Bible: 2 Kings 15-21

Azariah’s Reign over Judah

15:1 In the twenty-seventh year of King Jeroboam’s reign over Israel, Amaziah’s son Azariah became king over Judah. 15:2 He was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for fifty-two years in Jerusalem. 1  His mother’s name was Jecholiah, who was from Jerusalem. 15:3 He did what the Lord approved, just as his father Amaziah had done. 2  15:4 But the high places were not eliminated; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense on the high places. 15:5 The Lord afflicted the king with an illness; he suffered from a skin disease 3  until the day he died. He lived in separate quarters, 4  while his son Jotham was in charge of the palace and ruled over the people of the land.

15:6 The rest of the events of Azariah’s reign, including all his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 5  15:7 Azariah passed away 6  and was buried 7  with his ancestors in the city of David. His son Jotham replaced him as king.

Zechariah’s Reign over Israel

15:8 In the thirty-eighth year of King Azariah’s reign over Judah, Jeroboam’s son Zechariah became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria 8  for six months. 15:9 He did evil in the sight of 9  the Lord, as his ancestors had done. He did not repudiate 10  the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat who encouraged Israel to sin. 15:10 Shallum son of Jabesh conspired against him; he assassinated him in Ibleam 11  and took his place as king. 15:11 The rest of the events of Zechariah’s reign are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 12  15:12 His assassination brought to fulfillment the Lord’s word to Jehu, 13 Four generations of your descendants will rule over Israel.” 14  That is exactly what happened. 15 

15:13 Shallum son of Jabesh became king in the thirty-ninth year of King Uzziah’s 16  reign over Judah. He reigned for one month 17  in Samaria. 15:14 Menahem son of Gadi went up from Tirzah to 18  Samaria and attacked Shallum son of Jabesh. 19  He killed him and took his place as king. 15:15 The rest of the events of Shallum’s reign, including the conspiracy he organized, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 20  15:16 At that time Menahem came from Tirzah and attacked Tiphsah. He struck down all who lived in the city and the surrounding territory, because they would not surrender. 21  He even ripped open the pregnant women.

Menahem’s Reign over Israel

15:17 In the thirty-ninth year of King Azariah’s reign over Judah, Menahem son of Gadi became king over Israel. He reigned for twelve years in Samaria. 22  15:18 He did evil in the sight of 23  the Lord; he did not repudiate 24  the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat who encouraged Israel to sin. 25 

During his reign, 15:19 Pul 26  king of Assyria invaded the land, and Menahem paid 27  him 28  a thousand talents 29  of silver to gain his support 30  and to solidify his control of the kingdom. 31  15:20 Menahem got this silver by taxing all the wealthy men in Israel; he took fifty shekels of silver from each one of them and paid it to the king of Assyria. 32  Then the king of Assyria left; he did not stay there in the land.

15:21 The rest of the events of Menahem’s reign, including all his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 33  15:22 Menahem passed away 34  and his son Pekahiah replaced him as king.

Pekahiah’s Reign over Israel

15:23 In the fiftieth year of King Azariah’s reign over Judah, Menahem’s son Pekahiah became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria 35  for two years. 15:24 He did evil in the sight of 36  the Lord; he did not repudiate 37  the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat who encouraged Israel to sin. 15:25 His officer Pekah son of Remaliah conspired against him. He and fifty Gileadites assassinated Pekahiah, as well as Argob and Arieh, in Samaria in the fortress of the royal palace. 38  Pekah then took his place as king.

15:26 The rest of the events of Pekahiah’s reign, including all his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 39 

Pekah’s Reign over Israel

15:27 In the fifty-second year of King Azariah’s reign over Judah, Pekah son of Remaliah became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria 40  for twenty years. 15:28 He did evil in the sight of 41  the Lord; he did not repudiate 42  the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat who encouraged Israel to sin. 15:29 During Pekah’s reign over Israel, King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria came and captured Ijon, Abel Beth Maacah, Janoah, Kedesh, Hazor, 43  Gilead, and Galilee, including all the territory of Naphtali. He deported the people 44  to Assyria. 15:30 Hoshea son of Elah conspired against Pekah son of Remaliah. He assassinated him 45  and took his place as king, in the twentieth year of the reign of Jotham son of Uzziah.

