Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the LORD his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly. Solomon spoke to all Israel, to the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and to the judges, and to every prince in all Israel, the heads of the fathers’ houses. So Solomon, and all the assembly with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the Tent of Meeting of God, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness. But David had brought the ark of God up from Kiriath Jearim to the place that David had prepared for it; for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem. Moreover the bronze altar, that Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, had made, was there before the tabernacle of the LORD: and Solomon and the assembly were seeking counsel there. Solomon went up there to the bronze altar before the LORD, which was at the Tent of Meeting, and offered one thousand burnt offerings on it. In that night God appeared to Solomon, and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you.” Solomon said to God, “You have shown great loving kindness to David my father, and have made me king in his place. Now, LORD God, let your promise to David my father be established; for you have made me king over a people like the dust of the earth in multitude. Now give me wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can judge this your people, that is so great?”
God said to Solomon, “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches, wealth, or honor, nor the life of those who hate you, neither yet have asked long life; but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge my people, over whom I have made you king: wisdom and knowledge is granted to you. I will give you riches, wealth, and honor, such as none of the kings have had who have been before you; neither shall there any after you have the like.”
So Solomon came from the high place that was at Gibeon, from before the Tent of Meeting, to Jerusalem; and he reigned over Israel. Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had one thousand four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, that he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. The king made silver and gold to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycamore trees that are in the lowland, for abundance. The horses which Solomon had were brought out of Egypt and from Kue; the king’s merchants purchased them from Kue. They brought up and brought out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred pieces of silver, and a horse for one hundred fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means.
Now Solomon purposed to build a house for the name of the LORD, and a house for his kingdom. Solomon counted out seventy thousand men to bear burdens, and eighty thousand men who were stone cutters in the mountains, and three thousand and six hundred to oversee them. Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, “As you dealt with David my father, and sent him cedars to build him a house in which to dwell, even so deal with me. Behold, I am about to build a house for the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him incense of sweet spices, and for the continual show bread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the set feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance forever to Israel.
“The house which I build is great; for our God is great above all gods. But who is able to build him a house, seeing heaven and the heaven of heavens can’t contain him? who am I then, that I should build him a house, save only to burn incense before him?
“Now therefore send me a man skillful to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in iron, and in purple, and crimson, and blue, and who knows how to engrave all manner of engravings, to be with the skillful men who are with me in Judah and in Jerusalem, whom David my father did provide.
“Send me also cedar trees, fir trees, and algum trees, out of Lebanon; for I know that your servants know how to cut timber in Lebanon: and behold, my servants shall be with your servants, even to prepare me timber in abundance; for the house which I am about to build shall be great and wonderful. Behold, I will give to your servants, the cutters who cut timber, twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.”
Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, “Because the LORD loves his people, he has made you king over them.” Huram continued, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, that made heaven and earth, who has given to David the king a wise son, endowed with discretion and understanding, that should build a house for the LORD, and a house for his kingdom. Now I have sent a skillful man, endowed with understanding, of Huram my father’s, the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan; and his father was a man of Tyre, skillful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson, also to engrave any manner of engraving, and to devise any device; that there may be a place appointed to him with your skillful men, and with the skillful men of my lord David your father.
“Now therefore the wheat and the barley, the oil and the wine, which my lord has spoken of, let him send to his servants: and we will cut wood out of Lebanon, as much as you shall need; and we will bring it to you in floats by sea to Joppa; and you shall carry it up to Jerusalem.” Solomon numbered all the foreigners who were in Eretz-Israel, after the numbering with which David his father had numbered them; and they were found one hundred fifty-three thousand six hundred. He set seventy thousand of them to bear burdens, and eighty thousand who were stone cutters in the mountains, and three thousand six hundred overseers to set the people at work.
Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared to David his father, which he made ready in the place that David had appointed, in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. He began to build in the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign. Now these are the foundations which Solomon laid for the building of the house of God. The length by cubits after the first measure was sixty cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits. The porch that was before the house, its length, according to the breadth of the house, was twenty cubits, and the height one hundred twenty; and he overlaid it within with pure gold. The greater house he made a ceiling with fir wood, which he overlaid with fine gold, and ornamented it with palm trees and chains. He garnished the house with precious stones for beauty: and the gold was gold of Parvaim. He overlaid also the house, the beams, the thresholds, and its walls, and its doors, with gold; and engraved cherubim on the walls. He made the most holy house: its length, according to the breadth of the house, was twenty cubits, and its breadth twenty cubits; and he overlaid it with fine gold, amounting to six hundred talents. The weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold. He overlaid the upper chambers with gold. In the most holy house he made two cherubim of image work; and they overlaid them with gold. The wings of the cherubim were twenty cubits long: the wing of the one cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house; and the other wing was likewise five cubits, reaching to the wing of the other cherub. The wing of the other cherub was five cubits, reaching to the wall of the house; and the other wing was five cubits also, joining to the wing of the other cherub. The wings of these cherubim spread themselves forth twenty cubits: and they stood on their feet, and their faces were toward the house. He made the veil of blue, and purple, and crimson, and fine linen, and ornamented it with cherubim. Also he made before the house two pillars of thirty-five cubits high, and the capital that was on the top of each of them was five cubits. He made chains in the oracle, and put them on the tops of the pillars; and he made one hundred pomegranates, and put them on the chains. He set up the pillars before the temple, one on the right hand, and the other on the left; and called the name of that on the right hand Jachin, and the name of that on the left Boaz.
Then he made an altar of brass, twenty cubits its length, and twenty cubits its breadth, and ten cubits its height. Also he made the molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass; and its height was five cubits; and a line of thirty cubits encircled it. Under it was the likeness of oxen, which encircled it, for ten cubits, encircling the sea. The oxen were in two rows, cast when it was cast. It stood on twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set on them above, and all their hinder parts were inward. It was a handbreadth thick; and its brim was worked like the brim of a cup, like the flower of a lily: it received and held three thousand baths. He made also ten basins, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them; such things as belonged to the burnt offering they washed in them; but the sea was for the priests to wash in. He made the ten menorahs of gold according to the ordinance concerning them; and he set them in the temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left. He made also ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side, and five on the left. He made one hundred basins of gold. Furthermore he made the court of the priests, and the great court, and doors for the court, and overlaid the doors of them with brass. He set the sea on the right side of the house eastward, toward the south. Huram made the pots, and the shovels, and the basins. So Huram made an end of doing the work that he did for king Solomon in the house of God: the two pillars, and the bowls, and the two capitals which were on the top of the pillars, and the two networks to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the top of the pillars, and the four hundred pomegranates for the two networks; two rows of pomegranates for each network, to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the pillars. He made also the bases, and the basins made he on the bases; one sea, and the twelve oxen under it. The pots also, and the shovels, and the forks, and all its vessels, did Huram his father make for king Solomon for the house of the LORD of bright brass. In the plain of the Jordan did the king cast them, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredah. Thus Solomon made all these vessels in great abundance: for the weight of the brass could not be found out. Solomon made all the vessels that were in the house of God, the golden altar also, and the tables with the show bread on them; and the menorahs with their lamps, to burn according to the ordinance before the oracle, of pure gold; and the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs, of gold, and that perfect gold; and the snuffers, and the basins, and the spoons, and the fire pans, of pure gold: and as for the entry of the house, the inner doors of it for the most holy place, and the doors of the main hall of the temple were of gold.
Thus all the work that Solomon did for the house of the LORD was finished. Solomon brought in the things that David his father had dedicated, even the silver, and the gold, and all the vessels, and put them in the treasuries of the house of God. Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the princes of the fathers’ houses of the children of Israel, to Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which is Zion. And all the men of Israel assembled themselves to the king at the feast, which was in the seventh month. All the elders of Israel came: and the Levites took up the ark; and they brought up the ark, and the Tent of Meeting, and all the holy vessels that were in the Tent; these did the priests the Levites bring up. King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel, that were assembled to him, were before the ark, sacrificing sheep and cattle, that could not be counted nor numbered for multitude. The priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD to its place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubim. For the cherubim spread forth their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim covered the ark and its poles above. The poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the ark before the oracle; but they were not seen outside: and there it is to this day. There was nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt. It happened, when the priests were come out of the holy place, (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, and did not keep their divisions; also the Levites who were the singers, all of them, even Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and their brothers, arrayed in fine linen, with cymbals and stringed instruments and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them one hundred twenty priests sounding with shofars;) it happened, when the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the shofars and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying,
Then Solomon said, “The LORD has said that he would dwell in the thick darkness. But I have built you a house of habitation, and a place for you to dwell in forever.”
The king turned his face, and blessed all the assembly of Israel: and all the assembly of Israel stood. He said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who spoke with his mouth to David my father, and has with his hands fulfilled it, saying, ‘Since the day that I brought forth my people out of the land of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build a house in, that my name might be there; neither chose I any man to be prince over my people Israel: but I have chosen Jerusalem, that my name might be there; and have chosen David to be over my people Israel.’ Now it was in the heart of David my father to build a house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. But the LORD said to David my father, ‘Whereas it was in your heart to build a house for my name, you did well that it was in your heart: nevertheless you shall not build the house; but your son who shall come forth out of your body, he shall build the house for my name.’
