May 23
     2 Chronicles 26:1 — 29:19

26 Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, he being sixteen years old, and they made him king in place of his father Amaziah. 2 He it was that rebuilt Eloth and then restored it to Judah after the king had lain down with his forefathers. 3 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and for fifty-two years he reigned in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. 4 And he kept doing what was right in Jehovah’s eyes, according to all that Amaziah his father had done. 5 And he continually tended to search for God in the days of Zechariah, the instructor in the fear of the [true] God; and, in the days of his searching for Jehovah, the [true] God made him prosperous.

6 And he proceeded to go out and fight against the Philistines and break through the wall of Gath and the wall of Jabneh and the wall of Ashdod, after which he built cities in Ashdod [territory] and among the Philistines. 7 And the [true] God continued to help him against the Philistines and against the Arabians that were dwelling in Gurbaal and the Meunim. 8 And the Ammonites began to give tribute to Uzziah. Eventually his fame went even as far as Egypt, for he displayed strength to an extraordinary degree. 9 Moreover, Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem by the Corner Gate and by the Valley Gate and by the Buttress, and made them strong. 10 Further, he built towers in the wilderness, and hewed out many cisterns (for there was a great deal of livestock that became his), and also in the Shephelah and on the tableland. There were farmers and vinedressers in the mountains and in Carmel, for a lover of agriculture he proved to be.

11 Moreover, Uzziah came to have a force engaging in war, those going out on military service in troops, by the number of their registration by the hand of Jeiel the secretary and Maaseiah the officer under the control of Hananiah of the king’s princes. 12 The entire number of the heads of the paternal houses, of the valiant, mighty men, was two thousand six hundred. 13 And under their control the army forces were three hundred and seven thousand five hundred men engaging in war with the power of a military force to help the king against the enemy. 14 And Uzziah continued to prepare for them, for the entire army, shields and lances and helmets and coats of mail and bows and slingstones. 15 Further, he made in Jerusalem engines of war, the invention of engineers, that they might come to be upon the towers and upon the corners, to shoot arrows and great stones. Consequently his fame went out to a great distance, for he was helped wonderfully until he was strong.

16 However, as soon as he was strong, his heart became haughty even to the point of causing ruin, so that he acted unfaithfully against Jehovah his God and came into the temple of Jehovah to burn incense upon the altar of incense. 17 Immediately Azariah the priest and with him priests of Jehovah, eighty valiant men, came in after him. 18 Then they stood up against Uzziah the king and said to him: “It is not your business, O Uzziah, to burn incense to Jehovah, but it is the business of the priests the sons of Aaron, the ones sanctified, to burn incense. Go out from the sanctuary; for you have acted unfaithfully, and it is not for any glory to you on the part of Jehovah God.”

19 But Uzziah became enraged while in his hand there was a censer for burning incense, and, during his rage against the priests, leprosy itself flashed up in his forehead before the priests in the house of Jehovah beside the altar of incense. 20 When Azariah the chief priest and all the priests turned toward him, why, there he was stricken with leprosy in his forehead! So they excitedly began to remove him from there, and he himself also hastened to go out, because Jehovah had smitten him.

21 And Uzziah the king continued to be a leper until the day of his death, and he kept dwelling in a house exempt from duties, as a leper; for he had been severed from the house of Jehovah, while Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.

22 And the rest of the affairs of Uzziah, the first and the last, Isaiah the son of Amoz the prophet has written. 23 Finally Uzziah lay down with his forefathers; and so they buried him with his forefathers, [but] in the burial field that belonged to the kings, for they said: “He is a leper.” And Jotham his son began to reign in place of him.

27 Twenty-five years old was Jotham when he began to reign, and for sixteen years he reigned in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jerushah the daughter of Zadok. 2 And he kept doing what was right in Jehovah’s eyes, according to all that Uzziah his father had done. Only he did not invade the temple of Jehovah. However, the people were yet acting ruinously. 3 He himself built the upper gate of Jehovah’s house, and on the wall of Ophel he did a great deal of building. 4 And cities he built in the mountainous region of Judah, and in the woodlands he built fortified places and towers. 5 And he himself warred against the king of the sons of Ammon and eventually proved stronger than they were, so that the sons of Ammon gave him in that year a hundred silver talents and ten thousand cor measures of wheat and ten thousand of barley. This was what the sons of Ammon paid to him, also in the second year and the third. 6 So Jotham kept strengthening himself, for he prepared his ways before Jehovah his God.

7 As for the rest of the affairs of Jotham and all his wars and his ways, there they are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and of Judah. 8 Twenty-five years old he happened to be when he began to reign, and for sixteen years he reigned in Jerusalem. 9 Finally Jotham lay down with his forefathers, and they buried him in the City of David. And Ahaz his son began to reign in place of him.

28 Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and for sixteen years he reigned in Jerusalem, and he did not do what was right in Jehovah’s eyes like David his forefather. 2 But he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and even molten statues he made of the Baals. 3 And he himself made sacrificial smoke in the valley of the son of Hinnom and proceeded to burn up his sons in the fire, according to the detestable things of the nations that Jehovah had driven out from before the sons of Israel. 4 And he regularly sacrificed and made sacrificial smoke on the high places and upon the hills and under every sort of luxuriant tree.

5 Consequently Jehovah his God gave him into the hand of the king of Syria, so that they struck him and carried off from him a great number of captives and brought them to Damascus. And also into the hand of the king of Israel he was given, so that he struck him with a great slaughter. 6 Accordingly Pekah the son of Remaliah killed in Judah a hundred and twenty thousand in one day, all valiant men, because of their leaving Jehovah the God of their forefathers. 7 Further, Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the son of the king and Azrikam the leader of the household and Elkanah the one next to the king. 8 Moreover, the sons of Israel took two hundred thousand of their brothers captive, women, sons and daughters; and also a great deal of spoil they took from them as plunder, after which they brought the spoil to Samaria.

