October 15 – OT Reading

2 Kings 20-21

2 Chronicles 32-33

2 Kings 20

Hezekiah’s Illness and Recovery

20 In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’” Then he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Remember now, O Lord, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.”’” Then Isaiah said, “Take a cake of figs.” And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.

Now Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord the third day?” Isaiah said, “This shall be the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that He has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten steps or go back ten steps?” 10 So Hezekiah answered, “It is easy for the shadow to decline ten steps; no, but let the shadow turn backward ten steps.” 11 Isaiah the prophet cried to the Lord, and He brought the shadow on the stairway back ten steps by which it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.

Hezekiah Shows Babylon His Treasures

12 At that time Berodach-baladan a son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 13 Hezekiah listened to them, and showed them all his treasure house, the silver and the gold and the spices and the precious oil and the house of his armor and all that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his house nor in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them. 14 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and said to him, “What did these men say, and from where have they come to you?” And Hezekiah said, “They have come from a far country, from Babylon.” 15 He said, “What have they seen in your house?” So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasuries that I have not shown them.”

16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord. 17 ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and all that your fathers have laid up in store to this day will be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord. 18 ‘Some of your sons who shall issue from you, whom you will beget, will be taken away; and they will become officials in the palace of the king of Babylon.’” 19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “Is it not so, if there will be peace and truth in my days?”

20 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah and all his might, and how he made the pool and the conduit and brought water into the city, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 21 So Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and Manasseh his son became king in his place.

 

2 Kings 21

Manasseh Succeeds Hezekiah

21 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Hephzibah. He did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord dispossessed before the sons of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. He built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put My name.” For he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. He made his son pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and used divination, and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord provoking Him to anger. Then he set the carved image of Asherah that he had made, in the house of which the Lord said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever. And I will not make the feet of Israel wander anymore from the land which I gave their fathers, if only they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that My servant Moses commanded them.” But they did not listen, and Manasseh seduced them to do evil more than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the sons of Israel.

The King’s Idolatries Rebuked

10 Now the Lord spoke through His servants the prophets, saying, 11 “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations, having done wickedly more than all the Amorites did who were before him, and has also made Judah sin with his idols; 12 therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am bringing such calamity on Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle. 13 I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 I will abandon the remnant of My inheritance and deliver them into the hand of their enemies, and they will become as plunder and spoil to all their enemies; 15 because they have done evil in My sight, and have been provoking Me to anger since the day their fathers came from Egypt, even to this day.’”

16 Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; besides his sin with which he made Judah sin, in doing evil in the sight of the Lord. 17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh and all that he did and his sin which he committed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 18 And Manasseh slept with his fathers and was buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza, and Amon his son became king in his place.

Amon Succeeds Manasseh

19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. 20 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, as Manasseh his father had done. 21 For he walked in all the way that his father had walked, and served the idols that his father had served and worshiped them. 22 So he forsook the Lord, the God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the Lord. 23 The servants of Amon conspired against him and killed the king in his own house. 24 Then the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place. 25 Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 26 He was buried in his grave in the garden of Uzza, and Josiah his son became king in his place.

 

2 Chronicles 32

Sennacherib Invades Judah

32 After these acts of faithfulness Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah and besieged the fortified cities, and thought to break into them for himself. Now when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that he intended to make war on Jerusalem, he decided with his officers and his warriors to cut off the supply of water from the springs which were outside the city, and they helped him. So many people assembled and stopped up all the springs and the stream which flowed through the region, saying, “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find abundant water?” And he took courage and rebuilt all the wall that had been broken down and erected towers on it, and built another outside wall and strengthened the Millo in the city of David, and made weapons and shields in great number. He appointed military officers over the people and gathered them to him in the square at the city gate, and spoke encouragingly to them, saying, “Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed because of the king of Assyria nor because of all the horde that is with him; for the one with us is greater than the one with him. With him is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people relied on the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

Sennacherib Undermines Hezekiah

After this Sennacherib king of Assyria sent his servants to Jerusalem while he was besieging Lachish with all his forces with him, against Hezekiah king of Judah and against all Judah who were at Jerusalem, saying, 10 “Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria, ‘On what are you trusting that you are remaining in Jerusalem under siege? 11 Is not Hezekiah misleading you to give yourselves over to die by hunger and by thirst, saying, “The Lord our God will deliver us from the hand of the king of Assyria”? 12 Has not the same Hezekiah taken away His high places and His altars, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, “You shall worship before one altar, and on it you shall burn incense”? 13 Do you not know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of the lands? Were the gods of the nations of the lands able at all to deliver their land from my hand? 14 Who was there among all the gods of those nations which my fathers utterly destroyed who could deliver his people out of my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you from my hand? 15 Now therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you like this, and do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people from my hand or from the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you from my hand?’”

16 His servants spoke further against the Lord God and against His servant Hezekiah. 17 He also wrote letters to insult the Lord God of Israel, and to speak against Him, saying, “As the gods of the nations of the lands have not delivered their people from my hand, so the God of Hezekiah will not deliver His people from my hand.” 18 They called this out with a loud voice in the language of Judah to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten and terrify them, so that they might take the city. 19 They spoke of the God of Jerusalem as of the gods of the peoples of the earth, the work of men’s hands.

Hezekiah’s Prayer Is Answered

20 But King Hezekiah and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, prayed about this and cried out to heaven. 21 And the Lord sent an angel who destroyed every mighty warrior, commander and officer in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned in shame to his own land. And when he had entered the temple of his god, some of his own children killed him there with the sword. 22 So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria and from the hand of all others, and guided them on every side. 23 And many were bringing gifts to the Lord at Jerusalem and choice presents to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations thereafter.

24 In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill; and he prayed to the Lord, and the Lord spoke to him and gave him a sign. 25 But Hezekiah gave no return for the benefit he received, because his heart was proud; therefore wrath came on him and on Judah and Jerusalem. 26 However, Hezekiah humbled the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come on them in the days of Hezekiah.

27 Now Hezekiah had immense riches and honor; and he made for himself treasuries for silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields and all kinds of valuable articles, 28 storehouses also for the produce of grain, wine and oil, pens for all kinds of cattle and sheepfolds for the flocks. 29 He made cities for himself and acquired flocks and herds in abundance, for God had given him very great wealth. 30 It was Hezekiah who stopped the upper outlet of the waters of Gihon and directed them to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all that he did. 31 Even in the matter of the envoys of the rulers of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire of the wonder that had happened in the land, God left him alone only to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.

32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah and his deeds of devotion, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 33 So Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the upper section of the tombs of the sons of David; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem honored him at his death. And his son Manasseh became king in his place.

 

2 Chronicles 33

Manasseh Succeeds Hezekiah in Judah

33 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. He did evil in the sight of the Lord according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord dispossessed before the sons of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; he also erected altars for the Baals and made Asherim, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. He built altars in the house of the Lord of which the Lord had said, “My name shall be in Jerusalem forever.” For he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. He made his sons pass through the fire in the valley of Ben-hinnom; and he practiced witchcraft, used divination, practiced sorcery and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger. Then he put the carved image of the idol which he had made in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever; and I will not again remove the foot of Israel from the land which I have appointed for your fathers, if only they will observe to do all that I have commanded them according to all the law, the statutes and the ordinances given through Moses.” Thus Manasseh misled Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the sons of Israel.

Manasseh’s Idolatry Rebuked

10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. 11 Therefore the Lord brought the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria against them, and they captured Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze chains and took him to Babylon. 12 When he was in distress, he entreated the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 13 When he prayed to Him, He was moved by his entreaty and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.

14 Now after this he built the outer wall of the city of David on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entrance of the Fish Gate; and he encircled the Ophel with it and made it very high. Then he put army commanders in all the fortified cities of Judah. 15 He also removed the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the Lord, as well as all the altars which he had built on the mountain of the house of the Lord and in Jerusalem, and he threw them outside the city. 16 He set up the altar of the Lord and sacrificed peace offerings and thank offerings on it; and he ordered Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel. 17 Nevertheless the people still sacrificed in the high places, although only to the Lord their God.

18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh even his prayer to his God, and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of the Lord God of Israel, behold, they are among the records of the kings of Israel. 19 His prayer also and how God was entreated by him, and all his sin, his unfaithfulness, and the sites on which he built high places and erected the Asherim and the carved images, before he humbled himself, behold, they are written in the records of the Hozai. 20 So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house. And Amon his son became king in his place.

Amon Becomes King in Judah

21 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. 22 He did evil in the sight of the Lord as Manasseh his father had done, and Amon sacrificed to all the carved images which his father Manasseh had made, and he served them. 23 Moreover, he did not humble himself before the Lord as his father Manasseh had done, but Amon multiplied guilt. 24 Finally his servants conspired against him and put him to death in his own house. 25 But the people of the land killed all the conspirators against King Amon, and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

September 25 – OT Reading

2 Kings 18:1-8, 2 Chronicles 29-31, Psalm 48

2 Kings 18: 1-8

Hezekiah Reigns over Judah

18 Now it came about in the third year of Hoshea, the son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah became king. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. He did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done. He removed the high places and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the Asherah. He also broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the sons of Israel burned incense to it; and it was called Nehushtan. He trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel; so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among those who were before him. For he clung to the Lord; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the Lord had commanded Moses.

