,

2 Kings

From the Greek Septuagint text as was used by First Century Christians.
Covering the period starting with the death of IsraEl's King AhaziAh (about 944-BCE)
to the destruction of JeruSalem by Babylon (somewhere between 630-BCE and 586-BCE).

Chapter 1

1

2 Well, [King] AhaziAh fell through the latticework on the roof of [his palace] in Samaria and was badly injured. So he sent for messengers and told them to go ask BaAl, the Fly God of Ekron if he was going to survive, and they went to ask him.

3 Meanwhile, a messenger of Jehovah went and spoke to EliJah (the Tishbite) and told him to go and meet with the messengers of AhaziAh the king of Samaria to ask: 'Is it because there's no God in IsraEl that you're so anxiously going to see BaAl the Fly God of Ekron? You know that isn't true! 4 So, go back and tell AhaziAh that he's not going to get out of the bed that he's lying in, because he's going to die!'

Well, that's what EliJah did. 5 So the messengers returned to [the king], and when he asked them why they had come back so soon, 6 they said, 'Because a man came to meet us, and he told us to return to the king who sent us and tell him that Jehovah asked, Why are you so anxiously going to see BaAl, the Fly God of Ekron? Is it because there is no God in IsraEl? There's no need to do that, because he won't be getting out of the bed he's lying in, since he's going to die!'

7 Then, after they reported what EliJah said, the king asked: 'What did the man look like who came to meet you and said those things?'

8 And they told him: 'He had a lot of hair and he wore a large leather belt around his waist.'

Then [the king] said: 'Ah, it's EliJah the Tishbite!' 9 So he sent a contingent of fifty men to get EliJah, and when they found him, he was sitting at the very top of a mountain.

Then the lieutenant in charge of the fifty men said to him: 'O man of God; The king has called for you, so come down from there!'

10 But EliJah replied to the leader of the group: 'If I am a man of God, I can bring fire down from the sky to consume you and your fifty men.' And at that, fire came out of the sky, which destroyed him and all fifty of his men.

11 So thereafter, the king sent another contingent of fifty men. And when they got [to EliJah], the lieutenant over the group said: 'O man of God; The king says that you should come down from there╔ right now!'

12 But EliJah replied: 'If I am a man of God, fire will come down from the sky and consume you and your fifty men.' Then fire again came out of the sky and destroyed him and his fifty men.

13 So the king sent a third contingent of fifty men. But this time when they got to him, the lieutenant over the fifty got down on his knees before EliJah and begged him, saying: 'O man of God; Please value my life and the lives of your servants, these fifty men who are standing before you. 14 For {Look!} fire came down from the sky and destroyed the previous two groups of fifty men and their leaders. But please value the lives of your servants who are standing here before you!'

15 Then a messenger from Jehovah spoke to EliJah and said: 'Get down and go with him╔ don't be afraid of them.'

So EliJah climbed down and went with them to the king. 16 Then he told the king, 'Jehovah has asked why you sent your messengers to get a reply from BaAl, the Fly God of Ekron. He says that won't be necessary, because you won't be getting out of the bed that you're in, since you're going to die!'

17 And at that he died, just as Jehovah had said through EliJah.

18 Well, {Look!} all the rest of the many things that AhaziAh said and did have been written about in the scrolls that tell of the days of the kings of IsraEl.

Chapter 2

1 Then came the time when Jehovah planned to take EliJah into the sky in a great shaking.

Well, EliJah and EliSha had left GilGal together. 2 Then EliJah told EliSha: 'Wait here, because Jehovah is sending me on to BethEl.'

But EliSha asked: 'As Jehovah lives and as you live; should I just I abandon you?' And as the result, they traveled on to BethEl together. 3 [And when they got to] BethEl, the Sons of the Prophets came to EliSha and said to him: 'Did you know that Jehovah is going to take your master and lift him over your head today?'

And he replied, 'Yes, I know╔ but let's not talk about it!'

4, 5,

6 Then EliJah told him: 'Now, wait here; for Jehovah is sending me to the Jordan River.'

And EliSha [again] said: 'As Jehovah lives and as you live; am I to abandon you?' So they both traveled on.

7 Well, fifty of the Sons of the Prophets were standing some distance away next to the JorDan, as both men walked up to the river. 8 Then EliJah took off his sheepskin cape, folded it in half, and he struck the water with it, and [the river] parted before them, so they crossed it on dry land. 9 And as they were crossing, EliJah said to EliSha: 'Tell me what I can do for you before I'm taken away from you.'

So EliSha told him: 'Please bestow a double portion of your Spirit upon me.'

10 And EliJah told him: 'That's a difficult request. If you see me being taken up from you, you'll receive it. But if you don't, it won't happen.'

11 Then as they were crossing the river walking along and talking, {Look!} a chariot of fire with horses of fire rode up between them and took EliJah into the sky with a great shaking. 12 And when EliSha saw this, he yelled out, 'O father, O father╔ the chariot of IsraEl and his horseman!' But EliJah quickly passed out of sight.

Then [EliSha] ripped his own clothes in half, 13 and he picked up EliJah's sheepskin cape that had fallen on top of him and raised it high, and he walked back to the bank of the river. 14 Then he took EliJah's sheep skin cape that had fallen upon him and struck the water with it╔ but it didn't part. So he cried out, 'Where is the God of EliJah now?' Then he struck the water again, and this time [the river] ripped apart on either side of him. So EliSha was then able to finish crossing the river.

NOTE: Because of it proximity to JeriCho, this appears to be the same place where the IsraElites had miraculously crossed the JorDan when they first entered the promised land. And if so, this drama could well picture something that will happen at the coming of God's Kingdom, for this is the place where God's Mediator (Moses) was taken away and replaced by the Warrior JoShua. Remember that it was Moses and EliJah that appeared with Jesus in his transfiguration (Matthew 17, Mark 9 and Luke 9), which Jesus said was a vision of the Kingdom.

15 Well when the Sons of the Prophets who had come from JeriCho saw him standing on their side of the river, they said: 'The Breath of EliJah surely now rests upon EliSha.' So they came to greet him, bowing to the ground before him. 16 Then they said to him: '{Look!} We have fifty men [who are filled with God's] power. Allow us to send them to search for your master; for the Breath of Jehovah may have tossed him into the Jordan or onto one of the mountains or hills!'

And EliSha said, 'No, don't send them.'

17 But they kept insisting until he [became exasperated] and said, 'Okay, then send them!'

Therefore, they sent the fifty men who searched for him for three days, but they couldn't find him. 18 And when they returned to where EliSha was staying in JeriCho, he said to them, 'Didn't I tell you not to go?'

19 Well meanwhile, the men of [JeriCho] had come to EliSha and said: '{Look!} As you can see, O master; this city is in a good location. However, the water is bad and nothing wants to grow here.'

20 And EliSha said: 'Bring me a new water jar filled with salt.'

So they went and brought [the jar of salt] to him. 21 And EliSha went to the place where they got their water and threw the salt into it, and said, 'This is what Jehovah has proclaimed: I've made the water good, so it will no longer cause death or destruction.' 22 And the water there has in fact remained good to this day, just as EliSha said.

23 Well after that, EliSha left [JeriCho] and traveled back toward BethEl. But on the way, some young boys who were following him from the city started making fun of him by shouting, 'Go into the sky, bald man╔ go up into the sky!'

24 And when he saw this, he turned around and cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then {Look!} two bears came out of the woods and tore all forty-two of the children to pieces.

25 Well thereafter, he traveled on to Mount CarMel, and then on to Samaria.

Chapter 3

1 In the eighteenth year of JehoShaphat the king of Judah, JehoRam (the son of Ahab) started his reign in IsraEl, and he reigned for twelve years. 2 He also acted wickedly in the eyes of Jehovah, but he wasn't as bad as his father or mother, 3 for he removed the columns of BaAl that his father had erected. However, he still hung onto and practiced the sins of JeroBoam (the son of NaBat), who had led IsraEl into sin.

4 Now, King Mesha of Moab was a shepherd, and he'd sent a hundred-thousand lambs and a hundred-thousand wooly rams to [Ahab] the king of IsraEl, as a good-will gesture. 5 But after Ahab died, the king of Moab ended his alliance with the kings of IsraEl. 6 So King JehoRam went from Samaria and took a census [of the army] of IsraEl, 7 then he sent a message to JehoShaphat the king of Judah, telling him, 'The king of Moab has annulled his alliance with me, so will you join me in a war against Moab?'

And he replied: 'I will╔ since you and I are very much alike, and your people and my people [are related], my horses are your horses! 8 Which road do you want me to take?

And JehoRam replied: '[Join me] on the road to the desert of Edom.'

9 So the king of IsraEl, the king of Judah, and the king of Edom went on a march against the king of Moab that lasted seven days. However, because they were marching in circles, they finally ran out of water and they no longer enough for both their animals and their troops. 10 Then the king of IsraEl said: 'Did Jehovah call us three kings and send us here just to hand us over to Moab?'

11 And JehoShaphat asked: 'Didn't you bring along a Prophet of Jehovah? We should be asking him!'

And one of the servants of the king of IsraEl said: 'We can go to EliSha (the son of ShaPhat)╔ the one who used to wash the hands of EliJah.'

12 Then JehoShaphat asked: 'Does he have the words of Jehovah?'

So thereafter, the king of IsraEl, the king of Judah (JehoShaphat), and the king of Edom went to see him. 13 And EliSha asked the king of IsraEl: 'Why have you come here╔ why don't you go to the prophets of your father and mother?'

But the king of IsraEl asked him: 'Has Jehovah called all three of us kings here just to hand us over to Moab?'

14 And EliSha said: 'As Jehovah the God of armies (before whom I stand) lives; were it not for the fact that JehoShaphat (the king of Judah) is welcome here, I would never have bothered to see you. 15 But now, bring me my harp.'

Well, as he strummed his harp, the hand of Jehovah came over him 16 and he said, 'This is the word of Jehovah:

'Dig cistern after cistern in the wadi,
17 For though the wind blows, it won't rain.
Yet the wadi will then fill up with water,
For your men, your animals, and you.

18 'And because this is not a light matter,
In the eyes of Jehovah,
I will give Moab into your hands.

19 'But you must destroy their fortified cities,
And cut down all their good trees.
Then stop up their wells and their springs,
And cover their land up with rocks
.'

20 Well the next morning, just after they had offered sacrifices, {Look!} there was water running down the road to Edom, which covered the land.

21 Meanwhile, when the Moabites heard that the three kings were coming to war against them, people started yelling all over the land and strapping on their [swords], then they all gathered for war along their borders. 22 And when they got up early the next morning and the sun arose over the water; as they gazed across the water, it appeared to be fiery red╔ like blood! 23 So they said, 'That's blood from a battle! Those kings have clearly fought among themselves, and now they're the spoils of Moab!'

24 So the Moabites then advanced toward the camp of IsraEl, [but they were surprised] when IsraEl came out and attacked them. So they ran away, and IsraEl thereafter entered their land and destroyed Moab, 25 demolishing all their cities. Then each man picked up rocks and threw them over the good land, covering the ground with rocks, and they stopped up all the springs and wells. They also cut down all the good trees and broke the walls of the cities into rocks, and thereafter they surrounded the cities and pelted them with the rocks.

26 Well when the king of Moab realized that all was lost, he took seven hundred of his best men and tried to cut through the [lines of] the king of Edom, but he was unsuccessful. 27 Then he [went back] and took his firstborn son (the one who was to be his successor) and sacrificed him as a whole burnt offering on his [city] wall. And since he had offered his repentance to IsraEl in such a great way, they left his land and returned home.

Chapter 4

1 Then a woman of one of the Sons of the Prophets called to EliSha and said: 'My man (your servant) has died, and you know that your servant was [a person] who feared Jehovah. However, the moneylender just came to take my two sons away to be his slaves.'

2 And EliSha said: 'Then tell me what I can do for you╔ is there anything that you own with which [you can pay for their release]?

And she replied: 'I don't have a single thing in my house other than some olive oil that's used for anointing.'

3 And he said: 'Then go around to your neighbors and see how many empty jars you can get from them. 4 After that, go back home and lock yourself and your sons inside, and fill each of the jars with [the olive oil], one at a time.'

5 So she went home and did as he told her. She gathered her sons and locked the doors, and then she started filling the jars. 6 And as she filled them, she would say to her sons: 'Now, bring me another jar!' However, they finally told her, 'There aren't any more jars'╔ and at that point, the flow of olive oil ended.

7 Thereafter, she went and reported what had happened to EliSha, the man of God. And EliSha said: 'Now, go and sell the olive oil, and that will pay your interest. Then you and your sons can use whatever you don't sell.'

8 Well one day, as EliSha was passing through Soman, a wealthy woman who lived there insisted that he come in for a meal. And thereafter whenever he was passing by, he would stop there to eat. 9 So the woman said to her husband: '{Look!} I know that this is a holy man of God who is always stopping here. 10 Why don't we make him a small room upstairs? We can put a bed, a table, a chair, and a lampstand there, and whenever he comes to visit, he can spend the night here.'

11 Then one day when he was in the area, he stopped in and went to his upstairs room, where he went to bed. 12 And later, he told his servant GeHazi: 'Call the Somanite woman and ask to speak to her. Tell her, {Look!} You have surprised us with [the good thing you've done for us]. So, what can we do for you? Can we put in a good word for you with the king or with his generals?'

13 But she replied: 'No, I live among friends and I have a happy life.'

14 So he asked GeHazi: 'What [nice thing] do you think we can do for her?'

And GeHazi replied: 'Well, she has no son, and her husband is very old.'

15 So EliSha said, 'Then call her!'

Then he called to her, and she came and stood by the door, 16 and he said to her: 'At this time next year, at about the same hour, you will be holding a living son.'

But she said: 'Oh no, my lord; you shouldn't disappoint your female servant like this!' 17 However, the woman did get pregnant and give birth to a living son on the same day and hour the following year, just as EliSha had told her.

18 Well, after the boy grew up; he went out to where his father was harvesting one day, 19 and said: 'Oh, my head! My head hurts!'

