New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition 2020)
Solomon the son
of David grew ever stronger in his kingship, and Jehovah his God was with him
and made him exceedingly great.+
2 Solomon sent for all Israel, the chiefs of the thousands and of the hundreds, the judges, and all the chieftains of all Israel, the heads of the paternal houses. 3 Then Solomon and all the congregation went to the high place at Gibeon,+ for that was where the tent of meeting of the true God was, which tent Moses the servant of Jehovah had made in the wilderness. 4 However, David had brought the Ark of the true God up from Kiriath-jearim+ to the place that David had prepared for it; he had pitched a tent for it in Jerusalem.+ 5 And the copper altar+ that Bezalel+ the son of Uri the son of Hur had made had been put before the tabernacle of Jehovah; and Solomon and the congregation would pray before it.* 6 Solomon now made offerings there before Jehovah, and he offered up 1,000 burnt offerings on the copper altar+ of the tent of meeting.
7 That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him: “Ask what you would like me to give you.”+ 8 At this Solomon said to God: “You have shown great loyal love toward my father David,+ and you have made me king in his place.+ 9 Now, O Jehovah God, let your promise to David my father prove faithful,+ for you have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust particles of the earth.+ 10 Give me now wisdom and knowledge+ to lead this people,* for who can possibly judge this great people of yours?”+
11 Then God said to Solomon: “Because this is your heart’s desire and you have not asked for wealth, riches, and honor or for the death* of those hating you, nor have you asked for a long life,* but you have asked for wisdom and knowledge to judge my people over whom I have made you king,+ 12 wisdom and knowledge will be given you; but I will also give you wealth and riches and honor such as no kings before you have had and none after you will have.”+
13 So Solomon came from the high place at Gibeon,+ from before the tent of meeting, to Jerusalem; and he reigned over Israel. 14 Solomon kept accumulating chariots and horses;* he had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses,*+ and he kept them stationed in the chariot cities+ and close by the king in Jerusalem.+ 15 The king made the silver and the gold in Jerusalem as plentiful as the stones,+ and cedarwood as plentiful as the sycamore trees in the Shephelah.+ 16 The horses of Solomon had been imported from Egypt,+ and the company of the king’s merchants would obtain the horses in droves* for one price.+ 17 Each chariot imported from Egypt cost 600 silver pieces, and a horse cost 150; in turn, they would export them to all the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Syria.
2 Solomon now gave the order to build a house for Jehovah’s name+ and a house* for his kingdom.+ 2 Solomon enlisted 70,000 men as common laborers,* 80,000 men as stonecutters in the mountains,+ and 3,600 as overseers over them.+ 3 Further, Solomon sent word to Hiram+ the king of Tyre: “Do for me as you did for David my father when you sent him cedarwood to build a house* to live in.+ 4 Now I am building a house for the name of Jehovah my God, to sanctify it to him, to burn perfumed incense+ before him, and also for the constant layer bread*+ and the burnt offerings, morning and evening,+ on the Sabbaths,+ on the new moons,+ and at the festival seasons+ of Jehovah our God. This is a lasting obligation for Israel. 5 The house that I am building will be great, for our God is greater than all the other gods. 6 And who is up to the task of building him a house? For the heavens and the heaven of the heavens cannot contain him,+ so who am I that I should build him a house except as a place for making sacrifices smoke before him? 7 Now send me a craftsman who is skilled in working in gold, silver, copper,+ iron, purple wool, crimson, and blue thread and who knows how to cut engravings. He will work in Judah and in Jerusalem with my skilled craftsmen, whom David my father has provided.+ 8 And send me timbers of cedar, juniper,+ and algum+ from Lebanon, for I well know that your servants are experienced at cutting down the trees of Lebanon.+ My servants will work along with your servants+ 9 to prepare for me great quantities of timber, for the house that I am to build will be extraordinarily great. 10 Now look! I will supply the food for your servants,+ the woodcutters who cut down the trees: 20,000 cors* of wheat, 20,000 cors of barley, 20,000 baths* of wine, and 20,000 baths of oil.”
11 At that Hiram the king of Tyre sent this written message to Solomon: “Because Jehovah loves his people, he has made you their king.” 12 Hiram then said: “May Jehovah the God of Israel be praised, who made the heavens and the earth, because he has given to King David a wise son,+ endowed with discretion and understanding,+ who will build a house for Jehovah and a house for his kingdom. 13 Now I am sending a skilled craftsman, endowed with understanding, Hiram-abi,+ 14 who is the son of a Danite woman but whose father was a man of Tyre; he has experience in working in gold, silver, copper, iron, stones, timbers, purple wool, blue thread, fine fabric, and crimson.+ He can do every sort of engraving and make any design he is given.+ He will work with your own skilled craftsmen and the skilled craftsmen of my lord David your father. 15 Now let my lord send the wheat, barley, oil, and wine he has promised to his servants.+ 16 And we will cut down trees from Lebanon,+ as many as you need, and we will bring them to you as rafts by sea to Joppa;+ and you will take them up to Jerusalem.”+
17 Solomon then took a count of all the men who were foreign residents in the land of Israel,+ after the census taken by David his father,+ and there were found 153,600. 18 So he assigned 70,000 of them as common laborers,* 80,000 as stonecutters+ in the mountains, and 3,600 as overseers for putting the people to work.+
3 Then Solomon started to build the house of Jehovah+ in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah,+ where Jehovah had appeared to his father David,+ in the place that David had prepared on the threshing floor of Ornan+ the Jebusite. 2 He started to build on the second day of the second month, in the fourth year of his reign. 3 And the foundation that Solomon laid for building the house of the true God was 60 cubits long and 20 cubits wide,+ according to the former measurement.* 4 The porch in front was 20 cubits long, corresponding to the width of the house,* and its height was 120;* and he overlaid it inside with pure gold.+ 5 He paneled the great house with juniper wood, after which he covered it with fine gold,+ and then he decorated it with palm-tree figures+ and chains.+ 6 Further, he overlaid the house with beautiful precious stones;+ and the gold+ he used was gold from Parvaim. 7 He covered the house, the rafters, the thresholds, its walls, and its doors with gold;+ and he engraved cherubs on the walls.+
8 He now made the Most Holy compartment;*+ its length matched the width of the house, 20 cubits, and its width was 20 cubits. He covered it with 600 talents* of fine gold.+ 9 The weight of the gold for the nails was 50 shekels;* and he covered the roof chambers with gold.
10 Then he made in the Most Holy compartment* two cherub sculptures, and he overlaid them with gold.+ 11 The overall length of the wings of the cherubs+ was 20 cubits; one wing of the first cherub was five cubits long and touched the wall of the house, and its other wing was five cubits long and touched one of the other cherub’s wings. 12 And one wing of the other cherub was five cubits long and touched the other wall of the house, and its other wing was five cubits long and touched one of the first cherub’s wings. 13 The wings of these cherubs were spread out 20 cubits; and they stood on their feet, and they faced inward.*
14 He also made the curtain+ of blue thread, purple wool, crimson, and fine fabric, and incorporated cherub designs into it.+
15 Then he made two pillars+ at the front of the house, 35 cubits in length, and the capital on top of each pillar was five cubits.+ 16 And he made chains, like necklaces, and put them on the tops of the pillars, and he made 100 pomegranates and put them on the chains. 17 He set up the pillars in front of the temple, one to the right* and one to the left;* he named the one on the right Jachin* and the one on the left Boaz.*
4 Then he made the copper altar,+ 20 cubits long, 20 cubits wide, and 10 cubits high.
2 He made the Sea*+ of cast metal. It was circular in shape, 10 cubits from brim to brim and 5 cubits high, and it took a measuring line 30 cubits long to encircle it.+ 3 And there were ornamental gourds+ under it, completely encircling it, ten to a cubit all around the Sea. The gourds were in two rows and were cast in one piece with it. 4 It stood on 12 bulls,+ 3 facing north, 3 facing west, 3 facing south, and 3 facing east; and the Sea rested on them, and all their hindquarters were toward the center. 5 And its thickness was a handbreadth;* and its brim was made like the brim of a cup, like a lily blossom. The reservoir could hold* 3,000 bath measures.*
6 Further, he made ten basins for washing and put five to the right and five to the left.+ They would rinse in them the things used for the burnt offering.+ But the Sea was for the priests for washing.+
then made ten lampstands of gold,+
and put them in the temple, five on the right and five on the left.+
8 He also made ten tables and placed them in the temple, five on the right and five on the left;+ and he made 100 golden bowls.
9 Then he made the courtyard+ of the priests+ and the great court*+ and the doors for the court, and he overlaid their doors with copper. 10 And he placed the Sea on the right side, toward the southeast.+
11 Hiram also made the cans, the shovels, and the bowls.+
So Hiram finished the work that he did for King Solomon on the house of the true God:+ 12 the two pillars+ and the bowl-shaped capitals that were on top of the two pillars; the two networks+ to cover the two bowl-shaped capitals that were on top of the pillars; 13 the 400 pomegranates+ for the two networks, two rows of pomegranates for each network, to cover the two bowl-shaped capitals that were on the pillars;+ 14 the ten carriages* and the ten basins on the carriages;+ 15 the Sea and the 12 bulls beneath it;+ 16 and the cans, the shovels, the forks,+ and all their utensils Hiram-abiv+ made of polished copper for King Solomon for the house of Jehovah. 17 The king cast them in the district of the Jordan in the thick clay between Succoth+ and Zeredah. 18 Solomon made all these utensils in great quantities; the weight of the copper was not ascertained.+
19 Solomon made all the utensils+ for the house of the true God: the altar of gold;+ the tables+ with the showbread on them;+ 20 the lampstands and their lamps of pure gold,+ to burn before the innermost room according to the requirements; 21 and the blossoms, the lamps, and the snuffers,* of gold, the purest gold; 22 the extinguishers, the bowls, the cups, and the fire holders, of pure gold; and the entrance of the house, its inner doors for the Most Holy,+ and the doors of the house of the temple, of gold.+
5 So Solomon completed all the work he had to do for the house of Jehovah.+ Solomon then brought in the things that David his father had made holy,+ and he put the silver, the gold, and all the articles into the treasuries of the house of the true God.+ 2 At that time Solomon congregated the elders of Israel, all the heads of the tribes, the chieftains of the paternal houses of Israel. They came to Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the covenant of Jehovah from the City of David,+ that is, Zion.+ 3 All the men of Israel assembled before the king at the festival* that is held in the seventh month.+
4 So all the elders of Israel came, and the Levites lifted up the Ark.+ 5 They brought up the Ark, the tent of meeting,+ and all the holy utensils that were in the tent. The priests and the Levites* brought them up. 6 King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel who had been summoned to meet with him were before the Ark. So many sheep and cattle were being sacrificed+ that they could not be counted or numbered. 7 Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of Jehovah to its place, into the innermost room of the house, the Most Holy, underneath the wings of the cherubs.+ 8 Thus the wings of the cherubs were spread out over the place of the Ark, so that the cherubs covered over the Ark and its poles+ from above. 9 The poles were so long that the tips of the poles were visible from the Holy in front of the innermost room, but they were not visible from outside. And they are there to this day. 10 There was nothing in the Ark but the two tablets that Moses placed in it at Horeb,+ when Jehovah made a covenant+ with the people of Israel while they were coming out of Egypt.+
11 When the priests came out from the holy place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves,+ regardless of their divisions),+ 12 all the Levite singers+ who belonged to Asaph,+ to Heman,+ to Jeduthun,+ and to their sons and their brothers were clothed in fine fabric, holding cymbals, stringed instruments, and harps; they were standing east of the altar, and along with them 120 priests were sounding the trumpets.+ 13 At the moment when the trumpeters and the singers were praising and thanking Jehovah in unison, and as the sound ascended from the trumpets, the cymbals, and the other musical instruments as they were praising Jehovah, “for he is good; his loyal love endures forever,”+ then the house, the house of Jehovah, was filled with a cloud.+ 14 The priests were not able to stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of Jehovah filled the house of the true God.+
6 At that time Solomon said: “Jehovah said he would reside in the thick gloom.+ 2 Now I have built a lofty house for you, an established place for you to dwell in forever.”+
3 Then the king turned around and began to bless all the congregation of Israel while all the congregation of Israel stood.+ 4 He said: “May Jehovah the God of Israel be praised, the one who by his own mouth promised my father David and by his own hands has given fulfillment, saying, 5 ‘From the day I brought my people out of the land of Egypt, I have not chosen a city out of all the tribes of Israel in which to build a house for my name to remain there,+ and I have not chosen a man to become leader over my people Israel. 6 But I have chosen Jerusalem+ for my name to remain there, and I have chosen David to be over my people Israel.’+ 7 And it was the heart’s desire of my father David to build a house for the name of Jehovah the God of Israel.+ 8 But Jehovah said to my father David, ‘It was your heart’s desire to build a house for my name, and you did well to desire this in your heart. 9 However, you will not build the house, but your own son who is to be born to you* is the one who will build the house for my name.’+ 10 Jehovah has carried out the promise that he made, for I have succeeded my father David and I sit on the throne of Israel,+ just as Jehovah promised.+ I have also built the house for the name of Jehovah the God of Israel, 11 and there I have placed the Ark containing the covenant+ that Jehovah made with the people of Israel.”
12 Then he stood before the altar of Jehovah in front of all the congregation of Israel, and he spread out his hands.+ 13 (For Solomon had made a platform of copper and put it in the middle of the court.*+ It was five cubits* long, five cubits wide, and three cubits high; and he stood on it.) And he knelt down in front of all the congregation of Israel and spread his hands out to the heavens,+ 14 and he said: “O Jehovah the God of Israel, there is no God like you in the heavens or on the earth, keeping the covenant and showing loyal love to your servants who are walking before you with all their heart.+ 15 You have kept the promise that you made to your servant David my father.+ You made the promise with your own mouth, and this day you have fulfilled it with your own hand.+ 16 And now, O Jehovah the God of Israel, keep the promise you made to your servant David my father when you said: ‘There will never fail to be a man of your line before me to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your sons will pay attention to their way by walking in my law,+ just as you have walked before me.’+ 17 And now, O Jehovah the God of Israel, let the promise that you made to your servant David prove trustworthy.