Hezekiah Victorious

And the Lord was with him; wherever he went he prospered. And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. He defeated the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, from watchtower to fortified city.

 

2 Chronicles 29

Hezekiah Succeeds Ahaz in Judah

29 Hezekiah became king when he was twenty-five years old; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. He did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done.

In the first year of his reign, in the first month, he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and repaired them. He brought in the priests and the Levites and gathered them into the square on the east.

Reforms Begun

Then he said to them, “Listen to me, O Levites. Consecrate yourselves now, and consecrate the house of the Lord, the God of your fathers, and carry the uncleanness out from the holy place. For our fathers have been unfaithful and have done evil in the sight of the Lord our God, and have forsaken Him and turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the Lord, and have turned their backs. They have also shut the doors of the porch and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense or offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel. Therefore the wrath of theLord was against Judah and Jerusalem, and He has made them an object of terror, of horror, and of hissing, as you see with your own eyes. For behold, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this. 10 Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel, that His burning anger may turn away from us. 11 My sons, do not be negligent now, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before Him, to minister to Him, and to be His ministers and burn incense.”

12 Then the Levites arose: Mahath, the son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah, from the sons of the Kohathites; and from the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi and Azariah the son of Jehallelel; and from the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah and Eden the son of Joah; 13 and from the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeiel; and from the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah; 14 and from the sons of Heman, Jehiel and Shimei; and from the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel. 15 They assembled their brothers, consecrated themselves, and went in to cleanse the house of the Lord, according to the commandment of the king by the words of the Lord. 16 So the priests went in to the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and every unclean thing which they found in the temple of the Lord they brought out to the court of the house of the Lord. Then the Levites received it to carry out to the Kidron valley. 17 Now they began the consecration on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they entered the porch of the Lord. Then they consecrated the house of the Lord in eight days, and finished on the sixteenth day of the first month. 18 Then they went in to King Hezekiah and said, “We have cleansed the whole house of the Lord, the altar of burnt offering with all of its utensils, and the table of showbread with all of its utensils. 19 Moreover, all the utensils which King Ahaz had discarded during his reign in his unfaithfulness, we have prepared and consecrated; and behold, they are before the altar of the Lord.”

Hezekiah Restores Temple Worship

20 Then King Hezekiah arose early and assembled the princes of the city and went up to the house of the Lord. 21 They brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs and seven male goats for a sin offering for the kingdom, the sanctuary, and Judah. And he ordered the priests, the sons of Aaron, to offer them on the altar of the Lord. 22 So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests took the blood and sprinkled it on the altar. They also slaughtered the rams and sprinkled the blood on the altar; they slaughtered the lambs also and sprinkled the blood on the altar. 23 Then they brought the male goats of the sin offering before the king and the assembly, and they laid their hands on them. 24 The priests slaughtered them and purged the altar with their blood to atone for all Israel, for the king ordered the burnt offering and the sin offering for all Israel.

25 He then stationed the Levites in the house of the Lord with cymbals, with harps and with lyres, according to the command of David and of Gad the king’s seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for the command was from the Lord through His prophets. 26 The Levites stood with the musical instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets. 27 Then Hezekiah gave the order to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song to the Lord also began with the trumpets, accompanied by the instruments of David, king of Israel. 28 While the whole assembly worshiped, the singers also sang and the trumpets sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.

29 Now at the completion of the burnt offerings, the king and all who were present with him bowed down and worshiped. 30 Moreover, King Hezekiah and the officials ordered the Levites to sing praises to the Lord with the words of David and Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with joy, and bowed down and worshiped.

31 Then Hezekiah said, “Now that you have consecrated yourselves to the Lord, come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of the Lord.” And the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all those who were willing brought burnt offerings. 32 The number of the burnt offerings which the assembly brought was 70 bulls, 100 rams, and 200 lambs; all these were for a burnt offering to the Lord. 33 The consecrated things were 600 bulls and 3,000 sheep. 34 But the priests were too few, so that they were unable to skin all the burnt offerings; therefore their brothers the Levites helped them until the work was completed and until the other priests had consecrated themselves. For the Levites were more conscientious to consecrate themselves than the priests. 35 There were also many burnt offerings with the fat of the peace offerings and with the libations for the burnt offerings. Thus the service of the house of the Lord was established again36 Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced over what God had prepared for the people, because the thing came about suddenly.

 

2 Chronicles 30

All Israel Invited to the Passover

30 Now Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover to the Lord God of Israel. For the king and his princes and all the assembly in Jerusalem had decided to celebrate the Passover in the second month, since they could not celebrate it at that time, because the priests had not consecrated themselves in sufficient numbers, nor had the people been gathered to Jerusalem. Thus the thing was right in the sight of the king and all the assembly. So they established a decree to circulate a proclamation throughout all Israel from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to celebrate the Passover to the Lord God of Israel at Jerusalem. For they had not celebrated it in great numbers as it was prescribed. The couriers went throughout all Israel and Judah with the letters from the hand of the king and his princes, even according to the command of the king, saying, “O sons of Israel, return to the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that He may return to those of you who escaped and are left from the hand of the kings of Assyria. Do not be like your fathers and your brothers, who were unfaithful to the Lord God of their fathers, so that He made them a horror, as you see. Now do not stiffen your neck like your fathers, but yield to the Lord and enter His sanctuary which He has consecrated forever, and serve the Lord your God, that His burning anger may turn away from you. For if you return to the Lord, your brothers and your sons will find compassion before those who led them captive and will return to this land. For the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate, and will not turn His face away from you if you return to Him.”

10 So the couriers passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun, but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them. 11 Nevertheless some men of Asher, Manasseh and Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. 12 The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the Lord.

Passover Reinstituted

13 Now many people were gathered at Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month, a very large assembly. 14 They arose and removed the altars which were in Jerusalem; they also removed all the incense altars and cast them into the brook Kidron. 15 Then they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth of the second month. And the priests and Levites were ashamed of themselves, and consecrated themselves and brought burnt offerings to the house of the Lord. 16 They stood at their stations after their custom, according to the law of Moses the man of God; the priests sprinkled the blood which they received from the hand of the Levites. 17 For there were many in the assembly who had not consecrated themselves; therefore, the Levites were over the slaughter of the Passover lambs for everyone who was unclean, in order to consecrate them to the Lord. 18 For a multitude of the people, even many from Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not purified themselves, yet they ate the Passover otherwise than prescribed. For Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the good Lord pardon 19 everyone who prepares his heart to seek God, the Lord God of his fathers, though not according to the purification rules of the sanctuary.” 20 So the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people. 21 The sons of Israel present in Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with great joy, and the Levites and the priests praised the Lord day after day with loud instruments to the Lord. 22 Then Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who showed good insight in the things of the Lord. So they ate for the appointed seven days, sacrificing peace offerings and giving thanks to the Lord God of their fathers.

23 Then the whole assembly decided to celebrate the feast another seven days, so they celebrated the seven days with joy. 24 For Hezekiah king of Judah had contributed to the assembly 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep, and the princes had contributed to the assembly 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep; and a large number of priests consecrated themselves. 25 All the assembly of Judah rejoiced, with the priests and the Levites and all the assembly that came from Israel, both the sojourners who came from the land of Israel and those living in Judah. 26 So there was great joy in Jerusalem, because there was nothing like this in Jerusalem since the days of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel. 27 Then the Levitical priests arose and blessed the people; and their voice was heard and their prayer came to His holy dwelling place, to heaven.

 

2 Chronicles 31

Idols Are Destroyed

31 Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah, broke the pillars in pieces, cut down the Asherim and pulled down the high places and the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, as well as in Ephraim and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all. Then all the sons of Israel returned to their cities, each to his possession.

And Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests and the Levites by their divisions, each according to his service, both the priests and the Levites, for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister and to give thanks and to praise in the gates of the camp of the Lord.

Reforms Continued

He also appointed the king’s portion of his goods for the burnt offerings, namely, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths and for the new moons and for the fixed festivals, as it is written in the law of the Lord. Also he commanded the people who lived in Jerusalem to give the portion due to the priests and the Levites, that they might devote themselves to the law of the Lord. As soon as the order spread, the sons of Israel provided in abundance the first fruits of grain, new wine, oil, honey and of all the produce of the field; and they brought in abundantly the tithe of all. The sons of Israel and Judah who lived in the cities of Judah also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of sacred gifts which were consecrated to the Lord their God, and placed them in heaps. In the third month they began to make the heaps, and finished them by the seventh month. When Hezekiah and the rulers came and saw the heaps, they blessed the Lord and His people Israel. Then Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps.10 Azariah the chief priest of the house of Zadok said to him, “Since the contributions began to be brought into the house of the Lord, we have had enough to eat with plenty left over, for the Lord has blessed His people, and this great quantity is left over.”

