantage that one man dies for the people rather than the whole nation be destroyed?” He didn’t say this of his own accord, but as Chief Priest that year he unwittingly prophesied that Jesus was about to die sacrificially for the nation, and not only for the nation but so that all God’s exile-scattered children might be gathered together into one people.
53-54 From that day on, they plotted to kill him. So Jesus no longer went out in public among the Jews. He withdrew into the country bordering the desert to a town called Ephraim and secluded himself there with his disciples.
55-56 The Jewish Passover was coming up. Crowds of people were making their way from the country up to Jerusalem to get themselves ready for the Feast. They were curious about Jesus. There was a lot of talk of him among those standing around in the Temple: “What do you think? Do you think he’ll show up at the Feast or not?”
57 Meanwhile, the high priests and Pharisees gave out the word that anyone getting wind of him should inform them. They were all set to arrest him.