18 “But will God really dwell with mankind on the earth?+ Look! The heavens, yes, the heaven of the heavens, cannot contain you;+ how much less, then, this house that I have built!+ 19 Now pay attention to the prayer of your servant and to his request for favor, O Jehovah my God, and listen to the cry for help and to the prayer that your servant is praying before you. 20 May your eyes be open toward this house day and night, toward the place where you said that you would put your name,+ to listen to the prayer that your servant prays toward this place. 21 And listen to your servant’s pleas for help and to the pleas of your people Israel when they pray toward this place,+ and may you hear from your dwelling place, from the heavens;+ yes, may you hear and forgive.+
22 “If a man sins against his fellow man and is made to take an oath* and is brought under liability to the oath,* and while under the oath* he comes before your altar in this house,+ 23 may you then hear from the heavens and act and judge your servants by paying back the wicked one and bringing what he did on his own head+ and by pronouncing the righteous one innocent* and rewarding him according to his own righteousness.+
24 “And if your people Israel are defeated by an enemy because they kept sinning against you,+ and they return and glorify your name+ and pray+ and beg for favor before you in this house,+ 25 may you then hear from the heavens+ and forgive the sin of your people Israel and bring them back to the land that you gave to them and their forefathers.+
26 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain+ because they kept sinning against you,+ and they pray toward this place and glorify your name and turn back from their sin because you humbled* them,+ 27 may you then hear from the heavens and forgive the sin of your servants, of your people Israel, for you will instruct them about the good way in which they should walk;+ and bring rain+ on your land that you gave to your people as an inheritance.
28 “If a famine occurs in the land,+ or a pestilence,+ a scorching blight, mildew,+ swarming locusts, or voracious locusts*+ or if their enemies besiege them in any of the cities of the land*+ or if any other sort of plague or disease occurs,+ 29 whatever prayer,+ whatever request for favor+ may be made by any man or by all your people Israel (for each one knows his own plague and his own pain)+ when they spread out their hands toward this house,+ 30 then may you hear from the heavens, your dwelling place,+ and may you forgive;+ and reward each one according to all his ways, for you know his heart (you alone truly know the human heart),+ 31 so that they may fear you by walking in your ways all the days they live on the land that you gave to our forefathers.
32 “Also concerning the foreigner who is not part of your people Israel and who comes from a distant land because of your great name*+ and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm, and he comes and prays toward this house,+ 33 may you then listen from the heavens, your dwelling place, and do all that the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name+ and fear you, as your people Israel do, and may know that your name has been called on this house that I have built.
34 “If your people go to war against their enemies in the way that you send them+ and they pray+ to you in the direction of this city that you have chosen and toward the house that I have built for your name,+ 35 then hear from the heavens their prayer and their request for favor and execute judgment for them.+
36 “If they sin against you (for there is no man who does not sin),+ and you are furious with them and you abandon them to an enemy, and their captors carry them off captive to a land, far or near,+ 37 and they come to their senses in the land where they were carried off captive, and they return to you and beg you for favor in the land where they are captives, saying, ‘We have sinned and done wrong; we have acted wickedly,’+ 38 and they return to you with all their heart+ and all their soul* in the land of their captivity+ where they were carried off captive, and they pray in the direction of their land that you gave to their forefathers and the city that you have chosen+ and the house that I have built for your name, 39 then hear from the heavens, your dwelling place, their prayer and their request for favor, and execute judgment for them+ and forgive your people who have sinned against you.
40 “Now, O my God, please, may your eyes be opened and your ears attentive to the prayer offered in* this place.+ 41 And now go up, O Jehovah God, to your resting-place,+ you and the Ark of your strength. Let your priests, O Jehovah God, be clothed with salvation, and let your loyal ones rejoice in your goodness.+ 42 O Jehovah God, do not reject* your anointed one.+ May you remember your loyal love to David your servant.”+
7 Now as soon as Solomon had finished praying,+ fire came down from the heavens+ and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and Jehovah’s glory filled the house.+ 2 The priests were unable to enter the house of Jehovah because Jehovah’s glory had filled the house of Jehovah.+ 3 And all the people of Israel were looking on when the fire came down and the glory of Jehovah was upon the house, and they bowed low with their faces to the ground on the pavement and prostrated themselves and thanked Jehovah, “for he is good; his loyal love endures forever.”
4 Now the king and all the people offered sacrifices before Jehovah.+ 5 King Solomon offered the sacrifice of 22,000 cattle and 120,000 sheep. Thus the king and all the people inaugurated the house of the true God.+ 6 The priests were standing at their posts of duty, as were the Levites who had the instruments used to accompany the song to Jehovah.+ (King David had made these instruments for giving thanks to Jehovah—“for his loyal love endures forever”—when David would offer praise with them.*) And the priests were loudly sounding the trumpets+ in front of them, while all the Israelites were standing.
7 Then Solomon sanctified the middle of the courtyard that was before the house of Jehovah, for there he had to offer up the burnt offerings+ and the fat pieces of the communion sacrifices, because the copper altar+ that Solomon had made could not contain the burnt sacrifices, the grain offerings,+ and the fat pieces.+ 8 At that time Solomon held the festival for seven days+ together with all Israel, a very great congregation from Lebo-hamath* down to the Wadi* of Egypt.+ 9 But on the eighth day* they held a solemn assembly,+ because they had held the inauguration of the altar for seven days and the festival for seven days. 10 Then on the 23rd day of the seventh month, he sent the people away to their homes rejoicing+ and feeling glad of heart over the goodness that Jehovah had shown to David and Solomon and Israel his people.+
11 Thus Solomon finished the house of Jehovah and the house* of the king;+ and everything that came into Solomon’s heart to do regarding the house of Jehovah and his own house he accomplished successfully.+ 12 Jehovah then appeared to Solomon+ during the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and I have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice.+ 13 When I shut up the heavens and there is no rain and when I command the grasshoppers to devour the land and if I send a pestilence among my people, 14 if my people on whom my name has been called+ humble themselves+ and pray and seek my face and turn away from their evil ways,+ then I will hear from the heavens and forgive their sin and heal their land.+ 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to prayer at this place.+ 16 And now I have chosen and sanctified this house so that my name may be there permanently,+ and my eyes and my heart will always be there.+
17 “And you, if you walk before me as your father David walked by doing everything I have commanded you, and you obey my regulations and my judgments,+ 18 then I will establish the throne of your kingship,+ just as I made a covenant with your father David,+ saying, ‘There will never fail to be a man of your line ruling over Israel.’+ 19 But if you turn away and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have put before you and you go and serve other gods and bow down to them,+ 20 I will uproot Israel from my land that I have given them,+ and this house that I have sanctified for my name I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it an object of scorn* and a cause for ridicule among all the peoples.+ 21 And this house will become heaps of ruins. Everyone passing by it will stare in amazement+ and will say, ‘Why did Jehovah do that to this land and this house?’+ 22 Then they will say, ‘It was because they abandoned Jehovah+ the God of their forefathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt,+ and they embraced other gods and bowed down to them and served them.+ That is why he brought all this calamity on them.’”+
8 At the end of 20 years, during which Solomon built the house of Jehovah and his own house,*+ 2 Solomon rebuilt the cities that Hiram+ had given Solomon and settled Israelites* there. 3 Furthermore, Solomon went to Hamath-zobah and captured it. 4 Then he built up* Tadmor in the wilderness and all the storage cities+ that he had built in Hamath.+ 5 He also built up Upper Beth-horon+ and Lower Beth-horon,+ fortified cities with walls, gates, and bars, 6 and Baalath+ as well as all of Solomon’s storage cities, all the chariot cities,+ the cities for the horsemen, and whatever Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.
7 As for all the people who were left from the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites,+ who were not part of Israel,+ 8 their descendants who were left in the land—those whom the Israelites had not exterminated+—were conscripted by Solomon for forced labor until this day.+ 9 But Solomon did not make any of the Israelites slaves for his work,+ for they were his warriors, the chiefs of his adjutants, and the chiefs of his charioteers and horsemen.+ 10 There were 250 chiefs of the deputies of King Solomon, the foremen over the people.+
11 Solomon also brought Pharaoh’s daughter+ up from the City of David to the house that he had built for her,+ for he said: “Although she is my wife, she should not dwell in the house of King David of Israel, for the places to which the Ark of Jehovah has come are holy.”+
12 Then Solomon offered up burnt sacrifices+ to Jehovah on the altar+ of Jehovah that he had built in front of the porch.+ 13 He followed the daily routine and made offerings according to the commandment of Moses for the Sabbaths,+ the new moons,+ and the appointed festivals three times in the year+—the Festival of Unleavened Bread,+ the Festival of Weeks,+ and the Festival of Booths.*+ 14 Further, he appointed the divisions of the priests+ for their services according to the rule of his father David, and the Levites for their posts of duty, to praise+ and to minister in the presence of the priests according to the daily routine, and the gatekeepers in their divisions for the different gates,+ for such was the commandment of David, the man of the true God. 15 And they did not deviate from the king’s commandment to the priests and the Levites concerning any matter or concerning the storehouses. 16 So Solomon’s work was all well-organized,* from the day the foundation of the house of Jehovah was laid+ until it was finished. So the house of Jehovah was completed.+
17 It was then that Solomon went to Ezion-geber+ and to Eloth+ on the seashore in the land of Edom.+ 18 Hiram+ sent him ships and experienced seamen by means of his own servants. They went with Solomon’s servants to Ophir+ and took from there 450 talents* of gold+ and brought it to King Solomon.+
9 Now the queen of Sheba+ heard the report about Solomon, so she came to Jerusalem to test Solomon with perplexing questions.* She was accompanied by a very impressive entourage,* with camels carrying balsam oil and great quantities of gold+ and precious stones. She went in to Solomon and spoke to him about everything that was close to her heart.+ 2 Solomon then answered all her questions. There was nothing too difficult for* Solomon to explain to her.
3 When the queen of Sheba had seen Solomon’s wisdom,+ the house that he built,+ 4 the food of his table,+ the seating of his servants, the table service of his waiters and their attire, his cupbearers and their attire, and his burnt sacrifices that he regularly offered up at the house of Jehovah,+ she was left completely breathless.* 5 So she said to the king: “The report that I heard in my own land about your achievements* and about your wisdom was true. 6 But I did not put faith in the reports until I had come and had seen it with my own eyes.+ And look! I had not been told the half of your great wisdom.+ You have far surpassed the report that I heard.+ 7 Happy are your men, and happy are your servants who stand before you constantly, listening to your wisdom! 8 May Jehovah your God be praised, who has taken pleasure in you by putting you on his throne as king for Jehovah your God. Because your God loves Israel,+ in order to make it continue forever, he appointed you over it as king to administer justice and righteousness.”
9 Then she gave the king 120 talents* of gold+ and a great quantity of balsam oil and precious stones. Never again was such balsam oil brought in as what the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.+
10 Moreover, the servants of Hiram and the servants of Solomon who brought gold from Ophir+ also brought algum timbers and precious stones.+ 11 The king made from the algum timbers stairs for the house of Jehovah+ and for the king’s house,*+ as well as harps and stringed instruments for the singers.+ Nothing like them had ever been seen before in the land of Judah.
12 King Solomon also gave the queen of Sheba whatever she desired and asked for, more than* what she had brought to the king. Then she left and returned to her own land, together with her servants.+
13 And the weight of the gold that came to Solomon in one year amounted to 666 talents of gold,+ 14 besides that brought in by the merchants and the traders and all the kings of the Arabs and the governors of the land who were bringing gold and silver in to Solomon.+
15 King Solomon made 200 large shields of alloyed gold+ (600 shekels* of alloyed gold went on each shield)+ 16 and 300 bucklers* of alloyed gold (three minas* of gold went on each buckler). Then the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon.+
17 The king also made a great ivory throne and overlaid it with pure gold.+ 18 There were six steps to the throne, and there was a gold footstool attached to the throne, and there were armrests on both sides of the seat, and two lions+ were standing beside the armrests. 19 And there were 12 lions+ standing on the six steps, one at each end of the six steps. No other kingdom had made anything like it. 20 All the drinking vessels of King Solomon were of gold, and all the utensils of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were of pure gold. There was nothing made of silver, for silver was considered as nothing in the days of Solomon.+ 21 For the king’s ships would go to Tarshish+ with the servants of Hiram.+ Once every three years, the ships of Tarshish would come loaded with gold and silver, ivory,+ apes, and peacocks.
22 So King Solomon was greater than all the other kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.+ 23 And the kings of all the earth sought an audience with* Solomon to hear his wisdom that the true God had put in his heart.+ 24 They would each bring a gift—articles of silver, articles of gold, garments,+ armor, balsam oil, horses, and mules—and this continued year after year. 25 And Solomon had 4,000 stalls for his horses and chariots and 12,000 horses,*+ and he kept them stationed in the chariot cities and close by the king in Jerusalem.+ 26 And he ruled over all the kings from the River* to the land of the Philistines and to the boundary of Egypt.+ 27 The king made the silver in Jerusalem as plentiful as the stones, and cedarwood as plentiful as the sycamore trees in the Shephelah.+ 28 And they would bring horses to Solomon from Egypt+ and from all the other lands.
29 As for the rest of the history of Solomon,+ from beginning to end, is it not written among the words of Nathan+ the prophet, in the prophecy of Ahijah+ the Shilonite, and in the record of visions of Iddo+ the visionary concerning Jeroboam+ the son of Nebat? 30 Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel for 40 years. 31 Then Solomon was laid to rest with his forefathers. So they buried him in the City of David his father;+ and his son Rehoboam became king in his place.+
10 Rehoboam went to Shechem,+ for all Israel had come to Shechem to make him king.+ 2 As soon as Jeroboam+ the son of Nebat heard of it (he was still in Egypt because he had fled on account of King Solomon),+ Jeroboam came back from Egypt. 3 Then they sent for him, and Jeroboam and all Israel came to Rehoboam and said: 4 “Your father made our yoke harsh.+ But if you make the harsh service of your father easier and you lighten the heavy* yoke he put on us, we will serve you.”
5 At this he said to them: “Return to me after three days.” So the people went away.+ 6 King Rehoboam then consulted with the older men* who had served his father Solomon while he was alive, saying: “What advice would you give on how to reply to this people?” 7 They answered him: “If you are good to this people and please them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”
8 However, he rejected the advice that the older men* gave him, and he consulted with the young men who had grown up with him and who were now his attendants.+ 9 He asked them: “What advice do you offer on how we should reply to this people who have said to me, ‘Make the yoke your father put on us lighter’?” 10 The young men who had grown up with him said to him: “This is what you should say to the people who have said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but you should make it lighter for us’; this is what you should tell them, ‘My little finger will be thicker than my father’s hips. 11 My father imposed a heavy yoke on you, but I will add to your yoke. My father punished you with whips, but I will do so with scourges.’”