So the father told his servant: 'Carry him to his mother;' 20 and he carried him [home] to his mother, who put him to sleep on her knees. However, sometime around noon, he died. 21 Then she carried him upstairs and laid him on the bed of the man of God; and after she locked the door, she went to call her husband 22 and told him: 'Send one of the servants with me and a burro, because I'm going to run and find the man of God and bring him back.'

23 And he asked: 'Why do you have to go to him today? It's not a New Moon or a Sabbath.'

But she just said, 'Peace!' 24 Then she saddled her burro and told her servant: 'You lead╔ Go! Don't wait for me to mount the burro╔ as I said, Go! Search throughout Mount CarMel and find the man of God! 25 So they went to the mountain and found the man of God. '

Well when EliSha saw her coming, he said to GeHazi (his servant): 'Isn't that the Somanite woman? 26 If so, run to meet her and say, May you, your husband, and the boy have peace!' And as she [approached GeHazi], she also said, 'Peace!'

27 Then she went up to EliSha on the mountain and grabbed hold of his feet. However, GeHazi tried to push her away. But EliSha said, 'Leave her alone, because there's a lot of pain in her life. I don't know what it is, because Jehovah has concealed it from me.'

28 Then she said to him, 'I didn't ask for a son from my lord, and I told you not to mislead me╔'

29 And EliSha said to GeHazi: 'Tighten your belt, then take my walking stick and go! If you see any man along the way, don't stop to bless him╔ or if a man should bless you, don't answer him. Go and place my walking stick against the face of the boy.'

30 But the boy's mother said to EliSha: 'As Jehovah lives and as your body is living; are we going to leave you behind?' So EliSha got up and went with her, 31 as GeHazi traveled ahead.

Well [when GeHazi got there], he placed the walking stick against the boy's face╔ but there was no sound and he couldn't hear anything. So he went back to EliSha and said, 'The boy didn't get up!'

32 Then EliSha went into the house and {Look!} he found the dead boy lying on his bed. 33 So he went inside the room, locked the door behind him, and he prayed to Jehovah. 34 Then he got down on top of the boy, mouth-to-mouth, eye-to-eye, and hand-to-hand, and he just laid there warming his flesh.

35 Then he got up and he walked all around the house, and thereafter he went back upstairs and leaned against the boy seven times╔ and suddenly the boy opened his eyes! 36 So EliSha yelled out to GeHazi, 'Call the Somanite woman!'

Well, he called her and she went upstairs; and EliSha said, 'Here's your son!'

37 So she went in, fell down upon EliSha's feet, and bowed to the ground before him. Then she took her son [back downstairs].

38 Well after that, EliSha traveled to GilGal, because there was a famine in the land. There the Sons of the Prophets sat down before him, and EliSha told his servant: 'Go get the large cooking pot and boil up some stew for the Sons of the Prophets.' 39 So his servant went out into the fields to collect some vegetables. There he found a vine growing that had some wild gourds. So he picked enough to fill his coat, and then he also threw them into the stew pot (but they didn't know anything about it). 40 However afterward, when he poured out the stew for the men and they started eating it, they yelled, 'O man of God╔ there's poison in this.' And they weren't willing to eat it.

41 However, EliSha told his servant: 'Just take some flour and add it to the pot.' Then he told GeHazi to pour some more for them to eat. Well, there wasn't anything wrong with the food in the pot after that.

42 And later, a man from BethSariSha came to him carrying the first fruits of his harvest for the man of God╔ twenty barley loaves and [several] clusters of dried figs. And he said: 'Give this to these people and let them eat it.'

43 But [EliSha] said to his servant: 'Why should I feed those things to just a hundred men? Give it to the [rest] of the people [of the city] and let them eat it, for Jehovah told me: They will eat it and then they will have leftovers!'

44 And for a fact; after everyone ate it there were leftovers, just as Jehovah had said.

Chapter 5

1 There was a man named NaAman who was the commander-in-chief of the army of Syria. He was highly valued by his lord and everyone admired him. Jehovah had also used him to save Syria; for he was a very strong and mighty man. However, he had contracted leprosy.

2 Meanwhile, the Syrians had gone into IsraEl lightly armed, and they captured a young girl there, who was given to NaAman's woman as a servant. 3 And it was she who suggested to her lady: 'My master should go to see the Prophet of God who is in Samaria, for he will cure him of his leprosy.'

4 As the result, [NaAman's woman] went in to [her husband] while he was [with the king] and told him what she'd heard the girl from the land of IsraEl say. 5 And the king of Syria said to NaAman: 'Then go there, and I'll send along a letter for the king of IsraEl.'

So thereafter, NaAman went [to Samaria] carrying along seven hundred pounds of silver, six thousand gold coins, ten suits of clothes, 6 and a letter to the king of IsraEl, which said: 'Along with this letter, {Look!} I am sending my servant NaAman to you and I'm asking that cure him of his leprosy.'

7 Well when the king of IsraEl read the letter, he ripped his clothes and said: 'Am I God who can bring death to one and life to another that he would send me a man to be cured of his leprosy? How do I know that this really isn't just an excuse to attack me?'

8 However, when EliSha heard about the king of IsraEl ripping his clothes, he sent [a message] to the king that said: 'Why did you tear your clothes? Allow NaAman to come to me, so he will know that there is a Prophet in IsraEl!'

9 So thereafter, NaAman went to him riding his horse-drawn chariot, and he stopped in front of the door of EliSha's house. 10 Then EliSha sent a messenger outside to him who told him: 'You should go and bathe yourself in the Jordan River seven times, and your flesh will be cleansed.'

11 Well NaAman was outraged! He said: 'They told me that this man would come out and stand before me, then call on the Name of his God and put his hand on the leprosy and cure it! 12 Aren't the Abana and Phaphar Rivers of Damascus superior to the Jordan and all the waters of IsraEl? If I want to be cleansed, I can go bathe in them!' So he left in a huff.

13 But his servant spoke to him and gave him some great advice. He said: 'Shouldn't you do what the Prophet said? All he told you to do was to bathe and be cleansed!'

14 So then NaAman went down to the Jordan and dipped himself in the water seven times, just as EliSha said╔ and he was cleansed! In fact, his skin became like that of a young boy. 15 So he returned to EliSha with his entire contingent of guards, then he stood before him and said: '{Look!} Now I know for sure that there's no God in all the earth other than just in IsraEl! Please accept these blessings from your servant!'

16 But EliSha said: 'As [Jehovah, the God] that I stand before lives; how could I accept such a thing?'

Well, [NaAman] kept insisting, but EliSha kept resisting. 17 Then NaAman said: 'At least let your servant give you this team of mules, and you give me some of your red earth in return╔ then I'll quit insisting. For your servant promises that he won't present whole burnt offerings or sacrifices to any gods other than to Jehovah alone, because of what this God has done. 18 However, may Jehovah deal kindly with your servant when I have to enter the temple of RemMan with my master. Because when he goes there, he has to hold onto my hand when he kneels before RemMan╔ so I must bend down also. May Jehovah deal kindly with your servant in this matter.'

19 And EliSha told NaAman: 'Yes, go in peace.' So he left and headed toward the land of DebRatha.

20 But after that,GeHazi (EliSha's servant) said to himself, '{Look!} NaAman was saved, yet my master wouldn't accept any of the things that he brought. As Jehovah lives, I'm going to run after him and accept anything that he's willing to give!'

21 So then GeHazi ran after NaAman, and when NaAman saw him running behind, he stopped his chariot and waited for him. And [after he caught up], GeHazi said: 'Peace! 22 My master has sent me and he told me to say, {Look!} Two young men just came to me from the Sons of the Prophets in the hills of Ephraim. So, please let me have seventy-pounds of silver and two suits of clothes to give to them.'

23 And NaAman said: 'Here, take a hundred-and-forty pounds of silver!'

So GeHazi took the silver in two pouches as well as two suits of clothes, and he handed them to his servants who carried the things on ahead of him. 24 And when they got to a shady spot he sent them on, as he took it all for himself and carried it back home.

25 Well later, when he went to see his master, EliSha asked him: 'Where did you come from, GeHazi?'

And GeHazi replied: 'Oh, your servant was just traveling here and there.'

26 And EliSha said to him: 'Wasn't my heart traveling with you when the man stopped his chariot to wait for you? So now you've taken the silver and the clothing, and you're planning to buy gardens, olive groves, vineyards, sheep, oxen, and male and female servants. However, the leprosy of NaAman will stick to you and to your seed through the ages.'

Then as he was leaving, his face became as white as snow with leprosy.

Chapter 6

1 Later, the Sons of the Prophets went to EliSha and said, 2 'Look, this place near you (where we're living) is getting too small for us. 2 So we're going to the Jordan, and each man is going to carry along a timber that we can use to build a place for us there.'

And EliSha said, 'Then go!'

3 But one of them said, 'We want you to come with us.' And he agreed to go.

4 So he traveled with them, and when they got to the Jordan, they started cutting trees. 5 Then {Look!} when one of them was setting a rafter in place, an iron tool fell off of it into the river. And he yelled, 'O Lord!' But it was gone.

6 Well, the man of God came to him and asked, 'Where did it fall?' And he showed him the place. Then EliSha picked up a piece of wood and threw it into the spot, and the iron tool floated to the surface. 7 And he said, 'Now, pick it up yourself.' So he reached out and grabbed the tool.

8 Well at the time, the king of Syria was at war with IsraEl. So he consulted with his servants and selected a certain concealed place to set up his camp. 9 Then EliSha sent [a message] to the king of IsraEl, saying, 'Be careful not to get to close to (such and such) a place, because the Syrians are hiding there.'

10 So the king of IsraEl went to the place that EliSha had warned him about, but he was spotted watching the place not once, but twice! 11 And when word of this reached the king of Syria, he was very upset. So he called his servants and said to them: 'Is anyone going to tell me who it is that betrayed me to the king of IsraEl?'

12 Well, his servants said: 'No one, our lord, O king; for it is EliSha the Prophet of IsraEl who tells the king of IsraEl the things that you say in your closet and in your bedroom.' 13 And he said: 'Then go find him and capture him!'

So they went, and before long they reported back to the king, saying, '{Look!} He's in Dothan.' 14 As the result, he sent horses and chariots there that night, along with many soldiers who surrounded the city. 15 And when the servant who had been assigned to EliSha got up early in the morning and went outside, {Look!} he saw the army surrounding the city with all their horses and chariots. So he went back inside and said: 'O master, what should we do?'

16 But EliSha said: 'Don't be afraid, for there are many more with us than there are with them.' 17 Then EliSha prayed and said: 'O Jehovah, open wide the eyes of this servant.' So Jehovah opened his eyes wide, and he saw {Look!} that the mountain was filled with horses and chariots of fire that were surrounding EliSha.

18 Well when they came to get him, EliSha prayed to Jehovah, saying: 'Now, strike this nation so they can't see!' And suddenly they were all struck [mentally] blind, just as EliSha had asked. 19 Then EliSha shouted at them: 'This is the wrong city╔ you took the wrong road! Follow me and I'll lead you to the man you're searching for.'

So he led them to Samaria, 20 and when they got there, EliSha prayed: 'O Jehovah; now open their eyes and let them see!' Then Jehovah opened their eyes wide, and they realized that {Look!} they were in the midst of Samaria. 21 And when the king of IsraEl saw them, he asked EliSha: 'Shall I cut them down, O father?' 22 But he told him that he shouldn't do that, for he said: 'Unless you've captured and beaten them with your swords and bows, you shouldn't cut them down. Rather, set some food and water before them so they can eat and drink, then let them return to their lord.'

23 So thereafter, the king laid a great feast before them, which they ate and drank, and then he sent them back to their lord. However, the Syrians continued to send their armies into the land of IsraEl.

24 Then one day, BenHader the king of Syria gathered all of his troops and laid siege to Samaria, 25 which caused a great famine in the city. {Look!} At the time, a burro's head was worth fifty silver coins, and a pint of dove droppings was worth five silver coins.

26 Well, the king of IsraEl happened to be walking along the city wall one day, and a woman yelled to him, saying: 'Save us O lord, our king!'

27 And he replied: 'What can I save you from╔ the threshing floor or the wine vat? Only Jehovah can save you!'

28 Then the king asked her: 'What's wrong with you?'

And she replied: 'A woman came and said to me, Give me your son so we can both eat him today and tomorrow! 29 So I gave her my son, and we boiled him and ate him. Then the next day, I told her to give me her son to eat, but she took him and hid him.'

30 Well when the king of IsraEl heard what the woman said, he started ripping his clothes. Then he traveled around the wall and he noticed that his people were wearing sackcloth as their underwear. 31 And he prayed: 'Curse me O God and add to it if I leave EliSha's head on his [shoulders] today.'

32 Well at the time, EliSha was at his home and all the elders were sitting around him. So the king sent a man to get EliSha; but before the messenger got there, EliSha said this to the elders: 'Did you know that the king has sent a executioner to cut off my head today? When he gets here, I want you to lock the door and not let him in; for the feet of his lord will be following close behind him.'

33 And while he was still speaking to them {Look!} the messenger arrived, and he said: '{Look!} Since all this evil has come from Jehovah, is there any reason for us to keep on waiting for Jehovah to do something?'

Chapter 7

1 Then EliSha said to him: 'Listen to the word of Jehovah; for this is what He said: At this same time tomorrow a scoop of fine flour will sell for a copper coin, and two scoops of barley will sell for a copper coin inside the gates of Samaria.'

2 But this official proclaimer (the one to whom the king gave his hand and leaned on) said to EliSha: '{Look!} Are you saying that Jehovah will make it pour from the sky? It will never happen!'

And EliSha said: 'Look! You will see it with your own eyes╔ however, you won't eat any of it.'

3 Well that evening there were four lepers who were standing outside the city gate. And one said the other, 'Why are we just waiting here to die? 4 If we go into the city, there's a famine and we'll just starve to death. However, if we go into the camp of the Syrians, they could kill us╔ but they might also allow us to live.'