9 And there happened to be a prophet of Jehovah there whose name was Oded. So he went out before the army that was coming to Samaria and said to them: “Look! It was because of the rage of Jehovah the God of YOUR forefathers against Judah that he gave them into YOUR hand, so that YOU did a killing among them with a raging that has reached clear to the heavens. 10 And now the sons of Judah and of Jerusalem YOU are thinking of reducing to menservants and maidservants for yourselves. Nevertheless, are there not with YOU yourselves cases of guilt against Jehovah YOUR God? 11 And now listen to me and return the captives that you have captured from YOUR brothers, for Jehovah’s burning anger is against YOU.”

12 At that [certain] men of the heads of the sons of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Jehohanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum and Amasa the son of Hadlai, rose up against those coming in from the military campaign, 13 and they said to them: “YOU must not bring in the captives here, for it will result in guilt against Jehovah on our part. YOU are thinking of adding to our sins and to our guilt, for abundant is the guilt we have, and there is burning anger against Israel.” 14 Accordingly the armed men left the captives and the plunder before the princes and all the congregation. 15 Then the men that were designated by their names rose up and took hold of the captives, and all their naked ones they clothed from the spoil. So they clothed them and furnished them with sandals and fed them and gave them drink and greased them. Furthermore, in the case of anyone tottering, they gave them transportation on the asses and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, beside their brothers. After that they returned to Samaria.

16 At that time King Ahaz sent to the kings of Assyria for them to help him. 17 And once again the Edomites themselves came in and went striking down Judah and carrying off captives. 18 As for the Philistines, they made a raid upon the cities of the Shephelah and the Negeb of Judah and got to capture Beth-shemesh and Aijalon and Gederoth and Soco and its dependent towns and Timnah and its dependent towns and Gimzo and its dependent towns; and they took up dwelling there. 19 For Jehovah humbled Judah on account of Ahaz the king of Israel, because he let unrestraint grow in Judah, and there was an acting with great unfaithfulness toward Jehovah.

20 Eventually Tilgath-pilneser the king of Assyria came against him and caused him distress, and did not strengthen him. 21 For Ahaz stripped the house of Jehovah and the house of the king and of the princes and thus made a gift to the king of Assyria; but it was of no assistance to him. 22 However, at the time that he was causing him distress, he acted unfaithfully still more toward Jehovah, that is, King Ahaz did. 23 And he began to sacrifice to the gods of Damascus that were striking him, and he went on to say: “Because the gods of the kings of Syria are helping them, to them I shall sacrifice, that they may help me.” And they themselves became to him a cause for making him and all Israel stumble. 24 Furthermore, Ahaz gathered together the utensils of the house of the [true] God and cut to pieces the utensils of the house of the [true] God, and closed the doors of the house of Jehovah, and made altars for himself at every corner in Jerusalem. 25 And in all cities, even the cities of Judah, he made high places for making sacrificial smoke to other gods, so that he offended Jehovah the God of his forefathers.

26 As for the rest of his affairs and all his ways, the first and the last, there they are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and of Israel. 27 Finally Ahaz lay down with his forefathers, and they buried him in the city, in Jerusalem, for they did not bring him into the burial places of the kings of Israel. And Hezekiah his son began to reign in place of him.

29 Hezekiah himself became king at the age of twenty-five years, and for twenty-nine years he reigned in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. 2 And he kept doing what was right in Jehovah’s eyes, according to all that David his forefather had done. 3 He himself, in the first year of his reigning, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of Jehovah and began to repair them. 4 Then he brought the priests and the Levites and gathered them to the open place to the east. 5 And he proceeded to say to them: “Listen to me, YOU Levites. Now sanctify yourselves and sanctify the house of Jehovah the God of YOUR forefathers, and bring the impure thing out from the holy place. 6 For our fathers have acted unfaithfully and have done what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah our God, so that they left him and turned around their face away from the tabernacle of Jehovah and offered the back of the neck. 7 They also closed the doors of the porch and kept the lamps extinguished, and incense they did not burn, and burnt sacrifice they did not offer up in the holy place to the God of Israel. 8 And Jehovah’s indignation came to be against Judah and Jerusalem, so that he constituted them an object at which to quake, an object of astonishment and a cause for whistling, just as YOU are seeing with YOUR own eyes. 9 And here our forefathers fell by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives were in captivity for this. 10 Now it is close to my heart to conclude a covenant with Jehovah the God of Israel, that his burning anger may turn back from us. 11 Now, my sons, do not give yourselves up to rest, for YOU are the ones whom Jehovah has chosen to stand before him to minister to him and to continue as his ministers and makers of sacrificial smoke.”

12 At that the Levites rose up, Mahath the son of Amasai and Joel the son of Azariah of 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 Jeuel; 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 Then they gathered their brothers together and sanctified themselves and came according to the king’s commandment in the words of Jehovah, to cleanse the house of Jehovah. 16 The priests now came inside the house of Jehovah to do the cleansing and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of Jehovah to the courtyard of the house of Jehovah. In turn the Levites received it to take it out to the torrent valley of Kidron outside. 17 Thus they got started on the first [day] of the first month at sanctifying, and on the eighth day of the month they came to the porch of Jehovah; so that they sanctified the house of Jehovah in eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the first month they finished.

18 After that they came inside to Hezekiah the king and said: “We have cleansed the whole house of Jehovah, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the table of the layer bread and all its utensils. 19 And all the utensils that King Ahaz removed from employment during his reign in his unfaithfulness we have prepared, and have sanctified them; and there they are before the altar of Jehovah.”