11 Then Hezekiah commanded them to prepare rooms in the house of the Lord, and they prepared them12 They faithfully brought in the contributions and the tithes and the consecrated things; and Conaniah the Levite was the officer in charge of them and his brother Shimei was second. 13 Jehiel, Azaziah, Nahath, Asahel, Jerimoth, Jozabad, Eliel, Ismachiah, Mahath and Benaiah were overseers under the authority of Conaniah and Shimei his brother by the appointment of King Hezekiah, and Azariah was the chief officer of the house of God. 14 Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, the keeper of the eastern gate, was over the freewill offerings of God, to apportion the contributions for the Lord and the most holy things. 15 Under his authority were Eden, Miniamin, Jeshua, Shemaiah, Amariah and Shecaniah in the cities of the priests, to distribute faithfully their portions to their brothers by divisions, whether great or small, 16 without regard to their genealogical enrollment, to the males from thirty years old and upward—everyone who entered the house of the Lord for his daily obligations—for their work in their duties according to their divisions; 17 as well as the priests who were enrolled genealogically according to their fathers’ households, and the Levites from twenty years old and upwards, by their duties and their divisions. 18 The genealogical enrollment included all their little children, their wives, their sons and their daughters, for the whole assembly, for they consecrated themselves faithfully in holiness. 19 Also for the sons of Aaron the priests who were in the pasture lands of their cities, or in each and every city, there were men who were designated by name to distribute portions to every male among the priests and to everyone genealogically enrolled among the Levites.

20 Thus Hezekiah did throughout all Judah; and he did what was good, right and true before the Lord his God. 21 Every work which he began in the service of the house of God in law and in commandment, seeking his God, he did with all his heart and prospered.

 

Psalm 48

The Beauty and Glory of Zion.

A Song; a Psalm of the sons of Korah.

48 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, In the city of our God, His holy mountain. Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth, Is Mount Zion in the far north, The city of the great King. God, in her palaces, Has made Himself known as a stronghold.

For, lo, the kings assembled themselves, They passed by together. They saw it, then they were amazed; They were terrified, they fled in alarm. Panic seized them there, Anguish, as of a woman in childbirth. With the east wind You break the ships of Tarshish. As we have heard, so have we seen In the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God; God will establish her forever. Selah.

We have thought on Your lovingkindness, O God, In the midst of Your temple. 10 As is Your name, O God, So is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness. 11 Let Mount Zion be glad, Let the daughters of Judah rejoice Because of Your judgments. 12 Walk about Zion and go around her; Count her towers; 13 Consider her ramparts; Go through her palaces, That you may tell it to the next generation. 14 For such is God, Our God forever and ever; He will guide us until death.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

September 19 – OT Reading

Micah 1-7, 2 Chronicles 28

Micah 1

Destruction in Israel and Judah

1 The word of the Lord which came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

Hear, O peoples, all of you; Listen, O earth and all it contains, And let the Lord God be a witness against you, The Lord from His holy temple. For behold, the Lord is coming forth from His place. He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth. The mountains will melt under Him And the valleys will be split, Like wax before the fire, Like water poured down a steep place. All this is for the rebellion of Jacob And for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the rebellion of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? What is the high place of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem? For I will make Samaria a heap of ruins in the open country, Planting places for a vineyard. I will pour her stones down into the valley And will lay bare her foundations. All of her idols will be smashed, All of her earnings will be burned with fire And all of her images I will make desolate, For she collected them from a harlot’s earnings, And to the earnings of a harlot they will return.

Because of this I must lament and wail, I must go barefoot and naked; I must make a lament like the jackals And a mourning like the ostriches. For her wound is incurable, For it has come to Judah; It has reached the gate of my people, Even to Jerusalem. 10 Tell it not in Gath, Weep not at all. At Beth-le-aphrah roll yourself in the dust. 11 Go on your way, inhabitant of Shaphir, in shameful nakedness. The inhabitant of Zaanan does not escape. The lamentation of Beth-ezel: “He will take from you its support.” 12 For the inhabitant of Maroth Becomes weak waiting for good, Because a calamity has come down from the Lord To the gate of Jerusalem. 13 Harness the chariot to the team of horses, O inhabitant of Lachish— She was the beginning of sin To the daughter of Zion— Because in you were found The rebellious acts of Israel. 14 Therefore you will give parting gifts On behalf of Moresheth-gath; The houses of Achzib will become a deception To the kings of Israel. 15 Moreover, I will bring on you The one who takes possession, O inhabitant of Mareshah. The glory of Israel will enter Adullam. 16 Make yourself bald and cut off your hair, Because of the children of your delight; Extend your baldness like the eagle, For they will go from you into exile.

 

Micah 2

Woe to Oppressors

2 Woe to those who scheme iniquity, Who work out evil on their beds! When morning comes, they do it, For it is in the power of their hands. They covet fields and then seize them, And houses, and take them away. They rob a man and his house, A man and his inheritance.

Therefore thus says the Lord,

“Behold, I am planning against this family a calamity From which you cannot remove your necks; And you will not walk haughtily, For it will be an evil time. “On that day they will take up against you a taunt And utter a bitter lamentation and say, ‘We are completely destroyed! He exchanges the portion of my people; How He removes it from me! To the apostate He apportions our fields.’ “Therefore you will have no one stretching a measuring line For you by lot in the assembly of the Lord.

‘Do not speak out,’ so they speak out. But if they do not speak out concerning these things, Reproaches will not be turned back. “Is it being said, O house of Jacob: ‘Is the Spirit of the Lord impatient? Are these His doings?’ Do not My words do good To the one walking uprightly? “Recently My people have arisen as an enemy— You strip the robe off the garment From unsuspecting passers-by, From those returned from war. “The women of My people you evict, Each one from her pleasant house. From her children you take My splendor forever. 10 “Arise and go, For this is no place of rest Because of the uncleanness that brings on destruction, A painful destruction. 11 “If a man walking after wind and falsehood Had told lies and said, ‘I will speak out to you concerning wine and liquor,’ He would be spokesman to this people.

12 “I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel. I will put them together like sheep in the fold; Like a flock in the midst of its pasture They will be noisy with men. 13 “The breaker goes up before them; They break out, pass through the gate and go out by it. So their king goes on before them, And the Lord at their head.”

 

Micah 3

Rulers Denounced

3 And I said,

“Hear now, heads of Jacob And rulers of the house of Israel. Is it not for you to know justice? “You who hate good and love evil, Who tear off their skin from them And their flesh from their bones, Who eat the flesh of my people, Strip off their skin from them, Break their bones And chop them up as for the pot And as meat in a kettle.” Then they will cry out to the Lord, But He will not answer them. Instead, He will hide His face from them at that time Because they have practiced evil deeds.

Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead my people astray;

When they have something to bite with their teeth, They cry, “Peace,” But against him who puts nothing in their mouths They declare holy war. Therefore it will be night for you—without vision, And darkness for you—without divination. The sun will go down on the prophets, And the day will become dark over them. The seers will be ashamed And the diviners will be embarrassed. Indeed, they will all cover their mouths Because there is no answer from God. On the other hand I am filled with power— With the Spirit of the Lord— And with justice and courage To make known to Jacob his rebellious act, Even to Israel his sin. Now hear this, heads of the house of Jacob And rulers of the house of Israel, Who abhor justice And twist everything that is straight, 10 Who build Zion with bloodshed And Jerusalem with violent injustice. 11 Her leaders pronounce judgment for a bribe, Her priests instruct for a price And her prophets divine for money. Yet they lean on the Lord saying, “Is not the Lord in our midst? Calamity will not come upon us.” 12 Therefore, on account of you Zion will be plowed as a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of ruins, And the mountain of the temple will become high places of a forest.

 

Micah 4

Peaceful Latter Days

4 And it will come about in the last days That the mountain of the house of the Lord Will be established as the chief of the mountains. It will be raised above the hills, And the peoples will stream to it. Many nations will come and say, “Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord And to the house of the God of Jacob, That He may teach us about His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For from Zion will go forth the law, Even the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He will judge between many peoples And render decisions for mighty, distant nations. Then they will hammer their swords into plowshares And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they train for war. Each of them will sit under his vine And under his fig tree, With no one to make them afraid, For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken. Though all the peoples walk Each in the name of his god, As for us, we will walk In the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.

“In that day,” declares the Lord, “I will assemble the lame And gather the outcasts, Even those whom I have afflicted. “I will make the lame a remnant And the outcasts a strong nation, And the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion From now on and forever. “As for you, tower of the flock, Hill of the daughter of Zion, To you it will come— Even the former dominion will come, The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.