5 So they got up during the night and snuck into the camp of the Syrians. But when they reached the camp, {Look!} they found no one there. 6 For Jehovah had created the sounds of horses, chariots, and a huge army, and all the people in that camp thought the king of IsraEl had hired the kings of the Hittites and Egyptians to come and attack them. 7 So they all got up and just ran away in the darkness, abandoning their tents, their horses, and their burros, as they ran for their lives.

8 Well the lepers went into the camp and entered one of the tents, and they ate and drank whatever they found there. They also took some silver, gold, and clothing. Then they went into another tent and took all that was there, and they hid everything. 9 But then one said to the other: 'Let's do the right thing today, because this is good news! We could just say nothing and wait until morning as we take more things; but let's go and announce what has happened to the house of the king!'

10 So they went up to the city gate and yelled: 'We entered the Syrian camp because {Look!} we couldn't hear anything, and we found that no one is there! All we could find is their horses and burros still tied, and their tents. But everything has been left just as it was.'

11 Well, the gatekeepers ran and announced this to the house of the king. 12 Then the king got out of bed and said to his servants: 'Let me tell you what the Syrians are doing; they know that we're starving, so they've left their camp and they're hiding in the fields. They think that we'll leave the city, then they can rush in and attack us, and after that, they can just walk into our city.'

13 But one of his servants said: 'Well, let's go and take five of the horses that they've left behind, and let's send out some of the sick and dying╔ then we can watch to see what happens.'

14 Thereafter, the king of IsraEl sent out two of his men on horses to look for the king of Syria, telling them: 'Go search for him!'

15 Well, they traveled as far as the Jordan and {Look!} all they found was clothing and other things that the Syrians had dropped as they fled. And after the messengers returned and reported this to the king, 16 the people went out and tore the camp of Syria to shreds. 17

18 So, just as EliSha had told the king; at the same time on the following day, two scoops of barley actually sold for a copper coin, and a scoop of fine flour sold for a copper coin inside the gates of Samaria. 19 And the official proclaimer who had said to EliSha, '{Look!} Will Jehovah make it pour from the sky? It will never happen,' and to whom EliSha had said, '{Look!} You'll see it with your eyes, but you won't eat any of it'╔ 20 well, that's what happened, for the king had put him in charge of opening the city gate, and the people trampled him to death as they rushed out.

Chapter 8

1 Then EliSha went and spoke to the woman whose son he had brought back to life. He told her: 'Get up and take everyone in your house to wherever you wish to go, for Jehovah has called for a famine on the land that will last for seven years.'

2 As the result, the woman got up and did as EliSha told her. She took everyone in her home and went to live in the land of the Philistines for seven years. 3 Then at the end of seven years, the woman left the land of the Philistines and returned to her city. And when she got back, she went before the king to complain about the [loss] of her house and fields.

4 Well at the time, the king was speaking to GeHazi (the servant of EliSha, the man of God), and he had just told him to describe all the great things that EliSha had done. 5 So it was as he was describing how EliSha had brought the woman's dead son back to life after he died that the woman arrived to complain to the king about the [loss] of her house and fields. And GeHazi said: 'O my lord the king; Here's the woman whose son EliSha brought back to life!'

6 So the king asked the woman, and she told him all that had happened. Then the king said to one of his eunuchs: 'Return everything to her, including all the crops that have grown in her fields from the time she left the land until now.'

7 Well sometime later, EliSha went to see BenHader (the king of Syria) in Damascus, who was very ill. And when they announced to him, 'The man of God is here,' 8 the king said to HazaEl: 'Bring along a gift and go meet with the man of God. Tell him to go before Jehovah quickly and ask if I will survive this illness.'

9 So HazaEl went to meet with him, and he brought along gifts of many fine things from Damascus that were carried on forty camels. Then he went in and stood in the presence of EliSha, and said, 'Your son, BenHader (the king of Syria), has sent me to you to ask, Will I survive this illness?'

10 And EliSha said to him: 'Go and tell him that he will live╔ however, Jehovah has shown me that he will die.'

11 Well thereafter, [HazaEl] brought the gifts in and set them before [EliSha], but EliSha just let them sit there and rot, to shame him.

Then the man of God started crying. 12 So HazaEl asked: 'Why is my master crying?'

And [EliSha] replied: 'Because I can see the many bad things that you're going to do to the sons of IsraEl. For you will burn all their forts, you will kill their best men with broadswords, you will destroy their little children, and you will cut open their pregnant women.'

13 But HazaEl asked: 'Do you think of your servant as a dead dog that I would do such a thing?'

And EliSha said: 'Jehovah has shown me that you will become the ruler over Syria.'

14 Well thereafter, he left EliSha and returned to his master, who asked: 'What did EliSha tell you?'

And he replied: 'He told me that you will live.'

15 But the next day [the king] took a cloth and dipped it in water and put it over his face, and at that he died. So HazaEl started reigning in place of him.

16 It was in the fifth year of the reign of JehoRam (the son of Ahab) the king of IsraEl that JehoRam (the son of JehoShaphat) the king of Judah started to reign over Judah. 17 He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned from JeruSalem for eight years. 18 However, he followed in the ways of the kings of IsraEl and the house of Ahab, because Ahab's daughter was his woman. So he acted very wickedly before Jehovah. 19 However, Jehovah didn't want [to harm] Judah because of His promise to His servant David that He would allow him and his descendants to be the lamplight throughout the rest of the days.

20 Then the Edomites rebelled against Judah and set up their own king. 21 So JehoRam took his chariots and went to ZaIr to attack Edom. But then the Edomites surrounded JehoRam and his generals, so JehoRam's army all ran back to their tents. 22 And because of this, Edom hasn't been ruled by Judah down to this day. And thereafter, LibNah broke away from the rule [of Judah].

23 The rest of the things that JehoRam said and did have been written about in the scrolls that tell of the days of the kings of Judah. 24 And when JehoRam went to sleep with his ancestors, they buried him in the tomb of his ancestors in the city of his ancestor David. Then his son AhaziAh started ruling in place of him.

25 It was in the twelfth year of JehoRam (the son of Ahab) the king of IsraEl that AhaziAh (the son of JehoRam) started to rule. 26 He was twenty-two years old when he started his reign in JeruSalem, which only lasted one year. His mother's name was AthaliAh, and she was the daughter of Omri, the king of IsraEl, who was related to the house of Ahab. 27 So he also followed in the ways of the house of Ahab and he acted wickedly before Jehovah.

28 But thereafter, AhaziAh joined King JehoRam (the son of Ahab) in a war against HazaEl (the king of Syria) and against the Philistines at RamOth GileAd╔ and the Syrians wounded JehoRam there. 29 So he went to JezReEl to have the wounds that he'd received in his war with HazaEl at RamOth treated medically, and AhaziAh (the son of JehoRam) the king of Judah went to see this son of Ahab in JezReEl, because he was very ill.

Chapter 9

1 Well at that, the Prophet EliSha called one of the Sons of the Prophets in and said to him: 'Wrap your loins and take this flask of oil to RamOth Gilead. 2 Go to see Jehu, the son of JehoShaphat the son of NaMesSi, and you must elevate him over his brothers. 3 Take him into the bin of a storage shed then pour this flask of oil over his head, and tell him that Jehovah said this: I have anointed you to be the king over IsraEl. Thereafter, open the door and run╔ don't wait around!'

4 So the young Prophet went to RamOth Gilead, 5 and as he entered the place he found that {Look!} all the army generals had assembled there. Then he said to Jehu: 'May I have a word with you, commander?'

And Jehu asked, 'To which of us do you wish to speak?'

And he replied, 'To you, general.'

6 So [Jehu] got up and they both went outside. Then [the Prophet] poured the oil over his head and said, 'This is what Jehovah the God of IsraEl has said: I have anointed you to be the king over the people of Jehovah╔ those in IsraEl. 7 Now, you must wipe the house of your lord Ahab away from before My face and avenge the blood of My servants the Prophets as well as the blood of all the servants of [Jehovah who were killed] by JezeBel. 8 Kill all of them in IsraEl who can urinate against a wall, including their slaves and freemen. 9 Then I'll make the house of Ahab like the house of JeroBoam (the son of NaBat), the same as I gave [the kingship] to the house of BaAsha the son of AhiJah. 10 And thereafter, JezeBel will be eaten by dogs in JezReEl, because no one will bury her.' Then he opened the door and ran away.

11 So Jehu went to speak to the servants of his lord, and they said to him: 'Peace! Why have you come to us in such a rage?'

And he said to them: 'You know that man and you know the way he thinks!'

12 And they said: 'It would be wrong if you don't tell us what has happened!'

And Jehu said to them: 'So-and-so spoke to me and told me that Jehovah said, I have anointed you to be the king over IsraEl.'

13 Well when they heard that, they each took off their [official] robes and laid them on the steps beneath Jehu. Then they got the trumpeters and had them blow the horns and proclaim, 'Jehu now reigns!'

14 And after that, Jehu (the son of JehoShaphat and grandson of NaMesSi) gathered his forces to attack King JehoRam, while the army of IsraEl was protecting JehoRam from HazaEl (the king of Syria). 15 So it was when King JehoRam returned to JezReEl for treatment of the wounds that he had received during his war with the Syrians that Jehu said [to his men]: 'If you're with me, don't let anyone leave the city to carry a report to JezReEl.' 16 And at that, Jehu got up and rode on to JezReEl.

Meanwhile, JehoRam (the king of IsraEl) was being attended to in JezReEl, because he'd been shot by bowmen at RamAmin (in the land of RamOth) during his campaign against HazaEl, the king of Syria╔ for he was a very powerful, mighty man. And at the time, AhaziAh (the king of Judah) had gone there to visit JehoRam.

17 Well when the watchman climbed to the top of the lookout tower in JezReEl and saw the cloud of dust of Jehu's chariot, he shouted: 'I see a cloud of dust!'

And JehoRam said: 'Send out a horseman to see if he's coming in peace!'

18 So they sent out a horseman to meet him and say, 'The king wants to know if you're coming in peace.'

And at that, Jehu replied: 'What does he know about peace? Now, follow behind me!'

Well, when the watchman reported that the messenger wasn't coming back, 19 he sent out a second horseman who rode up to Jehu and said: 'The king wants to know if you're coming in peace!'

And Jehu again said: 'What does he know about peace? Get behind and follow me!'

20 Well when the watchman reported that this messenger wasn't returning either, he sent out a third horseman to ask if he was coming in peace. And Jehu said to him: 'What does he know about peace? Get behind me and follow along!'

So the watchman reported back: 'This messenger isn't returning either, and I can tell by the frenzied way he's riding that the [man who is coming] is General Jehu, the son of NaMesSi.'

21 Then JehoRam said: 'Team up my chariots!' So they teamed up the chariots and they (JehoRam the king of IsraEl and AhaziAh) the king of Judah rode out to meet him in their chariots. And when they got to Jehu, it so happened that he was in the the same field [that used to belong to] NabOth the JezReElite. 22 Then the king shouted: 'Have you come in peace, Jehu?'

And Jehu replied: 'What do you know of peace? Isn't [our land] still under the spell of your mother JezeBel?'

23 Well at that, JehoRam wheeled his chariot to flee, and he shouted to AhaziAh, 'There's treachery here, AhaziAh!'

24 But Jehu took his bow and shot JehoRam in the middle of his chest, hitting him in the heart, and he fell to his knees. 25 Then Jehu turned to BadEkar (his aid) and said: 'Take his body and throw it into the field of NabOth the JezReElite. For we both remember, back when we rode for his father Ahab, how Jehovah had said to him: Look! Wasn't it just yesterday that I saw the blood of NabOth and his sons? 26 And then Jehovah said: I will pay him back [for his sins] in this very field. So now, throw his body into that field, just as Jehovah foretold!'

27 Well when AhaziAh (the king of Judah) saw what was happening, he took off along the road to BethHagan. But Jehu chased after him shouting, 'Him too!' And then he shot him as his chariot was headed up to Mount Gai (at JeblaAm). However, AhaziAh kept riding on to MegidDo, where he finally died. 28 Then his servants put his body in the chariot and carried it back to JeruSalem, where he was buried in his tomb in the city of David. 29 AhaziAh had started his reign over Judah during the eleventh year of the reign of JehoRam the king of IsraEl.

30 Thereafter, Jehu rode back to JezReEl. And when JezeBel heard [that he was coming], she made up her face and decorated her head, then she sat down to watch what would happen from her window. 31 Then when Jehu entered the city, she said: 'Have you, like Omri who also murdered his lord, come in peace?'

32 And when he looked up and saw her at her window he asked: 'Who is that? Come down here to me!'

Then two of her eunuchs bent over to look out the window, 33 and Jehu shouted to them: 'Throw her down!'

So they threw her out [of the window], and her blood splattered all over the wall and the horses╔ and thereafter the horses trampled her body.

34 Then Jehu entered [her palace], where he ate and drank. And thereafter he said: 'Now, go find the body of that cursed woman and bury it, because she's the daughter of a king.' 35 However when they went to bury her, all they could find was her skull, the soles of her feet, and the palms of her hands. 36 And when they returned to tell Jehu what they found, he said, 'This is what Jehovah foretold would happen through EliJah the Tishbite. For He said, Dogs will eat the flesh of JezeBel in JezReEl, 37 and her rotting flesh will become manure on the ground in JezReEl, so that no one can ever say JezeBel lies here.'

Chapter 10

1 Ahab also had seventy sons who lived in Samaria. So Jehu thereafter wrote a letter and sent it to the governors and elders, and the women who'd raised Ahab's sons in Samaria. The letter said: 2 'I know that the sons of your lord are living among you with their chariots, horses, weapons, and fortified cities. So when you receive this letter, 3 I want you to do a search among the sons of your lord to find a good upright man, and then put him on the throne of his father. After that, I will go to war against all of his sons.'

4 Well this frightened them, for they said, '{Look!} The two kings weren't able to stand against him, so how can we oppose him?' 5 As the result, they sent a reply to Jehu from the family heads, the city leaders, its elders, and those who'd raised Ahab's sons, which said: 'We're your servants now and we'll do whatever you say, so we we won't choose a man to rule over us. Just do whatever you find to be good in your eyes.'