“The LORD has performed his word that he spoke; for I have risen up in the place of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built the house for the name of the LORD, the God of Israel. There I have set the ark, in which is the covenant of the LORD, which he made with the children of Israel.”
He stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread forth his hands (for Solomon had made a bronze scaffold, five cubits long, and five cubits broad, and three cubits high, and had set it in the midst of the court; and on it he stood, and kneeled down on his knees before all the assembly of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven;) and he said, “LORD, the God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven, or on earth; you who keep covenant and loving kindness with your servants, who walk before you with all their heart; who have kept with your servant David my father that which you promised him: yes, you spoke with your mouth, and have fulfilled it with your hand, as it is this day.
“Now therefore, LORD, the God of Israel, keep with your servant David my father that which you have promised him, saying, ‘There shall not fail you a man in my sight to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your children take heed to their way, to walk in my law as you have walked before me.’ Now therefore, LORD, the God of Israel, let your word be verified, which you spoke to your servant David.
“But will God indeed dwell with men on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens can’t contain you; how much less this house which I have built! Yet have respect for the prayer of your servant, and to his supplication, LORD my God, to listen to the cry and to the prayer which your servant prays before you; that your eyes may be open toward this house day and night, even toward the place where you have said that you would put your name; to listen to the prayer which your servant shall pray toward this place. Listen to the petitions of your servant, and of your people Israel, when they shall pray toward this place: yes, hear from your dwelling place, even from heaven; and when you hear, forgive.
“If a man sin against his neighbor, and an oath is laid on him to cause him to swear, and he comes and swears before your altar in this house; then hear from heaven, and do, and judge your servants, bringing retribution to the wicked, to bring his way on his own head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.
“If your people Israel be struck down before the enemy, because they have sinned against you, and shall turn again and confess your name, and pray and make supplication before you in this house; then hear from heaven, and forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them again to the land which you gave to them and to their fathers.
“When the sky is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against you; if they pray toward this place, and confess your name, and turn from their sin, when you afflict them: then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of your servants, and of your people Israel, when you teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on your land, which you have given to your people for an inheritance.
“If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence, if there is blight or mildew, locust or caterpillar; if their enemies besiege them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is; whatever prayer and supplication be made by any man, or by all your people Israel, who shall know every man his own plague and his own sorrow, and shall spread forth his hands toward this house: then hear from heaven, your dwelling place and forgive, and render to every man according to all his ways, whose heart you know; (for you, even you only, know the hearts of the children of men;) that they may fear you, to walk in your ways, so long as they live in the land which you gave to our fathers.
“Moreover concerning the foreigner, who is not of your people Israel, when he shall come from a far country for your great name’s sake, and your mighty hand, and your outstretched arm; when they shall come and pray toward this house: then hear from heaven, even from your dwelling place, and do according to all that the foreigner calls to you for; that all the peoples of the earth may know your name, and fear you, as does your people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by your name.
“If your people go out to battle against their enemies, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to you toward this city which you have chosen, and the house which I have built for your name; then hear from heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause.
“If they sin against you (for there is no man who doesn’t sin), and you are angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captive to a land far off or near; yet if they shall repent themselves in the land where they are carried captive, and turn again, and make supplication to you in the land of their captivity, saying, ‘We have sinned, we have done perversely, and have dealt wickedly;’ if they return to you with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they have carried them captive, and pray toward their land, which you gave to their fathers, and the city which you have chosen, and toward the house which I have built for your name: then hear from heaven, even from your dwelling place, their prayer and their petitions, and maintain their cause, and forgive your people who have sinned against you.
“Now, my God, let, I beg you, your eyes be open, and let your ears be attentive, to the prayer that is made in this place.
“Now therefore arise, LORD God, into your resting place, you, and the ark of your strength: let your priests, LORD God, be clothed with salvation [yeshu`ah], and let your holy ones rejoice in goodness.
“LORD God, don’t turn away the face of your anointed: remember your loving kindnesses to David your servant.”
Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. The priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD’s house. All the children of Israel looked on, when the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD was on the house; and they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped, and gave thanks to the LORD, saying,
Moreover Solomon made the middle of the court holy that was before the house of the LORD; for there he offered the burnt offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offering, and the meal offering, and the fat. So Solomon held the feast at that time seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly, from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt. On the eighth day they held a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days. On the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent the people away to their tents, joyful and glad of heart for the goodness that the LORD had shown to David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people. Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD, and the king’s house: and he successfully completed all that came into Solomon’s heart to make in the house of the LORD, and in his own house.
The LORD appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him, “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for a house of sacrifice.
“If I shut up the sky so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; if my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now my eyes shall be open, and my ears attentive, to the prayer that is made in this place. For now have I chosen and made this house holy, that my name may be there forever; and my eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually.
“As for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep my statutes and my ordinances; then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, according as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘There shall not fail you a man to be ruler in Israel.’ But if you turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them; then I will pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have made holy for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. This house, which is so high, everyone who passes by it shall be astonished, and shall say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land, and to this house?’ They shall answer, ‘Because they abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers, who brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and took other gods, worshiped them, and served them. Therefore he has brought all this evil on them.’”
It happened at the end of twenty years, in which Solomon had built the house of the LORD, and his own house, that the cities which Huram had given to Solomon, Solomon built them, and caused the children of Israel to dwell there. Solomon went to Hamath Zobah, and prevailed against it. He built Tadmor in the wilderness, and all the storage cities, which he built in Hamath. Also he built Beth Horon the upper, and Beth Horon the lower, fortified cities, with walls, gates, and bars; and Baalath, and all the storage cities that Solomon had, and all the cities for his chariots, and the cities for his horsemen, and all that Solomon desired to build for his pleasure in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion. As for all the people who were left of the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel; of their children who were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel didn’t consume, of them did Solomon conscripted forced labor to this day. But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no servants for his work; but they were men of war, and chief of his captains, and rulers of his chariots and of his horsemen. These were the chief officers of king Solomon, even two-hundred fifty, who ruled over the people.
Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David to the house that he had built for her; for he said, “My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places where the ark of the LORD has come are holy.”
Then Solomon offered burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of the LORD, which he had built before the porch, even as the duty of every day required, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the Sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the set feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of booths. He appointed, according to the ordinance of David his father, the divisions of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their offices, to praise, and to minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required; the doorkeepers also by their divisions at every gate: for so had David the man of God commanded. They didn’t depart from the commandment of the king to the priests and Levites concerning any matter, or concerning the treasures. Now all the work of Solomon was prepared to the day of the foundation of the house of the LORD, and until it was finished. So the house of the LORD was completed. Then went Solomon to Ezion Geber, and to Eloth, on the seashore in the land of Edom. Huram sent him ships and servants who had knowledge of the sea by the hands of his servants; and they came with the servants of Solomon to Ophir, and fetched from there four hundred fifty talents of gold, and brought them to king Solomon.
When the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great train, and camels that bore spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she talked with him of all that was in her heart. Solomon told her all her questions; and there was not anything hid from Solomon which he didn’t tell her. When the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built, and the food of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their clothing, his cup bearers also, and their clothing, and his ascent by which he went up to the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.
She said to the king, “It was a true report that I heard in my own land of your acts, and of your wisdom. However I didn’t believe their words, until I came, and my eyes had seen it; and behold, the half of the greatness of your wisdom was not told me: you exceed the fame that I heard. Happy are your men, and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you, and hear your wisdom. Blessed be the LORD your God, who delighted in you, to set you on his throne, to be king for the LORD your God: because your God loved Israel, to establish them forever, therefore made he you king over them, to do justice and righteousness.”
She gave the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold, and spices in great abundance, and precious stones: neither was there any such spice as the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon. The servants also of Huram, and the servants of Solomon, who brought gold from Ophir, brought algum trees and precious stones. The king made of the algum trees terraces for the house of the LORD, and for the king’s house, and harps and stringed instruments for the singers: and there were none like these seen before in the land of Judah. King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatever she asked, besides that which she had brought to the king. So she turned, and went to her own land, she and her servants. Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold, besides that which the traders and merchants brought: and all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon. King Solomon made two hundred bucklers of beaten gold; six hundred shekels of beaten gold went to one buckler. he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three hundred shekels of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold. And there were six steps to the throne, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne, and stays on either side by the place of the seat, and two lions standing beside the stays. Twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other on the six steps: there was nothing like it made in any kingdom. All king Solomon’s drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold: silver was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon. For the king had ships that went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram; once every three years came the ships of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom. All the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart. They brought every man his tribute, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and clothing, armor, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year. Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, that he stationed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. He ruled over all the kings from the River even to the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt. The king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars to be as the sycamore trees that are in the lowland, for abundance. They brought horses for Solomon out of Egypt, and out of all lands. Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, aren’t they written in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat? Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. Solomon slept with his fathers, and he was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.
Rehoboam went to Shechem; for all Israel were come to Shechem to make him king. It happened, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard of it, (for he was in Egypt, where he had fled from the presence of king Solomon), that Jeroboam returned out of Egypt. They sent and called him; and Jeroboam and all Israel came, and they spoke to Rehoboam, saying, “Your father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make you the grievous service of your father, and his heavy yoke which he put on us, lighter, and we will serve you.”
