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    2 Chronicles

    Septuagint text: Our version of this book reads differently to other Bibles. Why? We use the much older Greek Septuagint manuscripts – and most will closely resemble the versions used by many 1st-century Christians, including the Apostles. These older manuscripts escaped the censorship applied to the Hebrew manuscripts. Our translation is created by volunteers, and we are always correcting and refining the text. Learn what [brackets] and other insertions mean.

    About this book 2 Chronicles is a history book written from a religious viewpoint.It’s the second part of a two-part book: 1 Chronicles and 2 Chronicles. It’s pronounced ‘Second Chronicles,’ and not ‘Two Chronicles.’The books of Chronicles are a retelling of the history of the world and the Jewish people, repeating information appearing in all the previous Bible books – but in a more condensed way, with a few extra details added.Part two covers the start of Solomon’s reign to the destruction of JeruSalem by Babylon, and then to the start of the reign of King Cyrus of Persia. When a king begins his reign, his name is marked in bold.Why repeat this history again?The two books of Chronicles were originally just one book. It was written for the Jews who returned home from the Babylonian exile to rebuild their nation. Perhaps it acted as a way of encouraging patriotism among the population, while also encouraging them to serve their God, Jehovah.It was probably written by the Scribe Ezra, likely with the help of secretaries, around 455 BCE.

    1

    1Well, Solomon (son of David) grew stronger in his kingdom because his God Jehovah was with him and made him great.2Then, after Solomon had spoken to all the generals, lieutenants, judges, governors of IsraEl, and family heads, 3he and the entire assembly went to the high place in GibeOn where God’s Tent of Proofs that Moses (the servant of Jehovah) had made in the desert was kept. 4But at the time, the Chest of God wasn’t there, because David had it carried from the city of KiriAth JaiRim [and put in] a tent that he’d made for it in JeruSalem.5However, the bronze Altar that BeSeleEl (son of UriAh and grandson of Or) had made was still there in front of the Tent of Jehovah, and that’s why Solomon and the assembly went there.6There Solomon offered 1,000 whole burnt offerings as sacrifices to Jehovah on the bronze Altar before the Tent of the Proofs.7And that night, God appeared to Solomon and said to him:‘Ask for whatever you wish and I will give it to you.’8So Solomon said to God:‘You’ve been extremely kind to my father David, and now You’ve made me the king in his place.9‘Therefore, O my God Jehovah,‘May You prove true to Your Name by doing all the things that You [promised] to my father David.‘And since You’ve made me the king over a people who are as many as the dust on the ground; 10please give me the wisdom and understanding [that I’ll need] to stand before these people who’ll come before me.‘For, who can possibly judge so many people?’11And God said to Solomon:‘Because this is the desire of your heart, and because you didn’t ask for wealth, possessions, glory, the lives of your enemies, or for a long life, but for the wisdom and understanding to judge My people over whom I have appointed you king... 12I will be giving you the wisdom and understanding.‘However, I’ll also give you wealth, possessions, and glory… I’m giving you more than any of the kings who came before you or any who will come after you will ever know!’13So then, Solomon left The Tent of Proofs in the place of worship in GibeOn, and he returned to JeruSalem to begin his reign over IsraEl.14Thereafter, Solomon started collecting chariots and horsemen; and [in time] he had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horsemen, which he stationed in cities that [he built] to hold the chariots, and he kept many of the men with him in JeruSalem.15Well, during that time, the king made silver and gold as common as stones in JeruSalem, and the cedar wood in Judah as common as mulberry trees in the plains!16Solomon also imported horses from Egypt, and the King’s merchants’ [fees] for going and trading 17 and bringing [goods] from Egypt to the Hittite and Syrian kings (according to their means) was [as much as]:• 600 silver coins for a chariot [of goods], and• 150 silver coins for a horse [carrying goods].

    2

    1It was then that Solomon gave the word to start building the Temple to the Name of Jehovah, as well as a palace for his own kingship. 2So he brought together:• 70,000 laborers,• 80,000 quarry workers to work in the mountains, and• 3,600 supervisors.3Then Solomon sent a message to King HiRam [I] of Tyre, saying:‘I know what you did for my father David by sending cedars to build a palace for himself... 4But look; I (his son) am now building a Temple to the Name of my God Jehovah as a Holy Place for Him.‘It’s a place to burn incense before Him throughout the ages and a place for Him to stay where we can sacrifice whole burnt offerings in the mornings, in the evenings, and on the Sabbaths, New Moons, and on the Lord’s holidays.‘I am doing this for all of IsraEl.5‘Now, the Temple that I am to build will be great, because our God Jehovah is greater than all other gods... 6But, who is great enough to build a House for Him, since the skies and the heavens above them can’t bear His glory?‘So, who am I to build such a Temple since [I’m not even qualified] to burn incense before Him?7‘However, what I’m asking of you is to send me a wise man who knows how to work with gold, silver, bronze, and iron, as well as with blue [thread], purple [yarn], and scarlet cloth.‘[I must have such a man to take the lead] over those wise ones who are with me in Judah and JeruSalem, to do the carving and to make the things that have been prepared by my father David.8‘Also, please send me some cedar, juniper, and pine boards from Lebanon, because your servants know how to cut up the timber of Lebanon... And then {Look!} your servants can direct the servants 9that [I’ll send], who’ll bring back the large quantities of timber for the great and glorious Temple that I’m about to build.10‘And look!‘Then I’ll send you gifts of grain as food for your servants who’ll be cutting the trees… I’ll send:• 140,000 bushels of wheat,• 140,000 bushels of barley,• 20,000 barrels of wine, and• 20,000 barrels of olive oil.’11So King HiRam of Tyre sent a return letter to Solomon that said:‘Jehovah must love His people very much to put such a king over them.’12And he added:‘Praise Jehovah the God of IsraEl who made the skies and the lands, and who gave King David such a wise son who knows enough and understands enough to build a Temple to Him, as well as a palace for his kingdom!13‘Now, I’ve sent you a man who’s wise and knowledgeable, my servant HiRam. His mother is one of the daughters of Dan, although his father is from Tyre.‘He knows how to work with gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood; and he knows how to weave blue [thread], purple [yarn], scarlet [cloth], and linen, as well as how to do carving. 14He’s good at doing everything that you’ll assign him to do alongside your wise men and the wise men of your father, my Lord David.15‘And concerning the grain, barley, olive oil, and wine that my lord spoke of... Let him send it to his servants, 16and we’ll fell all the trees of Lebanon that you need and send them to you by sea to JopPa on barges.‘You can then carry it on from there to JeruSalem.’17So Solomon gathered all the foreign men in the land of IsraEl who’d been counted by his father David (all 153,600 of them). 18Then he put 70,000 to work loading the carriers, 80,000 to work in the mountain quarries, and 3,600 were assigned as the supervisors.

    3

    1Thereafter, Solomon started the construction of the Temple of Jehovah on Mount MoriAh in JeruSalem; the place where Jehovah had appeared to his father David at the threshing floor and which he [bought] from Ornan the Jebusite.2He started this construction project in the 2nd month of the 4th year of his reign.3When Solomon built the Temple of God, he made it 100 feet (30.5m) long and 33 feet (10m) wide.4It also had a columned porch that adjoined its full width along the front, which was 33 feet (10m) wide and 33 feet (10m) tall. On the inside, [the Temple] was totally covered in pure gold.5It was a large building made of cedar wood that had been covered in pure gold and engraved with palms and chain work. 6Valuable stones were then added to make the Temple more glorious, and using gold that he got from PharaOh Aim, 7he gilded the Temple’s walls, gatehouses, roofing, and doorways, and he had cherubs engraved on its walls.8Next, he made the Holy of Holies.Its width (along the front side of the Temple) was 33 feet (10m), and it was 33 feet (10m) long. Then he had it covered with 13 tons (11,800kg) of gold… 9The weight of each nail was the same as the weight of 50 gold coins, and the upper rooms were also covered in gold.10Inside the Temple, facing the Holy of Holies, he made two cherubs of durable wood that were covered with gold. 11They each stood 33 feet (10m) tall and their wings were 8 feet (2.4m) long, 12so that they touched the Temple walls on either side, and they touched each other [in the middle].13Their [combined] wingspan was 32 feet (9.75m), and they stood on their feet facing the [Sacred Chest].14Then he made the separating veil of blue [thread], purple [yarn], scarlet [cloth], and linen that was woven into [the shape of] cherubs.15In front of the Temple there were 2 columns that each stood 50 feet (15.25m) tall, and their caps were each 8 feet (2.4m) tall. 16Then he made a chainwork for the corners that was put over the column caps, and 100 pomegranate figures were mounted over the chainwork. 17These columns were located on each side of the [entrance to] the Temple. He then named the one on the right Success, and the one on the left Strength.

    4

    1Next, he built a bronze Altar that was:33 feet (10m) long,• 33 feet (10m) wide, and• 16 feet (4.9m) high.2After that, he had the [Sacred] Sea cast. It was round and 16 feet (4.9m) in diameter. It stood 8 feet (2.4m) tall and it was 50 feet (15.25m) in circumference.3This bathing tub [was resting on metal] calves that were standing in a 16-foot circle beneath it. 4There were 12 calves that were cast in two types; 3 looked north, 3 looked west, 3 looked south, and 3 looked east, with their backsides facing inward and the Sea resting on top of them.5[The Sea] looked like a palm in the middle, and its rim was like the edge of a cup, with carved lily buds [all around]. It had a capacity of 20,000 gallons (75,000l).6After he finished the [Sacred Sea], he made 10 washbasins, 5 of which were put on its right and 5 on its left. They were used to wash and rinse those who sacrificed the whole burnt offerings.However, the Sea was only to be used for washing the Priests.7Then he made 10 of the unique gold lampstands and put them inside of the Temple, 5 on the right, and 5 on the left.8He also made 10 tables and put them inside the Temple, 5 on the right and 5 on the left.And he made 100 gold bowls.9Next, he made the Courtyard of the Priests. It was very large, and it had bronze doorways. 10He also located the [Sacred] Sea next to the corner of the Temple, on the right side, to the east.11Then HiRam made the meat hooks, the censers, the grate for the Altar, and all the other items. For by then, he had completed the rest of the work on the Temple of God for King Solomon.12He also made the two columns with their bases and caps. These caps had a meshwork that covered the tops. 13And he made 400 gold bells to go over the meshwork, and two types of pomegranates to cover the mesh that was on the bottom sides of the column caps.14HiRam then made the 10 wash tubs and their bases, 15the Sacred Sea with the 12 calves beneath it, 16the foot basins, the ladles, the cooking pots, the meat hooks, and everything else, which he thereafter presented to King Solomon at the Temple of Jehovah.All of these things were made of pure bronze 17that he’d cast for the king in a temporary structure that he’d built underground near the JorDan.18Solomon had a tremendous number of items made, because he had more than enough bronze. 19He had everything made [that was needed] for the Temple of Jehovah, including the gold Altar, the tables, the place settings for the bread, 20and the unique lampstands and their lamps for lighting [the Temple], which were all made from pure gold.21Then there were the tongs, lamps, bowls, and incense pans, which were also made of pure gold, 22as were the Temple doors and the inner door to the Holy of Holies.

    5

    1After Solomon had finished construction on the Temple of Jehovah, he carried in all the holy things of his father David (the things made of silver and gold) and put them into the Temple treasury.2Thereafter, he held an assembly in JeruSalem of all the elders, all the tribal heads, and all the family heads of the sons of IsraEl, which is when they brought the Chest of the Sacred Agreement of Jehovah out of the city of David on [Mount] Zion.3At the time, everyone in IsraEl had assembled with the king during the holiday of the 7th month, 4along with their elders, and that’s when the Levites picked up the Chest, 5as well as the Tent of Proofs and the rest of the holy items, and they carried them before the Priests and Levites.6Then Solomon and the entire assembly of the God-fearing gathered around the Chest, and they sacrificed so many calves and sheep that they couldn’t be counted.7It was the Priests who thereafter carried the Chest of the Sacred Agreement of Jehovah and placed it inside the Temple, inside the Holy of Holies, beneath the wings of the cherubs. 8So, there it sat beneath the spread wings of the cherubs that watched over the Chest, with its bearing poles lying across the top.9These bearing poles could always be seen sticking through the veil to the Holy of Holies (but they couldn’t be seen from outside [of the Temple])... And they’re still there to this day! 10Of course, nothing was in the Chest except the two tablets that Moses had put there at The Dry Place (Horeb), when Jehovah first made the [Agreement] with the sons of IsraEl after they’d left the land of Egypt.11Then the Priests came out of the Holy Place.Note that, at the time, not all the Priests were viewed as being holy, since the assignments and daily rotations 12hadn’t been made yet.[But when the Priests came out of the Holy Place], the musicians and singers from the families of Asaph, HeMan, and IdiThoum (and those who were with them that were all dressed in fine linen) assembled in front of the Altar with their cymbals, stringed instruments, and woodwinds, along with 120 Priests who’d been assigned to blow their trumpets, 13and they played a loud anthem that was accompanied by singing to acknowledge and praise Jehovah.Well, just as the voices, trumpets, cymbals, and the other musical instruments reached a climax with the words...‘Jehovah is good, and His mercies endure throughout the ages!’...the glorious cloud of Jehovah started filling the Temple!14And at that, the Priests were no longer able to stand there and serve before the face of the cloud, because the glory of Jehovah had filled the whole Temple of God.

