2 Chronicles

From the Greek Septuagint text as was used by First Century Christians
Likely written by the scribe Ezra around 455-BCE,
covering the history from the start of the reign of Solomon (about 1037-BCE)
to the destruction of JeruSalem then Babylon, and the start of the reign of King Cyrus of Persia (about 559-BCE).

Chapter 1

1 Well, Solomon (the son of David) grew stronger in his kingdom because his God Jehovah was with him and made him great.

2 Then, after Solomon had spoken to all the generals, lieutenants, judges, governors of IsraEl, and family heads, 3 he and the entire assembly went to the high place in GibeOn where God's Tent of Proofs that Moses (the servant of Jehovah) had made in the desert was kept. 4 But at the time, the Chest of God wasn't there, because David had it carried from the city of KiriAth JaiRim [and put it in] a tent that he'd made for it in JeruSalem. 5 However, the bronze Altar that BeSeleEl (the son of UriAh and grandson of Or) had made was still there in front of the Tent of Jehovah, and that's why Solomon and the assembly went there.

6 Then Solomon offered a thousand whole burnt offerings as sacrifices to Jehovah there on the bronze Altar before the Tent of the Proofs. 7 And that night, God appeared to Solomon and said to him: 'Ask for whatever you wish and I'll give it to you.'

8 So Solomon said to God: 'You have been extremely kind to my father David, and now You've made me the king in his place. 9 Therefore, O my God Jehovah; May You prove true to Your Name by doing all the things that You [promised] to my father David.

'And since You've made me the king over a people that are as many as the [specks of] dust on the ground; 10 please give me the wisdom and understanding [that I'll need] to stand before these people who will come before me. For who can possibly judge so many people?'

11 And God said to Solomon: 'Because this is the desire of your heart, and because you didn't ask for wealth, possessions, glory, the lives of your enemies, or for a long life, but for the wisdom and understanding to judge My people over whom I have appointed you king; 12 I will be giving you the wisdom and understanding. However, I will also give you wealth, possessions, and glory╔ I'm giving you more than any of the kings that came before you or any who will come after you will ever know.'

13 So then Solomon left The Tent of Proofs in the place of worship in GibeOn and he returned to JeruSalem to begin his reign over IsraEl.

14 Thereafter, Solomon started collecting chariots and horsemen; and [in time] he had a thousand, four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, which he stationed in cities that [he built] to hold the chariots, and he kept many of the men with him in JeruSalem.

15 Well during that time, the king made silver and gold as common in JeruSalem as stones, and the cedar wood in Judah was as common as mulberry trees in the plains.

16 Solomon also brought horses from Egypt, which he paid for with the [money] that the merchants made in their trading. 17 They would travel to Egypt and buy a chariot for six hundred silver coins and a horse for a hundred-and-fifty silver coins, and then he would resell them to the kings of the Hittites and Syrians.

Chapter 2

1 It was then that Solomon gave the word to start building the Temple to the Name of the Lord, as well as a palace for his own kingship. 2 So he brought together seventy-thousand laborers, eighty-thousand quarry workers (who worked in the mountains), and three thousand six hundred supervisors. 3 Then Solomon sent a message to King HiRam of Tyre, saying: 'I know what you did for my father David by sending cedars to build a palace for himself. 4 But look; I (his son) am now building a Temple to the Name of my God Jehovah as a Holy Place for Him. It's a place to burn incense before Him through the ages and a place for Him to stay where we can sacrifice whole burnt offerings in the mornings, evenings, on the Sabbaths, during the New Moons, and on the Lord's holidays. I am doing this for all IsraEl.

5 'Now, the Temple that I am to build will be great, because our God Jehovah is greater than all other gods. 6 But who is great enough to build a House for Him, since the skies and the heavens above them can't bear His glory? So who am I to build such a Temple since [I'm not even qualified] to burn incense before Him? 7 However, what I'm asking is for you to please send me a wise man who knows how to work with gold, silver, bronze, and iron, as well as with with blue [thread], purple [yarn], and scarlet cloth. [I must have such a man to take the lead] over those wise ones who are with me in Judah and JeruSalem that can do carving and make the things that have been prepared by my father David.

8 'Also, please send me some cedar, juniper, and pine boards from Lebanon, because your servants know how to cut up the timber of Lebanon. And then {Look!} your servants can direct the servants 9 that [I will send], who will bring back the large quantities of timber for the great and glorious Temple that I am to build. 10 And look! I will thereafter send you gifts of grain as food for your servants who will cut the trees╔ I will send a hundred-and-forty thousand bushels of wheat, a hundred-and-forty thousand bushels of barley, twenty-thousand barrels of wine, and twenty-thousand barrels of olive oil.'

11 So King HiRam of Tyre sent a return letter to Solomon that said: 'Jehovah must love His people very much to put such a king over them.' 12 And he added: 'Praise Jehovah the God of IsraEl who made the skies and the lands, and who gave King David such a wise son who knows enough and understands enough to build a Temple to Him, as well as a palace for his kingdom.

13 'Now, I've sent a man to you who is wise and knowledgeable, my servant HiRam. His mother is one of the daughters of Dan, although his father is from Tyre. He knows how to work with gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, and wood; and he knows how to weave blue [thread], purple [yarn], scarlet [cloth], and linen, as well as how to do carving. 14 He's good at doing everything that you will assign him to do alongside your wise men and the wise men of your father, my Lord David.

15 'And concerning the grain, barley, olive oil, and wine that my lord spoke of; let him send it to his servants, 16 and we will cut all the trees of Lebanon that you need and send it to you by sea to JopPa on barges. Then you can then carry it on from there to JeruSalem.'

17 So Solomon gathered all the foreign men in the land of IsraEl that had been counted by his father David (all one-hundred and fifty-three thousand six hundred of them). 18 Then he put seventy thousand to work loading the carriers, eighty thousand to work in the mountain quarries, and three-thousand six hundred were assigned as the supervisors.

Chapter 3

1 Thereafter, Solomon started constructing the Temple of Jehovah on Mount MoriAh in JeruSalem╔ the place where Jehovah had appeared to his father David at the threshing floor and which he [bought] from Ornan the Jebusite. 2 He started this construction project in the second month of the fourth year of his reign.

3 When Solomon built the Temple of God, he made it a hundred feet long and thirty-three feet wide. 4 It also had a columned porch that adjoined its full width along the front, which was thirty-three feet wide and thirty-three feet tall. On the inside, [the Temple] was totally covered in pure gold. 5 It was a large building made of cedar wood that had been covered in pure gold and engraved with palms and chain work. 6 Valuable stones were then added to make the Temple more glorious, and using gold that he got from PharaOh Aim, 7 he gilded the Temple's walls, gatehouses, roofing, and doorways, and he had cherubs engraved on its walls.

8 Next he made the Holy of Holies. Its width (along the front side of the Temple) was thirty-three feet, and it was thirty-three feet long. Then he had it covered with thirteen-tons of gold╔ 9 the weight of each nail was the same as the weight of fifty gold coins, and the upper rooms were also covered in gold.

10 Inside the Temple, facing the Holy of Holies, he made two cherubs of durable wood that were covered with gold. 11 They each stood thirty-three feet tall and their wings were eight feet long 12 so that they touched the Temple walls on either side and they touched each other [in the middle]. 13 Their [combined] wingspan was thirty-two feet, and they stood on their feet facing the [Sacred Chest].

14 Then he made the separating veil of blue [thread], purple [yarn], scarlet [cloth], and linen that was woven into [the shape of] cherubs.

15 In front of the Temple there were two columns that each stood fifty-feet tall, and their caps were each eight-feet tall. 16 Then he made a chainwork for the corners that was put over the column caps, and a hundred pomegranate figures were mounted over the chainwork. 17 These columns were located on each side of the [entrance to] the Temple. He then named the one on the right Success, and the one on the left Strength.

Chapter 4

1 Next he built a bronze Altar that was thirty-three feet long, thirty-three feet wide, and sixteen feet high. 2 After that he had the [Sacred] Sea cast. It was round and sixteen feet in diameter. It stood eight-feet tall and it was fifty-feet in circumference. 3 This bathing tub [was resting on metal] calves that were standing in a sixteen-foot circle beneath it. 4 There were twelve calves that were cast in two types╔ three looked north, three looked west, three looked south, and three looked east, with their backsides facing inward and the Sea resting on top of them.

5 [The Sea] looked like a palm in the middle, and its rim was like the edge of a cup, with carved lily buds [all around]. It had a capacity of twenty-thousand gallons.

6 After he finished the [Sacred Sea], he made ten washbasins, five of which were put on its right and five on its left. They were used to wash and rinse those who sacrificed the whole burnt offerings. However, the Sea was only be used for washing the Priests.

7 Then he made ten of the unique gold lampstands and put them inside of the Temple, five on the right, and five on the left. 8 He also made ten tables and put them inside the Temple, five on the right and five on the left. And he made a hundred gold bowls.

9 Next he made the Courtyard of the Priests. It was very large, and it had bronze doorways. 10 He also located the [Sacred] Sea next to the corner of the Temple, on the right side, to the east.

11 Then HiRam made the meat hooks, the censers, the grate for the Altar, and all the other items. For by then he had completed the rest of the work on the Temple of God for King Solomon. 12 He also made the two columns with their bases and caps. These caps had a meshwork that covered the tops. 13 And he made four hundred gold bells to go over the meshwork, and two types of pomegranates to cover the mesh that was on the bottom sides of the column caps.

14 HiRam then made the ten wash tubs and their bases, 15 the Sacred Sea with the twelve calves beneath it, 16 the foot basins, the ladles, the cooking pots, the meat hooks, and everything else, which he thereafter presented to King Solomon at the Temple of Jehovah. All of these things were made of pure bronze 17 that he had cast for the king in a temporary structure that he'd built underground near the Jordan.

18 Solomon had a tremendous number of items made, because he had more than enough bronze. 19 He had everything made [that was needed] for the Temple of Jehovah, including the gold Altar, the tables, the place settings for the bread, 20 and the unique lampstands and their lamps for lighting [the Temple], which were all made from pure gold. 21 Then there were the tongs, lamps, bowls, and incense pans, which were also made of pure gold, 22 as were the Temple doors and the inner door to the Holy of Holies.

Chapter 5

1 After Solomon had finished construction on the Temple of Jehovah, he carried in all the holy things of his father David (the things made of silver and gold) and put them into the Temple treasury. 2 Thereafter, he held an assembly in JeruSalem of all the elders, all the tribal heads, and all the family heads of the sons of IsraEl, which is when they brought the Chest of the Sacred Agreement of Jehovah out of the city of David on [Mount] Zion. 3 Then everyone in IsraEl assembled with the king during the holiday of the seventh month 4 along with their elders, and that's when the Levites picked up the Chest, 5 as well as the Tent of Proofs and the rest of the holy items, and they carried them before the Priests and Levites. 6 Then Solomon and the entire assembly of the God-fearing who had gathered there around the Chest sacrificed so many calves and sheep that they couldn't be counted.

7 It was the Priests who thereafter carried the Chest of the Sacred Agreement of Jehovah and placed it inside the Temple, inside the Holy of Holies, beneath the wings of the cherubs. 8 So there it sat beneath the spread wings of the cherubs that watched over the Chest, with its bearing poles lying across the top. 9 These bearing poles could always be seen sticking through the veil to the Holy of Holies (but they couldn't be seen from outside [of the Temple]). And they are still there to this day. 10 Of course, nothing was in the Chest except the two tablets that Moses had put there at The Dry Place (Horeb) when Jehovah first made the [Agreement] with the sons of IsraEl after they left the land of Egypt.

11 Then the Priests came out of the Holy Place (note that at the time, all the Priests had been viewed as holy, since the assignments and daily rotations 12 hadn't been made yet). And when that happened, the musicians and singers from the families of Asaph, Heman, and IdiThoum (and those that were with them who were all dressed in fine linen) assembled in front of the Altar with their cymbals, stringed instruments and woodwinds, along with a hundred and twenty Priests who had been assigned to blow their trumpets, 13 and they played a loud anthem that was accompanied by singing to acknowledge and praise Jehovah. Well, as the voices, trumpets, cymbals, and the other musical instruments reached a climax with the words, 'Jehovah is good, and His mercies endure through the ages,' the glorious cloud of Jehovah started filling the Temple, 14 so the Priests were no longer able to stand there and serve before the face of the cloud, because the glory of Jehovah had filled the Temple of God.

Chapter 6

1 Then Solomon said: 'O Jehovah; You've said that You camp in the shadows. 2 So I have built a House to Your Name as something holy to You╔ a place for You to camp through the ages.' 3 And at that, the king turned his head and blest the entire gathering of IsraEl as they were standing nearby. 4 He shouted, 'Praise Jehovah the God of IsraEl who spoke to my father David with His mouth and who filled his hands, saying: 5 From the day that I led My people out of the land of Egypt, I have not chosen a city from among any of the tribes of IsraEl to build a [Temple] to My Name, nor had I chosen a man to be a leader over My people IsraEl. 6 But now I have chosen JeruSalem as the place for My Name, and I have chosen David to lead My people IsraEl. 7 Therefore, it came into the heart of my father David to build a Temple to the Name of the Lord God of IsraEl. 8 However, the Lord said to my father David: It's a good thing that your heart has been moved to build a Temple to My Name, 9 but you may not build it for Me. Rather, it will be a son who comes from your loins that will build a Temple to My Name.

10 'So now, Jehovah has made the thing that He said come true; for I have taken the place of my father David and I am sitting on the throne of IsraEl, just as Jehovah said, and I have built a Temple to the Name of the Lord God of IsraEl, 11 into which I've placed the Chest of the Sacred Agreement that Jehovah made with IsraEl.'

12 Then [he walked over] and stood against the Altar of Jehovah and raised his arms before the assembly of IsraEl. 13 For Solomon had a bronze podium made in the midst of the Temple courtyard that was eight-feet long, eight-feet wide, and five-feet high. So he got up on it and fell to his knees before the whole assembly of IsraEl; then he raised his arms toward the sky and said: 14 'O Jehovah, God of IsraEl; There is no other god like You in the heavens or on the earth who keeps his agreements and shows mercy as You have shown to Your children who are now wholeheartedly standing before You. 15 For You've honored [the agreement] that You made with Your servant David (my father), which You promised with Your mouth, and with which You've filled Your hands to this day.

16 'And now, O Jehovah, God of IsraEl; keep [the promise] that you made with Your servant David (my father) when You said, There will never fail to be a man from you who sits before My face on the throne of IsraEl for as long as your sons are careful to always obey My Laws, as you have been doing before Me.'

17 'And now, O Jehovah, God of IsraEl; May the things You said to Your servant David prove to be true╔ 18 that You will for a fact live as God upon the earth. But if the skies and the heavens of the heavens aren't enough to hold You; then, how can this House that I built possibly do so?

19 'Please hear the prayers of Your servant and listen to these things that I'm begging before You, O Jehovah God; please answer the prayers and petitions that Your servant has brought before You today. 20 May Your eyes watch over this Temple day and night╔ this place that You said would be called by Your Name. Hear the prayer that Your servant is praying in this place╔ 21 listen to whatever things that Your servant and Your people IsraEl pray for in this place. Listen from the place where You dwell in the heavens, and be forgiving. 22 For if a man should sin against his neighbor and then [his neighbor] comes before the Altar at this Temple to curse him; 23 listen to him from the heavens and act. Judge Your servants, and bring the bad ways of lawbreakers down upon their own heads. Give justice to the just, and repay each one for his righteousness.

24 'And if Your people IsraEl should be devastated by their enemies for sinning against You, and then return and acknowledge Your Name and pray and beg before You in this Temple; 25 please listen from the heavens and forgive Your people IsraEl. Then return them to the land that You gave to them and to their ancestors.