“Now, why do you cry out loudly? Is there no king among you, Or has your counselor perished, That agony has gripped you like a woman in childbirth? 10 “Writhe and labor to give birth, Daughter of Zion, Like a woman in childbirth; For now you will go out of the city, Dwell in the field, And go to Babylon. There you will be rescued; There the Lord will redeem you From the hand of your enemies. 11 “And now many nations have been assembled against you Who say, ‘Let her be polluted, And let our eyes gloat over Zion.’ 12 “But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord, And they do not understand His purpose; For He has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor. 13 “Arise and thresh, daughter of Zion, For your horn I will make iron And your hoofs I will make bronze, That you may pulverize many peoples, That you may devote to the Lord their unjust gain And their wealth to the Lord of all the earth.

 

Micah 5

Birth of the King in Bethlehem

5 “Now muster yourselves in troops, daughter of troops; They have laid siege against us; With a rod they will smite the judge of Israel on the cheek. “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” Therefore He will give them up until the time When she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren Will return to the sons of Israel. And He will arise and shepherd His flock In the strength of the Lord, In the majesty of the name of the Lord His God. And they will remain, Because at that time He will be great To the ends of the earth. This One will be our peace. When the Assyrian invades our land, When he tramples on our citadels, Then we will raise against him Seven shepherds and eight leaders of men. They will shepherd the land of Assyria with the sword, The land of Nimrod at its entrances; And He will deliver us from the Assyrian When he attacks our land And when he tramples our territory.

Then the remnant of Jacob Will be among many peoples Like dew from the Lord, Like showers on vegetation Which do not wait for man Or delay for the sons of men. The remnant of Jacob Will be among the nations, Among many peoples Like a lion among the beasts of the forest, Like a young lion among flocks of sheep, Which, if he passes through, Tramples down and tears, And there is none to rescue. Your hand will be lifted up against your adversaries, And all your enemies will be cut off.

10 “It will be in that day,” declares the Lord, “That I will cut off your horses from among you And destroy your chariots. 11 “I will also cut off the cities of your land And tear down all your fortifications. 12 “I will cut off sorceries from your hand, And you will have fortune-tellers no more. 13 “I will cut off your carved images And your sacred pillars from among you, So that you will no longer bow down To the work of your hands. 14 “I will root out your Asherim from among you And destroy your cities. 15 “And I will execute vengeance in anger and wrath On the nations which have not obeyed.”

 

Micah 6

God’s Indictment of His People

6 Hear now what the Lord is saying, “Arise, plead your case before the mountains, And let the hills hear your voice. “Listen, you mountains, to the indictment of the Lord, And you enduring foundations of the earth, Because the Lord has a case against His people; Even with Israel He will dispute. “My people, what have I done to you, And how have I wearied you? Answer Me. “Indeed, I brought you up from the land of Egypt And ransomed you from the house of slavery, And I sent before you Moses, Aaron and Miriam. “My people, remember now What Balak king of Moab counseled And what Balaam son of Beor answered him, And from Shittim to Gilgal, So that you might know the righteous acts of the Lord.”

What God Requires of Man

With what shall I come to the Lord And bow myself before the God on high? Shall I come to Him with burnt offerings, With yearling calves? Does the Lord take delight in thousands of rams, In ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I present my firstborn for my rebellious acts, The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?

The voice of the Lord will call to the city— And it is sound wisdom to fear Your name: “Hear, O tribe. Who has appointed its time? 10 “Is there yet a man in the wicked house, Along with treasures of wickedness And a short measure that is cursed? 11 “Can I justify wicked scales And a bag of deceptive weights? 12 “For the rich men of the city are full of violence, Her residents speak lies, And their tongue is deceitful in their mouth. 13 “So also I will make you sick, striking you down, Desolating you because of your sins. 14 “You will eat, but you will not be satisfied, And your vileness will be in your midst. You will try to remove for safekeeping, But you will not preserve anything, And what you do preserve I will give to the sword. 15 “You will sow but you will not reap. You will tread the olive but will not anoint yourself with oil; And the grapes, but you will not drink wine. 16 “The statutes of Omri And all the works of the house of Ahab are observed; And in their devices you walk. Therefore I will give you up for destruction And your inhabitants for derision, And you will bear the reproach of My people.”

 

Micah 7

The Prophet Acknowledges

7 Woe is me! For I am Like the fruit pickers, like the grape gatherers. There is not a cluster of grapes to eat, Or a first-ripe fig which I crave. The godly person has perished from the land, And there is no upright person among men. All of them lie in wait for bloodshed; Each of them hunts the other with a net. Concerning evil, both hands do it well. The prince asks, also the judge, for a bribe, And a great man speaks the desire of his soul; So they weave it together. The best of them is like a briar, The most upright like a thorn hedge. The day when you post your watchmen, Your punishment will come. Then their confusion will occur. Do not trust in a neighbor; Do not have confidence in a friend. From her who lies in your bosom Guard your lips. For son treats father contemptuously, Daughter rises up against her mother, Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; A man’s enemies are the men of his own household.

God Is the Source of Salvation and Light

But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; Though I dwell in darkness, the Lord is a light for me.

I will bear the indignation of the Lord Because I have sinned against Him, Until He pleads my case and executes justice for me. He will bring me out to the light, And I will see His righteousness. 10 Then my enemy will see, And shame will cover her who said to me, “Where is the Lord your God?” My eyes will look on her; At that time she will be trampled down Like mire of the streets. 11 It will be a day for building your walls. On that day will your boundary be extended. 12 It will be a day when they will come to you From Assyria and the cities of Egypt, From Egypt even to the Euphrates, Even from sea to sea and mountain to mountain. 13 And the earth will become desolate because of her inhabitants, On account of the fruit of their deeds.

14 Shepherd Your people with Your scepter, The flock of Your possession Which dwells by itself in the woodland, In the midst of a fruitful field. Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead As in the days of old. 15 “As in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt, I will show you miracles.” 16 Nations will see and be ashamed Of all their might. They will put their hand on their mouth, Their ears will be deaf. 17 They will lick the dust like a serpent, Like reptiles of the earth. They will come trembling out of their fortresses; To the Lord our God they will come in dread And they will be afraid before You. 18 Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in unchanging love. 19 He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot. Yes, You will cast all their sins Into the depths of the sea. 20 You will give truth to Jacob And unchanging love to Abraham, Which You swore to our forefathers From the days of old.

 

2 Chronicles 28

Ahaz Succeeds Jotham in Judah

28 Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem; and he did not do right in the sight of the Lord as David his father had doneBut he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel; he also made molten images for the Baals. Moreover, he burned incense in the valley of Ben-hinnom and burned his sons in fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had driven out before the sons of Israel. He sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on the hills and under every green tree.

Judah Is Invaded

Wherefore, the Lord his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Aram; and they defeated him and carried away from him a great number of captives and brought them to Damascus. And he was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who inflicted him with heavy casualties. For Pekah the son of Remaliah slew in Judah 120,000 in one day, all valiant men, because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers. And Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, slew Maaseiah the king’s son and Azrikam the ruler of the house and Elkanah the second to the king.

The sons of Israel carried away captive of their brethren 200,000 women, sons and daughters; and they took also a great deal of spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria. But a prophet of the Lord was there, whose name was Oded; and he went out to meet the army which came to Samaria and said to them, “Behold, because the Lord, the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah, He has delivered them into your hand, and you have slain them in a rage which has even reached heaven.10 Now you are proposing to subjugate for yourselves the people of Judah and Jerusalem for male and female slaves. Surely, do you not have transgressions of your own against the Lord your God?11 Now therefore, listen to me and return the captives whom you captured from your brothers, for the burning anger of the Lord is against you.” 12 Then some of the heads of the sons of Ephraim—Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai—arose against those who were coming from the battle, 13 and said to them, “You must not bring the captives in here, for you are proposing to bring upon us guilt against the Lord adding to our sins and our guilt; for our guilt is great so that His burning anger is against Israel.” 14 So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the officers and all the assembly. 15 Then the men who were designated by name arose, took the captives, and they clothed all their naked ones from the spoil; and they gave them clothes and sandals, fed them and gave them drink, anointed them with oil, led all their feeble ones on donkeys, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brothers; then they returned to Samaria.

Compromise with Assyria

16 At that time King Ahaz sent to the kings of Assyria for help. 17 For again the Edomites had come and attacked Judah and carried away captives. 18 The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the lowland and of the Negev of Judah, and had taken Beth-shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, and Soco with its villages, Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo with its villages, and they settled there. 19 For the Lord humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had brought about a lack of restraint in Judah and was very unfaithful to the Lord. 20 So Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria came against him and afflicted him instead of strengthening him. 21 Although Ahaz took a portion out of the house of the Lord and out of the palace of the king and of the princes, and gave it to the king of Assyria, it did not help him.