6 So thereafter, he sent them a second letter that said: 'If you're with me and wish to do whatever I say, you must bring the heads 7 of the sons of your lord to me here in JezReEl at this same time tomorrow╔ all seventy of them!'

Well, [Ahab's sons] were all big men, because the people of the cities used to provide a lot of food for them. 7 But when the people received this letter, they killed all seventy of them, put their heads in baskets, and sent them to Jehu in JezReEl. 8 Then when the messenger arrived saying, 'I've brought the heads of the sons of the king,' Jehu told him to place the heads in two piles by the city gate and leave them there until the next morning.'

9 Well the next morning, Jehu went out and stood at the city gatehouse and said to the people: '{Look!} You've proven yourselves righteous; for although I plotted against my lord and killed him╔ who is it that killed all of them? 10 {Look!} Now, everything that Jehovah said through EliJah concerning what would happen to the house of Ahab has come true. For it was Jehovah who did everything that He said He would do through His servant EliJah.'

11 And thereafter, Jehu struck down everyone who was left of the house of Ahab in JezReEl, as well as all his mighty men, advisors, and priests╔ he wiped out every trace of him.

12 From there he went to Samaria. And as he was traveling along the road near BethAkad-of-the-Shepherds, 13 Jehu met up with the brothers of AhaziAh (the king of Judah). And when he asked, 'Who are you?' they replied, 'We're the brothers of AhaziAh, and we've come in peace to visit the sons of the king, as well as the sons of the woman who is in charge.'

14 Well when they said that, he shouted: 'Seize them!' And he had all forty-two of them executed at BethAkad╔ he left none of them alive.

15 And from there, he went and found JoNadab (the son of ReChab), who was on his way to meet him. Then Jehu blest him and asked, 'Is your heart with my heart, as my heart is with yours?'

And JoNadab replied: 'It is.'

And Jehu said: 'Well if it is, then give me your hand!'

So Jehu stuck out his hand and lifted JoNadab onto his chariot, 16 and he said: 'Come with me and see my zeal for Jehovah of Armies!' Then from there they rode in the chariot 17 to Samaria, where they killed all who were left of the house of Ahab╔ he wiped them all out, just as Jehovah had prophesied through EliJah.

18 Then Jehu gathered all the people and said to them: 'Ahab served BaAl a little, but Jehu will serve him in a great way. 19 So, find all the prophets of BaAl and all his servants and priests, and send them to me! Don't overlook a man, because we're going to offer a great sacrifice to BaAl╔ anyone who doesn't show up will be killed.'

Well, this was just a trick on Jehu's part, so that he could destroy all the servants of BaAl.

20 Then Jehu sent messengers out to tell them all to prepare the sacrifices for BaAl. 21 For Jehu sent a proclamation throughout IsraEl that said, 'All the servants, priests, and prophets of BaAl must attend. No one may be left behind, for we're going to offer a great sacrifice to BaAl╔ and anyone who misses it won't be allowed to live!'

So all the servants of BaAl (including his priests and prophets) came, and everyone was there in the temple of BaAl╔ it was filled to capacity and people were jammed together head-to-head. 22 Then Jehu told the person who was in charge of the temple wardrobe to bring out the official robes for all the servants of BaAl to wear, so he brought them out. 23 Thereafter, Jehu went with JoNadab (the son of ReChab) and said to the servants of BaAl who had assembled: 'Now, look around and make sure that there are no servants of Jehovah here╔ we only want the servants of BaAl!' 24 Then the people all went inside to offer the sacrifices and whole burnt offerings.

Well at the time, Jehu had ordered eighty men to stand outside, and he told them: 'Don't leave anyone alive here; for if you do, I'll demand your lives for theirs.'

25 Then, as the [BaAl worshipers] were presenting the offerings, Jehu told the guards and soldiers: 'Now, kill them all╔ don't let a man get away!'

So they killed them all with swords and threw their bodies outside. And thereafter, the soldiers and guards went throughout this city of the temple of BaAl, 26 and they dragged out the images of BaAl and burned them. 27 Then they tore down the temple of BaAl and turned it into a public latrine, which is what it's still used for today.

28 So Jehu removed BaAl from IsraEl; 29 however, he still followed in the sins of JeroBoam (the son of NaBat) who led IsraEl into sin. For he bowed before the golden heifers in BethEl and in Dan. 30 Yet Jehovah said this to Jehu: 'Because of the many good and righteous things that you did before My eyes, and because of the things that you did to the house of Ahab (which was what My heart desired), your sons will sit on the throne of IsraEl through the fourth generation.'

31 However, Jehu didn't follow the Laws of Jehovah (the God of IsraEl) with his whole heart. And because he didn't remove the sins of JeroBoam (the son of NaBat), 32 Jehovah started cutting IsraEl down. For HazaEl attacked all the borders of IsraEl 33 from the Jordan to the sunrise (all the land of Gilead of the sons of Gad, ReuBen, and of ManasSeh) from AroEr to the Arnon Wadi, and from GileAd to BaShan.

34 All the rest of the things that Jehu said and did, and the area of his rulership and alliances {Look!} have been written about in the scrolls that tell of the days of the kings of IsraEl. 35 Then Jehu went to sleep with his ancestors, and they buried him in a tomb in Samaria. Thereafter, his son JehoAhaz became king in his place. 36 But Jehu had reigned over IsraEl from Samaria for twenty-eight years.

Chapter 11

1 Well when AhaziAh's mother AthaliAh heard that her son was dead, she had all the [heirs to the throne] killed. 2 However, JehoSheba (the daughter of King JehoRam and the sister of AhaziAh) took her nephew JehoAsh and hid him away as the other sons of the king were being slaughtered. She hid him and his nurse in a storage closet for beds, so AthaliAh couldn't find him and kill him. 3 Then she kept him hidden in the Temple of Jehovah for six years.

So thereafter, AthaliAh ruled the land. 4 But after seven years, JehoiAda (the Priest) took the commanders who were in charge of patrolmen and couriers, and brought them into the Temple of Jehovah. Then he had them make an agreement with Jehovah and bound them with an oath in His presence╔ and that's when JehoiAda showed the son of the king to them. 5 He told them, 'This is what you must do: 6 On the Sabbath, a third of you must take control of the city gates, a third must take control of the gate that leads to the road, and a third must take control of the gate to the king's guardhouse. Then everyone must [protect our king]. 7 Two of you must go to the Temple of Jehovah on the Sabbath to guard the king, 8 and the rest must gather there and kill anyone who comes [to attack] him╔ he must be protected wherever he goes!'

9 Well, the commanders did just as JehoiAda had instructed them. On the next Sabbath, each one gathered his men; and as the people were coming and going, they all went inside to JehoiAda the Priest. 10 Then the Priest gave the commanders the spears and shields of King David that were kept in the Temple of Jehovah, 11 and they formed a contingent of armed bodyguards who stayed at the Temple extension to the right of the Altar so as to form a protective circle around the [young prince]. 12 Then they took the son of the king outside and placed the royal turban on him, gave him [the royal scepter], poured the anointing oil [over his head] and made him the king, as everyone clapped their hands and shouted, 'Long live the king!'

13 However when AthaliAh heard the sound of people running, she too went to the Temple of Jehovah, and that's when she saw him standing at the columns acting as king. All the singers and trumpeters were there, and all the people of the land were rejoicing and their blowing trumpets. 14 So AthaliAh started ripping her clothes and she shouted, 'Conspiracy! Conspiracy!' 15 But JehoiAda (the Priest) told the commanders and their lieutenants to take her outside and then kill her with their swords, because he didn't want her to die there inside the Temple of Jehovah.

16 As the result, they grabbed her and dragged her along the road that leads to the stables next to the king's palace and killed her there. 17 Then JehoiAda proclaimed an agreement between Jehovah, the king, and his people that they would be the people of Jehovah thereafter.

18 Well after that, all the people of the land went to the temple of BaAl and tore it down, smashing its images and altars into fine pieces, and they killed Mathan (the priest of BaAl) right in front of his altar.

Then the Priest appointed men to serve as overseers in the Temple of Jehovah, 19 and he took the military commanders and their troops of patrolmen and couriers (along with all the people in the land), and they led the king from the Temple of Jehovah through the gate of the royal bodyguards, and brought him into the palace of the kings. There they seated him on the throne, 20 as all the people of the land started rejoicing. And from then on, the city was once again at peace.

Chapter 12

1 Well, JehoAsh was just a seven-year-old boy when he started his reign (which was during the seventh year of the reign of Jehu), and he ruled in JeruSalem for forty years. His mother's name was SabiJah and she was from BeerSheba.

2 JehoAsh did what was upright before Jehovah throughout his entire life, for he had been well trained by the Priest JehoiAda. 3 However, he still allowed the people to offer sacrifices and burn incense in the high places.

4 JehoAsh had also told the Priests that they could keep all the money and that they could sell anything of value that was brought to the Temple of Jehovah. 5 However, he also told them that they (in return) would have to make any repairs to the Temple. 6 But by the twenty-third year to JehoAsh's rule, the Priests hadn't made any repairs on the Temple at all. 7 So he called JehoiAda and all the other Priests, and asked them why they hadn't made the repairs. Then he told them: 'Well from now on you may not keep any of the money, or anything that you collect from the things that you sell. Rather, you must use it all to repair the Temple.'

8 As the result, the Priests agreed that they would no longer accept money from the people, and that they wouldn't be in charge of the repairs to the Temple anymore. 9 So JehoiAda the Priest thereafter built a chest, bored a hole in its top, and he placed it by the Altar of the Temple of Jehovah. Then Priests were assigned to stand next to the doors to guard all the money that was brought to Jehovah's Temple.

10 Well after a while, quite a bit of money had accumulated in the chest at the Temple of Jehovah; so the Scribe and the High Priest went to the king and they closed the doors, and then they counted the money. 11 Thereafter, they put the money for the repairs into the hands of those who were in charge of the workers at the Temple of Jehovah – 12 the woodcutters, carpenters, construction workers, fabricators, quarry workers, and stonemasons – so they could do the necessary work╔ and they told them to spend whatever was needed to complete the project. 13 However, they weren't authorized to spend it for doors, or for items of silver, gold, nails, bowls, or trumpets, 14 because those who were doing the work were expected to contribute such things themselves.

15 Well, all the repairs were finally made to the Temple of Jehovah, and no one had to account for it. 16 They just paid out whatever was required, and those who were doing the work were trusted [to do the right thing]. 17 And thereafter, any money that was brought to the Temple as a sin offering or a trespass offering once again became the property of the Priests.

18 Meanwhile, HazaEl (the king of Syria) had gone to war with Gath and was the first one to capture it╔ then he turned his attention toward JeruSalem. 19 So JehoAsh (the king of Judah) gathered all the holy things of his ancestors (JehoShaphat, JehoRam, and AhaziAh) as well as his own holy things and all the gold that was in the treasury of the Temple of Jehovah and in the king's palace, and sent it to HazaEl, the king of Syria, so he would leave JeruSalem alone.

20 Well, all the rest of the things that JehoAsh said and did {Look!} have been written about in the scrolls that tell of the days of the kings of Judah.

21 Then two of JehoAsh's servants rebelled against him and attacked him at the house of MalLo in GaAla. 22 JeziChar (the son of JemuAth) and JezebUth (the son of Somer) were the ones who cut him down and killed him. So he was buried with his ancestors in the city of David, and his son AmaziAh started ruling after him.

Chapter 13

1 It was in the twenty-third year of JehoAsh (the son of AhaziAh) the king of Judah that JehoAhaz (Jehu's son) started reigning in Samaria, and he ruled there for seventeen years. 2 However, he acted wickedly in the eyes of Jehovah, because he continued in the sins of JeroBoam (the son of NaBat) who first led IsraEl into sin. 3 So this provoked Jehovah's rage against IsraEl, and he left them in the hands of HazaEl (the king of Syria) and his son BenHader throughout that portion of the reign of JehoAhaz.

4 However, JehoAhaz went before the face of [Jehovah to beg for help], and Jehovah listened to him╔ because He saw how badly the king of Syria was oppressing the people of IsraEl. 5 So thereafter Jehovah freed IsraEl from bondage to Syria, and the sons of IsraEl could [once again] sit in their tents in peace as they had in the past. 6 However, they continued in the sins of the house of JeroBoam, and they once again set up sacred poles in Samaria.

7 Meanwhile, JehoAhaz wasn't left with much of an army. All he had was fifty cavalrymen, ten chariots, and ten thousand infantry, because the king of Syria had considered them as dirt to be trampled on.

8 All the rest of the things that JehoAhaz said and did, and the area of his rulership, are written about in the scrolls that tell of the days of the kings of IsraEl.

9 Then JehoAhaz went to sleep with his ancestors and they buried him in a tomb in Samaria, and his son JehoAsh started ruling in place of him. 10 This happened in the thirty-seventh year of the reign of JehoAsh the king of Judah; and JehoAsh (the son of JehoAhaz) ruled IsraEl from Samaria for the next sixteen years. 11 But he also acted wickedly in the eyes of Jehovah because he didn't remove the sins of JeroBoam (the son of NaBat) who led IsraEl into sin.

12 All the rest of the things that JehoAsh said and did, and the stories of his conquests with AmaziAh (the king of Judah) have been written about in the scrolls that tell of the days of the kings of IsraEl. 13 Then JehoAsh went to sleep with his ancestors, and JeroBoam succeeded him on the throne. So they buried him in a tomb in Samaria with the sons of IsraEl.

14 Well, EliSha got very sick and was about to die, so JehoAsh (the king of IsraEl) went to see him and cried in his face, saying, 'O father, O father╔ the chariot of IsraEl and his horseman.'

15 Then EliSha said to him: 'Go get your bow and some arrows.' So he got his bow and some arrows, 16 and EliSha told him: 'Now lift the bow!' And JehoAsh raised his bow. Then EliSha placed his hands on the hands of the king and said: 17 'Now, open the window that faces east!' And he opened it. Then EliSha said, 'Now shoot!' And he shot. Then EliSha said, 'This is the arrow of the salvation of Jehovah and the arrow of deliverance from Syria. For you will keep attacking Syria at Aphek until you've won!'