12 Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, just as the king had said: “Return to me on the third day.”+ 13 But the king answered them harshly. Thus King Rehoboam rejected the advice of the older men.* 14 He spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying: “I will make your yoke heavier, and I will add to it. My father punished you with whips, but I will do so with scourges.” 15 So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was caused by the true God,+ in order to carry out the word that Jehovah had spoken through Ahijah+ the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
16 As for all Israel, because the king refused to listen to them, the people replied to the king: “What share do we have in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Each one to your gods, O Israel! Now look after your own house, O David.”+ With that all Israel returned to their homes.*+
17 But Rehoboam continued to reign over the Israelites living in the cities of Judah.+
18 Then King Rehoboam sent Hadoram,+ who was in charge of those conscripted for forced labor, but the Israelites stoned him to death. King Rehoboam managed to mount his chariot to flee to Jerusalem.+ 19 And the Israelites have been in revolt against the house of David down to this day.
11 When Rehoboam arrived in Jerusalem, he immediately congregated the house of Judah and Benjamin,+ 180,000 trained* warriors, to fight against Israel in order to restore the kingdom to Rehoboam.+ 2 Then the word of Jehovah came to Shemaiah+ the man of the true God, saying: 3 “Say to Rehoboam the son of Solomon the king of Judah and to all Israel in Judah and Benjamin, 4 ‘This is what Jehovah says: “You must not go up and fight against your brothers. Each of you return to his house, for I have caused this to happen.”’”+ So they obeyed the word of Jehovah and returned and did not go against Jeroboam.
5 Rehoboam lived in Jerusalem and built fortified cities in Judah. 6 Thus he built up* Bethlehem,+ Etam, Tekoa,+ 7 Beth-zur, Soco,+ Adullam,+ 8 Gath,+ Mareshah, Ziph,+ 9 Adoraim, Lachish,+ Azekah,+ 10 Zorah, Aijalon,+ and Hebron,+ fortified cities that were in Judah and Benjamin. 11 Further, he reinforced the fortified places and put commanders in them and supplied them with food and oil and wine, 12 and he supplied all the different cities with large shields and lances; he reinforced them to a very great degree. And Judah and Benjamin remained his.
13 And the priests and the Levites who were in all Israel took their stand with him, coming out of all their territories. 14 The Levites left their pastures and their possession+ and came to Judah and Jerusalem, because Jeroboam and his sons had dismissed them from serving as priests to Jehovah.+ 15 Jeroboam then appointed his own priests for the high places+ and for the goatlike demons*+ and for the calves that he had made.+ 16 And those from all the tribes of Israel who had their heart set on seeking Jehovah the God of Israel followed them to Jerusalem to sacrifice to Jehovah the God of their forefathers.+ 17 For three years they strengthened the kingship of Judah and supported Rehoboam the son of Solomon, for they walked in the way of David and Solomon for three years.
18 Then Rehoboam took as his wife Mahalath the daughter of David’s son Jerimoth and of Abihail the daughter of Jesse’s son Eliab.+ 19 In time she bore him sons: Jeush, Shemariah, and Zaham. 20 After her, he married Maacah the granddaughter of Absalom.+ In time she bore him Abijah,+ Attai, Ziza, and Shelomith. 21 Rehoboam loved Maacah the granddaughter of Absalom more than all his other wives and concubines,+ for he took 18 wives and 60 concubines, and he became father to 28 sons and 60 daughters. 22 So Rehoboam appointed Abijah the son of Maacah as head and leader among his brothers, for he intended to make him king. 23 However, he acted with understanding and sent* some of his sons to all the regions of Judah and Benjamin, to all the fortified cities,+ and gave them abundant provisions and acquired many wives for them.
12 Soon after the kingship of Rehoboam was firmly established+ and he had become strong, he abandoned the Law of Jehovah,+ and also all Israel with him. 2 In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, King Shishak+ of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, for they had behaved unfaithfully toward Jehovah. 3 He had 1,200 chariots, 60,000 horsemen, and countless troops who came with him from Egypt—Libyans, Sukkiim, and Ethiopians.+ 4 He captured the fortified cities of Judah and finally reached Jerusalem.
5 Shemaiah+ the prophet came to Rehoboam and the princes of Judah who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and he said to them: “This is what Jehovah says, ‘You have abandoned me, so I have also abandoned you+ to the hand of Shishak.’” 6 At that the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves+ and said: “Jehovah is righteous.” 7 When Jehovah saw that they had humbled themselves, the word of Jehovah came to Shemaiah, saying: “They have humbled themselves. I will not destroy them,+ and in a little while I will rescue them. I will not pour out my wrath on Jerusalem through Shishak. 8 But they will become his servants, so that they will know the difference between serving me and serving the kings* of other lands.”
9 So King Shishak of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. He took the treasures of the house of Jehovah+ and the treasures of the king’s house.* He took everything, including the gold shields that Solomon had made.+ 10 So King Rehoboam made copper shields to replace them, and he entrusted them to the chiefs of the guard,* who guarded the entrance of the king’s house. 11 Whenever the king came to the house of Jehovah, the guards would come in and carry them, and then they would return them to the guard chamber. 12 Because the king humbled himself, Jehovah’s anger turned away from him,+ and he did not destroy them completely.+ Moreover, there were some good things found in Judah.+
13 King Rehoboam strengthened his position in Jerusalem and continued to reign; Rehoboam was 41 years old when he became king, and he reigned for 17 years in Jerusalem, the city that Jehovah had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel as the place to put his name. The name of the king’s mother was Naamah the Ammonitess.+ 14 But he did what was bad, for he had not resolved in his heart to search for Jehovah.+
15 As for Rehoboam’s history, from beginning to end, is it not written among the words of Shemaiah+ the prophet and of Iddo+ the visionary in the genealogical record? And there were constant wars between Rehoboam and Jeroboam.+ 16 Then Rehoboam was laid to rest with his forefathers and was buried in the City of David;+ and his son Abijah+ became king in his place.
13 In the 18th year of King Jeroboam, Abijah became king over Judah.+ 2 He reigned for three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Micaiah+ the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.+ And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.+
3 So Abijah went to war with an army of 400,000 mighty, trained* warriors.+ And Jeroboam drew up in battle formation against him with 800,000 trained* men, mighty warriors. 4 Abijah now stood on Mount Zemaraim, which is in the mountainous region of Ephraim, and said: “Hear me, O Jeroboam and all Israel. 5 Do you not know that Jehovah the God of Israel gave to David a kingdom over Israel forever,+ to him and to his sons,+ by a covenant of salt?*+ 6 But Jeroboam+ the son of Nebat, the servant of David’s son Solomon, rose up and rebelled against his lord.+ 7 And idle, worthless men kept gathering to him. And they proved superior to Rehoboam the son of Solomon when Rehoboam was young and fainthearted, and he could not hold his own against them.
8 “And now you think you can hold your own against the kingdom of Jehovah in the hand of the sons of David because you are a large crowd and you have the golden calves that Jeroboam made as gods for you.+ 9 Have you not driven out Jehovah’s priests,+ the descendants of Aaron, and the Levites, and have you not appointed your own priests just like the peoples of the other lands?+ Anyone who came along with* a young bull and seven rams could become a priest of what are not gods. 10 As for us, Jehovah is our God,+ and we have not abandoned him; our priests, the descendants of Aaron, are ministering to Jehovah, and the Levites assist in the work. 11 They are making burnt offerings smoke to Jehovah each morning and each evening+ along with perfumed incense,+ and the layer bread*+ is on the table of pure gold, and they light up the golden lampstand+ and its lamps each evening,+ because we are caring for our responsibility to Jehovah our God; but you have abandoned him. 12 Now look! the true God is with us, leading us, with his priests and the signal trumpets for sounding the battle alarm against you. O men of Israel, do not fight against Jehovah the God of your forefathers, for you will not be successful.”+
13 But Jeroboam dispatched an ambush to come from behind them, so that they were in front of Judah and the ambush was behind them. 14 When the men of Judah turned around, they saw that they had to fight the battle both in front and from behind. So they began to cry out to Jehovah,+ while the priests were loudly sounding the trumpets. 15 The men of Judah broke out in a war cry, and when the men of Judah shouted the war cry, the true God defeated Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 16 The Israelites fled before Judah, and God gave them into their hand. 17 Abijah and his people inflicted a great slaughter on them, and the slain of Israel kept falling, 500,000 trained* men. 18 Thus the men of Israel were humbled at that time, but the men of Judah proved superior because they relied* on Jehovah the God of their forefathers.+ 19 Abijah kept chasing after Jeroboam and captured cities from him, Bethel+ and its dependent* towns, Jeshanah and its dependent towns, and Ephrain+ and its dependent towns. 20 And Jeroboam never regained his power during the time of Abijah; then Jehovah struck him down and he died.+
21 But Abijah grew in strength. In time he took 14 wives,+ and he became father to 22 sons and 16 daughters. 22 And the rest of Abijah’s history, his deeds and his words, is recorded in the writings* of the prophet Iddo.+
14 Then Abijah was laid to rest with his forefathers, and they buried him in the City of David;+ and his son Asa became king in his place. In his days the land had rest for ten years.
2 Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of Jehovah his God. 3 He removed the foreign altars+ and the high places, smashed the sacred pillars,+ and cut down the sacred poles.*+ 4 Further, he told Judah to search for Jehovah the God of their forefathers and to observe the Law and the commandment. 5 So he removed from all the cities of Judah the high places and the incense stands,+ and under him, the kingdom continued without disturbance. 6 He built fortified cities in Judah,+ since the land had no disturbance and there was no war against him during these years, for Jehovah gave him rest.+ 7 He said to Judah: “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers,+ gates* and bars. For the land is still at our disposal, because we have searched for Jehovah our God. We have searched, and he has given us rest all around.” So their building was successful.+
8 Asa had an army of 300,000 men from Judah, equipped with large shields and lances. And out of Benjamin were 280,000 mighty warriors who carried bucklers* and were armed with bows.*+
9 Later Zerah the Ethiopian came against them with an army of 1,000,000 men and 300 chariots.+ When he reached Mareshah,+ 10 Asa went out against him and they drew up in battle formation in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11 Asa then called to Jehovah his God+ and said: “O Jehovah, it does not matter to you whether those you help are many or have no power.+ Help us, O Jehovah our God, for we are relying* on you,+ and in your name we have come against this crowd.+ O Jehovah, you are our God. Do not let mortal man prevail against you.”+
12 So Jehovah defeated the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled.+ 13 Asa and the people with him pursued them as far as Gerar,+ and the Ethiopians continued falling until not one of them was alive, for they were crushed by Jehovah and by his army. Afterward they carried off a very great deal of spoil. 14 Further, they struck all the cities around Gerar, for the dread of Jehovah had come upon them; and they plundered all the cities, for there was much to plunder in them.
15 They also attacked the tents of those with livestock, and they captured a great number of flocks and camels, after which they returned to Jerusalem.
15 Now the spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. 2 So he went out to meet Asa and said to him: “Hear me, O Asa and all Judah and Benjamin! Jehovah is with you as long as you remain with him;+ and if you search for him, he will let himself be found by you,+ but if you abandon him, he will abandon you.+ 3 For a long time* Israel had been without the true God, without a priest teaching, and without law.+ 4 But when in their distress they returned to Jehovah the God of Israel and searched for him, he let himself be found by them.+ 5 In those times no one could travel safely,* for there was much unrest among all the inhabitants of the lands. 6 Nation was being crushed by nation and one city by another city, because God kept them in disorder with every sort of distress.+ 7 But you, be strong and do not become discouraged,*+ for your activity will be rewarded.”
8 As soon as Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage and removed the disgusting idols from all the land of Judah+ and Benjamin and from the cities that he had captured from the mountainous region of Ephraim, and he restored Jehovah’s altar that was before the porch of Jehovah.+ 9 And he gathered together all Judah and Benjamin and the foreign residents with them from Ephraim and Manasseh and Simeon,+ for they had deserted to him from Israel in great number when they saw that Jehovah his God was with him. 10 So they were gathered together at Jerusalem in the third month of the 15th year of Asa’s reign. 11 On that day they sacrificed to Jehovah from the spoil they had brought, 700 cattle and 7,000 sheep. 12 Furthermore, they entered into a covenant to search for Jehovah the God of their forefathers with all their heart and with all their soul.*+ 13 Whoever would not search for Jehovah the God of Israel was to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman.+ 14 So they took an oath to Jehovah with a loud voice, with joyful shouting, and with the trumpets and horns. 15 And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had taken the oath with all their heart and they eagerly sought him and he let himself be found by them,+ and Jehovah continued to give them rest on every side.+
16 Asa the king even removed Maacah+ his grandmother from her position as queen mother,* because she had made an obscene idol for the worship of the sacred pole.*+ Asa cut down her obscene idol and pulverized it and burned it in the Kidron Valley.+ 17 But the high places were not removed+ from Israel.+ Nevertheless, Asa’s heart was complete* all his life.*+ 18 And he brought the things that he and his father had made holy into the house of the true God—silver, gold, and various utensils.+ 19 There was no war until the 35th year of Asa’s reign.+
16 In the 36th year of the reign of Asa, King Baasha+ of Israel came up against Judah and began to build up* Ramah+ to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to* King Asa of Judah.+ 2 At that Asa brought out silver and gold from the treasuries of Jehovah’s house+ and the king’s house* and sent them to King Ben-hadad of Syria,+ who was dwelling in Damascus, saying: 3 “There is a treaty* between me and you and between my father and your father. I am sending you silver and gold. Come, break your treaty* with King Baasha of Israel, so that he will withdraw from me.”
