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2 Chronicles 30-31

Hezekiah Celebrates the Passover

30 And Hezekiah sent word to all Israel and Judah. He even wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they come to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem to keep the Passover to the Lord God of Israel. The king counseled with his officials and all the assembly in Jerusalem to have the Passover in the second month. For they were not able to have it at the appropriate time of the first month because a sufficient amount of priests had not consecrated themselves, nor had the people assembled yet in Jerusalem. And this matter was pleasing in the eyes of the king and all the assembly. So they decreed to make a proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, that they come to keep the Passover to the Lord God of Israel in Jerusalem, for the multitude of people did not do as it was written.

So couriers ran throughout all Israel and Judah with a letter from the hand of the king and his officials as a command from the king:

“Sons of Israel, return to the Lord of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel that He might turn to the remnant who has escaped from the king of Assyria. Do not act like your fathers and brothers who were faithless before the Lord God of their fathers, and He appointed them for horror, as you observe. So now do not harden your necks as your fathers, but give yourselves to the Lord and come to the sanctuary that He has consecrated permanently. Serve the Lord your God so that His burning anger might turn away from you all. Because if you return to the Lord, your brothers and children will find compassion before those who have taken them captive, in order to return you to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn His face from you if you all return to Him.”

10 So the couriers ran from city to city in the land of Ephraim and Manasseh and up to Zebulun, but the people laughed at them and mocked them. 11 However some men from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and journeyed to Jerusalem. 12 And even in Judah the hand of God was on them to give them one heart to do the commandment of the king and officials by the word of the Lord.

13 And many people assembled in Jerusalem to have the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month. There was a very large assembly. 14 They went out and removed the altars that were in Jerusalem, and they took away all the incense altars and threw them into the Kidron Valley.

15 They slaughtered the Passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and Levites were ashamed, and they consecrated themselves and brought in burnt offerings to the house of the Lord. 16 They stood at their places according to the Law of Moses, the man of God; the priests sprinkled the blood they received from the hands of the Levites. 17 For there were many in the assembly who had consecrated themselves, so the Levites slaughtered the Passover lamb for those who were not clean in order to consecrate the people to the Lord. 18 For a multitude of the people—many from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun—had not purified themselves. For they ate of the Passover contrary to what was written. But Hezekiah prayed over them saying, “The Lord is good, and may He pardon 19 everyone who sets his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, but is not pure according the rules of the holy sanctuary.” 20 So the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.

21 Then the sons of Israel present in Jerusalem kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great joy, and the Levites and priests praised the Lord every day, singing with loud instruments to the Lord.

22 Then Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who taught the good knowledge of the Lord. So they ate for the appointed seven days, sacrificing peace offerings and giving thanks to the Lord God of their fathers.

23 Then the whole assembly counseled to have the feast for another seven days, so they had seven more days of gladness. 24 For Hezekiah king of Judah lifted up for the assembly one thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep. And the officials offered up for the assembly one thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep. And a multitude of priests consecrated themselves. 25 So all the assembly of Judah and the priests and Levites and all the assembly who came from Israel rejoiced, even the sojourners who came from the land of Israel and those who resided in Judah. 26 And there was a great rejoicing in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon son of David king of Israel there had not been anything like this. 27 Then the priests and Levites went out and blessed the people, and their voices were heard. And their prayers came up to His holy habitation in the heavens.

31 And when this celebration was finished, all of Israel that was present went out to the cities of Judah and smashed the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah poles and tore down the high places and the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, and in Ephraim and Manasseh, until everything was destroyed. Then all Israel returned to their cities, each man to his own possession.

Temple Contributions

And Hezekiah set up the divisions of the priests and Levites according to their divisions, each man as he worked among the priests and Levites for burnt and fellowship offerings, to serve, give thanks, and offer praise at the gates of the camp of the Lord. And the portion of the king that came from his own possessions was for burnt offerings, those given in the morning and evening, and those given for Sabbaths, New Moons, and appointed feasts, as written in the Law of the Lord. And he ordered those people living in Jerusalem to give a portion for the priests and Levites, in order for them to devote themselves to the Law of the Lord. And when the command spread, the sons of Israel gave generously the first fruits of grain, wine, oil, honey, and all the produce of the field. And they brought in abundance a tenth portion of everything. And the sons of Israel and Judah and all who dwelled in the cities of Judah also brought in a tenth portion of cattle and sheep, and a tenth portion of the consecrated items that were to the Lord their God, and brought them in and set them in great piles. In the third month they began to assign the piles of contribution, and they finished in the seventh month. When Hezekiah and the officials saw the contribution piles, they blessed the Lord and His people Israel.

