2 Chronicles 32–33

1 After these things and these acts of faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came to Judah and encamped against the fortified cities thinking that he would break through them for himself. 2 When Hezekiah observed that Sennacherib had come and that he turned to war against Jerusalem, 3 he consulted with his officials and military men to stop up the waters of the springs that were outside the city, and they helped in this. 4 So, many people assembled and worked to stop up all the springs and the stream flowing through the area. They reasoned, “Why should the king of Assyria come and find a great amount of water?” 5 He then worked hard to build up all the walls that were broken down and to raise up towers. Then he built another wall outside that one and strengthened the Millo in the City of David. And he made weapons and shields in abundance.

6 And he designated commanders for fighting over the people, and he gathered them to himself at the open square of the gate of the city and spoke encouragingly to them saying, 7 “Be strong and brave. Do not fear or have terror before the king of Assyria or before all this army that is with him because there are more who are with us than with him. 8 With this king is a strong arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God who will help us and fight our battles.” So the people leaned on the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

9 After all this Sennacherib king of Assyria sent his servants to Jerusalem—while he was at Lachish with all his military force that was with him—to Hezekiah king of Judah and to all Judah that was in Jerusalem stating,

10 “Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria: By what do you all trust that you remain in a besieged Jerusalem? 11 Is not Hezekiah leading you all astray to give you over to death by famine and thirst when he tells you, ‘The Lord our God will deliver us from the hand of the king of Assyria’? 12 Has not Hezekiah himself taken down this god’s high places and altars by ordering Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You all will bow down at one altar and on it burn sacrifices’?

13 “Do you not know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of other lands? Were the gods of the nations of these lands surely able to rescue their lands from my hand? 14 Who from among all the gods of these nations that my fathers utterly destroyed was able to rescue his people from my hand? For will your god be able to rescue you all from my hand? 15 Now do not let Hezekiah trick or lead you all astray in this. And do not believe him, for no god from any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand or the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you from my hand?”

16 And his servants continued to speak against the Lord God and Hezekiah his servant. 17 He also wrote letters to insult the Lord God of Israel, speaking against Him, “As the gods of the nations of other lands did not rescue their people from my hand, so the god of Hezekiah will not rescue his people from my hand.” 18 And they proclaimed it also in a loud voice in the Judean language against the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall to frighten and terrify them in order to capture the city. 19 They spoke about the God of Jerusalem like the gods of the other peoples of the earth, which are only objects made by men’s hands.

20 So Hezekiah the king and Isaiah the prophet son of Amoz prayed concerning this. And they called out to heaven. 21 So the Lord sent an angel and destroyed the mighty army, leaders, and officials in the camp of the king of Assyria. So the king returned in shame to his own land. When he entered the temple of his god, some of his sons fell on him there with the sword.

22 So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib king of Assyria, and from the hand of all others, and gave them rest on every side. 23 Many brought tribute to the Lord in Jerusalem and choice gifts to Hezekiah king of Judah so that he was lifted up before the eyes of all the nations from then on.

24 In those days Hezekiah became ill even to the point of death, so he prayed to the Lord. He spoke to the king and gave him a sign. 25 But Hezekiah did not make recompense for what was given to him because his heart was proud. So divine anger was on him, Judah, and Jerusalem. 26 Then Hezekiah humbled himself from his arrogant heart, both he and those who lived in Jerusalem, and the anger of the Lord did not come over them in the days of Hezekiah.

27 And Hezekiah had a vast amount of riches and honor, and he made treasures for himself from silver, gold, costly stones, spices, shields, and all types of precious items. 28 He made storehouses for the produce of grain, wine, and oil; and stalls for all types of livestock and flocks. 29 He also built cities for himself and acquired numbers of flocks and herds, for God had given to him a vast amount of possessions.

30 And Hezekiah shut up the upper outlet of the waters of the Gihon and directed them downward to the western side of the City of David. And Hezekiah found success in all his works. 31 But the envoys came from the officials of Babylon who were sent to him to inquire about the sign that had been given in the land. God left him alone in order to test Hezekiah, to know what was in his heart.

32 And the remainder of the acts of Hezekiah and his kind acts, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, 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 tombs of the sons of David. And all those from Judah and those living in Jerusalem paid him honor at his death. Then Manasseh his son reigned in his place.