    6

    1Then Solomon said:‘O Jehovah,‘You’ve said that You camp in the shadows.2‘So I’ve built a House to Your Name as something holy to You… A place for You to camp throughout the ages.’3And at that, the king turned his head and blest the entire gathering of IsraEl as they were standing nearby.4He shouted:‘Praise Jehovah the God of IsraEl who spoke to my father David with His mouth and who filled his hands, saying:5‘From the day that I led My people out of the land of Egypt, I have not chosen a city from among any of the tribes of IsraEl to build a Temple to My Name, nor had I chosen a man to be a leader over My people IsraEl... 6But now I’ve chosen JeruSalem as the place for My Name, and I have chosen David to lead My people IsraEl.’7‘Therefore, it came into the heart of my father David to build a Temple to the Name of the Lord God of IsraEl.8‘However, the Lord said to my father David:‘It’s a good thing that your heart has been moved to build a Temple to My Name, 9but you may not build it for Me. Rather, it will be a son who comes from your loins that will build a Temple to My Name.’10‘So now, Jehovah has made the thing that He said come true; for I’ve taken the place of my father David and I’m sitting on the throne of IsraEl, just as Jehovah said, and I’ve built a Temple to the Name of the Lord God of IsraEl, 11into which I’ve placed the Chest of the Sacred Agreement that Jehovah made with IsraEl.’12Then [he walked over] and stood against the Altar of Jehovah and raised his arms before the assembly of IsraEl... 13For Solomon had a bronze podium made in the midst of the Temple courtyard that was 8 feet (2.4m) long, 8 feet (2.4m) wide, and 5 feet (1.5m) high.So he got up on it and then fell to his knees before the whole assembly of IsraEl; and he raised his arms towards the sky and said:14‘O Jehovah, God of IsraEl,‘There is no other god like You in the heavens or on the earth that keeps his agreements and shows mercy as You’ve shown to Your children who are now wholeheartedly standing before You.15‘For You’ve honored [the agreement] that You made with Your servant David, my father, which You promised with Your mouth, and with which You’ve filled Your hands to this day.16‘And now, O Jehovah, God of IsraEl,‘Keep [the promise] that you made with Your servant David, my father, when You said:‘There will never fail to be a man from you who sits before My face on the throne of IsraEl – for as long as your sons are careful to always obey My Laws, as you have been doing before Me.’17‘And now, O Jehovah, God of IsraEl,‘May the things that You said to Your servant David prove to be true… 18That You will for a fact live as God upon the earth. But if the skies and the heavens of the heavens aren’t enough to hold You... Then, how can this House that I built possibly do so?19‘Please hear the prayers of Your servant and listen to these things that I’m begging before You, O Jehovah God.‘Please answer the prayers and petitions that Your servant has brought before You today.20‘May Your eyes watch over this Temple day and night… This place that You said would be called by Your Name. Hear the prayer that Your servant is praying in this place… 21Listen to whatever things that Your servant and Your people IsraEl pray for in this place.‘Listen from the place where You dwell in the heavens, and be forgiving.22‘For if a man should sin against his neighbor and then [his neighbor] comes before the Altar at this Temple to curse him; 23please listen to him from the heavens and act. Judge Your servants, and bring the bad ways of lawbreakers down upon their own heads.‘Give justice to the just, and repay each one for his righteousness.24‘And if Your people IsraEl should be devastated by their enemies for sinning against You, and then return and acknowledge Your Name and pray and beg before You in this Temple; 25please listen from the heavens and forgive Your people IsraEl. Then return them to the land that You gave to them and to their ancestors.26‘And if You should hold back the skies so there’s no rain because of their sinning against You, and they come and pray and praise Your Name in this place, turning away from their sins because You’ve humbled them; 27please listen to them from the heavens and forgive the sins of your servants and of your people IsraEl... Then show them the good ways to go, and bring back rain upon Your land that you’ve given to Your people as their inheritance.28‘Or if a famine should come upon the land, or a killing plague, or a wind-blown blight, or jaundice, or locust, or grasshoppers, or if an enemy should attack their cities – whatever the calamity or misery – 29please listen to the things for which they beg and pray.‘And if any man among Your people IsraEl knows of a man who has an infection and has become disabled, and then he raises his arms towards this Temple; 30please listen to him from this Home that has been prepared for You, and from the heavens, then forgive the man.‘Know [what’s in] his heart and give him the things that he deserves. For only You know the hearts of the sons of men. 31So, may they all fear Your ways for as long as they live on the face of the land that You gave to their ancestors.32‘And when foreigners who are not of Your people IsraEl come from far-away lands because of Your great Name, strong hand, and raised arm, and they come here to pray in this place... 33Please listen to them from Your Home in the heavens and do everything that they ask, so that everyone on the earth will come to know Your Name and fear You, as do Your people IsraEl. And may they recognize that this Temple that I built bears Your Name.34‘And if Your people must go to war against their enemies – wherever You may send them – and they pray in the direction of this city that You chose and towards this Temple that I’ve built to Your Name; 35please listen from the heavens to the things that they beg and pray, and bring them justice.36‘And when they sin against You (for there’s no man who doesn’t sin) and You strike them and hand them over to their enemies, and they’re carried away as captives to lands that are nearby or far away, 37and they then turn their hearts to the land they were taken from and turn and beg to You in their captivity, saying:‘We have sinned, we have broken [Your] Laws, and we were wrong!’38‘...and then they return to You with their whole hearts and souls, as well as to this land they were taken from as captives and pray towards this land that You gave to them and to their ancestors and towards this city which You chose, and towards this Temple that I’ve built to Your Name... 39From Your home in the heavens, please listen to the things that they beg and pray, and bring them justice!‘Forgive Your people for their sins against You, O Jehovah.‘Open Your eyes and ears to the things for which the people will beg in this place!41‘And now, O Jehovah our God,‘Awaken from Your rest when it comes to this Mighty Chest and to Your Priests, O Lord, our God... May they wrap themselves in Your salvation, and may Your sons rejoice in all Your good things!42‘O Jehovah our God,‘Please don’t turn Your face away from Your anointed one…‘Remember the [goodness] of Your servant David!’

    7

    1Then, as Solomon was finishing his prayer, fire came down from the sky and consumed the whole burnt offerings and the sacrifices!And the glory of Jehovah filled the Temple!2So, the Priests couldn’t enter the Temple at that time, because the glory of Jehovah filled the Temple... 3And when all the sons of IsraEl saw the fire come down and the glory of Jehovah filling the Temple, they all fell to the stone pavement with their faces to the ground, bowing low and praising Jehovah, [singing]:‘[He] is good,And His mercy endures throughout the ages.’4Well after that, the king and all the people offered [even more] sacrifices before Jehovah. 5King Solomon himself offered 22,000 calves and 120,000 sheep in dedication to the Temple of God.6Meanwhile, the Priests were standing watch and the Levites were playing songs that were written to Jehovah by King David on their [musical] instruments [and singing] the songs they’d written, which acknowledged before Jehovah His mercy throughout the ages.Then the Priests stood out in front and blew their trumpets, as the people stood there [listening].7Thereafter, Solomon made the middle of the courtyard of the Temple of Jehovah holy by sacrificing whole burnt offerings and the fat of salvation. However, the bronze Altar that Solomon had made wasn’t large enough to handle all the whole burnt offerings, gift offerings, and fat.8Well, Solomon observed the holiday for 7 days, and all IsraEl stayed there with him; for it was a huge crowd that had come from as far away as the entrance to HaMath and the River of Egypt. 9Then on the 8th day, he proclaimed a holiday recess to the Altar dedication ceremony, since they’d already celebrated the holiday during the previous 7 days.10So on the 23rd day of the 7th month he sent the people back to their homes, and they all left filled with joy and with happy hearts because of all the good things that Jehovah had done to David, to Solomon, and to His people IsraEl.11Well by then, Solomon had not only completed the Temple of Jehovah and his own palace, but everything else that he wanted to do for the Temple of Jehovah, and his house prospered.12Then Jehovah appeared to Solomon one night and said to him:‘I’ve heard your prayers, and I’ve chosen this place for Myself as a Temple for sacrifices.13‘So if I should stop up the sky and not allow it to rain, or if I should send locusts to eat all the trees, or if I should send a deadly plague among My people... 14and then they become ashamed and once more have My Name called upon them, and they pray to Me and search for My face and turn from their wicked ways... Then I’ll listen to them from the heavens, forgive their sins, and heal their land.15‘For My eyes will be open and My ears will pay close attention to the prayers of these people!16‘I have also chosen this Temple and made it holy to My Name throughout the ages, so it will remain in My eyes and in My heart each day.17‘And if you come before Me, as did your father David, and do everything that I tell you to do, following My instructions and Commandments; 18I will elevate the throne of your kingdom, just as I promised your father David when I said:‘No [descendant] of yours will be removed from the leadership of IsraEl.’19‘However, if you should turn away and abandon My instructions and the Commandments that I’ve set before you, and you go and serve other gods and bow before them, 20I will remove all of you from the land that I’ve given to you, and I’ll turn My face away from this Temple that I’ve made holy to My Name and make it an example that will be talked about among the nations!21‘Then people who pass by this Temple that I’ve made so important will be shocked and ask:‘Why did Jehovah do all of this to His land and to His Temple?’22‘And they’ll then be told:‘It happened because they abandoned Jehovah the God of their ancestors that led them out of the land of Egypt, then they started following other gods, bowing before them and serving them.‘That’s why God brought all of these bad things upon them.’

    8

    1Well, it was some 20 years after Solomon finished building the Temple of Jehovah and his own palace 2that he started developing the cities that HiRam had given to him, and he settled the sons of IsraEl there.3He went to ZoBah (in HaMath) and strengthened its defenses, 4then he built TadMor in the desert, and he built several other fortified cities in HaMath.5He also built both Upper and Lower BethHoron, and he fortified them all with walls, bars, and gates (for that’s where he kept his chariots and cavalry).6Then Solomon did whatever things he wanted to do in JeruSalem, Lebanon, and throughout his whole kingdom.7At the time, those who were left in the land who were descendants of the Hittites, Amorites, Pherezites, Hivites, and Jebusites (all those who weren’t IsraElites 8and who hadn’t been destroyed by IsraEl) were forced by Solomon to pay a tribute (which they still pay to this day).9And Solomon didn’t appoint any IsraElites as servants in his kingdom; for these people served as his warriors, governors, great men, and as those who were in charge of his chariots and cavalry. 10There were 250 [of them] who King Solomon had appointed as heads over the supervisors of public works among the people.11Then Solomon built a palace for the daughter of PharaOh outside the city of David where he had sent her to live.He said:‘You may not live as the [wife] of the king of IsraEl inside the city of David; for it’s holy, due to the fact that the Chest of Jehovah is there.’12Solomon also sacrificed whole burnt offerings on the Altar that he built to Jehovah in front of the Temple 13on each of the days that they calculated by the Commandments of Moses on the Sabbaths, on the [New Moons], and on the three annual holidays:• The Festival of fermentation-free Bread,• The Festival of Weeks, and• The Festival of Temporary Dwellings.14Then, following the instructions of his father David, he set up the divisions of the Priests and assigned their duties. He assigned the watches for the Levites for when they were to direct the other priests (as he understood it was to be handled each day), as well as the shifts for the gatekeepers of each of the gates.He did just as David (the man of God) had instructed… 15All the commandments of the king were followed when it came to the Priests, Levites, and everything that had to do with the Temple treasures.16Solomon continued to set everything in order from the day that the Temple foundation was laid to the day that it was completed.17Then Solomon built EziOn GeBer in ElAth by the Sea (in the land of Edom), 18and [King] HiRam [of Tyre] sent some of his servants (who were accomplished sailors) with boats that were to be used by Solomon’s servants, and they went to Ophir where they brought back 14 tons (12,700kg) of gold to King Solomon.

    9

    1Well, when the Queen of SheBa heard of Solomon’s reputation, she came to JeruSalem to test him with riddles. And when she came, it was with a very large contingent of [servants] and with camels that carried huge amounts of aromatics, gold, and gems.And when she spoke to Solomon, she talked about everything that concerned her; 2and Solomon replied to everything that she asked, not missing a word.3Well, after the Queen of SheBa saw the Wisdom of Solomon, the Temple he had built, 4the food on his tables, what his servants looked like, the stations and uniforms of his wine servers, and all the whole burnt offerings that he sacrificed at the Temple of Jehovah, she was beside herself.5So she said to the king:‘Everything that I’ve heard about you in my own land and of the wise things that you say, are true!6‘However, I didn’t believe any of it until I came and saw it with my own eyes... And look, they didn’t tell me half the story, for I’ve [learned] so much from your wisdom!7‘Why, your men and your servants are blest to be able to always stand before you and listen to your wisdom! 8May your God Jehovah be praised for choosing you and putting you on His throne as their king.‘Your God Jehovah must have a great love for IsraEl and [and He must plan] for it to last throughout the ages, that He would put you as king over them as their righteous judge.’9Then she gave the king 3-1/2 tons (3,175kg) of gold and huge amounts of aromatics and gems. And the aromatics that she gave to him were without equal.10Then the servants of Solomon and [King] HiRam [of Tyre] brought more gold to Solomon from Ophir, as well as pine lumber and precious gems. 11The king used the wood to build the entryway stairs to the Temple of Jehovah and [the entrance] to his palace, as well as harps and other stringed instruments for his musicians.Nothing like this had ever been seen before in the land of Judah!12Then King Solomon gave the Queen of SheBa everything that she desired and asked for… Which exceeded the [gifts] that she’d brought to Solomon; and then she returned to her own land.13Well, the weight of the gold that was brought to Solomon that year was 20 tons (18,140kg)… 14And this was in addition to what his men had gained from their trading. For all the kings of Arabia and all the governors of the land brought gold and silver to the king.15So Solomon had 200 shields of pure gold hammered out, which were each made with 600 gold coins, 16as well as 300 more shields of 300 gold coins each, which were then taken and hung in the king’s palace, in [the room that he called] the Forest of Lebanon.17Thereafter, the king had a huge throne made for himself from ivory tusks that were covered with pure gold, 18and he had 6 steps to the throne that were overlaid with gold. There was a drop-off on either side of the throne, 19and there were 12 [carved] lions on either side of the throne that were positioned along the drop-off on the 6 steps leading up to the king’s throne.Nothing like this has ever been seen in any other kingdom!20Everything that King Solomon had was made of gold, and everything in his palace and in the Forest of Lebanon was overlaid with gold. For during the time of Solomon, silver was considered as nothing.21The king’s ships would sail to TarShish with the servants of HiRam once every three years, and they’d return to the king filled with gold, silver, ivory, and monkeys. 22So Solomon became greater than all other kings in both wealth and wisdom, 23and all the kings of the earth would come before Solomon to listen to the wisdom that God had put into his heart.
    24And when they came (which they did each year), they all brought gifts:• Items of gold and silver,• Clothes,• Balsam,• Spices,• Horses, and• Mules.25So Solomon soon had 4,000 mares for his chariots and 12,000 horsemen, whom he stationed in the cities that he’d built for his chariots, in addition to those that he kept with him in JeruSalem.26He also ruled over all the kings from the river and the land of the Philistines to the borders of Egypt.27During his reign, gold and silver in JeruSalem became as common as stones, and cedar wood was as common as sycamores in the plains. 28Solomon also had horses delivered from Egypt and many other lands.29The rest of the things that Solomon said – from beginning to end – [Look!] were recorded by the Prophet Nathan, by AhiJah the ShiLonite, and in the visions of the Seer JoEl, who saw things concerning JeroBoam (son of NaBat).30So Solomon reigned over all of IsraEl for 40 years. 31Then he went to sleep and they buried him in a tomb in the city of David (his father); and his son RehoBoam started ruling in his place.

    10

    1Well, RehoBoam went to SheChem, which was where he was to receive his coronation as king over IsraEl. 2And when JeroBoam (son of NaBat) heard of it, he returned from Egypt (where he’d been living after he’d fled from King Solomon), 3because the assembly of IsraEl had called for him.And when he got there, he and the entire assembly went to the king and said:4‘Your father put a hard yoke on us... So now, free us from the hard service and the heavy yoke that your father laid upon us, and we will serve you!’5And [RehoBoam] replied:‘Leave me for three days, and then return [for an answer].’So, the people then left.6And thereafter, King RehoBoam assembled all the older men who had served his father Solomon during his entire life, and asked them:‘How do you suggest that I answer the people?’7And they told him:‘If you give a good reply to these people today and think well of them, they’ll serve you for as long as you live.’8However, he rejected this advice of the older men and listened to the advice of the younger men whom he’d grown up around and whom he’d chosen as his councilors.9For when he asked them:‘What do you suggest that I tell these people who came before me and asked me to remove the yoke that my father put on them?’10The young men who’d grown up with him replied:‘When you speak to them say:‘My little finger is greater than the hips of my father. 11So if my father disciplined you with a heavy load, I’ll add to the weight of your yoke.‘And if my father disciplined you with whips, I’ll discipline you with scorpions!’12As a result, when all the people and JeroBoam came before RehoBoam on the 3rd day (for the king had said, ‘Return to me on the 3rd day’), 13the king gave them the hard answer, because he’d rejected the council of the older men and told the people what the younger men had suggested.He said:14‘My father put you under a heavy yoke, so I will add to it.‘And my father disciplined you with whips, so I’ll discipline you with scorpions!’15However, the [reason why the] king had refused to listen to what the people said was because God had caused the words that He’d said through AhiJah the ShiLonite concerning JeroBoam (son of NaBat) 16and all IsraEl to be fulfilled… And that’s what kept him from listening to them.17So the people said to the king:‘What [do we owe to] David and the inheritance of the sons of JesSe?‘Run to your Tents, O IsraEl… And you can go back to your own house of David!’So, all the men of IsraEl returned to their homes, and thereafter RehoBoam only ruled over those who lived in Judah. 18For when King RehoBoam sent AdoniRam to collect their taxes, they threw rocks at him and killed him, and King RehoBoam had to run to his chariot and flee to JeruSalem!19Therefore, IsraEl annulled their allegiance to the house of David, which is still true to this day.