18 And then EliSha told him: 'Now, pick up the bow again!' And he picked it up. Then he told the king of IsraEl: 'Shoot into the ground!' So the king shot three arrows into the ground╔ and then he stopped, 19 which made the man of God very upset and angry, for he said: 'If you would have struck the ground five or six times, you would have attacked Syria and finished them off. But now you will have to beat them three times!'

20 Thereafter EliSha died, and they buried him in a tomb. But then that next year, the land was being invaded by armed bands of Moabites. 21 And it was during a funeral procession that {Look!} the people saw one of these armed bands of Moabites coming. So they simply threw the body of the man into the tomb of EliSha. And when it touched EliSha's bones, the man came back to life and stood up on his feet!

22 Well, throughout the reign of JehoAhaz, HazaEl kept squeezing IsraEl. 23 But Jehovah showed mercy on IsraEl╔ He pitied them and watched over them because of the Sacred Agreement that He'd made with AbraHam, IsaAc, and Jacob, and He didn't allow them to be destroyed or to be torn from before His face.

24 Then HazaEl (the king of Syria) died, and his son BenHader started reigning in his place. 25 And that's when JehoAsh (the son of JehoAhaz) recovered his cities from the hands of BenHader the son of HazaEl, who had taken them from the hands of his father JehoAhaz in the war. But JehoAsh had to attack him three times before he would return the cities to IsraEl.

Chapter 14

1 It was in the second year of JehoAsh (the son of JehoAhaz) the king of IsraEl that AmaziAh (the son of JehoAsh) the king of Judah started his reign. 2 At the time, he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned in JeruSalem for twenty-nine years. His mother's name was JoAdeEn, and she was from JeruSalem.

3 Though AmaziAh proved to be an upright man in the eyes of Jehovah, he wasn't as righteous as his ancestor David. 4 He did all the [good] things that his father JehoAsh had done, but he never removed the high places where the people offered sacrifices and burned incense. 5 And after he'd become strong in his kingdom, he had all those servants who murdered his father executed╔ 6 but he didn't have their sons killed, because the Law that Jehovah gave to Moses said, 'Fathers shouldn't be put to death [for the sins] of their sons, and the sons shouldn't be put to death [for the sins] of their fathers. Rather, each one should die for his own sins.'

7 Thereafter, AmaziAh attacked the Edomites at GeMela, killing ten thousand of them, and he captured The Rock in the war, renaming it JokTheEl (which is what it's still called today).

8 Then he sent messengers to JehoAsh (the son of JehoAhaz and grandson of Jehu) the king of IsraEl saying, 'I want you to come here and meet me face-to-face!' 9 So JehoAsh (the king of IsraEl) replied to AmaziAh (the king of Judah): 'A thorn bush in Lebanon once sent a message to one of the cedars of Lebanon saying, Give your daughter to my son to be his woman! [As the result], the wild animals in the fields of Lebanon went and trampled the thorn bush. 10 So, now that you've beaten the Idumeans (which has encouraged your heart), it would be best for you to just sit back in your palace and revel in your glory. For if you're planning to do evil you will fall╔ and Judah will fall with you.'

11 Well, AmaziAh refused to listen, so JehoAsh (the king of IsraEl) went and faced the king of Judah at BethSamus. 12 Judah then lost this battle to IsraEl, and all their soldiers ran back to their tents. 13 JehoAsh (the king of IsraEl) also captured AmaziAh (the son of JehoAsh and grandson of AhaziAh) the king of Judah, and he marched into JeruSalem and tore down almost seven hundred feet of its wall, from the gate of Ephraim all the way to the corner. 14 Then he carried off all the gold and silver utensils that he found in the Temple of Jehovah, everything in the kings' treasury and palace, and all the sons of [AmaziAh's] allies, bringing them all back to Samaria.

15 The rest of the things that JehoAsh said and did, as well as his area of rulership and the wars that he fought with AmaziAh (the king of Judah) have been written about in the scrolls that tell of the days of the kings of IsraEl. 16 Then JehoAsh went to sleep with his ancestors and they buried him in a tomb in Samaria with the kings of IsraEl. So his son JeroBoam started reigning after him.

17 AmaziAh (the king of Judah) lived fifteen years after the death of JehoAsh (the son of JehoAhaz) the king of IsraEl. 18 And all the rest of the things that AmaziAh said and did have been written about in the scrolls that tell of the days of the kings of Judah. 19 Conspirators plotted a rebellion against him in JeruSalem, so he fled to LachIsh. But they chased him down and killed him there in LachIsh. 20 Then they put his body on a horse and buried him in a tomb with his ancestors in JeruSalem, the city of David.

21 Well after AmaziAh died, all the people of Judah chose his son AzariAh (UzZiah) to be their king (who was only sixteen-years-old at the time). 22 He was the one who built ElAth after [AmaziAh] went to sleep with his ancestors.

23 Meanwhile, JeroBoam (the son of JehoAsh) was reigning in IsraEl. His reign from Samaria lasted forty-one years, starting from the fifteenth year of AmaziAh (the son of JehoAsh) the king of Judah. 24 He too acted wickedly before Jehovah, because he didn't remove the sins of JeroBoam (the son of NaBat) who led IsraEl into sin. 25 However, he moved the boundary of IsraEl from the entrance of HaMath to the [Dead] Sea, just as Jehovah the God of IsraEl said would happen through His servant Jonah the Prophet (the son of AmaThi). 26 But Jehovah noticed the bitter humiliation of IsraEl, for because no one would help them they were becoming disorganized and abandoned, so their size was dwindling. 27 As the result, Jehovah didn't say anything more about wiping their seed out from under the skies; rather, He used JeroBoam (the son of JehoAsh) to save them.

28 Well, the rest of the things that JeroBoam said and did, including his conquests and wars, and of how he returned Damascus and HaMath to Judah in IsraEl, have been written about in the scrolls that tell of the days of the kings of IsraEl. 29 Then JeroBoam went to sleep with his ancestors the kings of IsraEl. and his son ZechariAh started ruling in his place.

Chapter 15

1 It was in the twenty-seventh year of the reign of JeroBoam (the king of IsraEl) that AzariAh (the son of AmaziAh) the king of Judah started his reign. 2 He was sixteen years old at the time, and he reigned in JeruSalem for fifty-two years. His mother's name was JeCheliAh, and she was from JeruSalem. 3 And like his father AmaziAh, AzariAh did what was right in the eyes of Jehovah. 4 However, he too failed to remove the high places where the people sacrificed and burned incense. 5 So Jehovah touched the king and gave him leprosy until the day he died, and he had to live in his own house. As the result, JoTham (the king's son) was put in charge of the palace family and staff, and he served as judge for the people of the land.

6 All the rest of the things that AzariAh said and did have been written about in the scrolls that tell of the days of the kings of Judah. 7 Then AzariAh went to sleep with his ancestors, and they buried him in the tomb with his ancestors in the city of David. So his son JoTham started ruling in his place.

8 It was in the thirty-eighth year of the reign of AzariAh (the king of Judah) that ZechariAh (the son of JeroBoam) the king of IsraEl started his reign in Samaria, which only lasted six months. 9 He was very wicked in the eyes of Jehovah, for he did all the things that his ancestors had done╔ including the sins of JeroBoam (the son of NaBat) who led IsraEl into sin. 10 Then ShalLum (the son of JaBish through KeblaAm) had him murdered, and he became the new king.

11 All the rest of the things that ZechariAh said and did have been written about in the scrolls that tell of the days of the kings of Judah. 12 And as Jehovah had told Jehu (when He said that his sons would sit on the throne of IsraEl to the fourth generation), it came to be so.

13 Then ShalLum (the son of JaBish) started his reign in the thirty-ninth year of the reign of AzariAh (the king of Judah), but he only ruled in Samaria for a month, 14 because that's when MenaHem (the son of GadDi, from TharSila) marched on Samaria and killed him.

15 All the rest of the words of ShalLum and the stories of his plots {Look!} have been written about in the scrolls that tell of the days of the kings of IsraEl.

16 Then MenaHem attacked TiphSah and its surrounding cities and killed everyone there, because they wouldn't open their gates to him╔ he killed them all and ripped open all the pregnant women.

17 So in the thirty-ninth year of the reign of AzariAh (the king of Judah), MenaHem (the son of GadDi) became the king of IsraEl in Samaria, where he ruled for ten years. 18 He too acted wickedly in the eyes of Jehovah, because he didn't remove the sins of JeroBoam (the son of NaBat) who led IsraEl into sin.

19 It was during his reign that Pul, the king of Assyria, came against the land. Then MenaHem gave him three-and-a-half-tons of silver to satisfy him. 20 MenaHem sent the silver from IsraEl, and he had it delivered by mighty men who each carried fifty large silver coins to Assyria. And as the result, the king of Assyria didn't post and garrisons in his land.

21 Well, the rest of the things that MenaHem said and did {Look!} have been written in the scrolls that tell of the days of the kings of IsraEl. 22 Then MenaHem went to sleep with his ancestors, and his son PekahJah started ruling in place of him.

23 So it was in the fiftieth year of AzariAh (the king of Judah) that PekahJah (the son of MenaHem) started his rule over IsraEl from Samaria; but he only reigned for two years, 24 because he also acted wickedly in the eyes of Jehovah by not removing the sins of JeroBoam (the son of NaBat) who led IsraEl into sin. 25 So his royal proclaimer PekAh (the son of RomeliAh) attacked PekahJah right in front of the royal palace with the help of ArGob, AriJa, and fifty Gileadites. And after they killed him, PekAh became the king.

26 Well, the rest of the things that PekahJah said and did {Look!} have been written in the scrolls that tell of the days of the kings of IsraEl.

27 So it was in the fifty-second year of the reign of AzariAh (the king of Judah) that PekAh (the son of RomeliAh) started his reign over IsraEl from Samaria, which lasted twenty years. 28 But he also acted wickedly in the eyes of Jehovah by not removing the sins of JeroBoam (the son of NaBat) who led IsraEl into sin.

29 It was during the reign of PekAh (the king of IsraEl) that Tiglath Pileser (the king of Assyria) captured Ain, Abel-BethMaAcha, AniOch, Kenez, Hazor, GileAd, Galilee, and the whole land of NaphTali, relocating all the people to Assyria.

30 Then HosheA (the son of ElAh) rebelled against PekAh (the son of RomeliAh), and he attacked him and killed him. So in the twentieth year of the reign of JoTham (the son of AzariAh), HosheA began his rule.

31 All the rest of the things that PekAh said and did {Look!} have been written about in the scrolls that tell of the days of the kings of IsraEl.

32 It was in the second year of the reign of PekAh (the son of RomeliAh) the king of IsraEl that JoTham (the son of AzariAh) became the king of Judah. 33 He was twenty-five years old at the time, and he reigned in JeruSalem for sixteen years. The name of his mother was JeroUsa, and she was the daughter of ZaDok. 34 He did what was upright in the eyes of Jehovah, as did his father AzariAh. 35 However, he didn't remove the high places where the people offered sacrifices and burned incense. But he was the one who rebuilt the upper gate to the Temple of Jehovah.

36 All the rest of the things that JoTham said and did have been written about in the scrolls that tell of the days of the kings of Judah.

37 Well, back in those days, Jehovah started sending RasSon (the king of Syria) and PekAh (the son of RomeliAh) against Judah.

38 Then JoTham went to sleep with his ancestors, and they buried him in a tomb along with his ancestors in the city of David (his ancestor). And thereafter, his son Ahaz started ruling in place of him.

Chapter 16

1 In the seventeenth year of PekAh (the son of RomeliAh), Ahaz (the son of JoTham) became the king of Judah. 2 He was twenty years old at the time, and he reigned in JeruSalem for sixteen years. However, he didn't do what was upright in the eyes of Jehovah his God or trust in Him, as did his ancestor David. 3 Rather, he followed in the paths of the kings of IsraEl by offering up his own son in a fire in the same disgusting way as the nations that God had driven away from the sons of IsraEl. 4 He also offered sacrifices and burned incense in the high places, on the hills, and under every tree in the woods.

5 Then RasSon (the king of Syria) and PekAh (the son of RomeliAh) the king of IsraEl came against JeruSalem to war against Ahaz, but they weren't successful. 6 However, RaAson (the king of Syria) went to ElAth and drove all the Judeans out of that city. Then the Idumeans moved into it, and that's where they still live to this day.

7 Because of this, Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath Pileser (the king of Assyria) to say, 'I am your servant and your son. Please come and save me from the kings of Syria and IsraEl who have come to fight against me!'

8 Then Ahaz took all the silver and gold that he found in the treasuries of the Temple of Jehovah and in the king's palace, and sent it as a gift to the king of Assyria. 9 So the king of Assyria listened to him and attacked Damascus. He captured it, killed King RaAsson, and then he repopulated the city.

10 So after that, King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet with Tiglath Pileser (the king of Assyria), and when he saw the altar in Damascus, he examined its dimensions and its construction, and he sent a drawing of the altar to UriAh the Priest. 11 As the result, UriAh built a similar Altar, following the instructions that were sent to him from Damascus by King Ahaz. 12 And when the king saw this [new] Altar, he climbed up on it and burned incense there, then he had whole burnt offerings (including his own offerings and a drink offering) sacrificed there, and the blood of the peace offerings poured out upon it.

13 This Altar was made of brass and it was placed before [the presence of] Jehovah; 14 for [Ahaz] had the Altar moved forward and put right in front of the Temple of Jehovah, between the Temple and the [old] Altar, so [the old] Altar still stood on its north side. 15 And after that, he gave instructions to UriAh the Priest, saying, 'I want a great sacrifice offered on this Altar early tomorrow morning and tomorrow evening. I will bring my whole burnt offerings and other sacrifices, and then the people should bring their sacrifices and drink offerings. I want you to offer the blood of the whole burnt offerings and other sacrifices there╔ pour them over the brass Altar for me in the morning.'

16 Therefore, UriAh the Priest did exactly as King Ahaz told him.

17 Then King Ahaz had the bases for the washbasins and the Sacred Sea (the oxen) disassembled, and the brass Sea was lowered onto a new base that was made of stone. 18 He also built a foundation for the Sabbath Seat inside the Temple of Jehovah, 19 and he had the outside of the king's entrance relocated so it wouldn't face of the king of Assyria.

