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2 Kings 15The Message (MSG)

Azariah (Uzziah) of Judah

15 1-5 In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Azariah son of Amaziah became king in Judah. He was sixteen years old when he began his rule and he was king for fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah. She was from Jerusalem. He did well in the eyes of God, following in the footsteps of his father Amaziah. But he also failed to get rid of the local sex-and-religion shrines; they continued to be popular with the people. God afflicted the king with a bad skin disease until the day of his death. He lived in the palace but no longer acted as king; his son Jotham ran the government and ruled the country.

6-7 The rest of the life and times of Azariah, everything he accomplished, is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. Azariah died and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. Jotham his son was king after him.

Zechariah of Israel

8-9 In the thirty-eighth year of Azariah king of Judah, Zechariah son of Jeroboam became king over Israel in Samaria. He lasted only six months. He lived a bad life before God, no different from his ancestors. He continued in the line of Jeroboam son of Nebat who led Israel into a life of sin.

10 Shallum son of Jabesh conspired against him, assassinated him in public view, and took over as king.

11-12 The rest of the life and times of Zechariah is written plainly in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. That completed the word of God that was given to Jehu, namely, “For four generations your sons will sit on the throne of Israel.” Zechariah was the fourth.

Shallum of Israel

13 Shallum son of Jabesh became king in the thirty-ninth year of Azariah king of Judah. He was king in Samaria for only a month.

14 Menahem son of Gadi came up from Tirzah to Samaria. He attacked Shallum son of Jabesh and killed him. He then became king.

15 The rest of the life and times of Shallum and the account of the conspiracy are written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.

Menahem of Israel

16 Using Tirzah as his base, Menahem opened his reign by smashing Tiphsah, devastating both the town and its suburbs because they didn’t welcome him with open arms. He savagely ripped open all the pregnant women.

17-18 In the thirty-ninth year of Azariah king of Judah, Menahem son of Gadi became king over Israel. He ruled from Samaria for ten years. As far as God was concerned he lived an evil life. Sin for sin, he repeated the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who led Israel into a life of sin.

19-20 Then Tiglath-Pileser III king of Assyria showed up and attacked the country. But Menahem made a deal with him: He bought his support by handing over about thirty-seven tons of silver. He raised the money by making every landowner in Israel pay fifty shekels to the king of Assyria. That satisfied the king of Assyria, and he left the country.

21-22 The rest of the life and times of Menahem, everything he did, is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. Menahem died and joined his ancestors. His son Pekahiah became the next king.

Pekahiah of Israel

23-24 In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekahiah son of Menahem became king of Israel. He ruled in Samaria for two years. In God’s eyes he lived an evil life. He stuck to the old sin tracks of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who led Israel into a life of sin.

25 And then his military aide Pekah son of Remaliah conspired against him—killed him in cold blood while he was in his private quarters in the royal palace in Samaria. He also killed Argob and Arieh. Fifty Gadites were in on the conspiracy with him. After the murder he became the next king.

26 The rest of the life and times of Pekahiah, everything he did, is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.

Pekah of Israel

27-28 In the fifty-second year of Azariah king of Judah, Pekah son of Remaliah became king of Israel in Samaria. He ruled for twenty years. In God’s view he lived an evil life; he didn’t deviate so much as a hair’s breadth from the path laid down by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who led Israel into a life of sin.

29 During the reign of Pekah king of Israel, Tiglath-Pileser III king of Assyria invaded the country. He captured Ijon, Abel Beth Maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, Gilead, Galilee—the whole country of Naphtali—and took everyone captive to Assyria.

30 But then Hoshea son of Elah mounted a conspiracy against Pekah son of Remaliah. He assassinated him and took over as king. This was in the twentieth year of Jotham son of Uzziah.

31 The rest of the life and times of Pekah, everything he did, is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Israel.

Jotham of Judah

32-35 In the second year of Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel, Jotham son of Uzziah became king in Judah. He was twenty-five years old when he became king and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerusha daughter of Zadok. He acted well in God’s eyes, following in the steps of his father Uzziah. But he didn’t interfere with the traffic to the neighborhood sex-and-religion shrines; they continued, as popular as ever. The construction of the High Gate to The Temple of God was his work.

36-38 The rest of the life and times of Jotham, the record of his work, is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. It was during these years that God began sending Rezin king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah to attack Judah. Jotham died and joined his ancestors. They buried him in the family cemetery in the City of David. His son Ahaz was the next king.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

2 Kings 16The Message (MSG)

Ahaz of Judah

16 1-4 In the seventeenth year of Pekah son of Remaliah, Ahaz son of Jotham became king of Judah. Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king and he ruled for sixteen years in Jerusalem. He didn’t behave in the eyes of his God; he wasn’t at all like his ancestor David. Instead he followed in the track of the kings of Israel. He even indulged in the outrageous practice of “passing his son through the fire”—a truly abominable act he picked up from the pagans God had earlier thrown out of the country. He also participated in the activities of the neighborhood sex-and-religion shrines that flourished all over the place.

Then Rezin king of Aram and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel ganged up against Jerusalem, throwing a siege around the city, but they couldn’t make further headway against Ahaz.

At about this same time and on another front, the king of Edom recovered the port of Elath and expelled the men of Judah. The Edomites occupied Elath and have been there ever since.