26 'And if You should hold back the skies so there is no rain because of their sinning against You, and they come and pray and praise Your Name in this place, turning away from their sins because You have humbled them; 27 listen to them from the heavens and forgive the sins of your servants and of your people IsraEl. Then show them the good ways to go, and bring rain upon Your land that you have given to Your people as their inheritance.

28 'Or if a famine should come upon the land, or a killing plague, or a wind-blown blight, or jaundice, or locust, or grasshoppers, or if an enemy should attack their cities – whatever the calamity or misery – 29 please listen to the things that they beg and pray for.

'And if any man among Your people IsraEl knows of a man who has an infection and has become disabled, and then he raises his arms toward this Temple; 30 please listen to him from this Home that has been prepared for You and from the heavens, then forgive the man. Know [what's in] his heart and give him the things that he deserves. For only You know the hearts of the sons of men. 31 So, may they all fear Your ways for as long as they live on the face of the land that You gave to their ancestors.

32 'And when foreigners who are not of Your people IsraEl come from far-away lands because of Your great Name, strong hand, and raised arm, and they come to pray in this place; 33 listen to them from Your Home in the heavens and do everything that they ask, so that everyone on the earth will come to know Your Name and fear You, as do Your people IsraEl. And may they recognize that this Temple that I built bears Your Name.

34 'And if Your people must go to war against their enemies – wherever You may send them – and they pray in the direction of this city that You chose and toward this Temple that I've built to Your Name; 35 listen from the heavens to the things that they beg and pray, and bring them justice.

36 'And when they sin against You (for there is no man who doesn't sin) and You strike them and hand them over to their enemies, and they are carried away as captives to lands that are nearby or far away, 37 and they then turn their hearts to the land from which they were taken and turn and beg to You in their captivity, saying, We have sinned, we have broken [Your] Laws, and we were wrong, 38 and then they return to You with their whole hearts and souls, as well as to this land from which they were taken as captives and pray toward this land that You gave to them and to their ancestors and toward this city which You chose, and toward this Temple that I have built to Your Name; 39 listen to the things that they beg and pray for from Your home in the heavens and bring them justice. Forgive Your people for their sins against You, O Jehovah. Open Your eyes and ears to the things that the people beg for [in the direction of] this place!

41 'And now, O Jehovah our God; Awaken from Your rest when it comes to this Chest of Your strength and to Your Priests, O Lord our God. May they wrap themselves in Your salvation, and may Your sons rejoice in all Your good things!

42 O Jehovah our God; Don't turn Your face away from Your anointed one. Remember the [goodness] of Your servant David!'

Chapter 7

1 Then, as Solomon was finishing his prayer, fire came down from the sky and consumed the whole burnt offerings and the sacrifices; and the glory of Jehovah filled the Temple. 2 So the Priests couldn't enter the Temple at that time, because the glory of Jehovah filled the Temple. 3 And when all the sons of IsraEl saw the fire come down and the glory of Jehovah filling the Temple, they all fell to the stone pavement with their faces to the ground, bowing low and praising Jehovah, [singing],
'[Jehovah] is good,
And His mercy endures through the ages.'

4 Well after that, the king and all the people offered [even more] sacrifices before Jehovah. 5 King Solomon himself offered twenty-two thousand calves and a hundred-and-twenty thousand sheep in dedication to the Temple of God.

6 Meanwhile, the Priests were standing watch and the Levites were playing songs that were written to Jehovah by King David on their [musical] instruments [and singing] the songs they had written, which acknowledged before Jehovah His mercy through the ages. Then the Priests stood out in front and blew their trumpets, as the people stood there [listening].

7 Thereafter, Solomon made the middle of the courtyard of the Temple of Jehovah holy by sacrificing whole burnt offerings and the fat of salvation. However, the bronze Altar that Solomon had made wasn't large enough to handle all the whole burnt offerings, gift offerings, and fat.

8 Well, Solomon observed the holiday for seven days, and all IsraEl stayed there with him; for it was a huge crowd that had come from as far away as the entrance to HaMath and the River of Egypt. 9 Then on the eighth day, he proclaimed a holiday recess to the Altar dedication ceremony, since they had already celebrated the holiday during the previous seven days. 10 So on the twenty-third day of the seventh month he sent the people back to their homes, and they all left filled with joy and with happy hearts because of all the good things that Jehovah had done to David, to Solomon, and to His people IsraEl.

11 By then Solomon had not only completed the Temple of Jehovah and his own palace, but everything else that he wanted to do for the Temple of Jehovah, and his house prospered. 12 Then Jehovah appeared to Solomon one night and said to him: 'I've heard your prayers, and I've chosen this place for Myself as a Temple for sacrifices. 13 So if I should stop up the sky and not allow it to rain, or if I should send locusts to eat all the trees, or if I should send a deadly plague among My people, 14 and then they become ashamed and once more have My Name called upon them, and they pray to Me and search for My face and turn from their wicked ways; then I will listen to them from the heavens, forgive their sins, and heal their land. 15 For My eyes will be open and My ears will pay close attention to the prayers of these people.

16 'I have also chosen this Temple and made it holy to My Name through the ages, so it will remain in My eyes and in My heart each day. 17 And if you come before Me, as did your father David, and do everything that I tell you to do, following My instructions and Commandments; 18 I will elevate the throne of your kingdom, just as I promised your father David when I said, No [descendant] of yours will be removed from the leadership of IsraEl.

19 'However, if you should turn away and abandon My instructions and the Commandments that I've set before you, and you go and serve other gods and bow before them; 20 I will remove all of you from the land that I've given to you, and I will turn My face away from this Temple that I've made holy to My Name and make it an example that will be talked about among the nations. 21 Then people who pass by this Temple that I've made so important will be shocked and ask, Why did Jehovah do all of this to His land and to His Temple? 22 And they will then be told: It happened because they abandoned Jehovah the God of their ancestors who led them out of the land of Egypt, then they started following other gods, bowing before them and serving them. That's why God brought all of these bad things upon them.'

Chapter 8

1 Well, it was some twenty years after Solomon finished building the Temple of Jehovah and his own palace 2 that he started developing the cities that HiRam had given to him, and he settled the sons of IsraEl there. 3 He went to ZoBah (in HaMath) and strengthened its defenses, 4 then he built TadMor in the desert, and he built several other fortified cities in HaMath. 5 He also built both Upper and Lower BethHoron, and he fortified them all with walls, bars, and gates (for that's where he kept his chariots and cavalry). 6 Then Solomon did all the things he wanted to do in JeruSalem, Lebanon, and throughout his whole kingdom.

7 At the time, those who were left in the land that were descendants of the Hittites, Amorites, Pherezites, Hivites, and Jebusites (all those who weren't IsraElites 8 and who hadn't been destroyed by IsraEl) were forced by Solomon to pay a tribute (which they still pay to this day). 9 And Solomon didn't appoint any IsraElites as servants in his kingdom; for these people served as his warriors, governors, great men, and as those who were in charge of his chariots and cavalry. 10 There were two-hundred-and-fifty [of them] that King Solomon had appointed as heads over the supervisors of public works among the people.

11 Then Solomon built a palace for the daughter of PharaOh outside the city of David where he had sent her to live. He said: 'You may not live as the [wife] of the king of IsraEl inside the city of David; for it is holy, due to the fact that the Chest of Jehovah is there.'

12 Solomon also sacrificed whole burnt offerings on the Altar that he built to Jehovah in front of the Temple 13 on each of the days that they calculated by the Commandments of Moses╔ on the Sabbaths, on the [New Moons], and on the three annual holidays (the Festival of fermentation-free Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Temporary Dwellings).

14 Then, following the instructions of his father David, he set up the divisions of the Priests and assigned their duties. He assigned the watches for the Levites for when they were to direct the other priests (as he understood it was to be handled each day), as well as the shifts for the gatekeepers of each of the gates. He did just as David (the man of God) had instructed╔ 15 all the commandments of the king were followed when it came to the Priests, Levites, and everything that had to do with the [Temple] treasures.

16 Solomon continued to set everything in order from the day that the Temple foundation was laid to the day that it was completed. 17 Then Solomon built EziOn Geber in ElAth by the Sea (in the land of Idumea). 18 And thereafter, HiRam sent some of his servants (who were able seamen) with boats that were to be used by Solomon's servants, and they went to Ophir where they brought back fourteen-tons of gold to King Solomon.

Chapter 9

1 Well, when the Queen of SheBa heard of Solomon's reputation, she came to JeruSalem to test him with riddles. And when she came it was with a very large contingent of [servants] and with camels that carried huge amounts of aromatics, gold, and gems. And when she spoke to Solomon, she talked about everything that concerned her; 2 and Solomon replied to everything that she asked, not missing a word.

3 Well, after the Queen of SheBa saw the Wisdom of Solomon, the Temple he had built, 4 the food on his tables, what his servants looked like, the stations and uniforms of his wine servers, and all the whole burnt offerings that he sacrificed at the Temple of Jehovah, she was beside herself. 5 So she said to the king: 'Everything that I've heard about you in my own land and of the wise things that you say, are true! 6 However, I didn't believe any of it until I came and saw it with my own eyes. And look, they didn't tell me half the story, for I've [learned] so much from your wisdom! 7 Why your men and your servants are blest to be able to always stand before you and listen to your wisdom. 8 May your God Jehovah be praised for choosing you and putting you on His throne as their king. Your God Jehovah must have a great love for IsraEl and [and He must plan] for it to last through the ages, that He would put you as king over them as their righteous judge.'

9 Then she gave the king three-and-a-half tons of gold and a huge amount of aromatics and gems. And the aromatics that she gave to him were without equal.

10 Then the servants of Solomon and HiRam brought more gold to Solomon from Ophir, as well as pine lumber and precious gems. 11 The king used the wood to build the entryway stairs to the Temple of Jehovah and [the entrance] to his palace, as well as harps and other stringed instruments for his musicians. Nothing like this had ever been seen before in the land of Judah.

12 Then King Solomon gave the Queen of SheBa everything that she desired and asked for╔ which exceeded the [gifts] that she'd brought to Solomon; and thereafter, she returned to her own land.

13 Well, the weight of the gold that was brought to Solomon that year was twenty tons╔ 14 and this was in addition to what his men had gained from their trading. For all the kings of Arabia and all the governors of the land brought gold and silver to the king. 15 So Solomon had two hundred shields of pure gold hammered out, which were each made with six hundred gold coins, 16 as well as three hundred more shields of three hundred gold coins each, which were then taken and hung in the king's palace, in [the room that he called] the Forest of Lebanon.

17 Thereafter, the king had a huge throne made for himself from ivory tusks that were covered with pure gold, 18 and he had six steps to the throne that were overlaid with gold. There was a drop-off on either side of the throne, 19 and there were twelve [carved] lions on either side of the throne that were positioned along the drop-off on the six steps leading up to the king's throne. Nothing like this has ever been seen in any other kingdom.

20 Everything that King Solomon had was made of gold, and everything in his palace and in the Forest of Lebanon was overlaid with gold. For during the time of Solomon, silver was considered as nothing.

21 The king's ships would sail to TarShish with the servants of HiRam once every three years, and they would return to the king filled with gold, silver, ivory, and monkeys. 22 So Solomon became greater than all other kings in both wealth and wisdom, 23 and all the kings of the earth would come before Solomon to listen to the wisdom that God had put into his heart. 24 And when they came (which they did each year), they all brought gifts╔ items of gold and silver, clothes, balsam, spices, horses, and mules.

25 So Solomon soon had four thousand mares for his chariots and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he stationed in the cities that he'd built for his chariots, in addition to those that he kept with him in JeruSalem. 26 He also ruled over all the kings from the river and the land of the Philistines to the borders of Egypt.

27 During his reign, gold and silver in JeruSalem became as common as stones, and cedar wood was as common as sycamores in the plains. 28 Solomon also had horses delivered from Egypt and many other lands.

29 The rest of the things that Solomon said – from beginning to end – [Look!] were recorded by the Prophet Nathan, by AhiJah the ShiLonite, and in the visions of the Seer JoEl, who saw things concerning JeroBoam (the son of NaBat).

30 So Solomon reigned over all of IsraEl for forty years. 31 Then he went to sleep and they buried him in a tomb in the city of David (his father); and his son RehoBoam started ruling in his place.

Chapter 10

1 Well, RehoBoam went to SheChem, which was where he was to receive his coronation as king over IsraEl. 2 And when JeroBoam (the son of NaBat) heard of it, he returned from Egypt (where he had been living after he had to flee from King Solomon), 3 because the assembly of IsraEl had called for him. And when he got there, he and the entire assembly went to the king and said: 4 'Your father put a hard yoke on us. So now, free us from the hard service and the heavy yoke that your father laid upon us, and we will serve you.'

5 And [RehoBoam] replied: 'Leave me for three days, and then return [for an answer].' So the people left.

6 Well, King RehoBoam assembled all the older men who had served his father Solomon during his entire life, and asked, 'How do you suggest that I answer the people?'

7 And they told him: 'If you give a good reply to these people today and think well of them, they will serve you for as long as you live.'

8 However, he rejected this advice of the older men and listened to the advice of the younger men that he had grown up with and whom he had chosen as his councilors. 9 For when he asked them, 'What do you suggest that I tell these people who came before me and asked me to remove the yoke that my father put on them?' 10 the young men who had been raised with him replied, 'When you speak to them say: My little finger is greater than the hips of my father. 11 So if my father disciplined you with a heavy load, I will add to the weight of your yoke. And if my father disciplined you with whips, I will discipline you with scorpions!'

12 So when all the people and JeroBoam came before RehoBoam on the third day (for the king had said, 'Return to me on the third day'), 13 the king gave them the hard answer, because he had rejected the council of the older men and told the people what the younger men had suggested. He said: 14 'My father put you under a heavy yoke, so I will add to it. And my father disciplined you with whips, so I will discipline you with scorpions.'

15 However, the [reason why the] king had refused to listen to what the people said was because God had caused the words that He'd said through AhiJah the ShiLonite concerning JeroBoam (the son of NaBat) 16 and all IsraEl to be fulfilled╔ and that is what kept him from listening to them.

17 So the people said to the king: 'What [do we owe] David and the inheritance of the sons of JesSe? Run to your Tents, O IsraEl╔ and you go back to your own house of David!'

So all the men of IsraEl returned to their homes, and thereafter RehoBoam only ruled over those who lived in Judah. 18 For when King RehoBoam sent AdoniRam to collect their taxes, they threw rocks at him and killed him╔ and King RehoBoam had to run to his chariot and flee to JeruSalem. 19 So IsraEl annulled their allegiance to the house of David, which is still true to this day.

Chapter 11

1 Well, after RehoBoam returned to JeruSalem, he called an assembly of Judah and BenJamin – a hundred and eighty thousand young men – for the purpose of going to war. Then he went off to fight IsraEl, in order to bring them back under his rule. 2 But the Lord said to the Man of God ShemaiJah: 3 'Tell RehoBoam the son of Solomon who was once the king Judah and all IsraEl (not just of Judah and BenJamin) that Jehovah says you must not go and attack your brothers. Everyone must just go back to their homes, because I said so!'

4 As the result, they obeyed the words of Jehovah and they didn't attack JeroBoam. 5 So RehoBoam [reigned] in JeruSalem and he built [many] fortified cities throughout Judah. 6 He also refortified BethLehem, AiTan, Thekoe, 7 BethSoura, SocChoth, OdolLam, 8 Gath, MariSan, Ziph, 9 AdoRaim, LachIsh, Azeka, 10 SaraA, AiLom, and Hebron (in Judah and in BenJamin). 11 He built strong walls around them and appointed governors over them; then he sent them provisions of food, olive oil, and wine, 12 and he armed each city with shields and spears. He made all the cities that he ruled in Judah and BenJamin very strong.

