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2 Kings 23:31-25:30; Acts 22:17-23:10; Psalms 2:1-12; Proverbs 18:13 (New English Translation)

2 Kings 23:31-25:30

Jehoahaz’s Reign over Judah

31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah, from Libnah. 32 He did evil in the sight of the Lord as his ancestors had done. 33 Pharaoh Necho imprisoned him in Riblah in the land of Hamath and prevented him from ruling in Jerusalem. He imposed on the land a special tax of one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. 34 Pharaoh Necho made Josiah’s son Eliakim king in Josiah’s place, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. He took Jehoahaz to Egypt, where he died. 35 Jehoiakim paid Pharaoh the required amount of silver and gold, but to meet Pharaoh’s demands Jehoiakim had to tax the land. He collected an assessed amount from each man among the people of the land in order to pay Pharaoh Necho.

Jehoiakim’s Reign over Judah

36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned for eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother was Zebidah the daughter of Pedaiah, from Rumah. 37 He did evil in the sight of the Lord as his ancestors had done.

24 During Jehoiakim’s reign, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked. Jehoiakim was his subject for three years, but then he rebelled against him. The Lord sent against him Babylonian, Syrian, Moabite, and Ammonite raiding bands; he sent them to destroy Judah, as he had warned he would do through his servants the prophets. Just as the Lord had announced, he rejected Judah because of all the sins which Manasseh had committed. Because he killed innocent people and stained Jerusalem with their blood, the Lord was unwilling to forgive them.

The rest of the events of Jehoiakim’s reign and all his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. He passed away and his son Jehoiachin replaced him as king. The king of Egypt did not march out from his land again, for the king of Babylon conquered all the territory that the king of Egypt had formerly controlled between the Stream of Egypt and the Euphrates River.

Jehoiachin’s Reign over Judah

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan, from Jerusalem. He did evil in the sight of the Lord as his ancestors had done.

10 At that time the generals of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon marched to Jerusalem and besieged the city. 11 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to the city while his generals were besieging it. 12 King Jehoiachin of Judah, along with his mother, his servants, his officials, and his eunuchs surrendered to the king of Babylon. The king of Babylon, in the eighth year of his reign, took Jehoiachin prisoner. 13 Nebuchadnezzar took from there all the riches in the treasuries of the Lord’s temple and of the royal palace. He removed all the gold items which King Solomon of Israel had made for the Lord’s temple, just as the Lord had warned. 14 He deported all the residents of Jerusalem, including all the officials and all the soldiers (10,000 people in all). This included all the craftsmen and those who worked with metal. No one was left except for the poorest among the people of the land. 15 He deported Jehoiachin from Jerusalem to Babylon, along with the king’s mother and wives, his eunuchs, and the high-ranking officials of the land. 16 The king of Babylon deported to Babylon all the soldiers (there were 7,000), as well as 1,000 craftsmen and metal workers. This included all the best warriors. 17 The king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in Jehoiachin’s place. He renamed him Zedekiah.

Zedekiah’s Reign over Judah

18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he ruled for eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah, from Libnah. 19 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, as Jehoiakim had done.

20 What follows is a record of what happened to Jerusalem and Judah because of the Lord’s anger; he finally threw them out of his presence. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. 25 So King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came against Jerusalem with his whole army and set up camp outside it. They built siege ramps all around it. He arrived on the tenth day of the tenth month in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign. The city remained under siege until King Zedekiah’s eleventh year. By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine in the city was so severe the residents had no food. The enemy broke through the city walls, and all the soldiers tried to escape. They left the city during the night. They went through the gate between the two walls that is near the king’s garden. (The Babylonians were all around the city.) Then they headed for the Jordan Valley. But the Babylonian army chased after the king. They caught up with him in the plains of Jericho, and his entire army deserted him. They captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, where he passed sentence on him. Zedekiah’s sons were executed while Zedekiah was forced to watch. The king of Babylon then had Zedekiah’s eyes put out, bound him in bronze chains, and carried him off to Babylon.

Nebuchadnezzar Destroys Jerusalem

On the seventh day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard who served the king of Babylon, arrived in Jerusalem. He burned down the Lord’s temple, the royal palace, and all the houses in Jerusalem, including every large house. 10 The whole Babylonian army that came with the captain of the royal guard tore down the walls that surrounded Jerusalem. 11 Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, deported the rest of the people who were left in the city, those who had deserted to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the craftsmen. 12 But he left behind some of the poor of the land and gave them fields and vineyards.

13 The Babylonians broke the two bronze pillars in the Lord’s temple, as well as the movable stands and the big bronze basin called “The Sea.” They took the bronze to Babylon. 14 They also took the pots, shovels, trimming shears, pans, and all the bronze utensils used by the priests. 15 The captain of the royal guard took the golden and silver censers and basins. 16 The bronze of the items that King Solomon made for the Lord’s temple—including the two pillars, the big bronze basin called “The Sea,” the twelve bronze bulls under “The Sea,” and the movable stands—was too heavy to be weighed. 17 Each of the pillars was about twenty-seven feet high. The bronze top of one pillar was about four and a half feet high and had bronze latticework and pomegranate shaped ornaments all around it. The second pillar with its latticework was like it.

