2 Chronicles 28–29

1 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he was king in Jerusalem for sixteen years. And he did not do what was correct in the eyes of the Lord as David his father. 2 And he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and he cast images for Baal worship. 3 And he made sacrifices in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, and he burned his sons in the fire according to the detestable acts of the nations that the Lord had displaced before the sons of Israel. 4 He even made sacrifices and offered incense on the high places of the hills and under every green tree.

5 So the Lord his God gave him into the hand of the king of Aram. They struck Ahaz and took captive many prisoners and brought them to Damascus.

He was even given into the hand of the king of Israel, and he attacked Ahaz with a great slaughter. 6 And Pekah the son of Remaliah killed one hundred and twenty thousand in Judah in one day, and they were all strong men, but they abandoned the Lord God of their fathers. 7 And Zikri, a mighty warrior from Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the son of the king, and Azrikam the official of the palace, and Elkanah second to the king. 8 And the sons of Israel took captive two hundred thousand of their kin, women, sons, and daughters. They also took much plunder and brought the plunder to Samaria.

9 And there was a prophet there whose name was Oded, and he went out to the army as it approached Samaria and said to them, “See that the anger of the Lord God of your fathers is against Judah, and He gave them into your hand, and you all have killed them in a rage that has reached even to heaven. 10 And now you are planning to subdue for yourselves the people of Judah and Jerusalem as male and female slaves. Do you all not surely have among you guilt before the Lord your God? 11 And now listen to me. Return the captives whom you have taken captive from your relatives because the burning wrath of the Lord is on you all.”

12 And some men who were heads of the people of Ephraim rose up before those coming from the war: Azariah the son of Jehohanan, Berekiah the son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai. 13 And they said, “You will not bring the captives here, for guilt from the Lord will be on us, and you plan to add to our sin and guilt. Our guilt is great, and there is already a burning anger against Israel.”

14 So the soldiers left the captives and spoil before the officials and all the assembly. 15 Then the men who were designated by name took the captives and clothed those who were naked from the plunder. So they clothed them, gave them sandals, offered them food and drink, anointed them with oil, and led them on donkeys, even all those who stumbled. They brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, which was near their kinsmen. Then the officials returned to Samaria.

16 At that time King Ahaz sent to the king of Assyria for help. 17 The Edomites continually came and struck Judah and carried off captives. 18 Even the Philistines made raids on the cities of the lowlands of the Shephelah and the Negev of Judah. And they captured Beth Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soko and its villages, Timnah and its villages, and Gimzo and its villages; and they settled there. 19 For the Lord humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Judah, for he allowed depravity to spread in Judah and continually transgressed against the Lord. 20 So Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria came against him, but he brought him distress and not strength. 21 For Ahaz took a portion from the house of the Lord and palace of the king and the officials, and he gave it to the king of Assyria, but the king did not help Ahaz.

22 And at the time that he was oppressed he increased in unfaithfulness against the Lord. 23 So he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus that had devastated him, for he said, “Because the gods of the kings of Aram have helped them, I will sacrifice to them so that they might help me.” But they were his downfall in Judah and the downfall for all of Israel.

24 And Ahaz gathered the vessels from the house of God, and he cut up the vessels. Then he shut the doors of the house of the Lord, and he made altars in every corner of Jerusalem. 25 Then in every city in Judah he made high places to make offerings to other gods. So he provoked the Lord God of his fathers.

26 Now the remainder of the acts and all his ways, from first to last, 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 of Jerusalem because they did not bring him to the tombs of the kings of Israel. Then Hezekiah his son was king in his place.

Chapter 29

1 Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he was king in Jerusalem for twenty-nine years. The name of his mother was Abijah the daughter of Zechariah. 2 And he did what was correct in the eyes of the Lord just as his father David had done.

3 And in the first year and first month of his reign he opened the doors of the house of the Lord and restored them. 4 He then brought in the priests and Levites and gathered them in the square on the eastern side 5 and said to them, “Listen to me, Levites. Consecrate yourselves and consecrate the house of the Lord God of your fathers. And bring out the detestable things from the holy sanctuary. 6 For our fathers have acted unfaithfully and have done what is evil in the eyes of the Lord our God, and they have abandoned Him. They have turned their face from the sanctuary of the Lord and have turned their back. 7 They also shut the doors of the vestibule and have extinguished the lamps, nor have they burned incense or burnt offerings in the Holy Place to the God of Israel. 8 Therefore the wrath of the Lord has come on Judah and Jerusalem for a terror, horror, and scorn as you all can see with your own eyes. 9 Observe, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and now our sons, daughters, and wives are in captivity for all this. 10 Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with the Lord God of Israel so that His burning anger might turn away from us. 11 My people, do not now be negligent for the Lord has chosen you all to stand in His presence, to serve Him, and to be ministers and make sacrifices for Him.”