15:31 The rest of the events of Pekah’s reign, including all his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel. 46 

Jotham’s Reign over Judah

15:32 In the second year of the reign of Israel’s King Pekah son of Remaliah, Uzziah’s son Jotham became king over Judah. 15:33 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem. 47  His mother was Jerusha the daughter of Zadok. 15:34 He did what the Lord approved, just as his father Uzziah had done. 48  15:35 But the high places were not eliminated; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense on the high places. He built the Upper Gate to the Lord’s temple.

15:36 The rest of the events of Jotham’s reign, including his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 49  15:37 In those days the Lord prompted King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah to attack Judah. 50  15:38 Jotham passed away 51  and was buried with his ancestors in the city of his ancestor David. His son Ahaz replaced him as king.

Ahaz’s Reign over Judah

16:1 In the seventeenth year of the reign of Pekah son of Remaliah, Jotham’s son Ahaz became king over Judah. 16:2 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for sixteen years in Jerusalem. 52  He did not do what pleased the Lord his God, in contrast to his ancestor David. 53  16:3 He followed in the footsteps of 54  the kings of Israel. He passed his son through the fire, 55  a horrible sin practiced by the nations 56  whom the Lord drove out from before the Israelites. 16:4 He offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places, on the hills, and under every green tree.

16:5 At that time King Rezin of Syria and King Pekah son of Remaliah of Israel attacked Jerusalem. 57  They besieged Ahaz, 58  but were unable to conquer him. 59  16:6 (At that time King Rezin of Syria 60  recovered Elat for Syria; he drove the Judahites from there. 61  Syrians 62  arrived in Elat and live there to this very day.) 16:7 Ahaz sent messengers to King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria, saying, “I am your servant and your dependent. 63  March up and rescue me from the power 64  of the king of Syria and the king of Israel, who have attacked 65  me.” 16:8 Then Ahaz took the silver and gold that were 66  in the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the royal palace and sent it as tribute 67  to the king of Assyria. 16:9 The king of Assyria responded favorably to his request; 68  he 69  attacked Damascus and captured it. He deported the people 70  to Kir and executed Rezin.

16:10 When King Ahaz went to meet with King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria in Damascus, he saw the altar there. 71  King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest a drawing of the altar and a blueprint for its design. 72  16:11 Uriah the priest built an altar in conformity to the plans King Ahaz had sent from Damascus. 73  Uriah the priest finished it before King Ahaz arrived back from Damascus. 74  16:12 When the king arrived back from Damascus and 75  saw the altar, he approached it 76  and offered a sacrifice on it. 77  16:13 He offered his burnt sacrifice and his grain offering. He poured out his libation and sprinkled the blood from his peace offerings on the altar. 16:14 He moved the bronze altar that stood in the Lord’s presence from the front of the temple (between the altar and the Lord’s temple) and put it on the north side of the new 78  altar. 16:15 King Ahaz ordered Uriah the priest, “On the large altar 79  offer the morning burnt sacrifice, the evening grain offering, the royal burnt sacrifices and grain offering, the burnt sacrifice for all the people of Israel, their grain offering, and their libations. Sprinkle all the blood of the burnt sacrifice and other sacrifices on it. The bronze altar will be for my personal use.” 80  16:16 So Uriah the priest did exactly as 81  King Ahaz ordered.

16:17 King Ahaz took off the frames of the movable stands, and removed the basins from them. He took “The Sea 82  down from the bronze bulls that supported it 83  and put it on the pavement. 16:18 He also removed the Sabbath awning 84  that had been built 85  in the temple and the king’s outer entranceway, on account of the king of Assyria. 86 

16:19 The rest of the events of Ahaz’s reign, including his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 87  16:20 Ahaz passed away 88  and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David. His son Hezekiah replaced him as king.

Hoshea’s Reign over Israel

17:1 In the twelfth year of King Ahaz’s reign over Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria 89  for nine years. 17:2 He did evil in the sight of 90  the Lord, but not to the same degree as the Israelite kings who preceded him. 17:3 King Shalmaneser of Assyria threatened 91  him; Hoshea became his subject and paid him tribute. 17:4 The king of Assyria discovered that Hoshea was planning a revolt. 92  Hoshea had sent messengers to King So 93  of Egypt and had not sent his annual tribute to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria arrested him and imprisoned him. 94  17:5 The king of Assyria marched through 95  the whole land. He attacked Samaria and besieged it for three years. 17:6 In the ninth year of Hoshea’s reign, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the people of Israel 96  to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, along the Habor (the river of Gozan), and in the cities of the Medes.