19 All the rest of the things that Ahaz said and did have been written about in the scrolls that tell of the days of the kings of Judah. 20 Then Ahaz went to sleep with his ancestors and he was buried in a tomb in the city of David. Thereafter, his son HezekiAh began ruling in place of him.

Chapter 17

1 It was in twelfth year of the reign of Ahaz (the king of Judah) that HosheA (the son of ElAh) started reigning over IsraEl from Samaria, and he ruled there for nine years. 2 He also acted wickedly in the eyes of Jehovah╔ however, he wasn't as bad as the kings who came before him.

3 Then ShalamaNasar (the king of Assyria) came against HosheA and made him his vassal, forcing him to send many gifts. 4 However, the king of Assyria became [very unhappy] with HosheA, because he'd sent messengers to Segor (Shabaka?) the king of Egypt, and he failed to send any gifts to him (the king of Assyria) that year. So he had him tied, shackled, and thrown into prison. 5 And thereafter, the king of Assyria marched through IsraEl and laid siege to Samaria for three years 6 (this happened in the ninth year of HosheA's reign.) Then the king of Assyria captured Samaria and moved all the people of IsraEl into Assyria – to Halae in Habor (next to the Gozan River), and into the mountains of the Medes.

7 This all happened because the sons of IsraEl had sinned against Jehovah their God who had brought them out of the land of Egypt and from under the hand of PharaOh (the king of Egypt), and they started fearing other gods. 8 They also started following in the ways of the nations that Jehovah had removed from in front of them╔ and their kings were doing the same things.

9 There were so many things that the sons of IsraEl did to cover over the words of Jehovah and not do any of the things that their God had told them, for they [built altars] for themselves in high places near every town (from their guard towers to their walled cities). 10 They also erected stone monuments and groves of sacred poles on every high hill and under every tree in the woods. 11 Then they burned incense on the high places in the same ways that the nations whom Jehovah had moved far away from them had been doing, and they formed alliances and carved images to provoke Jehovah to rage. 12 So they started serving the very idols that Jehovah had warned them against!

13 Meanwhile, Jehovah sent warnings to IsraEl and Judah through His Prophets (the Seers), who told them: 'Turn from your wicked ways and obey My Commandments, My instructions, and all the Laws that I gave to your ancestors and which I sent through the hands of My servants the Prophets!' 4 But they just wouldn't listen to Him, and they made themselves even more stubborn than the stubbornness of their ancestors. 15 He warned them time and again, but they just wouldn't do what He said. They did foolish, silly things, and they followed in the paths of the nations roundabout them╔ the very ones that Jehovah had warned them against when He said, 'These are the things that you must not do.'

16 They also abandoned the Commandments of Jehovah their God, and they made the two heifers for themselves of cast metal, as well as the groves of sacred poles. Then they bowed before all the powerful things in the skies and they started serving the BaAls. 17 In addition, they offered their sons and daughters in fires and they went to fortunetellers to learn the future, thereby selling themselves into wickedness in the eyes of Jehovah and provoking Him to anger. 18 As the result, He became so enraged with IsraEl that He removed them from before His face╔ He didn't leave any of them behind other than the tribe of Judah. 19 However, even Judah didn't follow the Commandments of Jehovah their God. Rather, they followed in the ways of IsraEl and did the same bad things, pushing Jehovah away!

20 So Jehovah became enraged with all the seed of IsraEl and He just shook them off, handing them over to be ripped to pieces and thrown away from before His face. 21 For IsraEl had rebelled against the house of David and made JeroBoam (the son of NaBat) their king, and JeroBoam removed IsraEl from the way of following Jehovah and led them into a great sin. 22 So from then on, the sons of IsraEl followed along in all the sins that JeroBoam committed, and they never changed their ways until Jehovah removed them from before His face╔ just as He said He would do through all His servants the Prophets.

23 Thereafter, IsraEl was resettled in the land of Assyria, where they still live today. 24 Then the king of Assyria took all the people from HoUtha (near Babylon), Aia, HaMath, and Sepharaim, and settled them in the cities of Samaria, in place of the sons of IsraEl. So they inherited Samaria and started living in its cities.

25 Well from the very beginning, these [new] people didn't fear Jehovah either, so He sent lions among them to kill them off. 26 As the result, they [sent messengers] to the king of Assyria who told him: 'Because the nations that you resettled and relocated in the cities of Samaria don't understand the God of that land, He is sending lions against them that are killing them off for their lack of understanding of Him.'

27 So the king of Assyria said: 'Then let's take some of the IsraElites back to the land and have them start living there once again, so they can show the people [how to please] the God of their land.' 28 As the result, they brought one of the Priests from Samaria and returned him to BethEl, so he could teach the people there to fear Jehovah.

29 Meanwhile, all these nations had been taking their gods and putting them in the temples on the high places that the Samaritans had built in each of their cities. 30 Then the people who came from Babylon built SukCoth-BenOth, the people from Cuth built NerGal, the people from HaMath built AsiMath, 31 and the Hivites built EblaZer and TarTak.

At the time, the [people of] SePharaim had even started burning their sons in fires to their gods AdraMelek and AneMelek. 32 So although they had started fearing Jehovah, they kept the images of their gods in the temples that they built on the high places in Samaria, near the cities where each nation lived. And although they feared Jehovah, they still appointed their own priests to serve at the temples of the high places; 33 and although they feared Jehovah, they still served the gods of the countries from which they came╔ 34 and they're still following that same form of worship today.

So although they feared Jehovah, they didn't follow the instructions, Laws, or Commandments that He gave to the sons of Jacob (to whom He gave the name IsraEl). 35 For when Jehovah made a Sacred Agreement [with IsraEl], He told them this: 'You must not fear other gods╔ don't bow to them, serve them, or offer sacrifices to them! 36 You may only serve Jehovah, the God who led you out of the land of Egypt with His great strength and outstretched arm. You must fear, bow before, and sacrifice to Him alone, 37 and you must follow His decisions, rules, Laws, and the Commandments that He wrote down for you. You must obey these things for as long as you live, and you must not serve other gods 38 or forget the Sacred Agreement that He made with you. You must not fear other gods╔ 39 you should only fear your God Jehovah, for He alone will rescue you from all your enemies. 40 So, don't pay attention to anything that [the other nations] are doing!'

41 However, although those nations [that lived in Samaria] feared Jehovah, they also served things that they carved for themselves╔ as did their sons and grandsons, and which they're still doing today.

Chapter 18

1 It was in the third year of the reign of HosheA (the son of ElAh) the king of IsraEl, that HezekiAh (the son of Ahaz) the king of Judah started his reign. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he started to rule, and he reigned for twenty-nine years in JeruSalem. His mother's name was Abou, and she was the daughter of ZachariAh.

3 HezekiAh did what was upright in the eyes of Jehovah╔ every bit as much as did his ancestor David; 4 for he removed the high places of worship and all the monuments. He also destroyed the groves of sacred poles and the brass snake that Moses had made, because the people of IsraEl were burning incense to it back in those days. So he called it The Consumer.

5 HezekiAh placed his hope in Jehovah the God of IsraEl, and among the kings of Judah there were none like him╔ not those who lived before him or those who came after him. 6 He stuck to Jehovah and never stopped following Him, and he obeyed all the Commandments of Moses. 7 So Jehovah was with him in everything that he did, and he became wise. He also annulled Judah's allegiance to the king of Assyria and refused to serve him. 8 Then he attacked the Philistines in Gaza and throughout their borders from their guard towers to their walled cities.

9 Well, it was in the fourth year of the reign of King HezekiAh (which was the seventh year of HoSheA, the son of ElAh) the king of IsraEl that SalamaNasar (the king of Assyria) came against Samaria and laid siege to it. 10 It took him three years, but in the sixth year of HezekiAh and in the ninth year of HoSheA (the king of IsraEl), he conquered Samaria. 11 Then he relocated all the people of IsraEl to Assyria (in Halae of Habor on the Gozan River, and in the mountains of the Medes), 12 [which happened] because they wouldn't listen to the voice of their God Jehovah. For they had violated the Sacred Agreement that He made through His servant Moses, and they just refused to listen and do as they were told.

13 Then in the fourteenth year of King HezekiAh, SenNacherIb (the king of Assyria) came against the walled cities of Judah and captured them. 14 So HezekiAh (the king of Judah) sent messengers to the king of Assyria (who was at LachIsh at the time), saying: 'I have sinned! Please turn away from me! Whatever you tell me to do, I will do!'

Then HezekiAh (the king of Judah) sent a tribute to the king of Assyria consisting of ten-tons of silver and a ton of gold╔ 15 he sent him all the silver that he could find in the Temple of Jehovah and in the treasuries of the king's palace. 16 He even cut off the Temple doors and their supports, which were covered with gold, and he gave them to the king of Assyria. 17 But the king of Assyria sent Tharthan, Raphis, and Rapsakes from LachIsh (along with a huge army) to King HezekiAh at JeruSalem. And when they got to JeruSalem, they stood outside by the aqueduct to the upper pool along the road to the field where [women] washed clothes, 18 and they yelled for HezekiAh.

Well, HezekiAh's right-hand man EliAkim (the son of HelkiAh), SomNas the Scribe, and JehoAsh (the son of ShaPhat) the record-keeper came out. 19 And Rapsakes said, 'Tell HezekiAh that the great king of Assyria says this: What is this thing that you're putting your trust in, 20 for with your lips you've spoken of your power to go to war. So, who is it that you were trusting in when you annulled your allegiance to me? 21 {Look!} Are you leaning on that broken stalk of reeds called Egypt? Who would [be foolish enough] to lean on them, for they will puncture your hand and go right through it! Isn't that what PharaOh (the king of Egypt) does to all those who rely on him?

22 'Or if you should say to me that you're relying on your God Jehovah; aren't you the one who removed His high places of worship and His altars, and who told the people of Judah and JeruSalem to bow before the Altar in JeruSalem?

23 'Now, come and ally yourself with my master the king of Assyria and I'll give you two thousand horses upon which you can mount yourself and your cavalry. 24 But if you turn your back on even the least of my lord's servants, you'll have to trust in Egypt for chariots and horsemen.

25 'And do you really think that we came here to destroy this place without [the blessings of Jehovah]? It was Jehovah who told me to attack this land and destroy it!'

26 Then EliAkim (the son of HelkiAh), SomNas, and JehoAsh said to RapSakes: 'Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, because we can also understand that. Don't speak to us in the Judean language, because all the people who are on the walls can hear what you're saying.'

27 And RapSakes replied: 'Do you think that my lord sent me here just to speak to you and to your lord? I've come here to speak to the people who are sitting on the walls╔ those who will have to eat their own poop and drink their own pee along with you.'

28 Then RapSakes stood up and shouted as loud as he could in the Judean language: 'Listen to the words of the great king of Assyria! 29 My king says, Don't trust in HezekiAh, because there's no way that he's going to save you from my hands! 30 And don't listen to HezekiAh when he tells you to put your trust in Jehovah╔ that He will rescue you and never give you into the hands of the king of Assyria. 31 No, don't listen to HezekiAh, because this is what the king of Assyria [has promised]: If you will praise me and come out to me, you will all drink [wine] from your own grapevines, eat figs from your own trees, and drink water from your own wells. 32 For I will come and take you to a land that's like yours╔ a land of grain, wine, bread, vineyards, olive oil and honey, where you can live and not have to die.

'So, don't listen to HezekiAh, because he's fooling you when he says that Jehovah will rescue you. 33 Which of the gods of the rest of the nations have saved [their people] from the hands of the king of Assyria? 34 Yes, where are the gods of HaMath and ArPhad, and where are the gods of SepharVaim, Ana, and Aba? They weren't able to rescue Samaria from my hands! 35 So, since none of the gods of any of the lands have been able to save their countries from my hands, how can Jehovah rescue JeruSalem from my hands?'

36 Well at that, everything got very quiet and no one said a word in reply, because the king had commanded that no one should give an answer.

37 Then EliAkim (the son of HelkiAh) the king's right-hand man, SomNas the scribe, and JehoAsh (the son of ShaPhat) the recorder returned to HezekiAh and started ripping their clothes as they told him all the things that RapSakes had said.

Chapter 19

1 Well, as King HezekiAh listened to this, he ripped off his clothes and dressed himself in sackcloth; then he went to the Temple of Jehovah. 2 He also had his right-hand-man EliAkim, SomNas the scribe, and the elders among the Priests put on sackcloth, and he sent them to see the Prophet IsaiAh (the son of Amos) 3 with the message: 'HezekiAh [wants us to tell you that] today is a day of oppression, scolding, and rage, for sons who don't have the power to give birth are now having birth pangs. 4 So if your God Jehovah heard all the things that RapSakes (this man who was sent by his lord the king of Assyria) said to berate the living God and to blaspheme Him – if He heard all that was said – then pray to your God on behalf of the few of us who remain [in JeruSalem].'

5 So the servants of King HezekiAh went to IsaiAh, 6 and IsaiAh said to them, 'Go back and tell your lord that this is what Jehovah has said: Don't be afraid of the words that you heard and the blasphemies of the servants of the king of Assyria. 7 For {Look!} I will just blow [My] Breath, and [the king of Assyria] will receive a message and return to his own land. Then I will cut him down with a sword in his own country!'

8 Meanwhile, when RapSakes was returning to the king of Assyria, he found that he was no longer at LachIsh, for he'd gone to wage war against LobNa, 9 because he'd heard that TharHaka (the king of the Ethiopians) had declared that he was coming to fight him. But when [the king of Assyria] got back, he sent messengers to HezekiAh to tell him this: 10 'Don't allow the God that you're relying on to encourage you╔ [don't believe Him] if He says that JeruSalem won't be given into the hands of the king of Assyria. 11 {Look!} You've heard all the things that the king of Assyria has done and of all the lands that he has destroyed; so, how can you believe that you'll be saved? 12 Have any of the gods of the nations that were destroyed by me or by my ancestors been able to save them╔ such as those in Gozan, Harran, or Raphis, or the sons of Edem, or the people of ThaEsthen? 13 Yes, where are the kings of HaMath and Arphad, and where is the king of SepharVaim, or [the kings] of Ana and Aba?'