4 Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the chiefs of his armies against the cities of Israel, and they struck down Ijon,+ Dan,+ Abel-maim, and all the storage places of the cities of Naphtali.+ 5 When Baasha heard of it, he immediately quit building* Ramah and abandoned his work on it. 6 King Asa then took all Judah, and they carried off the stones and timbers of Ramah+ that Baasha had been building with,+ and with them he built up* Geba+ and Mizpah.+
7 At that time Hanani+ the seer came to King Asa of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied* on the king of Syria and did not rely* on Jehovah your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped out of your hand.+ 8 Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a very great army with many chariots and horsemen? But because you relied on Jehovah, he gave them into your hand.+ 9 For the eyes of Jehovah are roving about through all the earth+ to show his strength* in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward* him.+ You have acted foolishly in this matter; from now on there will be wars against you.”+
10 However, Asa became offended at the seer and put him in prison* because he was enraged at him over this. And Asa began to mistreat others among the people at that same time. 11 Now the history of Asa, from beginning to end, is written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and of Israel.+
12 In the 39th year of his reign, Asa developed an ailment in his feet until he became very sick; and even in his sickness, he turned, not to Jehovah, but to the healers. 13 Then Asa was laid to rest with his forefathers;+ he died in the 41st year of his reign. 14 So they buried him in the grand burial place that he had excavated for himself in the City of David,+ and they laid him on a bier that had been filled with balsam oil and different sorts of ingredients mixed into a specially made ointment.+ Further, they made an extraordinarily great funeral burning for him.*
17 And his son Jehoshaphat+ became king in his place, and he strengthened his position over Israel. 2 He stationed military forces in all the fortified cities of Judah and put garrisons in the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim that Asa his father had captured.+ 3 Jehovah continued with Jehoshaphat because he walked in the former ways of his forefather David+ and did not search for the Baals. 4 For he searched for the God of his father+ and followed* his commandment and not the practices of Israel.+ 5 Jehovah kept the kingdom firmly established in his hand;+ and all Judah continued to give gifts to Jehoshaphat, and he had riches and glory in abundance.+ 6 His heart became bold in the ways of Jehovah, and he even removed the high places+ and the sacred poles*+ from Judah.
7 In the third year of his reign he sent for his princes, Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah. 8 There were Levites with them: Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tob-adonijah, and along with them Elishama and Jehoram the priests.+ 9 They began teaching in Judah, taking with them the book of Jehovah’s Law,+ and they went around through all the cities of Judah teaching among the people.
10 And the dread of Jehovah came upon all the kingdoms of the lands surrounding Judah, and they did not fight against Jehoshaphat. 11 And the Philistines brought to Jehoshaphat gifts and money as tribute. The Arabs brought him 7,700 rams and 7,700 male goats from their flocks.
12 Jehoshaphat grew greater and greater,+ and he continued building fortified places+ and storage cities+ in Judah. 13 He carried out extensive projects in the cities of Judah, and he had soldiers, mighty warriors, in Jerusalem. 14 These were grouped by their paternal houses: of Judah the chiefs of thousands, Adnah the chief, and with him were 300,000 mighty warriors.+ 15 And under his command was Jehohanan the chief, and with him were 280,000. 16 And also under his command was Amasiah the son of Zichri, who volunteered for Jehovah’s service, and with him were 200,000 mighty warriors. 17 And out of Benjamin+ was Eliada, a mighty warrior, and with him were 200,000 men equipped with the bow and shield.+ 18 And under his command was Jehozabad, and with him were 180,000 men equipped for the army. 19 These were ministering to the king in addition to those whom the king put in the fortified cities throughout all Judah.+
18 Jehoshaphat had riches and glory in abundance,+ but he made a marriage alliance with Ahab.+ 2 So years later he went down to Ahab at Samaria,+ and Ahab sacrificed sheep and cattle in abundance for him and for the people with him. And he urged* him to go up against Ramoth-gilead.+ 3 Then King Ahab of Israel said to King Jehoshaphat of Judah: “Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead?” He replied to him: “I am the same as you, and my people are the same as your people and will support you in the war.”
4 But Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel: “First inquire, please, for the word of Jehovah.”+ 5 So the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, 400 men, and said to them: “Should we go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should I refrain?” They said: “Go up, and the true God will give it into the king’s hand.”
6 Jehoshaphat then said: “Is there not here a prophet of Jehovah?+ Let us also inquire through him.”+ 7 At that the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat: “There is still one more man+ through whom we can inquire of Jehovah; but I hate him, for he never prophesies good things concerning me, but always bad.+ He is Micaiah the son of Imlah.” However, Jehoshaphat said: “The king should not say such a thing.”
8 So the king of Israel called a court official and said: “Bring Micaiah the son of Imlah quickly.”+ 9 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were each sitting on his throne, dressed in royal attire; they were sitting at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria, and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 10 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made for himself iron horns and said: “This is what Jehovah says, ‘With these you will gore* the Syrians until you exterminate them.’” 11 All the other prophets were prophesying the same way, saying: “Go up to Ramoth-gilead and you will be successful;+ Jehovah will give it into the king’s hand.”
12 So the messenger who went to call Micaiah said to him: “Look! The words of the prophets are unanimously favorable to the king. Let your word, please, become like theirs,+ and speak favorably.”+ 13 But Micaiah said: “As surely as Jehovah is living, whatever my God says is what I will speak.”+ 14 Then he came in to the king, and the king asked him: “Micaiah, should we go to war against Ramoth-gilead, or should I refrain?” At once he replied: “Go up and you will be successful; they will be given into your hand.” 15 At that the king said to him: “How many times must I put you under oath not to speak to me anything but the truth in the name of Jehovah?” 16 So he said: “I see all the Israelites scattered on the mountains, like sheep that have no shepherd.+ Jehovah said: ‘These have no master. Let each one go back to his house in peace.’”
17 Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat: “Did I not tell you, ‘He will not prophesy good things concerning me, only bad’?”+
18 Micaiah then said: “Therefore, hear the word of Jehovah: I saw Jehovah sitting on his throne+ and all the army of the heavens+ standing at his right and at his left.+ 19 Jehovah then said, ‘Who will fool King Ahab of Israel, so that he will go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one was saying one thing while another said something else. 20 Then a spirit*+ came forward and stood before Jehovah and said, ‘I will fool him.’ Jehovah asked him, ‘How will you do it?’ 21 He replied, ‘I will go out and become a deceptive spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ So he said, ‘You will fool him, and what is more, you will be successful. Go out and do that.’ 22 And now Jehovah has put a deceptive spirit in the mouth of these prophets of yours,+ but Jehovah has declared calamity for you.”
23 Zedekiah+ the son of Chenaanah now approached and struck Micaiah+ on the cheek+ and said: “Which way did the spirit of Jehovah pass from me to speak with you?”+ 24 Micaiah replied: “Look! You will see which way on the day when you will enter the innermost room to hide.” 25 Then the king of Israel said: “Take Micaiah and turn him over to Amon the chief of the city and to Joash the king’s son. 26 Tell them, ‘This is what the king says: “Put this fellow in the prison+ and feed him with a reduced allowance of bread and water until I return in peace.”’” 27 But Micaiah said: “If you do return in peace, Jehovah has not spoken with me.”+ Then he added: “Take note, all you peoples.”
28 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead.+ 29 The king of Israel now said to Jehoshaphat: “I will disguise myself and will go into the battle, but you should put on your royal attire.” So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they entered the battle. 30 Now the king of Syria had ordered his chariot commanders: “Do not fight with anyone, small or great, except the king of Israel.” 31 And as soon as the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they said to themselves: “It is the king of Israel.” So they turned to fight against him; and Jehoshaphat began to cry for help,+ and Jehovah helped him, and God at once diverted them from him. 32 When the chariot commanders saw that it was not the king of Israel, they immediately turned back from following him.
33 But one man shot his bow at random,* and he struck the king of Israel between the joints of his coat of mail. So the king said to his charioteer: “Turn around and take me out of the battle,* for I have been badly wounded.”+ 34 The fighting raged throughout that day, and the king of Israel had to be propped up in the chariot, facing the Syrians until the evening; and he died at sunset.+
19 Then King Jehoshaphat of Judah returned safely*+ to his own house* in Jerusalem. 2 Jehu+ the son of Hanani+ the visionary went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat: “Is it the wicked you should be helping,+ and is it those who hate Jehovah you should love?+ Because of this the indignation of Jehovah is against you. 3 Nevertheless, there are good things that have been found in you,+ because you cleared out the sacred poles* from the land and you have prepared your heart* to search for the true God.”+
4 Jehoshaphat continued living in Jerusalem, and he went out again among the people from Beer-sheba to the mountainous region of Ephraim,+ to bring them back to Jehovah the God of their forefathers.+ 5 He also appointed judges throughout the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city.+ 6 And he said to the judges: “Pay attention to what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for Jehovah, and he is with you when you pass judgment.+ 7 Now let the fear of Jehovah be upon you.+ Be careful about what you do, for with Jehovah our God there is no injustice,+ no partiality,+ no bribe-taking.”+
8 In Jerusalem also, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites and the priests and some of the heads of the paternal houses of Israel to serve as judges for Jehovah and to settle legal cases for the inhabitants of Jerusalem.+ 9 And he commanded them: “This is what you should do in the fear of Jehovah, with faithfulness and a complete* heart: 10 Whenever your brothers living in their cities bring a legal case that involves the shedding of blood+ or a question about a law, a commandment, regulations, or judgments, you should warn them so that they may not become guilty before Jehovah; otherwise his indignation will come against you and your brothers. This is what you should do, so that you may not incur guilt. 11 Here is Amariah the chief priest who is over you for every matter of Jehovah.+ Zebadiah the son of Ishmael is the leader of the house of Judah for every matter pertaining to the king. And the Levites will serve as officers for you. Be strong and act, and let Jehovah be with those who do what is good.”*+
20 Afterward the Moabites+ and the Ammonites,+ together with some of the Ammonim,* came to wage war against Jehoshaphat. 2 So Jehoshaphat was told: “A large crowd has come against you from the region of the sea,* from Edom,+ and there they are in Hazazon-tamar, that is, En-gedi.”+ 3 At that Jehoshaphat became afraid, and he resolved* to search for Jehovah.+ So he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. 4 The people of Judah then gathered together to inquire of Jehovah;+ they came from all the cities of Judah to consult Jehovah.
5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem in the house of Jehovah before the new courtyard, 6 and he said:
“O Jehovah the God of our forefathers, are you not God in the heavens;+ do you not have dominion over all the kingdoms of the nations?+ In your hand are power and might, and no one can stand against you.+ 7 O our God, did you not drive away the inhabitants of this land from before your people Israel and then give it as a lasting possession to the offspring* of your friend Abraham?+ 8 And they settled in it, and they built for you there a sanctuary for your name,+ saying, 9 ‘If disaster should come on us, whether by sword, adverse judgment, pestilence, or famine, let us stand before this house and before you (for your name is in this house)+ and call to you for help out of our distress, and may you hear and save us.’+ 10 Now here are the men of Ammon, Moab, and the mountainous region of Seir,+ whom you did not allow Israel to invade when they came out of the land of Egypt. They turned away from them and did not annihilate them.+ 11 Now they are repaying us by coming in to drive us out from your possession that you gave us as an inheritance.+ 12 O our God, will you not execute judgment on them?+ For we are powerless before this large crowd that is coming against us; and we do not know what we should do,+ but our eyes are toward you.”+
13 Meanwhile, all those of Judah were standing before Jehovah, along with their little ones, their wives, and their children.*
14 Then in the middle of the congregation, the spirit of Jehovah came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah son of Benaiah son of Jeiel son of Mattaniah the Levite of the sons of Asaph. 15 He said: “Pay attention, all Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat! Here is what Jehovah says to you, ‘Do not be afraid or be terrified because of this large crowd, for the battle is not yours but God’s.+ 16 Tomorrow go down against them. They will be coming up by the pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley* before the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight this battle. Take your position, stand still,+ and see the salvation of Jehovah in your behalf.*+ O Judah and Jerusalem, do not be afraid or be terrified.+ Tomorrow go out against them, and Jehovah will be with you.’”+
18 At once Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before Jehovah to worship Jehovah. 19 Then the Levites who were descendants of the Kohathites+ and the Korahites rose up to praise Jehovah the God of Israel with a very loud voice.+
20 They rose up early the next morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa.+ As they went out, Jehoshaphat stood up and said: “Listen to me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem! Put faith in Jehovah your God so that you may be able to stand firm.* Put faith in his prophets,+ and you will be successful.”
21 After he consulted with the people, he appointed men to sing+ to Jehovah and to offer praise in holy adornment as they went out ahead of the armed men, saying: “Give thanks to Jehovah, for his loyal love endures forever.”+
22 When they began joyfully singing praises, Jehovah set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and the mountainous region of Seir who were invading Judah, and they struck each other down.+ 23 And the Ammonites and the Moabites turned against the inhabitants of the mountainous region of Seir+ to destroy and annihilate them; and when they finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.+
24 But when Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness+ and looked toward the crowd, there they saw their carcasses fallen to the ground;+ there were no survivors. 25 So Jehoshaphat and his people came to carry off the spoil from them, and they found among them an abundance of goods, clothing, and desirable articles, which they stripped off for themselves until they could carry no more.+ It took three days to carry off the spoil, for it was abundant. 26 On the fourth day they congregated together at the Valley* of Beracah, for there they praised* Jehovah. That is why they named that place Valley of Beracah*+—until today.
27 Then all the men of Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat at their head, returned to Jerusalem with rejoicing, for Jehovah had made them rejoice over their enemies.+ 28 So they came into Jerusalem with stringed instruments, harps,+ and trumpets+ and went to the house of Jehovah.+ 29 And the dread of God came upon all the kingdoms of the lands when they heard that Jehovah had fought against the enemies of Israel.+ 30 Thus the kingdom of Jehoshaphat had no disturbance, and his God continued to give him rest on every side.+
31 And Jehoshaphat continued reigning over Judah. He was 35 years old when he became king, and he reigned for 25 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.+ 32 He kept walking in the way of his father Asa.+ He did not deviate from it, and he did what was right in Jehovah’s eyes.+ 33 However, the high places were not removed,+ and the people had not yet prepared their heart for the God of their forefathers.+
34 As for the rest of the history of Jehoshaphat, from beginning to end, there it is written among the words of Jehu+ the son of Hanani,+ which were included in the Book of the Kings of Israel. 35 After this King Jehoshaphat of Judah made an alliance with King Ahaziah of Israel, who acted wickedly.+ 36 So he made him his partner in making ships to go to Tarshish,+ and they built the ships in Ezion-geber.+ 37 However, Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Maresha spoke prophetically against Jehoshaphat, saying: “Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, Jehovah will destroy your works.”+ So the ships were wrecked,+ and they were unable to go to Tarshish.
21 Then Jehoshaphat was laid to rest with his forefathers and was buried with his forefathers in the City of David; and his son Jehoram became king in his place.+ 2 His brothers, Jehoshaphat’s sons, were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariah, Michael, and Shephatiah; all of these were the sons of King Jehoshaphat of Israel. 3 And their father had given them many gifts in silver and gold, and valuable things, along with fortified cities in Judah;+ but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram,+ for he was the firstborn.
