2 Chronicles 23–24

1 Then in the seventh year Jehoiada strengthened himself and made a covenant with the commanders over hundreds: Azariah the son of Jeroham, Ishmael the son of Jehohanan, Azariah the son of Obed, Maaseiah the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat the son of Zikri. 2 And they went throughout Judah and gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah and even the heads of the fathers’ houses in Israel. Then they all came to Jerusalem.

3 So the whole assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God, and Jehoiada said to them, “The king’s son will reign, as the Lord has said of the sons of David. 4 And this is the thing that you all will do: A third of you all from the priests and Levites who come on the Sabbath will be gatekeepers, 5 one-third will be at the palace of the king and another third at the Foundation Gate. And all the people will be in the courts of the house of the Lord. 6 And may no one enter the house of the Lord except the priests and those Levites who are serving. Those can enter because they are holy, but all the people will keep their assigned duty of the Lord. 7 Then the Levites will surround the king, each man with his weapon in his hand, and whoever enters the house will be put to death. They will be with the king when he enters and leaves.”

8 The Levites and all Judah did everything that Jehoiada the priest commanded. Each brought his men, who were to come on duty on the Sabbath, with those who were to go off duty on the Sabbath, because Jehoiada the priest did not dismiss the divisions. 9 Then Jehoiada the priest gave to the commanders of hundreds the spears and the large and small shields which had been King David’s, which were in the house of God. 10 Then he set all the people around the king, each man with his weapon in hand, from the south side to the north side of the temple, from the altar to the temple.

11 Then they brought out the son of the king and set on him the crown and the testimony and they proclaimed him as king. So Jehoiada and his sons anointed him and said, “Long live the king!”

12 And when Athaliah heard the sound of the people running and praising the king, she went toward the people in the temple of the Lord. 13 And she saw the king standing by the pillar at the entrance with the officials and trumpeters next to the king, and all of the people of the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets, and singers with their instruments with songs were offering up praise. Then Athaliah tore her garments and yelled, “Treachery! Treachery!”

14 Then Jehoiada the priest brought out the commanders over hundreds, those entrusted over the army, and said to them, “Bring her out between the ranks, and let whoever follows her be killed with the sword.” For the priest said, “Do not put her to death in the house of the Lord.” 15 So they seized her, and she went to the entrance of the Horse Gate of the king’s palace, and they put her to death there.

16 And Jehoiada made a covenant between himself, the people, and the king that they would be a people dedicated to the Lord. 17 Then all the people went to the temple of Baal, and they tore it down along with its altars, and they shattered its images. And Mattan the priest of Baal, they killed before the altars.

18 Then Jehoiada placed guards at the house of the Lord, under the supervision of the priests, the Levites whom David allotted for the house of the Lord to make burnt offerings to the Lord as is written in the Law of Moses, with rejoicing and music, according to the direction of David. 19 And he set the gatekeepers at the gates of the house of the Lord so that no one might enter who was in any manner unclean.

20 Then he took the commanders over hundreds, the nobles, those in authority over the people, and all the people of the land, and they brought down the king from the house of the Lord. And they went through the Upper Gate of the palace of the king, and they brought the king to sit on the royal throne. 21 And all the people of the land rejoiced. And the city had peace when they put Athaliah to death with the sword.

Chapter 24

1 Now Joash was seven years old when he started his reign, and he was king in Jerusalem for forty years. The name of his mother was Zibiah of Beersheba. 2 Joash did what was correct in the eyes of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada the priest. 3 And Jehoiada gave Joash two wives, and he had sons and daughters.

4 And it happened after this that it was in the heart of Joash to restore the house of the Lord. 5 So he assembled the priests and Levites to speak with them, “Go out to the cities of Judah and collect money from all Israel to fortify the house of your God, what is necessary each year. Now hurry with this matter.” But the Levites delayed.

6 So the king called Jehoiada, who was head over this, and said to him, “Why have you not required from the Levites that they bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax levied by Moses, the servant of the Lord, for the congregation of Israel for the tent of the testimony?”

7 For the sons of Athaliah, the wicked woman, had broken into the house of God and even used all the holy items of the house of the Lord for Baal worship.

8 Then the king spoke, and they made a chest, and put it outside the gate of the house of the Lord. 9 And they gave a report in Judah and Jerusalem to bring in to the Lord a tax levied by Moses the servant of God on Israel in the wilderness. 10 So all the officials and people rejoiced, and they brought in the money and cast it into the chest until it was full. 11 And it happened that at the time the Levites brought the chest to the guards of the king that there was a large amount of money. So the king’s scribe and head priest’s commissioner would bring it and empty the chest and then take it and return it to its place. They continued to do this every day and collected a great amount of money. 12 So the king and Jehoiada gave it to those doing a work of labor on the house of the Lord. And they hired masons and craftsmen to repair the house of the Lord, and even metal workers in iron and bronze to fortify the house of the Lord.

13 So the workmen worked, and the work was completed by them. They restored the house of God to its specifications and strengthened it. 14 When they had finished, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada, who made vessels for the house of the Lord, vessels for serving and for making burnt offerings, spoons and vessels of gold and silver. They continually offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lord all the days of Jehoiada.

15 Then Jehoiada became old and full of days and died. He was one hundred and thirty years old when he died. 16 So they buried him in the City of David with the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God and His house.

17 After the death of Jehoiada the officials of Judah came and paid homage to the king. At that time the king listened to them. 18 Then they abandoned the house of the Lord and God of their fathers, and they served the Asherah poles and idols. And divine wrath was on Judah and Jerusalem because of this guilt. 19 And God sent prophets to return them to the Lord. These warned the people, but they would not listen.

20 Then the Spirit of God clothed Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, and he stood above the people saying, “Thus says God: Why are you transgressing the commandments of the Lord so that you all will not be successful? Because you all have abandoned the Lord, He has abandoned you.”

21 But they plotted against him, and at the command of the king they all stoned him in the court of the house of the Lord. 22 And Joash the king did not remember the kindness that Jehoiada the father of Zechariah had shown him, but killed his son. As he was dying, he said, “May the Lord see and avenge!”

23 And it happened that at the turn of the year the army of Aram came up against Joash. They came to Judah and Jerusalem and destroyed all the officials of the people, and they sent all their plunder to the king of Damascus. 24 Though the Aramean army came with a few men, the Lord delivered into their hand a very great Judean army because they abandoned the Lord God of their fathers. So they enacted judgment on Joash. 25 When they left him (for they abandoned him with severe wounds) his own servants plotted against him because of the blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest. So they killed him on his bed. So he died, and they buried him in the City of David, but they did not bury him in the tombs of the kings.

26 And those who conspired against him were Zabad the son of Shimeath the Ammonite and Jehozabad the son of Shimrith the Moabite. 27 Accounts of his sons and of the many oracles against him and of the rebuilding of the house of God are written in the annals of the kings. And Amaziah his son ruled in his place.

John 15

1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that bears no fruit, He takes away. And every branch that bears fruit, He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean through the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, neither can you, unless you remain in Me.

5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who remains in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit. For without Me you can do nothing. 6 If a man does not remain in Me, he is thrown out as a branch and withers. And they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you remain in Me, and My words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

9 “As the Father loved Me, I also loved you. Remain in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, even as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. 11 I have spoken these things to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 I no longer call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I have heard from My Father have I made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that the Father may give you whatever you ask Him in My name. 17 This I command you: that you love one another.

18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, the world therefore hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My words, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have had sin. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not performed among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin. But now have they seen and hated both My Father and Me. 25 But that the word which is written in their law might be fulfilled, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’

26 “But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”