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2 Chronicles 21:1-23:21; Romans 11:13-36; Psalms 22:1-18; Proverbs 20:7 (New English Translation)

2 Chronicles 21-23

21 Jehoshaphat passed away and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. His son Jehoram replaced him as king.

Jehoram’s Reign

His brothers, Jehoshaphat’s sons, were Azariah, Jechiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael, and Shephatiah. All of these were sons of King Jehoshaphat of Israel. Their father gave them many presents, including silver, gold, and other precious items, along with fortified cities in Judah. But he gave the kingdom to Jehoram because he was the firstborn.

Jehoram took control of his father’s kingdom and became powerful. Then he killed all his brothers, as well as some of the officials of Israel. Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king and he reigned for eight years in Jerusalem. He followed in the footsteps of the kings of Israel, just as Ahab’s dynasty had done, for he married Ahab’s daughter. He did evil in the sight of the Lord. But the Lord was unwilling to destroy David’s dynasty because of the promise he had made to give David a perpetual dynasty.

During Jehoram’s reign Edom freed themselves from Judah’s control and set up their own king. Jehoram crossed over to Zair with his officers and all his chariots. The Edomites, who had surrounded him, attacked at night and defeated him and his chariot officers. 10 So Edom has remained free from Judah’s control to this very day. At that same time Libnah also rebelled and freed themselves from Judah’s control because Jehoram rejected the Lord God of his ancestors. 11 He also built high places on the hills of Judah; he encouraged the residents of Jerusalem to be unfaithful to the Lord and led Judah away from the Lord.

12 Jehoram received this letter from Elijah the prophet: “This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: ‘You have not followed in the footsteps of your father Jehoshaphat and of King Asa of Judah, 13 but have instead followed in the footsteps of the kings of Israel. You encouraged the people of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem to be unfaithful to the Lord, just as the family of Ahab does in Israel. You also killed your brothers, members of your father’s family, who were better than you. 14 So look, the Lord is about to severely afflict your people, your sons, your wives, and all you own. 15 And you will get a serious, chronic intestinal disease which will cause your intestines to come out.”

16 The Lord stirred up against Jehoram the Philistines and the Arabs who lived beside the Cushites. 17 They attacked Judah and swept through it. They carried off everything they found in the royal palace, including his sons and wives. None of his sons was left, except for his youngest, Ahaziah. 18 After all this happened, the Lord afflicted him with an incurable intestinal disease. 19 After about two years his intestines came out because of the disease, so that he died a very painful death. His people did not make a bonfire to honor him, as they had done for his ancestors.

20 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. No one regretted his death; he was buried in the City of David, but not in the royal tombs.

Ahaziah’s Reign

22 The residents of Jerusalem made his youngest son Ahaziah king in his place, for the raiding party that invaded the city with the Arabs had killed all the older sons. So Ahaziah son of Jehoram became king of Judah. Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king and he reigned for one year in Jerusalem. His mother was Athaliah, the granddaughter of Omri. He followed in the footsteps of Ahab’s dynasty, for his mother gave him evil advice. He did evil in the sight of the Lord like Ahab’s dynasty because, after his father’s death, they gave him advice that led to his destruction. He followed their advice and joined Ahab’s son King Joram of Israel in a battle against King Hazael of Syria at Ramoth Gilead in which the Syrians defeated Joram. Joram returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds he received from the Syrians in Ramah when he fought against King Hazael of Syria. Ahaziah son of King Jehoram of Judah went down to visit Joram son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he had been wounded.

God brought about Ahaziah’s downfall through his visit to Joram. When Ahaziah arrived, he went out with Joram to meet Jehu son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had commissioned to wipe out Ahab’s family. While Jehu was dishing out punishment to Ahab’s family, he discovered the officials of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah’s relatives who were serving Ahaziah and killed them. He looked for Ahaziah, who was captured while hiding in Samaria. They brought him to Jehu and then executed him. They did give him a burial, for they reasoned, “He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with his whole heart.” There was no one in Ahaziah’s family strong enough to rule in his place.

Athaliah is Eliminated

10 When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she was determined to destroy the entire royal line of Judah. 11 So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram, took Ahaziah’s son Joash and sneaked him away from the rest of the royal descendants who were to be executed. She hid him and his nurse in the room where the bed covers were stored. So Jehoshabeath the daughter of King Jehoram, wife of Jehoiada the priest and sister of Ahaziah, hid him from Athaliah so she could not execute him. 12 He remained in hiding in God’s temple for six years, while Athaliah was ruling over the land.

23 In the seventh year Jehoiada made a bold move. He made a pact with the officers of the units of hundreds: Azariah son of Jehoram, Ishmael son of Jehochanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zikri. They traveled throughout Judah and assembled the Levites from all the cities of Judah, as well as the Israelite family leaders.

They came to Jerusalem, and the whole assembly made a covenant with the king in the temple of God. Jehoiada said to them, “The king’s son will rule, just as the Lord promised David’s descendants. This is what you must do. One third of you priests and Levites who are on duty during the Sabbath will guard the doors. Another third of you will be stationed at the royal palace and still another third at the Foundation Gate. All the others will stand in the courtyards of the Lord’s temple. No one must enter the Lord’s temple except the priests and Levites who are on duty. They may enter because they are ceremonially pure. All the others should carry out their assigned service to the Lord. The Levites must surround the king. Each of you must hold his weapon in his hand. Whoever tries to enter the temple must be killed. You must accompany the king wherever he goes.”