13 Well after that, all the Priests and Levites who had been scattered throughout IsraEl left their homes and came to him╔ 14 they left their homes and all their possessions, and moved to Judah and into JeruSalem, because JeroBoam and his sons drove them out so they wouldn't represent [Jehovah in his land]. 15 For he had assigned his own priests for the high places, his idols, his foolish things, and the calves that he made. 16 He also drove out all those of the tribes of IsraEl whose hearts belonged to Jehovah the God of IsraEl, and they all moved to JeruSalem, where they could sacrifice to Jehovah the God of their ancestors. 17 So the [influx of] all these people strengthened RehoBoam (the son of Solomon) and the kingdom of Judah; and he followed in the ways of David and Solomon for the next three years.

18 RehoBoam married MolLath, who was the daughter of David's son JeriMoth and of AbiGail (the daughter of JesSe's son EliAb), 19 and she gave birth to her sons JaOus, ShamariJa, and ZaAm. 20 He also married MaAchah (AbSalom's daughter), and she gave birth to AbiJah, JetThi, ZeZa, and SalemOth.

21 Now, RehoBoam loved AbSalom's daughter MaAcha much more than his other wives and concubines (he had eighteen wives and thirty concubines through whom he fathered twenty-eight sons and sixty daughters); 22 so he appointed MaAcha's son AbiJah over his brothers to become king after him, 23 and he became very powerful throughout the fortified cities and borders of Judah and BenJamin. He sent huge amounts of provisions to them, but he also asked for many women.

Chapter 12

1 Well, once RehoBoam was firmly established on his throne, he abandoned the Commandments of Jehovah, and all IsraEl followed along. 2 Then in the fifth year of the reign of RehoBoam, Shishak (the king of Egypt) attacked JeruSalem because they had sinned against Jehovah. 3 He came with twelve hundred chariots, sixty thousand cavalrymen, and innumerable soldiers from Egypt, Libya, SukKia, and Ethiopia, 4 and they captured all the fortified cities of Judah╔ then they came to JeruSalem.

5 Well, the Prophet ShemaiJah went to RehoBoam and the governors of Judah (who had all fled to JeruSalem) and said to them: 'Jehovah says, Because you have abandoned Me, I will abandon you to the hands of Shishak.'< 6 And at that, the king and all the governors of Judah became ashamed, and they said: 'Jehovah is just.'

7 Then when Jehovah saw their shame, He sent word to ShemaiJah, saying: 'Because they feel ashamed I won't destroy them totally. Rather, I will give them some small consideration and I won't pour out all My rage upon JeruSalem. 8 Then if they will become My servants, they will learn what serving Me really means and what it means to serve the kingdom of this land.'

9 Then Shishak (the king of Egypt) attacked JeruSalem and took all the treasures that were in the Temple of Jehovah, as well as all the treasures in the king's palace, including the gold shields that Solomon had made 10 (which RehoBoam later replaced with brass shields). Then Shishak stationed his own guards in the king's gatehouse; 11 so whenever the king went to the Temple of Jehovah they would go along and watch him and then return with him.

12 Well, because he felt ashamed, the anger of Jehovah turned away from [RehoBoam] and he didn't remain corrupt to the end. So things thereafter went well for Judah, 13 as RehoBoam continued reigning in JeruSalem and started to regain his power.

RehoBoam was forty-one-years-old when he started his reign, and he ruled in JeruSalem (the city from among all the tribes of IsraEl where Jehovah chose to put His Name) for seventeen years. His mother's name was NoOmMa (she was an AmMonite). 14 But he continued to act wickedly, because he could never straighten out his heart when it came to seeking Jehovah.

15 [Look!] All the words of RehoBoam (from beginning to end) and all the things he did were recorded by the Prophet ShemaiJah and by the Seer AdDo.

Well, RehoBoam stayed in a state of war with JeroBoam throughout his life. 16 Then he died and was buried in a tomb with his ancestors in the city of David, and his son AbiJah became king after him.

Chapter 13

1 So in the eighteenth year of the reign of JeroBoam, AbiJah started his rule over Judah, 2 and he reigned in JeruSalem for three years. His mother's name was MaAcha, and she was the daughter of OuriEl from GibeOn.

[During the lifetime of] AbiJah, there was war between him and JeroBoam. 3 For AbiJah assembled a huge force of four-hundred-thousand mighty warriors, and JeroBoam came against him with an even larger army of eight-hundred-thousand mighty warriors. 4 Then AbiJah stood on Mount SomorOn (in the mountains of Ephraim) and shouted: 'Hear me, O JeroBoam and all IsraEl; 5 Don't you know that Jehovah the God of IsraEl appointed King David to rule over IsraEl through the ages, and that He made an agreement of salt with his sons? 6 But then JeroBoam, the son of NaBat and the servant of David's son Solomon, went and rebelled against his lord, 7 gathering a group of troublemakers and lawbreakers to come against Solomon's son RehoBoam. And because RehoBoam was young and timid at heart back then, he didn't oppose him face-to-face.

8 'But now you've dared to speak of resisting the kingdom of Jehovah through the hands of the sons of David, and have you gathered a huge army against us. Yet your gods are just the gold calves that JeroBoam made for you. 9 For you drove out the Priests of Jehovah – the sons of Aaron and the Levites – and you choose your own priests from among the people of the land, so that anyone who came and offered seven rams was made the priest of something that isn't even a God! 10 However, we have Jehovah as our God, and we haven't abandoned Him! His Priests – the sons of Aaron and the Levites – still serve before Jehovah in their daily rotations and offer whole burnt offerings to Jehovah in the mornings and in the evenings. They also burn the [sacred] incense, lay the [sacred] bread loaves on the table, and serve before the sacred lampstand of pure gold, keeping the lamps burning to light the nights.

11 'We're also the ones who guard the watches of Jehovah the God of our ancestors, and you're the ones who have abandoned Him. 12 So {Look!} Jehovah is leading us, and His Priests are blowing the signal trumpets that testify against you and the sons of IsraEl! Therefore, you can't fight against Jehovah the God of your ancestors, because you know that what you're doing won't be blest!'

13 Well at the time, [part of] JeroBoam's [army] had marched around Judah to ambush them from behind. So while JeroBoam was there in the front, an ambush was forming behind Judah. So when the army of Judah looked around and 14 found that they were being attacked from the front and from the rear, they yelled to Jehovah and the Priests started blowing their trumpets. 15 And when the men of Judah started calling to Jehovah, He struck JeroBoam and IsraEl there in front of AbiJah and the Judeans. 16 So the sons of IsraEl then turned and ran from Judah, and Jehovah saved them from their hands.

17 Then AbiJah and his men attacked the army of IsraEl, causing a great calamity for them; for they killed five-hundred-thousand of their mighty men. 18 So the sons of IsraEl were disgraced that day, and the sons of Judah became stronger, because they had put their trust in Jehovah the God of their ancestors.

19 Well thereafter, AbiJah pursued JeroBoam and captured the cities of BethEl and its surrounding towns, JeShanah and its surrounding towns, and EphRon and its surrounding towns. 20 So JeroBoam was no longer strong during the rest of AbiJah's lifetime╔ then Jehovah struck him and ended him. 21 But AbiJah grew stronger and took fourteen women for himself, fathering twenty sons and sixteen daughters.

22 All the rest of the things that AbiJah said and did are written in the scrolls of the Prophet AdDo.

Chapter 14

1 Then AbiJah died and they buried him in a tomb with his ancestors in the city of David, and his son Asa started reigning after him.

During the lifetime of Asa, all was quiet in the land of Judah for the next ten years, 2 for he did good things and was righteous before his God Jehovah. 3 He removed all the [pagan] altars and high places [of worship], he broke down their monuments, and he cut down their sacred poles. 4 Then he urged Judah to search for Jehovah the God of their ancestors, and to obey His Laws and Commandments. 5 Throughout Judah he had all the altars and idols destroyed, and he brought peace to all the walled cities in the land. 6 So everything was peaceful, and there were no more wars during that period, because Jehovah gave him rest.

7 Then [Asa] said to the people of Judah: 'We should rebuild all our cities and give them walls, towers, gates, and bars. For, since we've been searching for our God Jehovah, He has been searching for us, and He's provided us with rest all around and blest us.'

8 Well at the time, Asa had three-hundred-thousand armed soldiers from the land of Judah who each carried shields and spears, as well as two-hundred-and-eighty-thousand bowmen from the land of BenJamin with small shields, all of whom were powerful warriors.

9 Then Zare the Ethiopian attacked them with a million troops and three hundred chariots. 10 And when he reached MariSha, Asa came to meet him and attacked him in the ravine north of the city. 11 Then Asa called to Jehovah his God and said, 'O Jehovah; It is possible for You to save with many or with few. So strengthen us, O Jehovah God, for we will trust in You. We've come against this huge army in Your Name, O Jehovah our God, so don't allow any man to defeat You!'

12 Well thereafter, Jehovah cut down the Ethiopians before Judah, and they fled. 13 Then Asa and his men chased after them all the way to Gedor. And there the Ethiopians couldn't find a place to hide, so they were cut down and defeated before Jehovah and his army, and [the Judeans] carried away much loot.

14 Then, because Jehovah was with them, the whole situation was reversed; for [Judah] attacked and destroyed all the towns around Gedor, and they ravaged all the [Ethiopian] cities, carrying away a huge amount of loot. 15 They even destroyed the tents and property of the shepherds, carrying away many sheep and camels; and then they returned to JeruSalem.

Chapter 15

1 Then the Breath of Jehovah came over AzariAh (the son of Oded), and he went to meet with Asa, as well as with all of Judah and [the tribe of] BenJamin. He said, 'Hear me Asa, and all Judah and BenJamin! 2 As long as you're with Him, Jehovah will be with you; and if you'll search for Him, you'll find Him. However If you abandon Him, He will abandon you!

3 'IsraEl, on the other hand, has been without the true God for a long time. So there is no Priest among them who can explain things clearly, and they have no Law. 4 And now that you have returned to Jehovah the God of IsraEl, and He will be found by you!

'Until now, there has been no peace for those who enter or leave [our cities], but Jehovah is going to bring a change of state to all those who live here. 6 Nations fight against nations and cities against cities, because God shocks them by bringing all sorts of problems upon them. 7 But now you must be strong and not lose your grip, because you're going to reap the reward of your [good] deeds!'

8 Well, after he heard these words of the Prophet AzariAh, Asa was moved to drive all the disgusting things out of the lands of Judah and BenJamin. He dedicated all the [idols] that JeroBoam had [built] in the mountains of Ephraim [to destruction], [and he repaired] the Altar of Jehovah that was in front of His Temple.

9 Then he [called an] assembly of Judah, BenJamin, and those of the tribes of Ephraim, ManasSeh, and SimeOn who were living among them (for many had moved there from IsraEl when they saw that Jehovah God was with them), 10 and they all came to JeruSalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11 He thereafter sacrificed part of the things they had captured to Jehovah on that day╔ seven hundred calves and seven thousand sheep. 12 And they all agreed to search for Jehovah the God of their ancestors with their whole hearts and souls. 13 They also agreed that anyone who refused to search for Jehovah the God of IsraEl should die, whether they are young or old, male or female. 14 So everyone swore an oath to Jehovah in a loud voice, as the trumpets and horns were being blown. 15 And everyone in Judah was delighted to swear the oath with their whole souls╔ freely and of their own will. So they searched for Jehovah and they found Him; then He rested among them.

16 Well, [Asa] thereafter forced his mother MaAcha to stop bowing before Astarte, and he cut down the idol, incinerated it, and had [its ashes] thrown into the Cedar (Kidron) Wadi. 17 However, he failed to remove the high places of worship that were then located all around Judah and IsraEl, though Asa's heart remained [true] throughout the rest of his life. 18 He also recovered the holy things of his ancestor David and the holy things of the Temple of God╔ all the items of silver and gold. 19 And there was no more war through the thirty-fifth year of Asa's reign.

Chapter 16

1 It was during the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa that BaAsha (the king of IsraEl) attacked Judah, and he fortified RamAh to keep [his people] from entering or leaving the land of Asa (the king of Judah). 2 Then Asa took silver and gold from the treasury in the Temple of Jehovah and the king's palace, and sent it to BenHader, the king of Syria who lived in Damascus, saying: 3 'Let's create a treaty between you and me, [as there was] between my father and your father. Look! I'm sending you gold and silver; so, come and scatter BaAsha (the king of IsraEl), and drive him away from me!'

4 Well, King BenHader listened to Asa and he ordered his generals to attack the cities of IsraEl. So they attacked AiOn, Dan, AbelMain, and [cities] throughout the land of NaphTali. 5 And when BaAsha heard what was happening, he stopped working on RamAh and ended his projects. 6 Then King Asa gathered all Judah and they gathered up the stones and timbers that BaAsha was using to build RamAh and used them to build GabaE and MasPha.

7 Thereafter, the Prophet HanaNi went to Asa (the king of Judah) and said to him: 'Because you relied on the king of Syria and you didn't trust in your God Jehovah, the army of Syria won't remain under your control. 8 Don't [you remember] how large and courageous the armies of the Ethiopians and Libyans were, and how vast their cavalry was? And when you relied on Jehovah, He gave them into your hands. 9 For the eyes of Jehovah search throughout the earth looking to strengthen any heart that is devoted to Him. But now I want you to know that you'll be going to war.'

10 Well, Asa was furious with the Prophet and had him thrown in prison (because he was so angry), and he had several people killed.

11 {Look!} The rest of the things that Asa said and did (from beginning to end) are written about in the scrolls of the kings of Judah and IsraEl.

12 It was during the thirty-ninth year of Asa's reign that he became seriously ill; for he was having problems with his feet. And rather than going to Jehovah for help, he went to the physicians. 13 So Asa [died] and went to sleep with his ancestors, ending his reign in its fortieth year. 14 Then they buried him in a tomb that he had cut for himself in the city of David. They placed [his body] on a bed that was covered with aromatics and expensive perfumes, and they held a great funeral for him.

Chapter 17

1 After that, [Asa's] son JehoShaphat took his place as the king. And JehoShaphat fortified the [land] against IsraEl 2 by placing troops in all the walled cities of Judah. He also appointed governors over each city in Judah and over all the cities of Ephraim that his father Asa had captured.

3 Now, Jehovah was with JehoShaphat, because he started out by following in the ways of his ancestor David. 4 He didn't [worship] any of the idols╔ just Jehovah, the God of his father. He also obeyed the commandments of his father and he didn't follow in the ways of IsraEl. 5 So Jehovah strengthened the kingdom under his hands, and all Judah sent him gifts. As the result, he became very rich and powerful.

6 JehoShaphat followed in the ways of [Jehovah faithfully], and he again removed all the high places of worship as well as all the sacred poles from the land of Judah. 7 Then during the third year of his reign, he sent his governors and his sons, as well as other dignitaries (such as AbdiAn, ZachariAh, NathaniEl, and MichaiJah) to teach in the cities of Judah, 8 along with the Levites (ShemaiJah, NathaniAh, ZabDiAh, AsiEl, SemiRamOth, JoNathan, AdoniJah, and TobiAh) and the Priests (EliSama and JoRam). 9 They traveled throughout Judah with the book of the Law of Jehovah, going to each city and teaching [God's Law] to the people. 10 As the result, Jehovah brought a change over all the surrounding kingdoms, because they no longer went to war against JehoShaphat.

11 Why, even the Philistines brought JehoShaphat gifts and things made of silver; and the people of Arabia sent him seven thousand, seven hundred male sheep, and seven thousand, seven hundred male goats. 12 So he kept growing in stature and importance, as he built houses and fortified cities throughout Judah, 13 and he started several public-works projects as well.