A Summary of Israel’s Sinful History

17:7 This happened because the Israelites sinned against the Lord their God, who brought them up from the land of Egypt and freed them from the power of 97  Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped 98  other gods; 17:8 they observed the practices 99  of the nations whom the Lord had driven out from before Israel, and followed the example of the kings of Israel. 100  17:9 The Israelites said things about the Lord their God that were not right. 101  They built high places in all their cities, from the watchtower to the fortress. 102  17:10 They set up sacred pillars and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every green tree. 17:11 They burned incense on all the high places just like the nations whom the Lord had driven away from before them. Their evil practices made the Lord angry. 103  17:12 They worshiped 104  the disgusting idols 105  in blatant disregard of the Lord’s command. 106 

17:13 The Lord solemnly warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and all the seers, “Turn back from your evil ways; obey my commandments and rules that are recorded in the law. I ordered your ancestors to keep this law and sent my servants the prophets to remind you of its demands.” 107  17:14 But they did not pay attention and were as stubborn as their ancestors, 108  who had not trusted the Lord their God. 17:15 They rejected his rules, the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and the laws he had commanded them to obey. 109  They paid allegiance to 110  worthless idols, and so became worthless to the Lord. 111  They copied the practices of the surrounding nations in blatant disregard of the Lord’s command. 112  17:16 They abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God; they made two metal calves and an Asherah pole, bowed down to all the stars in the sky, 113  and worshiped 114  Baal. 17:17 They passed their sons and daughters through the fire, 115  and practiced divination and omen reading. They committed themselves to doing evil in the sight of the Lord and made him angry. 116 

17:18 So the Lord was furious 117  with Israel and rejected them; 118  only the tribe of Judah was left. 17:19 Judah also failed to keep the commandments of the Lord their God; they followed Israel’s example. 119  17:20 So the Lord rejected all of Israel’s descendants; he humiliated 120  them and handed them over to robbers, until he had thrown them from his presence. 17:21 He tore Israel away from David’s dynasty, and Jeroboam son of Nebat became their king. 121  Jeroboam drove Israel away 122  from the Lord and encouraged them to commit a serious sin. 123  17:22 The Israelites followed in the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat and did not repudiate 124  them. 17:23 Finally 125  the Lord rejected Israel 126  just as he had warned he would do 127  through all his servants the prophets. Israel was deported from its land to Assyria and remains there to this very day.

The King of Assyria Populates Israel with Foreigners

17:24 The king of Assyria brought foreigners 128  from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim and settled them in the cities of Samaria 129  in place of the Israelites. They took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities. 17:25 When they first moved in, 130  they did not worship 131  the Lord. So the Lord sent lions among them and the lions were killing them. 17:26 The king of Assyria was told, 132 The nations whom you deported and settled in the cities of Samaria do not know the requirements of the God of the land, so he has sent lions among them. They are killing the people 133  because they do not know the requirements of the God of the land.” 17:27 So the king of Assyria ordered, “Take back one of the priests whom you 134  deported from there. He must settle there and teach them the requirements of the God of the land.” 135  17:28 So one of the priests whom they had deported from Samaria went back and settled in Bethel. 136  He taught them how to worship 137  the Lord.

17:29 But each of these nations made 138  its own gods and put them in the shrines on the high places that the people of Samaria 139  had made. Each nation did this in the cities where they lived. 17:30 The people from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, 140  the people from Cuth made Nergal, 141  the people from Hamath made Ashima, 142  17:31 the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, 143  and the Sepharvites burned their sons in the fire as an offering to Adrammelech and Anammelech, 144  the gods of Sepharvaim. 17:32 At the same time they worshiped 145  the Lord. They appointed some of their own people to serve as priests in the shrines on the high places. 146  17:33 They were worshiping 147  the Lord and at the same time serving their own gods in accordance with the practices of the nations from which they had been deported.