22 Now in the time of his distress this same King Ahaz became yet more unfaithful to the Lord. 23 For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus which had defeated him, and said, “Because the gods of the kings of Aram helped them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me.” But they became the downfall of him and all Israel. 24 Moreover, when Ahaz gathered together the utensils of the house of God, he cut the utensils of the house of God in pieces; and he closed the doors of the house of the Lord and made altars for himself in every corner of Jerusalem. 25 In every city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods, and provoked the Lord, the God of his fathers, to anger. 26 Now the rest of his acts and all his ways, from first to last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 27 So Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, in Jerusalem, for they did not bring him into the tombs of the kings of Israel; and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

September 18 – OT Reading

Amos 6-9, 2 Chronicles 27

Amos 6

“Those at Ease in Zion”

6 Woe to those who are at ease in Zion And to those who feel secure in the mountain of Samaria, The distinguished men of the foremost of nations, To whom the house of Israel comes. Go over to Calneh and look, And go from there to Hamath the great, Then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are they better than these kingdoms, Or is their territory greater than yours? Do you put off the day of calamity, And would you bring near the seat of violence?

Those who recline on beds of ivory And sprawl on their couches, And eat lambs from the flock And calves from the midst of the stall, Who improvise to the sound of the harp, And like David have composed songs for themselves, Who drink wine from sacrificial bowls While they anoint themselves with the finest of oils, Yet they have not grieved over the ruin of Joseph. Therefore, they will now go into exile at the head of the exiles, And the sprawlers’ banqueting will pass away.

The Lord God has sworn by Himself, the Lord God of hosts has declared: “I loathe the arrogance of Jacob, And detest his citadels; Therefore I will deliver up the city and all it contains.”

And it will be, if ten men are left in one house, they will die. 10 Then one’s uncle, or his undertaker, will lift him up to carry out his bones from the house, and he will say to the one who is in the innermost part of the house, “Is anyone else with you?” And that one will say, “No one.” Then he will answer, “Keep quiet. For the name of the Lord is not to be mentioned.” 11 For behold, the Lord is going to command that the great house be smashed to pieces and the small house to fragments.

12 Do horses run on rocks? Or does one plow them with oxen? Yet you have turned justice into poison And the fruit of righteousness into wormwood, 13 You who rejoice in Lodebar, And say, “Have we not by our own strength taken Karnaim for ourselves?” 14 “For behold, I am going to raise up a nation against you, O house of Israel,” declares the Lord God of hosts, “And they will afflict you from the entrance of Hamath To the brook of the Arabah.”

 

Amos 7

Warning Through Visions

7 Thus the Lord God showed me, and behold, He was forming a locust-swarm when the spring crop began to sprout. And behold, the spring crop was after the king’s mowing. And it came about, when it had finished eating the vegetation of the land, that I said,

“Lord God, please pardon! How can Jacob stand, For he is small?” The Lord changed His mind about this. “It shall not be,” said the Lord.

Thus the Lord God showed me, and behold, the Lord God was calling to contend with them by fire, and it consumed the great deep and began to consume the farm land. Then I said,

“Lord God, please stop! How can Jacob stand, for he is small?” The Lord changed His mind about this. “This too shall not be,” said the Lord God.

Thus He showed me, and behold, the Lord was standing by a vertical wall with a plumb line in His hand. The Lord said to me, “What do you see, Amos?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said,

“Behold I am about to put a plumb line In the midst of My people Israel. I will spare them no longer. “The high places of Isaac will be desolated And the sanctuaries of Israel laid waste. Then I will rise up against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”

Amos Accused, Answers

10 Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent word to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel; the land is unable to endure all his words.11 For thus Amos says, ‘Jeroboam will die by the sword and Israel will certainly go from its land into exile.’” 12 Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Go, you seer, flee away to the land of Judah and there eat bread and there do your prophesying! 13 But no longer prophesy at Bethel, for it is a sanctuary of the king and a royal residence.”

14 Then Amos replied to Amaziah, “I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs. 15 But the Lord took me from following the flock and theLord said to me, ‘Go prophesy to My people Israel.’ 16 Now hear the word of the Lord: you are saying, ‘You shall not prophesy against Israel nor shall you speak against the house of Isaac.’ 17 Therefore, thus says the Lord, ‘Your wife will become a harlot in the city, your sons and your daughters will fall by the sword, your land will be parceled up by a measuring line and you yourself will die upon unclean soil. Moreover, Israel will certainly go from its land into exile.’”

 

Amos 8

Basket of Fruit and Israel’s Captivity

8 Thus the Lord God showed me, and behold, there was a basket of summer fruit. He said, “What do you see, Amos?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the Lord said to me, “The end has come for My people Israel. I will spare them no longer. The songs of the palace will turn to wailing in that day,” declares the Lord God. “Many will be the corpses; in every place they will cast them forth in silence.”

Hear this, you who trample the needy, to do away with the humble of the land, saying,

“When will the new moon be over, So that we may sell grain, And the sabbath, that we may open the wheat market, To make the bushel smaller and the shekel bigger, And to cheat with dishonest scales, So as to buy the helpless for money And the needy for a pair of sandals, And that we may sell the refuse of the wheat?”

The Lord has sworn by the pride of Jacob, “Indeed, I will never forget any of their deeds. “Because of this will not the land quake And everyone who dwells in it mourn? Indeed, all of it will rise up like the Nile, And it will be tossed about And subside like the Nile of Egypt. “It will come about in that day,” declares the Lord God, “That I will make the sun go down at noon And make the earth dark in broad daylight. 10 “Then I will turn your festivals into mourning And all your songs into lamentation; And I will bring sackcloth on everyone’s loins And baldness on every head. And I will make it like a time of mourning for an only son, And the end of it will be like a bitter day.

11 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord God, “When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the Lord. 12 “People will stagger from sea to sea And from the north even to the east; They will go to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, But they will not find it. 13 “In that day the beautiful virgins And the young men will faint from thirst. 14 As for those who swear by the guilt of Samaria, Who say, ‘As your god lives, O Dan,’ And, ‘As the way of Beersheba lives,’ They will fall and not rise again.”

 

Amos 9

God’s Judgment Unavoidable

9 I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and He said,

“Smite the capitals so that the thresholds will shake, And break them on the heads of them all! Then I will slay the rest of them with the sword; They will not have a fugitive who will flee, Or a refugee who will escape. “Though they dig into Sheol, From there will My hand take them; And though they ascend to heaven, From there will I bring them down. “Though they hide on the summit of Carmel, I will search them out and take them from there; And though they conceal themselves from My sight on the floor of the sea, From there I will command the serpent and it will bite them. “And though they go into captivity before their enemies, From there I will command the sword that it slay them, And I will set My eyes against them for evil and not for good.”

The Lord God of hosts, The One who touches the land so that it melts, And all those who dwell in it mourn, And all of it rises up like the Nile And subsides like the Nile of Egypt; The One who builds His upper chambers in the heavens And has founded His vaulted dome over the earth, He who calls for the waters of the sea And pours them out on the face of the earth, The Lord is His name.

“Are you not as the sons of Ethiopia to Me, O sons of Israel?” declares the Lord. “Have I not brought up Israel from the land of Egypt, And the Philistines from Caphtor and the Arameans from Kir? “Behold, the eyes of the Lord God are on the sinful kingdom, And I will destroy it from the face of the earth; Nevertheless, I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob,” Declares the Lord. “For behold, I am commanding, And I will shake the house of Israel among all nations As grain is shaken in a sieve, But not a kernel will fall to the ground. 10 “All the sinners of My people will die by the sword, Those who say, ‘The calamity will not overtake or confront us.’

The Restoration of Israel

11 “In that day I will raise up the fallen booth of David, And wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins And rebuild it as in the days of old; 12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom And all the nations who are called by My name,” Declares the Lord who does this.

13 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “When the plowman will overtake the reaper And the treader of grapes him who sows seed; When the mountains will drip sweet wine And all the hills will be dissolved. 14 “Also I will restore the captivity of My people Israel, And they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them; They will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, And make gardens and eat their fruit. 15 “I will also plant them on their land, And they will not again be rooted out from their land Which I have given them,” Says the Lord your God.

 

2 Chronicles 27

Jotham Succeeds Uzziah in Judah

27 Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jerushah the daughter of Zadok. He did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father Uzziah had done; however he did not enter the temple of the Lord. But the people continued acting corruptly. He built the upper gate of the house of the Lord, and he built extensively the wall of Ophel. Moreover, he built cities in the hill country of Judah, and he built fortresses and towers on the wooded hillsHe fought also with the king of the Ammonites and prevailed over them so that the Ammonites gave him during that year one hundred talents of silver, ten thousand kors of wheat and ten thousand of barley. The Ammonites also paid him this amount in the second and in the third year. So Jotham became mighty because he ordered his ways before the Lord his God. Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, even all his wars and his acts, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David; and Ahaz his son became king in his place.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

September 4 – OT Reading

2 Chronicles 19-23, Obadiah

 

2 Chronicles 19

Jehu Rebukes Jehoshaphat

19 Then Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned in safety to his house in Jerusalem. Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord and so bring wrath on yourself from the Lord? But there is some good in you, for you have removed the Asheroth from the land and you have set your heart to seek God.”

So Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem and went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim and brought them back to the Lord, the God of their fathers.

