Day 192 | King Manasseh is evil | King Josiah is only 8, but he's righteous | Paul's final words in Rome
Day 192 of the Holy Bible One Year Challenge. King Manasseh is evil. King Josiah is only 8, but he's righteous. Paul's final words in Rome
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2 Kings 21
2 Kings 22
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2 Kings 21
Manasseh Begins His Evil Rule Over Judah
Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to rule. He ruled for 55 years in Jerusalem. His mother was Hephzibah.
2 Manasseh did what the LORD says is evil. He committed the same disgusting sins as the nations that the LORD had forced to leave the land when the Israelites came in. 3 Manasseh rebuilt the places for worshipping false gods that his father Hezekiah had destroyed. He also built altars for Baal and put up an Asherah pole, just as King Ahab of Israel had done. Manasseh worshipped and served the stars in the sky as gods. 4 Manasseh built altars to honor false gods in the LORD’s Temple, the place in Jerusalem where the LORD said he would be honored forever. 5 There in both courtyards of the LORD’s Temple, he built altars to honor all the stars in the sky as gods. 6 He burned his own son as a sacrifice. He used witchcraft and fortune-tellers and other evil ways of trying to know the future. He even tried to contact ghosts and spirits of the dead for advice and secret knowledge. He made the LORD angry by doing many things the LORD says are evil.
7 He made a carved statue of the goddess Asherah and put this idol in the Temple. The LORD was talking about this same place when he told David and his son Solomon, “I have chosen Jerusalem from all the cities in Israel. And I will make the Temple here in Jerusalem the place where I will be honored forever. 8 I will not cause the Israelites to leave the land that I gave to their ancestors. I will let the people stay in their land if they obey everything I commanded them and all the teachings that my servant Moses gave them.” 9 But the people did not listen to God. And Manasseh led them to do more evil than the nations the LORD had de- stroyed when the Israelites came in to take their land.
10 The LORD used his servants the prophets to say this: 11 “King Manasseh of Judah has done these disgusting things and has done more evil than the Amorites before him. He also has caused Judah to sin because of his idols. 12 So the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Look! I will bring so much trouble against Jerusalem and Judah that anyone who hears about it will be shocked.† 13 I will punish Jerusalem the same way I did Samaria and Ahab’s family.‡ I will empty Jerusalem of its people like someone empties a dish and turns it upside down to show that they don’t want it filled again. 14 There will still be a few of my people left, but I will leave them. I will give them to their enemies. Their enemies will take them as captives—they will be like the valuable things soldiers take in war. 15 This is because my people did what I say is evil. They have made me angry with them since the day their ancestors came up out of Egypt. 16 Also, Manasseh killed many innocent people. He filled Jerusalem from one end to another with blood. And all these sins are in addition to the sins that caused Ju- dah to sin. Manasseh caused Judah to do what the LORD says is evil.’”
17 Everything else Manasseh did, including the sins that he committed, is recorded in the book, The History of the Kings of Judah. 18 When Manasseh died, he was buried in his palace garden. It was called the “Garden of Uzza”. His son Amon became the new king after him.
Amon’s Short Rule
19 Amon was 22 years old when he began to rule. He ruled for two years in Jerusalem. His mother was Meshullemeth daughter of Haruz from Jotbah.
20 Amon did what the LORD says is evil, just as his father Manasseh had done. 21 Amon lived just as his father had lived. He worshipped and served the same idols his father had worshipped. 22 Amon left the LORD, the God of his ancestors, and did not live the way the LORD wanted.
23 Amon’s servants made plans against him and killed him in his palace. 24 The people of Judah killed all the officers who had made plans against King Amon. Then the people made Amon’s son Josiah the new king after him.
25 The other things that Amon did are recorded in the book, The History of the Kings of Judah. 26 Amon was buried in his grave at the Garden of Uzza. His son Josiah became the new king after him.
2 Kings 22
Josiah Begins His Rule Over Judah
Josiah was eight years old when he began to rule. He ruled for 31 years in Jerusalem. His mother was Jedi- dah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. 2 Josiah did what the LORD said was right. He followed God like his ancestor David. Josiah obeyed God’s teachings— he did exactly what God wanted.
Josiah Orders the Temple Repaired
3 During the eighteenth year that Josiah was king, he sent Shaphan son of Azaliah son of Meshullam, the secretary, to the LORD’s Temple. Josiah said, 4 “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest. Tell him that he must gather all the money that the people brought to the LORD’s Temple. This is the money that the Levite doorkeepers collected from the people. 5 The priests must use that money to pay the workers to repair the LORD’s Tem- ple. They must give it to the men who supervise the work on the LORD’s Temple. 6 Use that money for the carpenters, stonemasons, and stonecutters. Also, use that money to buy the timber and cut stones that are needed to repair the Temple. 7 Don’t count the money that you give to the workers. They can be trusted.”