JehoShaphat kept a contingent of mighty warriors in JeruSalem, 14 and here are their numbers by houses and families: The generals of Judah were AdNah, the leader of three-hundred-thousand men; 15 JoAnan, the leader of two hundred and eighty thousand; 16 and AmasiAh (the son of Zari, who was known for his zeal for Jehovah), the leader of two-hundred-thousand strong, mighty men. 17Also, from [the tribe of] BenJamin, came the strong, powerful leader EliAda, who had two-hundred-thousand bowmen that carried small shields. 18 And following him was JoZabad with a hundred-and-eighty-thousand mighty men of war. 19 These men were also the king's governors who were in charge of the fortified cities throughout Judah.

Chapter 18

1 Well, after JehoShaphat became very rich and famous, he decided to ally himself with the house of Ahab through marriage. 2 So after several years, he went to visit Ahab in Samaria with a large contingent of his people, and he sacrificed many calves and sheep on behalf of Ahab. Then to show his love for him, he consented to go with him to [fight at] RamOth GileAd. 3 For Ahab (the king of IsraEl) had asked JehoShaphat (the king of Judah): 'Will you go to RamOth GileAd with me?' And he replied: 'You and your people are the same as [me and] my people, so we will join you in the war.' 4 However, JehoShaphat said to the king of IsraEl: 'But first, let's ask for [God's direction]!'

5 So the king of IsraEl gathered all his prophets (some four hundred men) and asked them: 'Should I attack RamOth GileAd or should I wait?'

And they replied: 'Go there, and God will hand them over to the king!'

6 But then JehoShaphat asked: 'Aren't there any Prophets of Jehovah that we can ask?'

7 And the king of IsraEl replied: 'There's one man who searches for answers from Jehovah, but I detest him, because he never prophesies anything good for me. All he ever tells me is bad things. He is MichaiJah, the son of JemBla.'

But JehoShaphat said: 'The king shouldn't talk that way!'

8 Then the king called one of his eunuchs and said: 'Quickly! Go find MichaiJah (the son of JemBla) and bring him to me!'

9 Well at the time, the king of IsraEl and JehoShaphat (the king of Judah) were each sitting on thrones in the broad area near the city gate of Samaria dressed in [their royal] robes, and all the prophets were there prophesying before them. 10 Then one of them (ZedekiAh, the son of CanaAn) made some iron horns for himself and said, 'This is what the Lord says: You will gore the Syrians with these until you've wiped them out completely!' 11 And all the rest of the prophets said the same thing. They said, 'Go to RamOth GileAd and you'll succeed! For the Lord will give it into the hands of the king.'

12 Well, the messenger who had been sent to call MichaiJah said to him: 'Look! All the prophets are saying good things to the king, so it would be a blessing if you would tell him good things also.'

13 And MichaiJah replied: 'As Jehovah lives, I'll say whatever God tells me to say.'

14 So MicaiJah went before the king, and the king asked: 'Should I attack RamOth GileAd or should I wait?'

And he replied: 'Go, and you will be blest, because it will be given into your hands!'

15 But the king said: 'How often do I have to tell you to swear to only tell me the truth in the Name of the Lord?'

16 And MichaiJah said: 'I see IsraEl being scattered in the mountains like sheep without a shepherd. For Jehovah said, They will be without a leader, so each one should return to his home in peace.'

17 Then the king of IsraEl said to JehoShaphat: 'You see╔ didn't I tell you that he wouldn't prophesy anything good, just bad things?'

18 And MichaiJah said: 'That isn't so! [These are] the words of Jehovah! For I saw Jehovah sitting on His Throne and all the armies of the heavens were sitting beside Him on His right and on His left. 19 Then Jehovah asked: Whom can I send to deceive Ahab the king of IsraEl so that he attacks RamOth GileAd and is defeated? Well, one suggested this and another suggested that; 20 but then a spirit stepped forward into the presence of Jehovah 2 and said, I can fool him! And when Jehovah asked how, 21 he said: I will go into the mouths of his prophets as a lying spirit. And [God] said: You will indeed be able to fool him, so go there and do it!

22 'As the result {Look!}, Jehovah has put a lying spirit into the mouths of all these, your prophets. And it was Jehovah who spoke these bad things against you, [not me].'

23 Then ZedekiAh (the son of CanaAn) [came up] and hit MichaiJah in the jaw and shouted: 'How has the Lord's Breath passed from me to you, that you should feel so free to speak?'

24 And MichaiJah replied: '{Look!} You will know it in that day when you have to run from closet to closet to hide!'

25 Then the king of IsraEl gave the order: 'Take MichaiJah and hand him over to Emer the city mayor, and to [my] son JoAsh the governor. 26 Tell them that the king wants this man thrown in jail and just fed moldy bread and water until we return in peace!'

27 And MichaiJah said: 'Well, as Jehovah told me; you're not going to return in peace╔ listen to this, all you people!'

28 So the king of IsraEl and JehoShaphat (the king of Judah) rode up to RamOth GileAd. 29 And the king of IsraEl said to JehoShaphat: 'I'm going to disguise myself when I go into battle, so I want you to wear my clothes!' Thus the king of IsraEl disguised himself and rode into the battle.

30 Then the king of Syria told the generals who were standing near him (those who were in charge of his chariots), 'Don't attack the regular soldiers, just attack the king of IsraEl.'

31 So when the generals in charge of the chariots saw JehoShaphat, they shouted: 'That's the king of IsraEl!' And they surrounded him and prepared to attack. But JehoShaphat called out, and Jehovah saved him by turning them away from him. 32 For when the generals in charge of the chariots saw that it wasn't the king of IsraEl, they turned and left him.

33 Then a skilled archer pulled his bow tight and shot an arrow at the king of IsraEl, hitting him in the middle of his chest, between his lungs. And [the king] said to his chariot driver: 'Turn around and take me away from the battle, because I'm in a lot of pain!'

34 So the king of IsraEl left the battle that day; and there he sat on his chariot, right across from the Syrian lines, until the evening. Then he died just as the sun was setting.

Chapter 19

1 Well, as JehoShaphat (the king of Judah) was returning to his palace in JeruSalem, 2 the Prophet Jehu (the son of AnaNi) came to meet him. And he said: 'O King JehoShaphat; Why did you befriend and help a sinner who is hated by Jehovah? Now, because you did this, you've brought Jehovah's anger upon yourself. 3 However, good things have been said about you, because you've removed the sacred poles from the land of Judah, and you've straightened your heart to search for Jehovah.'

4 So thereafter, JehoShaphat continued to live in JeruSalem, and he once again went to all the people (from BeerSheBa to the mountains of Ephraim) to turn them to Jehovah, the God of their ancestors. 5 He also assigned judges in all the walled cities of Judah, city by city. 6 And he told the judges: 'Pay close attention to what you're doing, because you aren't judging for men but for Jehovah! 7 So may the fear of God rest upon you! And be careful about how you act, for your God Jehovah isn't unjust╔ He isn't swayed by how a man looks, nor does He accept bribes!'

8 Then JehoShaphat brought the Levites, the Priests, and the patriarchs of IsraEl to JeruSalem to serve as judges for Jehovah and to judge the people of JeruSalem. 9 The instructions he gave to them were: 'You must [judge] with the fear of Jehovah╔ in truth and with a [pure] heart. 10 You must warn each man among your brothers who comes to you for justice from any of the cities (whether it's a matter of blood, of order, of the Commandments, of the Law, or of the decisions [of God]) that they must not sin against Jehovah, so He doesn't become angry with you or with your brothers. No, you must not sin!

11 '{Look!} I've appointed AmariAh the Priest over to be you, so every decision is the word of Jehovah. Also, ZabDiAh (the son of IshMaEl) is in charge of the house of Judah when it comes to the decisions of the king. And you have the scribes and Levites there [to help you]. So be strong and act, then Jehovah will bless those who are doing what's good!'

Chapter 20

1 Then the sons of Moab, the sons of AmMon, and some of the Minaeans marched against JehoShaphat in war. 2 And [the king's messengers] spoke plainly to JehoShaphat and told him: 'A huge army has come against you from the other side of the sea and from Syria. Look! They're already in AsaSan-Thamar (EnGedi)!'

3 Well, this frightened JehoShaphat and he went to seek [God's] guidance; then he proclaimed a fast throughout Judah. 4 So all Judah gathered to seek Jehovah's help, coming from all the cities of the land. 5 Then JehoShaphat stood up before the entire assembly of Judah in JeruSalem, there at the Temple of Jehovah (in front of the new courtyard), 6 and said: 'O Jehovah, the God of my fathers; Aren't You the God of all that's above the skies, and don't You dominate all the kingdoms of the nations? Don't Your hands have the strength to dominate everything, and can anyone stand against You? 7 You are Jehovah╔ You're the One who destroyed those who lived in this land from before your people IsraEl, and it was You who gave this land to the seed of AbraHam╔ he who loved you through that age. 8 So, this is where they now live and where they've built a Most Holy Place to Your Name.

9 'Now, [the people have said], Should any bad things come against us, such as war, judgments, plagues, or famines, we will all come and stand before You, and You will save us; for the battle is Jehovah's! 10 But look! The sons of AmMon, Moab, and [people from] the mountains of Seir (those whose lands You refused to allow Your people to pass through as they returned from the land of Egypt, and from which they were driven away, but who we couldn't conquer) 11 have now come here to drive us out of the inheritance that You gave to us!

12 'O Jehovah our God; Won't You condemn them? Why, we aren't strong enough to resist such a huge army, and we don't know what to do about them, so we're all looking to You!'

13 Well, all of Judah was standing there before Jehovah, including the women and children. 14 Then the Breath of Jehovah came over OziEl (the son of ZachariAh, a descendant of BenaiJah, the son of EliEl, the son of MathaniAh the Levite of the sons of Asaph) as he stood there in the assembly. 15 And he said, 'Listen all Judah, you who live in JeruSalem, and King JehoShaphat; for this is Jehovah's reply to you: Don't be afraid of that huge army, because this battle isn't yours, it belongs to God; 16 so, you must march against them tomorrow! Look; they will be marching along the road to Asa, and you will find them camped beside the river in the JeriEl Desert. 17 However, don't attack them. Just stand there and watch; and then you'll see that the deliverance of Jehovah is with you, O Judah and JeruSalem. Don't worry and don't be frightened; for when you march to meet them tomorrow, Jehovah will be with you!'

18 And at that, JehoShaphat bowed to his face, and all Judah and the people of JeruSalem fell to their faces before Jehovah. 19 Then the Levites (the sons of KoHath and KorAh) got up and started praising Jehovah the God of IsraEl, calling out loudly toward the heavens.

20 Well, they all arose early the next morning and started their march into the ThecoE Desert. And as they were marching, JehoShaphat went before them and shouted: 'Hear me, O Judah and those who live in JeruSalem! Trust in Jehovah and you'll find that He can be trusted╔ yes, trust in His Prophet and you will be blest!'

21 Then he led the people on, and he sent the singers and [the Priests] who offer holy praise and acknowledgements, to march ahead of the army shouting, 'Praise Jehovah and His mercy through the ages!'

22 Well, as they were shouting these praises and acknowledgements, Jehovah caused the sons of AmMon to turn against Moab and the people of the mountains of Seir as they were marching against Judah, and they all turned and ran away. 23 Then the sons of AmMon and the Moabites attacked the people from the mountains of Seir and killed everyone who lived there╔ and after that, they started fighting among themselves until they were all destroyed. 24 So when Judah reached the ridge along the edge of the desert, they looked down on that whole army and found them all lying on the ground dead╔ none were left!

25 Then JehoShaphat and his people went down and looted all their possessions (there were many cattle, personal things, desirable things, and loot)╔ they took it all! Why, it took three days for them to pick it all up, because there was so much to be collected! 26 And on the fourth day, they all assembled in the Valley of Blessings, which is what they started calling that place because Jehovah had blest them there╔ and it's still called the Valley of Blessings to this day.

27 Then all the men of Judah marched back to JeruSalem joyfully, with JehoShaphat taking the lead; for everyone was so happy over what Jehovah had done to their enemies. 28 And as they entered JeruSalem, they were playing stringed instruments, woodwinds, and trumpets, as they headed toward the Temple of Jehovah.

29 Well after that, Jehovah brought a change of state upon all the kingdoms of the land; for when they heard that Jehovah was fighting against the enemies of IsraEl, 30 they allowed the kingdom of JehoShaphat to have peace and rest all around.

31 JehoShaphat had started his reign over Judah when he was thirty-five years old, and he reigned in JeruSalem for twenty-five years. His mother's name was Azuba, and she was the daughter of Sali. 32 He followed in the ways of his father Asa, and he never turned aside from doing what was upright before Jehovah. 33 But the high places of worship were still there, and the people never straightened out their hearts to Jehovah, the God of their ancestors.

34 {Look!} The rest of the things that JehoShaphat said, from beginning to end, have been written by Jehu (the son of AnaNi), who put it all in the scrolls of the kings of IsraEl.

35 However, later on, JehoShaphat (the king of Judah) [displeased Jehovah] by working with AhaziAh (the king of IsraEl) to build boats in Ezion Geber, which they could sail to TarShish. 36 So EliEzer (the son of DodiJa, from MarIsis) prophesied against JehoShaphat, saying: 37 'Because you befriended AhaziAh, Jehovah has destroyed all your work and broken your boats to pieces.' And as the result, they never sailed to TarShish.

Chapter 21

1 Then JehoShaphat went to sleep with his ancestors and they buried him in a tomb in the city of David. So his son JehoRam started reigning in place of him.

2 Now, JehoRam had six brothers, AzariAh, JeiEl, ZachariAh, AzariAh, MichaEl, and ShaphatiAh, all of whom were sons of JehoShaphat, the king of Judah, 3 and their father had given them many gifts of silver, gold, shields, and walled cities in Judah. However, he gave the kingdom to JehoRam, because he was the firstborn. 4 But after JehoRam became strong in his kingdom, he had all of his brothers and some of the governors of IsraEl killed with a sword.

5 JehoRam was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in JeruSalem for eight years. 6 But he then started acting like the kings of IsraEl and doing the same things as the house of Ahab, acting wickedly before Jehovah, even marrying the daughter of Ahab. 7 However, Jehovah didn't want to destroy the house of David, due to the agreement that He had made with David when He told him that He would set him and his sons [as] a lamp through all the days.

8 Then Edom rebelled against Judah and appointed a king to rule over them. 9 So JehoRam, his leaders, and his cavalry [marched on] to Edom. But during the night, the generals in charge of his chariots found themselves surrounded and they all retreated to their tents. 10 Therefore, Edom has continued their revolt against Judah down to this day. Then LobNa revolted and became free of [JehoRam's] rule, because he had abandoned Jehovah, the God of his ancestors, 11 by building the high places [of worship] in the cities of Judah and leading the people of Judah and JeruSalem astray.

12 Then [JehoRam] received a letter from the Prophet EliJah saying, 'This is what Jehovah, the God of your ancestor David, has said: Because you haven't followed in the ways of your father JehoShaphat, or in the ways of Asa the king of Judah, 13 and have gone in the ways of the kings of IsraEl, leading the people of Judah and JeruSalem into [spiritual] immorality (just as the house of Ahab is guilty of such immorality), and because you murdered your brothers, the sons of your father who were all better than you; 14 {Look!} Jehovah is going to bring a great calamity upon you, your people, your sons, your women, and everything you own╔ 15 then you're going to become very sick and feel worse each day until your belly bursts!'

16 So Jehovah sent the Philistines, the Arabians, and the people from around Ethiopia against JehoRam, 17 and they attacked Judah and defeated them. They carried off everything that they found in the king's palace and in the houses of his sons and daughters. And the only son that survived was JehoAhaz (his youngest). 18 Thereafter, Jehovah struck JehoRam with a disease of the belly that couldn't be cured, 19 and it got worse day after day for two years. Then his belly broke open from the disease and he died in agony.