Reforms Instituted

He appointed judges in the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city. He said to the judges, “Consider what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the Lord who is with you when you render judgment. Now then let the fear of the Lord be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the Lord our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe.”

In Jerusalem also Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites and priests, and some of the heads of the fathers’ households of Israel, for the judgment of the Lord and to judge disputes among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Then he charged them saying, “Thus you shall do in the fear of the Lord, faithfully and wholeheartedly. 10 Whenever any dispute comes to you from your brethren who live in their cities, between blood and blood, between law and commandment, statutes and ordinances, you shall warn them so that they may not be guilty before the Lord, and wrath may not come on you and your brethren. Thus you shall do and you will not be guilty. 11 Behold, Amariah the chief priest will be over you in all that pertains to the Lord, and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of Judah, in all that pertains to the king. Also the Levites shall be officers before you. Act resolutely, and the Lord be with the upright.”

 

2 Chronicles 20

Judah Invaded

20 Now it came about after this that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat. Then some came and reported to Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, out of Aram and behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar (that is Engedi).” Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. So Judah gathered together to seek help from the Lord; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the Lord.

Jehoshaphat’s Prayer

Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord before the new court, and he said, “O Lord, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You. Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary there for Your name, saying, ‘Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us.’ 10 Now behold, the sons of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom You did not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt (they turned aside from them and did not destroy them), 11 see how they are rewarding us by coming to drive us out from Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance. 12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”

13 All Judah was standing before the Lord, with their infants, their wives and their children.

Jahaziel Answers the Prayer

14 Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite of the sons of Asaph; 15 and he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.”

18 Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshiping the Lord. 19 The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel, with a very loud voice.

Enemies Destroy Themselves

20 They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the Lord your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.” 21 When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the Lord and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” 22 When they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. 23 For the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir destroying them completely; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.

24 When Judah came to the lookout of the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude, and behold, they were corpses lying on the ground, and no one had escaped. 25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoil, they found much among them, including goods, garments and valuable things which they took for themselves, more than they could carry. And they were three days taking the spoil because there was so much.

Triumphant Return to Jerusalem

26 Then on the fourth day they assembled in the valley of Beracah, for there they blessed the Lord. Therefore they have named that place “The Valley of Beracah” until today. 27 Every man of Judah and Jerusalem returned with Jehoshaphat at their head, returning to Jerusalem with joy, for the Lord had made them to rejoice over their enemies. 28 They came to Jerusalem with harps, lyres and trumpets to the house of the Lord. 29 And the dread of God was on all the kingdoms of the lands when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 So the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God gave him rest on all sides.

31 Now Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. And his mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.32 He walked in the way of his father Asa and did not depart from it, doing right in the sight of the Lord.33 The high places, however, were not removed; the people had not yet directed their hearts to the God of their fathers.

34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first to last, behold, they are written in the annals of Jehu the son of Hanani, which is recorded in the Book of the Kings of Israel.

Alliance Displeases God

35 After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel. He acted wickedly in so doing. 36 So he allied himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion-geber. 37 Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat saying, “Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the Lord has destroyed your works.” So the ships were broken and could not go to Tarshish.

 

2 Chronicles 21

Jehoram Succeeds Jehoshaphat in Judah

21 Then Jehoshaphat slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David, and Jehoram his son became king in his place. He had brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat: Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azaryahu, Michael and Shephatiah. All these were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel. Their father gave them many gifts of silver, gold and precious things, with fortified cities in Judah, but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram because he was the firstborn.

Now when Jehoram had taken over the kingdom of his father and made himself secure, he killed all his brothers with the sword, and some of the rulers of Israel also. Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, just as the house of Ahab did (for Ahab’s daughter was his wife), and he did evil in the sight of the Lord. Yet the Lord was not willing to destroy the house of David because of the covenant which He had made with David, and since He had promised to give a lamp to him and his sons forever.

Revolt against Judah

In his days Edom revolted against the rule of Judah and set up a king over themselves. Then Jehoram crossed over with his commanders and all his chariots with him. And he arose by night and struck down the Edomites who were surrounding him and the commanders of the chariots. 10 So Edom revolted against Judah to this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time against his rule, because he had forsaken the Lord God of his fathers. 11 Moreover, he made high places in the mountains of Judah, and caused the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the harlot and led Judah astray.

12 Then a letter came to him from Elijah the prophet saying, “Thus says the Lord God of your father David, ‘Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father and the ways of Asa king of Judah, 13 but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have caused Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to play the harlot as the house of Ahab played the harlot, and you have also killed your brothers, your own family, who were better than you, 14 behold, the Lord is going to strike your people, your sons, your wives and all your possessions with a great calamity; 15 and you will suffer severe sickness, a disease of your bowels, until your bowels come out because of the sickness, day by day.’”

16 Then the Lord stirred up against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines and the Arabs who bordered the Ethiopians; 17 and they came against Judah and invaded it, and carried away all the possessions found in the king’s house together with his sons and his wives, so that no son was left to him except Jehoahaz, the youngest of his sons.

18 So after all this the Lord smote him in his bowels with an incurable sickness. 19 Now it came about in the course of time, at the end of two years, that his bowels came out because of his sickness and he died in great pain. And his people made no fire for him like the fire for his fathers. 20 He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years; and he departed with no one’s regret, and they buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.

 

2 Chronicles 22

Ahaziah Succeeds Jehoram in Judah

22 Then the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, his youngest son, king in his place, for the band of men who came with the Arabs to the camp had slain all the older sons. So Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah began to reign. Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Athaliah, the granddaughter of Omri. He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother was his counselor to do wickedly. He did evil in the sight of the Lord like the house of Ahab, for they were his counselors after the death of his father, to his destruction.

Ahaziah Allies with Jehoram of Israel

He also walked according to their counsel, and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab king of Israel to wage war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth-gilead. But the Arameans wounded Joram. So he returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which they had inflicted on him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Aram. And Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram king of Judah, went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.

Now the destruction of Ahaziah was from God, in that he went to Joram. For when he came, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab.

Jehu Murders Princes of Judah

It came about when Jehu was executing judgment on the house of Ahab, he found the princes of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah’s brothers ministering to Ahaziah, and slew them. He also sought Ahaziah, and they caught him while he was hiding in Samaria; they brought him to Jehu, put him to death and buried him. For they said, “He is the son of Jehoshaphat, who sought the Lord with all his heart.” So there was no one of the house of Ahaziah to retain the power of the kingdom.

10 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she rose and destroyed all the royal offspring of the house of Judah. 11 But Jehoshabeath the king’s daughter took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and placed him and his nurse in the bedroom. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest (for she was the sister of Ahaziah), hid him from Athaliah so that she would not put him to death. 12 He was hidden with them in the house of God six years while Athaliah reigned over the land.

 

2 Chronicles 23

Jehoiada Sets Joash on the Throne of Judah

23 Now in the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself, and took captains of hundreds: Azariah the son of Jeroham, Ishmael the son of Johanan, Azariah the son of Obed, Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zichri, and they entered into a covenant with him. They went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah, and the heads of the fathers’ households of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. Then all the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And Jehoiada said to them, “Behold, the king’s son shall reign, as the Lord has spoken concerning the sons of David. This is the thing which you shall do: one third of you, of the priests and Levites who come in on the sabbath, shall be gatekeepers, and one third shall be at the king’s house, and a third at the Gate of the Foundation; and all the people shall be in the courts of the house of the Lord. But let no one enter the house of the Lord except the priests and the ministering Levites; they may enter, for they are holy. And let all the people keep the charge of the Lord. The Levites will surround the king, each man with his weapons in his hand; and whoever enters the house, let him be killed. Thus be with the king when he comes in and when he goes out.”

So the Levites and all Judah did according to all that Jehoiada the priest commanded. And each one of them took his men who were to come in on the sabbath, with those who were to go out on the sabbath, for Jehoiada the priest did not dismiss any of the divisions. Then Jehoiada the priest gave to the captains of hundreds the spears and the large and small shields which had been King David’s, which were in the house of God. 10 He stationed all the people, each man with his weapon in his hand, from the right side of the house to the left side of the house, by the altar and by the house, around the king. 11 Then they brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him, and gave him the testimony and made him king. And Jehoiada and his sons anointed him and said, “Long live the king!”

Athaliah Murdered

12 When Athaliah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she came into the house of the Lord to the people. 13 She looked, and behold, the king was standing by his pillar at the entrance, and the captains and the trumpeters were beside the king. And all the people of the land rejoiced and blew trumpets, the singers with their musical instruments leading the praise. Then Athaliah tore her clothes and said, “Treason! Treason!” 14 Jehoiada the priest brought out the captains of hundreds who were appointed over the army and said to them, “Bring her out between the ranks; and whoever follows her, put to death with the sword.” For the priest said, “Let her not be put to death in the house of the Lord.” 15 So they seized her, and when she arrived at the entrance of the Horse Gate of the king’s house, they put her to death there.