    11

    1Well, after RehoBoam returned to JeruSalem, he called an assembly of Judah and BenJamin – 180,000 young men – for the purpose of going to war. Then he went off to fight IsraEl, in order to bring them back under his rule.2But the Lord said to the Man of God ShemaiJah:3‘Tell RehoBoam, son of Solomon, who was once the king Judah and all IsraEl, not just of Judah and BenJamin, that Jehovah says:‘You must not go and attack your brothers!‘Everyone must just go back to their homes, because I said so!’4As a result, they obeyed the words of Jehovah and they didn’t attack JeroBoam [King of Israel]. 5So RehoBoam [reigned] in JeruSalem and he built [many] fortified cities throughout Judah.6He also refortified (in Judah and in BenJamin):• BethLehem,• AiTan,• ThekoE,7BethSoura,• SocChoth,• OdolLam,8Gath,• MariSan,• Ziph,9AdoRaim,• LachIsh,• Azeka,10SaraA,• AiLom, and • HebRon.11He built strong walls around them and appointed governors over them; then he sent them provisions of food, olive oil, and wine, 12and he armed each city with shields and spears. He made all the cities that he ruled in Judah and BenJamin very strong.13Well after that, all the Priests and Levites who had been scattered throughout IsraEl left their homes and came to [King ReoBoam]… 14They left their homes and all their possessions, and moved to Judah and JeruSalem, because [King] JeroBoam [of IsraEl] and his sons had driven them out so they wouldn’t represent [Jehovah in his land].15For he’d assigned his own priests for the high places, his idols, his foolish things, and the calves that he made. 16He also drove out all those of the tribes of IsraEl whose hearts belonged to Jehovah the God of IsraEl, and they all moved to JeruSalem, where they could sacrifice to Jehovah the God of their ancestors.17So, the [influx of] all these people strengthened RehoBoam (son of Solomon) and the kingdom of Judah, and he followed in the ways of David and Solomon for the next three years.18RehoBoam married MolLath, who was the daughter of David’s son JeriMoth and of AbiGail (the daughter of JesSe’s son EliAb), 19and she gave birth to her sons:• JaOus,• ShamariJa, and • ZaAm.20He also married MaAchah (AbSalom’s daughter), and she gave birth to:• AbiJah,• JetThi,• ZeZa, and • SalemOth.21Now, RehoBoam loved AbSalom’s daughter MaAcha much more than his other wives and concubines (he had 18 wives and 30 concubines through whom he fathered 28 sons and 60 daughters); 22so he appointed MaAcha’s son AbiJah over his brothers to become king after him, 23and he became very powerful throughout the fortified cities along the borders of Judah and BenJamin.He sent huge amounts of provisions to them, but he also asked for many women.

    12

    1Well, once [King] RehoBoam [of Judah] was firmly established on his throne, he abandoned the Commandments of Jehovah, and all IsraEl followed along.2Then in the 5th year of the reign of RehoBoam, King Shishak of Egypt attacked JeruSalem because they had sinned against Jehovah.3He came with 1,200 chariots, 60,000 cavalrymen, and innumerable soldiers from Egypt, Libya, SukKia, and Ethiopia, 4and they captured all the fortified cities of Judah… Then they came to JeruSalem!5Well, the Prophet ShemaiJah went to RehoBoam and the governors of Judah (who had all fled to JeruSalem) and said to them:‘Jehovah says:‘Because you’ve abandoned Me, I will abandon you into the hands of Shishak!’6And at that, the king and all the governors of Judah became ashamed, and they said:‘Jehovah is just.’7Then when Jehovah saw their shame, He sent word to ShemaiJah, saying:‘Because they feel ashamed, I won’t destroy them totally... Rather, I will give them some small consideration and I won’t pour out all My rage upon JeruSalem.8‘Then, if they’ll become My servants, they’ll learn what serving Me really means and what it means to serve the kingdom of this land.’9However, King Shishak of Egypt did attack JeruSalem and he took all the treasures that were in the Temple of Jehovah, as well as all the treasures in the king’s palace, including the gold shields that Solomon had made 10(which RehoBoam later replaced with brass shields).Then Shishak stationed his own guards in the king’s gatehouse; 11so, whenever the king went to the Temple of Jehovah, they’d go along and watch him, and return with him.12Well, because [RehoBoam] had felt ashamed, the anger of Jehovah turned away from him, and he didn’t remain corrupt to the end. So things went well for Judah thereafter, 13as RehoBoam continued reigning in JeruSalem… And before long, he started regaining his power.RehoBoam was 41-years-old when he started his reign, and he ruled in JeruSalem (the city where Jehovah chose to put His Name out of all the tribes of IsraEl) for 17 years. His mother’s name was NoOmMa (she was an AmMonite).14But he also continued to act wickedly, because he could never straighten out his heart when it came to seeking Jehovah.15[Look!] All the words of RehoBoam (from start to finish) and all the things that he did were recorded by the Prophet ShemaiJah and by the Seer AdDo.Well, RehoBoam stayed in a state of war with JeroBoam throughout his life. 16Then he died and was buried in a tomb with his ancestors in the city of David, and his son AbiJah became king after him.

    13

    1So in the 18th year of the reign of JeroBoam, AbiJah started his rule over Judah, 2and he reigned in JeruSalem for three years. His mother’s name was MaAcha, and she was the daughter of OuriEl from GibeOn.[During the lifetime of] AbiJah, there was war between him and JeroBoam. 3For although AbiJah had assembled a huge force of 400,000 mighty warriors, JeroBoam came against him with an even larger army of 800,000 mighty warriors!4However, AbiJah stood on Mount SomorOn (in the mountains of Ephraim) and shouted at them:‘Hear me, O JeroBoam and all IsraEl!5‘Don’t you know that Jehovah the God of IsraEl appointed King David to rule over IsraEl throughout the ages, and that He made an agreement of salt with his sons?6‘But then JeroBoam, son of NaBat and the servant of David’s son Solomon, went and rebelled against his lord, 7gathering a group of troublemakers and lawbreakers to come against Solomon’s son RehoBoam... And because RehoBoam was young and timid at heart back then, he didn’t oppose him face-to-face.8‘But now you’ve dared to speak of resisting the kingdom of Jehovah through the hands of the sons of David, and have you gathered a huge army against us! Yet, your gods are just the gold calves that JeroBoam made for you.9‘For you drove out the Priests of Jehovah – the sons of Aaron and the Levites – and you choose your own priests from among the people of the land, so that anyone who came and offered seven rams was made the priest of something that isn’t even a God!10‘However, we have Jehovah as our God, and we haven’t abandoned Him!‘His Priests – the sons of Aaron and the Levites – still serve before Jehovah in their daily rotations and offer whole burnt offerings to Jehovah in the mornings and in the evenings.‘They also burn the [sacred] incense, lay the [sacred] bread loaves on the table, and they serve before the sacred lampstand of pure gold, keeping the lamps burning to light the nights.11‘We’re also the ones who guard the watches of Jehovah the God of our ancestors – and you’re the ones who’ve abandoned Him!12‘So, {Look!} Jehovah is leading us, and His Priests are blowing the signal trumpets that testify against you and the sons of IsraEl! Therefore, you can’t fight against Jehovah the God of your ancestors, because you know that what you’re doing won’t be blest!’13Well at the time, [part of] JeroBoam’s [army] had marched around Judah to ambush them from behind... So while JeroBoam was there in the front, an ambush was forming behind Judah.Then, when the army of Judah looked around and 14found that they were being attacked from the front and from the rear, they yelled to Jehovah and the Priests started blowing their trumpets... 15And when the men of Judah started calling to Jehovah, He struck down [the army of King] JeroBoam and IsraEl there in front of [King] AbiJah and the Judeans, 16and the sons of IsraEl then turned and ran from Judah.So, Jehovah saved them from their hands.17Thereafter, [King] AbiJah and his men chased after and attacked the army of IsraEl, causing a great calamity for them; for they killed 500,000 of their mighty men! 18So the sons of IsraEl were disgraced that day, and the sons of Judah became stronger, because they’d put their trust in Jehovah, the God of their ancestors.19Well after that, [King] AbiJah pursued JeroBoam and captured the cities of BethEl and its surrounding towns, JeShanah and its surrounding towns, and EphRon and its surrounding towns. 20So, JeroBoam was no longer strong during the rest of AbiJah’s lifetime… And then Jehovah struck him and ended him.21But AbiJah grew stronger and took 14 women for himself, fathering 20 sons and 16 daughters. 22All the rest of the things that AbiJah said and did are written in the scrolls of the Prophet AdDo.

    14

    1Then AbiJah died and they buried him in a tomb with his ancestors in the city of David, and his son Asa started reigning after him.During the lifetime of Asa, all was quiet in the land of Judah. Because, for the next 10 years, 2he did good things and was righteous before his God Jehovah... 3He removed all the [pagan] altars and high places [of worship], he broke down their monuments, and he cut down their sacred poles.4Then he urged Judah to search for Jehovah the God of their ancestors and to obey His Laws and Commandments. 5Throughout Judah, he had all the altars and idols destroyed, and he brought peace to all the walled cities in the land.6So, everything was peaceful, and there were no more wars during that period, because Jehovah gave him rest.7Then [Asa] said to the people of Judah:‘We should rebuild all our cities and give them walls, towers, gates, and bars.‘For since we’ve been searching for our God Jehovah, He’s been searching for us, and He’s provided us with rest all around and blest us!’8Well at the time, Asa had 300,000 armed soldiers from the land of Judah who each carried shields and spears, as well as 280,000 bowmen from the land of BenJamin who carried small shields, all of whom were powerful warriors.9Then ZaRe the Ethiopian attacked them with 1,000,000 troops and 300 chariots! 10And when he reached MariSha, Asa came to meet him and attacked him in the ravine just north of the city.11Then Asa called to Jehovah his God and said:‘O Jehovah,‘It’s possible for You to save with many or with few...‘So, strengthen us, O Jehovah God, for we will trust in You.‘We’ve come against this huge army in Your Name, O Jehovah our God, so don’t allow any man to defeat You!’12Well thereafter, Jehovah cut down the Ethiopians before Judah, and they fled... 13Then Asa and his men chased after them all the way to Gedor! And there the Ethiopians couldn’t find a place to hide, so they were cut down and defeated before Jehovah and his army, and [the Judeans] carried away much loot.14So at that, because Jehovah was with them, the whole situation was reversed; for [Judah] then attacked and destroyed all the towns around Gedor, and they ravaged all the [Ethiopian] cities, carrying away huge amounts of loot.15They even destroyed the tents and property of the shepherds, carrying away many sheep and camels; and then they returned to JeruSalem.

    15

    1Thereafter, the Breath of Jehovah came over AzariAh (son of Oded), and he went to meet with Asa, as well as with all of Judah and [the tribe of] BenJamin.He said:‘Hear me Asa, and all you of Judah and BenJamin!2‘As long as you’re with Him, Jehovah will be with you; and if you’ll search for Him, you’ll find Him. However, if you abandon Him, He will abandon you!3‘Now, IsraEl has been without the true God for a long time... Therefore, there’s no Priest among them who can explain things clearly, and they have no Law! 4But now that you’ve returned to Jehovah the God of IsraEl, He will be found by you!5‘So although there has been no peace for those who entered or left [our cities] until now; Jehovah is going to bring a change of state to all those who live here.6‘Understand that the reason why nations fight against nations and cities fight against cities, is because God shocks them by bringing all sorts of problems upon them! 7But now, you must be strong and not lose your grip, because you’re going to reap the reward of your [good] deeds!’8Well, after he heard these words of the Prophet AzariAh, Asa was moved to drive all the disgusting things out of the lands of Judah and BenJamin! He dedicated [to destruction] all the [idols] that JeroBoam had [built] in the mountains of Ephraim, [and he repaired] the Altar of Jehovah that was in front of His Temple.9Then he [called an] assembly of Judah, BenJamin, and those of the tribes of Ephraim, ManasSeh, and SimeOn who were living among them (for many had moved there from IsraEl when they saw that Jehovah God was with them), 10and they all came to JeruSalem in the 3rd month of the 15th year of the reign of Asa.11He thereafter sacrificed part of the things that they’d captured to Jehovah on that day… 700 calves and 7,000 sheep. 12And they all agreed to search for Jehovah the God of their ancestors with their whole hearts and souls.13They also agreed that anyone who refused to search for Jehovah the God of IsraEl should die, whether they are young or old, male or female!14So, everyone swore an oath to Jehovah in a loud voice, as the trumpets and horns were being blown. 15And everyone in Judah was delighted to swear the oath with their whole souls… Freely and of their own will.Then thereafter, they did search for Jehovah and they found Him… And He rested among them.16Well, [Asa] thereafter forced his mother MaAcha to stop bowing before Astarte, and he cut down her idol, incinerated it, and had [its ashes] thrown into the Cedar (Kidron) Wadi.17And even though he failed to remove the high places of worship that were then located all around Judah and IsraEl, Asa’s heart remained [true] throughout the rest of his life. 18He also recovered the holy things of his ancestor David and the holy things of the Temple of God… All the items of silver and gold.19And there was no more war through the 35th year of Asa’s reign.

    16

    1It was during the 36th year of the reign of King Asa [of Judah] that King BaAsha of IsraEl attacked Judah, and he fortified RamAh to keep [his people] from entering or leaving the land of King Asa of Judah.2Then Asa took silver and gold from the treasury in the Temple of Jehovah and from the king’s palace, and sent it to King BenHader [I] of Syria (who lived in Damascus), saying:3‘Let’s create a treaty between you and me, [as there had been] between my father and your father.‘Look! I’m sending you gold and silver!‘So, come and scatter King BaAsha of IsraEl and drive him away from me!’4Well, King BenHader listened to Asa and he ordered his generals to attack the cities of IsraEl. As a result, they attacked:• AiOn,• Dan,• AbelMain, and• [Cities] throughout the land of NaphTali.5And when [King] BaAsha heard what was happening, he stopped working on RamAh and ended his projects. 6Then King Asa gathered all Judah and they gathered up the stones and timbers that BaAsha was using to build RamAh, and they used them to build GabaE and MasPha.7But after that, the Prophet HanaNi went to Asa (the king of Judah) and said to him:‘Because you relied on the king of Syria and you didn’t trust in your God Jehovah, the army of Syria won’t remain under your control.8‘Don’t [you remember] how large and courageous the armies of the Ethiopians and Libyans were, and how vast their cavalry was; and when you relied on Jehovah, didn’t He give them into your hands?9‘For the eyes of Jehovah search throughout the earth looking to strengthen any heart that is devoted to Him. But now, I want you to know that you’ll be going to war!’10Well, this made Asa furious with the Prophet, and he had him thrown in prison (because he was so angry), and he actually had several people killed.11{Look!} The rest of the things that Asa said and did (from start to finish) are written about in the scrolls of the kings of Judah and IsraEl.12It was during the 39th year of Asa’s reign that he became seriously ill; for he was having problems with his feet. And rather than going to Jehovah for help, he went to the physicians. 13So, Asa [died] and went to sleep with his ancestors, ending his reign in its 40th year.14Then they buried him in a tomb that he’d quarried for himself in the City of David. They placed [his body] on a bed that was covered with aromatics and expensive perfumes, and they held a great funeral for him.