Well, his people didn't even hold a funeral for him as they had done for his ancestors. 20 He was thirty-two years old when he started his reign, and he reigned in JeruSalem for eight years. But when he died, he wasn't highly regarded, so they buried him in a tomb in the city of David, but not among the kings.

Chapter 22

1 Then the people of JeruSalem chose his youngest son, AhaziAh, to become their king, because all of JehoRam's older sons had been murdered by a band of Arabian and AliMazonian highwaymen. 2 So AhaziAh became the king of Judah and started his reign in JeruSalem when he was twenty-five years old. His mother's name was AthaliAh, and she was the daughter of Omri.

3 AhaziAh also followed in the ways of the house of Ahab, because his mother was his counselor in sin. 4 So, like the house of Ahab, he acted wickedly before Jehovah, because [Ahab's family] served as his counselors after his father died, and they led him into destruction. 5 For he listened to their council and joined Ahab's son JehoRam (the king of IsraEl) in a war against HazaEl (the king of Syria) at RamOth GileAd. [In this war], a bowman shot JehoRam, 6 so he went to the hospital at JezreEl to be treated for the wound that he had received in his war against HazaEl (the king of Syria) at RamOth. Then AhaziAh (the son of JehoRam, the king of Judah) went to see JehoRam (the son of Ahab) while he was recovering there in JezreEl. And that's when (under God's direction) the final event in the life of AhaziAh happened; 7 for he joined with JehoRam to fight against Jehu (the son of NimShi), the one whom Jehovah had anointed to destroy the house of Ahab.

8 Now, as Jehu was punishing the house of Ahab, he found the governors of Judah along with some of AhaziAh's relatives, and he killed them all. 9 Then Jehu told [his men] to search for AhaziAh, and they found him at the hospital in Samaria. So they [led Jehu to] him and Jehu killed him. But they buried him in a tomb, for they said: 'He's the descendant of JehoShaphat, a man who searched for Jehovah with his whole heart.'

Thereafter, with the death of AhaziAh, there was no one left to rule his kingdom. 10 And when his mother AthaliAh learned that her son AhaziAh had been killed, she tried to have everyone in the royal house of Judah murdered. 11 But JehoShabeth (the king's daughter) stole his son JoAsh from the midst of the other sons of the king who were to be killed, and she hid him and fed him in a bed closet.

Now, JehoShabeth was the daughter of King JehoRam, the sister of AhaziAh, and the wife of JehoiAda (the Priest). And she kept JoAsh with her, hidden from AthaliAh so she wouldn't have him murdered, 12 inside the Temple of God, until he was six years old. But during that time, AthaliAh ruled the land.

Chapter 23

1 Well, after seven years, JehoiAda figured that the time had finally come. So he took several army lieutenants (AzariAh the son of JehoRam, IshMaEl the son of JoAnan, AzariAh the son of Obed, MaAseJah the son of AdiJa, and EliShaPhan the son of ZachariAh) with him into the Temple of Jehovah. 2 Then they traveled around Judah and gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah and all the family heads of IsraEl and brought them to JeruSalem; 3 and this whole gathering of Judah made a sacred agreement with the king there at the Temple of God. For [JehoiAda] showed the king's son to them and said, 'Look╔ this is the king's son! So may he now become the king, just as Jehovah said concerning the house of David!

4 'Now, this is what you must do: A third of you Priests and Levites should come here on the Sabbath and occupy all the [Temple] gates and entrances, 5 a third must surround the king's palace, and a third must occupy the central gate. Then all the people must assemble in the courtyards of the Temple of Jehovah╔ 6 don't let anyone enter the Temple who isn't a Priest or Levite! Allow all the officiating Levites to enter, because they are holy, and all the rest should guard the watches of Jehovah. 7 Each of the Levites should gather around the king with their weapons in their hands, and then kill anyone who dares to enter the Temple╔ they must protect the king as he is entering and leaving.'

8 So the Levites and all Judah did exactly as JehoiAda the Priest told them. Each of [the lieutenants] had his men in their stations from the time that the Sabbath started until its conclusion, and JehoiAda didn't allow the Priests to rest after their daily rotations. 9 He gave the Priests and army lieutenants their orders, and then he armed them with swords, large shields, and even the small shields that King David had placed in the Temple of God; 10 and he stationed them (bearing their weapons) from the room on the right of the Temple to the room to the left of the Altar, and all around the king's palace. 11 Then he brought out the king's son and placed the trappings and proofs of his kingship upon him; and the [High] Priest JehoiAda and his sons anointed him as the king, shouting, 'Long live the king!'

12 Well, when AthaliAh heard the sounds of the people running and shouting, praising the king, she went to the Temple of Jehovah 13 and saw {Look!} the king standing at his station in the king's entrance [to the Temple], and she heard the trumpets blowing. There, all the governors were standing around the king as the people of the land were joyfully shouting and blowing trumpets, the musicians were playing their instruments, and the singers were singing praises.

Then AthaliAh tore her robe and shouted, 'Attack them!'

14 But JehoiAda the Priest told the army lieutenants: 'Throw her out of the Temple, then take her outside and kill her with your swords╔ don't kill her inside the Temple of Jehovah!'

15 Well, they released her. And as she was walking through the gate of the horsemen toward the king's palace, they killed her.

16 Then JehoiAda proclaimed an agreement between himself, the people, and the king, that they were all going to be Jehovah's people. 17 And thereafter, all the people of the land went to the temple of BaAl and tore it and its altars down, and they ground its idols into a fine dust. Then they put Mathan (the priest of BaAl) to death in front of his altars.

18 Thereafter, [High] Priest JehoiAda commissioned the Priests and Levites to refurbish the Temple of Jehovah, and he reestablished the assignments and daily rotations of the Priests and Levites as they were set up by David for the Temple of Jehovah. Then he sacrificed whole burnt offerings to Jehovah in the way that was written in the Law of Moses, as they played the joyful songs that were written by David. 19 He also assigned gatekeepers to stand at the gates of the Temple of Jehovah, to prevent anyone who was unclean in any way from entering.

20 After that, he gathered the family heads, the dignitaries, the people's governors, and all the people of the land. Then they led the king into the Temple of Jehovah through the inner gate of the king's palace, and had him sit down on the king's throne. 21 However, although all the people of the land were joyful, everything became silent as they executed Queen AthaliAh with a sword.

Chapter 24

1 So JoAsh was seven years old when began his reign, and he ruled from JeruSalem for forty years. His mother's name was SabiJa, and she was from BeerSheba.

2 JoAsh did what was right before Jehovah for as long as the [High] Priest JehoiAda was alive. 3 Meanwhile, JehoiAda [the Priest] had taken two women who bore sons and daughters to him.

4 Then it came into the heart of JoAsh to repair the Temple of Jehovah. 5 So he assembled all the Priests and Levites and said to them, 'Go into all the cities of Judah and IsraEl each year and collect enough money to strengthen the Temple of Jehovah╔ starting from right now!'

Well, the Levites didn't do anything; 6 so King JoAsh called for JehoiAda their leader, and asked: 'Why haven't you been overseeing the Levites, to make sure they are taking up the collections from Judah and IsraEl that were specified by Moses (the man of God) for the gathering of IsraEl at the Tent of Proofs? 7 Why, [Queen] AthaliAh is to blame [for its poor condition], because it was her sons who wrecked the Temple of Jehovah, taking all its holy things and dedicating them to the BaAls.'

8 And the king said: 'Make a [collection] chest and place it just outside of the entrance to the Temple of Jehovah. 9 Then have [the officials] travel throughout Judah, JeruSalem, IsraEl, and into the desert, to tell [the people] to bring the amount that was specified by Moses (the servant of God) to Jehovah.'

10 Well thereafter, all the people and their governors came and brought [their tithes] until the [collection] chest was filled. 11 So when the Levites carried the chest to the king's accountants, they found that they had more than enough money [to complete the Temple reconstruction project]. Then the king's scribe and the High Priest's accountant emptied the chest and put it back into its place. They did this each day, and they gathered huge amounts of money, 12 which the king gave to the Priest JehoiAda and to those who were doing the work on the Temple of Jehovah; so they hired the stonecutters, carpenters, and metalworkers that were needed to repair Jehovah's Temple.

13 Well, everyone did their jobs, and soon the project of rebuilding and refurbishing the Temple was completed. 14 Then after it was done, they carried the rest of the money to King JoAsh and to JehoiAda, and they made things that were required for the services at the Temple, such as gold incense pans and other items of silver and gold. And thereafter, whole burnt offerings were sacrificed at the Temple of Jehovah throughout the rest of the life of JehoiAda.

15 Well, [the High Priest] JehoiAda lived a very full life, which ended after a hundred-and-thirty years. 16 So they buried him in a tomb in the city of David╔ among the kings, because he had served IsraEl, God, and the Temple so well!

17 But after [High Priest] JehoiAda died, the governors of Judah came and bowed before the king, and the King [JoAsh] listened to them. 18 So they abandoned the Temple of Jehovah the God of their ancestors, and started serving the Astartes and the idols╔ which has brought [God's] anger upon Judah and JeruSalem down to this day. 19 So [God] sent His Prophets to turn them back to Jehovah, and they warned the people╔ but they just wouldn't listen. 20 Then the Breath of God came over AzariAh the Priest (JehoiAda's son), and he went before the people and told them, 'This is what Jehovah has said: Why are you overlooking My Commandments so that the things you're doing won't be blest? You have abandoned Jehovah; so now, He will abandon you!'

21 Well, following the orders of King JoAsh, they attacked him and stoned him to death there in the courtyard of Jehovah's Temple. 22 For JoAsh had forgotten the mercy that JehoiAda ([AzariAh's] father) had shown to him, and had his son murdered.

And as [AzariAh] was dying, he said: 'Look down upon this O Jehovah, and judge!'

23 Well, as that year came to its end, the armies of Syria came and attacked Judah and JeruSalem, and they killed all the rulers of the people, then they carried away loot and brought it to their king in Damascus. 24 For although the army of Syria that came against them wasn't very large, God gave [Judah] and their huge army into their hands, because they had abandoned Jehovah, the God of their ancestors.

They also punished JoAsh, 25 leaving him sick and broken. Then his own servants turned against him (over the blood of the son of JehoiAda the Priest), and they killed him in own his bed. So he died, and they buried him in a tomb in the city of David, but not in the tomb of the kings.

26 Well, the men who attacked him were SaBed (the son of SamaAth the AmMonite), and JoZabed (the son of SomarOth the Moabite) 27 and his sons (all five of them joined in killing him).

{Look!} The rest of the things [that JoAsh] said are written in the scrolls of the kings. Then his son AmaziAh became the king in his place.

Chapter 25

1 AmaziAh was twenty-five years old when he started his reign, and he reigned from JeruSalem for twenty-nine years. His mother's name was JoAden, and she was from JeruSalem.

2 Now, he did what was upright before Jehovah, but not with his whole heart.

3 When he became the king, he killed the servants who had murdered his father (the king), 4 but he didn't kill their sons, because of what was written in the Sacred Agreement of the Law of Jehovah, where Jehovah said, 'Fathers should not be put to death for their children, and sons should not die for their fathers.'

5 Then AmaziAh gathered [the troops] of Judah and divided them under the generals and lieutenants by the houses of their families throughout all Judah and JeruSalem. He had counted all those who were twenty-years old and up, and found that there were three-hundred-thousand mighty warriors who carried a spear and a shield. 6 But then he hired a hundred-thousand mighty, powerful warriors from IsraEl for three-tons of silver. 7 So the man of God came to him and said: 'O king; You should not march along with the forces of IsraEl, because Jehovah isn't with IsraEl or with any of the descendants of Ephraim. 8 So if you should choose to build your army with them, Jehovah will make you run from your enemies. For Jehovah can either make you stronger or He can force you to run.'

9 Then AmaziAh asked the man of God: 'But, what should I do about the three-tons of silver that I paid for the soldiers of IsraEl?'

And the man of God replied: 'Jehovah can repay you with more than that.'

10 So AmaziAh sent the soldiers away who had come to him from Ephraim; but this made them furious with Judah, and they went back to their homes in a rage.

11 Well, AmaziAh's [army] did grow stronger, so he gathered his men and marched into the Salt Valley, where they attacked and killed ten thousand of the sons of Seir 12 and brought back ten thousand captives to Judah. Then they led them to a high cliff and tossed them all over, ripping them to shreds.

13 But after that, the soldiers whom AmaziAh had sent away (the ones that he didn't allow to join him in the war) attacked all the cities of Judah from Samaria to BethOron, killing three thousand and carrying away a lot of loot.

14 And meanwhile, after AmaziAh had attacked Idumea, he brought back some of the gods of the sons of Seir, erecting them for himself as gods, and he bowed and offered sacrifices to them. 15 So Jehovah became very angry with AmaziAh and sent His Prophet, who asked him: 'Why are you now looking to the gods that weren't able to save their own people from your hands?'

16 And the king replied: 'Have I appointed you as one of the king's councilors? Be careful that I don't have you whipped!' So the Prophet didn't tell him anything more. He just said, 'I know that He will oppose you and ruin you, because He [sent me to you], and you refused to listen to my advice.'

17 Then AmaziAh (the king of Judah) sent word to JehoAsh (the son of JehoAhaz and grandson of Jehu, the king of IsraEl), saying: '[Why don't you] come and meet me face-to-face?'

18 And JehoAsh (the king of IsraEl) replied: 'A thorn bush in Lebanon sent word to the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Give me your daughter to be my son's wife. But then the wild animals of the fields of Lebanon went and trampled the thorn bush. So now you're saying [to yourself], Why, look! I have attacked Idumea, and your heavy heart has been lifted! But [it would be better for] you to just go back home and sit in your palace. 19 Why have you assembled [your army] to do evil? For you will fall, and Judah will fall with you!'

20 Well, AmaziAh just wouldn't listen, because Jehovah planned to hand him over to JehoAsh, due to his trusting in the gods of the Idumeans. 21 So AmaziAh (the king of Judah) and JehoAsh (the king of IsraEl) marched against each other, facing off at BethSamus in Judah. 22 Then the battle began, and Judah had to run from IsraEl – everyone ran back to their tents – 23 and AmaziAh (the king of Judah, the son of JoAsh and grandson of JehoAhaz) was captured by JehoAsh (the king of IsraEl) at BethSamus. Then he was brought back to JeruSalem, where they tore down the city walls from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate╔ seven hundred and fifty feet of it. 24 And [JehoAsh] took all the gold and silver, all the things that he found in the Temple of Jehovah, the things being cared for by ObedEdom, and all the treasures in the king's palace. He also carried off several of the sons of [AmaziAh's] allies, and then he returned to Samaria.

25 Well, AmaziAh (the son of JoAsh) the king of Judah thereafter survived the death of JehoAsh (the son of JehoAhaz) the king of IsraEl by fifteen years. 26 And {Look!} all the things that AmaziAh said, from beginning to end, are written in the scrolls of the kings of Judah and IsraEl. 27 But after AmaziAh [rebelled] against Jehovah, there was an attempt to assassinate him. So he fled JeruSalem and went to LachIsh. But after he got there, they still found him and killed him. 28 Then they mounted his body on a horse and buried him in a tomb with his ancestors in the city of David.

Chapter 26

1 Thereafter, all the people of the land took UzZiAh, who was just sixteen years old, and appointed him as king in place of his father AmaziAh. 2 He had been away while building ElAth, but he returned to Judah after the king went to sleep with his ancestors. 3 So UzZiAh was only sixteen years old when he started his reign, and he ruled in JeruSalem for fifty-two years. His mother's name was JecheliAh, and she was from JeruSalem.