Reforms Carried Out

16 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between himself and all the people and the king, that they would be the Lord’s people. 17 And all the people went to the house of Baal and tore it down, and they broke in pieces his altars and his images, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. 18 Moreover, Jehoiada placed the offices of the house of the Lord under the authority of the Levitical priests, whom David had assigned over the house of the Lord, to offer the burnt offerings of the Lord, as it is written in the law of Moses—with rejoicing and singing according to the order of David. 19 He stationed the gatekeepers of the house of the Lord, so that no one would enter who was in any way unclean. 20 He took the captains of hundreds, the nobles, the rulers of the people and all the people of the land, and brought the king down from the house of the Lord, and came through the upper gate to the king’s house. And they placed the king upon the royal throne. 21 So all of the people of the land rejoiced and the city was quiet. For they had put Athaliah to death with the sword.

 

Obadiah 1

Edom Will Be Humbled

The vision of Obadiah.

Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom—

We have heard a report from the Lord, And an envoy has been sent among the nations saying, “Arise and let us go against her for battle”— “Behold, I will make you small among the nations; You are greatly despised. “The arrogance of your heart has deceived you, You who live in the clefts of the rock, In the loftiness of your dwelling place, Who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to earth?’ “Though you build high like the eagle, Though you set your nest among the stars, From there I will bring you down,” declares the Lord. “If thieves came to you, If robbers by night— O how you will be ruined!— Would they not steal only until they had enough? If grape gatherers came to you, Would they not leave some gleanings? “O how Esau will be ransacked, And his hidden treasures searched out! “All the men allied with you Will send you forth to the border, And the men at peace with you Will deceive you and overpower you. They who eat your bread Will set an ambush for you. (There is no understanding in him.) “Will I not on that day,” declares the Lord, “Destroy wise men from Edom And understanding from the mountain of Esau? “Then your mighty men will be dismayed, O Teman, So that everyone may be cut off from the mountain of Esau by slaughter.

10 “Because of violence to your brother Jacob, You will be covered with shame, And you will be cut off forever. 11 “On the day that you stood aloof, On the day that strangers carried off his wealth, And foreigners entered his gate And cast lots for Jerusalem— You too were as one of them. 12 “Do not gloat over your brother’s day, The day of his misfortune. And do not rejoice over the sons of Judah In the day of their destruction; Yes, do not boast In the day of their distress. 13 “Do not enter the gate of My people In the day of their disaster. Yes, you, do not gloat over their calamity In the day of their disaster. And do not loot their wealth In the day of their disaster. 14 “Do not stand at the fork of the road To cut down their fugitives; And do not imprison their survivors In the day of their distress.

The Day of the Lord and the Future

15 “For the day of the Lord draws near on all the nations. As you have done, it will be done to you. Your dealings will return on your own head. 16 “Because just as you drank on My holy mountain, All the nations will drink continually. They will drink and swallow And become as if they had never existed. 17 “But on Mount Zion there will be those who escape, And it will be holy. And the house of Jacob will possess their possessions. 18 “Then the house of Jacob will be a fire And the house of Joseph a flame; But the house of Esau will be as stubble. And they will set them on fire and consume them, So that there will be no survivor of the house of Esau,” For the Lord has spoken. 19 Then those of the Negev will possess the mountain of Esau, And those of the Shephelah the Philistine plain; Also, possess the territory of Ephraim and the territory of Samaria, And Benjamin will possess Gilead. 20 And the exiles of this host of the sons of Israel, Who are among the Canaanites as far as Zarephath, And the exiles of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad Will possess the cities of the Negev. 21 The deliverers will ascend Mount Zion To judge the mountain of Esau, And the kingdom will be the Lord’s.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

August 29 – OT Reading

1 Kings 15:25 – 16:34

2 Chronicles 17

 

1 Kings 15:25-31

Nadab, then Baasha, Rules over Israel

25 Now Nadab the son of Jeroboam became king over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel two years. 26 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of his father and in his sin which he made Israel sin. 27 Then Baasha the son of Ahijah of the house of Issachar conspired against him, and Baasha struck him down at Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines, while Nadab and all Israel were laying siege to Gibbethon.

28 So Baasha killed him in the third year of Asa king of Judah and reigned in his place. 29 It came about as soon as he was king, he struck down all the household of Jeroboam. He did not leave to Jeroboam any persons alive, until he had destroyed them, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke by His servant Ahijah the Shilonite, 30 and because of the sins of Jeroboam which he sinned, and which he made Israel sin, because of his provocation with which he provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger.

31 Now the rest of the acts of Nadab and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?

War with Judah

32 There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.

33 In the third year of Asa king of Judah, Baasha the son of Ahijah became king over all Israel at Tirzah, and reigned twenty-four years. 34 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, and walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin which he made Israel sin.

 

1 Kings 16:1-34

Prophecy against Baasha

16 Now the word of the Lord came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, “Inasmuch as I exalted you from the dust and made you leader over My people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam and have made My people Israel sin, provoking Me to anger with their sins, behold,I will consume Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Anyone of Baasha who dies in the city the dogs will eat, and anyone of his who dies in the field the birds of the heavens will eat.”

Now the rest of the acts of Baasha and what he did and his might, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?

The Israelite Kings

And Baasha slept with his fathers and was buried in Tirzah, and Elah his son became king in his place. Moreover, the word of the Lord through the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani also came against Baasha and his household, both because of all the evil which he did in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam, and because he struck it.

In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah, Elah the son of Baasha became king over Israel at Tirzah, and reigned two years. His servant Zimri, commander of half his chariots, conspired against him. Now he was at Tirzah drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza, who was over the household at Tirzah. 10 Then Zimri went in and struck him and put him to death in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and became king in his place. 11 It came about when he became king, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he killed all the household of Baasha; he did not leave a single male, neither of his relatives nor of his friends.

12 Thus Zimri destroyed all the household of Baasha, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke against Baasha through Jehu the prophet, 13 for all the sins of Baasha and the sins of Elah his son, which they sinned and which they made Israel sin, provoking the Lord God of Israel to anger with their idols. 14 Now the rest of the acts of Elah and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?

15 In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, Zimri reigned seven days at Tirzah. Now the people were camped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines. 16 The people who were camped heard it said, “Zimri has conspired and has also struck down the king.” Therefore all Israel made Omri, the commander of the army, king over Israel that day in the camp. 17 Then Omri and all Israel with him went up from Gibbethon and besieged Tirzah. 18 When Zimri saw that the city was taken, he went into the citadel of the king’s house and burned the king’s house over him with fire, and died, 19 because of his sins which he sinned, doing evil in the sight of the Lord, walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he did, making Israel sin. 20 Now the rest of the acts of Zimri and his conspiracy which he carried out, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?

21 Then the people of Israel were divided into two parts: half of the people followed Tibni the son of Ginath, to make him king; the other half followed Omri. 22 But the people who followed Omri prevailed over the people who followed Tibni the son of Ginath. And Tibni died and Omri became king. 23 In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah, Omri became king over Israel and reigned twelve years; he reigned six years at Tirzah. 24 He bought the hill Samaria from Shemer for two talents of silver; and he built on the hill, and named the city which he built Samaria, after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill.

25 Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord, and acted more wickedly than all who were before him. 26 For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat and in his sins which he made Israel sin, provoking the Lord God of Israel with their idols. 27 Now the rest of the acts of Omri which he did and his might which he showed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?28 So Omri slept with his fathers and was buried in Samaria; and Ahab his son became king in his place.

29 Now Ahab the son of Omri became king over Israel in the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. 30 Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all who were before him.

31 It came about, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he married Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went to serve Baal and worshiped him. 32 So he erected an altar for Baal in the house of Baal which he built in Samaria.33 Ahab also made the Asherah. Thus Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel than all the kings of Israel who were before him. 34 In his days Hiel the Bethelite built Jericho; he laid its foundations with the loss of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates with the loss of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.

 

2 Chronicles 17

Jehoshaphat Succeeds Asa

17 Jehoshaphat his son then became king in his place, and made his position over Israel firm. He placed troops in all the fortified cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim which Asa his father had captured.

His Good Reign

The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the example of his father David’s earlier days and did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father, followed His commandments, and did not act as Israel did. So the Lord established the kingdom in his control, and all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor. He took great pride in the ways of theLord and again removed the high places and the Asherim from Judah.

Then in the third year of his reign he sent his officials, Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah; and with them the Levites, Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah and Tobadonijah, the Levites; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, the priests. They taught in Judah, having the book of the law of the Lord with them; and they went throughout all the cities of Judah and taught among the people.

