May 25
     2 Chronicles 32:1 — 34:13

32 After these things and this faithful course Sennacherib the king of Assyria came and proceeded to invade Judah and camp against the fortified cities, and kept thinking of making them his by a breakthrough.

2 When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come with his face set for war against Jerusalem, 3 then he decided with his princes and his mighty men to stop up the waters of the springs that were outside the city; and so they helped him. 4 Accordingly many people were collected together, and they went stopping up all the fountains and the torrent that floods through the middle of the land, saying: “Why should the kings of Assyria come and actually find a great deal of water?”

5 Furthermore, he took courage and built up all the broken-down wall and raised towers upon it, and on the outside another wall, and repaired the Mound of the City of David, and made missiles in abundance and shields. 6 And he proceeded to put military chiefs over the people and collect them to him at the public square of the gate of the city and speak to the heart of them, saying: 7 “Be courageous and strong. Do not be afraid nor be terrified because of the king of Assyria and on account of all the crowd that is with him; for with us there are more than there are with him. 8 With him there is an arm of flesh, but with us there is Jehovah our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people began to brace themselves upon the words of Hezekiah the king of Judah.

9 It was after this that Sennacherib the king of Assyria sent his servants to Jerusalem, while he was at Lachish and all his imperial might with him, to Hezekiah the king of Judah and to all the Judeans that were in Jerusalem, saying:

10 “This is what Sennacherib the king of Assyria has said, ‘In what is it that YOU are trusting while sitting quiet under siege in Jerusalem? 11 Is not Hezekiah alluring YOU so as to give YOU over to die by famine and by thirst, saying: “Jehovah our God himself will deliver us out of the palm of the king of Assyria”? 12 Is it not Hezekiah himself that removed his high places and his altars and then said to Judah and to Jerusalem: “Before one altar YOU should bow and upon it YOU should make sacrificial smoke”? 13 Do YOU not know what I myself and my forefathers did to all the peoples of the lands? Did the gods of the nations of the lands at all prove able to deliver their land out of my hand? 14 Who was there among all the gods of these nations that my forefathers devoted to destruction that proved able to deliver his people out of my hand, so that YOUR God should be able to deliver YOU out of my hand? 15 And now do not let Hezekiah deceive YOU or allure YOU like this and do not put faith in 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 forefathers. How much less, then, will YOUR own God deliver YOU out of my hand?’”

16 And his servants spoke yet further against Jehovah the [true] God and against Hezekiah his servant. 17 Even letters he wrote to reproach Jehovah the God of Israel and to talk against him, saying: “Like the gods of the nations of the lands who did not deliver their people out of my hand, so the God of Hezekiah will not deliver his people out of my hand.” 18 And they kept calling with a loud voice in the Jews’ language to the people of Jerusalem that were upon the wall, to make them afraid and to disturb them, in order that they might capture the city. 19 And they went on speaking against the God of Jerusalem the same way as against the gods of the peoples of the earth, the work of man’s hands. 20 But Hezekiah the king and Isaiah the son of Amoz, the prophet, kept praying over this and crying to the heavens for aid.

21 And Jehovah proceeded to send an angel and efface every valiant, mighty man and leader and chief in the camp of the king of Assyria, so that he went back with shame of face to his own land. Later on he entered the house of his god and there certain ones that had come out of his own inward parts felled him with the sword. 22 Thus Jehovah saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem out of the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria and out of the hand of all others and gave them rest all around. 23 And there were many bringing gifts to Jehovah at Jerusalem and choice things to Hezekiah the king of Judah, and he came to be exalted in the eyes of all the nations after that.

24 In those days Hezekiah fell sick to the point of dying, and he began to pray to Jehovah. So He talked to him, and a portent He gave him. 25 But according to the benefit rendered him Hezekiah made no return, for his heart became haughty and there came to be indignation against him and against Judah and Jerusalem. 26 However, Hezekiah humbled himself for the haughtiness of his heart, he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and Jehovah’s indignation did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.

27 And Hezekiah came to have riches and glory to a very great amount; and storehouses he made for himself for silver and for gold and for precious stones and for balsam oil and for shields and for all the desirable articles; 28 and also storage places for the produce of grain and new wine and oil, and also stalls for all the different sorts of beasts and stalls for the droves. 29 And cities he acquired for himself, and also livestock of the flock and of the herd in abundance; for God gave him very many goods. 30 And Hezekiah was the one that stopped up the upper source of the waters of Gihon and kept them directed straight along down to the west to the City of David, and Hezekiah continued to prove successful in every work of his. 31 And thus it was that by the spokesmen of the princes of Babylon that were sent to him to inquire about the portent that had happened in the land, the [true] God left him to put him to the test, to get to know everything in his heart.

32 As for the rest of the affairs of Hezekiah and his acts of loving-kindness, there they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 33 Finally Hezekiah lay down with his forefathers, and they buried him in the ascent to the burial places of the sons of David; and honor was what all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem rendered to him at his death. And Manasseh his son began to reign in place of him.