18 The captain of the royal guard took Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah, the priest who was second in rank, and the three doorkeepers. 19 From the city he took a eunuch who was in charge of the soldiers, five of the king’s advisers who were discovered in the city, an official army secretary who drafted citizens for military service, and sixty citizens from the people of the land who were discovered in the city. 20 Nebuzaradan, captain of the royal guard, took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 The king of Babylon ordered them to be executed at Riblah in the territory of Hamath. So Judah was deported from its land.

Gedaliah Appointed Governor

22 Now King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, as governor over the people whom he allowed to remain in the land of Judah. 23 All of the officers of the Judahite army and their troops heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah to govern. So they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. The officers who came were Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah son of the Maacathite. 24 Gedaliah took an oath so as to give them and their troops some assurance of safety. He said, “You don’t need to be afraid to submit to the Babylonian officials. Settle down in the land and submit to the king of Babylon. Then things will go well for you.” 25 But in the seventh month Ishmael son of Nethaniah, son of Elishama, who was a member of the royal family, came with ten of his men and murdered Gedaliah, as well as the Judeans and Babylonians who were with him at Mizpah. 26 Then all the people, from the youngest to the oldest, as well as the army officers, left for Egypt, because they were afraid of what the Babylonians might do.

Jehoiachin in Babylon

27 In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of King Jehoiachin of Judah, on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month, King Evil-Merodach of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, pardoned King Jehoiachin of Judah and released him from prison. 28 He spoke kindly to him and gave him a more prestigious position than the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 Jehoiachin took off his prison clothes and ate daily in the king’s presence for the rest of his life. 30 He was given daily provisions by the king for the rest of his life until the day he died.

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Acts 22:17-23:10

17 When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, I fell into a trance 18 and saw the Lord saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 19 I replied, ‘Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat those in the various synagogues who believed in you. 20 And when the blood of your witness Stephen was shed, I myself was standing nearby, approving, and guarding the cloaks of those who were killing him.’ 21 Then he said to me, ‘Go, because I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”

The Roman Commander Questions Paul

22 The crowd was listening to him until he said this. Then they raised their voices and shouted, “Away with this man from the earth! For he should not be allowed to live!” 23 While they were screaming and throwing off their cloaks and tossing dust in the air, 24 the commanding officer ordered Paul to be brought back into the barracks. He told them to interrogate Paul by beating him with a lash so that he could find out the reason the crowd was shouting at Paul in this way. 25 When they had stretched him out for the lash, Paul said to the centurion standing nearby, “Is it legal for you to lash a man who is a Roman citizen without a proper trial?” 26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commanding officer and reported it, saying, “What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman citizen.” 27 So the commanding officer came and asked Paul, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” He replied, “Yes.” 28 The commanding officer answered, “I acquired this citizenship with a large sum of money.” “But I was even born a citizen,” Paul replied. 29 Then those who were about to interrogate him stayed away from him, and the commanding officer was frightened when he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that he had had him tied up.

Paul Before the Sanhedrin

30 The next day, because the commanding officer wanted to know the true reason Paul was being accused by the Jews, he released him and ordered the chief priests and the whole council to assemble. He then brought Paul down and had him stand before them.

23 Paul looked directly at the council and said, “Brothers, I have lived my life with a clear conscience before God to this day.” At that the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth. Then Paul said to him, “God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit there judging me according to the law, and in violation of the law you order me to be struck?” Those standing near him said, “Do you dare insult God’s high priest?” Paul replied, “I did not realize, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You must not speak evil about a ruler of your people.’”

Then when Paul noticed that part of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, he shouted out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection of the dead!” When he said this, an argument began between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. (For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, or angel, or spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.) There was a great commotion, and some experts in the law from the party of the Pharisees stood up and protested strongly, “We find nothing wrong with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” 10 When the argument became so great the commanding officer feared that they would tear Paul to pieces, he ordered the detachment to go down, take him away from them by force, and bring him into the barracks.

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Psalm 2

Psalm 2

Why do the nations rebel?
Why are the countries devising plots that will fail?
The kings of the earth form a united front;
the rulers collaborate
against the Lord and his anointed king.
They say, “Let’s tear off the shackles they’ve put on us!
Let’s free ourselves from their ropes!”
The one enthroned in heaven laughs in disgust;
the Lord taunts them.
Then he angrily speaks to them
and terrifies them in his rage, saying,
“I myself have installed my king
on Zion, my holy hill.”
The king says, “I will announce the Lord’s decree. He said to me:
‘You are my son! This very day I have become your father!
Ask me,
and I will give you the nations as your inheritance,
the ends of the earth as your personal property.
You will break them with an iron scepter;
you will smash them like a potter’s jar!’”
10 So now, you kings, do what is wise;
you rulers of the earth, submit to correction!
11 Serve the Lord in fear!
Repent in terror!
12 Give sincere homage!
Otherwise he will be angry,
and you will die because of your behavior,
when his anger quickly ignites.
How blessed are all who take shelter in him!

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Proverbs 18:13

13 The one who gives an answer before he listens—
that is his folly and his shame.

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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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