12 Then the Levites arose:

from the Kohathites,

Mahath son of Amasai and Joel son of Azariah;

from the Merarites,

Kish son of Abdi and Azariah son of Jehallelel;

from the Gershonites,

Joah son of Zimmah and Eden son of Joah;

13 from the descendants of Elizaphan,

Shimri and Jeiel;

from the descendants of Asaph,

Zechariah and Mattaniah;

14 from the descendants of Heman,

Jehiel and Shimei;

from the descendants of Jeduthun,

Shemaiah and Uzziel.

15 So they gathered their brothers together and consecrated themselves and entered in as the king commanded by the words of the Lord in order to cleanse the house of the Lord. 16 Then the priests came into the inner part of the house of the Lord to cleanse it, and they removed everything that they found that was unclean in the main hall of the temple of the Lord to the court. And the Levites took those things and brought them out to the Kidron Valley. 17 They began to consecrate themselves on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they entered the vestibule of the Lord. They consecrated the house of the Lord for eight days. Then on the sixteenth day of the first month they completed the task.

18 Then they came toward Hezekiah the king and said, “We have cleaned the entire house of the Lord, the altar of burnt offerings and all its utensils, and the table for showbread and all its utensils. 19 All the vessels that King Ahaz discarded from use during his reign in his treachery we have prepared and consecrated. They are before the altar of the Lord.”

20 So King Hezekiah got up early and gathered the officials of the city and went up to the house of the Lord. 21 And he brought seven bulls, seven rams, seven lambs, and seven male goats for a sin offering for the kingdom, sanctuary, and Judah. Then he commanded the priests, the sons of Aaron, to offer them up on the altar of the Lord. 22 So they slaughtered the bulls, and the priests took their blood and sprinkled it on the altar and then slaughtered the rams and sprinkled their blood on the altar. They did the same for the lambs. 23 And they brought the male goats for a sin offering before the king and the assembly, and they placed their hands on the goats. 24 And the priests slaughtered them and purified the altar with their blood to provide atoning reconciliation for all Israel because the king said that the burnt offering and sin offering would be for all Israel.

25 And he set the Levites at the house of the Lord with cymbals, harps, and lyres according to the commandment of David, and Gad the seer of the king, and Nathan the prophet. For the commandment came from the Lord through His prophets. 26 So the Levites stood with the instruments of David and the priests with the trumpets.

27 Then Hezekiah gave the command to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When they started the burnt offering, the song of the Lord began also, with the trumpets and the instruments of David, king of Israel. 28 The entire assembly worshipped, the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded. All of this took place until the burnt offering was finished.

29 When the burnt offering was finished, the king and all those with him bowed down and worshipped. 30 Then Hezekiah the king and the officials ordered the Levites to praise the Lord with the words of David and Asaph the seer. So they praised with gladness and bowed down to worship.

31 Then Hezekiah responded, “Now you have dedicated yourselves to the Lord. Come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings to the house of the Lord.” So the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and all who had a willing heart brought burnt offerings.

32 The number of the burnt offerings that the assembly brought was seventy bulls, one hundred rams, and two hundred lambs; all these were for a burnt offering to the Lord. 33 The consecrated animals were six hundred bulls and three thousand sheep. 34 However there were too few priests, and they were not able to skin the burnt offerings. But their brothers the Levites helped them until the work was finished and more priests consecrated themselves, for the Levites were more upright in heart to consecrate themselves than the priests. 35 Also burnt offerings were in abundance with the fat of the peace offerings and the drink offerings for the burnt offerings.

So the service of the house of the Lord was set in order. 36 Then Hezekiah and all the people rejoiced that God had prepared the people, since the events happened suddenly.

John 17

1 When Jesus spoke these words, He lifted His eyes toward heaven and said:

“Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may also glorify You. 2 As You have given Him authority over all flesh, He will give eternal life to all whom You have given Him. 3 This is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent. 4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work You have given Me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify Me in Your own presence with the glory which I had with You before the world existed.

6 “I have revealed Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they know that all things You have given Me are from You. 8 For I have given them the words which You gave Me. They have received them and certainly know that I came from You, and they have believed that You sent Me. 9 I pray for them. I do not pray for the world, but for those whom You have given Me. For they are Yours. 10 All that are Mine are Yours, and all that are Yours are Mine. And I am glorified in them. 11 I am to be no longer in the world, though these are in the world, for I am coming to You. Holy Father, through Your name keep those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are one. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. I have kept those whom You have given Me. And none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

13 “But now I am coming to You, and I say these things in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them Your word. And the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, so I sent them into the world. 19 For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You. May they also be one in Us, that the world may believe that You have sent Me. 22 I have given them the glory which You gave Me, that they may be one even as We are one: 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfect in unity, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

24 “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, that they may see My glory which You have given Me. For You loved Me before the creation of the world.

25 “O righteous Father, the world has not known You, but I have known You, and these have known that You sent Me. 26 I have declared Your name to them, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”