Book of the Law Found in the Temple
8 Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “Look, I found the Book of the Law* in the LORD’s Temple!” Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it.
9 Shaphan went to King Josiah and
told him what had happened. Shaphan said, “Your servants have gathered all the money that was in the Temple. They gave it to the men who supervise the work on the LORD’s Temple.” 10 Then he told the king, “And Hilkiah the priest also gave this book to me.” Then Shaphan read the book to the king. 11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he showed how up- set he was by tearing his clothes. 12 Then he gave a command to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s servant. 13 King Josiah said, “Go and ask the LORD what we should do. Ask for me, for the people and for all Judah. Ask about the words of this book that was found. The LORD is very angry with us because our ancestors did not obey the words of this book. They did not do everything this book tells us to do.”
Josiah and the Prophet Huldah
14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Ac- bor, Shaphan and Asaiah went to the newer part of Jerusalem to talk about what had happened with a woman named Huldah, who was a prophet. She was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, son of Harhas. Shallum was in charge of the Temple robes.
15 Huldah said to them, “This is what the LORD God of Israel says: Tell the man who sent you that 16 this message is from the LORD: ‘I will bring disaster on this place and the people living here. I will bring all the terrible troubles that are described in the book that the king of Judah read. 17 I will do this because the people have left me and burned incense to other gods. They made me angry because of all the idols they have made. So my anger will light a fire under this place. It will be a fire that cannot be put out!’
18 “Go back to King Josiah of Judah, who sent you to ask what the LORD wants. Tell him, ‘This is what the LORD God of Israel says about the words you heard being read: 19 you heard my words that apply to this place and those who live here. And when you heard those things, your heart was soft, and you showed your sorrow before the LORD. You understood what those words meant—that terrible things should happen to this place. So you tore your clothes to show your sorrow, and you began to cry. That is why I heard you. This is what the LORD says. 20 I will bring you to be with your ancestors. You will die and go to your grave in peace. So your eyes will not see all the trouble that I am bringing on this place.’”
Then Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Ac- bor, Shaphan, and Asaiah gave that message to the king.
Paul in Rome
17 Three days later, Paul sent for some of the Jewish leaders. When they came together, he said, “My brothers, I have done nothing against our people or against the customs of our fathers. But I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans. 18 They asked me many questions, but they could not find any reason why I should be put to death. So they wanted to let me go free. 19 But the Jews there did not want that. So I had to ask to come to Rome to have my trial before Caesar. That doesn’t mean I am accusing my people of doing anything wrong. 20 That is why I wanted to see you and talk with you. I am bound with this chain because I believe in the hope of Israel.”
21 The Jews answered Paul, “We have received no letters from Judea about you. None of our Jewish brothers who have traveled from there brought news about you or told us anything bad about you. 22 We want to hear your ideas. We know that people everywhere are speaking against this new group.”
23 Paul and the Jewish leaders chose a day for a meeting. On that day many more of the Jews met with Paul at his house. He spoke to them all day long, explaining God’s kingdom to them. He used the Law of Moses and the writings of the prophets to persuade them to believe in Jesus. 24 Some of them believed what he said, but others did not believe. 25 So the meeting ended without every- one agreeing with each other. But before they left, Paul said one more thing to them: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet: 26 ‘Go to this people and tell them:
“You will listen and listen, but you will not understand. You will look and look, but you will not understand what you see.”
27 These people are not able to understand.
Their ears are stopped up, and their eyes are closed.
So they cannot see with their eyes, or hear with their ears,
or understand with their minds.
If they understood, they might turn to me,
and I would heal them.’
28 “I want you to know that God has sent his salvation to the non-Jewish people. They will listen!” 29
30 Paul stayed two full years in his own rented house. He welcomed all the people who came and visited him. 31 He told them about God’s kingdom and taught them about the Lord Jesus Christ. He was very bold, and no one tried to stop him from speaking.
28 Troublemakers are always causing problems.
Their gossip breaks up the closest of friends.
29 Cruel people trick their neighbors
and make them do wrong.
30 With a wink of the eye, they plan to trick someone.
With a grin, they make plans to hurt their friends.
31 Grey hair is a crown of glory on people
who have lived good lives.
It is earned by living right.
32 It is better to be patient than to be a strong soldier.
It is better to control your anger than to capture a city.
33 People might throw lots to make a decision,
but the answer always comes from the LORD.
It is better to eat a dry piece of bread in peace
than a house full of food with everyone arguing.
2 A smart servant will gain control over
his master’s foolish son.
He will receive a share of what his master has saved for his children.
3 Fire is used to make gold and silver pure,
but a person’s heart is made pure by the LORD.
4 People who do evil listen to evil ideas.
Liars listen to liars.
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