33 Twelve years old was Manasseh when he began to reign, and for fifty-five years he reigned in Jerusalem.

2 And he proceeded to do what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes, according to the detestable things of the nations that Jehovah had driven out from before the sons of Israel. 3 So he built again the high places that Hezekiah his father had pulled down, and set up altars to the Baals and made sacred poles, and he began to bow down to all the army of the heavens and serve them. 4 And he built altars in the house of Jehovah, respecting which Jehovah had said: “In Jerusalem my name will prove to be to time indefinite.” 5 And he went on to build altars to all the army of the heavens in two courtyards of the house of Jehovah. 6 And he himself made his own sons pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and practiced magic and used divination and practiced sorcery and made spiritistic mediums and professional foretellers of events. He did on a grand scale what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah, to offend him.

7 Furthermore, he put the carved image that he had made in the house of the [true] God, respecting which God had 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, I shall put my name to time indefinite. 8 And I shall not remove the foot of Israel again from off the ground that I assigned to their forefathers, provided only that they take care to do all that I have commanded them concerning all the law and the regulations and the judicial decisions by the hand of Moses.” 9 And Manasseh kept seducing Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do worse than the nations that Jehovah had annihilated from before the sons of Israel.

10 And Jehovah kept speaking to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. 11 Finally Jehovah brought against them the chiefs of the army that belonged to the king of Assyria, and so they captured Manasseh in the hollows and bound him with two fetters of copper and took him to Babylon. 12 And as soon as it caused him distress, he softened the face of Jehovah his God and kept humbling himself greatly because of the God of his forefathers. 13 And he kept praying to Him, so that He let himself be entreated by him and He heard his request for favor and restored him to Jerusalem to his kingship; and Manasseh came to know that Jehovah is the [true] God.

14 And after this he built an outer wall for the City of David to the west of Gihon in the torrent valley and as far as the Fish Gate, and he ran [it] around to Ophel and proceeded to make it very high. Further, he put chiefs of the military force in all the fortified cities in Judah. 15 And he proceeded to remove the foreign gods and the idol image from the house of Jehovah and all the altars that he had built in the mountain of the house of Jehovah and in Jerusalem and then had them thrown outside the city. 16 Moreover, he prepared the altar of Jehovah and began to sacrifice upon it communion sacrifices and thanksgiving sacrifices and went on to say to Judah to serve Jehovah the God of Israel. 17 Nevertheless, the people were still sacrificing upon the high places; only it was to Jehovah their God.

18 As for the rest of the affairs of Manasseh and his prayer to his God and the words of the visionaries that kept speaking to him in the name of Jehovah the God of Israel, there they are among the affairs of the kings of Israel. 19 As for his prayer and how his entreaty was granted him and all his sin and his unfaithfulness and the locations in which he built high places and set up the sacred poles and the graven images before he humbled himself, there they are written among the words of his visionaries. 20 Finally Manasseh lay down with his forefathers, and they buried him at his house; and Amon his son began to reign in place of him.

21 Twenty-two years old was Amon when he began to reign, and for two years he reigned in Jerusalem. 22 And he proceeded to do what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes, just as Manasseh his father had done; and to all the graven images that Manasseh his father had made Amon sacrificed, and he continued serving them. 23 And he did not humble himself because of Jehovah the same as Manasseh his father humbled himself, for Amon was one that made guiltiness increase. 24 Finally his servants conspired against him and put him to death in his own house. 25 But the people of the land struck down all the conspirators against King Amon, and the people of the land then made Josiah his son king in place of him.

34 Eight years old was Josiah when he began to reign, and for thirty-one years he reigned in Jerusalem. 2 And he proceeded to do what was right in Jehovah’s eyes and walk in the ways of David his forefather; and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left.

3 And in the eighth year of his reigning, while he was still a boy, he started to search for the God of David his forefather; and in the twelfth year he started to cleanse Judah and Jerusalem from the high places and the sacred poles and the graven images and the molten statues. 4 Further, they pulled down before him the altars of the Baals; and the incense stands that were up above he cut down from off them; and the sacred poles and the graven images and the molten statues he broke in pieces and reduced to powder, and then sprinkled [it] upon the surface of the burial places of those that used to sacrifice to them. 5 And the bones of priests he burned upon their altars. Thus he cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.

6 Also, in the cities of Manasseh and Ephraim and Simeon and clear to Naphtali, in their devastated places all around, 7 he even went pulling down the altars and the sacred poles, and the graven images he crushed and reduced to powder; and all the incense stands he cut down in all the land of Israel, after which he returned to Jerusalem.

8 And in the eighteenth year of his reigning, when he had cleansed the land and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah and Maaseiah the chief of the city and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder to repair the house of Jehovah his God. 9 And they proceeded to come to Hilkiah the high priest and give the money that was being brought to the house of God, which the Levites the doorkeepers had gathered from the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim and from all the rest of Israel and from all Judah and Benjamin and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 Then they put [it] into the hand of the doers of the work that were appointed over the house of Jehovah. In turn the doers of the work who were active in the house of Jehovah applied it to mending and repairing the house. 11 So they gave it to the craftsmen and the builders to buy hewn stones and timbers for clamps and to build with beams the houses that the kings of Judah had brought to ruin.

12 And the men were acting in faithfulness in the work; and over them there were appointed Jahath and Obadiah the Levites, from the sons of Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, from the sons of the Kohathites, to act as overseers. And the Levites, each of whom was expert with the instruments of song, 13 were over the burden bearers, and the overseers of all the doers of the work for the different services; and from the Levites there were secretaries and officers and gatekeepers.