He said to them, “Come again to me after three days.”
The people departed. King Rehoboam took counsel with the old men, who had stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, saying, “What counsel do you give me to return answer to this people?”
They spoke to him, saying, “If you are kind to this people, and please them, and speak good words to them, then they will be your servants forever.”
But he forsook the counsel of the old men which they had given him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him, who stood before him. He said to them, “What counsel do you give, that we may return answer to this people, who have spoken to me, saying, ‘Make the yoke that your father did put on us lighter?’”
The young men who had grown up with him spoke to him, saying, “Thus you shall tell the people who spoke to you, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but make it lighter on us;’ thus you shall say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. Now whereas my father burdened you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke. My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.’”
So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king asked, saying, “Come to me again the third day.” The king answered them roughly; and king Rehoboam forsook the counsel of the old men, and spoke to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it. My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.”
So the king didn’t listen to the people; for it was brought about of God, that the LORD might establish his word, which he spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. When all Israel saw that the king didn’t listen to them, the people answered the king, saying, “What portion have we in David? Neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse! Every man to your tents, Israel! Now see to your own house, David.” So all Israel departed to their tents.
But as for the children of Israel who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. Then king Rehoboam sent Hadoram, who was over the men subject to forced labor; and the children of Israel stoned him to death with stones. King Rehoboam made speed to get himself up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. So Israel rebelled against the house of David to this day.
When Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled the house of Judah and Benjamin, one hundred eighty thousand chosen men, who were warriors, to fight against Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam. But the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying, “Speak to Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “You shall not go up, nor fight against your brothers! Return every man to his house; for this thing is of me.”’” So they listened to the words of the LORD, and returned from going against Jeroboam. Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem, and built cities for defense in Judah. He built Bethlehem, and Etam, and Tekoa, Beth Zur, and Soco, and Adullam, and Gath, and Mareshah, and Ziph, and Adoraim, and Lachish, and Azekah, and Zorah, and Aijalon, and Hebron, which are in Judah and in Benjamin, fortified cities. He fortified the strongholds, and put captains in them, and stores of food, and oil and wine. In every city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong. Judah and Benjamin belonged to him. The priests and the Levites who were in all Israel resorted to him out of all their border. For the Levites left their suburbs and their possession, and came to Judah and Jerusalem: for Jeroboam and his sons cast them off, that they should not execute the priest’s office to the LORD; and he appointed him priests for the high places, and for the male goats, and for the calves which he had made. After them, out of all the tribes of Israel, such as set their hearts to seek the LORD, the God of Israel, came to Jerusalem to sacrifice to the LORD, the God of their fathers. So they strengthened the kingdom of Judah, and made Rehoboam the son of Solomon strong, three years; for they walked three years in the way of David and Solomon. Rehoboam took him a wife, Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David, and of Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse; and she bore him sons: Jeush, and Shemariah, and Zaham. After her he took Maacah the daughter of Absalom; and she bore him Abijah, and Attai, and Ziza, and Shelomith. Rehoboam loved Maacah the daughter of Absalom above all his wives and his concubines: (for he took eighteen wives, and sixty concubines, and became the father of twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters.) Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah to be chief, even the prince among his brothers; for he was minded to make him king. He dealt wisely, and dispersed of all his sons throughout all the lands of Judah and Benjamin, to every fortified city: and he gave them food in abundance. He sought for them many wives.
It happened, when the kingdom of Rehoboam was established, and he was strong, that he forsook the law of the LORD, and all Israel with him. It happened in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, because they had trespassed against the LORD, with twelve hundred chariots, and sixty thousand horsemen. The people were without number who came with him out of Egypt: the Lubim, the Sukkiim, and the Ethiopians. He took the fortified cities which pertained to Judah, and came to Jerusalem. Now Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam, and to the princes of Judah, who were gathered together to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, “Thus says the LORD, ‘You have forsaken me, therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak.’”
Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, “The LORD is righteous.”
When the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, “They have humbled themselves. I will not destroy them; but I will grant them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless they shall be his servants, that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.”
So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and took away the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king’s house. He took it all away. He also took away the shields of gold which Solomon had made. King Rehoboam made in their place shields of brass, and committed them to the hands of the captains of the guard, who kept the door of the king’s house. It was so, that as often as the king entered into the house of the LORD, the guard came and bore them, and brought them back into the guard chamber. When he humbled himself, the wrath of the LORD turned from him, so as not to destroy him altogether: and moreover in Judah there were good things found. So king Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem, and reigned: for Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which the LORD had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there: and his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. He did that which was evil, because he didn’t set his heart to seek the LORD. Now the acts of Rehoboam, first and last, aren’t they written in the histories of Shemaiah the prophet and of Iddo the seer, after the manner of genealogies? There were wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David: and Abijah his son reigned in his place.
In the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah. Three years reigned he in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. Abijah joined battle with an army of valiant men of war, even four hundred thousand chosen men: and Jeroboam set the battle in array against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, who were mighty men of valor. Abijah stood up on Mount Zemaraim, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, “Hear me, Jeroboam and all Israel: Ought you not to know that the LORD, the God of Israel, gave the kingdom over Israel to David forever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt? Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up, and rebelled against his lord. There were gathered to him worthless men, base fellows, who strengthened themselves against Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them.
“Now you think to withstand the kingdom of the LORD in the hand of the sons of David; and you are a great multitude, and there are with you the golden calves which Jeroboam made you for gods. Haven’t you driven out the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and made priests for yourselves after the manner of the peoples of other lands? so that whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams, the same may be a priest of those who are no gods.
“But as for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken him; and we have priests ministering to the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites in their work: and they burn to the LORD every morning and every evening burnt offerings and sweet incense: the show bread also set they in order on the pure table; and the menorah of gold with its lamps, to burn every evening: for we keep the instruction of the LORD our God; but you have forsaken him. Behold, God is with us at our head, and his priests with the shofars of alarm to sound an alarm against you. Children of Israel, don’t fight against the LORD, the God of your fathers; for you shall not prosper.”
But Jeroboam caused an ambush to come about behind them: so they were before Judah, and the ambush was behind them. When Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind them; and they cried to the LORD, and the priests sounded with the shofars. Then the men of Judah gave a shout: and as the men of Judah shouted, it happened, that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. The children of Israel fled before Judah; and God delivered them into their hand. Abijah and his people killed them with a great slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men. Thus the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied on the LORD, the God of their fathers. Abijah pursued after Jeroboam, and took cities from him, Bethel with its towns, and Jeshanah with its towns, and Ephron with its towns. Neither did Jeroboam recover strength again in the days of Abijah: and the LORD struck him, and he died. But Abijah grew mighty, and took to himself fourteen wives, and became the father of twenty-two sons, and sixteen daughters. The rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways, and his sayings, are written in the commentary of the prophet Iddo.
So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David; and Asa his son reigned in his place. In his days the land was quiet ten years. Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God: for he took away the foreign altars, and the high places, and broke down the pillars, and cut down the Asherim, and commanded Judah to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment. Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the sun images: and the kingdom was quiet before him. He built fortified cities in Judah; for the land was quiet, and he had no war in those years, because the LORD had given him rest. For he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities, and make walls around them, with towers, gates, and bars. The land is yet before us, because we have sought the LORD our God; we have sought him, and he has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered. Asa had an army that bore bucklers and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bore shields and drew bows, two hundred eighty thousand: all these were mighty men of valor. There came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an army of a million troops, and three hundred chariots; and he came to Mareshah. Then Asa went out to meet him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. Asa cried to the LORD his God, and said, “LORD, there is none besides you to help, between the mighty and him who has no strength. Help us, LORD our God; for we rely on you, and in your name are we come against this multitude. LORD, you are our God. Don’t let man prevail against you.”
So the LORD struck the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled. Asa and the people who were with him pursued them to Gerar: and there fell of the Ethiopians so many that they could not recover themselves; for they were destroyed before the LORD, and before his army; and they carried away very much booty. They struck all the cities around Gerar; for the fear of the LORD came on them: and they despoiled all the cities; for there was much spoil in them. They struck also the tents of livestock, and carried away sheep in abundance, and camels, and returned to Jerusalem.
The Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Oded: and he went out to meet Asa, and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin! the LORD is with you, while you are with him; and if you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. Now for a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law. But when in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. In those times there was no peace to him who went out, nor to him who came in; but great troubles were on all the inhabitants of the lands. They were broken in pieces, nation against nation, and city against city; for God troubled them with all adversity. But you be strong, and don’t let your hands be slack; for your work shall be rewarded.”
When Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominations out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from the hill country of Ephraim; and he renewed the altar of the LORD, that was before the porch of the LORD. He gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those who sojourned with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him. So they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. They sacrificed to the LORD in that day, of the spoil which they had brought, seven hundred head of cattle and seven thousand sheep. They entered into the covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul; and that whoever would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. They swore to the LORD with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with shofars, and with cornets. All Judah rejoiced at the oath; for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and the LORD gave them rest all around. Also Maacah, the mother of Asa the king, he removed from being queen, because she had made an abominable image for an Asherah; and Asa cut down her image, and made dust of it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron. But the high places were not taken away out of Israel: nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days. He brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated, and that he himself had dedicated, silver, and gold, and vessels. There was no more war to the five and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa.