4 When Jehoram had taken control of the kingdom of his father, he strengthened his position by killing all his brothers+ with the sword, as well as some of the princes of Israel. 5 Jehoram was 32 years old when he became king, and he reigned for eight years in Jerusalem.+ 6 He walked in the way of the kings of Israel,+ just as those of the house of Ahab had done, for Ahab’s daughter had become his wife;+ and he kept doing what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes. 7 But Jehovah did not want to bring the house of David to ruin for the sake of the covenant that he had made with David,+ since he had promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons always.+
8 In his days Edom revolted against Judah+ and then set up its own king.+ 9 So Jehoram and his commanders crossed over with all his chariots, and he rose up by night and defeated the Edomites who were surrounding him and the chariot commanders. 10 But Edom has kept up its revolt against Judah to this day. Libnah+ also revolted against him at that time, because he had abandoned Jehovah the God of his forefathers.+ 11 He had also made high places+ on the mountains of Judah to cause the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit spiritual prostitution, and he led Judah astray.
12 Eventually a written message came to him from Elijah+ the prophet, 2Ki.2:11 saying: “This is what Jehovah the God of David your forefather says, ‘You have not walked in the ways of your father Jehoshaphat+ or in the ways of King Asa+ of Judah. 13 But you walk in the way of the kings of Israel+ and cause Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to commit spiritual prostitution+ like the prostitution of the house of Ahab,+ and you even killed your own brothers,+ the household of your father, who were better than you. 14 Therefore, Jehovah is dealing a great blow to your people, to your sons, to your wives, and to all your possessions. 15 And you will suffer with many sicknesses, including a disease of your intestines, until your intestines come out because of the disease, day after day.’”
16 Then Jehovah stirred up+ against Jehoram the Philistines*+ and the Arabs+ who were near the Ethiopians. 17 So they invaded Judah, forcing their way in, and carried off all the possessions that were found in the king’s house,*+ as well as his sons and his wives; and the only son left to him was Jehoahaz,*+ his youngest son. 22:1 18 And after all of this, Jehovah afflicted him with an incurable disease in his intestines.+ 19 Some time later, when two full years had passed, his intestines came out because of his disease, and he died while suffering severely from his disease; and his people did not make a burning for him like the burning that was made for his forefathers.+ 20 He was 32 years old when he became king, and he reigned for eight years in Jerusalem. No one regretted it when he died. So they buried him in the City of David,+ but not in the burial places of the kings.+
22 Then the inhabitants of Jerusalem made his youngest son Ahaziah king in his place, 21:17 for the marauder band that came with the Arabs to the camp had killed all the older ones.+ So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram began to reign as king of Judah.+ 2 Ahaziah was 22 years old when he became king, and he reigned for one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah+ the granddaughter* of Omri.+
3 He too walked in the ways of the house of Ahab,+ for his mother became his adviser in acting wickedly. 4 And he kept doing what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes, like the house of Ahab, for they became his advisers after the death of his father, to his destruction. 5 He followed their advice and went with Jehoram the son of King Ahab of Israel to wage war against King Hazael+ of Syria at Ramoth-gilead,+ where the archers wounded Jehoram. 6 He returned to Jezreel+ to recover from the wounds that they had inflicted on him at Ramah when he fought against King Hazael of Syria.+
Ahaziah* the son of Jehoram+ the king of Judah went down to Jezreel to see Jehoram+ the son of Ahab, because he had been wounded.*+ 7 But God brought about the downfall of Ahaziah by his coming to Jehoram; and when he came, he went out with Jehoram to meet Jehu+ the grandson* of Nimshi, whom Jehovah had anointed to do away with* the house of Ahab.+ 8 When Jehu began to execute judgment on the house of Ahab, he found the princes of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah’s brothers, ministers of Ahaziah, and he killed them.+ 9 Then he looked for Ahaziah; they captured him where he was hiding in Samaria, and they brought him to Jehu. Then they put him to death and buried him,+ for they said: “He is the grandson of Jehoshaphat, who searched for Jehovah with all his heart.”+ There was no one of the house of Ahaziah who had the power to rule the kingdom.
10 When Athaliah,+ Ahaziah’s mother, saw that her son had died, she rose up and destroyed the entire royal line* of the house of Judah.+ 11 However, Jehoshabeath the daughter of the king took Jehoash+ the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the sons of the king who were to be put to death, and she put him and his nurse in an inner bedroom. Jehoshabeath the daughter of King Jehoram+ (she was the wife of Jehoiada+ the priest and a sister of Ahaziah) managed to keep him concealed from Athaliah, so that she did not put him to death.+ 12 He remained with them for six years, hidden at the house of the true God, while Athaliah was ruling over the land.
23 In the seventh year, Jehoiada acted courageously and made a pact* with the chiefs of hundreds,+ namely, Azariah the son of Jeroham, Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, Azariah the son of Obed, Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri. 2 Then they went throughout Judah and gathered together the Levites+ from all the cities of Judah and the heads of the paternal houses of Israel. When they came to Jerusalem, 3 the entire congregation made a covenant+ with the king in the house of the true God, after which he said to them:
“Look! The king’s son will reign, just as Jehovah promised concerning the sons of David.+ 4 This is what you are to do: One third of the priests and of the Levites who will be on duty+ on the Sabbath will be doorkeepers;+ 5 another third will be at the house* of the king,+ and the other third will be at the Gate of the Foundation, and all the people will be in the courtyards of the house of Jehovah.+ 6 Do not let anyone enter the house of Jehovah except the priests and the Levites who are ministering.+ These may enter because they are a holy group, and all the people will keep the obligation to Jehovah. 7 The Levites must surround the king on every side, each with his weapons in hand. Anyone entering the house will be put to death. Stay with the king wherever he goes.”*
8 The Levites and all Judah did exactly what Jehoiada the priest had commanded. So each one took his men who were on duty on the Sabbath, together with those who were off duty on the Sabbath,+ for Jehoiada the priest had not dismissed the divisions+ from their duty. 9 Jehoiada the priest then gave the chiefs of hundreds+ the spears and the bucklers* and the circular shields that had belonged to King David,+ which were in the house of the true God.+ 10 He then stationed all the people, each with his weapon* in hand, from the right side of the house to the left side of the house, by the altar and by the house, all around the king. 11 Then they brought the king’s son+ out and put on him the crown* and the Testimony*+ and made him king, and Jehoiada and his sons anointed him. Then they said: “Long live the king!”+
12 When Athaliah heard the sound of the people running and praising the king, she immediately came to the people at the house of Jehovah.+ 13 Then she saw the king standing there by his pillar at the entrance. The princes+ and the trumpeters were with the king, and all the people of the land were rejoicing+ and blowing the trumpets, and the singers with musical instruments were leading* the praises. At this Athaliah ripped her garments apart and cried out: “Conspiracy! Conspiracy!” 14 But Jehoiada the priest brought out the chiefs of hundreds, those appointed over the army, and said to them: “Take her out from among the ranks, and if anyone follows her, put him to death with the sword!” For the priest had said: “Do not put her to death in the house of Jehovah.” 15 So they seized her, and when she reached the entrance of the Horse Gate of the king’s house,* they immediately put her to death there.
16 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between himself and all the people and the king, that they would continue as the people of Jehovah.+ 17 After that all the people came to the house* of Baal and tore it down,+ and they smashed his altars and his images,+ and they killed Mattan the priest of Baal+ in front of the altars. 18 Then Jehoiada put the oversight of the house of Jehovah in the hands of the priests and the Levites, whom David had assigned in divisions over the house of Jehovah to offer up the burnt sacrifices of Jehovah+ according to what is written in the Law of Moses,+ with rejoicing and with song, as directed by* David. 19 He also stationed the gatekeepers+ by the gates of the house of Jehovah, so that no one unclean in any respect could enter. 20 He now took the chiefs of hundreds,+ the nobles, the rulers of the people, and all the people of the land and escorted the king down from the house of Jehovah. Then they came through the upper gate to the king’s house* and seated the king on the throne+ of the kingdom.+ 21 So all the people of the land rejoiced and the city was quiet, for they had put Athaliah to death with the sword.
24 Jehoash was seven years old when he became king,+ and he reigned for 40 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah from Beer-sheba.+ 2 Jehoash continued doing what was right in Jehovah’s eyes all the days of Jehoiada the priest.+ 3 Jehoiada chose two wives for him, and he became father to sons and daughters.
4 Afterward it was the heart’s desire of Jehoash to renovate the house of Jehovah.+ 5 So he gathered the priests and the Levites together and said to them: “Go out to the cities of Judah and collect money from all Israel to repair the house of your God+ from year to year; and you should act quickly in the matter.” But the Levites did not act quickly.+ 6 So the king called Jehoiada the chief and said to him:+ “Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the sacred tax ordered by Moses+ the servant of Jehovah, the sacred tax of the congregation of Israel, for the tent of the Testimony?+ 7 For the sons of Athaliah,+ that wicked woman, had broken into the house of the true God,+ and they had used all the holy things of the house of Jehovah for the Baals.” 8 Then, at the king’s order, a chest+ was made and placed outside at the gate of the house of Jehovah.+ 9 After that a proclamation was issued throughout Judah and Jerusalem to bring to Jehovah the sacred tax+ that Moses the servant of the true God had imposed on Israel in the wilderness. 10 All the princes and all the people rejoiced,+ and they kept bringing contributions and dropping them into the chest until it was full.*
11 Whenever the Levites brought the chest in to be turned over to the king and they saw that there was a great deal of money in it, the secretary of the king and the commissioner of the chief priest would come and empty the chest,+ and then they would take it back to its place. That was what they did from day to day, and they gathered money in abundance. 12 Then the king and Jehoiada would give it to those supervising the work of the service of Jehovah’s house, and they would hire the stonecutters and the craftsmen for renovating Jehovah’s house,+ and also workers in iron and copper to repair Jehovah’s house. 13 And those supervising the work got it started, and the repair work progressed under their supervision, and they restored the house of the true God to its proper condition and reinforced it. 14 And as soon as they finished, they brought the money that was left over to the king and Jehoiada, and they used it to make utensils for the house of Jehovah, utensils for the ministry and for making offerings and cups and utensils of gold and of silver.+ And they would offer up burnt sacrifices+ at the house of Jehovah regularly all the days of Jehoiada.
15 When Jehoiada was old and satisfied with years, he died; he was 130 years old at his death. 16 So they buried him in the City of David along with the kings,+ because he had done good in Israel+ with respect to the true God and His house.
17 After Jehoiada’s death the princes of Judah came and bowed down to the king, and the king listened to them. 18 They abandoned the house of Jehovah the God of their forefathers and began serving the sacred poles* and the idols, so that God’s anger came* against Judah and Jerusalem because of their guilt. 19 He kept sending prophets among them to bring them back to Jehovah, and they kept warning* them, but they refused to listen.+
20 God’s spirit came upon* Zechariah the son of Jehoiada+ the priest, and he stood above the people and said to them: “This is what the true God says, ‘Why are you violating the commandments of Jehovah? You will not be successful! Because you have abandoned Jehovah, he will, in turn, abandon you.’”+ 21 But they conspired against him+ and stoned him at the king’s order in the courtyard of Jehovah’s house.+ 22 Thus King Jehoash did not remember the loyal love that his father* Jehoiada had shown toward him, and he killed his son, who said as he was dying: “May Jehovah see to it and call you to account.”+
23 At the beginning of the year* the Syrian army came up against Jehoash, and they invaded Judah and Jerusalem.+ Then they did away with all the princes+ of the people, and they sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus. 24 For although the invading Syrian army had a small number of men, Jehovah handed over to them a very large army,+ because they had abandoned Jehovah the God of their forefathers; so they* executed judgment on Jehoash. 25 And when they withdrew from him (for they left him severely wounded*), his own servants conspired against him because he had shed the blood of the sons* of Jehoiada+ the priest. They killed him on his own bed.+ So he died and they buried him in the City of David,+ but they did not bury him in the burial places of the kings.+
26 These were the conspirators+ against him: Zabad the son of Shimeath the Ammonitess and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith the Moabitess. 27 Regarding his sons and the many pronouncements against him+ and the renovation* of the house of the true God,+ all these things are recorded in the writings* of the Book of the Kings. And his son Amaziah became king in his place.
25 Amaziah was 25 years old when he became king, and he reigned for 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem.+ 2 He continued to do what was right in Jehovah’s eyes, but not with a complete heart. 3 As soon as he had the kingdom firmly in his control, he killed his servants who had killed his father the king.+ 4 But he did not put their sons to death, for he acted in harmony with what is written in the Law, in the book of Moses, where Jehovah commanded: “Fathers should not die for their sons, and sons should not die for their fathers; but each one should die for his own sin.”+
5 And Amaziah gathered Judah together and had them stand according to the paternal houses, by the chiefs of thousands and by the chiefs of hundreds for all Judah and Benjamin.+ He registered them from 20 years old and up,+ and he found them to be 300,000 trained* warriors to serve in the army, able to handle the lance and the large shield. 6 Further, he hired from Israel 100,000 mighty warriors for 100 silver talents.* 7 But a man of the true God came to him, saying: “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for Jehovah is not with Israel,+ not with any of the Ephraimites. 8 But go by yourself, act, and be courageous in battle. Otherwise, the true God could cause you to stumble before an enemy, for God has the power to help+ and to cause stumbling.” 9 At this Amaziah said to the man of the true God: “But what about the 100 talents that I have given to the troops of Israel?” The man of the true God replied: “Jehovah has the means to give you much more than that.”+ 10 So Amaziah dismissed the troops that had come to him from Ephraim, sending them to their own place. However, they were very angry with Judah, so they returned to their own place in the heat of anger.
11 Then Amaziah took courage and led his own troops to the Valley of Salt,+ and he struck down 10,000 men of Seir.+ 12 And the men of Judah captured 10,000 alive. So they brought them to the top of the crag and threw them down from the top of the crag, and they were all dashed to pieces. 13 But the members of the troop whom Amaziah had sent back from accompanying him to the war+ were making raids on the cities of Judah, from Samaria+ clear to Beth-horon;+ they struck down 3,000 of them and took much spoil.