    17

    1Well, after that, [Asa’s] son JehoShaphat took his place as the king. And JehoShaphat fortified his [land] against IsraEl 2by placing troops in all the walled cities of Judah. He also appointed governors over each city in Judah and over all the cities of Ephraim that his father Asa had captured.3Now, Jehovah was with JehoShaphat, because he started out by following in the ways of his ancestor David. 4He didn’t [worship] any of the idols… Just Jehovah, the God of his father. He also obeyed the commandments of his father and he didn’t follow in the ways of IsraEl.5So, Jehovah strengthened the kingdom under his hands, and all Judah sent him gifts. As a result, he became very rich and powerful. 6JehoShaphat continued to follow in the ways of [Jehovah faithfully], and he again removed all the high places of worship and all the sacred poles from the land of Judah.7Then, during the 3rd year of his reign, he sent his governors along with his sons and dignitaries (such as AbdiAn, ZachariAh, NathaniEl, and MichaiJah) to teach the people throughout the cities of Judah.8[In addition, he also sent] the Levites (ShemaiJah, NathaniAh, ZabDiAh, AsiEl, SemiRamOth, JoNathan, AdoniJah, and TobiAh) and the Priests (EliSama and JoRam).9They all traveled throughout Judah with the scroll of the Law of Jehovah, going to each city and teaching [God’s Laws] to the people. 10As a result, Jehovah brought a change over all the surrounding kingdoms, because they no longer went to war against JehoShaphat.11Even the Philistines brought gifts and things made of silver to JehoShaphat; and the people of Arabia sent him 7,700 male sheep, and 7,700 male goats. 12So he kept growing in stature and importance, as he built houses and fortified cities throughout Judah, 13and he started several public-works projects.JehoShaphat kept a contingent of mighty warriors in JeruSalem, 14and here are their numbers by houses and families:The generals of Judah were:• AdNah, who was the leader of 300,000 men,15JoAnan, who was the leader of 280,000,16AmasiAh (son of Zari, who was known for his zeal for Jehovah), who was the leader of 200,000 strong, mighty men.17Also, from [the tribe of] BenJamin came the strong, powerful leader EliAda, who had 200,000 bowmen that carried small shields.18And following him was JoZabad with 180,000 mighty men of war.19These men were also the king’s governors that were in charge of the fortified cities throughout Judah.

    18

    1Well, after JehoShaphat became very rich and famous, he decided to ally himself with the house of [King] Ahab [of IsraEl] through marriage. 2So after several years, he went to visit Ahab in Samaria with a large contingent of his people, and he sacrificed many calves and sheep on behalf of Ahab.Then to show his love for him, he consented to go with him to [fight at] RamOth GileAd. 3For King Ahab of IsraEl had asked King JehoShaphat of Judah:‘Will you go to RamOth GileAd with me?’And he replied:‘You and your people are the same as [me and] my people, so we’ll join you in the war.’4However, JehoShaphat said to the king of IsraEl:‘But first, let’s ask for [God’s direction]!’5So the king of IsraEl gathered all his prophets (some 400 men) and asked them:‘Should I attack RamOth GileAd or should I wait?’And they replied:‘Go there, and God will hand them over to the king!’6But then JehoShaphat asked:‘Aren’t there any Prophets of Jehovah that we can ask?’7And the king of IsraEl replied:‘There’s one man who searches for answers from Jehovah, but I detest him, because he never prophesies anything good for me. All he ever tells me is bad things!‘He’s MichaiJah, son of JemBla.’But JehoShaphat said:‘The king shouldn’t talk that way!’8Then the king called one of his eunuchs and said:‘Quickly! Go find MichaiJah, son of JemBla, and bring him to me!’9Well, at the time, the king of IsraEl and JehoShaphat (the king of Judah) were each sitting on thrones in the broad area near the city gate of Samaria dressed in [their royal] robes, and all the prophets were there prophesying before them.10Then one of them (ZedekiAh, son of CanaAn) made some iron horns for himself and said:‘This is what the Lord says:‘You will gore the Syrians with these until you’ve wiped them out completely!’11And all the rest of the prophets said the same thing.They said:‘Go to RamOth GileAd and you’ll succeed! For the Lord will give it into the hands of the king!’12Well, the messenger that had been sent to call MichaiJah said to him:‘Look! All the prophets are saying good things to the king, so it would be a blessing if you’d tell him good things too.’13And MichaiJah replied:‘As Jehovah lives, I’ll say whatever God tells me to say!’14So MicaiJah went before the king, and the king asked:‘Should I attack RamOth GileAd or should I wait?’And he replied:‘Go, and you’ll be blest, because it will be given into your hands!’15But the king said:‘How often do I have to tell you to swear to only tell me the truth in the Name of the Lord?’16And MichaiJah said:‘I see IsraEl being scattered in the mountains like sheep without a shepherd.‘For Jehovah said:‘They will be without a leader, so each one should return to his home in peace.’17Then the king of IsraEl said to JehoShaphat:‘You see… Didn’t I tell you that he wouldn’t prophesy anything good, just bad things?’18And MichaiJah said:‘That isn’t so! [These are] the words of Jehovah!‘For I saw Jehovah sitting on His Throne and all the armies of the heavens were sitting beside Him on His right and on His left.19‘Then Jehovah asked:‘Whom can I send to deceive Ahab the king of IsraEl so that he attacks RamOth GileAd and is defeated?’‘Well, one suggested this and another suggested that; 20but then a spirit stepped forward into the presence of Jehovah and said:‘I can fool him!’‘And when Jehovah asked how, 21he said:‘I will go into the mouths of his prophets as a lying spirit.’‘And [God] said:‘You will indeed be able to fool him, so go there and do it!’22‘As a result {Look!}, Jehovah has put a lying spirit into the mouths of all these, your prophets.‘And it was Jehovah that spoke these bad things against you, [not me]!’23Then ZedekiAh (son of CanaAn) [came up] and hit MichaiJah in the jaw and shouted:‘How has the Lord’s Breath passed from me to you, so that you should feel so free to speak?’24And MichaiJah replied:‘{Look!} You’ll know it in that day when you have to run from closet to closet to hide!’25Then the king of IsraEl gave the order:‘Take MichaiJah and hand him over to Emer the city mayor and to [my] son JoAsh the governor... 26Tell them that the king wants this man thrown in jail and just fed moldy bread and water until we return in peace!’27And MichaiJah said:‘Well, as Jehovah told me; you’re not going to return in peace… Listen to this, all you people!’28So the king of IsraEl and King JehoShaphat of Judah rode up to RamOth GileAd.29And the king of IsraEl said to JehoShaphat:‘I’m going to disguise myself when I go into battle, so I want you to wear my clothes!’Thus, the king of IsraEl disguised himself and rode into the battle.30Then the king of Syria told the generals who were standing near him (those who were in charge of his chariots):‘Don’t attack the regular soldiers, just attack the king of IsraEl.’31So when the generals in charge of the chariots saw JehoShaphat, they shouted:‘That’s the king of IsraEl!’And they surrounded him and prepared to attack... But JehoShaphat called out, and Jehovah saved him by turning them away from him. 32For when the generals in charge of the chariots saw that it wasn’t the king of IsraEl, they turned and left him.33Then a skilled archer pulled his bow tight and shot an arrow at the king of IsraEl, hitting him in the middle of his chest, between his lungs!And [the king] said to his chariot driver:‘Turn around and take me away from the battle, because I’m in a lot of pain!’34So the king of IsraEl left the battle that day; and there he sat on his chariot, right across from the Syrian lines, until the evening... Then he died just as the sun was setting.

    19

    1Well, as King JehoShaphat of Judah was returning to his palace in JeruSalem, 2the Prophet Jehu (son of AnaNi) came to meet him.And he said:‘O King JehoShaphat,‘Why did you befriend and help a sinner who is hated by Jehovah?‘Now, because you did this, you’ve brought Jehovah’s anger upon yourself!3‘However, good things have also been said about you, because you’ve removed the sacred poles from the land of Judah, and you’ve straightened your heart to search for Jehovah.’4So thereafter, JehoShaphat continued to live in JeruSalem, and he once again went to all the people (from BeerSheBa to the mountains of Ephraim) to turn them to Jehovah, the God of their ancestors. 5He also assigned judges in all the walled cities of Judah, city by city.6And he told the judges:‘Pay close attention to what you’re doing, because you aren’t judging for men but for Jehovah!7‘So, may the fear of God rest upon you!‘And be careful about how you act, for your God Jehovah isn’t unjust… He isn’t swayed by how a man looks, nor does He accept bribes!’8Then JehoShaphat brought the Levites, the Priests, and the patriarchs of IsraEl to JeruSalem to serve as judges for Jehovah and to judge the people of JeruSalem.9The instructions he gave to them were:‘You must [judge] with the fear of Jehovah… In truth and with a [pure] heart.10‘You must warn each man among your brothers who comes to you from any of the cities for justice – whether it’s a matter of blood, of order, of the Commandments, of the Law, or of the decisions [of God] – that they must not sin against Jehovah, so that God doesn’t become angry with you or with your brothers.‘No, you must not sin!11‘{Look!} I’ve appointed AmariAh the Priest to be over you, so that every decision is the word of Jehovah.‘Also, ZabDiAh, son of IshMaEl, is in charge of the house of Judah when it comes to the decisions of the king… And you have the scribes and Levites there [to help you].‘So, be strong and act, then Jehovah will bless those who are doing what’s good!’

    20

    1Then the sons of MoAb, the sons of AmMon, and some of the Minaeans marched against JehoShaphat in war.2And [the king’s messengers] spoke plainly to JehoShaphat and told him:‘A huge army has come against you from the other side of the sea and from Syria! Look! They’re already in AsaSan-Thamar (EnGedi)!’3Well, this frightened JehoShaphat and he went to seek [God’s] guidance, and he proclaimed a fast throughout Judah. 4So, all of Judah gathered to seek Jehovah’s help, coming from all the cities of the land.5Then JehoShaphat stood up before the entire assembly of Judah in JeruSalem, there at the Temple of Jehovah (in front of the new courtyard), 6and said:‘O Jehovah, the God of my fathers,‘Aren’t You the God of all that’s above the skies, and don’t You dominate all the kingdoms of the nations?‘Don’t Your hands have the strength to dominate everything, and can anyone really stand against You?7‘You are Jehovah…‘You’re the One who destroyed those who lived in this land from before your people IsraEl, and it was You who gave this land to the offspring of AbraHam… This one whom loved you through that age.8‘So, this is where we now live and where we’ve built a Most Holy Place to Your Name.9‘Now, [the people have said]:‘Should any bad things come against us, such as war, judgments, plagues, or famines, we’ll all come and stand before You and You’ll save us; for the battle is Jehovah’s!’10‘But look!‘The sons of AmMon, MoAb, and [people from] the mountains of SeIr... Those whose lands You refused to allow Your people to pass through as they returned from the land of Egypt and from which they were driven away, but whom we couldn’t conquer... 11[They] have now come here to drive us out of the inheritance that You gave to us!12‘O Jehovah our God,‘Won’t You condemn them?‘We aren’t strong enough to resist such a huge army, and we don’t know what to do about them, so we’re all looking to You!’13Well at the time, all of Judah was standing there before Jehovah, including the women and children... 14Then the Breath of Jehovah came over OziEl (son of ZachariAh, a descendant of BenaiJah, son of EliEl, son of MathaniAh the Levite of the sons of Asaph) as he stood there in the assembly.15And he said:‘Listen all of Judah, as well as you who live in JeruSalem, and King JehoShaphat; for, this is Jehovah’s reply to you:‘Don’t be afraid of that huge army, because this battle isn’t yours, it belongs to God!16‘Therefore, ready yourselves to march against them tomorrow!‘Look; they’ll be marching along the road to Asa, and you’ll find them camped beside the river in the JeriEl Desert. 17However, don’t attack them. Just stand there and watch! And then you’ll see that the deliverance of Jehovah is with you, O Judah and JeruSalem!‘Don’t worry and don’t be frightened; for when you march to meet them tomorrow, Jehovah will be with you!’18And at that, JehoShaphat bowed to his face, and all Judah and the people of JeruSalem fell to their faces before Jehovah. 19Then the Levites (the sons of KoHath and KorAh) got up and started praising Jehovah the God of IsraEl, calling out loudly towards the heavens.20So the next morning, everyone got up early and started their march into the Thecoe Desert. And as they were marching, JehoShaphat went ahead of them, and he shouted:‘Hear me, O Judah and those who live in JeruSalem!‘Trust in Jehovah and you’ll find that He can be trusted…‘Yes, trust in His Prophet and you’ll be blest!’21Then, as he led the people on, he sent the singers and [the Priests] who offer holy praise and acknowledgements to march ahead of the army shouting:‘Praise Jehovah and His mercy throughout the ages!’22And as they were shouting these praises and acknowledgements, Jehovah caused the sons of AmMon to turn against the MoAbites and the people of the mountains of SeIr as they were marching against Judah, and they all turned and ran away!23Then the sons of AmMon and the MoAbites attacked the people from the mountains of SeIr and killed everyone who lived there… And after that, they started fighting among themselves until they were all destroyed!24So when Judah reached the ridge along the edge of the desert, they looked down on that whole army and found them all lying on the ground dead…None were left!25Well at that, JehoShaphat and his people went down and looted all their possessions (there were many cattle, personal things, desirable things, and loot)… They took it all… It took three days for them to pick it all up, because there was so much to be collected!26And on the 4th day, they all assembled in the Valley of Blessings, which is what they started calling that place because Jehovah had blest them there… And it’s still called the Valley of Blessings to this day.27Then all the men of Judah marched back to JeruSalem joyfully, with JehoShaphat taking the lead; for everyone was so happy over what Jehovah had done to their enemies. 28And as they entered JeruSalem, they were playing stringed instruments, woodwinds, and trumpets, as they headed towards the Temple of Jehovah.29And after that, Jehovah brought a change of state upon all the kingdoms of the land; for when they heard that Jehovah was fighting against the enemies of IsraEl, 30they allowed the kingdom of JehoShaphat to have peace and rest all around.31JehoShaphat had started his reign over Judah when he was 35 years old, and he reigned in JeruSalem for 25 years. His mother’s name was Azuba, and she was the daughter of Sali.32JehoShaphat followed in the ways of his father Asa, and he never turned aside from doing what was upright before Jehovah. 33But the high places of worship were still there, and the people never straightened out their hearts to Jehovah, the God of their ancestors.34{Look!} The rest of the things that JehoShaphat said, from start to finish, have been written about by Jehu (son of AnaNi), who put it all in the scrolls of the kings of IsraEl.35However, later on, King JehoShaphat of Judah [displeased Jehovah] by working with King AhaziAh of IsraEl to build boats in EziOn GeBer, which they could sail to TarShish... 36So EliEzer (son of DodiJa from MarIsis) prophesied against JehoShaphat, saying this:37‘Because you befriended AhaziAh, Jehovah has destroyed all your work and broken your boats to pieces!’And as a result, they never sailed to TarShish.

    21

    1Then JehoShaphat went to sleep with his ancestors and they buried him in a tomb in the city of David. So his son JehoRam started reigning in place of him.2Now, JehoRam had six brothers:• AzariAh,• JeiEl,• ZachariAh,• AzariAh,• MichaEl, and• ShaphatiAh......all of whom were sons of JehoShaphat the king of Judah, 3and their father had given them many gifts of silver, gold, shields, and walled cities in Judah.However, he gave the kingdom to JehoRam, because he was the firstborn. 4But after JehoRam became strong in his kingdom, he had all of his brothers and some of the governors of IsraEl killed with a sword!5JehoRam was 32 years old when he became king, and he reigned in JeruSalem for 8 years. 6But he then started acting like the kings of IsraEl and doing the same things as the house of [King] Ahab [of Israel], acting wickedly before Jehovah, even marrying the daughter of Ahab!7However, Jehovah didn’t want to destroy the house of David, due to the agreement that He’d made with David when He told him that He’d set him and his sons [as] a lamp throughout all the days.8Then [the land of] Edom rebelled against Judah and appointed a king to rule over them. 9So JehoRam, his leaders, and his cavalry [marched on] Edom... However, during the night, the generals in charge of his chariots found themselves surrounded and they all retreated to their tents.10Therefore, Edom has continued their revolt against Judah down to this day.Then [the city of] LobNa revolted and became free of [JehoRam’s] rule, because he had abandoned Jehovah, the God of his ancestors, 11by building the high places [of worship] in the cities of Judah and leading the people of Judah and JeruSalem astray.12Then [JehoRam] received a letter from the Prophet EliJah saying:‘This is what Jehovah the God of your ancestor David has said:‘Because you haven’t followed in the ways of your father JehoShaphat or in the ways of Asa the king of Judah, 13and have gone in the ways of the kings of IsraEl, leading the people of Judah and JeruSalem into [spiritual] immorality (just as the house of Ahab is guilty of such immorality), and because you murdered your brothers, the sons of your father who were all better than you...14‘{Look!} Jehovah is going to bring a great calamity upon you, your people, your sons, your women, and everything that you own!15‘Then you’re going to become very sick and feel worse each day until your belly bursts!’16So Jehovah sent the Philistines, the Arabians, and the people from around Ethiopia against JehoRam, 17and they attacked the Judeans and defeated them... They carried off everything that they found in the king’s palace and in the houses of his sons and daughters!And the only son who survived was JehoAhaz (his youngest).18Then Jehovah struck JehoRam with a disease of the belly that couldn’t be cured, 19and which got worse day after day, for the next 2 years. And finally, his belly broke open from the disease and he died in agony!Well, his people didn’t even hold a funeral for him as they had done for his ancestors. 20He was 32 years old when he started his reign, and he reigned in JeruSalem for 8 years. But when he died, he wasn’t highly regarded, so they buried him in a tomb in the City of David, but not among the kings.