Then Hezekiah questioned the priests and Levites regarding the contribution piles. 10 Azariah the head priest from the house of Zadok said, “Since they began to bring the contributions into the house of the Lord, there has been plenty of food and a large amount left over. For the Lord has blessed His people, and this great abundance is left over.”

11 Then Hezekiah ordered them to prepare chambers in the house of the Lord, and they did this. 12 They reliably brought in the contributions, tenth portions, and consecrated items. The leader over them was Konaniah the Levite, and Shimei his brother was second to him. 13 And Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismakiah, Mahath, and Benaiah were supervisors under Konaniah and Shimei his brother by the appointment of Hezekiah the king and Azariah the leader of the house of God.

14 And Kore the son of Imnah the Levite was gatekeeper for the East Gate and over the voluntary offerings to God, to designate the contributions of the Lord and most holy offerings. 15 Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shekaniah reliably assisted him in the cities of the priests to distribute the portions to their brothers by division, both great and small.

16 Besides those males registered from three years old and above, they distributed to all who entered into the house of the Lord his daily portion, for their services according to their duties and their divisions. 17 The registration of the priests was according to the house of their fathers and the Levites from twenty years and above, according to their duties and their divisions. 18 They were registered with all their little children, wives, sons, and daughters for the entire assembly for they consecrated themselves in faithfulness.

19 Also for the sons of Aaron, the priests, who were in the fields of common land of their cities, there were men in each city who were designated by name to allocate portions to every male among the priests and to everyone who was registered by genealogy among the Levites.

20 Hezekiah did this throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and just and faithful before the Lord his God. 21 And in every deed that he undertook in the service of the house of God and with the law and commandment to seek out his God, he did this with all his heart, and he found success.

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Romans 15:1-22

Please Others, Not Yourself

15 We who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of the weak and not please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself. But as it is written, “The insults of those who insulted You fell on Me.”[a] For whatever was previously written was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Now may the God of perseverance and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Gospel for Jews and Gentiles Alike

Therefore welcome one another, just as Christ also welcomed us, for the glory of God. Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcised on behalf of the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written:

“For this reason I will acknowledge You among the Gentiles,
    and I will sing praises to Your name.”[b]

10 He also says:

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!”[c]

11 And again:

“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles;
    let all the peoples praise Him.”[d]

12 And again Isaiah says:

“There shall be a root of Jesse;
    He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles,
in Him shall the Gentiles hope.”[e]

13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Paul’s Missionary Commission

14 Now I myself am persuaded concerning you, my brothers, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and also able to instruct one another. 15 Nevertheless, brothers, I have written even more boldly to you on some points, to remind you, because of the grace that is given to me from God, 16 that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

17 In Christ Jesus therefore I have reason to boast in my service to God. 18 For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed, 19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and as far around as Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 So I have strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, so that I should not build on another man’s foundation. 21 But as it is written:

“To whom He was not announced, they shall see;
    and those who have not heard shall understand.”[f]

Paul’s Plan to Visit Rome

22 For this reason also I was often hindered from coming to you.

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Psalm 25:1-15

Psalm 25

A Psalm of David.

To You, O Lord,
    do I lift up my soul.

O my God, I trust in You;
    may I not be ashamed;
    may my enemies not triumph over me.
Yes, let none who wait on You
    be ashamed;
let them be ashamed
    who transgress without cause.

Make me to know Your ways, O Lord;
    teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
    for You are the God of my salvation;
    on You I wait all the day.
Remember Your mercies, O Lord, and Your lovingkindness,
    for they are from old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
    or my transgressions;
according to Your lovingkindness remember me,
    on account of Your goodness, O Lord.

Good and upright is the Lord;
    therefore He will teach sinners in the way.
The meek will He guide in judgment,
    and the meek He will teach His way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth,
    for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.
11 For Your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my iniquity,
    for it is great.

12 Who is the man who fears the Lord?
    He will teach him in the way He should choose.
13 He will dwell at ease,
    and his descendants will inherit the land.
14 The counsel of the Lord is with those who fear him,
    and He will make His covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
    for He will lead my feet from the net.

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Proverbs 20:13-15

13 Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty;
    open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.

14 “It is bad, it is bad,” says the buyer;
    but when he has gone his way, then he boasts.

15 There is gold and a multitude of rubies,
    but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

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Modern English Version (MEV)

The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.

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