17:34 To this very day they observe their earlier practices. They do not worship 148  the Lord; they do not obey the rules, regulations, law, and commandments that the Lord gave 149  the descendants of Jacob, whom he renamed Israel. 17:35 The Lord made an agreement 150  with them 151  and instructed them, “You must not worship other gods. Do not bow down to them, serve them, or offer sacrifices to them. 17:36 Instead you must worship the Lord, who brought you up from the land of Egypt by his great power and military ability; 152  bow down to him and offer sacrifices to him. 17:37 You must carefully obey at all times the rules, regulations, law, and commandments he wrote down for you. You must not worship other gods. 17:38 You must never forget the agreement I made with you, and you must not worship other gods. 17:39 Instead you must worship the Lord your God; then he will rescue you from the power of all your enemies.” 17:40 But they 153  pay no attention; instead they observe their earlier practices. 17:41 These nations are worshiping the Lord and at the same time serving their idols; their sons and grandsons do just as their fathers have done, to this very day.

Hezekiah Becomes King of Judah

18:1 In the third year of the reign of Israel’s King Hoshea son of Elah, Ahaz’s son Hezekiah became king over Judah. 18:2 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. 154  His mother 155  was Abi, 156  the daughter of Zechariah. 18:3 He did what the Lord approved, just as his ancestor David had done. 157  18:4 He eliminated the high places, smashed the sacred pillars to bits, and cut down the Asherah pole. 158  He also demolished the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for up to that time 159  the Israelites had been offering incense to it; it was called Nehushtan. 160  18:5 He trusted in the Lord God of Israel; in this regard there was none like him among the kings of Judah either before or after. 161  18:6 He was loyal to 162  the Lord and did not abandon him. 163  He obeyed the commandments which the Lord had given to 164  Moses. 18:7 The Lord was with him; he succeeded in all his endeavors. 165  He rebelled against the king of Assyria and refused to submit to him. 166  18:8 He defeated the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, from the watchtower to the city fortress. 167 

18:9 In the fourth year of King Hezekiah’s reign (it was the seventh year of the reign of Israel’s King Hoshea, son of Elah), King Shalmaneser of Assyria marched 168  up against Samaria 169  and besieged it. 18:10 After three years he captured it (in the sixth year of Hezekiah’s reign); in the ninth year of King Hoshea’s reign over Israel Samaria was captured. 18:11 The king of Assyria deported the people of Israel 170  to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, along the Habor (the river of Gozan), and in the cities of the Medes. 18:12 This happened because they did not obey 171  the Lord their God and broke his agreement with them. 172  They did not pay attention to and obey all that Moses, the Lord’s servant, had commanded. 173 

Sennacherib Invades Judah

18:13 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign, King Sennacherib of Assyria marched up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. 18:14 King Hezekiah of Judah sent this message to the king of Assyria, who was at Lachish, “I have violated our treaty. 174  If you leave, I will do whatever you demand.” 175  So the king of Assyria demanded that King Hezekiah of Judah pay three hundred talents 176  of silver and thirty talents of gold. 18:15 Hezekiah gave him all the silver in 177  the Lord’s temple and in the treasuries of the royal palace. 18:16 At that time King Hezekiah of Judah stripped the metal overlays from the doors of the Lord’s temple and from the posts which he had plated 178  and gave them to the king of Assyria.

18:17 The king of Assyria sent his commanding general, the chief eunuch, and the chief adviser 179  from Lachish to King Hezekiah in Jerusalem, 180  along with a large army. They went up and arrived at Jerusalem. They went 181  and stood at the conduit of the upper pool which is located on the road to the field where they wash and dry cloth. 182  18:18 They summoned the king, so Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace supervisor, accompanied by Shebna the scribe and Joah son of Asaph, the secretary, went out to meet them.

18:19 The chief adviser said to them, “Tell Hezekiah: ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: “What is your source of confidence? 183  18:20 Your claim to have a strategy and military strength is just empty talk. 184  In whom are you trusting that you would dare to rebel against me? 18:21 Now look, you must be trusting in Egypt, that splintered reed staff. If a man leans for support on it, it punctures his hand and wounds him. That is what Pharaoh king of Egypt does to all who trust in him. 18:22 Perhaps you will tell me, ‘We are trusting in the Lord our God.’ But Hezekiah is the one who eliminated his high places and altars and then told the people of Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship at this altar in Jerusalem.’ 18:23 Now make a deal 185  with my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, provided you can find enough riders for them. 18:24 Certainly you will not refuse one of my master’s minor officials and trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen. 186  18:25 Furthermore it was by the command of the Lord that I marched up against this place to destroy it. The Lord told me, ‘March 187  up against this land and destroy it.’”’ 188 