    22

    1Then the people of JeruSalem chose his youngest son, AhaziAh, to become their king (because all of JehoRam’s older sons had been murdered by a band of Arabian and AliMazonian highwaymen). 2So AhaziAh became the king of Judah and started his reign in JeruSalem when he was 25 years old. His mother’s name was AthaliAh, and she was the daughter of OmRi.3AhaziAh also followed in the ways of the house of [King] Ahab [of IsraEl], because his mother was his counselor in sin... 4So, like the house of Ahab, he acted wickedly before Jehovah, because [Ahab’s family] served as his counselors after his father died and they led him into destruction.5For he listened to their council and joined Ahab’s son King JehoRam of IsraEl in a war against King HazaEl of Syria at RamOth GileAd.[In this war], a bowman shot [King] JehoRam [of IsraEl], 6so he went to the hospital at JezreEl to be treated for the wound that he’d received in his war against King HazaEl of Syria at RamOth. Then King AhaziAh (son of JehoRam) of Judah went to see [King] JehoRam (son of Ahab) while he was recovering there in JezreEl... And that’s when (under God’s direction) the final event in the life of AhaziAh happened! 7For he joined with JehoRam to fight against Jehu (son of NimShi), the one whom Jehovah had anointed to destroy the house of Ahab.8Now, as Jehu was punishing the house of Ahab, he found the governors of Judah along with some of AhaziAh’s relatives, and he killed them all... 9Then Jehu told [his men] to search for AhaziAh, and they found him at the hospital in Samaria. So they [led Jehu to] him and Jehu killed him.But they buried him in a tomb, for they said:‘He’s the descendant of JehoShaphat, a man who searched for Jehovah with his whole heart.’Thereafter, with the death of [King] AhaziAh [of Judah], there was no one left to rule his kingdom... 10And when his mother [Queen] AthaliAh learned that her son AhaziAh had been killed, she tried to have everyone in the royal house of Judah murdered! 11But JehoShabeth (the king’s daughter) stole his son JehoAsh from the midst of the other sons of the king who were to be killed, and she hid him and fed him in a bed closet.Now, [Princess] JehoShabeth was the daughter of King JehoRam, [and was therefore King] AhaziAh’s sister; [she was also] the wife of JehoiAda (the Priest). And she kept JehoAsh with her, hidden from [Queen] AthaliAh so she wouldn’t have him murdered, 12inside the Temple of God, until he was 6 years old.But during that time, [Queen] AthaliAh ruled the land.

    23

    1Well, after 7 years, [the husband of Princess JehoShabeth, the Priest] JehoiAda, reckoned that the time had finally come... So he took several army lieutenants with him into the Temple of Jehovah.[They were:]AzariAh son of JehoRam,• IshMaEl son of JoAnan,• AzariAh son of Obed,• MaAseJah son of AdiJa, and• EliShaPhan son of ZachariAh.2Then they traveled around Judah and gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah and all the family heads of IsraEl and brought them to JeruSalem; 3and this whole gathering of Judah made a pact with the king there at the Temple of God.For [JehoiAda] showed the king’s son to them and said:‘Look… This is the king’s son!‘So, may he now become the king, just as Jehovah said concerning the house of David!4‘Therefore, this is what you must do:• A third of you Priests and Levites should come here on the Sabbath and occupy all the Temple gates and entrances;• 5A third must surround the king’s palace;• And a third must occupy the central gate.‘Then all the people must assemble in the courtyards of the Temple of Jehovah… 6Don’t let anyone enter the Temple that isn’t a Priest or Levite! Allow all the officiating Levites to enter, because they’re holy, and all the rest should guard the watches of Jehovah...7‘Each of the Levites should gather around the king with their weapons in their hands, and then kill anyone who dares to enter the Temple… They must protect the king as he’s entering and leaving.’8So the Levites and all Judah did exactly as JehoiAda the Priest told them... Each of [the lieutenants] kept his men in their stations from the time that the Sabbath started until its conclusion, and JehoiAda didn’t allow the Priests to rest after their daily rotations.9He gave the Priests and army lieutenants their orders, and then he armed them with swords, large shields, and even the small shields that King David had placed in the Temple of God.10Thereafter, he stationed them (bearing their weapons) everywhere, from the room on the right of the Temple to the room to the left of the Altar, and all around the king’s palace... 11Then he brought out the king’s son and placed the trappings and proofs of his kingship upon him, and the [High] Priest JehoiAda and his sons anointed him as the king, shouting:‘Long live the king!’12Well, [Queen] AthaliAh heard the sounds of the people running and shouting, praising the king, so she went to the Temple of Jehovah 13and she saw {Look!} the king standing at his station in the king’s entrance as the trumpets were blowing!Also, there were all the governors standing around the king, as the people of the land were joyfully shouting and blowing trumpets, the musicians were playing their instruments, and the singers were singing praises!So [Queen] AthaliAh tore her robe and shouted:‘Attack them!’14But JehoiAda the Priest told the army lieutenants:‘Throw her out of the Temple, then take her outside and kill her with your swords… Don’t kill her inside the Temple of Jehovah!’15Well at that, they released her... And as she was walking through the gate of the horsemen towards the king’s palace, they killed her.16Then JehoiAda proclaimed an agreement between himself, the people, and the king, that they were all going to be Jehovah’s people. 17And thereafter, all the people of the land went to the temple of BaAl and tore it and its altars down, and they ground its idols into a fine dust... Then they put Mathan (the priest of BaAl) to death in front of his altars!18Thereafter, [High] Priest JehoiAda commissioned the Priests and Levites to refurbish the Temple of Jehovah, and he re-established the assignments and daily rotations of the Priests and Levites as they were set up by David for the Temple of Jehovah.Then he sacrificed whole burnt offerings to Jehovah in the way that was written in the Law of Moses, as they played the joyful songs that were written by David. 19He also assigned gatekeepers to stand at the gates of the Temple of Jehovah so as to prevent anyone who was unclean in any way from entering.20After that, he gathered the family heads, the dignitaries, the people’s governors, and all the people of the land. Then they led the king into the Temple of Jehovah through the inner gate of the king’s palace, and sat him down on the king’s throne.21However, although all the people of the land were joyful, everything became silent as they executed Queen AthaliAh with a sword.

    24

    1So, JehoAsh was 7 years old when began his reign, and he ruled from JeruSalem for 40 years. His mother’s name was SabiJa, and she was from BeerSheba.2JehoAsh did what was right before Jehovah for as long as the [High] Priest JehoiAda was alive. 3Meanwhile, JehoiAda [the Priest] had taken two women that bore sons and daughters to him.4Then it came into the heart of JehoAsh to repair the Temple of Jehovah. 5So he assembled all the Priests and Levites and said to them:‘Go into all the cities of Judah and IsraEl each year and collect enough money to strengthen the Temple of Jehovah… Starting from right now!’Well, the Levites didn’t do anything; 6so King JehoAsh called for JehoiAda their leader, and asked:‘Why haven’t you been overseeing the Levites, to make sure that they’re taking up the collections from Judah and IsraEl that were specified by Moses, the man of God, for the gathering of IsraEl at the Tent of Proofs?7‘[Queen] AthaliAh is to blame [for its poor condition], because it was her sons who wrecked the Temple of Jehovah, taking all its holy things and dedicating them to the BaAls.’8And the king said:‘Make a [collection] chest and place it just outside of the entrance to the Temple of Jehovah... 9Then, have [the officials] travel throughout Judah, JeruSalem, IsraEl, and into the desert, to tell [the people] to bring the amount that was specified by Moses, the servant of God, to Jehovah.’10Well thereafter, all the people and their governors did come and bring [their tithes], and soon the [collection] chest was filled! 11So when the Levites carried the chest to the king’s accountants, they found that they had more than enough money [to complete the Temple renovation project].Then the king’s scribe and the High Priest’s accountant emptied the chest and put it back into its place. They did this each day, and they gathered huge amounts of money, 12which the king then gave to the Priest JehoiAda and to those who were doing the work on the Temple of Jehovah... So they hired the stonecutters, carpenters, and metalworkers that were needed to repair Jehovah’s Temple.13Well, everyone did their jobs, and soon the project of rebuilding and refurbishing the Temple was completed. 14Then after it was done, they carried the rest of the money to King JehoAsh and to JehoiAda, and they made things that were required for the services at the Temple, such as gold incense pans and other items of silver and gold.And thereafter, whole burnt offerings were sacrificed at the Temple of Jehovah throughout the rest of the life of JehoiAda.15Well, [the High Priest] JehoiAda lived a very full life, which ended after 130 years. 16So they buried him in a tomb in the City of David among the kings, because he’d served IsraEl, God, and the Temple so well!17But after [High Priest] JehoiAda died, the governors of Judah came and bowed before the king, and King [JehoAsh] listened to them... 18So they abandoned the Temple of Jehovah the God of their ancestors, and started serving the Astartes and the idols… Which has brought [God’s] anger upon Judah and JeruSalem down to this day.19So [God] sent His Prophets to turn them back to Jehovah, and they warned the people… But they just wouldn’t listen!20Then the Breath of God came over AzariAh the Priest (JehoiAda’s son), and he went before the people and said to them:‘This is what Jehovah has said:‘Why are you overlooking My Commandments so that the things you’re doing won’t be blest?‘You have abandoned Jehovah, so now He will abandon you!’21Well, following the orders of King JehoAsh, they then attacked him and stoned him to death there in the courtyard of Jehovah’s Temple! 22For JehoAsh had forgotten the mercy that JehoiAda ([AzariAh’s] father) had shown to him and had his son murdered.And as [AzariAh] was dying, he said:‘Look down upon this O Jehovah, and judge!’23Well, as that year came to its end, the armies of Syria came and attacked Judah and JeruSalem, and they killed all the rulers of the people, then they carried away loot and brought it to their king in Damascus!24For even though the army of Syria that came against them wasn’t very large, God gave [Judah] and their huge army into their hands, because they’d abandoned Jehovah the God of their ancestors.They also punished JehoAsh, 25leaving him sick and broken.Then his own servants turned against him (over the blood of the son of JehoiAda the Priest), and they killed him in his own bed! So he died, and they buried him in a tomb in the City of David, but not in the tomb of the kings.26Well, the men who attacked him were:• SaBed (son of SamaAth the AmMonite),• JoZabed (son of SomarOth the Moabite) 27plus his sons (all 5 of them joined in killing him).{Look!} The rest of the things [that JehoAsh] said are written in the scrolls of the kings.Then his son AmaziAh became the king in his place.

    25

    1AmaziAh was 25 years old when he started his reign, and he reigned from JeruSalem for 29 years. His mother’s name was JoAden, and she was from JeruSalem.2Although he did what was upright before Jehovah, he didn’t do it wholeheartedly.3When he became the king, he killed the servants who had murdered his father (the king), 4but he didn’t kill their sons, because of what was written in the Sacred Agreement of the Law of Jehovah, where Jehovah said:‘Fathers should not be put to death for their children, and sons should not die for their fathers.’5Then AmaziAh gathered [the troops] of Judah and divided them under the generals and lieutenants by the houses of their families throughout all Judah and JeruSalem. He had taken a count of all those who were 20-years old and up, and found that there were 300,000 mighty warriors that carried a spear and a shield.6But then he also hired 100,000 mighty, powerful warriors from IsraEl for 3 tons (2,700kg) of silver.7So, the man of God came to him and said:‘O king,‘You should not march along with the forces of IsraEl, because Jehovah isn’t with IsraEl or with any of the descendants of Ephraim... 8So if you should choose to build your army with them, Jehovah will make you run from your enemies.‘For Jehovah can either make you stronger or He can force you to run.’9Then AmaziAh asked the man of God:‘But, what should I do about the 3 tons (2,700kg) of silver that I paid for the soldiers of IsraEl?’And the man of God replied:‘Jehovah can repay you with more than that.’10So AmaziAh sent away the soldiers that had come to him from Ephraim. However, this made them furious with Judah, and they went back to their homes in a rage.11Well, [King] AmaziAh’s [army] did grow stronger, so he gathered his men and marched into the Salt Valley, where they attacked and killed 10,000 of the sons of SeIr, 12and brought back 10,000 captives to Judah. Then they led them to a high cliff and tossed them all over, ripping them to shreds.13But after that, the soldiers whom AmaziAh had sent away (the ones whom he didn’t allow to join him in the war) attacked all the cities of Judah from Samaria to BethOron, killing 3,000 and carrying away a lot of loot... 14And meanwhile, after [King] AmaziAh had attacked Edom, he brought back some of the gods of the sons of SeIr, erecting them for himself as gods, and he bowed and offered sacrifices to them!15So Jehovah became very angry with AmaziAh and sent His Prophet, who asked him:‘Why are you now looking to the gods that weren’t able to save their own people from your hands?’16And the king replied:‘Have I appointed you as one of the king’s councilors?‘Be careful that I don’t have you whipped!’So the Prophet didn’t tell him anything more.He just said:‘I know that He will now oppose you and ruin you, because He [sent me to you], and you refused to listen to my advice.’17Then King AmaziAh of Judah sent word to King JehoAsh of Israel (son of JehoAhaz and grandson of Jehu), saying:‘[Why don’t you] come and meet me face-to-face?’18And King JehoAsh of IsraEl replied:‘A thorn bush in Lebanon sent word to the cedars of Lebanon, saying:‘Give me your daughter to be my son’s wife.’‘But then the wild animals of the fields of Lebanon went and trampled the thorn bush.‘So now you’re saying [to yourself]:‘Why, look! I’ve attacked Edom!’‘And your heavy heart has been lifted!‘But [it would be better for] you to just go back home and sit in your palace... 19Why have you assembled [your army] to do evil?‘For you’ll fall, and Judah will fall with you!’20Well, [King] AmaziAh [of Judah] just wouldn’t listen, because Jehovah planned to hand him over to [King] JehoAsh [of IsraEl], due to his trusting in the gods of the Edomites. 21So King AmaziAh of Judah and King JehoAsh of IsraEl marched against each other, facing off at BethSamus in Judah.22Then the battle began, and Judah had to run from IsraEl – everyone ran back to their tents – 23and King AmaziAh of Judah, son of JehoAsh and grandson of JehoAhaz, was captured by King JehoAsh of IsraEl at BethSamus.Thereafter, they brought him back to JeruSalem, and they tore down the city walls from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate… 750 feet (230m) of it! 24[JehoAsh] also took all the gold and silver, all the things that he found in the Temple of Jehovah, all the things being cared for by ObedEdom, and all the treasures in the king’s palace... He also carried off several of the sons of [AmaziAh’s] allies, and then he returned to Samaria.25However, AmaziAh (son of JehoAsh) king of Judah then survived the death of JehoAsh (son of JehoAhaz) king of IsraEl by 15 years.26Well, {Look!} all the things that AmaziAh said, from start to finish, are written in the scrolls of the kings of Judah and IsraEl.27But thereafter, [King] AmaziAh [continued to rebel] against Jehovah, and there was an attempt to assassinate him, so he fled JeruSalem and went to LachIsh... But after he got there, they still found him and killed him! 28Then they mounted his body on a horse and buried him in a tomb with his ancestors in the City of David.