14 Well after HezekiAh took the letter from the hands of the messengers and read it, he went to the Temple of Jehovah and unrolled it there before Jehovah. 15 Then he prayed: 'O Jehovah, God of IsraEl, the One who is resting on cherubs; You alone are the God of all the kingdoms of the earth and the One who made the skies and the lands. 16 So, O Jehovah; turn Your ears to me and listen! O Jehovah; open Your eyes and Look╔ [read] the words that SenNacherIb sent to berate the living God. 17 For it was really You, O Jehovah, who allowed the kings of Assyria to destroy all those nations, 18 and You're the One who had thrown their gods into the fires, since they really aren't gods, they're just things that men made with their hands out of wood and stone, which will soon just rot away. 19 So now, O Jehovah our God; Please save us from his hands, so that all the kingdoms of the earth will know that You – Jehovah – are the only [true] God.'

20 And thereafter, IsaiAh (the son of Amos) sent a message to HezekiAh that said, 'Jehovah the God of armies and the God of IsraEl told me that He heard what you said to Him in your prayer concerning SenNacherIb (the king of Assyria). 21 And Jehovah spoke these words against him: 'The daughters of JeruSalem will be shaking their heads at you who would treat the virgin daughters of Zion with contempt and sneer at them. 22 For, who is it that you berated and who is it that you have you blasphemed╔ yes, against whom have you raised your voice and put yourself higher in your own eyes? You did this against the Holy One of IsraEl╔ 23 you sent your messengers to berate Jehovah!

'Then you dared to say: I have ridden my chariot to the tops of the mountains of the the borders of Lebanon, and I have cut down their great cedars (their best ones), then I rode among the forests of CarMel. 24 There I cooled myself and drank from their alien waters, as I destroyed all the moats around their city walls with the soles of my feet. 25 Then I reshaped and moved things╔ in my pride I took all those combative peoples away from their fortified cities. 26 Yes, by my own hand I made the peoples who lived there weak. Then I shocked and disgraced them, and they became like grass in the fields╔ like green hay or like young shoots that grow on roofs, which are easily trampled by the people who walk on them.'

27 '[But Jehovah has said this to you]: 'I know when you sit down, I know where you are going, and I know of your rage against Me. 28 And it's because of your rage against Me that the things you've been doing have reached My ears. So now I'm going to put My hooks in your nose and My bit between your lips, then I'm going to turn you around and send you back by the same way that you came!

29 [And after that, IsaiAh told HezekiAh], 'This will be your sign: This year you must eat the things that grow on their own and everything that grows on its own next year also. But in the third year, you will again sow seeds, harvest, and plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 30 At that time, [Jehovah] will add those who were taken away to those of the house of Judah that have been left here like roots beneath the ground, and they too will produce fruitage.
31 For a remnant will come out of JeruSalem,
And a savior will come from Mount Zion,
By the zeal of Jehovah of armies.

32 'So, this is Jehovah's reply to the king of Assyria: You won't enter this city, says Jehovah. You won't even shoot an arrow here, so no one will have to lift a shield, because you won't be pouring dirt to build a siege mound around this city╔ 33 then you'll return by the same way that you came. Jehovah says, No, you won't enter this city, 34 for I will put a shield around it and save it because of Myself and because of My servant David!'

35 And that's what happened. During the night, a messenger of Jehovah came and destroyed the camp of the Assyrians, killing a hundred-and-eighty-five-thousand of their men. So when [the people of JeruSalem] got up the next morning, {Look!} all [they found] was dead bodies.

36 And after that, SenNacherIb (the king of Assyria) went back to his home in Nineveh. 37 Then one day, while he was bowing in the temple of his god MeserAk, his sons AdraMelek and SarAsar killed him with swords and ran off to the land of Ararat. Then his son AsorDan started ruling in place of him.

Chapter 20

1 Well later, HezekiAh [developed an infection] and became sick to the point where he was about to die. So the Prophet IsaiAh (the son of Amos) went to see him and said, 'Jehovah says that you should [settle your affairs], because you're not going to live, you're going to die!'

2 And at that, HezekiAh turned his face to the wall and made a vow to Jehovah, saying: 3 'O Jehovah; remember that I walked before You in truth with a heart that's full of good, and I always did what is right in Your eyes.' Then he broke down and cried.

4 Meanwhile IsaiAh was still walking out through the courtyard, and that's when these words of Jehovah came to him: 5 'Return to HezekiAh (the one who is leading My people) and say, I've heard your prayer and I've seen your tears. So {Look!}, I will heal you on the third day╔ and then you must go to the Temple of Jehovah. 6 I will add fifteen more years to your life, and I will bring you and this city out from under the hands of the king of Assyria because of Myself and because of My servant David.'

7 Then IsaiAh told him: 'Have them take a cluster of dried figs and wrap it around the sore, and you'll be healed!'

8 But HezekiAh asked him: 'What is the sign that Jehovah will heal me and that I will be able to go to the Temple on the third day?'

9 And IsaiAh said, 'This is the sign that Jehovah will do the things that He said: The shadow on your stairway will go up ten stairs, then go back down ten stairs.'

10 And HezekiAh said, 'It's nothing unusual for a shadow to go up ten stairs, but it never goes back down ten stairs!'

11 But then the Prophet IsaiAh called out to Jehovah, and the shadow went back down ten stairs.

12 Well at the time, Maradak Baladan (the son of Baladan) the king of Babylon, sent letters and gifts to HezekiAh, because he heard that he was sick, 13 and this made made HezekiAh very happy. So he showed [the messengers] everything in his palace. He showed them all his good things╔ his spices, silver, gold, perfumes, oils, weapons, and everything that he had in his treasury. In fact, there wasn't anything in his house that he failed to show them.

14 Then the Prophet IsaiAh came to HezekiAh and asked, 'Who were those men and why did they come to you?'

And HezekiAh replied: 'They came from far away╔ all the way from Babylon!'

15 Then IsaiAh asked: 'What did they see in your palace?'

And he said: 'They saw everything that's here. I showed them everything in my house and in my treasury.'

16 Then IsaiAh said: 'Listen to the words of Jehovah! 17 {Look} The days are coming, says Jehovah, when all the things in your palace and all the treasures that your ancestors have stored away until now will be taken to Babylon╔ none of these things that Jehovah spoke about will be left. 18 Also, the sons that you sire and those who descend from you will be taken as eunuchs to serve in the palace of the king of Babylon.'

19 And HezekiAh told IsaiAh: 'The words of Jehovah are good╔ but may there be peace during my lifetime!'

20 Well, the rest of the things that HezekiAh said and did, as well as about the area of his rulership, the wells that he dug, and about the water duct that he built to bring water into the city {Look!} have been recorded in the scrolls of the words of the days of the kings of Judah. 21 Then HezekiAh went to sleep with his ancestors and was buried in a tomb in the city of David. So after him, his son ManasSeh started ruling.

Chapter 21

1 ManasSeh was just twelve years old when he started his reign, and he ruled from JeruSalem for fifty-five years. His mother's name was OpSiba.

2 However, ManasSeh acted wickedly in the eyes of Jehovah, for he returned to the disgusting practices of the nations that Jehovah had removed from before the sons of IsraEl. 3 He went and rebuilt the high places of worship that his father HezekiAh had torn down, he rebuilt the altar to BaAl, he built groves of sacred poles like those that were built by Ahab the king of IsraEl, and he bowed before and served the powerful things in the skies. 4 He also built an altar inside the Temple of Jehovah, for he said: 'Because I did this, my name will be remembered in JeruSalem.' 5 In addition, he built an altar to all the powerful things in the skies in two of the courtyards of the Temple of Jehovah, 6 and he thereafter sacrificed two of his own sons in fire. He even brought many fortunetellers, diviners, and seers into the land, setting aside sacred precincts for them. All of this was very wicked in the eyes of Jehovah, and it made Him very angry.

7 Thereafter, [ManasSeh] put carvings of sacred poles right inside the Temple╔ in that very place where Jehovah had said to David and his son Solomon: 'This is the House in JeruSalem, which I chose out of all the rest of the tribes of IsraEl as the place to put My Name though the ages. 8 So I will never shake the feet of IsraEl off of this land that I gave to their ancestors, for as long as they do everything that I told them to do and they follow the Commandments that I gave to them through My servant Moses.' 9 But the people just wouldn't listen; for ManasSeh had misled them into doing things that were even wickeder in the eyes of Jehovah than those nations did that the Lord had once removed from before the sons of IsraEl. 10 As the result, Jehovah spoke to them through His servants the Prophets and said: 11 'I'm not going to allow ManasSeh the king of Judah to continue doing these disgusting things, which are even worse than what the Amorites used to do in front of Me. For he has led Judah into sin with his idols, 12 and this cannot continue!'

Then the Lord God of IsraEl said this: '{Look!} I'm going to bring so much evil upon JeruSalem and Judah that everyone will hear about it with both ears. 13 I'm going to stretch the measuring line out over JeruSalem the same as I did over Samaria, and bring all the weight of the house of Ahab down upon it. I will wipe away JeruSalem like someone wipes out an alabaster jar╔ I'll wipe it clean and then turn it over on its face. 14 I'll wipe away every trace of My inheritance and hand them over to their enemies, who will ravage and plunder them 15 for doing so many wicked things before My eyes, since they've been provoking Me to anger from the time that I led their ancestors out of Egypt down to this day. 16 And now ManasSeh has shed the blood of so many innocent [people] that it has filled JeruSalem from mouth to mouth╔ and this is in addition to all the rest of his sins and the ways that he's led Judah into sin by acting wickedly in the eyes of Jehovah.'

17 Well, the rest of the things that ManasSeh said and did (including all of his sins) are written about in the scrolls of the words of the days of the kings of Judah. 18 Then ManasSeh went to sleep with his ancestors and they buried him in a tomb in the garden next to his house (the Garden of Oza). And after that, his son Amon started ruling in his place.

19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he started his reign, and he ruled from JeruSalem for just two years. His mother's name was MesolLam (she was the daughter of Arus from JeTeba). 20 Like his father ManasSeh, he also acted wickedly in the eyes of Jehovah, 21 for he continued to do the same things that his father did. He served and bowed before the same idols that his father served, 22 and he abandoned Jehovah the God of his ancestors. He certainly didn't walk in the paths of the Lord.

23 But then Amon's servants plotted a coup against him, and they murdered the king in his palace. 24 However, the people of the land took those who had plotted against King Amon and had them put to death, then they appointed Amon's son JosiAh to rule in his place.

25 Well, the rest of the things that Amon said and did {Look!} have been written about in the scrolls of the words of the days of the kings of Judah. 26 He was also buried in his own tomb in the Garden of Oza. Then JosiAh started his reign.

Chapter 22

1 JosiAh was only eight years old when he started his reign, and he ruled for thirty-one years in JeruSalem. His mother's name was JediYa, and she was the daughter of EdeYa of BasorOth.

2 JosiAh actually did what was upright in the eyes of Jehovah, for he followed in the paths of his ancestor David and he didn't swerve to the right or to the left.

3 It was during the eighth month of the eighteenth year of King JosiAh's reign that the king sent for ShaPhan (the son of EseliJah and grandson of MesolLam), who was the scribe at the Temple of Jehovah. Then he told him: 4 ' Go to HelkiAh the great High Priest and have him set aside the money from the treasury that the people have been bringing to the Temple, 5 then give it to the men who are assigned to work on the Temple of Jehovah!'

So they gave the money to the men who were working on the Temple of Jehovah, and they used it to repair its walls. 6 It was given to the craftsmen, laborers, and stonemasons, who used it to buy wood and stones to fortify its walls. 7 No one required an accounting; they were just trusted to do the right thing.

8 But then HelkiAh (the High Priest) went to ShaPhan the scribe and reported: 'We've found a scroll of the Law in the Temple of Jehovah!' So HelkiAh gave the scroll to ShaPhan and he read it, 9 then he carried it to King JosiAh.

Well, the first thing that the king spoke to ShaPhan about when he went before him, was that he wanted him to set aside more silver from the Temple of Jehovah, so that it could be given to the servants who were appointed to do the repairs. 10 And after that, ShaPhan (the scribe) said to the king: 'HelkiAh the Priest also gave me this scroll,' which he then read to the king.

11 Well when the king heard the Law that was written on the scroll, he started ripping his clothes. 12 And then the king gave these instructions to HelkiAh the Priest, AchiKan (the son of ShaPhan), AchObor (the son of MichaJah), ShaPhan the scribe, and to AsaJah (the king's personal representative): 13 'Go and search for Jehovah on behalf of myself and for all my people in the land of Judah, because according to the things that are written in this scroll that you found, the anger of Jehovah is surely blazing against us because we haven't been paying attention to any of His instructions or doing any of the things that were written about us here!'

14 So HelkiAh the Priest, AchiCam, AchObor, ShaPhan, and AsiAh went to the Prophetess HuldAh (the [wife] of SelLem, who was the son of Thekou and grandson of Aras the keeper of the robes) who lived in Masena near JeruSalem, and they spoke to her about it. 15 Then she told them, 'The Lord God of IsraEl says that you should speak to the man who sent you to me 16 and tell him that this is what Jehovah said: {Look!} I'm bringing bad things against this place and upon all those who live here╔ yes, everything that's written in the scroll that the king of Judah read. 17 For they have abandoned Me and have started offering incense to other gods╔ they're making Me so angry with those things they've made with their hands that My rage is blazing against this place, and it won't be extinguished.

18 'Also, tell the king of Judah (the one who sent you to inquire of Jehovah) that these words you've heard are those of the Lord God of IsraEl. 19 However, because you are so tenderhearted and you felt ashamed when you heard the things that I said about this place and about those who live here (that they deserve to be cursed and extinguished), and you've ripped your clothes and cried before Me; I've heard you. 20 Therefore, none of these things will happen to you. Rather, {Look!} I will add you to your ancestors and you will be buried in your tomb in peace, so you won't have to see all the bad things that I'm going to bring against this place with your eyes.'