18:26 Eliakim son of Hilkiah, Shebna, and Joah said to the chief adviser, “Speak to your servants in Aramaic, 189  for we understand it. Don’t speak with us in the Judahite dialect 190  in the hearing of the people who are on the wall.” 18:27 But the chief adviser said to them, “My master did not send me to speak these words only to your master and to you. 191  His message is also for the men who sit on the wall, for they will eat their own excrement and drink their own urine along with you.” 192 

18:28 The chief adviser then stood there and called out loudly in the Judahite dialect, 193 Listen to the message of the great king, the king of Assyria. 18:29 This is what the king says: ‘Don’t let Hezekiah mislead you, for he is not able to rescue you from my hand! 194  18:30 Don’t let Hezekiah talk you into trusting in the Lord when he says, “The Lord will certainly rescue us; this city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.” 18:31 Don’t listen to Hezekiah!’ For this is what the king of Assyria says, ‘Send me a token of your submission and surrender to me. 195  Then each of you may eat from his own vine and fig tree and drink water from his own cistern, 18:32 until I come and take you to a land just like your own – a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Then you will live and not die. Don’t listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, “The Lord will rescue us.” 18:33 Have any of the gods of the nations actually rescued his land from the power of the king of Assyria? 196  18:34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? 197  Indeed, did any gods rescue Samaria 198  from my power? 199  18:35 Who among all the gods of the lands has rescued their lands from my power? So how can the Lord rescue Jerusalem from my power?’ 200  18:36 The people were silent and did not respond, for the king had ordered, “Don’t respond to him.”

18:37 Eliakim son of Hilkiah, the palace supervisor, accompanied by Shebna the scribe and Joah son of Asaph, the secretary, went to Hezekiah with their clothes torn 201  and reported to him what the chief adviser had said. 19:1 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and went to the Lord’s temple. 19:2 He sent Eliakim the palace supervisor, Shebna the scribe, and the leading priests, 202  clothed in sackcloth, with this message to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz: 19:3 This is what Hezekiah says: 203  ‘This is a day of distress, insults, 204  and humiliation, 205  as when a baby is ready to leave the birth canal, but the mother lacks the strength to push it through. 206  19:4 Perhaps the Lord your God will hear all these things the chief adviser has spoken on behalf of his master, the king of Assyria, who sent him to taunt the living God. 207  When the Lord your God hears, perhaps he will punish him for the things he has said. 208  So pray for this remnant that remains.’ 209 

19:5 When King Hezekiah’s servants came to Isaiah, 19:6 Isaiah said to them, “Tell your master this: ‘This is what the Lord says: “Don’t be afraid because of the things you have heard – these insults the king of Assyria’s servants have hurled against me. 210  19:7 Look, I will take control of his mind; 211  he will receive 212  a report and return to his own land. I will cut him down 213  with a sword in his own land.”’

19:8 When the chief adviser heard the king of Assyria had departed from Lachish, he left and went to Libnah, where the king was campaigning. 214  19:9 The king 215  heard that King Tirhakah of Ethiopia was marching out to fight him. 216  He again sent messengers to Hezekiah, ordering them: 19:10 Tell King Hezekiah of Judah this: ‘Don’t let your God in whom you trust mislead you when he says, “Jerusalem will not be handed over 217  to the king of Assyria.” 19:11 Certainly you have heard how the kings of Assyria have annihilated all lands. 218  Do you really think you will be rescued? 219  19:12 Were the nations whom my ancestors destroyed – the nations of Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden in Telassar – rescued by their gods? 220  19:13 Where are the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, and the king of Lair, 221  Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?’

19:14 Hezekiah took the letter 222  from the messengers and read it. 223  Then Hezekiah went up to the Lord’s temple and spread it out before the Lord. 19:15 Hezekiah prayed before the Lord: “Lord God of Israel, who is enthroned on the cherubs! 224  You alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You made the sky 225  and the earth. 19:16 Pay attention, Lord, and hear! Open your eyes, Lord, and observe! Listen to the message Sennacherib sent and how he taunts the living God! 226  19:17 It is true, Lord, that the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands. 19:18 They have burned the gods of the nations, 227  for they are not really gods, but only the product of human hands manufactured from wood and stone. That is why the Assyrians could destroy them. 228  19:19 Now, O Lord our God, rescue us from his power, so that all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you, Lord, are the only God.”