    26

    1So, all the people of the land took UzZiAh [also known as AzariAh], who was just 16 years old, and appointed him as king in place of his father AmaziAh.2He’d been away, building ElAth, but he returned to Judah after the king went to sleep with his ancestors. 3So UzZiAh was only 16 years old when he started his reign, and he ruled in JeruSalem for 52 years. His mother’s name was JecheliAh, and she was from JeruSalem.4[UzZiAh] did what was upright before Jehovah, every bit as much as did his father AmaziAh. 5He searched for Jehovah throughout the entire life of ZachariAh, who was the one who [showed him] the need to fear Jehovah.So, during the period that he was searching for Jehovah, all of his ways were blest... 6Therefore, when he went to war with the Philistines, he tore down the walls of Gath, JabNe, and AshDod, and he built cities around AshDod, right there in the midst of the Philistines.7For Jehovah gave him power over the Philistines, the Arabians, those who lived on The Rock, and the Minaeans. 8The Minaeans even brought gifts to him, and his name became famous beyond Egypt.9Thereafter, UzZiAh built [battle] towers around JeruSalem’s gates, at the corners [of the walls], at the gates and corners of the walls in the valley below, and he strengthened the [city walls]. 10He also built forts in the desert and he dug many wells, because there were so many cattle in the plains of ShepheLa.In addition, he sent vinedressers into the mountains and to CarMel, because he was fond of farming.11However, UzZiAh [was also fond of] war, because he fought many battles... The accounts of these were recorded by the Scribe JeiEl and Judge MasSiAh, from what they were told by AnaniAh, the king’s second-in-command.12There were 2,600 generals in his army 13[that were appointed over] 307,500 men. These were always prepared for war and ready to [fight for] the king against his many opponents. 14And UzZiAh took good care of [his army] by providing them with:• Shields,• Spears,• Helmets,• Chest plates,• Bows, and • Stone slings.15He also had war machines built for them in JeruSalem by an engineer, which were used to attack the towers and corners of [the city walls]. The machines were used to shoot arrows and to throw huge boulders!In fact, they became famous throughout the whole earth at the time, for he had such wonderful help… That is, until he grew strong.16However, after he became strong, his heart became very corrupt and he started sinning against his God Jehovah; for he entered the Most Holy [in the Temple of Jehovah] to burn incense on the [sacred] Incense Altar!17Well, the [High] Priest AzariAh and 80 mighty Priests of Jehovah went in after him 18and they resisted King UzZiAh, saying to him:‘UzZiAh, you aren’t allowed to burn incense to Jehovah!‘That may only be done by the Priests who’ve descended from Aaron and have been made holy to burn the incense!‘Now, leave this Holy Place; for you have left Jehovah!‘This glory won’t be given to you by Jehovah our God!’19Well, this made UzZiAh furious!For there he was with the incense pan in his hand, ready to burn incense inside the Most Holy... And as he was raging against the Priests, leprosy started to appear on his forehead, right there in front of the Priests in the Temple of Jehovah and in front of the Incense Altar!20So when AzariAh (the High Priest) and the other Priests turned to look at him, they saw the leprosy in his forehead, and they pushed him out of the Temple... But even he was in a hurry to leave, because Jehovah was disciplining him!21Well, King UzZiAh had leprosy until the day he died, and he was kept in a home for lepers, cut off from the Temple of Jehovah. As a result, his son JoTham ruled over his kingdom and judged the people of the land.22{Look!} The rest of the things that UzZiAh said, from beginning to end, were written by the Prophet IsaiAh (son of Amoz).23Then UzZiAh went to sleep with his ancestors, and they buried him in a tomb in the graveyard of his ancestors, but not among the kings, because they said:‘He’s a leper.’Then his son JoTham became the king after him.

    27

    1JoTham was 25 years old when he started his reign, and he ruled from JeruSalem for 16 years. His mother’s name was JeroUsa, and she was the daughter of ZaDok.2[JoTham] did what was upright before Jehovah in the same way that his father UzZiAh did (but he didn’t enter the Holy Place of Jehovah). Yet despite this, the people still kept corrupting themselves.3[JoTham] built the tall gatehouse of Jehovah, and he did a lot of building along the wall of Ophel. He also built cities 4in the mountains of Judah, as well as forts and places to live in the forests.5He fought wars with the king of the sons of AmMon and conquered him... And thereafter, each year the sons of AmMon had to send him:3 tons (2,700kg) of silver,• 300 tons (27,000kg) of wheat, and• 300 tons (27,000kg) of barley.They did this for the first three years.6So JoTham grew strong, because he faithfully served his God Jehovah.7{Look!} The rest of the things that JoTham said and did, and the stories of his wars, are written about in the scrolls of the kings of Judah and IsraEl. 8Then JoTham went to sleep with his ancestors and they buried him in a tomb in the City of David.So his son Ahaz started reigning in his place.

    28

    1Ahaz was 25 years old when he started his reign, and he reigned in JeruSalem for 16 years. 2He didn’t do what was upright before Jehovah as did his ancestor David; rather, he went the way of the kings of IsraEl and made carved images, 3offering sacrifices to them in the Valley of the Sons of Hinnom.He also [offered] his children in fire, in the same disgusting way as the nations that Jehovah had destroyed from in front of IsraEl had once done! 4He burned incense on the high places, on roofs, and under every tree in the woods.5As a result, his God Jehovah handed him over to the king of Syria, who attacked him and carried off many prisoners to Damascus.He also allowed the king of IsraEl to bring a great calamity upon him; 6for [King] PekAh (son of RemaliAh), the king of IsraEl, killed 120,000 of his strong, mighty men (all on the same day); which happened because they had left Jehovah the God of their ancestors.7Then he executed ZechRi (the great man of Ephraim), MaAsa (the king’s son), EzriKan (who was in charge of the king’s palace), and ElKana (the king’s right-hand man); 8and he carried off 300,000 women and children, along with everything of value, to Samaria.9Now, there was a Prophet of Jehovah in Samaria whose name was Obed; and when the army of IsraEl was returning to Samaria, he went out to meet them and said:‘{Look!} The reason why these people have been given into your hands is because Jehovah the God of your ancestors is angry with Judah!‘But you have killed them in anger, and [news of this] has reached into the heavens!10‘Also, you’re now saying that the sons of Judah and JeruSalem can be sold as male and female slaves... But {Look!} here I am among you to testify about this before your God Jehovah, 11so listen to me!‘Return your brothers whom you’ve taken as captives; because, now the rage of Jehovah is upon you!’12Well thereafter, the leaders of Ephraim (AzariAh son of JoHanan, BarachiAh son of MoSolamOth, EzekiAs son of SelLem, and AmasiAh son of ElDai) said to those who were returning from the war:13‘There’s no way that we’ll allow you to bring these captives to us, because that would bring a sin against Jehovah upon us... By talking this way, you’re trying to add to our sins and our ignorance!‘For we’re already guilty of great sins, and the anger of Jehovah is already upon IsraEl.’14As a result, they released the captured warriors and laid all the loot they’d taken before the rulers of the gathering. 15Then the ones whose names were called out took the captives and covered those who were naked with clothing from the loot, tied sandals on their feet, and gave them food to eat and something to clean themselves with.16Thereafter, they mounted all those who were weak upon animals and took them to JeriCho and to The City of Palms, along with the rest of their brothers... Then [IsraEl returned] to Samaria.17Well, later on, King Ahaz [of Judah] sent for the king of Assyria and asked him for aid, because the Edomites had attacked Judah and carried off captives. 18Then the Philistines attacked his cities in the plains and to the south of Judah, capturing BethSamus, everything in the Temple of Jehovah and in the king’s palace, and all the governors.So they handed AiLon, GadEron, SoChor and its surrounding towns, ThamNa and its surrounding towns, and GamZo and its surrounding towns over to their king, and they started living there!19For Jehovah was humbling Judah because their king (Ahaz) had turned away from Him.20Then King Tiglath-Pileser [III] of Assyria came to his aid. 21So Ahaz took the things in the Temple of Jehovah, the things in his palace, and the things that belonged to his governors, and gave it all to the king of Assyria… Not for his help, 22but to keep him from attacking them!Well, King Ahaz continued in his course of [rebellion] against Jehovah; for he then said:‘I will [ask for help] from the gods of Damascus.’...[Yes, the gods of the people] who were overpowering him!23[And he said]:‘Since the gods of the king of Syria are making them strong, I will offer sacrifices to them and they’ll help me also.’Well, this became a trap to him and to all IsraEl.24Then Ahaz took everything out of the Temple of Jehovah, cut it all to pieces, and locked the Temple doors! And thereafter, he built altars in every city and on every corner of JeruSalem, 25and he erected high places in all the cities of Judah to burn incense to foreign gods, which made Jehovah (the God of their ancestors) very angry.26{Look!} The rest of the things that he said and did are written in the scrolls of the kings of Judah and IsraEl. 27Then Ahaz went to sleep with his ancestors, and they buried him in a tomb in the City of David… But they didn’t bury him in the tombs of the kings of IsraEl.Then his son HezekiAh became king in his place.

    29

    1HezekiAh was 25 years old when he started his reign, and he reigned in JeruSalem for 29 years. His mother’s name was AbBa and she was the daughter of ZachariAh.2HezekiAh did what was upright before Jehovah, as his ancestor David had done. 3And after his kingdom was established, in the 1st month, he reopened the doors to the Temple of Jehovah and had it repaired.4Then he brought back the Priests and Levites… He had them assemble on the east side [of the Temple] 5and said to them:‘O Levites, listen to me!‘Now, purify yourselves, and then purify the Temple of Jehovah the God of your ancestors... Clear out everything from the Holy Place that’s unclean, 6because our fathers have been [guilty of] rebellion and they’ve done evil things before our God Jehovah when they abandoned Him and turned their faces away from the Tent of Jehovah, showing Him the backs of their necks!7‘They have locked the Temple doors; they extinguished the lamps; they stopped burning the incense; and they stopped sacrificing whole burnt offerings in the Holy Place of the God of IsraEl.8‘That’s why Jehovah has been so angry with Judah and JeruSalem, and why He appointed them as objects of wonder and destruction by the Syrians… As you can see is happening with your own eyes!9‘Look! Your fathers have been attacked with swords, and your wives, sons, and daughters have been carried off as captives into a land that isn’t their own… And that’s where they still are!10‘So, because of these things, you must decide in your hearts to conclude a sacred agreement with Jehovah, the God of IsraEl; for only then will He turn His anger and rage away from you!11‘Don’t give up, because Jehovah has selected you to stand before Him and to serve Him by officiating and burning the incense.’12Then all the Levites stood up.• From the sons of KoHath, there was MaAl (son of AmaSi) and JoEl (son of AzariAh).• From the sons of MeraRi, there was Kish (son of AbDi) and AzariAh (son of JalLelEl).• From the sons of GerSham, there was JodaAd (son of ZemMa) and JoAdam (son of JoAcha).13From the sons of EliShaphan, there was ZamBri and JeiEl.• From the sons of Asaph, there was ZachariAh and MathanAniAh.14From the sons of HeMan, there was JeiEl and Semei.• From the sons of IdiThoun, there was SamaiJah and OziEl.15These went back and gathered all their brothers, and they were purified just as the king had commanded them (and following the directions of Jehovah), so they could do the work of cleansing the Temple of Jehovah.16Then the Priests went inside and threw out everything that was unclean, both in the building and in the courtyards… The Levites took it all out and threw it into the Cedar (Kidron) Wadi.17Well after that, on that 1st day of the month, they celebrated their first New Moon festival.And on the 8th day of the month, they went into the Temple of Jehovah to make everything holy, which took 8 days.So they finished the project on the 16th day of the month.18Then they went to see King HezekiAh and said:‘We have purified all the things in the Temple of Jehovah, from the Altar for the whole burnt offerings and its utensils, to the table where the [sacred bread] is placed (along with its utensils)… 19All the things that King Ahaz defiled during his defection.‘So, everything has been prepared and purified, and look… It’s all there in front of Jehovah’s Altar.’20Well, King HezekiAh arose early the next morning and gathered all the city officials, and they went up to the Temple of Jehovah.21They brought along:• 7 calves,• 7 rams,• 7 lambs, and• 7 winter-yearling goats......as sin offerings for the kingdom, for the holy things, and for IsraEl.Then he told the Priests (the sons of Aaron) to go up to the Altar of Jehovah, 22where they sacrificed the calves and collected the blood and poured it out on the Altar.Then they sacrificed the rams and poured their blood on the Altar.And after that, they sacrificed the lambs and poured their blood on the Altar.23Finally, they brought the winter-yearling goats to be sacrificed as sin offerings before the king and the gathering.So everyone placed their hands on [the goats], 24and the Priests sacrificed them, pouring their blood against the Altar to cover the sins of all IsraEl.For the king said:‘We are sacrificing these whole burnt offerings and sin offerings [on behalf of] all IsraEl.’25The Levites had also come to the Temple of Jehovah carrying their cymbals, stringed instruments, and woodwinds, just as King David had instructed them, along with the king’s Seer Gad and the Prophet Nathan, following the Commandments of Jehovah… Since the order of events had been entrusted to the hands of the Prophets.26So the Levites stood there with the instruments of David, and the Priests had their trumpets. 27Then when HezekiAh [said it was time] to sacrifice the whole burnt offerings on the Altar, they all started singing to Jehovah, accompanied by the trumpets and the instruments of David (the king of IsraEl), 28as the whole assembly bowed with their faces to the ground.Well, the singers kept singing and the trumpets continued to be blown until all the whole burnt offerings had been sacrificed. 29And as they were completing the offering, the king and all his guests also bowed to the ground.30After that, King HezekiAh and his dignitaries told the Levites to [sing] praises to Jehovah in the [psalms] of David and of the Prophet Asaph.So they sang these praises joyfully, and they also fell and bowed low to the ground.31Then HezekiAh [told the people]:‘Now that you’ve filled your hands for Jehovah, come forward and bring your sacrifices of praise to the Temple of Jehovah!’So, the people eagerly started bringing their sacrifices of praise to the Temple as whole burnt offerings to Jehovah.32The gathering offered as whole-burnt-offerings to Jehovah:• 70 calves,• 100 rams, and• 200 lambs.33They also set aside some 600 calves and 3,000 sheep for sacred use.34Well, because there were so few Priests, they were unable to cut up all the whole burnt offerings; so their brothers the Levites had to assist them until all the work was done and all the Priests were purified (for the Levites had been more eager to purify themselves than the Priests had been).35But there was more than enough of the whole burnt offerings and fat for the sacred deliverance offerings and drink offerings.Well, the work in the Temple of Jehovah had finally begun [again]. 36And HezekiAh and all the people were very joyful, because God had prepared the people, and everything came together so quickly.

