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2 Chronicles 26:1-28:27; Romans 13:1-14; Psalms 23:1-6; Proverbs 20:11 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

2 Chronicles 26-28

Judah’s King Uzziah

26 All the people of Judah took Uzziah,[a] who was 16 years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah. He rebuilt Eloth[b] and restored it to Judah after Amaziah the king rested with his fathers.

Uzziah was 16 years old when he became king and reigned 52 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah from Jerusalem. He did what was right in the Lord’s sight as his father Amaziah had done. He sought God throughout the lifetime of Zechariah, the teacher of the fear[c] of God. During the time that he sought the Lord, God gave him success.

Uzziah’s Exploits

Uzziah went out to wage war against the Philistines, and he tore down the wall of Gath, the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod. Then he built cities in the vicinity of Ashdod and among the Philistines. God helped him against the Philistines, the Arabs that live in Gur-baal, and the Meunites. The Ammonites[d] gave Uzziah tribute money, and his fame spread as far as the entrance of Egypt, for God made him very powerful. Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, the Valley Gate, and the corner buttress, and he fortified them. 10 Since he had many cattle both in the Judean foothills[e] and the plain, he built towers in the desert and dug many wells. And since he was a lover of the soil, he had farmers and vinedressers in the hills and in the fertile lands.[f]

11 Uzziah had an army equipped for combat that went out to war by division according to their assignments, as recorded by Jeiel the court secretary and Maaseiah the officer under the authority of Hananiah, one of the king’s commanders. 12 The total number of heads of families was 2,600 brave warriors. 13 Under their authority was an army of 307,500 equipped for combat, a powerful force to help the king against the enemy. 14 Uzziah provided the entire army with shields, spears, helmets, armor, bows and slingstones. 15 He made skillfully designed devices in Jerusalem to shoot arrows and catapult large stones for use on the towers and on the corners. So his fame spread even to distant places, for he was marvelously helped until he became strong.

Uzziah’s Disease

16 But when he became strong, he grew arrogant and it led to his own destruction. He acted unfaithfully against the Lord his God by going into the Lord’s sanctuary to burn incense on the incense altar. 17 Azariah the priest, along with 80 brave priests of the Lord, went in after him. 18 They took their stand against King Uzziah and said, “Uzziah, you have no right to offer incense to the Lord—only the consecrated priests, the descendants of Aaron, have the right to offer incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have acted unfaithfully! You will not receive honor from the Lord God.”

19 Uzziah, with a firepan in his hand to offer incense, was enraged. But when he became enraged with the priests, in the presence of the priests in the Lord’s temple beside the altar of incense, a skin disease broke out on his forehead. 20 Then Azariah the chief priest and all the priests turned to him and saw that he was diseased on his forehead. They rushed him out of there. He himself also hurried to get out because the Lord had afflicted him. 21 So King Uzziah was diseased to the time of his death. He lived in quarantine[g] with a serious skin disease and was excluded from access to the Lord’s temple, while his son Jotham was over the king’s household governing the people of the land.

22 Now the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz wrote about the rest of the events of Uzziah’s reign, from beginning to end. 23 Uzziah rested with his fathers, and he was buried with his fathers in the burial ground of the kings’ cemetery, for they said, “He has a skin disease.” His son Jotham became king in his place.

Judah’s King Jotham

27 Jotham was 25 years old when he became king and reigned 16 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerushah daughter of Zadok. He did what was right in the Lord’s sight as his father Uzziah had done. In addition, he didn’t enter the Lord’s sanctuary, but the people still behaved corruptly.

Jotham built the Upper Gate of the Lord’s temple, and he built extensively on the wall of Ophel. He also built cities in the hill country of Judah and fortresses and towers in the forests. He waged war against the king of the Ammonites. He overpowered the Ammonites, and that year they gave him 7,500 pounds[h] of silver, 50,000 bushels[i] of wheat, and 50,000 bushels[j] of barley. They paid him the same in the second and third years. So Jotham strengthened himself because he did not waver in obeying[k] the Lord his God.

As for the rest of the events of Jotham’s reign, along with all his wars and his ways, note that they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. He was 25 years old when he became king and reigned 16 years in Jerusalem. Jotham rested with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. His son Ahaz became king in his place.

Judah’s King Ahaz

28 Ahaz was 20 years old when he became king and reigned 16 years in Jerusalem. He did not do what was right in the Lord’s sight like his ancestor David, for he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and made cast images of the Baals. He burned incense in the Valley of Hinnom and burned his children in[l] the fire, imitating the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had dispossessed before the Israelites. He sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.

So the Lord his God handed Ahaz over to the king of Aram. He attacked him and took many captives to Damascus.

Ahaz was also handed over to the king of Israel, who struck him with great force: Pekah son of Remaliah killed 120,000 in Judah in one day—all brave men—because they had abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors. An Ephraimite warrior named Zichri killed the king’s son Maaseiah, Azrikam governor of the palace, and Elkanah who was second to the king. Then the Israelites took 200,000 captives from their brothers—women, sons, and daughters. They also took a great deal of plunder from them and brought it to Samaria.

A prophet of the Lord named Oded was there. He went out to meet the army that came to Samaria and said to them, “Look, the Lord God of your ancestors handed them over to you because of His wrath against Judah, but you slaughtered them in a rage that has reached heaven. 10 Now you plan to reduce the people of Judah and Jerusalem, male and female, to slavery. Are you not also guilty before Yahweh your God? 11 Listen to me and return the captives you took from your brothers, for the Lord’s burning anger is on you.”