19:20 Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah: “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I have heard your prayer concerning King Sennacherib of Assyria. 229  19:21 This is what the Lord says about him: 230 

“The virgin daughter Zion 231 

despises you, she makes fun of you;

Daughter Jerusalem

shakes her head after you. 232 

19:22 Whom have you taunted and hurled insults at?

At whom have you shouted, 233 

and looked so arrogantly? 234 

At the Holy One of Israel! 235 

19:23 Through your messengers you taunted the sovereign master, 236 

‘With my many chariots 237 

I climbed up the high mountains,

the slopes of Lebanon.

I cut down its tall cedars,

and its best evergreens.

I invaded its most remote regions, 238 

its thickest woods.

19:24 I dug wells and drank

water in foreign lands. 239 

With the soles of my feet I dried up

all the rivers of Egypt.’

19:25 240 

Certainly you must have heard! 241 

Long ago I worked it out,

In ancient times I planned 242  it;

and now I am bringing it to pass.

The plan is this:

Fortified cities will crash

into heaps of ruins. 243 

19:26 Their residents are powerless, 244 

they are terrified and ashamed.

They are as short-lived as plants in the field,

or green vegetation. 245 

They are as short-lived as grass on the rooftops 246 

when it is scorched by the east wind. 247 

19:27 I know where you live,

and everything you do. 248 

19:28 Because you rage against me,

and the uproar you create has reached my ears; 249 

I will put my hook in your nose, 250 

and my bridle between your lips,

and I will lead you back the way

you came.”

19:29 251 

This will be your confirmation that I have spoken the truth: 252  This year you will eat what grows wild, 253  and next year 254  what grows on its own from that. But in the third year you will plant seed and harvest crops; you will plant vines and consume their produce. 255  19:30 Those who remain in Judah will take root in the ground and bear fruit. 256 

19:31 For a remnant will leave Jerusalem;

survivors will come out of Mount Zion.

The intense devotion of the sovereign Lord 257  to his people 258  will accomplish this.

19:32 So this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria:

“He will not enter this city,

nor will he shoot an arrow here. 259 

He will not attack it with his shield-carrying warriors, 260 

nor will he build siege works against it.

19:33 He will go back the way he came.

He will not enter this city,” says the Lord.

19:34 I will shield this city and rescue it for the sake of my reputation and because of my promise to David my servant.’ 261 

19:35 That very night the Lord’s messenger went out and killed 185,000 men in the Assyrian camp. When they 262  got up early the next morning, there were all the corpses. 263  19:36 So King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and went on his way. He went home and stayed in Nineveh. 264  19:37 One day, 265  as he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, 266  his sons 267  Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword. 268  They escaped to the land of Ararat; his son Esarhaddon replaced him as king.

Hezekiah is Healed

20:1 In those days Hezekiah was stricken with a terminal illness. 269  The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz visited him and told him, “This is what the Lord says, ‘Give your household instructions, for you are about to die; you will not get well.’ 270  20:2 He turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 20:3 Please, Lord. Remember how I have served you 271  faithfully and with wholehearted devotion, 272  and how I have carried out your will.” 273  Then Hezekiah wept bitterly. 274 

20:4 Isaiah was still in the middle courtyard when the Lord told him, 275  20:5 Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people: ‘This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will heal you. The day after tomorrow 276  you will go up to the Lord’s temple. 20:6 I will add fifteen years to your life and rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will shield this city for the sake of my reputation and because of my promise to David my servant.”’ 277  20:7 Isaiah ordered, “Get a fig cake.” So they did as he ordered 278  and placed it on the ulcerated sore, and he recovered. 279 

20:8 Hezekiah had said to Isaiah, “What is the confirming sign that the Lord will heal me and that I will go up to the Lord’s temple the day after tomorrow? 20:9 Isaiah replied, “This is your sign from the Lord confirming that the Lord will do what he has said. Do you want the shadow to move ahead ten steps or to go back ten steps? 280  20:10 Hezekiah answered, “It is easy for the shadow to lengthen ten steps, but not for it 281  to go back ten steps.” 20:11 Isaiah the prophet called out to the Lord, and the Lord 282  made the shadow go back ten steps on the stairs of Ahaz. 283 