4 [UzZiAh] did what was upright before Jehovah, every bit as much as did his father, AmaziAh. 5 He searched for Jehovah throughout the entire life of ZachariAh, who was the one that [showed him] the need to fear Jehovah. So, during the period that he was searching for Jehovah, all of his ways were blest. 6 Therefore, when he went to war with the Philistines, he tore down the walls of Gath, JabNe, and AshDod, and he built cities around AshDod, right there in the midst of the Philistines. 7 For Jehovah gave him power over the Philistines, the Arabians, those who lived on The Rock, and the Minaeans. 8 Why, the Minaeans even brought gifts to him, and his name became famous beyond Egypt.

9 Then UzZiAh built [battle] towers around JeruSalem's gates, at the corners [of the walls], at the gates and corners of the walls in the valley below, and he strengthened the [city walls]. 10 He also built forts in the desert and he dug many wells, because there were so many cattle in the plains of ShepheLa. In addition, he sent vinedressers into the mountains and to CarMel, because he was fond of farming.

11 However, UzZiAh [was also fond of] war, because he fought many battles. The accounts of these were recorded by the Scribe JeiEl and Judge MasSiAh, from what they were told by AnaniAh, the king's second-in-command.

12 There were two thousand, six hundred generals in his army 13 [that were appointed over] three-hundred-and-seven thousand, five hundred men. These were always prepared for war and ready to [fight for] the king against his many opponents. 14 And UzZiAh took good care of [his army] by providing them with shields, spears, helmets, chest plates, bows, and stone slings. 15 He also had war machines built for them in JeruSalem by an engineer (see the Conservapedia link, Uzziah, under the subheading, Military Strength and Public Works), which were used to attack the towers and corners of [city walls]. The machines were used to shoot arrows and to throw huge boulders. In fact, they became famous throughout the whole earth at the time, for he had such wonderful help╔ that is, until he grew strong.

16 However, after he became strong, his heart became very corrupt and he started sinning against his God Jehovah; for he entered the Most Holy [in the Temple of Jehovah] to burn incense on the [sacred] Incense Altar. 17 Well, the [High] Priest AzariAh and eighty mighty Priests of Jehovah went in after him 18 and resisted King UzZiAh, saying to him: 'UzZiAh, you aren't allowed to burn incense to Jehovah! That may only be done by the Priests who have descended from Aaron and have been made holy to burn the incense. Now, leave this Holy Place; for you have left Jehovah! This glory will not be given to you by Jehovah God!'

19 Well, this made UzZiAh furious! For, there he was with the incense pan in his hand, ready to burn incense inside the Most Holy. And as he was raging against the Priests, leprosy started to appear on his forehead, right there in front of the Priests in the Temple of Jehovah and in front of the Incense Altar. 20 So when AzariAh (the High Priest) and the other Priests turned to look at him, they saw the leprosy in his forehead, and they pushed him out of the Temple. Why, even he was in a hurry to leave, because Jehovah was disciplining him!

21 Well, King UzZiAh had leprosy until the day he died, and he was kept in a home for lepers, cut off from the Temple of Jehovah. As the result, his son JoTham ruled over his kingdom and judged the people of the land.

22 {Look!} The rest of the things that UzZiAh said, from beginning to end, were written by the Prophet IsaiAh (the son of Amoz). 23 Then UzZiAh went to sleep with his ancestors, and they buried him in a tomb in the graveyard of his ancestors, but not among the kings, because they said, 'He's a leper.'

Then his son JoTham became the king after him.

Chapter 27

1 JoTham was twenty-five years old when he started his reign, and he ruled from JeruSalem for sixteen years. His mother's name was JeroUsa, and she was the daughter of ZaDok.

2 [JoTham] did what was upright before Jehovah in the same way that his father UzZiAh did (but he didn't enter the Holy Place of Jehovah). Yet, despite this, the people still kept corrupting themselves.

3 [JoTham] built the tall gatehouse of Jehovah, and he did a lot of building along the wall of Ophel. He also built cities 4 in the mountains of Judah, as well as forts and places to live in the forests.

5 He fought wars with the king of the sons of AmMon and conquered him. And thereafter, the sons of AmMon had to send him three tons of silver, three hundred tons of wheat, and three hundred tons of barley each year, which they did for the first three years. 6 So JoTham grew strong, because he faithfully served his God, Jehovah.

7 {Look!} The rest of the things that JoTham said and did, and the stories of his wars, are written about in the scrolls of the kings of Judah and IsraEl. 8 Then JoTham went to sleep with his ancestors and they buried him in a tomb in the city of David. So his son Ahaz started reigning in his place.

Chapter 28

1 Ahaz was twenty-five years old when he started his reign, and he reigned in JeruSalem for sixteen years. 2 He didn't do what was upright before Jehovah as did his ancestor David; rather, he went the way of the kings of IsraEl and made carved images, 3 offering sacrifices to them in the Valley of the Sons of Hinnom. He also [offered] his children in the fire, in the same disgusting way as the nations that Jehovah had destroyed from in front of IsraEl had once done. 4 He burned incense on the high places, on roofs, and under every tree in the woods. 5 As the result, his God Jehovah handed him over to the king of Syria, who attacked him and carried off many prisoners to Damascus.

He also allowed the king of IsraEl to bring a great calamity upon him; 6 for PekAh (the son of RemaliAh, the king of IsraEl) killed a hundred-and-twenty thousand of his strong, might men (all on that same day); which happened because they had left Jehovah the God of their ancestors. 7 Then he executed ZechRi (the great man of Ephraim), MaAsa (the king's son), EzriKan (who was in charge of the king's palace), and ElKana (the king's right-hand man); 8 and he carried off three-hundred-thousand women and children, along with everything of value, to Samaria.

9 Now, there was a Prophet of Jehovah in Samaria whose name was Obed; and when the army of IsraEl was returning to Samaria, he went out to meet them and said: '{Look!} The reason why these people have been given into your hands is because Jehovah the God of your ancestors is angry with Judah. But you have killed them in anger, and [news of this] has reached into the heavens. 10 And now you're saying that the sons of Judah and JeruSalem can be sold as male and female slaves. But {Look!} here I am among you to testify about this before your God Jehovah, 11 so listen to me! Return your brothers whom you've taken as captives; because, now the rage of Jehovah is upon you!'

12 Well thereafter, the leaders of Ephraim (AzariAh the son of JoHanan, BarachiAh the son of MoSolamOth, EzekiAs the son of SelLem, and AmasiAh the son of ElDai) said to those who were returning from the war: 13 'There's no way that we will allow you to bring these captives to us, because that would bring a sin against Jehovah upon us. By talking this way, you're trying to add to our sins and our ignorance. For we're already guilty of great sins, and the anger of Jehovah is already upon IsraEl.'

14 As the result, they released the captured warriors and laid all the loot they had taken before the rulers of the gathering. 15 Then those whose names were called out took the captives and covered those who were naked with clothing from the loot, tied sandals on their feet, and gave them food to eat and something to clean themselves with. 16 Thereafter, they mounted all those who were weak upon animals and took them to JeriCho and to The City of Palms, along with the rest of their brothers; then [IsraEl returned] to Samaria.

17 Well later on, King Ahaz sent for the king of Assyria and asked him for aid, because the Idumeans had attacked Judah and carried off captives. 18 Then the Philistines attacked his cities in the plains and to the south of Judah, capturing BethSamus, everything in the Temple of Jehovah and in the king's palace, and all the governors. So they handed AiLon, GadEron, SoChor and its surrounding towns, ThamNa and its surrounding towns, and GamZo and its surrounding towns over to their king, and they started living there. 19 For Jehovah was humbling Judah because their king (Ahaz) had turned away from Him.

20 Then Tiglath-Pileser (the king of Assyria) came to his aid. 21 So Ahaz took the things in the Temple of Jehovah, the things in his palace, and the things that belonged to his governors, and gave it all to the king of Assyria╔ not for his help, 22 but to keep him from attacking them.

Well, King Ahaz continued in his course of [rebellion] against Jehovah; for he then said: 'I will [ask for help] from the gods of Damascus' ([the gods of the people] who were overpowering him) 23 'Since the gods of the king of Syria are making them strong, I will offer sacrifices to them and they'll help me also.'

Well, this became a trap to him and to all IsraEl.

24 Then Ahaz took everything out of the Temple of Jehovah, cut it all to pieces, and locked the Temple doors. And thereafter, he built altars in every city and on every corner of JeruSalem, 25 and he erected high places in all the cities of Judah to burn incense to foreign gods, which made Jehovah (the God of their ancestors) very angry.

26 {Look!} The rest of the things that he said and did are written in the scrolls of the kings of Judah and IsraEl. 27 Then Ahaz went to sleep with his ancestors, and they buried him in a tomb in the city of David╔ but they didn't bury him in the tombs of the kings of IsraEl.

Then his son HezekiAh became king in his place.

Chapter 29

1 HezekiAh was twenty-five years old when he started his reign, and he reigned in JeruSalem for twenty-nine years. His mother's name was AbBa and she was the daughter of ZachariAh.

2 HezekiAh did what was upright before Jehovah, as his ancestor David had done. 3 And after his kingdom was established, in the first month, he reopened the doors to the Temple of Jehovah and had it repaired. 4 Then he brought back the Priests and Levites╔ he had them assemble on the east side [of the Temple] 5 and said to them: 'O Levites, listen to me! Now, purify yourselves, and then purify the Temple of Jehovah, the God of your ancestors. Clear out everything from the Holy Place that's unclean, 6 because our fathers have been [guilty of] rebellion and they've done evil things before our God Jehovah when they abandoned Him and turned their faces away from the Tent of Jehovah, showing Him the backs of their necks!

7 'Why, they locked the Temple doors; they extinguished the lamps; they stopped burning the incense; and they stopped sacrificing whole burnt offerings in the Holy Place of the God of IsraEl. 8 That's why Jehovah has been so angry with Judah and JeruSalem, and why He appointed them as objects of wonder and destruction by the Syrians╔ as you can see is happening with your own eyes. 9 Look! Your fathers have been attacked with swords, and your wives, sons, and daughters have been carried off as captives into a land that isn't their own╔ and that's where they are now!

10 'So, because of these things, you must decide in your hearts to conclude a sacred agreement with Jehovah, the God of IsraEl; for only then will He turn His anger and rage away from you! 11 Don't give up, because Jehovah has selected you to stand before Him and to serve Him by officiating and burning the incense.'

12 Then all the Levites stood up.
From the sons of KoHath, there was MaAl (the son of AmaSi) and JoEl (the son of AzariAh).
From the sons of MeraRi, there was Kish (the son of AbDi) and AzariAh (the son of JalLelEl).
From the sons of GerSham, there was JodaAd (the son of ZemMa) and JoAdam (the son of JoAcha).
13 From the sons of EliShaphan, there was ZamBri and JeiEl.
From the sons of Asaph, there was ZachariAh and MathanAniAh.
14 From the sons of HeMan, there was JeiEl and Semei.
From the sons of IdiThoun, there was SamaiJah and OziEl.

15 These went back and gathered all their brothers, and they were purified just as the king had commanded them (and following the directions of Jehovah), so they could do the work of cleansing the Temple of Jehovah. 16 Then the Priests went inside and threw out everything that was unclean, both in the building and in the courtyards╔ the Levites took it all and threw it into the Cedar (Kidron) Wadi.

17 Well after that, on that first day of the month, they celebrated their first New Moon festival. 18 And on the eighth day of the month, they went into the Temple of Jehovah to make everything holy, which took eight days. So they finished the project on the sixteenth day of the month. 18 Then they went to see King HezekiAh and said: 'We have purified all the things in the House of Jehovah, from the Altar for the whole burnt offerings and its utensils, to the table where the [sacred bread] is placed (along with its utensils)╔ 19 all the things that King Ahaz defiled during his defection. So everything has been prepared and purified, and look╔ it's all there in front of Jehovah's Altar.'

20 Well, King HezekiAh arose early the next morning and gathered all the city officials, and they went up to the Temple of Jehovah. 21 They brought along seven calves, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven winter-yearling goats as sin offerings for the kingdom, for the holy things, and for IsraEl. Then he told the Priests (the sons of Aaron) to go up to the Altar of Jehovah, 22 where they sacrificed the calves and collected the blood and poured it out on the Altar. Then they sacrificed the rams and poured their blood on the Altar. And after that, they sacrificed the lambs and poured their blood on the Altar. 23 Finally, they brought the winter-yearling goats to be sacrificed as sin offerings before the king and the gathering. So everyone placed their hands on [the goats], 24 and the Priests sacrificed them, pouring their blood against the Altar to cover the sins of all IsraEl. For the king said: 'We are sacrificing these whole burnt offerings and sin offerings [on behalf of] all IsraEl.'

25 The Levites had also come to the Temple of Jehovah carrying their cymbals, stringed instruments, and woodwinds, just as King David had instructed them, along with the king's Seer Gad and the Prophet Nathan, following the Commandments of Jehovah╔ since the order of events had been entrusted to the hands of the Prophets.

26 So the Levites stood there with the instruments of David, and the Priests had their trumpets. 27 Then when HezekiAh [said it was time] to sacrifice the whole burnt offerings on the Altar, they all started singing to Jehovah, accompanied by the trumpets and the instruments of David (the king of IsraEl), 28 as the whole assembly bowed with their faces to the ground.

Well, the singers kept singing and the trumpets continued to blow until all the whole burnt offerings had been sacrificed. 29 And as they were completing the offering, the king and all his guests also bowed to the ground.

30 After that, King HezekiAh and his dignitaries told the Levites to [sing] praises to Jehovah in the [psalms] of David and of the Prophet Asaph. So they sang these praises joyfully, and they also fell and bowed low to the ground.

31 Then HezekiAh [told the people]: 'Now that you've filled your hands for Jehovah, come forward and bring your sacrifices of praise to the Temple of Jehovah!' So the people eagerly started bringing their sacrifices of praise to the Temple as whole burnt offerings to Jehovah. 32 The gathering offered seventy calves, a hundred rams, and two hundred lambs as whole burnt offerings to Jehovah, 33 and they also set aside some six hundred calves and three thousand sheep for sacred use.

34 Well, because there were so few Priests, they were unable to cut up all the whole burnt offerings; so their brothers the Levites had to assist them until all the work was done and all the Priests were purified (for the Levites had been more eager to purify themselves than were the Priests). 35 But there was more than enough of the whole burnt offerings and fat for the sacred deliverance offerings and drink offerings.

Well, the work in the Temple of Jehovah had finally begun. 36 And HezekiAh and all the people were very joyful, because God had prepared the people, and everything came together so quickly.

Chapter 30

1 Thereafter, HezekiAh sent letters to all IsraEl and Judah, as well as letters to Ephraim and ManasSeh, inviting them to come to the Temple of Jehovah in JeruSalem to observe the Passover to Jehovah, the God of IsraEl. 2 Then the king and his governors laid plans for the entire assembly to come to JeruSalem to observe the Passover in the second month, 3 because they hadn't been able to celebrate it at the correct time (since the Priests weren't sufficiently purified and all the people hadn't gathered in JeruSalem).

4 Well, this pleased the king and the [people] so much 5 that they decided to send a proclamation throughout IsraEl (from BeerSheBa to Dan), inviting everyone to come and observe the Passover to Jehovah the God of IsraEl in JeruSalem (because most of them hadn't responded to the [first] letters). 6 So they sent runners with letters from the king and his governors into all IsraEl and Judah (following the king's orders), saying, 'Sons of IsraEl; return to Jehovah, the God of AbraHam, IsaAc, and Jacob. For He will return to those who have escaped and survived the hand of the king of Assyria. 7 Don't be like your ancestors and your brothers who turned away from Jehovah, the God of their fathers; for He handed them over for destruction, as you can see has truly come to be.