7-8 Ahaz sent envoys to Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria with this message: “I’m your servant and your son. Come and save me from the heavy-handed invasion of the king of Aram and the king of Israel. They’re attacking me right now.” Then Ahaz robbed the treasuries of the palace and The Temple of God of their gold and silver and sent them to the king of Assyria as a bribe.

The king of Assyria responded to him. He attacked and captured Damascus. He deported the people to Nineveh as exiles. Rezin he killed.

10-11 King Ahaz went to meet Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria in Damascus. The altar in Damascus made a great impression on him. He sent back to Uriah the priest a drawing and set of blueprints of the altar. Uriah the priest built the altar to the specifications that King Ahaz had sent from Damascus. By the time the king returned from Damascus, Uriah had completed the altar.

12-14 The minute the king saw the altar he approached it with reverence and arranged a service of worship with a full course of offerings: Whole-Burnt-Offerings with billows of smoke, Grain-Offerings, libations of Drink-Offerings, the sprinkling of blood from the Peace-Offerings—the works. But the old bronze Altar that signaled the presence of God he displaced from its central place and pushed it off to the side of his new altar.

15 Then King Ahaz ordered Uriah the priest: “From now on offer all the sacrifices on the new altar, the great altar: morning Whole-Burnt-Offerings, evening Grain-Offerings, the king’s Whole-Burnt-Offerings and Grain-Offerings, the people’s Whole-Burnt-Offerings and Grain-Offerings, and also their Drink-Offerings. Splash all the blood from the burnt offerings and sacrifices against this altar. The old bronze Altar will be for my personal use.

16 The priest Uriah followed King Ahaz’s orders to the letter.

17-18 Then King Ahaz proceeded to plunder The Temple furniture of all its bronze. He stripped the bronze from The Temple furnishings, even salvaged the four bronze oxen that supported the huge basin, The Sea, and set The Sea unceremoniously on the stone pavement. Finally, he removed any distinctive features from within The Temple that were offensive to the king of Assyria.

19-20 The rest of the life and times of Ahaz is written in The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. Ahaz died and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. His son Hezekiah became the next king.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Hosea 1The Message (MSG)

This is God’s Message to Hosea son of Beeri. It came to him during the royal reigns of Judah’s kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. This was also the time that Jeroboam son of Joash was king over Israel.

This Whole Country Has Become a Whorehouse

The first time God spoke to Hosea he said:

“Find a whore and marry her.
    Make this whore the mother of your children.
And here’s why: This whole country
    has become a whorehouse, unfaithful to me, God.”

Hosea did it. He picked Gomer daughter of Diblaim. She got pregnant and gave him a son.

4-5 Then God told him:

“Name him Jezreel. It won’t be long now before
    I’ll make the people of Israel pay for the massacre at Jezreel.
    I’m calling it quits on the kingdom of Israel.
Payday is coming! I’m going to chop Israel’s bows and arrows
    into kindling in the valley of Jezreel.”

6-7 Gomer got pregnant again. This time she had a daughter. God told Hosea:

“Name this one No-Mercy. I’m fed up with Israel.
    I’ve run out of mercy. There’s no more forgiveness.
Judah’s another story. I’ll continue having mercy on them.
    I’ll save them. It will be their God who saves them,
Not their armaments and armies,
    not their horsepower and manpower.”

8-9 After Gomer had weaned No-Mercy, she got pregnant yet again and had a son. God said:

“Name him Nobody. You’ve become nobodies to me,
    and I, God, am a nobody to you.

10-11 “But down the road the population of Israel is going to explode past counting, like sand on the ocean beaches. In the very place where they were once named Nobody, they will be named God’s Somebody. Everybody in Judah and everybody in Israel will be assembled as one people. They’ll choose a single leader. There’ll be no stopping them—a great day in Jezreel!”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Hebrews 1The Message (MSG)

1-3 Going through a long line of prophets, God has been addressing our ancestors in different ways for centuries. Recently he spoke to us directly through his Son. By his Son, God created the world in the beginning, and it will all belong to the Son at the end. This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God’s nature. He holds everything together by what he says—powerful words!

The Son Is Higher than Angels

3-6 After he finished the sacrifice for sins, the Son took his honored place high in the heavens right alongside God, far higher than any angel in rank and rule. Did God ever say to an angel, “You’re my Son; today I celebrate you” or “I’m his Father, he’s my Son”? When he presents his honored Son to the world, he says, “All angels must worship him.”

Regarding angels he says,

The messengers are winds,
    the servants are tongues of fire.

8-9 But he says to the Son,

You’re God, and on the throne for good;
    your rule makes everything right.
You love it when things are right;
    you hate it when things are wrong.
That is why God, your God,
    poured fragrant oil on your head,
Marking you out as king,
    far above your dear companions.

10-12 And again to the Son,

You, Master, started it all, laid earth’s foundations,
    then crafted the stars in the sky.
Earth and sky will wear out, but not you;
    they become threadbare like an old coat;
You’ll fold them up like a worn-out cloak,
    and lay them away on the shelf.
But you’ll stay the same, year after year;
    you’ll never fade, you’ll never wear out.

13 And did he ever say anything like this to an angel?

Sit alongside me here on my throne
Until I make your enemies a stool for your feet.

14 Isn’t it obvious that all angels are sent to help out with those lined up to receive salvation?

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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