Chapter 33

1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he was king in Jerusalem for fifty-five years. 2 But he did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord previously cast out before the sons of Israel. 3 And he turned again to build the high places that his father Hezekiah had torn down, and he set up altars to the Baals, and made Asherah poles, and worshipped the starry assembly of heaven and served them. 4 And he built altars in the house of the Lord where the Lord said, “In Jerusalem My name will be perpetual.” 5 And he built altars for the starry assembly of heaven in the two courtyards of the house of the Lord. 6 He even made his sons pass through the fire in the Valley of Ben Hinnom; and he had conjurers, and practitioners of divination and sorcery, and necromancers, and mediums. So he did a great amount of evil in the eyes of the Lord, so that God was provoked.

7 And he set the carved image of a statue that he made and put in the house of God where God said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house and in Jerusalem where I have chosen from among all the tribes of Israel, there I have set My name perpetually. 8 And I will not again remove the foot of Israel from the ground that I have designated to your fathers, if only they will keep on doing everything that I have commanded them, the whole law, statutes, and judgments from the hand of Moses.” 9 So Manasseh made Judah and those living in Jerusalem to wander and to perform more evil than the nations that the Lord destroyed from before Israel.

10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they did not pay attention. 11 So the Lord brought on them the officials of the army of the king of Assyria. They captured Manasseh with hooks, and they bound him in bronze chains and led him to Babylon. 12 And when he was distressed, he entreated the face of the Lord his God, and he greatly humbled himself before the God of his fathers. 13 And he prayed to God, and He was moved and responded to his plea and returned him to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.

14 After this he built an outer wall for the City of David, west of Gihon, in the valley and toward the entrance of the Fish Gate, where it went around Ophel, and raised it to a very great height. Then he positioned military commanders in all the fortified cities in Judah.

15 And he removed the foreign gods and statues from the house of the Lord, and all the altars that he built on the hill of the house of the Lord and Jerusalem, and he cast them outside the city. 16 He also restored the altar of the Lord, and he sacrificed fellowship and thanksgiving offerings, and he ordered Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel. 17 However, the people continued to sacrifice at the high places, but only to the Lord their God.

18 And the remainder of the acts of Manasseh and his prayer to God and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of the Lord God of Israel are written in the annals of the kings of Israel. 19 And his prayer and how God received his entreaty, and all his sin and unfaithfulness, and the sites where he built high places and where he set up the Asherah poles and images before he humbled himself, indeed they are written in the sayings of Hozai. 20 So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his palace, and Amon his son reigned in his place.

21 And Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he was king for two years in Jerusalem. 22 And he did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord as his father Manasseh had done. And Amon sacrificed to and served all the idols that Manasseh his father had made. 23 He did not humble himself before the Lord as his father humbled himself. But he increased his guilt all the more.

24 And his servants plotted against him, and they killed him in his palace. 25 Then the people of the land struck down all those who conspired against King Amon. The people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place.

John 18:19–40

19 The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His teaching.

20 Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in the synagogue and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and I said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask Me? Ask those who heard Me and what I have said to them. Certainly they know what I said.”

22 When He had said this, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, “Is that how You answer the high priest?”

23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil, but if well, why do you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

25 Meanwhile Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “Are you not also one of His disciples?” He denied it and said, “I am not!”

26 One of the servants of the high priest, being a relative of the man whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” 27 Peter then denied it again, and immediately a rooster crowed.

28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium. It was early. Yet they themselves did not enter the Praetorium, so that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover. 29 Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?”

30 They answered him, “If He were not an evildoer, we would not have handed Him over to you.”

31 Then Pilate said, “Take Him and judge Him according to your law.”

The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,” 32 that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying what death He would die.

33 Again Pilate entered the Praetorium, called Jesus, and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”

34 Jesus answered him, “Are you speaking of your own accord, or did others tell you about Me?”

35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests handed You over to me. What have You done?”

36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would fight, that I would not be handed over to the Jews. But now My kingdom is not from here.”

37 Therefore Pilate said to Him, “Then are You a king?”

Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this reason I was born, and for this reason I came into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

38 Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” When he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, “I find no guilt in Him at all.

39 “But you have a custom, that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”

40 They all shouted again, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.