Messengers from Babylon Visit Hezekiah

20:12 At that time Merodach-Baladan 284  son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a gift to Hezekiah, for he had heard that Hezekiah was ill. 20:13 Hezekiah welcomed 285  them and showed them his whole storehouse, with its silver, gold, spices, and high quality olive oil, as well as his armory and everything in his treasuries. Hezekiah showed them everything in his palace and in his whole kingdom. 286  20:14 Isaiah the prophet visited King Hezekiah and asked him, “What did these men say? Where do they come from?” Hezekiah replied, “They come from the distant land of Babylon.” 20:15 Isaiah 287  asked, “What have they seen in your palace?” Hezekiah replied, “They have seen everything in my palace. I showed them everything 288  in my treasuries.” 20:16 Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Listen to the word of the Lord, 20:17 Look, a time is 289  coming when everything in your palace and the things your ancestors have accumulated to this day will be carried away to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says the Lord. 20:18 Some of your very own descendants whom you father 290  will be taken away and will be made eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’ 20:19 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The Lord’s word which you have announced is appropriate.” 291  Then he added, 292 At least there will be peace and stability during my lifetime.” 293 

20:20 The rest of the events of Hezekiah’s reign and all his accomplishments, including how he built a pool and conduit to bring 294  water into the city, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 295  20:21 Hezekiah passed away 296  and his son Manasseh replaced him as king.

Manasseh’s Reign over Judah

21:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. 297  His mother 298  was Hephzibah. 21:2 He did evil in the sight of 299  the Lord and committed the same horrible sins practiced by the nations 300  whom the Lord drove out from before the Israelites. 21:3 He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he set up altars for Baal and made an Asherah pole just like King Ahab of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the stars in the sky 301  and worshiped 302  them. 21:4 He built altars in the Lord’s temple, about which the Lord had said, “Jerusalem will be my home.” 303  21:5 In the two courtyards of the Lord’s temple he built altars for all the stars in the sky. 21:6 He passed his son 304  through the fire 305  and practiced divination and omen reading. He set up a ritual pit to conjure up underworld spirits, and appointed magicians to supervise it. 306  He did a great amount of evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. 307  21:7 He put an idol of Asherah he had made in the temple, about which the Lord had said to David and to his son Solomon, “This temple in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will be my permanent home. 308  21:8 I will not make Israel again leave the land I gave to their ancestors, 309  provided that they carefully obey all I commanded them, the whole law my servant Moses ordered them to obey.” 21:9 But they did not obey, 310  and Manasseh misled them so that they sinned more than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed from before the Israelites.

21:10 So the Lord announced through 311  his servants the prophets: 21:11 King Manasseh of Judah has committed horrible sins. 312  He has sinned more than the Amorites before him and has encouraged Judah to sin by worshiping his disgusting idols. 313  21:12 So this is what the Lord God of Israel says, ‘I am about to bring disaster on Jerusalem and Judah. The news will reverberate in the ears of those who hear about it. 314  21:13 I will destroy Jerusalem the same way I did Samaria 315  and the dynasty of Ahab. 316  I will wipe Jerusalem clean, just as one wipes a plate on both sides. 317  21:14 I will abandon this last remaining tribe among my people 318  and hand them over to their enemies; they will be plundered and robbed by all their enemies, 319  21:15 because they have done evil in my sight 320  and have angered me from the time their ancestors left Egypt right up to this very day!’

21:16 Furthermore Manasseh killed so many innocent people, he stained Jerusalem with their blood from end to end, 321  in addition to encouraging Judah to sin by doing evil in the sight of the Lord. 322 

21:17 The rest of the events of Manasseh’s reign and all his accomplishments, as well as the sinful acts he committed, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 323  21:18 Manasseh passed away 324  and was buried in his palace garden, the garden of Uzzah, and his son Amon replaced him as king.

Amon’s Reign over Judah

21:19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned for two years in Jerusalem. 325  His mother 326  was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz, from Jotbah. 21:20 He did evil in the sight of 327  the Lord, just like his father Manasseh had done. 21:21 He followed in the footsteps of his father 328  and worshiped and bowed down to the disgusting idols 329  which his father had worshiped. 330  21:22 He abandoned the Lord God of his ancestors and did not follow the Lord’s instructions. 331  21:23 Amon’s servants conspired against him and killed the king in his palace. 21:24 The people of the land executed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and they 332  made his son Josiah king in his place.

21:25 The rest of Amon’s accomplishments are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 333  21:26 He was buried 334  in his tomb in the garden of Uzzah, and his son Josiah replaced him as king.

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