14 But after Amaziah returned from striking down the Edomites, he brought the gods of the men of Seir and set them up for himself as gods,+ and he began to bow down before them and to make sacrificial smoke to them. 15 So Jehovah grew very angry with Amaziah, and he sent a prophet who said to him: “Why are you following the people’s gods that did not rescue their own people out of your hand?”+ 16 As he spoke to him, the king said: “Did we appoint you as an adviser to the king?+ Stop!+ Why should they strike you down?” Then the prophet quit, but he added: “I know that God has decided to bring you to ruin, because you have done this and you have not listened to my advice.”+
17 After consulting with his advisers, King Amaziah of Judah sent a message to Jehoash son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu the king of Israel, saying: “Come, let us confront each other in battle.”*+ 18 King Jehoash of Israel sent this message to King Amaziah of Judah: “The thorny weed in Lebanon sent a message to the cedar in Lebanon, ‘Give your daughter to my son as a wife.’ However, a wild beast of Lebanon passed by and trampled down the thorny weed. 19 You have said, ‘Look! I* have struck down Edom.’+ So your heart has become arrogant, wanting to be glorified. But now stay in your own house.* Why should you provoke disaster and fall, bringing Judah down with you?”
20 But Amaziah did not listen,+ for this was from the true God to give them into the hand of the enemy,+ because they had followed the gods of Edom.+ 21 So King Jehoash of Israel went up, and he and King Amaziah of Judah confronted each other in battle at Beth-shemesh,+ which belongs to Judah. 22 Judah was defeated by Israel, so each one fled to his home.* 23 King Jehoash of Israel captured King Amaziah of Judah, son of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz,* at Beth-shemesh. Then he brought him to Jerusalem and made a breach in the wall of Jerusalem from the Gate of Ephraim+ to the Corner Gate,+ 400 cubits.* 24 He took all the gold and the silver and all the articles that were found in the house of the true God with* Obed-edom and in the treasuries of the king’s house,*+ as well as hostages. Then he returned to Samaria.
25 Amaziah+ the son of Jehoash the king of Judah lived for 15 years after the death of Jehoash+ the son of Jehoahaz the king of Israel.+ 26 As for the rest of the history of Amaziah, from beginning to end, look! is it not written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and of Israel? 27 From the time that Amaziah turned away from following Jehovah, they formed a conspiracy+ against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish, but they sent men after him to Lachish and put him to death there. 28 So they carried him back on horses and buried him with his forefathers in the city of Judah.
26 Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah,+ who was 16 years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah.+ 2 He rebuilt Eloth+ and restored it to Judah after the king* was laid to rest with his forefathers.+ 3 Uzziah+ was 16 years old when he became king, and he reigned for 52 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.+ 4 He continued to do what was right in Jehovah’s eyes, just as his father Amaziah had done.+ 5 And he kept searching for God in the days of Zechariah, who taught him to fear the true God. During the time he was searching for Jehovah, the true God made him prosper.+
6 He went out and fought against the Philistines+ and broke through the wall of Gath,+ the wall of Jabneh,+ and the wall of Ashdod.+ Then he built cities in the territory of Ashdod and among the Philistines. 7 The true God continued to help him against the Philistines, against the Arabians+ who were dwelling in Gurbaal, and against the Meunim. 8 The Ammonites+ began to give tribute to Uzziah. His fame eventually spread as far as Egypt, for he became extremely powerful. 9 Moreover, Uzziah built towers+ in Jerusalem by the Corner Gate,+ the Valley Gate,+ and the Buttress, and he fortified them. 10 Further, he built towers+ in the wilderness and dug* many cisterns (for he had a great deal of livestock); he also did so in the Shephelah and on the plain.* He had farmers and vinedressers in the mountains and in Carmel, for he loved agriculture.
11 Moreover, Uzziah came to have an army equipped for war. They would go out on military campaigns, organized in divisions. They were numbered and registered+ by Jeiel the secretary+ and Maaseiah the officer, under the command of Hananiah, one of the king’s princes. 12 The entire number of the heads of the paternal houses who were over these mighty warriors was 2,600. 13 The armed forces under their command numbered 307,500 men ready for war, a powerful military force to support the king against the enemy.+ 14 Uzziah equipped the entire army with shields, lances,+ helmets, coats of mail,+ bows, and slingstones.+ 15 Further, in Jerusalem he made engines of war designed by engineers; they were set on the towers+ and on the corners of the walls and could shoot arrows and large stones. So his fame spread far and wide, for he received tremendous help and he became strong.
16 However, as soon as he was strong, his heart became haughty to his own ruin, and he acted unfaithfully against Jehovah his God by entering the temple of Jehovah to burn incense on the altar of incense.+ 17 Immediately Azariah the priest and 80 other courageous priests of Jehovah went in after him. 18 They confronted King Uzziah and said to him: “It is not proper for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to Jehovah!+ It is only the priests who should burn incense, for they are the descendants of Aaron,+ those who have been sanctified. Go out from the sanctuary, for you have acted unfaithfully and you will receive no glory from Jehovah God for this.”
19 But Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand to burn incense, became enraged;+ and during his rage against the priests, leprosy+ broke out on his forehead in the presence of the priests in the house of Jehovah next to the altar of incense. 20 When Azariah the chief priest and all the priests turned toward him, they saw that he had been stricken with leprosy in his forehead! So they rushed him out of there, and he himself hurried out, because Jehovah had struck him.
21 King Uzziah remained a leper until the day of his death, and he kept staying in a separate house as a leper,+ for he had been excluded from the house of Jehovah. His son Jotham was in charge of the king’s house,* judging the people of the land.+
22 And the rest of the history of Uzziah, from beginning to end, was recorded by the prophet Isaiah+ the son of Amoz. 23 Then Uzziah was laid to rest with his forefathers, and they buried him with his forefathers, but in the burial field that belonged to the kings, for they said: “He is a leper.” And his son Jotham+ became king in his place.
27 Jotham+ was 25 years old when he became king, and he reigned for 16 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jerushah the daughter of Zadok.+ 2 He kept doing what was right in Jehovah’s eyes, just as his father Uzziah had done,+ except that he did not invade the temple of Jehovah.+ But the people were still acting ruinously. 3 He built the upper gate of Jehovah’s house,+ and he did much building on the wall of Ophel.+ 4 He also built cities+ in the mountainous region of Judah,+ and he built fortified places+ and towers+ in the wooded areas. 5 He waged war against the king of the Ammonites+ and eventually prevailed against them, so that the Ammonites gave him in that year 100 silver talents,* 10,000 cor measures* of wheat, and 10,000 of barley. The Ammonites also paid this to him in the second and third years.+ 6 So Jotham kept growing strong, for he established* his ways before Jehovah his God.
7 As for the rest of the history of Jotham, all his wars and his ways, it is written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and of Judah.+ 8 He was 25 years old when he became king, and he reigned for 16 years in Jerusalem.+ 9 Then Jotham was laid to rest with his forefathers, and they buried him in the City of David.+ And his son Ahaz became king in his place.+
28 Ahaz+ was 20 years old when he became king, and he reigned for 16 years in Jerusalem. He did not do what was right in Jehovah’s eyes as David his forefather had done.+ 2 Instead, he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel,+ and he even made metal statues*+ of the Baals. 3 Moreover, he made sacrificial smoke in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom* and burned up his sons in the fire,+ following the detestable practices of the nations+ that Jehovah had driven out from before the Israelites. 4 He also kept sacrificing and making sacrificial smoke on the high places,+ on the hills, and under every luxuriant tree.+
5 So Jehovah his God gave him into the hand of the king of Syria,+ so that they defeated him and carried off a great number of captives and brought them to Damascus.+ He was also given into the hand of the king of Israel, who inflicted on him a great slaughter. 6 For Pekah+ the son of Remaliah killed in Judah 120,000 in one day, all brave men, because they had abandoned Jehovah the God of their forefathers.+ 7 And Zichri, an Ephraimite warrior, killed the king’s son Maaseiah and Azrikam, who was in charge of the palace,* and Elkanah, who was second to the king. 8 Moreover, the Israelites took 200,000 of their brothers captive—women, sons, and daughters; they also seized a great deal of spoil, and they took the spoil to Samaria.+
9 But a prophet of Jehovah named Oded was there. He went out before the army that was coming to Samaria and said to them: “Look! It was because Jehovah the God of your forefathers was angry with Judah that he gave them into your hand,+ and you slaughtered them with a fury that has reached clear to the heavens. 10 And now you intend to make the people of Judah and Jerusalem your male and female servants.+ Nevertheless, are you not also guilty before Jehovah your God? 11 Now listen to me and return the captives whom you took from your brothers, for Jehovah’s burning anger is against you.”
12 At that some of the chiefs of the Ephraimites, Azariah the son of Jehohanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, confronted those coming in from the military campaign, 13 and they said to them: “Do not bring the captives in here, for it will make us guilty before Jehovah. What you intend to do will add to our sins and to our guilt, for our guilt is already great and there is burning anger against Israel.” 14 So the armed soldiers handed over the captives and the plunder+ to the princes and the entire congregation. 15 Then the men who had been designated by name rose up and took hold of the captives, and they provided clothes from the spoil for all those among them who were naked. So they clothed them and gave them sandals, food and drink, and oil for their skin. Furthermore, they transported the feeble on donkeys and brought them to their brothers in Jericho, the city of palm trees. After that they returned to Samaria.
16 At that time King Ahaz asked the kings of Assyria for help.+ 17 And once again the Edomites invaded and attacked Judah and carried off captives. 18 The Philistines+ also made a raid on the cities of the Shephelah+ and the Negeb of Judah and captured Beth-shemesh,+ Aijalon,+ Gederoth, Soco and its dependent* towns, Timnah+ and its dependent towns, and Gimzo and its dependent towns; and they settled there. 19 Jehovah humbled Judah because of King Ahaz of Israel, for he had let Judah go unrestrained, resulting in great unfaithfulness toward Jehovah.
20 King Tilgath-pilneser+ of Assyria eventually came against him and caused him distress+ rather than strengthening him. 21 For Ahaz had stripped the house of Jehovah and the house* of the king+ and the houses of the princes and made a gift to the king of Assyria; but it was of no help to him. 22 And during his time of distress, King Ahaz acted even more unfaithfully toward Jehovah. 23 He began to sacrifice to the gods of Damascus+ that had defeated him,+ and he went on to say: “Because the gods of the kings of Syria are helping them, I will sacrifice to them so that they may help me.”+ But they caused him and all Israel to stumble. 24 Furthermore, Ahaz collected the utensils of the house of the true God; he then cut to pieces the utensils of the house of the true God,+ closed the doors of the house of Jehovah,+ and made altars for himself in every corner of Jerusalem. 25 And in all the cities of Judah, he made high places for making sacrificial smoke to other gods,+ and he offended Jehovah the God of his forefathers.
26 As for the rest of his history, all his dealings from beginning to end, there it is written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and of Israel.+ 27 Then Ahaz was laid to rest with his forefathers, and they buried him in the city, in Jerusalem, for they did not bring him into the burial places of the kings of Israel.+ And his son Hezekiah became king in his place.
29 Hezekiah+ became king at the age of 25, and he reigned for 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah.+ 2 He kept doing what was right in Jehovah’s eyes,+ just as David his forefather had done.+ 3 In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of Jehovah and repaired them.+ 4 Then he brought the priests and the Levites and assembled them in the square to the east. 5 He said to them: “Listen to me, you Levites. Now sanctify yourselves+ and sanctify the house of Jehovah the God of your forefathers, and remove what is impure from the holy place.+ 6 For our fathers have been unfaithful and have done what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah our God.+ They abandoned him and turned their faces away from the tabernacle of Jehovah and turned their back on him.+ 7 They also closed the doors of the porch+ and extinguished the lamps.+ They stopped burning incense+ and offering up burnt sacrifices+ in the holy place to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore, Jehovah’s indignation came against Judah and Jerusalem,+ so that he made them an object of horror and astonishment and a cause for whistling,* as you can see with your own eyes.+ 9 Here our forefathers fell by the sword,+ and our sons, our daughters, and our wives went into captivity for this.+ 10 Now it is my heart’s desire to make a covenant with Jehovah the God of Israel,+ so that his burning anger may turn away from us. 11 My sons, now is not the time to be negligent,* for Jehovah has chosen you to stand before him, to serve as his ministers,+ and to make his sacrifices smoke.”+
12 At that the Levites rose up: Mahath the son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah of the Kohathites;+ from the Merarites,+ Kish the son of Abdi and Azariah the son of Jehallelel; from the Gershonites,+ Joah the son of Zimmah and Eden the son of Joah; 13 from the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeuel; from the sons of Asaph,+ Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14 from the sons of Heman,+ Jehiel and Shimei; from the sons of Jeduthun,+ Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15 Then they gathered their brothers together and sanctified themselves and came, as the king had commanded by the words of Jehovah, to cleanse the house of Jehovah.+ 16 The priests then went inside the house of Jehovah to do the cleansing and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of Jehovah and took it to the courtyard+ of the house of Jehovah. In turn the Levites took it and carried it outside to the Kidron Valley.+ 17 Thus they began the sanctification on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they reached the porch of Jehovah.+ They sanctified the house of Jehovah for eight days, and on the 16th day of the first month they finished.
18 After that they went in to King Hezekiah and said: “We have cleansed the whole house of Jehovah, the altar of burnt offering+ and all its utensils,+ and the table of the layer bread*+ and all its utensils. 19 And all the utensils that King Ahaz cast aside during his reign when he acted unfaithfully+ we have made ready and sanctified,+ and they are before the altar of Jehovah.”
20 And King Hezekiah got up early and gathered the princes of the city together, and they went up to the house of Jehovah. 21 They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven male lambs, and seven male goats as a sin offering for the kingdom, for the sanctuary, and for Judah.+ So he told the priests, the descendants of Aaron, to offer them up on the altar of Jehovah. 22 Then they slaughtered the cattle,+ and the priests took the blood and sprinkled it on the altar;+ next they slaughtered the rams and sprinkled the blood on the altar, and they slaughtered the male lambs and sprinkled the blood on the altar. 23 Then they brought the male goats of the sin offering before the king and the congregation and laid their hands on them. 24 The priests slaughtered them and made a sin offering with their blood on the altar, to make atonement for all Israel, because the king said that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be for all Israel.
25 Meanwhile, he had the Levites stationed at the house of Jehovah with cymbals, stringed instruments, and harps,+ by the commandment of David+ and of Gad+ the king’s visionary and of Nathan+ the prophet, for the commandment was from Jehovah through his prophets. 26 So the Levites were standing with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.+
27 Then Hezekiah ordered that the burnt sacrifice be offered on the altar.+ When the burnt offering started, the song of Jehovah started and also the trumpets, following the direction of the instruments of King David of Israel. 28 And the whole congregation bowed down while the song was sung and the trumpets were sounding—all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. 29 And as soon as they finished making the offering, the king and all those with him bowed low and prostrated themselves. 30 King Hezekiah and the princes now told the Levites to praise Jehovah with the words of David+ and of Asaph+ the visionary. So they offered praise with great rejoicing, and they bowed down and prostrated themselves.