In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not allow anyone to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of the LORD and of the king’s house, and sent to Ben Hadad king of Syria, who lived at Damascus, saying, “Let there be a treaty between me and you, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I have sent you silver and gold. Go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.”
Ben Hadad listened to king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they struck Ijon, and Dan, and Abel Maim, and all the storage cities of Naphtali. It happened, when Baasha heard of it, that he left off building Ramah, and let his work cease. Then Asa the king took all Judah; and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and its timber, with which Baasha had built; and he built therewith Geba and Mizpah. At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him, “Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the LORD your God, therefore is the army of the king of Syria escaped out of your hand. Weren’t the Ethiopians and the Lubim a huge army, with chariots and horsemen exceeding many? Yet, because you relyed on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the LORD run back and forth throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein you have done foolishly; for from henceforth you shall have wars.”
Then Asa was angry with the seer, and put him in the prison; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. Asa oppressed some of the people at the same time. Behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet; his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he didn’t seek the LORD, but to the physicians. Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign. They buried him in his own tombs, which he had dug out for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odors and various kinds of spices prepared by the perfumers’ art: and they made a very great burning for him.
Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place, and strengthened himself against Israel. He placed forces in all the fortified cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim, which Asa his father had taken. The LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and didn’t seek the Baals, but sought to the God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel. Therefore the LORD established the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat tribute; and he had riches and honor in abundance. His heart was lifted up in the ways of the LORD: and furthermore he took away the high places and the Asherim out of Judah. Also in the third year of his reign he sent his princes, even Ben Hail, and Obadiah, and Zechariah, and Nethanel, and Micaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah; and with them the Levites, even Shemaiah, and Nethaniah, and Zebadiah, and Asahel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehonathan, and Adonijah, and Tobijah, and Tobadonijah, the Levites; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, the priests. They taught in Judah, having the scroll of the Torah of the LORD with them; and they went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught among the people. The fear of the LORD fell on all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat. Some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents, and silver for tribute; the Arabians also brought him flocks, seven thousand and seven hundred rams, and seven thousand and seven hundred male goats. Jehoshaphat grew great exceedingly; and he built in Judah castles and cities of store. He had many works in the cities of Judah; and men of war, mighty men of valor, in Jerusalem. This was the numbering of them according to their fathers’ houses: Of Judah, the captains of thousands: Adnah the captain, and with him mighty men of valor three hundred thousand; and next to him Jehohanan the captain, and with him two hundred eighty thousand; and next to him Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself to the LORD; and with him two hundred thousand mighty men of valor. Of Benjamin: Eliada a mighty man of valor, and with him two hundred thousand armed with bow and shield; and next to him Jehozabad and with him one hundred eighty thousand ready prepared for war. These were those who waited on the king, besides those whom the king put in the fortified cities throughout all Judah.
Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance; and he joined affinity with Ahab. After certain years he went down to Ahab to Samaria. Ahab killed sheep and cattle for him in abundance, and for the people who were with him, and moved him to go up with him to Ramoth Gilead. Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me to Ramoth Gilead?”
He answered him, “I am as you are, and my people as your people. We will be with you in the war.” Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Please inquire first for the word of the LORD.”
Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall we go to Ramoth Gilead to battle, or shall I forbear?”
They said, “Go up; for God will deliver it into the hand of the king.”
But Jehoshaphat said, “Isn’t there here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we may inquire of him?”
The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD; but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil. He is Micaiah the son of Imla.”
Jehoshaphat said, “Don’t let the king say so.”
Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, “Get Micaiah the son of Imla quickly.”
Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, and they were sitting in an open place at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron, and said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘With these you shall push the Syrians, until they are consumed.’”
All the prophets prophesied so, saying, “Go up to Ramoth Gilead, and prosper; for the LORD will deliver it into the hand of the king.”
The messenger who went to call Micaiah spoke to him, saying, “Behold, the words of the prophets declare good to the king with one mouth. Let your word therefore, please be like one of theirs, and speak good.”
Micaiah said, “As the LORD lives, what my God says, that will I speak.”
When he had come to the king, the king said to him, “Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth Gilead to battle, or shall I forbear?”
He said, “Go up, and prosper. They shall be delivered into your hand.”
The king said to him, “How many times shall I adjure you that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?”
He said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. The LORD said, ‘These have no master. Let them return every man to his house in peace.’”
The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”
Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the army of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. The LORD said, ‘Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ One spoke saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner. A spirit came out, stood before the LORD, and said, ‘I will entice him.’
“The LORD said to him, ‘How?’
“He said, ‘I will go forth, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’
“He said, ‘You will entice him, and will prevail also. Go forth, and do so.’
“Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these your prophets; and the LORD has spoken evil concerning you.”
Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near, and struck Micaiah on the cheek, and said, “Which way did the Spirit of the LORD go from me to speak to you?”
Micaiah said, “Behold, you shall see on that day, when you shall go into an inner chamber to hide yourself.”
The king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah, and carry him back to Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’s son; and say, ‘Thus says the king, “Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I return in peace.”’”
Micaiah said, “If you return at all in peace, the LORD has not spoken by me.” He said, “Listen, you peoples, all of you!” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead. The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I will disguise myself, and go into the battle; but you put on your robes.” So the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went into the battle. Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of his chariots, saying, “Fight neither with small nor great, except only with the king of Israel.”
It happened, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, “It is the king of Israel!” Therefore they turned around to fight against him. But Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; and God moved them to depart from him. It happened, when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him. A certain man drew his bow at random, and struck the king of Israel between the joints of the armor. Therefore he said to the driver of the chariot, “Turn your hand, and carry me out of the army; for I am severely wounded.” The battle increased that day. However the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot against the Syrians until the evening; and about the time of the going down of the sun, he died.
Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned to his house in peace to Jerusalem. Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked, and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, wrath is on you from before the LORD. Nevertheless there are good things found in you, in that you have put away the Asheroth out of the land, and have set your heart to seek God.”
Jehoshaphat lived at Jerusalem: and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim, and brought them back to the LORD, the God of their fathers. He set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges, “Consider what you do: for you don’t judge for man, but for the LORD; and he is with you in the judgment. Now therefore let the fear of the LORD be on you. Take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of bribes.”
Moreover in Jerusalem Jehoshaphat appointed Levites and priests, and of the heads of the fathers’ houses of Israel, for the judgment of the LORD, and for controversies. They returned to Jerusalem. He commanded them, saying, “Thus you shall do in the fear of the LORD, faithfully, and with a perfect heart. Whenever any controversy shall come to you from your brothers who dwell in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and ordinances, you shall warn them, that they not be guilty towards the LORD, and so wrath come on you and on your brothers. Do this, and you shall not be guilty. Behold, Amariah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the LORD; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, in all the king’s matters: also the Levites shall be officers before you. Deal courageously, and may the LORD be with the good.”
It happened after this, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them some of the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. Then some came who told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea from Syria. Behold, they are in Hazazon Tamar” (that is, En Gedi). Jehoshaphat was alarmed, and set himself to seek to the LORD. He proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. Judah gathered themselves together, to seek help from the LORD. They came out of all the cities of Judah to seek the LORD. Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court; and he said, “LORD, the God of our fathers, aren’t you God in heaven? Aren’t you ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in your hand, so that no one is able to withstand you. Didn’t you, our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and give it to the seed of Abraham your friend forever? They lived in it, and have built you a sanctuary in it for your name, saying, ‘If evil comes on us—the sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this house, and before you, (for your name is in this house), and cry to you in our affliction, and you will hear and save.’ Now, behold, the children of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom you would not let Israel invade, when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned aside from them, and didn’t destroy them; behold, how they reward us, to come to cast us out of your possession, which you have given us to inherit. Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no might against this great company that comes against us; neither know we what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
All Judah stood before the LORD, with their little ones, their wives, and their children. Then the Spirit of the LORD came on Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite, of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly; and he said, “Listen, all Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you king Jehoshaphat. Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Don’t be afraid, neither be dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they are coming up by the ascent of Ziz. You shall find them at the end of the valley, before the wilderness of Jeruel. You will not need to fight this battl. Set yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Don’t be afraid, nor be dismayed. Go out against them tomorrow, for the LORD is with you.’”
Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshipping the LORD. The Levites, of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD, the God of Israel, with an exceeding loud voice. They rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the LORD your God, so you shall be established! Believe his prophets, so you shall prosper.”