8 'Don't stiffen your necks as your fathers did; give glory to Jehovah, your God! Come to the Holy Place that He made holy through the ages and serve your God, Jehovah. Then He will turn His rage and anger away from you. 9 For when you return to Jehovah, your brothers and your children will be shown pity by those who have taken them captive, and He will return this land to you. Jehovah our God is merciful and He feels compassion, so He won't turn His face from us if we return to Him.'

10 Well, the runners traveled from city to city throughout the mountains of Ephraim and ManasSeh and into ZebuLun; and everywhere, people made fun of them and ridiculed them. 11 However, some of the men of Asher, ManasSeh, and ZebuLun did feel ashamed, and they came to Judah and into JeruSalem; 12 and the hand of God gave them a united heart to do as the king and his governors had ordered╔ to follow the instructions of Jehovah.

13 Then they all gathered in JeruSalem, and so many people attended to observe the celebration of the fermentation-free bread in the (the second) month, [that it turned into] a huge assembly. 14 And thereafter, everyone got up and demolished all the [pagan] altars in JeruSalem and they tore down all the altars upon which they had burned incense to their lying idols, and threw them into the Cedar (Kidron) Wadi. Then they sacrificed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the second month.

15 Well, the Priests and the Levites all felt ashamed, so they purified themselves and carried whole burnt offerings into the Temple of Jehovah. 16 Then each one took his station and handled his responsibilities, just as Moses (the man of God) had commanded, and the Priests received the [sacrificial] blood from the hands of the Levites, 17 because many of them had been purified. However, not all of the Levites who were to sacrifice the Passover had yet been purified to Jehovah, 18 and most of the people that had come from Ephraim, ManasSeh, IsSachar, and ZebuLun had not purified themselves. Yet, they all ate the Passover, which was contrary to [what was written in] the Scriptures.

19 Then HezekiAh prayed for them, saying: 'Jehovah, the good God; [Please] cover [the sins] of those of us who have straightened our hearts to search for You, the God of our ancestors, and who haven't been purified as the Holy Things have been purified.'

20 Well, Jehovah listened to HezekiAh and healed the people. 21 Then all the sons of IsraEl who were found in JeruSalem celebrated the holiday of the fermentation-free bread for seven days with great joy, singing praises to Jehovah each day, as the Priests and Levites played their instruments to the Lord.

22 Then at the conclusion of the holiday of the fermentation-free bread loaves (at the end of seven days of sacrificing for salvation and for praising Jehovah the God of their ancestors), HezekiAh spoke to the hearts of the Levites and to all those who were searching for Jehovah with a pure heart. 23 And thereafter, the entire assembly agreed to observe [the festival] for another seven days╔ so they joyfully celebrated for seven more days!

24 Then HezekiAh dedicated a thousand calves and seven thousand sheep on behalf of those who had assembled from Judah, and then the governors dedicated a thousand calves and ten thousand sheep on behalf of the people╔ giving many holy things to the Priests. 25 So everyone was happy – the Priests, the Levites, the whole assembly of Judah, and everyone else that was found in JeruSalem, including the foreigners who had come from the land of IsraEl and those who were living in Judah. 26 It was a joyful day in JeruSalem, for there hadn't been one like it since the days of Solomon, the son of David, the king of IsraEl.

27 Then the Levite priests got up and blest the people╔ and the things they said were heard, because their prayers reached to the Sacred Home in the heavens.

Chapter 31

1 Well after that, all the IsraElites in the cities of Judah broke down the monuments and sacred poles, then they tore down the high places [of worship] and the shrines throughout Judah, BenJamin, Ephraim, and ManasSeh, until they were all gone; and all IsraEl returned to the lands and cities of their inheritance.

2 Then HezekiAh reestablished the different responsibilities and the daily rotations of the Priests and Levites for sacrificing the whole burnt offerings, for offering sacrifices of salvation, and for praising, acknowledging, and officiating at the gates and courtyards of the Temple of Jehovah. 3 He also set aside a portion of his own possessions as whole burnt offerings to be sacrificed early in the morning, at dusk, on the Sabbaths, on the New Moons, and on the holidays, as it was written in the Law of Jehovah.

4 He also spoke to the people who lived in JeruSalem about giving their due portion to the Priests and Levites, so they could do more in their services at the Temple of Jehovah, 5 and he sent word to all sons of IsraEl to bring in the first fruits of their grain, wine, olive oil, honey, and the offspring of their fields. And as a result, a huge number from IsraEl and Judah brought in their tenth portion. 6 Also, those from the cities of Judah brought a tenth of their calves, sheep, and goats, which they [offered] as holy to their God Jehovah╔ they brought it all in and piled it in heaps upon heaps.

7 It was in the third month that they started the heaped piles of [offerings], which they [continued to bring] until the seventh month. 8 And when HezekiAh and his governors came and saw all the heaps, they praised Jehovah and His people IsraEl. 9 Then HezekiAh spoke to the Priests and the Levites about the heaps. 10 He said to AzariAh (the High Priest and the head of the house of ZaDok), 'When the first-fruits were brought to the Temple of Jehovah and we all ate and drank, we left a huge amount behind╔ Jehovah has blest His people so much that we still have a lot left over.'

11 Then HezekiAh told him to prepare a place for it in the Temple of Jehovah, which he did. 12 So they carried in all the remaining first fruits and tenth portions, and stored them away. The Levite ConaniJah was put in charge of it all, and his brother ShiMei was assigned as his assistant, 13 as were JeiEl, OzaziAh, NaEth, AsahEl, JeriMoth, JoZabad, EliEl, ShamachiAh, MaAth, and BenaiJah and his sons. They were all assigned under ConaniJah and his brother ShiMei by King HezekiAh and AzariAh (the head of the Temple of Jehovah).

14 JemNa, the Levite who was in charge of the east gate, was then put in charge of distributing the gifts, the first-fruits that were donated to Jehovah, and the holy things in the Holy of Holies 15 that were brought by the singers and from BenJamin, JeShua, ShiMei, AmariAh, and ShechoniJah, as well as the things that the Priests had stored away. Then he divide it among the Priests by the size of their families (counting all males from three years old and up) and their daily rotations, 16 regardless of their genealogy, and to all those who served at the Temple of Jehovah by the number of days that they actually served in the arrangement of the daily rotations. 17 It was also distributed among the Levites (by houses and families) who were twenty-years-old and older, by their arrangement of daily rotations, 18 classifications, genealogies, and by the number of sons and daughters they had, because they were entrusted with purifying the Holy Place.

19 Among the sons of Aaron (those who served as the officiating Priests from each of the cities); all the men were given assignments as Priests, as were those who were considered Levites. 20 HezekiAh did this throughout all Judah, and everything he did was good and upright before his God Jehovah. 21 In all that he did – whether it was the work at the Temple of Jehovah, or having to do with the Law, or with the instructions – he relied upon his God with his whole soul, and his ways were blest.

Chapter 32

1 Well, when word of this was spread, the things that were happening there came to the attention of SenNacherIb, the king of Assyria. So he marched into Judah and camped around its walled cities, as he talked about conquering them. 2 Then, when HezekiAh saw that SenNacherIb had arrived and that he intended to wage a war with JeruSalem, 3 he met with his councilors and generals and discussed ways to stop up the springs and streams that were outside the city wall╔ and they vigorously assisted him in doing this. 4 So he recruited a large number of people and stopped up the waters of the springs, as well as the river that runs [in front] of the city. For they asked: 'Should the king of Assyria find a lot of water and grow strong?'

5 Thereafter, HezekiAh strengthened his position by rebuilding all the walls that had been torn down and all the battle towers. In fact, he built a perimeter wall around the city wall. He also strengthened the citadel in the City of David, and he made many other preparations. 6 Then he declared Marshall Law, and he gathered all his military leaders in the square at the gate that leads into the valley, and he spoke to their hearts, saying: 7 'Be manly and strong! Don't allow the king of Assyria or any of those nations that are marching with him to frighten or terrify you, because there are more with us than there are with him. 8 For, while those who are with him have arms of flesh, we have our God Jehovah to save us and to fight our battles!'

Well, the words of HezekiAh the king of Judah inspired confidence in the people. 9 But then SenNacherIb (the king of Assyria) sent his personal servant to JeruSalem (while he was marching on [the city of] LachIsh with his entire army), who spoke to HezekiAh and to all the Judeans who were gathered in JeruSalem, saying, 10 'This is what SenNacherIb, the king of the Assyrians, has said: What are you people relying on that you've all [fled] to the stronghold of JeruSalem? 11 Has HezekiAh deceived you into thinking that he can save you from hunger, thirst, and death by telling you that your God Jehovah will save you from the hands of the king of Assyria? 12 Why, isn't this the same HezekiAh who tore down His altars and high places of worship, and said to Judah and to those who live in JeruSalem, Now bow before this Altar, and here is where you should burn incense? 13 Don't you know what my ancestors and I have done to similar peoples? For, none of the gods of any of the other nations on earth have been able to save their peoples from my hands! 14 Which of any of the gods of these nations that my ancestors and I destroyed were able to rescue their people from my hands, and how can your God save you from my hands?

15 'Now, don't allow HezekiAh to fool you and persuade you to do what he says╔ don't trust him! For there's no way that any god of any nation or kingdom has been able to save his people from my hands╔ and there's no way that your God will save you from my hands.'

16 Well, he just kept on speaking against Jehovah God and His servant HezekiAh. 17 And [SenNacherIb] even wrote a letter to berate Jehovah, the God of IsraEl, saying concerning Him: 'No other god of any nation on earth has rescued his people from my hands, so there's no way that the God of HezekiAh will save his people from me!'

18 Then he yelled in the Jewish language to the people of JeruSalem who were manning the walls, telling them to tear down the walls so he could take the city. 19 And he [again] spoke against the God of JeruSalem as well as against the gods of all the peoples of the earth (those that men made with their hands).

20 Well, King HezekiAh and the Prophet IsaiAh (the son of Amoz) prayed about these things, calling into the heavens. 21 Then Jehovah sent a messenger who wiped out all the mighty warriors, all the rulers, and all the leaders in the camp of the king of Assyria, forcing [SenNacherIb] to return to his own land in shame. And when he went to the temple of his god, those who came from his own belly overthrew him, [murdering] him with a broadsword.

22 So Jehovah saved HezekiAh and the people who were living in JeruSalem from the hands of SenNacherIb the king of Assyria (as well as all who were with him), and He provided a period of rest throughout the land. 23 And thereafter, many people brought gifts to Jehovah in JeruSalem, and they brought presents to HezekiAh, the king of Judah. For after that, he became highly respected by all the surrounding nations.

24 Sometime later, however, HezekiAh became ill to the point of dying. So he prayed to Jehovah, and God heard him and gave him a sign. 25 But after that, HezekiAh failed to deal with [God] in the same way that [God] had dealt with him; for he became proud in his heart, which brought [God's] anger upon Judah and JeruSalem, 26 so as to humble the proud hearts of HezekiAh and those who lived in JeruSalem. And thereafter, Jehovah's anger didn't come again to HezekiAh through the rest of his days.

27 So, HezekiAh became very rich and famous. He filled his treasuries with silver, gold, precious gems, aromatics, weapons, and all sorts of desirable things. 28 His cities had all types of produce, grain, wine, and olive oil; and his towns had stables for all sorts of animals and huge pens for the flocks [of sheep]. 29 Then he built cities for himself, and he came to own vast herds of sheep and oxen; for [Jehovah was blessing] all of his holdings.

30 Why, it was HezekiAh who blocked up the upper [spring] of GiHon and rerouted it to the south of the city of David╔ and all of HezekiAh's projects prospered.

31 Well, it so happened that ambassadors were sent to him from the rulers of Babylon to ask about the miracles that had taken place in his land; and that's when Jehovah left him (as a test), to find out the things that were in his heart.

32 {Look!} All of the rest of the things that HezekiAh said (and of his mercy) are written about in the prophecies of IsaiAh (the son of Amoz) the Prophet, and in the scrolls of the kings of Judah and IsraEl. 33 Then HezekiAh went to sleep with his ancestors and they buried him in the tomb that's along the road that leads up to the tombs of the sons of David. And all the people of Judah and those living in JeruSalem showed him great honor after he died.

Thereafter, his son ManasSeh started reigning in his place.

Chapter 33

1 ManasSeh was twelve years old when he started his reign, and he ruled from JeruSalem for fifty-five years. 2 However, he acted wickedly before Jehovah and he started doing the same disgusting things that the nations Jehovah had destroyed before the sons of IsraEl had been doing. 3 He returned and rebuilt the high places [of worship] that his father HezekiAh had torn down; he erected columns to the BaAls; he erected sacred poles; and he bowed before and served all the armies of the heavens. 4 He even built altars inside the Temple of Jehovah, the place where Jehovah had said, '[I will establish] My Name in JeruSalem through the ages.' 5 And he erected altars to all the armies of the heavens inside the Temple courtyards. 6 Then he [sacrificed] his own children in the fire at GeHenna; he [personally] foretold the future; he administered potions and went to fortunetellers; and he did many other bad things before Jehovah so as to anger Him.

7 He also carved and molded images and placed them inside the very Temple of God where Jehovah had said to David and to his son Solomon, 'I have chosen this House and JeruSalem from all the tribes of IsraEl, and I will put My Name here through the ages. 8 And I will not shake the foot of IsraEl from this land that I gave to their ancestors, as long as they're careful to do all the things that I've instructed them and they follow the Laws, orders, and decisions that they were given through the hands of Moses.'

9 So, ManasSeh misled Judah and the people of JeruSalem into acting worse than all the nations that Jehovah had removed from before the sons of IsraEl. 10 And although Jehovah spoke to ManasSeh and his people, they just wouldn't listen. 11 As the result, Jehovah led the rulers of the army of the king of the Assyrians against them, and they captured ManasSeh and put him shackles, then they led him off to Babylon. 12 And it was while he was in this terrible situation that he finally searched for the face of Jehovah his God, and he became very humble before the God of his ancestors. 13 He prayed to Him, and [God listened]╔ He heard his cries and returned him to JeruSalem [as king] over his kingdom; for ManasSeh had finally learned that Jehovah is The God.

14 Well after that, [ManasSeh] built a wall outside the city of David, from GiHon in the south, along the [Cedar] Wadi, and all the way around to the Fisherman's Gate. He also had a huge number of weapons [made], and he assigned generals and troops to guard each of the walled cities of Judah.

15 Thereafter, he removed the foreign gods and carved images from the Temple of Jehovah, along with all the altars that he had built on the mountain where the Temple of Jehovah was located, as well as those inside JeruSalem and outside the city. 16 After that, he erected an Altar to Jehovah, where he sacrificed a salvation offering and a praise offering╔ and he told Judah to serve Jehovah, the God of IsraEl. 17 However, the people kept on offering sacrifices in the high places, which was something that wasn't acceptable to their God, Jehovah.

18 {Look!} The rest of the things that ManasSeh said╔ of his prayer to God and of the [warnings that came from] the Seers who spoke to him in the Name of the Lord God of IsraEl, 19 and of how he prayed and God listened to him, and of all his sins and defections, and of the locations of the high places that he built, and of the sacred poles and the images he erected before he returned [to God], are written about in the words of the Seers.

20 Then ManasSeh went to sleep with his ancestors, and they buried him in a tomb in the garden [behind] his palace. So his son Amon started ruling in his place.

21 Well, Amon was twenty-two years old when he started his reign, and he ruled in JeruSalem for two years. 22 Like his father ManasSeh, he acted wickedly before Jehovah. For he worshiped and sacrificed to all the idols that his father had made, 23 and he was never humbled before Jehovah as his father ManasSeh was humbled; so he committed sins that were even worse than those of his father. 24 Then his own servants attacked him and killed him in his palace, but the people of the land attacked those who'd killed King Amon, and they appointed his son JosiAh as king in his place.