The Levites and all the men of Judah did just as Jehoiada the priest ordered. Each of them took his men, those who were on duty during the Sabbath as well as those who were off duty on the Sabbath. Jehoiada the priest did not release his divisions from their duties. Jehoiada the priest gave to the officers of the units of hundreds King David’s spears and shields that were kept in God’s temple. 10 He placed the men at their posts, each holding his weapon in his hand. They lined up from the south side of the temple to the north side and stood near the altar and the temple, surrounding the king. 11 Jehoiada and his sons led out the king’s son and placed on him the crown and the royal insignia. They proclaimed him king and poured olive oil on his head. They declared, “Long live the king!”

12 When Athaliah heard the royal guard shouting and praising the king, she joined the crowd at the Lord’s temple. 13 Then she saw the king standing by his pillar at the entrance. The officers and trumpeters stood beside the king and all the people of the land were celebrating and blowing trumpets, and the musicians with various instruments were leading the celebration. Athaliah tore her clothes and yelled, “Treason! Treason!” 14 Jehoiada the priest sent out the officers of the units of hundreds, who were in charge of the army, and ordered them, “Bring her outside the temple to the guards. Put the sword to anyone who follows her.” The priest gave this order because he had decided she should not be executed in the Lord’s temple. 15 They seized her and took her into the precincts of the royal palace through the horses’ entrance. There they executed her.

16 Jehoiada then drew up a covenant stipulating that he, all the people, and the king should be loyal to the Lord. 17 All the people went and demolished the temple of Baal. They smashed its altars and idols. They killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars. 18 Jehoiada then assigned the duties of the Lord’s temple to the priests, the Levites whom David had assigned to the Lord’s temple. They were responsible for offering burnt sacrifices to the Lord with joy and music, according to the law of Moses and the edict of David. 19 He posted guards at the gates of the Lord’s temple, so no one who was ceremonially unclean in any way could enter. 20 He summoned the officers of the units of hundreds, the nobles, the rulers of the people, and all the people of land, and he then led the king down from the Lord’s temple. They entered the royal palace through the Upper Gate and seated the king on the royal throne. 21 All the people of the land celebrated, for the city had rest now that they had killed Athaliah.

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Romans 11:13-36

13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Seeing that I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if somehow I could provoke my people to jealousy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the first portion of the dough offered is holy, then the whole batch is holy, and if the root is holy, so too are the branches.

17 Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them and participated in the richness of the olive root, 18 do not boast over the branches. But if you boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 Then you will say, “The branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted! They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but fear! 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, perhaps he will not spare you. 22 Notice therefore the kindness and harshness of God—harshness toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness toward you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And even they—if they do not continue in their unbelief—will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree?

25 For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

The Deliverer will come out of Zion;
he will remove ungodliness from Jacob.
27 And this is my covenant with them,
when I take away their sins.

28 In regard to the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but in regard to election they are dearly loved for the sake of the fathers. 29 For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. 30 Just as you were formerly disobedient to God, but have now received mercy due to their disobedience, 31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. 32 For God has consigned all people to disobedience so that he may show mercy to them all.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how fathomless his ways!

34 For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?
35 Or who has first given to God,
that God needs to repay him?

36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever! Amen.

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Psalm 22:1-18

Psalm 22

For the music director; according to the tune “Morning Doe;” a psalm of David.

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
I groan in prayer, but help seems far away.
My God, I cry out during the day,
but you do not answer,
and during the night my prayers do not let up.
You are holy;
you sit as king receiving the praises of Israel.
In you our ancestors trusted;
they trusted in you and you rescued them.
To you they cried out, and they were saved;
in you they trusted and they were not disappointed.
But I am a worm, not a man;
people insult me and despise me.
All who see me taunt me;
they mock me and shake their heads.
They say,
“Commit yourself to the Lord!
Let the Lord rescue him!
Let the Lord deliver him, for he delights in him.”
Yes, you are the one who brought me out from the womb
and made me feel secure on my mother’s breasts.
10 I have been dependent on you since birth;
from the time I came out of my mother’s womb you have been my God.
11 Do not remain far away from me,
for trouble is near and I have no one to help me.
12 Many bulls surround me;
powerful bulls of Bashan hem me in.
13 They open their mouths to devour me
like a roaring lion that rips its prey.
14 My strength drains away like water;
all my bones are dislocated;
my heart is like wax;
it melts away inside me.
15 The roof of my mouth is as dry as a piece of pottery;
my tongue sticks to my gums.
You set me in the dust of death.
16 Yes, wild dogs surround me—
a gang of evil men crowd around me;
like a lion they pin my hands and feet.
17 I can count all my bones;
my enemies are gloating over me in triumph.
18 They are dividing up my clothes among themselves;
they are rolling dice for my garments.

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Proverbs 20:7

The righteous person behaves in integrity;
blessed are his children after him.

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New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

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