    30

    1Thereafter, HezekiAh sent letters to all IsraEl and Judah, as well as letters to Ephraim and ManasSeh, inviting them to come to the Temple of Jehovah in JeruSalem to observe the Passover to Jehovah, the God of IsraEl.2Then the king and his governors laid plans for the entire assembly to come to JeruSalem to observe the Passover in the 2nd month, 3because they hadn’t been able to celebrate it at the correct time (since the Priests weren’t sufficiently purified and all the people hadn’t gathered in JeruSalem).4Well, this pleased the king and the [people] so much 5that they decided to send a proclamation throughout IsraEl (from BeerSheBa to Dan), inviting everyone to come and observe the Passover to Jehovah the God of IsraEl in JeruSalem (because most of them hadn’t responded to the [first] letters).6So they sent runners with letters from the king and his governors into all IsraEl and Judah (following the king’s orders), saying:‘Sons of IsraEl,‘Return to Jehovah, the God of AbraHam, IsaAc, and Jacob.‘For He will return to those who have escaped and survived the hand of the king of Assyria.7‘Don’t be like your ancestors and your brothers who turned away from Jehovah, the God of their fathers; for He handed them over for destruction, as you can see has truly happened.8‘Don’t stiffen your necks as did your fathers; give glory to Jehovah, your God! Come to the Holy Place that He made holy throughout the ages, and serve your God Jehovah, then He will turn His rage and anger away from you.9‘For when you return to Jehovah, your brothers and your children will be shown pity by those who’ve taken them captive, and He will return this land to you! Jehovah our God is merciful and He feels compassion, so He won’t turn His face from us if we return to Him.’10Well, the runners traveled from city to city throughout the mountains of Ephraim and ManasSeh and into ZebuLun... And everywhere, people made fun of them and ridiculed them!11However, some of the men of Asher, ManasSeh, and ZebuLun did feel ashamed, and they came to Judah and into JeruSalem; 12and the hand of God gave them a united heart to do as the king and his governors had ordered… To follow the instructions of Jehovah.13Then they all gathered in JeruSalem, and so many people attended to observe the celebration of the fermentation-free bread (in the 2nd month), [that it turned into] a huge assembly!14And thereafter, everyone got up and demolished all the [pagan] altars in JeruSalem and they tore down all the altars upon which they’d burned incense to their lying idols, and threw them into the Cedar (Kidron) Wadi! Then they sacrificed the Passover on the 14th day of the 2nd month.15Well, the Priests and the Levites all felt ashamed, so they purified themselves and carried whole burnt offerings into the Temple of Jehovah.16Then each one took his station and handled his responsibilities, just as Moses (the man of God) had commanded, and the Priests received the [sacrificial] blood from the hands of the Levites, 17because many of them had been purified.However, not all of the Levites who were to sacrifice the Passover had yet been purified to Jehovah, 18and most of the people who had come from Ephraim, ManasSeh, IsSachar, and ZebuLun had not purified themselves... Yet they all ate the Passover, which was contrary to [what was written in] the Scriptures.19Then HezekiAh prayed for them, saying:‘O Jehovah, the good God,‘[Please] cover [the sins] of those of us who’ve straightened our hearts to search for You, the God of our ancestors, and who haven’t been purified as the Holy Things have been purified.’20Well, Jehovah listened to HezekiAh and He healed the people.21Then all the sons of IsraEl who were found in JeruSalem celebrated the holiday of the fermentation-free bread for 7 days with great joy, singing praises to Jehovah each day, as the Priests and Levites played their instruments to the Lord.22Then at the conclusion of the holiday of the fermentation-free bread loaves (at the end of 7 days of sacrificing for salvation and for praising Jehovah the God of their ancestors), HezekiAh spoke to the hearts of the Levites and to all those who were searching for Jehovah with a pure heart.23And thereafter, the entire assembly agreed to observe [the festival] for another 7 days…
    So they joyfully celebrated for 7 more days!24Then HezekiAh dedicated 1,000 calves and 7,000 sheep on behalf of those who had assembled from Judah, and the governors dedicated 1,000 calves and 10,000 sheep on behalf of the people… Giving many holy things to the Priests.25So, everyone was happy – the Priests, the Levites, the whole assembly of Judah, and everyone else who was found in JeruSalem, including the foreigners who had come from the land of IsraEl and those who were living in Judah.26It was a joyful day in JeruSalem, for there hadn’t been one like it since the days of Solomon, son of David, the king of IsraEl!27Then the Levite priests got up and blest the people… And the things they said were heard, because their prayers reached to the Sacred Home in the heavens.

    31

    1Well after that, all the IsraElites in the cities of Judah broke down the monuments and sacred poles, then they tore down the high places [of worship] and the shrines throughout Judah, BenJamin, Ephraim, and ManasSeh, until they were all gone; and all IsraEl returned to the lands and cities of their inheritance.2Then HezekiAh reestablished the different responsibilities and the daily rotations of the Priests and Levites for sacrificing the whole burnt offerings, for offering sacrifices of salvation, and for praising, acknowledging, and officiating at the gates and courtyards of the Temple of Jehovah.3He also set aside a portion of his own possessions as whole burnt offerings to be sacrificed early each morning, at dusk, on the Sabbaths, on the New Moons, and on the holidays, as it was written in the Law of Jehovah.4Thereafter, HezekiAh spoke to the people who lived in JeruSalem about giving their due portion to the Priests and Levites, so these men could do more in their services at the Temple of Jehovah, 5and he sent word to all sons of IsraEl to bring in the first fruits of their grain, wine, olive oil, honey, and the offspring of their fields.As a result, a huge number from IsraEl and Judah brought in their 1/10th portion... 6Also, those from the cities of Judah brought 1/10th of their calves, sheep, and goats, which they [offered] as holy to their God Jehovah. They brought it all in and piled it in heaps upon heaps!7It was in the 3rd month that they started the heaped piles of [offerings], which they [continued to bring] until the 7th month. 8And when HezekiAh and his governors came and saw all the heaps, they praised Jehovah and His people IsraEl.9Then HezekiAh spoke to the Priests and the Levites about the heaps.10He said to AzariAh (the High Priest and the head of the house of ZaDok):‘When the first-fruits were brought to the Temple of Jehovah; after we all ate and drank, we left a huge amount behind... Yes, Jehovah has blest His people so much that we still have a lot left over.’11Then HezekiAh told him to prepare a place for it in the Temple of Jehovah, which he did. 12So they carried in all the remaining first fruits and 1/10th portions, and stored them away.The Levite ConaniJah was thereafter put in charge of it all, and his brother ShiMei was assigned as his assistant, 13as were:• JeiEl,• OzaziAh,• NaEth,• AsahEl,• JeriMoth,• JoZabad,• EliEl,• ShamachiAh,• MaAth,• BenaiJah ,• his sons.They were all assigned under ConaniJah and his brother ShiMei by King HezekiAh and AzariAh (who was in charge of the Temple of Jehovah).14JemNa, the Levite (who was in charge of the east gate) was then assigned to distribute the gifts, the first-fruits that were donated to Jehovah, and the holy things in the Holy of Holies 15that were brought by the singers and from BenJamin, JeShua, ShiMei, AmariAh, and ShechoniJah, as well as the things that the Priests had stored away.Then he divided it among the Priests by the size of their families (counting all males from three years old and up) and their daily rotations, 16regardless of their genealogy, and to all those who served at the Temple of Jehovah by the number of days that they actually served in the arrangement of the daily rotations.17It was also distributed among the Levites by the houses and families of those who were 20-years-old and older, by their arrangement of daily rotations, 18classifications, genealogies, and by the number of sons and daughters they had, because they were entrusted with purifying the Holy Place.19Among the sons of Aaron (those who served as the officiating Priests from each of the cities), all the men were given assignments as Priests, as were those who were considered to be Levites.20HezekiAh did this throughout all Judah, and everything he did was good and upright before his God Jehovah!21In all that he did – whether it was the work at the Temple of Jehovah, or having to do with the Law, or with giving instructions – he relied upon his God with his whole soul, and his ways were blest.

    32

    [Editor note: By this point, the northern 10-tribe Kingdom of IsraEl had been previously destroyed by the Assyrians 10 years earlier, with its people deported to other parts of the Assyrian Empire. The details are covered in 2 Kings chapters 17 and 18.]1Well when word of this was spread, the things that were happening there came to the attention of SenNacherIb, the king of Assyria... So he marched into Judah and camped around its walled cities, as he talked about conquering them!2Then when HezekiAh saw that SenNacherIb had arrived and that he intended to wage a war with JeruSalem, 3he met with his councilors and generals and discussed ways to stop up the springs and streams that were outside of the city wall… And they vigorously assisted him in doing this.4So he recruited a large number of people and stopped up the waters of the springs, as well as the river that runs [in front] of the city.For they asked:‘Should the king of Assyria be able to find a lot of water and grow strong?’5Then HezekiAh strengthened his position by rebuilding all the walls that had been torn down and all the battle towers. In fact, he built a perimeter wall all the way around the city wall!He also strengthened the citadel in the City of David, and he made many other preparations... 6Then he declared Marshall Law, and he gathered all his military leaders in the square at the gate that leads into the valley, and he spoke to their hearts, saying:7‘Be manly and strong!‘Don’t allow the king of Assyria or any of those nations that are marching with him to frighten or terrify you, because there are more with us than there are with him!8‘For while those who are with him have arms of flesh, we have our God Jehovah to save us and to fight our battles!’Well, the words of HezekiAh the king of Judah inspired confidence in the people.9But then SenNacherIb (the king of Assyria) sent his personal servant to JeruSalem (while he was marching on [the city of] LachIsh with his entire army), who spoke to HezekiAh and to all the Judeans that were gathered in JeruSalem, saying:10‘This is what SenNacherIb, the king of the Assyrians, has said:‘What are you people relying on that you’ve all [fled] to the stronghold of JeruSalem?11‘Has HezekiAh deceived you into thinking that he can save you from hunger, thirst, and death by telling you that your God Jehovah will save you from the hands of the king of Assyria? 12For, isn’t this the same HezekiAh that tore down His altars and high places of worship, and said to Judah and to those who live in JeruSalem:‘Now bow before this Altar, and here is where you should burn incense?’13‘Don’t you know what my ancestors and I have done to similar peoples?‘For none of the gods of any of the other nations on the earth have been able to save their peoples from my hands! 14Which of any of the gods of these nations that my ancestors and I destroyed were able to rescue their people from my hands, and how can your God save you from my hands?15‘Now, don’t allow HezekiAh to fool you and persuade you to do what he says… Don’t trust him! For there’s no way that any god of any nation or kingdom has been able to save his people from my hands… And there’s no way that your God will save you from my hands!’16Well, he just kept on speaking against Jehovah God and His servant HezekiAh.17[SenNacherIb] also wrote a letter to berate Jehovah, the God of IsraEl, that said concerning Him:‘No other god of any nation on earth has rescued his people from my hands, so there’s no way that the God of HezekiAh will save his people from me!’18Then [the envoy] yelled in the Jewish language to the people of JeruSalem who were manning the walls, telling them to tear down the walls so that he could just take the city... 19And he [again] spoke against the God of JeruSalem, as well as against all the gods of the rest of the peoples of the earth (those who men made with their hands).20Well, King HezekiAh and the Prophet IsaiAh (son of Amoz) prayed about these things, calling into the heavens... 21Then Jehovah sent a messenger who wiped out all the mighty warriors, all the rulers, and all the leaders in the camp of the king of Assyria, forcing [SenNacherIb] to return to his own land in shame!And when he went to the temple of his god, those who came from his own belly overthrew him, [murdering] him with a broadsword.22So Jehovah saved HezekiAh and the people who were living in JeruSalem from the hands of SenNacherIb the king of Assyria (as well as all those who were with him), and He provided a period of rest throughout the land.23And thereafter, many people brought gifts to Jehovah in JeruSalem, and they brought presents to HezekiAh, the king of Judah. For after that, he became highly respected by all the surrounding nations.24However, sometime later, HezekiAh became ill to the point of dying... So he prayed to Jehovah, and God heard him and gave him a sign.25But after that, HezekiAh failed to deal with [Jehovah] in the same way that [God] had dealt with him; for he became proud in his heart, which brought [God’s] anger upon Judah and JeruSalem.26As a result, He started to humble the proud hearts of HezekiAh and those who lived in JeruSalem.However, thereafter, Jehovah’s anger didn’t come again to HezekiAh throughout the rest of his days. 27So HezekiAh became very rich and famous. He filled his treasuries with silver, gold, precious gems, aromatics, weapons, and all sorts of desirable things. 28His cities had all types of produce, grain, wine, and olive oil; and his towns had stables for all sorts of animals and huge pens for the flocks [of sheep].29Then he built cities for himself, and he came to own vast herds of sheep and oxen; for [Jehovah was blessing] all of his holdings.30It was HezekiAh who had blocked up the upper [spring] of GiHon and rerouted it to the south of the city of David… And all of HezekiAh’s projects prospered.31Then ambassadors came to him from the rulers of Babylon to ask about the miracles that had taken place in his land; and that’s when Jehovah left [HezekiAh], as a test, to find out what was really in his heart.32{Look!} All of the rest of the things that HezekiAh said (and of his mercy) are written about in the prophecies of IsaiAh (son of Amoz) the Prophet, and in the scrolls of the kings of Judah and IsraEl.33Then HezekiAh went to sleep with his ancestors and they buried him in the tomb that’s along the road that leads up to the tombs of the sons of David. And all the people of Judah and those living in JeruSalem showed him great honor after he died.Thereafter, his son ManasSeh started reigning in his place.

    33

    1ManasSeh was 12 years old when he started his reign, and he ruled from JeruSalem for 55 years.2However, he acted wickedly before Jehovah and he started doing the same disgusting things that the nations Jehovah had destroyed before the sons of IsraEl had been doing:3He rebuilt the high places [of worship] that his father HezekiAh had torn down.• He erected columns to the BaAls.• He erected sacred poles, and he bowed before them and served all the armies of the heavens!4He even built altars inside the Temple of Jehovah, the place where Jehovah had said:‘[I will establish] My Name in JeruSalem throughout the ages.’5He erected altars to all the armies of the heavens inside the Temple courtyards.6He even [sacrificed] his own children in the fire at GeHenna.• He [personally] foretold the future.• He administered potions and went to fortunetellers.Ahe did many other bad things before Jehovah, so as to anger Him.7He also carved and molded images and placed them inside the very Temple of God where Jehovah had said to David and to his son Solomon:‘I have chosen this House and JeruSalem from all the tribes of IsraEl, and I will put My Name here throughout the ages.8‘And I will not shake the foot of IsraEl from this land that I gave to their ancestors, as long as they’re careful to do all the things that I’ve instructed them and they follow the Laws, orders, and decisions that they were given through the hands of Moses.’9So, ManasSeh misled Judah and the people of JeruSalem into acting worse than all the nations that Jehovah had removed from before the sons of IsraEl! 10And although Jehovah spoke to ManasSeh and his people, they just wouldn’t listen... 11As a result, Jehovah led the rulers of the army of the king of the Assyrians against them, and they captured ManasSeh and put him shackles, then they led him off to Babylon!12Well, it was while he was in this terrible situation that [ManasSeh] finally searched for the face of Jehovah his God, and he became very humble before the God of his ancestors... 13He prayed to Him, and [God listened]. He heard his cries and returned him to JeruSalem [as king] over his kingdom; for ManasSeh had finally learned that Jehovah is The God!14After that, [ManasSeh] built a wall around the City of David, from GiHon in the south, along the [Cedar] Wadi, and all the way around to the Fisherman’s Gate.He also had a huge number of weapons [made], and he assigned generals and troops to guard each of the walled cities of Judah.15Then he removed the foreign gods and carved images from the Temple of Jehovah, along with all the altars that he’d built on the mountain where the Temple of Jehovah was located, as well as those inside JeruSalem and outside of the city.16He also erected an Altar to Jehovah, where he sacrificed a salvation offering and a praise offering… And he told Judah to serve Jehovah, the God of IsraEl.17However, the people kept on offering sacrifices in the high places, which was something that wasn’t acceptable to their God Jehovah.18{Look!} The rest of the things that ManasSeh said… Of his prayer to God and of the [warnings that came from] the Seers who spoke to him in the Name of the Lord God of IsraEl, 19and of how he prayed and God listened to him, and of all his sins and defections, and of the locations of the high places that he built, and of the sacred poles and the images that he’d erected before he returned [to God], are written about in the words of the Seers.20Then ManasSeh went to sleep with his ancestors, and they buried him in a tomb in the garden [behind] his palace.So his son Amon started ruling in his place.21Well, Amon was 22 years old when he started his reign, and he ruled in JeruSalem for just 2 years.22As his father ManasSeh had done, he started acting wickedly before Jehovah. For he worshiped and sacrificed to all the idols that his father had made, 23and he was never humbled before Jehovah as his father ManasSeh had been humbled.So he then committed sins that were even worse than those of his father!24However, his own servants attacked him and killed him in his palace... Then the people of the land attacked those who’d killed King Amon, and they appointed his son JosiAh to be king in his place.

