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2 Kings 13-14

King Jehoahaz of Israel

13 Jehoahaz son of Jehu became king of Israel in the twenty-third year of Joash’s rule in Judah. Jehoahaz ruled seventeen years from Samaria and disobeyed the Lord by doing wrong. He never stopped following the example of Jeroboam, who had caused the Israelites to sin.

The Lord was angry at the Israelites, so he let King Hazael of Syria and his son Benhadad rule over them for a long time. Jehoahaz prayed to the Lord for help, and the Lord saw how terribly Hazael was treating the Israelites. He answered Jehoahaz by sending Israel a leader who rescued them from the Syrians,[a] and the Israelites lived in peace as they had before. 6-7 But Hazael had defeated Israel’s army so badly that Jehoahaz had only ten chariots, fifty cavalry troops, and ten thousand regular soldiers left in his army.

The Israelites kept sinning and following the example of Jeroboam’s family. They did not tear down the sacred poles[b] that had been set up in Samaria for the worship of the goddess Asherah.

Everything else Jehoahaz did while he was king, including his brave deeds, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. Jehoahaz died and was buried in Samaria, and his son Jehoash became king.

King Jehoash of Israel

10 Jehoash became king of Israel in the thirty-seventh year of Joash’s rule in Judah, and he ruled sixteen years from Samaria. 11 He disobeyed the Lord by doing just like Jeroboam, who had caused the Israelites to sin.

12 Everything else Jehoash did while he was king, including his war against King Amaziah of Judah, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. 13 Jehoash died and was buried in Samaria beside the other Israelite kings. His son Jeroboam then became king.

Elisha the Prophet Dies

14 Some time before the death of King Jehoash, Elisha the prophet was very sick and about to die. Jehoash went in and stood beside him, crying. He said, “Master, what will Israel’s chariots and cavalry be able to do without you?”[c]

15-16 “Grab a bow and some arrows,” Elisha told him, “and hold them in your hand.” Jehoash grabbed the bow and arrows and held them. Elisha placed his hand on the king’s hand 17 and said, “Open the window facing east.” When it was open, Elisha shouted, “Now shoot!” Jehoash shot an arrow and Elisha said, “That arrow is a sign that the Lord will help you completely defeat the Syrian army at Aphek.”

18 Elisha said, “Pick up the arrows and hit the ground with them.” Jehoash grabbed the arrows and hit the ground three times, then stopped. 19 Elisha became angry at the king and exclaimed, “If you had struck it five or six times, you would completely wipe out the Syrians. Now you will defeat them only three times.”

20 Elisha died and was buried.

Every year in the spring, Moab’s leaders sent raiding parties into Israel. 21 Once, while some Israelites were burying a man’s body, they saw a group of Moabites. The Israelites quickly threw the body into Elisha’s tomb and ran away. As soon as the man’s body touched the bones of Elisha, the man came back to life and stood up.

Israel Defeats Syria

22 Israel was under the power of King Hazael of Syria during the entire rule of Jehoahaz. 23 But the Lord was kind to the Israelites and showed them mercy because of his solemn agreement with their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In fact, he has never turned his back on them or let them be completely destroyed.

24 Hazael died, and his son Benhadad then became king of Syria. 25 King Jehoash of Israel attacked and defeated the Syrian army three times. He took back from Benhadad all the towns Hazael had captured in battle from his father Jehoahaz.

King Amaziah of Judah

14 Amaziah son of Joash became king of Judah in the second year of Jehoash’s rule in Israel. Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he ruled twenty-nine years from Jerusalem, which was also the hometown of his mother Jehoaddin.

Amaziah followed the example of his father Joash by obeying the Lord and doing right. But he was not as faithful as his ancestor David. Amaziah did not destroy the local shrines, and they were still used as places for offering sacrifices.

As soon as Amaziah had control of Judah, he arrested and killed the officers who had murdered his father. 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, not their parents or children.[d]

While Amaziah was king, he killed ten thousand Edomite soldiers in Salt Valley. He captured the town of Sela and renamed it Joktheel, which is still its name.

One day, Amaziah sent a message to King Jehoash of Israel: “Come out and face me in battle!”

Jehoash sent back this reply:

Once upon a time, a small thornbush in Lebanon announced that his son was going to marry the daughter of a large cedar tree. But a wild animal came along and trampled the small bush.

10 Amaziah, you think you’re so powerful because you defeated Edom. Go ahead and celebrate—but stay at home. If you cause any trouble, both you and your kingdom of Judah will be destroyed.

11 But Amaziah refused to listen. So Jehoash and his troops marched to the town of Beth-Shemesh in Judah to attack Amaziah and his troops. 12 During the battle, Judah’s army was crushed. Every soldier from Judah ran back home, 13 and Jehoash captured Amaziah.

Jehoash then marched to Jerusalem and broke down the city wall from Ephraim Gate to Corner Gate, a section about six hundred feet long. 14 He took the gold and silver, as well as everything of value from the Lord’s temple and the king’s treasury. He took hostages, then returned to Samaria.

15 Everything else Jehoash did while he was king, including his brave deeds and how he defeated King Amaziah of Judah, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. 16 Jehoash died and was buried in Samaria beside the other Israelite kings. His son Jeroboam then became king.