Chapter 34

1 JosiAh was only eight years old when he started his reign, and he ruled in JeruSalem for thirty-one years. 2 He did what was upright before Jehovah and he followed in the ways of his ancestor David╔ he didn't deviate to the right or to the left.

3 It was in the eighth year of his reign (while he was still a boy) that he started searching for Jehovah, the God of his ancestor David. And in the twelfth year of his reign, he started cleansing Judah and JeruSalem of the high places [of worship], the sacred poles, the shrines, and the molded images. 4 He totally destroyed the things that were there before his face╔ the altars and high places of the BaAls, as well as all those who were in charge of them. He cut down the sacred poles and carved images, and he had the molded images crushed into a fine powder; then he had their dust thrown on the tombs of those who had sacrificed to them. 5 He also incinerated the bones of the priests on their own altars, and he cleaned up Judah and JeruSalem.

6 Thereafter, he did the same things throughout the cities of ManasSeh, Ephraim, SimeOn, and NaphTali, and all the places around them. 7 He tore down the altars and the sacred poles, and he cut the idols into fine pieces. Then after he beat down all the high places throughout the land of IsraEl, he returned to JeruSalem.

8 It was during the eighteenth year of his reign that he urged a cleansing of the land and of the Temple; so he sent ShaPhan (the son of EseliJa), MaAsa (the city mayor), and the City Recorder JoAh (the son of JoAhaz) to repair the Temple of his God Jehovah. 9 Then they went to the High Priest HelkiAh, and gave him the money that had been collected by the Levites at the gates, which had been donated to the Temple by those from ManasSeh, Ephraim, the governors, and all the rest of Judah, BenJamin, IsraEl, and the people of JeruSalem. 10 He in turn gave it to those who were in charge of doing the work in the Temple of Jehovah, to repair and fortify it. 11 So they paid the builders and contractors who bought blocks of cut stone and wooden beams for the roof, since all of that had been destroyed by the kings of Judah.

12 Now, the overseers who were in charge of the men that supervised the construction were Jeth and ObadiAh (Levites who were descendants of MeraRi), as well as ZachariAh and MosShaloam (descendants of KoHath). Then all the Levites, including the musicians and singers, kept an eye on the project, 13 while the Levite scribes, gatekeepers, and judges watched over the laborers and their foremen.

14 Well, it was while they were delivering the money that had been collected for the Temple of Jehovah that the High Priest HelkiAh found a scroll of the Law of Jehovah that [had been written] by the very hand of Moses. 15 And HelkiAh said to ShaPhan (the scribe): 'We've found the scroll of the Law in the Temple of Jehovah!'

So HelkiAh gave the scroll to ShaPhan, 16 and he carried it to the king and said: 'All your servants have been paid for doing their work. 17 They also melted down the silver that was found in the Temple of Jehovah and used it to pay the overseers and laborers.' 18 Then the Scribe ShaPhan gave the king the [good news]. He said: 'This scroll was given to me by HelkiAh the Priest.' And then he read it before the king.

19 Well, when the king heard the words of the Law, he started ripping his clothes. 20 Then he gave orders to HelkiAh, AchiKam (the son of ShaPhan), AbDon (the son of MichaiJah), ShaPhan (the scribe), and his personal servant AsaiAh, saying: 21 'Go and ask Jehovah about the things that are written in this scroll we found, on behalf of myself and everyone who is left in IsraEl and Judah. For, Jehovah's rage must surely be burning against us, because we've ignored what our ancestors told us about the words of Jehovah when they passed on the things that are written about in this scroll.'

22 So HelkiAh (and the others whom the king had called) went to see the Prophetess HulDah (the wife of SelLem, the son of ThekoE and grandson of Aras, the one who was in charge of guarding the Commandments). She lived in JeruSalem, in the second section. And they told her everything that had happened.

23 Then she told them, 'This is what Jehovah the God of IsraEl has said: Tell the man who sent you to me 24 that Jehovah says [He is] calling down evil upon this place because of the things that are written in this scroll that was read before the king of Judah. 25 For they have abandoned Me and burned incense to foreign gods to make Me angry over these things that they made with their hands. So My rage is burning against this place, and it won't be extinguished.

26 'And say this to the King of Judah who sent you to search for Jehovah╔ tell him that Jehovah the God of IsraEl says: 27 Because you felt shame in your heart over the words that you heard, and because you humbled yourself before Me when you heard what I said about this place and those who live here, and because you were humbled and ripped your clothes then wept before Me; I have listened to you. And Jehovah said: 28 {Look!} I will count you among your ancestors and send you to your tomb in peace, so your eyes won't see any of the bad things that I will bring upon this place and upon those who live here.'

Well thereafter, they brought the message back to the king, 29 and then the king gathered all the elders of Judah and JeruSalem, 30 and they went to the Temple of Jehovah, along with all the people of Judah and JeruSalem (including the Priests and Levites)╔ all the people from the least to the greatest. Then he read all the words of the scroll of the Sacred Agreement that were found in the Temple of Jehovah.

31 The king got up on the podium and proposed a sacred agreement there before Jehovah╔ that they would obey His Commandments, testimonies, and orders with their entire hearts and souls, so as to observe the words of the Agreement that were written in the scroll. 32 Then he asked all in JeruSalem, Judah, and BenJamin to ratify this agreement with the Temple of Jehovah, the God of their ancestors.

33 Thereafter, JosiAh removed all the disgusting things from the land that the sons of IsraEl had made, and he decreed that everyone in JeruSalem and IsraEl should serve Jehovah as their God. And throughout his life, he didn't turn aside from following Jehovah, the God of his ancestors.

Chapter 35

1 Then JosiAh observed the Passover to his God Jehovah╔ he offered the Passover sacrifice on the fourteenth day of the first month.

2 He also stationed the Priests at their watches and granted them even more power to do their work at the Temple of Jehovah. 3 Then he urged the most prominent Levites in all IsraEl to dedicate themselves to serving Jehovah and to returning the Holy Chest [to its place] in the Temple╔ and that's what they did. They put the Holy Chest into the Temple that was built by Solomon (the son of David), the king of IsraEl.

Then the king said to them: 'It isn't your job to be carrying anything on your shoulders╔ you're just to serve your God Jehovah and His people IsraEl! 4 So, prepare the houses of your families to handle your daily rotations according to the way it was written by David, the king of IsraEl, and by the hand of his son Solomon. 5 Then take your stations in the Temple by your houses and families, so you can [help] your brothers, the sons of the people. Select some from each house of the families of the Levites, 6 then sacrifice the Passover and prepare the holy things, so that your brothers may observe it as Jehovah had instructed through the hand of Moses.'

7 Well, JosiAh dedicated some thirty-thousand sheep, lambs, and goat kids for the Passover on behalf of the sons of the people, as well as three thousand calves (which all belonged to the king). 8 Then his governors dedicated [animals] on behalf of the people and brought them to the Priests and Levites. However, HelkiAh, ZachariAh, and JeiEl (the Chief Priests at the Temple of God) also offered two thousand, six hundred sheep, lambs, and goat kids, plus three hundred calves for the Passover. 9 And ConaniAh, BenaiJah, SamaiJah, his brothers NathaniEl, AsabiJah, JeiEl, and JoZabad (the heads of the Levites) dedicated five thousand sheep and five hundred calves on behalf of the Levites for the Passover.

10 Well, after everything was arranged, the Priests took their stations. Then the Levites handled their assignments as they were commanded by the king, 11 and they sacrificed the Passover╔ the Priests poured out the blood, and the Levites did the cutting and skinning, 12 as they prepared the whole burnt offerings. And after that, they delivered portions to the sons of the people by houses and families, so they could present them to Jehovah as it is written in the book of Moses, which all lasted well into the morning. 13 Then, following the Law, they roasted the Passover [sacrifices] over a fire, while the holy pieces were boiled in brass pots and kettles. Everything went well, so they ran and [distributed the pieces] among the sons of the people.

14 Then the Priests prepared to sacrifice whole burnt offerings on behalf of themselves, and the fat was burned for themselves and their brothers (the sons of Aaron) until that evening.

15 After that, the singers and musicians (the sons of Asaph) took their stations. And following the instructions of David, Asaph, Heman, and JediThun ( the king's Prophet), the gatekeepers and their supervisors who manned the gates didn't have to go up to offer their holy things, because their brothers the Levites prepared it all for them.

16 So everything was set up for the service to Jehovah in observation of the Passover on that day. Then the whole burnt offerings were placed on the Altar of Jehovah, following the commands of King JosiAh. 17 And all the sons of IsraEl who were present for the Passover celebrated the holiday of the fermentation-free bread for seven days. 18 There hadn't been another day like it in IsraEl since the time of the Prophet SamuEl, because the kings of IsraEl hadn't observed the Passover [in the way that] JosiAh did. And the Priests, Levites, all Judah and IsraEl, and all who lived in JeruSalem participated.

19 This Passover was observed in the eighteenth year of the reign of JosiAh. However, the oracles, fortunetellers, family gods, idols, and beloved things were still common throughout the land of Judah and in JeruSalem. So King JosiAh had them all collected and burned, following the Law that was written in the scroll that the High Priest HelkiAh had found in the Temple of Jehovah. There was never anyone else like him who had turned to Jehovah so wholeheartedly (with his whole soul and strength) when it came to following the Law of Moses, nor was there anyone like him thereafter.

However, even this didn't turn away Jehovah's great anger and rage, because of the many ways in which Judah and ManasSeh had provoked Jehovah. For Jehovah said: 'I will for a fact remove Judah from before My face as I removed IsraEl, and I will push away JeruSalem (the city that I chose) and the Temple where I said that I would put My Name.'

20 Then PharaOh Necho (the king of Egypt) attacked the king of Assyria at the EuPhrates River, and King JosiAh went to fight against him. 21 Well, [PharaOh Necho] sent messengers to him, saying: 'What have I done to you, O king of Judah? I haven't come to wage war against you today; I'm fighting my battle here, because God told me to come here quickly. So be careful, for God is with me, and He can also ruin you.'

22 Well, JosiAh didn't turn back╔ he got ready to wage war, and he refused to listen to the words of Necho (that came from mouth of God), so he marched into the plains of MegidDo. 23 Then a bowman shot King JosiAh, and he said to his servants: 'Take me [home], because I'm in a lot of pain.'

24 So his servants took him out of his chariot and put him in a second chariot that was nearby, and they carried him back to JeruSalem, where he died. Then he was buried in a tomb with his ancestors, and all Judah and JeruSalem mourned for him.

25 [The Prophet] JeremiAh also mourned over JosiAh, and he spoke a dirge to all the governors and rulers over JosiAh, which is still spoken to this day; for they told IsraEl to say: 'Look! It is written in the Lamentations.'

26 {Look!} The rest of the things that JosiAh said and hoped for concerning the Law of Jehovah – 27 all his words, from first to last – are written in the scrolls of the kings of IsraEl and Judah.

Chapter 36

1 Then the people of the land took JehoAhaz (JosiAh's son) and anointed him as king over JeruSalem, in place of his father.

2 JehoAhaz was twenty-three years old when he started his reign, and he reigned in JeruSalem for just three months. His mother's name was AmiTal, and she was the daughter of JeremiAh of LoBena. He acted wickedly before Jehovah, as his ancestors had done before him. Then PharaOh Necho had him imprisoned in DebLatha (in the land of HaMath), so he couldn't serve as his vassal in JeruSalem, 3and then he took him to Egypt. [Necho] also demanded that [the people of IsraEl] pay him a tribute of thirty-tons of silver and sixty-pounds of gold.

4 PharaOh Necho then put JosiAh's son EliAkim on the throne of Judah, and changed his name to JehoiAkim. PharaOh Necho carried his brother JehoAhaz to Egypt, where he died. Then [JehoiAkim] paid the silver and gold to the PharaOh, and a tax was imposed on the land by the word of PharaOh. Each person was required to hand over his silver and gold (as they were able) to PharaOh Necho.

5 Well, JehoiAkim was twenty-five years old when he started his reign, and he ruled from JeruSalem for eleven years. His mother's name was ZeKora, and she was the daughter of NerYow from RamAh. He also acted wickedly before Jehovah╔ every bit as bad as did his ancestors.

It was during his reign that NebuChadnezzar (the king of Babylon) came to the land and made [JehoiAkim] his vassal for three years. But he rebelled against him, and then Jehovah sent the Chaldeans (as well as bands of Syrian robbers, bands of Moabite robbers, the sons of AmMon, and [the people of] Samaria) against him. However, they left after Jehovah had sent a warning to them through His servants the Prophets.

Yet, Jehovah was still in a rage against Judah because of the sins of ManasSeh and all the things he did, and because of all the innocent blood that JehoiAkim had spilled (he had filled JeruSalem with the blood of the innocents); so He planned to remove Judah from before His face. However, Jehovah didn't want to destroy everyone.

6 Then NebuChadnezzar (the king of Babylon) attacked [JehoiAkim] and took him off to Babylon in shackles, 7 along with many things from the Temple of Jehovah, which he put into his own temple in Babylon.

8 {Look!} The rest of the things that JehoiAkim said and did were written in the scrolls of the words of the days of the kings of Judah. Then JehoiAkim went to sleep with his ancestors, and he was buried in a tomb at GanOza with his ancestors; so his son JehoiAchin started reigning in his place.

9 JehoiAchin was eighteen years old when he started his reign, and he ruled in JeruSalem for three months and ten days; for he acted wickedly in the presence of Jehovah. 10 Then toward the end of the year, King NebuChadnezzar carried him off to Babylon, along with many valuable things from the Temple of Jehovah; and his uncle, ZedekiAh, became king over Judah and JeruSalem.

11 ZedekiAh was twenty-one years old when he started his reign, and he ruled in JeruSalem for eleven years. 12 He also acted wickedly before his God Jehovah, and when the Prophet JeremiAh brought him word from the mouth of Jehovah, he wasn't shamed. 13 Then he annulled his allegiance to King NebuChadnezzar, which he had sworn before God╔ he just stiffened his neck and [hardened] his heart, and he refused to return to Jehovah, the God of IsraEl.

14 Thereafter, all the most honored men of Judah, as well as the Priests and the people of the land just got worse. They traded goodness for the wickedness and disgusting things of the nations, and they defiled the Temple of Jehovah in JeruSalem. 15 So Jehovah, the God of their ancestors, sent messages through His Prophets. They got up early each morning and brought [warnings] to spare His people and His Holy Place. 16 But all [the people] did was sneer at His messengers, treat their words with contempt, and mock His Prophets╔ to the point where Jehovah was furious with His people and it was [obvious] that there was no cure.

17 So He brought the king of the Chaldeans against them, and their young men were slaughtered with broadswords. They didn't spare His Holy Place, or ZedekiAh╔ nor did they show mercy to the virgins. All the elders were captured and carried away, 18 and everything in the Temple of God (both large and small) – all its treasures, as well as all the treasures of the king and everyone of importance – was carried off to Babylon. 19 Then he burned the Temple of Jehovah, tore down the walls of JeruSalem, torched its palaces, and wiped away everything that was of any beauty.

20 And after that, he carried off everyone who was left to Babylon, where they served as slaves for him and his sons╔ until the Medes came along 21 and fulfilled the words of Jehovah through JeremiAh, after the land had observed its Sabbaths. For during the seventy years that the land lay desolate, it was observing its Sabbaths.

22 It was in the first year of Cyrus, the king of Persia, after the fulfillment of the words of Jehovah through the mouth of JeremiAh, that Jehovah awakened the spirit of Cyrus and commanded him to send a written proclamation throughout his kingdom, that said, 23 'Cyrus the king of Persia says: All the kingdoms of the earth have been given to me by Jehovah, the God of heaven, and He told me to build a Temple to Him in JeruSalem in Judea. So, who of you are His people? His God Jehovah is now with him, so let him [return to JeruSalem]!'

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