When he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and give praise in holy array, as they went out before the army, and say, Give thanks to the LORD; for his loving kindness endures forever. When they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushers against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were struck. For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, utterly to kill and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, everyone helped to destroy another. When Judah came to the place overlooking the wilderness, they looked at the multitude; and behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and there were none who escaped. When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches and dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in taking the spoil, it was so much. On the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Beracah; for there they blessed the LORD: therefore the name of that place was called The valley of Beracah to this day. Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies. They came to Jerusalem with stringed instruments and harps and shofars to the house of the LORD. The fear of God was on all the kingdoms of the countries, when they heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel. So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet; for his God gave him rest all around. Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah: he was thirty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. He walked in the way of Asa his father, and didn’t turn aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the LORD. However the high places were not taken away; neither as yet had the people set their hearts to the God of their fathers. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, behold, they are written in the history of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is inserted in the book of the kings of Israel. After this did Jehoshaphat king of Judah join himself with Ahaziah king of Israel; the same did very wickedly: and he joined himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish; and they made the ships in Ezion Geber. Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have joined yourself with Ahaziah, the LORD has destroyed your works.” The ships were broken, so that they were not able to go to Tarshish.
Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Jehoram his son reigned in his place. He had brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, and Jehiel, and Zechariah, and Azariah, and Michael, and Shephatiah; all these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel. Their father gave them great gifts, of silver, and of gold, and of precious things, with fortified cities in Judah: but the kingdom gave he to Jehoram, because he was the firstborn. Now when Jehoram was risen up over the kingdom of his father, and had strengthened himself, he killed all his brothers with the sword, and various also of the princes of Israel. Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did the house of Ahab; for he had the daughter of Ahab as wife: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. However the LORD would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David, and as he promised to give a lamp to him and to his children always. In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves. Then Jehoram passed over with his captains, and all his chariots with him: and he rose up by night, and struck the Edomites who surrounded him, along with the captains of the chariots. So Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah to this day: then did Libnah revolt at the same time from under his hand, because he had forsaken the LORD, the God of his fathers. Moreover he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and made the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the prostitute, and led Judah astray. A letter came to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, “Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father, ‘Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father, nor in the ways of Asa king of Judah, but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the prostitute, like the house of Ahab did, and also have slain your brothers of your father’s house, who were better than yourself: behold, the LORD will strike with a great plague your people, and your children, and your wives, and all your substance; and you shall have great sickness by disease of your bowels, until your bowels fall out by reason of the sickness, day by day.’”
The LORD stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines, and of the Arabians who are beside the Ethiopians: and they came up against Judah, and broke into it, and carried away all the substance that was found in the king’s house, and his sons also, and his wives; so that there was never a son left him, save Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons. After all this the LORD struck him in his bowels with an incurable disease. It happened, in process of time, at the end of two years, that his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness, and he died of sore diseases. His people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers. Thirty-two years old was he when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years: and he departed without being desired; and they buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in his place; for the band of men who came with the Arabians to the camp had slain all the eldest. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah reigned. Forty-two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Athaliah the daughter of Omri. He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab; for his mother was his counselor to do wickedly. He did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as did the house of Ahab; for they were his counselors after the death of his father, to his destruction. He walked also after their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramoth Gilead: and the Syrians wounded Joram. He returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which they had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. Azariah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick. Now the destruction of Ahaziah was of God, in that he went to Joram: for when he was come, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the LORD had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab. It happened, when Jehu was executing judgment on the house of Ahab, that he found the princes of Judah, and the sons of the brothers of Ahaziah, ministering to Ahaziah, and killed them. He sought Ahaziah, and they caught him (now he was hiding in Samaria), and they brought him to Jehu, and killed him; and they buried him, for they said, “He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the LORD with all his heart.” The house of Ahaziah had no power to hold the kingdom. Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal seed of the house of Judah. But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were slain, and put him and his nurse in the bedchamber. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest (for she was the sister of Ahaziah), hid him from Athaliah, so that she didn’t kill him. He was with them hid in the house of God six years: and Athaliah reigned over the land.
In the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and took the captains of hundreds, Azariah the son of Jeroham, and Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, and Azariah the son of Obed, and Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri, into covenant with him. They went about in Judah, and gathered the Levites out of all the cities of Judah, and the heads of fathers’ houses of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. All the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. He said to them, “Behold, the king’s son shall reign, as the LORD has spoken concerning the sons of David. This is the thing that you shall do. A third part of you, who come in on the Sabbath, of the priests and of the Levites, shall be porters of the thresholds. A third part shall be at the king’s house; and a third part at the gate of the foundation. All the people shall be in the courts of the LORD’s house. But let no one come into the house of the LORD, except the priests, and those who minister of the Levites. They shall come in, for they are holy, but all the people shall follow the LORD’s instructions. The Levites shall surround the king, every man with his weapons in his hand. Whoever comes into the house, let him be slain. Be with the king when he comes in, and when he goes out.”
So the Levites and all Judah did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded: and they took every man his men, those who were to come in on the Sabbath; with those who were to go out on the Sabbath; for Jehoiada the priest didn’t dismiss the shift. Jehoiada the priest delivered to the captains of hundreds the spears, and bucklers, and shields, that had been king David’s, which were in the house of God. He set all the people, every man with his weapon in his hand, from the right side of the house to the left side of the house, along by the altar and the house, around the king. Then they brought out the king’s son, and put the crown on him, and gave him the testimony, and made him king: and Jehoiada and his sons anointed him; and they said, “Long live the king!”
When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she came to the people into the house of the LORD: and she looked, and, behold, the king stood by his pillar at the entrance, and the captains and the shofars by the king; and all the people of the land rejoiced, and blew shofars; the singers also played musical instruments, and led the singing of praise. Then Athaliah tore her clothes, and said, “Treason! treason!”
Jehoiada the priest brought out the captains of hundreds who were set over the army, and said to them, “Bring her out between the ranks; and whoever follows her, let him be slain with the sword.” For the priest said, “Don’t kill her in the the LORD’s house.” So they made way for her. She went to the entrance of the horse gate to the king’s house; and they killed her there. Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, and all the people, and the king, that they should be the LORD’s people. All the people went to the house of Baal, and broke it down, and broke his altars and his images in pieces, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. Jehoiada appointed the officers of the house of the LORD under the hand of the priests the Levites, whom David had distributed in the house of the LORD, to offer the burnt offerings of the LORD, as it is written in the Torah of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, according to the order of David. He set the porters at the gates of the house of the LORD, that no one who was unclean in anything should enter in. He took the captains of hundreds, and the nobles, and the governors of the people, and all the people of the land, and brought down the king from the house of the LORD: and they came through the upper gate to the king’s house, and set the king on the throne of the kingdom. So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was quiet. Athaliah they had slain with the sword.
Joash was seven years old when he began to reign; and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Zibiah, of Beersheba. Joash did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD all the days of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada took for him two wives; and he became the father of sons and daughters. It happened after this, that Joash was minded to restore the house of the LORD. He gathered together the priests and the Levites, and said to them, “Go out to the cities of Judah, and gather money to repair the house of your God from all Israel from year to year. See that you expedite this matter.” However the Levites didn’t do it right away. The king called for Jehoiada the chief, and said to him, “Why haven’t you required of the Levites to bring in the tax of Moses the servant of the LORD, and of the assembly of Israel, out of Judah and out of Jerusalem, for the tent of the testimony?” For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken up the house of God; and also all the dedicated things of the house of the LORD did they bestow on the Baals. So the king commanded, and they made a chest, and set it outside at the gate of the house of the LORD. They made a proclamation through Judah and Jerusalem, to bring in for the LORD the tax that Moses the servant of God laid on Israel in the wilderness. All the princes and all the people rejoiced, and brought in, and cast into the chest, until they had made an end. It was so, that whenever the chest was brought to the king’s officers by the hand of the Levites, and when they saw that there was much money, the king’s scribe and the chief priest’s officer came and emptied the chest, and took it, and carried it to its place again. Thus they did day by day, and gathered money in abundance. The king and Jehoiada gave it to such as did the work of the service of the house of the LORD; and they hired masons and carpenters to restore the house of the LORD, and also such as worked iron and brass to repair the house of the LORD. So the workmen worked, and the work of repairing went forward in their hands, and they set up the house of God in its state, and strengthened it. When they had made an end, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada, of which were made vessels for the house of the LORD, even vessels with which to minister and to offer, and spoons, and vessels of gold and silver. They offered burnt offerings in the house of the LORD continually all the days of Jehoiada. But Jehoiada grew old and was full of days, and he died; one hundred thirty years old was he when he died. They buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, and toward God and his house. Now after the death of Jehoiada came the princes of Judah, and made obeisance to the king. Then the king listened to them. They forsook the house of the LORD, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols: and wrath came on Judah and Jerusalem for this their guiltiness. Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again to the LORD; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear. The Spirit of God came on Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest; and he stood above the people, and said to them, “Thus says God, ‘Why do you disobey the commandments of the LORD, so that you can’t prosper? Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has also forsaken you.’”
They conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the LORD. Thus Joash the king didn’t remember the kindness which Jehoiada his father had done to him, but killed his son. When he died, he said, “May the LORD look at it, and repay it.” It happened at the end of the year, that the army of the Syrians came up against him: and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, and destroyed all the princes of the people from among the people, and sent all the spoil of them to the king of Damascus. For the army of the Syrians came with a small company of men; and the LORD delivered a very great army into their hand, because they had forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers. So they executed judgment on Joash. When they were departed for him (for they left him very sick), his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and killed him on his bed, and he died; and they buried him in the city of David, but they didn’t bury him in the tombs of the kings. These are those who conspired against him: Zabad the son of Shimeath the Ammonitess, and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith the Moabitess. Now concerning his sons, and the greatness of the burdens laid on him, and the rebuilding of the house of God, behold, they are written in the commentary of the book of the kings. Amaziah his son reigned in his place.
Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Jehoaddan, of Jerusalem. He did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not with a perfect heart. Now it happened, when the kingdom was established to him, that he killed his servants who had killed the king his father. But he didn’t put their children to death, but did according to that which is written in the Torah in the book of Moses, as the LORD commanded, saying, “The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers; but every man shall die for his own sin.” Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together, and ordered them according to their fathers’ houses, under captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, even all Judah and Benjamin: and he numbered them from twenty years old and upward, and found them three hundred thousand chosen men, able to go forth to war, who could handle spear and shield. He hired also one hundred thousand mighty men of valor out of Israel for one hundred talents of silver. A man of God came to him, saying, “O king, don’t let the army of Israel go with you; for the LORD is not with Israel, with all the children of Ephraim. But if you will go, take action, be strong for the battle. God will overthrow you before the enemy; for God has power to help, and to overthrow.”
Amaziah said to the man of God, “But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel?”
The man of God answered, “The LORD is able to give you much more than this.”
Then Amaziah separated them, to wit, the army that had come to him out of Ephraim, to go home again: therefore their anger was greatly kindled against Judah, and they returned home in fierce anger. Amaziah took courage, and led forth his people, and went to the Valley of Salt, and struck of the children of Seir ten thousand. other ten thousand did the children of Judah carry away alive, and brought them to the top of the rock, and cast them down from the top of the rock, so that they all were broken in pieces. But the men of the army whom Amaziah sent back, that they should not go with him to battle, fell on the cities of Judah, from Samaria even to Beth Horon, and struck of them three thousand, and took much spoil. Now it happened, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense to them. Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent to him a prophet, who said to him, “Why have you sought after the gods of the people, which have not delivered their own people out of your hand?”
It happened, as he talked with him, that the king said to him, “Have we made you one of the king’s counselors? Stop! Why should you be struck down?”
Then the prophet stopped, and said, “I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this, and have not listened to my counsel.”
Then Amaziah king of Judah consulted his advisers, and sent to Joash, the son of Jehoahaz the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, “Come, let us look one another in the face.”
Joash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, “The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, ‘Give your daughter to my son as his wife; then a wild animal that was in Lebanon passed by, and trampled down the thistle. You say to yourself that you have struck Edom; and your heart lifts you up to boast. Now stay at home. Why should you meddle with trouble, that you should fall, even you, and Judah with you?’”
But Amaziah would not listen; for it was of God, that he might deliver them into the hand of their enemies, because they had sought after the gods of Edom. So Joash king of Israel went up; and he and Amaziah king of Judah looked one another in the face at Beth Shemesh, which belongs to Judah. Judah was defeated by Israel; and they fled every man to his tent. Joash king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash the son of Jehoahaz, at Beth Shemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits. He took all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of God with Obed-Edom, and the treasures of the king’s house, the hostages also, and returned to Samaria. Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years. Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, first and last, behold, aren’t they written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel? Now from the time that Amaziah did turn away from following the LORD they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent after him to Lachish, and killed him there. They brought him on horses, and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah.
All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah. He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers. Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Jechiliah, of Jerusalem. He did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the vision of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper. He went forth and warred against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities in the country of Ashdod, and among the Philistines. God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians who lived in Gur Baal, and the Meunim. The Ammonites gave tribute to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entrance of Egypt; for he grew exceeding strong. Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them. He built towers in the wilderness, and dug out many cisterns, for he had much livestock; in the lowland also, and in the plain: and he had farmers and vineyard keepers in the mountains and in the fruitful fields; for he loved farming. Moreover Uzziah had an army of fighting men, who went out to war by bands, according to the number of their reckoning made by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the officer, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king’s captains. The whole number of the heads of fathers’ houses, even the mighty men of valor, was two thousand and six hundred. Under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, who made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy. Uzziah prepared for them, even for all the army, shields, and spears, and helmets, and coats of mail, and bows, and stones for slinging. He made in Jerusalem engines, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and on the battlements, with which to shoot arrows and great stones. His name spread far abroad; for he was marvelously helped, until he was strong. But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up, so that he did corruptly, and he trespassed against the LORD his God; for he went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him eighty priests of the LORD, who were valiant men: and they resisted Uzziah the king, and said to him, “It isn’t for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense. Go out of the sanctuary; for you have trespassed; neither shall it be for your honor from the LORD God.”
Then Uzziah was angry; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense; and while he was angry with the priests, the leprosy broke forth in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, beside the altar of incense. Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked on him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out quickly from there; yes, himself hurried also to go out, because the LORD had struck him. Uzziah the king was a leper to the day of his death, and lived in a separate house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land. Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write. So Uzziah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the field of burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, “He is a leper.” Jotham his son reigned in his place.
Jotham was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Jerushah the daughter of Zadok. He did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that his father Uzziah had done: however he didn’t enter into the temple of the LORD. The people did yet corruptly. He built the upper gate of the house of the LORD, and on the wall of Ophel he built much. Moreover he built cities in the hill country of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers. He fought also with the king of the children of Ammon, and prevailed against them. The children of Ammon gave him the same year one hundred talents of silver, and ten thousand measures of wheat, and ten thousand of barley. So much did the children of Ammon render to him, in the second year also, and in the third. So Jotham became mighty, because he ordered his ways before the LORD his God. Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars, and his ways, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Ahaz his son reigned in his place.
Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign; and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: and he didn’t do that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, like David his father; but he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for the Baals. Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. He sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree. Therefore the LORD his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they struck him, and carried away of his a great multitude of captives, and brought them to Damascus. He was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who struck him with a great slaughter. For Pekah the son of Remaliah killed in Judah one hundred twenty thousand in one day, all of them valiant men; because they had forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers. Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king’s son, and Azrikam the ruler of the house, and Elkanah who was next to the king. The children of Israel carried away captive of their brothers two hundred thousand, women, sons, and daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria. But a prophet of the LORD was there, whose name was Oded: and he went out to meet the army that came to Samaria, and said to them, “Behold, because the LORD, the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah, he has delivered them into your hand, and you have slain them in a rage which has reached up to heaven. Now you purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondservants and bondmaids for yourselves. Aren’t there even with you trespasses of your own against the LORD your God? Now hear me therefore, and send back the captives, that you have taken captive from your brothers; for the fierce wrath of the LORD is on you.” Then some of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Yochanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against those who came from the war, and said to them, “You shall not bring in the captives here: for you purpose that which will bring on us a trespass against the LORD, to add to our sins and to our trespass; for our trespass is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel.”
So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the assembly. The men who have been mentioned by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all who were naked among them, dressed them, gave them sandals, and gave them something to eat and to drink, anointed them, carried all the feeble of them on donkeys, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brothers. Then they returned to Samaria. At that time king Ahaz sent to the kings of Assyria to help him. For again the Edomites had come and struck Judah, and carried away captives. The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the lowland, and of the South of Judah, and had taken Beth Shemesh, and Aijalon, and Gederoth, and Soco with its towns, and Timnah with its towns, Gimzo also and its towns: and they lived there. For the LORD brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he had dealt wantonly in Judah, and trespassed severely against the LORD. Tilgath Pilneser king of Assyria came to him, and distressed him, but didn’t strengthen him. For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of the LORD, and out of the house of the king and of the princes, and gave it to the king of Assyria: but it didn’t help him. In the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the LORD, this same king Ahaz. For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus, which struck him; and he said, “Because the gods of the kings of Syria helped them, so I will sacrifice to them, that they may help me.” But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel. Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of the LORD; and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem. In every city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods, and provoked to anger the LORD, the God of his fathers. Now the rest of his acts, and all his ways, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, even in Jerusalem; for they didn’t bring him into the tombs of the kings of Israel: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.
Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. He did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, according to all that David his father had done. He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them. He brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the broad place on the east, and said to them, “Listen to me, you Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, and sanctify the house of the LORD, the God of your fathers, and carry out the filthiness out of the holy place. For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the sight of the LORD our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of the LORD, and turned their backs. Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. Therefore the wrath of the LORD was on Judah and Jerusalem, and he has delivered them to be tossed back and forth, to be an astonishment, and a hissing, as you see with your eyes. For, behold, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the LORD, the God of Israel, that his fierce anger may turn away from us. My sons, don’t be negligent now; for the LORD has chosen you to stand before him, to minister to him, and that you should be his ministers, and burn incense.”