17 Fifteen years after Jehoash died, 18-20 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. His body was taken back to Jerusalem on horseback and buried beside his ancestors.

Everything else Amaziah did while he was king is written in The History of the Kings of Judah. 21 After his death the people of Judah made his son Azariah king, even though he was only sixteen at the time. 22 Azariah was the one who later recaptured and rebuilt the town of Elath.

King Jeroboam the Second of Israel

23 Jeroboam son of Jehoash became king of Israel in the fifteenth year of Amaziah’s rule in Judah. Jeroboam ruled forty-one years from Samaria. 24 He disobeyed the Lord by following the evil example of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had caused the Israelites to sin.

25 Jeroboam extended the boundaries of Israel from Lebo-Hamath in the north to the Dead Sea in the south, just as the Lord had promised his servant Jonah son of Amittai, who was a prophet from Gath-Hepher. 26 The Lord helped Jeroboam do this because he had seen how terribly the Israelites were suffering, whether slave or free, and no one was left to help them. 27 And since the Lord had promised that he would not let Israel be completely destroyed, he helped Jeroboam rescue them.

28 Everything else Jeroboam did while he was king, including his brave deeds and how he recaptured the towns of Damascus and Hamath,[e] is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. 29 Jeroboam died and was buried, and his son Zechariah became king.

Footnotes:

  1. 13.5 by sending. . . the Syrians: The name of this leader is not given, but it may refer to Elisha the prophet, King Jehoash of Israel, or his son King Jeroboam.
  2. 13.6,7 sacred poles: Or “trees,” used as symbols of Asherah, the goddess of fertility.
  3. 13.14 Master. . . without you: Or “Master, you were like chariots and cavalry for Israel!”
  4. 14.6 The Lord had commanded. . . children: See Deuteronomy 24.16.
  5. 14.28 how he recaptured. . . Hamath: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
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Acts 18:23-19:12

23 After staying there for a while, he left and visited several places in Galatia and Phrygia. He helped the followers there to become stronger in their faith.

Apollos in Ephesus

24 A Jewish man named Apollos came to Ephesus. Apollos had been born in the city of Alexandria. He was a very good speaker and knew a lot about the Scriptures. 25 He also knew much about the Lord’s Way,[a] and he spoke about it with great excitement. What he taught about Jesus was right, but all he knew was John’s message about baptism.

26 Apollos started speaking bravely in the Jewish meeting place. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him to their home and helped him understand God’s Way even better.

27 Apollos decided to travel through Achaia. So the Lord’s followers wrote letters, encouraging the followers there to welcome him. After Apollos arrived in Achaia, he was a great help to everyone who had put their faith in the Lord Jesus because of God’s kindness. 28 He got into fierce arguments with the Jewish people, and in public he used the Scriptures to prove that Jesus is the Messiah.

Paul in Ephesus

19 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled across the hill country to Ephesus, where he met some of the Lord’s followers. He asked them, “When you put your faith in Jesus, were you given the Holy Spirit?”

“No!” they answered. “We have never even heard of the Holy Spirit.”

“Then why were you baptized?” Paul asked.

They answered, “Because of what John taught.”[b]

Paul replied, “John baptized people so that they would turn to God. But he also told them that someone else was coming, and that they should put their faith in him. Jesus is the one that John was talking about.” After the people heard Paul say this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Paul placed his hands on them. The Holy Spirit was given to them, and they spoke unknown languages and prophesied. There were about twelve men in this group.

For three months Paul went to the Jewish meeting place and talked bravely with the people about God’s kingdom. He tried to win them over, but some of them were stubborn and refused to believe. In front of everyone they said terrible things about God’s Way. Paul left and took the followers with him to the lecture hall of Tyrannus. He spoke there every day 10 for two years, until every Jew and Gentile[c] in Asia had heard the Lord’s message.

The Sons of Sceva

11 God gave Paul the power to work great miracles. 12 People even took handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched Paul’s body, and they carried them to everyone who was sick. All of the sick people were healed, and the evil spirits went out.

Footnotes:

  1. 18.25 the Lord’s Way: See the note at 9.2.
  2. 19.3 Then why were you baptized?. . . Because of what John taught: Or “In whose name were you baptized?. . . We were baptized in John’s name.”
  3. 19.10,17 Gentile(s): The text has “Greek(s)” (see the note at 14.1).
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Psalm 146

Shout Praises to the Lord

146 Shout praises to the Lord!
    With all that I am,
    I will shout his praises.
I will sing
    and praise
the Lord God
    for as long as I live.

You can’t depend on anyone,
    not even a great leader.
Once they die and are buried,
    that will be the end
    of all their plans.

The Lord God of Jacob blesses
everyone
    who trusts him
    and depends on him.
God made heaven and earth;
    he created the sea
    and everything else.
God always keeps his word.
    He gives justice to the poor
    and food to the hungry.

The Lord sets prisoners free
    and heals blind eyes.
    He gives a helping hand
    to everyone who falls.
The Lord loves good people
    and looks after strangers.
He defends the rights
of orphans and widows,
    but destroys the wicked.

10 The Lord God of Zion
will rule forever!
    Shout praises to the Lord!

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Proverbs 18:2-3

Fools have no desire to learn;
    they would much rather
    give their own opinion.
Wrongdoing leads to shame
    and disgrace.

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