31 Then Hezekiah said: “Now that you have been set apart* for Jehovah, come and bring sacrifices and thanksgiving offerings to the house of Jehovah.” So the congregation began to bring sacrifices and thanksgiving offerings, and everyone with a willing heart brought burnt offerings.+ 32 The number of burnt offerings that the congregation brought was 70 cattle, 100 rams, 200 male lambs—all of these as a burnt offering to Jehovah+— 33 and the holy offerings were 600 cattle and 3,000 of the flock. 34 But there were not enough priests to skin all the burnt offerings, so their brothers the Levites helped them out+ until the work was finished and until the priests could sanctify themselves,+ for the Levites were more conscientious* about sanctifying themselves than the priests were. 35 Also, there were many burnt offerings,+ as well as the fat pieces of the communion sacrifices+ and the drink offerings for the burnt offerings.+ Thus the service of the house of Jehovah was restored.* 36 So Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over what the true God had established for the people,+ for this had all happened so suddenly.
30 Hezekiah sent word to all Israel+ and Judah, and even wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh,+ to come to the house of Jehovah in Jerusalem to observe the Passover to Jehovah the God of Israel.+ 2 However, the king, his princes, and the whole congregation in Jerusalem decided to observe the Passover in the second month,+ 3 for they had not been able to observe it at the regular time,+ because not enough priests had sanctified themselves+ nor had the people gathered in Jerusalem. 4 This arrangement seemed right in the eyes of the king and the entire congregation. 5 So they decided to make an announcement throughout Israel, from Beer-sheba to Dan,+ that the people should come and observe the Passover to Jehovah the God of Israel at Jerusalem, for as a group they had not observed it according to what is written.+
6 Then the couriers* went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the king and his princes, as the king had commanded, saying: “People of Israel, return to Jehovah the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, so that he may return to the remnant who escaped out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.+ 7 Do not be like your forefathers and your brothers who acted unfaithfully toward Jehovah the God of their forefathers, so that he made them an object of horror, just as you are seeing.+ 8 Now do not be obstinate like your forefathers.+ Submit to Jehovah and come to his sanctuary+ that he has sanctified forever and serve Jehovah your God, so that his burning anger may turn away from you.+ 9 For when you return to Jehovah, your brothers and your sons will be shown mercy by their captors+ and will be allowed to return to this land,+ for Jehovah your God is compassionate* and merciful,+ and he will not turn his face away from you if you return to him.”+
10 So the couriers* went from city to city throughout the land of Ephraim and Manasseh,+ even to Zebulun, but the people were making fun of them and mocking them.+ 11 However, some individuals from Asher, Manasseh, and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem.+ 12 The hand of the true God was also in Judah to unite them* to carry out what the king and the princes had commanded by the word of Jehovah.
13 A multitude of people gathered together at Jerusalem to observe the Festival of Unleavened Bread+ in the second month;+ it was a very large congregation. 14 They rose up and removed the altars that were in Jerusalem,+ and they removed all the incense altars+ and threw them into the Kidron Valley. 15 Then they slaughtered the Passover sacrifice on the 14th day of the second month. The priests and the Levites felt ashamed, so they sanctified themselves and brought burnt offerings to the house of Jehovah. 16 They took their customary places, according to the Law of Moses the man of the true God; then the priests sprinkled the blood+ received from the hand of the Levites. 17 There were many in the congregation who had not sanctified themselves, and the Levites were in charge of slaughtering the Passover sacrifices for all who were not clean,+ to sanctify them to Jehovah. 18 For a great number of the people, especially those from Ephraim, Manasseh,+ Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, but they still ate the Passover, contrary to what is written. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying: “May Jehovah, who is good,+ make allowance for 19 everyone who has prepared his heart to search for the true God,+ Jehovah, the God of his forefathers, although he has not been purified according to the standard of holiness.”+ 20 And Jehovah listened to Hezekiah and pardoned* the people.
21 So the Israelites who were in Jerusalem observed the Festival of Unleavened Bread+ for seven days with great rejoicing,+ and the Levites and the priests were praising Jehovah day by day, loudly playing their instruments to Jehovah.+ 22 Moreover, Hezekiah spoke to and encouraged* all the Levites who served Jehovah with discretion. And they ate throughout the festival for seven days,+ sacrificing communion sacrifices+ and giving thanks to Jehovah the God of their forefathers.
23 Then all the congregation decided to observe it for seven more days, so they observed it for seven more days with rejoicing.+ 24 And King Hezekiah of Judah contributed for the congregation 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep, and the princes contributed for the congregation 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep;+ and priests were sanctifying themselves in great number.+ 25 And all the congregation of Judah, the priests, the Levites, all the congregation that came from Israel,+ and the foreign residents+ who came from the land of Israel and those living in Judah continued rejoicing. 26 And there was great rejoicing in Jerusalem, for from the days of Solomon the son of David the king of Israel, nothing like this had happened in Jerusalem.+ 27 Finally the Levite priests stood up and blessed the people;+ and God heard their voice, and their prayer reached his holy dwelling, the heavens.
31 As soon as they had finished all of this, all the Israelites who were present went out to the cities of Judah, and they smashed the sacred pillars,+ cut down the sacred poles,*+ and tore down the high places+ and the altars+ throughout Judah and Benjamin, as well as in Ephraim and Manasseh,+ until they had destroyed them completely, after which all the Israelites returned to their cities, each one to his own possession.
2 Then Hezekiah appointed the priests in their divisions+ and the Levites in their divisions,+ each of the priests and Levites for their service,+ for the burnt offerings and the communion sacrifices, to minister and to give thanks and praise in the gates of the courtyards* of Jehovah.+ 3 A portion of the king’s own goods was given for the burnt offerings,+ including the morning and evening offerings,+ as well as the burnt offerings for the Sabbaths,+ the new moons,+ and the festivals,+ according to what is written in the Law of Jehovah.
4 Furthermore, he commanded the people living in Jerusalem to give the portion due the priests and the Levites,+ so that they might adhere strictly* to the law of Jehovah. 5 As soon as the order was issued, the Israelites gave in great quantities the firstfruits of the grain, new wine, oil,+ and honey, and of all the produce of the field;+ they brought in abundantly the tenth of everything.+ 6 And the people of Israel and of Judah living in the cities of Judah also brought in the tenth of cattle and sheep and the tenth of the holy things+ that were sanctified to Jehovah their God. They brought it in and put it in many heaps. 7 In the third month+ they began laying their contributions in heaps; and in the seventh month+ they finished. 8 When Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they praised Jehovah and blessed his people Israel.
9 Hezekiah asked the priests and the Levites about the heaps, 10 and Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok said to him: “From the time they started bringing the contributions into the house of Jehovah,+ the people have been eating to satisfaction and there is still an abundant surplus, for Jehovah has blessed his people, and this great plenty is left over.”+
11 At this Hezekiah told them to prepare storerooms*+ in the house of Jehovah, so they prepared them. 12 They kept faithfully bringing in the contributions, the tenth parts,*+ and the holy things; Conaniah the Levite was put in charge of all of this as supervisor, and his brother Shimei was second. 13 Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, Mahath, and Benaiah were commissioners assisting Conaniah and his brother Shimei, by the order of King Hezekiah, and Azariah was supervisor of the house of the true God. 14 And Kore the son of Imnah, the Levite gatekeeper on the east side,+ was in charge of the voluntary offerings+ of the true God, and he distributed the contribution made to Jehovah+ and the most holy things.+ 15 And under his direction were Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah, in the cities of the priests,+ in their office of trust, to distribute equally to their brothers in the divisions,+ to great and small alike. 16 This was in addition to the distribution made to the males from three years old and up who were listed in the genealogical enrollment, who came daily to serve in the house of Jehovah and to carry out the duties of their divisions.
17 The genealogical enrollment of the priests was by their paternal house,+ as was that of the Levites who were 20 years old and up,+ by the duties of their divisions.+ 18 The genealogical enrollment included all their children, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, their entire congregation—for they kept themselves sanctified for what was holy because of their office of trust— 19 as well as the descendants of Aaron, the priests who were living in the fields of the pastures surrounding their cities.+ In all the cities, men had been designated by name to give portions to every male among the priests and to everyone included in the genealogical enrollment of the Levites.
20 Hezekiah did this throughout Judah, and he continued to do what was good and right and faithful before Jehovah his God. 21 And every work that he undertook to search for his God, whether in connection with the service of the house of the true God+ or in the Law and the commandment, he did wholeheartedly, and he was successful.
32 After these things and these acts of faithfulness,+ King Sennacherib of Assyria came and invaded Judah. He besieged the fortified cities, intent on breaking through and capturing them.+
2 When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and intended to wage war against Jerusalem, 3 he decided, after consulting with his princes and his warriors, to stop up the waters of the springs outside the city,+ and they gave him their support. 4 Many people were gathered together, and they stopped up all the springs and the stream that flowed through the land, saying: “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find plenty of water?”
5 Furthermore, with determination he rebuilt the entire broken-down wall and raised towers on it, and outside he made another wall. He also repaired the Mound*+ of the City of David, and he made a large number of weapons* and shields. 6 He then appointed military chiefs over the people and assembled them at the public square of the city gate and encouraged them,* saying: 7 “Be courageous and strong. Do not be afraid or be terrified because of the king of Assyria+ and all the multitude with him, for there are more with us than there are with him.+ 8 With him is an arm of flesh,* but with us is Jehovah our God to help us and to fight our battles.”+ And the people were strengthened by the words of King Hezekiah of Judah.+
9 After this, while King Sennacherib of Assyria was at Lachish+ with all his imperial might,* he sent his servants to Jerusalem, to King Hezekiah of Judah and to all the Judeans in Jerusalem,+ saying:
10 “This is what King Sennacherib of Assyria says, ‘In what are you trusting that you remain in Jerusalem while it is besieged?+ 11 Is not Hezekiah misleading you and handing you over to die by famine and thirst, saying: “Jehovah our God will rescue us from the hand of the king of Assyria”?+ 12 Is this not the same Hezekiah who removed your God’s* high places+ and His altars+ and then said to Judah and Jerusalem: “You should bow down before one altar and on it you should make your sacrifices smoke”?+ 13 Do you not know what I and my forefathers did to all the peoples of the lands?+ Were the gods of the nations of the lands able to rescue their land from my hand?+ 14 Who among all the gods of these nations that my forefathers devoted to destruction was able to rescue his people from my hand, so that your God should be able to rescue you from my hand?+ 15 Now do not let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you like this!+ Do not put faith in him, for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to rescue his people from my hand and from the hand of my forefathers. How much less, then, will your own God rescue you from my hand!’”+
16 His servants said even more against Jehovah the true God and against Hezekiah his servant. 17 He also wrote letters+ to insult Jehovah the God of Israel+ and to speak against him, saying: “Like the gods of the nations of the lands who could not rescue their people from my hand,+ so the God of Hezekiah will not rescue his people from my hand.” 18 They kept calling loudly in the language of the Jews to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to make them afraid and to terrify them, in order to capture the city.+ 19 They spoke against the God of Jerusalem the same way as against the gods of the peoples of the earth, which are the work of man’s hands. 20 But King Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah+ the son of Amoz kept praying about this and crying out to the heavens for help.+
21 Then Jehovah sent an angel and wiped out every mighty warrior,+ leader, and chief in the camp of the king of Assyria, so that he went back to his own land in disgrace. He later entered the house* of his god, and there some of his own sons struck him down with the sword.+ 22 So Jehovah saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of King Sennacherib of Assyria and from the hand of all others and gave them rest on every side. 23 And many brought gifts to Jehovah at Jerusalem and choice things to King Hezekiah of Judah,+ and he was greatly respected by all the nations after that.
24 In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death, and he prayed to Jehovah,+ who answered him and gave him a sign.*+ 25 But Hezekiah did not respond appreciatively to the good done to him, for his heart became haughty, bringing 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 vast riches and glory;+ and he made storehouses+ for himself for silver, gold, precious stones, balsam oil, shields, and for all the desirable articles. 28 He also made storage places for the produce of grain and new wine and oil, as well as stalls for all the different kinds of livestock and stalls for the flocks. 29 He also acquired cities for himself, and an abundance of livestock, flocks, and herds, for God gave him very many possessions. 30 It was Hezekiah who stopped up the upper source of the waters+ of Gihon+ and directed them straight down to the west to the City of David,+ and Hezekiah was successful in every work of his. 31 However, when the spokesmen of the princes of Babylon were sent to ask him about the sign*+ that had occurred in the land,+ the true God left him alone to put him to the test,+ DEUT.8:2, 16, Judg.2:22 to get to know all that was in his heart.+
32 As for the rest of the history of Hezekiah and his acts of loyal love,+ they are written in the vision of Isaiah+ the prophet, the son of Amoz, in the Book of the Kings of Judah and of Israel.+ 33 Then Hezekiah was laid to rest with his forefathers, and they buried him in the ascent to the burial places of the sons of David;+ and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem honored him at his death. And his son Manasseh became king in his place.
33 Manasseh+ was 12 years old when he became king, and he reigned for 55 years in Jerusalem.+
2 He did what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes, following the detestable practices of the nations that Jehovah had driven out from before the people of Israel.+ 3 He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had torn down,+ he set up altars to the Baals and made sacred poles,* and he bowed down to all the army of the heavens and served them.+ 4 He also built altars in the house of Jehovah,+ about which Jehovah had said: “In Jerusalem my name will be forever.”+ 5 And he built altars to all the army of the heavens in two courtyards of the house of Jehovah.+ 6 And he made his own sons pass through the fire+ in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom;+ he practiced magic,+ used divination, practiced sorcery, and appointed spirit mediums and fortune-tellers.+ He did on a grand scale what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes, to offend him.
7 He put the carved image that he made into the house of the true God+ about which God had said to David and to his son Solomon: “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will permanently put my name.+ 8 And I will never again remove the feet of Israel from the land that I assigned to their forefathers, provided they carefully observe all that I have commanded them, the entire Law, the regulations and the judicial decisions given through Moses.” 9 Manasseh kept leading Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray, causing them to do worse than the nations that Jehovah had annihilated from before the Israelites.+
10 Jehovah kept speaking to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention.+ 11 So Jehovah brought against them the army chiefs of the king of Assyria, and they captured Manasseh with hooks* and bound him with two copper fetters and took him to Babylon. 12 In his distress, he begged Jehovah his God for favor* and kept humbling himself greatly before the God of his forefathers. 13 He kept praying to Him, and He was moved by his entreaty and heard his request for favor, and He restored him to Jerusalem to his kingship.+ Then Manasseh came to know that Jehovah is the true God.+
14 After this he built an outer wall for the City of David+ west of Gihon+ in the valley* and as far as the Fish Gate,+ and he continued it around to Ophel,+ and he made it very high. Further, he appointed army chiefs in all the fortified cities in Judah. 15 He then removed 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 he had them thrown outside the city. 16 He also prepared the altar of Jehovah+ and began to offer up communion sacrifices+ and thanksgiving sacrifices+ on it, and he told Judah to serve Jehovah the God of Israel. 17 Nevertheless, the people were still sacrificing on the high places, although only to Jehovah their God.