12 So some men who were leaders of the Ephraimites—Azariah son of Jehohanan, Berechiah son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah son of Shallum, and Amasa son of Hadlai—stood in opposition to those coming from the war. 13 They said to them, “You must not bring the captives here, for you plan to bring guilt on us from the Lord to add to our sins and our guilt. For we have much guilt, and burning anger is on Israel.”

14 The army left the captives and the plunder in the presence of the officers and the congregation. 15 Then the men who were designated by name took charge of the captives and provided clothes for their naked ones from the plunder. They clothed them, gave them sandals, food and drink, dressed their wounds, and provided donkeys for all the feeble. The Israelites brought them to Jericho, the City of Palms, among their brothers. Then they returned to Samaria.

16 At that time King Ahaz asked the king of Assyria for help. 17 The Edomites came again, attacked Judah, and took captives. 18 The Philistines also raided the cities of the Judean foothills[m] and the Negev of Judah and captured Beth-shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco and its villages, Timnah and its villages, Gimzo and its villages, and they lived there. 19 For the Lord humbled Judah because of King Ahaz of Judah,[n] who threw off restraint in Judah and was unfaithful to the Lord. 20 Then Tiglath-pileser[o] king of Assyria came against Ahaz; he oppressed him and did not give him support. 21 Although Ahaz plundered the Lord’s temple and the palace of the king and of the rulers and gave the plunder to the king of Assyria, it did not help him.

22 At the time of his distress, King Ahaz himself became more unfaithful to the Lord. 23 He sacrificed to the gods of Damascus which had defeated him; he said, “Since the gods of the kings of Aram are helping them, I will sacrifice to them so that they will help me.” But they were the downfall of him and of all Israel.

24 Then Ahaz gathered up the utensils of God’s temple, cut them into pieces, shut the doors of the Lord’s temple, and made himself altars on every street corner in Jerusalem. 25 He made high places in every city of Judah to offer incense to other gods, and he provoked the Lord, the God of his ancestors.

Ahaz’s Death

26 As for the rest of his deeds and all his ways, from beginning to end, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 27 Ahaz rested with his fathers and was buried in the city, in Jerusalem, but they did not bring him into the tombs of the kings of Israel. His son Hezekiah became king in his place.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Chronicles 26:1 = Azariah in 2Kg 14:21
  2. 2 Chronicles 26:2 LXX, Syr, Vg read Elath
  3. 2 Chronicles 26:5 Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Tg, Arabic; other Hb mss, Vg read visions
  4. 2 Chronicles 26:8 LXX reads Meunites
  5. 2 Chronicles 26:10 Or the Shephelah
  6. 2 Chronicles 26:10 Or in Carmel
  7. 2 Chronicles 26:21 Lit a house of freedom
  8. 2 Chronicles 27:5 Lit 100 talents
  9. 2 Chronicles 27:5 Lit 10,000 cors
  10. 2 Chronicles 27:5 Lit 10,000 cors
  11. 2 Chronicles 27:6 Lit he established his ways before
  12. 2 Chronicles 28:3 LXX, Syr, Tg read and passed his children through
  13. 2 Chronicles 28:18 Or the Shephelah
  14. 2 Chronicles 28:19 Some Hb mss; other Hb mss read Israel
  15. 2 Chronicles 28:20 Text emended; MT reads Tilgath-pilneser; 1Ch 5:6,26
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Romans 13

A Christian’s Duties to the State

13 Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God. So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have its approval. For government is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For government is God’s servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong. Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath, but also because of your conscience. And for this reason you pay taxes, since the authorities are God’s public servants, continually attending to these tasks.[a] Pay your obligations to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect, and honor to those you owe honor.

Love, Our Primary Duty

Do not owe anyone anything,[b] except to love one another, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments:

Do not commit adultery;
do not murder;
do not steal;[c]
do not covet;[d]

and whatever other commandment—all are summed up by this: Love your neighbor as yourself.[e]

10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Love, therefore, is the fulfillment of the law.

Put On Christ

11 Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour for you[f] to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk with decency, as in the daylight: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires.

Footnotes:

  1. Romans 13:6 Lit to this very thing
  2. Romans 13:8 Or Leave no debt outstanding to anyone
  3. Romans 13:9 Other mss add you shall not bear false witness
  4. Romans 13:9 Ex 20:13-17; Dt 5:17-21
  5. Romans 13:9 Lv 19:18
  6. Romans 13:11 Other mss read for us
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Psalm 23

Psalm 23

The Good Shepherd

A Davidic psalm.

The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I lack.
He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He renews my life;
He leads me along the right paths[a]
for His name’s sake.
Even when I go through the darkest valley,[b]
I fear no danger,
for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff[c]—they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in[d] the house of the Lord
as long as I live.[e]

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 23:3 Or me in paths of righteousness
  2. Psalm 23:4 Or the valley of the shadow of death
  3. Psalm 23:4 A shepherd’s equipment
  4. Psalm 23:6 LXX, Sym, Syr, Tg, Vg, Jer; MT reads will return to
  5. Psalm 23:6 Lit Lord for length of days; traditionally Lord forever
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Proverbs 20:11

11 Even a young man is known by his actions—
if his behavior is pure and upright.

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