Then the Levites arose, Mahath, the son of Amasai, and Joel the son of Azariah, of the sons of the Kohathites; and of the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi, and Azariah the son of Jehallelel; and of the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah, and Eden the son of Joah; and of the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeuel; and of the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; and of the sons of Heman, Jehuel and Shimei; and of the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. They gathered their brothers, and sanctified themselves, and went in, according to the commandment of the king by the words of the LORD, to cleanse the house of the LORD. The priests went in to the inner part of the house of the LORD, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the LORD into the court of the house of the LORD. The Levites took it, to carry it out abroad to the brook Kidron. Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of the LORD; and they sanctified the house of the LORD in eight days: and on the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end. Then they went in to Hezekiah the king within the palace, and said, “We have cleansed all the house of the LORD, and the altar of burnt offering, with all its vessels, and the table of show bread, with all its vessels. Moreover all the vessels, which king Ahaz in his reign did cast away when he trespassed, have we prepared and sanctified; and behold, they are before the altar of the LORD.”
Then Hezekiah the king arose early, and gathered the princes of the city, and went up to the house of the LORD. They brought seven bulls, and seven rams, and seven lambs, and seven male goats, for a sin offering for the kingdom and for the sanctuary and for Judah. He commanded the priests the sons of Aaron to offer them on the altar of the LORD. So they killed the bulls, and the priests received the blood, and sprinkled it on the altar: and they killed the rams, and sprinkled the blood on the altar: they killed also the lambs, and sprinkled the blood on the altar. They brought near the male goats for the sin offering before the king and the assembly; and they laid their hands on them: and the priests killed them, and they made a sin offering with their blood on the altar, to make atonement for all Israel; for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel. He set the Levites in the house of the LORD with cymbals, with stringed instruments, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king’s seer, and Nathan the prophet; for the commandment was of the LORD by his prophets. The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the shofars. Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song of the LORD began also, and the shofars, together with the instruments of David king of Israel. All the assembly worshiped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. When they had made an end of offering, the king and all who were present with him bowed themselves and worshiped. Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praises to the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. They sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshiped. Then Hezekiah answered, “Now you have consecrated yourselves to the LORD; come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of the LORD.” The assembly brought in sacrifices and thank offerings; and as many as were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings. The number of the burnt offerings which the assembly brought was seventy bulls, one hundred rams, and two hundred lambs: all these were for a burnt offering to the LORD. The consecrated things were six hundred head of cattle and three thousand sheep. But the priests were too few, so that they could not flay all the burnt offerings: therefore their brothers the Levites helped them, until the work was ended, and until the priests had sanctified themselves; for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests. Also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace offerings, and with the drink offerings for every burnt offering. So the service of the house of the LORD was set in order. Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, because of that which God had prepared for the people: for the thing was done suddenly.
Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, to keep the Passover to the LORD, the God of Israel. For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the assembly in Jerusalem, to keep the Passover in the second month. For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves in sufficient number, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem. The thing was right in the eyes of the king and of all the assembly. So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the Passover to the LORD, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem: for they had not kept it in great numbers in such sort as it is written. So the couriers went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, “You children of Israel, turn again to the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that he may return to the remnant that have escaped of you out of the hand of the kings of Assyria. Don’t be like your fathers, and like your brothers, who trespassed against the LORD, the God of their fathers, so that he gave them up to desolation, as you see. Now don’t be stiff-necked, as your fathers were; but yield yourselves to the LORD, and enter into his sanctuary, which he has sanctified forever, and serve the LORD your God, that his fierce anger may turn away from you. For if you turn again to the LORD, your brothers and your children shall find compassion before those who led them captive, and shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him.”
So the couriers passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, even to Zebulun: but they ridiculed them, and mocked them. Nevertheless certain men of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem. Also on Judah came the hand of God to give them one heart, to do the commandment of the king and of the princes by the word of the LORD. There assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great assembly. They arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron. Then they killed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought burnt offerings into the house of the LORD. They stood in their place after their order, according to the Torah of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood which they received of the hand of the Levites. For there were many in the assembly who had not sanctified themselves: therefore the Levites were in charge of killing the Passovers for everyone who was not clean, to sanctify them to the LORD. For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the Passover otherwise than it is written. For Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying, “May the good the LORD pardon everyone who sets his heart to seek God, the LORD, the God of his fathers, even if they aren’t clean according to the purification of the sanctuary.”
The LORD listened to Hezekiah, and healed the people. The children of Israel who were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness; and the Levites and the priests praised the LORD day by day, singing with loud instruments to the LORD. Hezekiah spoke comfortably to all the Levites who had good understanding in the service of the LORD. So they ate throughout the feast for the seven days, offering sacrifices of peace offerings, and making confession to the LORD, the God of their fathers. The whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days; and they kept other seven days with gladness. For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the assembly for offerings one thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the assembly a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep: and a great number of priests sanctified themselves. All the assembly of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the assembly who came out of Israel, and the foreigners who came out of Eretz-Israel, and who lived in Judah, rejoiced. So there was great joy in Jerusalem; for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem. Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy habitation, even to heaven.
Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah, and broke in pieces the pillars, and cut down the Asherim, and broke down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities. Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests and the Levites after their divisions, every man according to his service, both the priests and the Levites, for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister, and to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the camp of the LORD. He appointed also the king’s portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the Sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the Torah of the LORD. Moreover he commanded the people who lived in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might give themselves to the law of the LORD. As soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel gave in abundance the first fruits of grain, new wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly. The children of Israel and Judah, who lived in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of cattle and sheep, and the tithe of dedicated things which were consecrated to the LORD their God, and laid them by heaps. In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month. When Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed the LORD, and his people Israel. Then Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps. Azariah the chief priest, of the house of Zadok, answered him and said, “Since people began to bring the offerings into the house of the LORD, we have eaten and had enough, and have left plenty: for the LORD has blessed his people; and that which is left is this great store.” Then Hezekiah commanded them to prepare chambers in the house of the LORD; and they prepared them. They brought in the offerings and the tithes and the dedicated things faithfully: and over them Conaniah the Levite was ruler, and Shimei his brother was second. Jehiel, and Azaziah, and Nahath, and Asahel, and Jerimoth, and Jozabad, and Eliel, and Ismachiah, and Mahath, and Benaiah, were overseers under the hand of Conaniah and Shimei his brother, by the appointment of Hezekiah the king, and Azariah the ruler of the house of God. Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, the porter at the east gate, was over the freewill offerings of God, to distribute the offerings of the LORD, and the most holy things. Under him were Eden, and Miniamin, and Yeshua, and Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah, in the cities of the priests, in their office of trust, to give to their brothers by divisions, as well to the great as to the small: besides those who were reckoned by genealogy of males, from three years old and upward, even everyone who entered into the house of the LORD, as the duty of every day required, for their service in their offices according to their divisions; and those who were reckoned by genealogy of the priests by their fathers’ houses, and the Levites from twenty years old and upward, in their offices by their divisions; and those who were reckoned by genealogy of all their little ones, their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, through all the congregation: for in their office of trust they sanctified themselves in holiness. Also for the sons of Aaron the priests, who were in the fields of the suburbs of their cities, in every city, there were men who were mentioned by name, to give portions to all the males among the priests, and to all who were reckoned by genealogy among the Levites. Hezekiah did so throughout all Judah; and he worked that which was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God. In every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.
After these things, and this faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fortified cities, and thought to win them for himself. When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem, he took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the springs which were outside of the city; and they helped him. So there was gathered much people together, and they stopped all the springs, and the brook that flowed through the midst of the land, saying, “Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?”
He took courage, and built up all the wall that was broken down, and raised it up to the towers, and the other wall outside, and strengthened Millo in the city of David, and made weapons and shields in abundance. He set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the broad place at the gate of the city, and spoke comfortably to them, saying, “Be strong and of good courage, don’t be afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude who is with him; for there is a greater with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles.” The people rested themselves on the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. After this did Sennacherib king of Assyria send his servants to Jerusalem, (now he was before Lachish, and all his power with him), to Hezekiah king of Judah, and to all Judah who were at Jerusalem, saying, Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria, “In whom do you trust, that you remain under siege in Jerusalem? Doesn’t Hezekiah persuade you, to give you over to die by famine and by thirst, saying, ‘The LORD our God will deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria?’ Hasn’t the same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, ‘You shall worship before one altar, and on it you shall burn incense?’ Don’t you know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of the lands? Were the gods of the nations of the lands in any way able to deliver their land out of my hand? Who was there among all the gods of those nations which my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of my hand? Now therefore don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you after this manner, neither believe him; for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of my hand, and out of the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you out of my hand?”
His servants spoke yet more against the LORD God, and against his servant Hezekiah. He also wrote letters insulting the LORD, the God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, “As the gods of the nations of the lands, which have not delivered their people out of my hand, so shall the God of Hezekiah not deliver his people out of my hand.” They cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ language to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city. They spoke of the God of Jerusalem, as of the gods of the peoples of the earth, which are the work of men’s hands. Hezekiah the king, and Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz, prayed because of this, and cried to heaven. The LORD sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty men of valor, and the leaders and captains, in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. When he had come into the house of his god, those who came forth from his own bowels killed him there with the sword. Thus the LORD saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all others, and guided them on every side. Many brought gifts to the LORD to Jerusalem, and precious things to Hezekiah king of Judah; so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations from thenceforth. In those days Hezekiah was sick even to death: and he prayed to the LORD; and he spoke to him, and gave him a sign. But Hezekiah didn’t render again according to the benefit done to him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath on him, and on Judah and Jerusalem. Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD didn’t come on them in the days of Hezekiah. Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honor: and he provided him treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of goodly vessels; storehouses also for the increase of grain and new wine and oil; and stalls for all manner of animals, and flocks in folds. Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance; for God had given him very much substance. This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper spring of the waters of Gihon, and brought them straight down on the west side of the city of David. Hezekiah prospered in all his works. However in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart. Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his good deeds, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz, in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the ascent of the tombs of the sons of David: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honor at his death. Manasseh his son reigned in his place.
Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. He did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the nations whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; and he reared up altars for the Baals, and made Asheroth, and worshiped all the army of the sky, and served them. He built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD said, “My name shall be in Jerusalem forever.” He built altars for all the army of the sky in the two courts of the house of the LORD. He also made his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom; and he practiced sorcery, and used enchantments, and practiced sorcery, and dealt with those who had familiar spirits, and with wizards: he worked much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. He set the engraved image of the idol, which he had made, in the house of God, of which God said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name forever: neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from off the land which I have appointed for your fathers, if only they will observe to do all that I have commanded them, even all the law and the statutes and the ordinances given by Moses.” Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that they did evil more than did the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the children of Israel. The LORD spoke to Manasseh, and to his people; but they gave no heed. Therefore the LORD brought on them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh in chains, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. When he was in distress, he begged the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. He prayed to him; and he was entreated by him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God. Now after this he built an outer wall to the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entrance at the fish gate; and he encircled Ophel with it, and raised it up to a very great height: and he put valiant captains in all the fortified cities of Judah. He took away the foreign gods, and the idol out of the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built in the mountain of the house of the LORD, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city. He built up the altar of the LORD, and offered thereon sacrifices of peace offerings and of thanksgiving, and commanded Judah to serve the LORD, the God of Israel. Nevertheless the people sacrificed still in the high places, but only to the LORD their God. Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer to his God, and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of the LORD, the God of Israel, behold, they are written among the acts of the kings of Israel. His prayer also, and how God was entreated of him, and all his sin and his trespass, and the places in which he built high places, and set up the Asherim and the engraved images, before he humbled himself: behold, they are written in the history of Hozai. So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house: and Amon his son reigned in his place. Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. He did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, as did Manasseh his father; and Amon sacrificed to all the engraved images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them. He didn’t humble himself before the LORD, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but this same Amon trespassed more and more. His servants conspired against him, and put him to death in his own house. But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place.
Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign; and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. He did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and didn’t turn aside to the right hand or to the left. For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the Asherim, and the engraved images, and the molten images. They broke down the altars of the Baals in his presence; and the incense altars that were on high above them he cut down; and the Asherim, and the engraved images, and the molten images, he broke in pieces, and made dust of them, and strewed it on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. He burnt the bones of the priests on their altars, and purged Judah and Jerusalem. So did he in the cities of Manasseh and Ephraim and Simeon, even to Naphtali, around in their ruins. He broke down the altars, and beat the Asherim and the engraved images into powder, and cut down all the incense altars throughout all Eretz-Israel, and returned to Jerusalem. Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the LORD his God. They came to Hilkiah the high priest, and delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites, the keepers of the threshold, had gathered of the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, and of all the remnant of Israel, and of all Judah and Benjamin, and of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They delivered it into the hand of the workmen who had the oversight of the house of the LORD; and the workmen who labored in the house of the LORD gave it to mend and repair the house; even to the carpenters and to the builders gave they it, to buy cut stone, and timber for couplings, and to make beams for the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed. The men did the work faithfully: and the overseers of them were Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari; and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to set it forward; and others of the Levites, all who were skillful with instruments of music. Also they were over the bearers of burdens, and set forward all who did the work in every manner of service: and of the Levites there were scribes, and officers, and porters. When they brought out the money that was brought into the house of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found the scroll of the Torah of the LORD given by Moses. Hilkiah answered Shaphan the scribe, “I have found the scroll of the Torah in the house of the LORD.” Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan.
Shaphan carried the book to the king, and moreover brought back word to the king, saying, “All that was committed to your servants, they are doing. They have emptied out the money that was found in the house of the LORD, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers, and into the hand of the workmen.” Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, “Hilkiah the priest has delivered me a book.” Shaphan read therein before the king.
It happened, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he tore his clothes. The king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king’s servant, saying, “Go inquire of the LORD for me, and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found; for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do according to all that is written in this book.” So Hilkiah, and they whom the king had commanded, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she lived in Jerusalem in the second quarter;) and they spoke to her to that effect. She said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: ‘Tell the man who sent you to me, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I will bring evil on this place, and on its inhabitants, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah. Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore is my wrath poured out on this place, and it shall not be quenched.’”’ But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, thus you shall tell him, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: “As touching the words which you have heard, because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before God, when you heard his words against this place, and against its inhabitants, and have humbled yourself before me, and have torn your clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard you,” says the LORD. “Behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, neither shall your eyes see all the evil that I will bring on this place, and on its inhabitants.”’”
They brought back word to the king. Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. The king went up to the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, both great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the LORD. The king stood in his place, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. He caused all who were found in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. The inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all who were found in Israel to serve, even to serve the LORD their God. All his days they didn’t depart from following the LORD, the God of their fathers.
Josiah kept a Passover to the LORD in Jerusalem: and they killed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month. He set the priests in their offices, and encouraged them to the service of the house of the LORD. He said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy to the LORD, “Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel built. There shall no more be a burden on your shoulders. Now serve the LORD your God, and his people Israel. Prepare yourselves after your fathers’ houses by your divisions, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son. Stand in the holy place according to the divisions of the fathers’ houses of your brothers the children of the people, and let there be for each a portion of a fathers’ house of the Levites. Kill the Passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare for your brothers, to do according to the word of the LORD by Moses.”
Josiah gave to the children of the people, of the flock, lambs and young goats, all of them for the Passover offerings, to all who were present, to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand bulls: these were of the king’s substance. His princes gave for a freewill offering to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel, the rulers of the house of God, gave to the priests for the Passover offerings two thousand and six hundred small livestock, and three hundred head of cattle. Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethanel, his brothers, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, the chiefs of the Levites, gave to the Levites for the Passover offerings five thousand small livestock, and five hundred head of cattle. So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their place, and the Levites by their divisions, according to the king’s commandment. They killed the Passover, and the priests sprinkled the blood which they received of their hand, and the Levites flayed them. They removed the burnt offerings, that they might give them according to the divisions of the fathers’ houses of the children of the people, to offer to the LORD, as it is written in the book of Moses. So did they with the cattle. They roasted the Passover with fire according to the ordinance: and the holy offerings boiled they in pots, and in caldrons, and in pans, and carried them quickly to all the children of the people. Afterward they prepared for themselves, and for the priests, because the priests the sons of Aaron were busied in offering the burnt offerings and the fat until night: therefore the Levites prepared for themselves, and for the priests the sons of Aaron. The singers the sons of Asaph were in their place, according to the commandment of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s seer; and the porters were at every gate: they didn’t need to depart from their service; for their brothers the Levites prepared for them. So all the service of the LORD was prepared the same day, to keep the Passover, and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of the LORD, according to the commandment of king Josiah. The children of Israel who were present kept the Passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days. There was no Passover like that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did any of the kings of Israel keep such a Passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah was this Passover kept. After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Neco king of Egypt went up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him. But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, “What have I to do with you, you king of Judah? I come not against you this day, but against the house with which I have war. God has commanded me to make haste. Beware that it is God who is with me, that he not destroy you.”
Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and didn’t listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo. The archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, “Take me away, because I am seriously wounded!”
So his servants took him out of the chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had, and brought him to Jerusalem; and he died, and was buried in the tombs of his fathers. All Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and singing women spoke of Josiah in their lamentations to this day; and they made them an ordinance in Israel: and behold, they are written in the lamentations. Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his good deeds, according to that which is written in the Torah of the LORD, and his acts, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.
Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in his father’s place in Jerusalem. Joahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. The king of Egypt deposed him at Jerusalem, and fined the land one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. The king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. Neco took Joahaz his brother, and carried him to Egypt. Jehoiakim was Twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God. Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the vessels of the house of the LORD to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and his abominations which he did, and that which was found in him, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place. Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. At the return of the year king Nebuchadnezzar sent, and brought him to Babylon, with the goodly vessels of the house of the LORD, and made Zedekiah his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem. Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God; he didn’t humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD. He also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart against turning to the LORD, the God of Israel. Moreover all the chiefs of the priests, and the people, trespassed very greatly after all the abominations of the nations; and they polluted the house of the LORD which he had made holy in Jerusalem. The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent to them by his messengers, rising up early and sending, because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place: but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and scoffed at his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against his people, until there was no remedy. Therefore he brought on them the king of the Kasdim, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, old man or gray-headed: he gave them all into his hand. All the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes, all these he brought to Babylon. They burnt the house of God, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels of it. He carried those who had escaped from the sword away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths: for as long as it lay desolate it kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years. Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given all the kingdoms of the earth to me; and he has commanded me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, the LORD his God be with him, and let him go up.’”
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