10 Now the dread of the Lord was on all the kingdoms of the lands which were around Judah, so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat. 11 Some of the Philistines brought gifts and silver as tribute to Jehoshaphat; the Arabians also brought him flocks, 7,700 rams and 7,700 male goats. 12 So Jehoshaphat grew greater and greater, and he built fortresses and store cities in Judah. 13 He had large supplies in the cities of Judah, and warriors, valiant men, in Jerusalem. 14 This was their muster according to their fathers’ households: of Judah, commanders of thousands, Adnah was the commander, and with him 300,000 valiant warriors; 15 and next to him was Johanan the commander, and with him 280,000; 16 and next to him Amasiah the son of Zichri, who volunteered for the Lord, and with him 200,000 valiant warriors; 17 and of Benjamin, Eliada a valiant warrior, and with him 200,000 armed with bow and shield; 18 and next to him Jehozabad, and with him 180,000 equipped for war.19 These are they who served the king, apart from those whom the king put in the fortified cities through all Judah.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

August 28 – OT Reading

1 Kings 15:1-24

2 Chronicles 13-16

 

1 Kings 15

Abijam Reigns over Judah

15 Now in the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, Abijam became king over Judah.He reigned three years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. He walked in all the sins of his father which he had committed before him; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the Lord his God, like the heart of his father David. But for David’s sake the Lord his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, to raise up his son after him and to establish Jerusalem; because David did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life.

Now the rest of the acts of Abijam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam.

Asa Succeeds Abijam

And Abijam slept with his fathers and they buried him in the city of David; and Asa his son became king in his place.

So in the twentieth year of Jeroboam the king of Israel, Asa began to reign as king of Judah. 10 He reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom.11 Asa did what was right in the sight of the Lord, like David his father. 12 He also put away the male cult prostitutes from the land and removed all the idols which his fathers had made. 13 He also removed Maacah his mother from being queen mother, because she had made a horrid image as an Asherah; and Asa cut down her horrid image and burned it at the brook Kidron. 14 But the high places were not taken away; nevertheless the heart of Asa was wholly devoted to the Lord all his days. 15 He brought into the house of the Lord the dedicated things of his father and his own dedicated things: silver and gold and utensils.

16 Now there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days. 17 Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to Asa king of Judah. 18 Then Asa took all the silver and the gold which were left in the treasuries of the house of the Lord and the treasuries of the king’s house, and delivered them into the hand of his servants. And King Asa sent them to Ben-hadad the son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, king of Aram, who lived in Damascus, saying, 19 Let there be a treaty between you and me, as between my father and your father. Behold, I have sent you a present of silver and gold; go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so that he will withdraw from me.” 20 So Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-beth-maacah and all Chinneroth, besides all the land of Naphtali. 21 When Baasha heard of it, he ceased fortifying Ramah and remained in Tirzah. 22 Then King Asa made a proclamation to all Judah—none was exempt—and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber with which Baasha had built. And King Asa built with them Geba of Benjamin and Mizpah.

Jehoshaphat Succeeds Asa

23 Now the rest of all the acts of Asa and all his might and all that he did and the cities which he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? But in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet. 24 And Asa slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father; and Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place.

 

 2 Chronicles 13

Abijah Succeeds Rehoboam

13 In the eighteenth year of King Jeroboam, Abijah became king over Judah. He reigned three years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.

Now there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. Abijah began the battle with an army of valiant warriors, 400,000 chosen men, while Jeroboam drew up in battle formation against him with 800,000 chosen men who were valiant warriors.

Civil War

Then Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, “Listen to me, Jeroboam and all Israel: Do you not know that the Lord God of Israel gave the rule over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt? Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up and rebelled against his master, and worthless men gathered about him, scoundrels, who proved too strong for Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, when he was young and timid and could not hold his own against them.

“So now you intend to resist the kingdom of the Lord through the sons of David, being a great multitude and having with you the golden calves which Jeroboam made for gods for you. Have you not driven out the priests of the Lord, the sons of Aaron and the Levites, and made for yourselves priests like the peoples of other lands? Whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams, even he may become a priest of what are no gods. 10 But as for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken Him; and the sons of Aaron are ministering to the Lord as priests, and the Levites attend to their work. 11 Every morning and evening they burn to the Lord burnt offerings and fragrant incense, and the showbread is set on the clean table, and the golden lampstand with its lamps is ready to light every evening; for we keep the charge of the Lord our God, but you have forsaken Him. 12 Now behold, God is with us at our head and His priests with the signal trumpets to sound the alarm against you. O sons of Israel, do not fight against the Lord God of your fathers, for you will not succeed.”

13 But Jeroboam had set an ambush to come from the rear, so that Israel was in front of Judah and the ambush was behind them. 14 When Judah turned around, behold, they were attacked both front and rear; so they cried to the Lord, and the priests blew the trumpets. 15 Then the men of Judah raised a war cry, and when the men of Judah raised the war cry, then it was that God routed Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 16 When the sons of Israel fled before Judah, God gave them into their hand. 17 Abijah and his people defeated them with a great slaughter, so that 500,000 chosen men of Israel fell slain. 18 Thus the sons of Israel were subdued at that time, and the sons of Judah conquered  because they trusted in the Lord, the God of their fathers. 19 Abijah pursued Jeroboam and captured from him several cities, Bethel with its villages, Jeshanah with its villages and Ephron with its villages.

Death of Jeroboam

20 Jeroboam did not again recover strength in the days of Abijah; and the Lord struck him and he died.

21 But Abijah became powerful; and took fourteen wives to himself, and became the father of twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. 22 Now the rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways and his words are written in the treatise of the prophet Iddo.

 

2 Chronicles 14

Asa Succeeds Abijah in Judah

14 So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David, and his son Asa became king in his place. The land was undisturbed for ten years during his days.

Asa did good and right in the sight of the Lord his God, for he removed the foreign altars and high places, tore down the sacred pillars, cut down the Asherim, and commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers and to observe the law and the commandment. He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah. And the kingdom was undisturbed under him. He built fortified cities in Judah, since the land was undisturbed, and there was no one at war with him during those years, because the Lord had given him rest. For he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours because we have sought the Lord our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered. Now Asa had an army of 300,000 from Judah, bearing large shields and spears, and 280,000 from Benjamin, bearing shields and wielding bows; all of them were valiant warriors.

Now Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots, and he came to Mareshah. 10 So Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up in battle formation in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11 Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; let not man prevail against You.” 12 So the Lord routed the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. 13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as Gerar; and so many Ethiopians fell that they could not recover, for they were shattered before the Lord and before His army. And they carried away very much plunder. 14 They destroyed all the cities around Gerar, for the dread of the Lord had fallen on them; and they despoiled all the cities, for there was much plunder in them. 15 They also struck down those who owned livestock, and they carried away large numbers of sheep and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.

 

2 Chronicles 15

The Prophet Azariah Warns Asa

15 Now the Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Oded, and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the Lord is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. For many days Israel was without the true God and without a teaching priest and without law. But in their distress they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and they sought Him, and He let them find Him. In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for many disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. Nation was crushed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every kind of distress. But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.”

Asa’s Reforms

Now when Asa heard these words and the prophecy which Azariah the son of Oded the prophet spoke, he took courage and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. He then restored the altar of the Lord which was in front of the porch of the Lord. He gathered all Judah and Benjamin and those from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon who resided with them, for many defected to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. 10 So they assembled at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign. 11 They sacrificed to the Lord that day 700 oxen and 7,000 sheep from the spoil they had brought. 12 They entered into the covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and soul; 13 and whoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman. 14 Moreover, they made an oath to the Lord with a loud voice, with shouting, with trumpets and with horns. 15 All Judah rejoiced concerning the oath, for they had sworn with their whole heart and had sought Him earnestly, and He let them find Him. So the Lord gave them rest on every side.

16 He also removed Maacah, the mother of King Asa, from the position of queen mother, because she had made a horrid image as an Asherah, and Asa cut down her horrid image, crushed it and burned it at the brook Kidron. 17 But the high places were not removed from Israel; nevertheless Asa’s heart was blameless all his days. 18 He brought into the house of God the dedicated things of his father and his own dedicated things: silver and gold and utensils. 19 And there was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign.

 

2 Chronicles 16

Asa Wars against Baasha

16 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent anyone from going out or coming in to Asa king of Judah. Then Asa brought out silver and gold from the treasuries of the house of the Lord and the king’s house, and sent them to Ben-hadad king of Aram, who lived in Damascus, saying, Let there be a treaty between you and me, as between my father and your father. Behold, I have sent you silver and gold; go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so that he will withdraw from me.” So Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and they conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-maim and all the store cities of Naphtali. When Baasha heard of it, he ceased fortifying Ramah and stopped his work. Then King Asa brought all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber with which Baasha had been building, and with them he fortified Geba and Mizpah.

Asa Imprisons the Prophet

At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, “Because you have relied on the king of Aram and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Aram has escaped out of your hand. Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubim an immense army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand.For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.” 10 Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in prison, for he was enraged at him for this. And Asa oppressed some of the people at the same time.

11 Now, the acts of Asa from first to last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa became diseased in his feet. His disease was severe, yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but the physicians. 13 So Asa slept with his fathers,having died in the forty-first year of his reign. 14 They buried him in his own tomb which he had cut out for himself in the city of David, and they laid him in the resting place which he had filled with spices of various kinds blended by the perfumers’ art; and they made a very great fire for him.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)