And with that, they returned to the king and told him what was said.

Chapter 23

1 Thereafter, the king sent for all the elders of Judah and JeruSalem and had them brought to him. 2 Then the king went to the Temple of Jehovah with the men of Judah and JeruSalem (the Priests, the Prophets, and all the people the small and the great), and he read all the words of the scroll of the Sacred Agreement that had been found there. 3 The king was standing next to one of the columns when he promised Jehovah that they would all return to Him and obey His Commandments, proclamations, and Laws with their whole hearts and souls, and that they would reestablish His Sacred Agreement that was written about in the scroll. And thereafter, he made all the people who were there affirm that they also agreed with his promise.

4 Next, the king had the High Priest HelkiAh, as well as all the other lesser priests and those who guarded the doors go into the Temple of Jehovah and drag out all the objects for BaAl worship, the things for the groves of sacred poles, and the objects of worship of the things in the skies. Then he burned it all outside of JeruSalem in the Cedar (Kidron) Valley, and he had the ashes carried off to BethEl. 5 Following that, he had all the idolatrous priests (those who had been appointed by the kings of Judah and who burned incense in the high places around the cities of Judah and JeruSalem, as well as those who burned incense to BaAl, to the sun and the moon, to the Zodiac and the mighty things in the sky) [killed and] incinerated. 6 He also had the carvings of the groves of sacred poles carted out of the Temple of Jehovah and out of JeruSalem to the Cedar (Kidron) Wadi, where he had them burned and ground into dust, which was thereafter scattered among the tombs in the graveyards.

7 Following that, he had the rooms in the Temple of Jehovah where male prostitutes were kept and where women wove robes for the worship of the sacred poles, demolished. 8 Then he brought back all the Priests from the cities of Judah (from GabaA all the way to BeerSheba), and they went up to the high places where [the people] had burned incense, and they desecrated [those places]. He also demolished the high place that was located next to the entrance of the gate of JoShua (who was the city's mayor), which was to the left of the city's main gate.

9 Then [the king] forbade the Priests who had served at the high places to ever be allowed to approach the Altar of Jehovah in JeruSalem or to ever again share in eating the fermentation-free bread among their brothers.

10 Next he defiled Topheth, which is the place [of worship] in the valley of the sons of Hinnom where people took their sons and daughters to be burned in a fire before [the image of] Moloch. 11 And he incinerated the horses that the kings of Judah had offered to the sun, which were kept inside the Temple compound near the Temple entrance in the treasury room of Nathan (the king's eunuch). He also burned the Chariot of the Sun, 12 the altars that were on the roof of the upper room of Ahaz (which had been built by the kings of Judah), and he demolished the altars that had been built for ManasSeh inside two of the Temple courtyards, and he had the dust thrown into the Cedar (Kidron) Wadi.

13 Then the king had the temple that stood in front of JeruSalem (on the right side of Mount MosOath) that King Solomon had built to Astarte (the disgusting thing of the Sidonians), to Chemosh (the disgusting thing of Moab), and to Moloch (the disgusting thing of the sons of Ammon) desecrated, 14 and he broke up all the monuments and the groves of sacred poles. Then he had the areas where they once stood covered with dead men's bones.

15 After that, he went to the high altar in BethEl that JeroBoam (the son of NaBat) had built to lead IsraEl into sin, and he had it torn down, its stones crushed into fine dust, and its grove of sacred poles incinerated.

16 And when JosiAh noticed the tombs where the people of that city were buried, he had the bones taken from the tombs and burned on [JeroBoam's] altar so as to defile it, as the [prophecy] of Jehovah that the man of God spoke on the holiday that JeroBoam had called for when he built the altar, was finally fulfilled. For back then, the man of God had looked toward this very graveyard and asked, 17 'What are these tall rocks that I see?' And when the men of the city [heard] the man of God (who had come from Judah) foretell that all these things would happen to the altar in BethEl, they said: 18 'Leave him alone, and may no man ever move his bones!' So his bones were thereafter placed with the bones of the Prophets of Samaria.

19 Well after that, [the king] went throughout the cities of Samaria and he had all the temples on the high places that the kings of IsraEl had built to provoke Jehovah to anger, torn down. JosiAh removed them all, along with all the things that were built for worship in BethEl. 20 And thereafter, he sacrificed all the priests of the high places on their own altars, and he incinerated their bones upon them.

Then he went back to JeruSalem 21 and he told all the people that they were going to observe the Passover of their God Jehovah, just as it had been written about in the scroll of His Sacred Agreement. 22 For the Passover really hadn't been celebrated there since the time of the Judges (not during the time of any of the previous kings of Judah).

23 So it was in the eighteenth year of King JosiAh's reign that the Passover to Jehovah was once again celebrated in JeruSalem.

24 Then King JosiAh had all the witches, fortunetellers, objects for providing omens, idols, and all the other disgusting things and practices that were taking place in the land of Judah and JeruSalem removed, so that the words of the Law that was written in the scroll that HelkiAh the Priest had found in the Temple of Jehovah could be followed once again.

25 Never before had there been any king like him who had turned toward Jehovah and to the Law of Moses with so much of his whole heart, strength, and soul. And after him, no one like him ever arose again.

26 However, none of this turned Jehovah from His rage and great anger against Judah over the things that ManasSeh had done. 27 For Jehovah had said: 'I will indeed remove Judah from before My face the same as I removed IsraEl. I will throw this city of JeruSalem that I chose away, along with the Temple where I said I would put My Name.'

28 Well, the rest of the things that JosiAh said and did have been written about in the scrolls of the words of the days of the kings of Judah.

29 However after that, PharaOh Necho (the king of Egypt) attacked the king of Assyria at the Euphrates River, and JosiAh joined in the war against him. So when Necho saw him at MegidDo, he killed him. 30 Then [the king's] servants brought his dead body back from MegidDo to JeruSalem, and they buried him in his tomb in the city of David. Then the people of the land anointed JehoAhaz (JosiAh's son), and he started reigning in place of his father.

31 JehoAhaz was twenty-three years old when he started his reign, and he only ruled in JeruSalem for three months. The name of his mother was AmiTal, and she was the daughter of JeremiAh of LobNa. 32 For thereafter, he followed in the paths of his ancestors and acted wickedly in the eyes of Jehovah. 33 Then PharaOh Necho attacked him at DebLatha (in the land of HaMath) and removed him from [his throne] in JeruSalem, and he required the whole land to pay him a tribute of four tons of silver and four tons of gold. 34 Then he put EliAkim (another son of JosiAh) on [the throne] of Judah in place of his father, changing his name to JehoiAkim, and he had JehoAhaz carried off to Egypt where he eventually died.

35 So thereafter, JehoiAkim had to tax all the people of the land (which was assessed by how much they each owned) to pay what PharaOh had required, and he sent all the silver and gold to PharaOh Necho.

36 JehoiAkim was twenty-five years old when he started his reign, and he ruled from JeruSalem for eleven years. His mother's name was JelDaph, and she was the daughter of PhadaEl of RoUma. 37 But he also acted wickedly in the eyes of Jehovah, and he did all the bad things that his ancestors had done.

Chapter 24

1 It was during the time of JehoiAkim that NebuChadnezzar became the king of Babylon, and JehoiAkim became his vassal for three years╔ but then he annulled his allegiance. 2 So during that time, Jehovah sent armed bands of Chaldeans, Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites against him and the land of Judah until they overran the land, just as Jehovah foretold would happen through His servants the Prophets 3 because of His rage against Judah. As the result, He decided to remove them from in front of His face for the sins of ManasSeh and for all the [bad] things that he did 4 when he [killed] so many innocent [people] and filled JeruSalem with innocent blood, over which he refused to repent.

5 Now, the rest of the things that JehoiAkim said and did have been written about in the scrolls of the words of the days of the kings of Judah. 6 For then he went to sleep with his ancestors, and his son JehoiAchin started ruling in place of him.

7 Well, the king of Egypt no longer came into his land, because the king of Babylon had claimed all the land from the Euphrates to the [Nile]╔ everything that had once belonged to the king of Egypt.

8 JehoiAchin was only eighteen years old when he started his reign, and he ruled from JeruSalem for just three months. The name of his mother was NesTha, and she was the daughter of ElLaNathan of JeruSalem. 9 But JehoiAchin followed in the ways of his father and acted wickedly in the eyes of Jehovah. 10 So thereafter, NebuChadnezzar the king of Babylon came and laid siege to JeruSalem 11 (NebuChadnezzar [himself] came to the city when his army attacked it). 12 Then JehoiAchin (the king of Judah) surrendered to the king of Babylon, along with his mother, servants, governors, and eunuchs. So the king of Babylon [took him captive] during the eighth year of his (NebuChadnezzar's) reign, 13 and he took all the treasures that were in the Temple of Jehovah and in the king's palace, including all the things that Solomon (the king of IsraEl) had covered with gold inside the Temple of Jehovah. He had it all cut off and removed, just as Jehovah said would happen.

14 Thereafter, he took all the governors and all the important people from JeruSalem and carried them into captivity (some ten thousand people), including all the contractors and their workers. So all that was left in the land was just the poor people. 15 He carried off JehoiAchin, his mother, his wives, his eunuchs, and all the great people of the land. He took them all from JeruSalem and resettled them in [the Kingdom of] Babylon. 16 He also carried off seven thousand of [Judah's] greatest men, a thousand contractors and their craftsmen, and a thousand of the best soldiers, and took them to Babylon.

17 Then the king of Babylon appointed MatThaniAh (JehoiAchim's son) to be [the king of Judah], and he renamed him ZedekiAh.

18 Well, ZedekiAh was twenty-one years old when he started his reign, and he ruled in JeruSalem for eleven years. His mother was AmiTal (the daughter of JeremiAh). 19 And like his father JehoiAchin, he also acted wickedly before Jehovah, 20 so Jehovah's rage continued against JeruSalem and Judah until He pushed them away from in front of His face.

Then ZedekiAh also annulled his allegiance to the king of Babylon.

Chapter 25

1 It was in the ninth year of his reign (on the tenth day of the tenth month) that NebuChadnezzar (the king of Babylon) came against JeruSalem with his whole army. He camped outside of the city and built a siege mound around it. 2 So the city remained cut off until the eleventh year and ninth month of the reign of ZedekiAh. 3 For by then famine was raging throughout the city, and none of the people there had any bread. 4 That's when its walls were finally breached.

Well when that happened, [the king] and his men slipped away during the night along a road that ran between the walls of the gate to the king's garden. Then the Chaldeans (who were all around the city) chased after them along the desert road, 5 catching up with the king in the desert near JeriCho, where his men had left him. 6 So they captured the king and carried him back to the king of Babylon (who was in DebLatha at the time), where he was put on trial. 7 Then the king of Babylon had ZedekiAh's sons slaughtered before his eyes, and he was blinded and carried off to Babylon in chains.

8 It was in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, in the nineteenth year of the reign of NebuChadnezzar (the king of Babylon) that NabuZarDan (the king of Babylon's chief body guard) came to JeruSalem. 9 He then burned the Temple of Jehovah, the king's palace, and all the houses in JeruSalem╔ he burned everything, 10 and he had his soldiers tear down JeruSalem's walls. 11 The only people he left behind were those who had sided with the king of Babylon. And thereafter, NabuZarDan (the chief guard) removed his troops, 12 leaving behind just the poor of the land as vinedressers and farmers.

13 The Chaldeans thereafter broke up the brass columns in the Temple of Jehovah, as well as the basins and the Sacred Sea, and carried all the brass back to Babylon. 14 They also took all the cooking pots, the shovels, the bowls, the incense pans, and everything else in the Temple that was made of brass, 15 as well as the gold and silver censers and bowls.

16 Well with the two columns, the Sacred Sea, and the bases that Solomon had made for the Temple of Jehovah, no one could estimate the weight of all the brass that they took; 17 for each column stood thirty-feet tall, and the brass caps for each column stood five-feet tall. There was also the latticework, the brass pomegranates that were all around each of the caps, and the hundred brass pomegranates that were around the latticework on each column.

18 The chief bodyguard also took the High Priest SaraiJah and his son ZephaniAh (who was in charge of [Temple] collections). 19 In addition, he carried off all the eunuch who were in charge of the troops, five of the king's advisors, the secretary of the army (who handled recruiting), and sixty other people that he found in the city. 20 NabuZarDan (the chief guard) then took them to the king of Babylon (who was in DebLatha) 21 who had them all killed in DebLatha (which is in the land of HaMath). Then he removed all the people of Judah and resettled them [away from] their own land.

22 Thereafter, NebuChadnezzar (the king of Babylon) appointed GedaliAh (the son of AchiKam and grandson of ShaPhan) to rule over all those who were still left in the land of Judah. 23 And when all the army generals and their men heard that the king of Babylon had put GedaliAh in charge, IshmaEl (the son of NathaniAh), JoAnan (the son of Kareth), SariAh (the son of ThanaMath the Netophathite), and JezoniJah (the son of the Mahathite) and their men went to GedaliAh in MizPah. 24 There he swore an oath to them and their men, saying: 'Don't be afraid when the Chaldeans leave; if you'll just settle yourselves in the land and serve the king of Babylon, all will go well for you.'

25 But in the seventh month, IshmaEl (the son of NathaniJah and grandson of EliSama), who was related to the kings, took ten men and murdered GedaliAh along with all the Judeans and Chaldeans who were with him in MizPah. 26 So all the people (the small and the great) and the army generals got up and fled to Egypt, because they were afraid of what the Chaldeans would do to them.

27 It was in the thirty-seventh year after JehoiAchin (the king of Judah) had been carried away (on the seventh day of the twelfth month) 28 that Ebil Marodach became the king of Babylon. And during the first year of his reign, he released JehoiAchin (the king of Judah) from prison 28 and said good things about him. Then he put him on a throne that was higher than those of all the other kings who were in Babylon. 29 He also gave him new clothes to wear and allowed him to eat [at his table] for the rest of his life╔ 30 so he thereafter feasted in the palace of the king everyday [until he died].

Home Page