    34

    1JosiAh was only 8 years old when he started his reign, and he ruled in JeruSalem for 31 years.2He did what was upright before Jehovah and he followed in the ways of his ancestor David… He didn’t deviate to the right or to the left!3It was in the 8th year of his reign (while he was still a boy) that he started searching for Jehovah, the God of his ancestor David... And in the 12th year of his reign, he started cleansing Judah and JeruSalem of the high places [of worship], the sacred poles, the shrines, and the molded images.4He totally destroyed the things that were there before his face… The altars and high places of the BaAls, as well as all those who were in charge of them!He cut down the sacred poles and carved images, and he had the molded images crushed into a fine powder and the dust was thrown on the tombs of those who had sacrificed to them... 5He also incinerated the bones of the priests on their own altars, and he totally cleaned up Judah and JeruSalem.6Then he did the same things throughout the cities of ManasSeh, Ephraim, SimeOn, and NaphTali, and all the places around them. 7He tore down the altars and the sacred poles, and he cut the idols into fine pieces... And after beating down all the high places throughout the land of IsraEl, he returned to JeruSalem.8It was during the 18th year of his reign that he called for a cleansing of the land and of the Temple. So he sent ShaPhan (son of EseliJa), MaAsa (the city mayor), and the City Recorder JoAh (son of JoAhaz) to repair the Temple of his God Jehovah.9And thereafter, they went to the High Priest HelkiAh, and gave him the money that had been collected by the Levites at the gates, which had been donated to the Temple by those from ManasSeh, Ephraim, the governors, and all the rest of Judah, BenJamin, IsraEl, and the people of JeruSalem.10He in turn gave it to those who were in charge of doing the work in the Temple of Jehovah, to repair and fortify it. 11So they paid the builders and contractors that bought blocks of cut stone and wooden beams for the roof, since all of that had been destroyed by the kings of Judah.12Now, the overseers that were in charge of the men who supervised the construction were Jeth and ObadiAh (Levites who were descendants of MeraRi), as well as ZachariAh and MosShaloam (descendants of KoHath).Then all the Levites, including the musicians and singers, kept an eye on the project, 13while the Levite scribes, gatekeepers, and judges watched over the laborers and their foremen.14Well, it was while they were delivering the money that had been collected for the Temple of Jehovah that the High Priest HelkiAh found a scroll of the Law of Jehovah that [had been written] by the very hand of Moses!15And HelkiAh said to ShaPhan (the scribe):‘We’ve found the scroll of the Law in the Temple of Jehovah!’So HelkiAh gave the scroll to ShaPhan, 16and he carried it to the king, who started off by saying:‘All your servants have been paid for doing their work.17‘They also melted down the silver that was found in the Temple of Jehovah and used it to pay the overseers and laborers.’18Then the Scribe ShaPhan said this to the king:‘This scroll was given to me by HelkiAh the Priest.’And then he read it before the king.19Well when the king heard the words of the Law, he started ripping his clothes!20Then he gave orders to HelkiAh, AchiKam (son of ShaPhan), AbDon (son of MichaiJah), ShaPhan (the scribe), and his personal servant AsaiAh, saying:21‘Go and ask Jehovah about the things that are written in this scroll that was found, on behalf of myself and everyone who’s left in IsraEl and Judah... For Jehovah’s rage must surely be burning against us, because we’ve ignored what our ancestors told us about the words of Jehovah when they passed on the things that are written about in this scroll.’22So HelkiAh and the others whom the king had called went to see the Prophetess HulDah (the wife of SelLem, son of ThekoE and grandson of Aras, the one who was in charge of guarding the Commandments). She lived in JeruSalem, in the second section. And they told her everything that had happened.23Then she told them:‘This is what Jehovah the God of IsraEl has said:‘Tell the man who sent you to me 24that Jehovah says [He is] calling down evil upon this place because of the things that are written in this scroll that was read before the king of Judah.25‘For they have abandoned Me and burned incense to foreign gods to make Me angry over these things that they made with their hands! So My rage is burning against this place, and it won’t be extinguished!’26‘And say this to the King of Judah that sent you to search for Jehovah… Tell him that Jehovah the God of IsraEl says:27‘Because you felt shame in your heart over the words that you heard, and because you humbled yourself before Me when you heard what I said about this place and those who live here, and because you were humbled and ripped your clothes then wept before Me... I have listened to you.’‘And Jehovah said:28‘{Look!} I will count you among your ancestors and send you to your tomb in peace, so your eyes won’t see any of the bad things that I will bring upon this place and upon those who live here.’Well thereafter, they brought the message back to the king, 29and then the king gathered all the elders of Judah and JeruSalem, 30and they went to the Temple of Jehovah, along with all the people of Judah and JeruSalem (including the Priests and Levites)… All the people from the least to the greatest.Then he read all the words of the scroll of the Sacred Agreement that was found in the Temple of Jehovah.31The king got up on the podium and proposed a sacred agreement there before Jehovah… That they would obey His Commandments, testimonies, and orders with their entire hearts and lives, so as to observe the words of the Agreement that were written in the scroll.32Then he asked all those in JeruSalem, Judah, and BenJamin to ratify this agreement with the Temple of Jehovah, the God of their ancestors.33Thereafter, JosiAh removed all the disgusting things from the land that the sons of IsraEl had made, and he decreed that everyone in JeruSalem and IsraEl would start serving Jehovah as their God.And throughout the rest of his life, he didn’t turn aside from following Jehovah, the God of his ancestors.

    35

    1It was then that JosiAh observed the Passover to his God Jehovah… He offered the Passover sacrifice on the 14th day of the 1st month.2He also stationed the Priests at their watches and he granted them even more power to do their work at the Temple of Jehovah. 3Then he urged the most prominent Levites in all IsraEl to dedicate themselves to serving Jehovah and to returning the Holy Chest [to its place] in the Temple… And that’s what they did. They put the Holy Chest into the Temple that was built by Solomon (son of David), the king of IsraEl.Then the king said to them:‘It isn’t your job to be carrying anything on your shoulders… Your job is just to serve your God Jehovah and His people IsraEl!4‘So, prepare the houses of your families to handle your daily rotations according to the way it was written by David, the king of IsraEl, and by the hand of his son Solomon.5‘Then take your stations in the Temple by the order of your houses and families, so you can [help] your brothers, the sons of the people. Select some from each house of the families of the Levites, 6then sacrifice the Passover and prepare the holy things, so that your brothers may observe it as Jehovah had instructed through the hand of Moses.’7Well, JosiAh dedicated some 30,000 sheep, lambs, and goat kids for the Passover on behalf of the sons of the people, as well as 3,000 calves (which all belonged to the king). 8Then his governors dedicated [animals] on behalf of the people and brought them to the Priests and Levites.However, HelkiAh, ZachariAh, and JeiEl (the Chief Priests at the Temple of God) also offered 2,600 more sheep, lambs, and goat kids, plus 300 calves for the Passover.9And ConaniAh, BenaiJah, SamaiJah, his brothers NathaniEl, AsabiJah, JeiEl, and JoZabad (the heads of the Levites) dedicated 5,000 sheep and 500 calves on behalf of the Levites for the Passover.10So after everything was arranged, the Priests then took their stations, and the Levites handled their assignments as they had been commanded by the king. 11Then they sacrificed the Passover…The Priests poured out the blood, and the Levites did the cutting and skinning, 12as they prepared the whole burnt offerings, and they delivered each one’s portions to the sons of the people by houses and families, so they could present them to Jehovah as it is written in the book of Moses.This all lasted well into the morning.13Thereafter, following the Law, they roasted the Passover [sacrifices] over a fire, while the holy pieces were boiled in brass pots and kettles. Everything went well, and they then ran and [distributed the pieces] among the sons of the people.14Well after that, the Priests prepared to sacrifice whole burnt offerings on behalf of themselves, and the fat was burned for themselves and their brothers (the sons of Aaron) until that evening.15So the singers and musicians (the sons of Asaph) then took their stations.And following the instructions of David, Asaph, HeMan, and JediThun (the king’s Prophet), the gatekeepers and their supervisors who manned the gates didn’t have to go up to offer their holy things, because their brothers the Levites prepared it all for them.16Everything was set up for the service to Jehovah in observation of the Passover on that day, and their whole burnt offerings were placed on the Altar of Jehovah, following the commands of King JosiAh.17Thereafter, all the sons of IsraEl who had come to observe the Passover celebrated the holiday of the fermentation-free bread for 7 days. 18There hadn’t been another day like it in IsraEl since the time of the Prophet SamuEl, because none of the kings of IsraEl had observed the Passover [in the way that] JosiAh did!And the Priests, Levites, all those in Judah and IsraEl, and all those who lived in JeruSalem participated.19This Passover was observed in the 18th year of the reign of JosiAh.However, the oracles, fortunetellers, family gods, idols, and beloved things that had all still been commonplace throughout the land of Judah and in JeruSalem... So King JosiAh had them all collected and burned, following the Law that was written in the scroll that the High Priest HelkiAh had found in the Temple of Jehovah.There was never anyone else like him who had turned to Jehovah so wholeheartedly (with his whole soul and strength) when it came to following the Law of Moses, nor was there anyone like him after that.However, even this didn’t turn away Jehovah’s great anger and rage, because of the many ways in which Judah and ManasSeh had been provoking Jehovah.For Jehovah said:‘I will for a fact remove Judah from before My face as I removed IsraEl, and I’ll push away JeruSalem, the city that I chose, and the Temple where I said that I would put My Name.’20Then PharaOh Necho (the king of Egypt) set out to make war against the king of Assyria at the River EuPhrates, but King JosiAh went to [intercept him and] fight against him.21Well at that, [PharaOh Necho] sent messengers to JosiAh, to ask:‘What have I done to you, O king of Judah? I haven’t come to wage war against you today!‘I’m fighting my battle here, because God told me to come here quickly... So be careful, for God is with me, and He can also ruin you!’22However, JosiAh didn’t turn back… He got ready to wage war, and he refused to listen to the words of Necho (that came from mouth of God). So, he marched into the plains of MegidDo. 23Then a bowman shot and hit King JosiAh, and he said to his servants:‘Take me [home], because I’m in a lot of pain.’24So his servants took him out of his chariot and put him in a second chariot that was nearby, and they carried him back to JeruSalem, where he died. Thereafter, he was buried in a tomb with his ancestors, and all Judah and JeruSalem mourned for him.25[The Prophet] JeremiAh also mourned over JosiAh, and he spoke a dirge to all the governors and rulers over JosiAh, which is still spoken to this day. For he told IsraEl to say:‘Look! It’s written in the Lamentations.’26{Look!} The rest of the things that JosiAh said and hoped for concerning the Law of Jehovah – 27all of his words, from the start to finish – are written in the scrolls of the kings of IsraEl and Judah.

    36

    1Then the people of the land took JehoAhaz (JosiAh’s son) and anointed him as king over JeruSalem in place of his father. 2JehoAhaz was 23 years old when he started his reign, and he reigned in JeruSalem for just three months. His mother’s name was AmiTal, and she was the daughter of JeremiAh of LoBena.He acted as wickedly before Jehovah as his ancestors before him had done. Then PharaOh Necho had him imprisoned in DebLatha (in the land of HaMath), so he could no longer serve as his vassal in JeruSalem, 3and thereafter he took him to Egypt.[Necho] also demanded that [the people of IsraEl] were to pay him a tribute of 30 tons (27,000kg) of silver and 60 pounds (27.2kg) of gold.4PharaOh Necho then put JosiAh’s son EliAkim on the throne of Judah, and he changed his name to JehoiAkim.That’s when PharaOh Necho carried his brother JehoAhaz to Egypt, where he died. Then [JehoiAkim] paid the silver and gold to the PharaOh, and a tax was imposed on the land by the word of PharaOh. Each person was required to hand over his silver and gold (as they were able) to PharaOh Necho.5Well, JehoiAkim was 25 years old when he started his reign, and he ruled from JeruSalem for 11 years. His mother’s name was ZeKora, and she was the daughter of NerYow from RamAh.He also acted wickedly before Jehovah… Every bit as bad as did his ancestors.It was during his reign that King NebuChadnezzar [II] of Babylon came to the land and made [JehoiAkim] his vassal for three years.But then he rebelled against him, and Jehovah sent the Chaldeans (as well as bands of Syrian robbers, bands of Moabite robbers, the sons of AmMon, and [the people of] Samaria) against him... However, they all left after Jehovah had sent a warning to them through His servants the Prophets.Yet, Jehovah was still in a rage against Judah because of the sins of ManasSeh and all the [bad] things that he did, and because of all the innocent blood that JehoiAkim had spilled (for he had filled JeruSalem with the blood of the innocents); so, He planned to remove Judah from before His face.However, Jehovah didn’t want to destroy everyone.6Then King NebuChadnezzar [II] of Babylon attacked [JehoiAkim] and had him carried off to Babylon in shackles, 7along with many things that he’d taken from the Temple of Jehovah, which he thereafter put into his own temple in Babylon.8{Look!} The rest of the things that JehoiAkim said and did were written in the scrolls of the words of the days of the kings of Judah.Then JehoiAkim went to sleep with his ancestors, and he was buried in a tomb at GanOza with his ancestors… So his son JehoiAchin started reigning in his place.9JehoiAchin was 18 years old when he started his reign, and he ruled in JeruSalem for just 3 months and 10 days; for he acted wickedly in the presence of Jehovah.10Then towards the end of the year, King NebuChadnezzar [II] had him carried off to Babylon, along with many more valuable things from the Temple of Jehovah; and then his uncle, ZedekiAh, became king over Judah and JeruSalem.11ZedekiAh was 21 years old when he started his reign, and he ruled in JeruSalem for 11 years. 12But he also acted wickedly before his God Jehovah, and when the Prophet JeremiAh brought him word from the mouth of Jehovah, he wasn’t shamed.13Thereafter, he annulled his allegiance to King NebuChadnezzar [II] (which he had sworn before God)… He just stiffened his neck and [hardened] his heart, and he refused to return to Jehovah, the God of IsraEl.14Well, during that time, all the most honored men of Judah, as well as the Priests and the people of the land, just got worse... They traded goodness for wickedness and the disgusting things of the nations, and they started defiling the Temple of Jehovah in JeruSalem!15So Jehovah the God of their ancestors sent messages through His Prophets. They got up early each morning and brought [warnings] to spare His people and His Holy Place.16But all [the people] did was sneer at His messengers, treat their words with contempt, and mock His Prophets to the point where Jehovah became furious with His people, since it was so [obvious] that there was no cure.17So He brought the king of the Chaldeans against them, and their young men were slaughtered with broadswords... They didn’t spare His Holy Place, or ZedekiAh, nor did they show any mercy to the virgins.All the elders were captured and carried away, 18and everything in the Temple of God (both large and small) – all its treasures, as well as all the treasures of the king and everyone of importance – was carried off to Babylon.19Then he burned the Temple of Jehovah, tore down the walls of JeruSalem, torched its palaces, and wiped away everything that was of any beauty!20And after that, he carried off everyone who was left to [Empire of] Babylon, where they served as slaves for him and his sons… Until the Medes came along. 21This was in order to fulfill Jehovah’s words through JeremiAh , until the land had enjoyed its Sabbath rest and Sabbath-keeping all the years of its desolation, until the 70 years were complete. [Jeremiah 25:11-12]22It was in the 1st year of Cyrus, the king of Persia, after the fulfillment of the words of Jehovah through the mouth of JeremiAh, that Jehovah awakened the spirit of Cyrus and commanded him to send a written proclamation throughout his kingdom, that said:23‘Cyrus the king of Persia says:‘All the kingdoms of the earth have been given to me by Jehovah, the God of heaven, and He told me to build a Temple to Him in JeruSalem in Judah.‘So, who of you are His people?‘His God Jehovah is now with him, so let him [return to JeruSalem]!’


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