18 As for the rest of the history of Manasseh, his prayer to his God, and the words of the visionaries who spoke to him in the name of Jehovah the God of Israel, they are recorded in the history of the kings of Israel. 19 Also his prayer+ and how his entreaty was granted him, all his sins and his unfaithfulness,+ the locations where he built high places and set up the sacred poles*+ and the graven images before he humbled himself, they are written among the words of his visionaries. 20 Then Manasseh was laid to rest with his forefathers, and they buried him at his house; and his son Amon became king in his place.+
21 Amon+ was 22 years old when he became king, and he reigned for two years in Jerusalem.+ 22 And he continued to do what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes, just as his father Manasseh had done;+ and Amon sacrificed to all the graven images that his father Manasseh had made,+ and he kept serving them. 23 But he did not humble himself before Jehovah+ as Manasseh his father had humbled himself;+ instead, Amon greatly increased his guilt. 24 Eventually his servants conspired against him+ and put him to death in his own house. 25 But the people of the land struck down all those who conspired against King Amon,+ and they made his son Josiah+ king in his place.
34 Josiah+ was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned for 31 years in Jerusalem.+ 2 He did what was right in Jehovah’s eyes and walked in the ways of David his forefather, and he did not deviate to the right or to the left.
3 In the 8th year of his reign, while he was still a boy, he started to search for the God of David his forefather;+ and in the 12th year, he started to cleanse Judah and Jerusalem+ of the high places+ and the sacred poles,* the graven images,+ and the metal statues.* 4 Further, they tore down the altars of the Baals in his presence, and he cut down the incense stands that were up above them. He also broke into pieces the sacred poles,* the graven images, and the metal statues* and reduced them to powder and sprinkled it over the graves of those who used to sacrifice to them.+ 5 And he burned the bones of priests on their altars.+ Thus he cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.
6 And in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim,+ Simeon, and clear to Naphtali, in their surrounding ruins, 7 he tore down the altars and he crushed the sacred poles* and the graven images,+ reducing them to powder; and he cut down all the incense stands in all the land of Israel,+ after which he returned to Jerusalem.
8 In the 18th year of his reign, when he had cleansed the land and the temple,* he sent Shaphan+ the son of Azaliah, Maaseiah the chief of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder to repair the house of Jehovah his God.+ 9 They came to Hilkiah the high priest and gave him the money that had been brought to the house of God, which the Levites serving as doorkeepers had collected from Manasseh, Ephraim, and all the rest of Israel,+ as well as from Judah, Benjamin, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 Then they gave it to those who were appointed over the work in the house of Jehovah. In turn the workers in the house of Jehovah used it to mend and repair the house. 11 They gave it to the craftsmen and the builders to buy hewn stones and timbers for braces and to build with beams the houses that the kings of Judah had allowed to fall into ruin.+
12 And the men did the work faithfully.+ Over them were appointed the Levites Jahath and Obadiah of the Merarites,+ and Zechariah and Meshullam of the Kohathites,+ to serve as overseers. And the Levites, all of whom were skilled musicians,+ 13 were in charge of the common laborers* and were overseers of all those who were doing the work in every kind of service; and some of the Levites were secretaries, officers, and gatekeepers.+
14 While they were taking out the money that had been brought to the house of Jehovah,+ Hilkiah the priest found the book of Jehovah’s Law+ given through* Moses.+ 15 So Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary: “I have found the book of the Law in the house of Jehovah.” With that Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan. 16 Then Shaphan brought the book to the king and told him: “Your servants are doing everything that was assigned to them. 17 They have poured out the money that was found in the house of Jehovah, and they have handed it over to the appointed men and to those doing the work.” 18 Shaphan the secretary also told the king: “There is a book that Hilkiah the priest has given me.”+ Then Shaphan began to read from it before the king.+
19 As soon as the king heard the words of the Law, he ripped his garments apart.+ 20 Then the king gave this order to Hilkiah, Ahikam+ the son of Shaphan, Abdon the son of Micah, Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the king’s servant: 21 “Go, inquire of Jehovah in my behalf and in behalf of those who remain in Israel and in Judah concerning the words of the book that has been found; for Jehovah’s rage that will be poured out against us is great because our forefathers did not carry out the word of Jehovah by observing all that is written in this book.”+
22 So Hilkiah, along with those sent by the king, went to Huldah the prophetess.+ She was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah son of Harhas, the caretaker of the wardrobe, and she was dwelling in the Second Quarter of Jerusalem; and they spoke to her there.+ 23 She said to them: “This is what Jehovah the God of Israel says, ‘Tell the man who sent you to me: 24 “This is what Jehovah says, ‘I will bring calamity on this place and its inhabitants,+ all the curses that are written in the book+ that they read before the king of Judah. 25 Because they have abandoned me+ and are making sacrifices smoke to other gods in order to offend me+ with all the works of their hands, my rage will pour out on this place and it will not be extinguished.’”+ 26 But to the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of Jehovah, this is what you should say to him, “This is what Jehovah the God of Israel says: ‘Regarding the words that you have heard,+ 27 because your heart was responsive* and you humbled yourself before God on hearing his words concerning this place and its inhabitants and you humbled yourself before me and ripped your garments apart and wept before me, I also have heard you,+ declares Jehovah. 28 That is why I will gather you to your ancestors,* and you will be laid in your grave in peace, and your eyes will not see all the calamity that I will bring on this place and its inhabitants.’”’”+
Then they brought the reply to the king. 29 So the king sent word and summoned all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.+ 30 After that the king went up to the house of Jehovah with all the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the Levites—all the people, the great as well as the small. He read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of Jehovah.+ 31 The king stood in his place and made a covenant*+ before Jehovah that he would follow Jehovah and keep his commandments, his reminders, and his regulations with all his heart and with all his soul*+ by carrying out the words of the covenant that were written in this book.+ 32 Furthermore, he had all those who were in Jerusalem and Benjamin to agree to it. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem acted according to the covenant of God, the God of their forefathers.+ 33 Josiah then removed all the detestable things* out of all the lands that belonged to the Israelites,+ and he made everyone in Israel serve Jehovah their God. Throughout his lifetime* they did not deviate from following Jehovah the God of their forefathers.
35 Josiah held a Passover+ to Jehovah in Jerusalem, and they slaughtered the Passover sacrifice+ on the 14th day of the first month.+ 2 He assigned the priests to their duties and encouraged them to carry out their service of the house of Jehovah.+ 3 Then he said to the Levites, the instructors of all Israel,+ those who were holy to Jehovah: “Put the holy Ark in the house that Solomon the son of David the king of Israel built;+ you are no longer to carry it on your shoulders.+ Now serve Jehovah your God and his people Israel. 4 And prepare yourselves by your paternal houses according to your divisions, following what was written by King David+ of Israel and by his son Solomon.+ 5 Stand in the holy place grouped by the paternal houses of your brothers, the rest of the people,* with a corresponding group of the paternal house of the Levites. 6 Slaughter the Passover sacrifice+ and sanctify yourselves and make preparation for your brothers to carry out the word of Jehovah through Moses.”
7 Josiah contributed flocks to the people, male lambs and young male goats, for the Passover sacrifices for all who were present, a total of 30,000, as well as 3,000 cattle. These were from the king’s own property.+ 8 His princes also made a contribution as a voluntary offering for the people, the priests, and the Levites. Hilkiah,+ Zechariah, and Jehiel, the leaders of the house of the true God, gave to the priests 2,600 Passover sacrifices and 300 cattle. 9 Conaniah and his brothers Shemaiah and Nethanel, along with Hashabiah, Jeiel, and Jozabad, the chiefs of the Levites, contributed to the Levites 5,000 Passover sacrifices and 500 cattle.
10 The service was prepared, and the priests stood at their places and the Levites by their divisions,+ as the king had commanded. 11 They slaughtered the Passover sacrifices,+ and the priests sprinkled the blood they received from them,+ while the Levites were skinning the animals.+ 12 Next they prepared the burnt offerings so as to distribute them to the rest of the people, who were grouped by paternal house, so that they could be presented to Jehovah as it is written in the book of Moses; and they did the same with the cattle. 13 They cooked* the Passover offering over the fire according to the custom;+ and they cooked the holy offerings in pots, cauldrons, and pans, after which they brought it quickly to all the rest of the people. 14 Then they made preparations for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the descendants of Aaron, were offering up the burnt sacrifices and the fat pieces until nightfall, so the Levites made preparations for themselves and for the priests, the descendants of Aaron.
15 And the singers, the sons of Asaph,+ were at their positions by the commandment of David,+ Asaph,+ Heman, and Jeduthun+ the visionary of the king; and the gatekeepers were at the different gates.+ There was no need for them to leave their service, because their brothers the Levites made preparations for them. 16 So all the service of Jehovah was prepared on that day to hold the Passover+ and to offer up the burnt offerings on the altar of Jehovah, according to the order of King Josiah.+
17 The Israelites who were present held the Passover at that time and the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days.+ 18 There had never been held a Passover like it in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet; nor had any of the other kings of Israel held a Passover like that held by Josiah,+ the priests, the Levites, all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 19 This Passover was held in the 18th year of Josiah’s reign.
20 After all of this, when Josiah had prepared the temple,* King Necho+ of Egypt came up to fight at Carchemish by the Euphrates. Then Josiah went out against him.+ 21 So he sent messengers to him, saying: “What does this have to do with you, O king of Judah? I am not coming against you today, but my fight is against another house, and God says that I should hurry. For your own sake, refrain from opposing God, who is with me, or he will bring you to ruin.” 22 However, Josiah would not turn away from him, but he disguised himself+ to fight against him and would not listen to the words of Necho, which were from the mouth of God. So he came to fight in the Plain of Megiddo.+
23 And the archers shot King Josiah, and the king said to his servants: “Get me out of here, for I am severely wounded.” 24 So his servants took him out of the chariot and had him ride in his second war chariot and brought him to Jerusalem. Thus he died and was buried in the tomb of his forefathers,+ and all Judah and Jerusalem mourned Josiah. 25 And Jeremiah+ chanted over Josiah, and all the male and female singers+ keep singing about Josiah in their dirges* down to this day; and a decision was made that they should be sung in Israel, and they are written among the dirges.
26 As for the rest of the history of Josiah and his deeds of loyal love, in keeping with what is written in the Law of Jehovah, 27 and what he did, from beginning to end, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and of Judah.+
36 Then the people of the land took Josiah’s son Jehoahaz+ and made him king in Jerusalem in place of his father.+ 2 Jehoahaz was 23 years old when he became king, and he reigned for three months in Jerusalem. 3 However, the king of Egypt deposed him in Jerusalem and fined the land 100 silver talents* and a gold talent.+ 4 Furthermore, the king of Egypt made Jehoahaz’ brother Eliakim king over Judah and Jerusalem and changed his name to Jehoiakim; but Necho+ took his brother Jehoahaz and brought him to Egypt.+
5 Jehoiakim+ was 25 years old when he became king, and he reigned for 11 years in Jerusalem. He continued to do what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah his God.+ 6 King Nebuchadnezzar+ of Babylon came up against him in order to bind him with two copper fetters to take him off to Babylon.+ 7 And Nebuchadnezzar took some of the utensils of the house of Jehovah to Babylon and put them in his palace in Babylon.+ 8 As for the rest of the history of Jehoiakim, the detestable things that he did and what was found against him, it is written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and of Judah; and his son Jehoiachin became king in his place.+
9 Jehoiachin+ was 18 years old when he became king, and he reigned for three months and ten days in Jerusalem; and he continued to do what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes.+ 10 At the start of the year,* King Nebuchadnezzar sent to have him brought to Babylon,+ along with valuable articles of the house of Jehovah.+ And he made his father’s brother Zedekiah king over Judah and Jerusalem.+
11 Zedekiah+ was 21 years old when he became king, and he reigned for 11 years in Jerusalem.+ 12 He continued to do what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah his God. He did not humble himself before the prophet Jeremiah,+ who spoke at the order of Jehovah. 13 He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar,+ who had made him take an oath by God, and he remained stubborn* and hardhearted and refused to turn to Jehovah the God of Israel. 14 All the chiefs of the priests as well as the people were exceedingly unfaithful, practicing all the detestable things of the nations, and they defiled the house of Jehovah+ that he had sanctified in Jerusalem.
15 Jehovah the God of their forefathers kept warning them by means of his messengers, warning them again and again, because he felt compassion for his people and for his dwelling place. 16 But they kept ridiculing the messengers of the true God,+ and they despised his words+ and mocked his prophets,+ until the rage of Jehovah came up against his people,+ until they were beyond healing.
17 So he brought against them the king of the Chaldeans,+ who killed their young men with the sword+ in the house of their sanctuary;+ he felt no compassion for young man or virgin, old or infirm.+ God gave everything into his hand.+ 18 All the utensils of the house of the true God, great and small, as well as the treasures of the house of Jehovah and the treasures of the king and his princes, everything he brought to Babylon.+ 19 He burned down the house of the true God,+ tore down the wall of Jerusalem,+ burned all its fortified towers with fire, and destroyed everything of value.+ 20 He carried off captive to Babylon those who escaped the sword,+ and they became servants to him+ and his sons until the kingdom* of Persia began to reign,+ 21 to fulfill Jehovah’s word spoken by Jeremiah,+ until the land had paid off its sabbaths.+ All the days it lay desolate it kept sabbath, to fulfill 70 years.+ Jer.25:11; 29:10; Zech.1:12
22 In the first year of King Cyrus+ of Persia, in order that Jehovah’s word spoken by Jeremiah+ would be fulfilled, Jehovah stirred the spirit of King Cyrus of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his kingdom, which he also put in writing,+ saying: 23 “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says, ‘Jehovah the God of the heavens has given me all the kingdoms of the earth,+ and he has commissioned me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.+ Whoever there is among you of all his people, may Jehovah his God be with him, and let him go up.’”+