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Bible Reading Plan

Daily Bible Reading

April 23 - Straight Thru the Bible


2 Kings 17:19-19:24

Chapter 17

19 and even Judah did not keep the commands of the Lord their God. They followed the practices Israel had introduced.(al) 20 Therefore the Lord rejected all the people of Israel; he afflicted them and gave them into the hands of plunderers,(am) until he thrust them from his presence.(an)

21 When he tore(ao) Israel away from the house of David, they made Jeroboam son of Nebat their king.(ap) Jeroboam enticed Israel away from following the Lord and caused them to commit a great sin.(aq) 22 The Israelites persisted in all the sins of Jeroboam and did not turn away from them 23 until the Lord removed them from his presence,(ar) as he had warned(as) through all his servants the prophets. So the people of Israel were taken from their homeland(at) into exile in Assyria, and they are still there.

Samaria Resettled

24 The king of Assyria(au) brought people from Babylon, Kuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim(av) and settled them in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites. They took over Samaria and lived in its towns. 25 When they first lived there, they did not worship the Lord ; so he sent lions(aw) among them and they killed some of the people. 26 It was reported to the king of Assyria: "The people you deported and resettled in the towns of Samaria do not know what the god of that country requires. He has sent lions among them, which are killing them off, because the people do not know what he requires."

27 Then the king of Assyria gave this order: "Have one of the priests you took captive from Samaria go back to live there and teach the people what the god of the land requires." 28 So one of the priests who had been exiled from Samaria came to live in Bethel and taught them how to worship the Lord .

29 Nevertheless, each national group made its own gods in the several towns(ax) where they settled, and set them up in the shrines(ay) the people of Samaria had made at the high places.(az) 30 The people from Babylon made Sukkoth Benoth, those from Kuthah made Nergal, and those from Hamath made Ashima; 31 the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelek(ba) and Anammelek, the gods of Sepharvaim.(bb) 32 They worshiped the Lord , but they also appointed all sorts(bc) of their own people to officiate for them as priests in the shrines at the high places. 33 They worshiped the Lord , but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought.

34 To this day they persist in their former practices. They neither worship the Lord nor adhere to the decrees and regulations, the laws and commands that the Lord gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel.(bd) 35 When the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: "Do not worship(be) any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them.(bf) 36 But the Lord , who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm,(bg) is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. 37 You must always be careful(bh) to keep the decrees(bi) and regulations, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. 38 Do not forget(bj) the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. 39 Rather, worship the Lord your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies."

40 They would not listen, however, but persisted in their former practices. 41 Even while these people were worshiping the Lord ,(bk) they were serving their idols. To this day their children and grandchildren continue to do as their ancestors did.

Chapter 18

Hezekiah King of Judah(a)(b)(c)

1 In the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah(d) son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years.(e) His mother's name was Abijah[a] daughter of Zechariah. 3 He did what was right(f) in the eyes of the Lord , just as his father David(g) had done. 4 He removed(h) the high places,(i) smashed the sacred stones(j) and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake(k) Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.[b])

5 Hezekiah trusted(l) in the Lord , the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him. 6 He held fast(m) to the Lord and did not stop following him; he kept the commands the Lord had given Moses. 7 And the Lord was with him; he was successful(n) in whatever he undertook. He rebelled(o) against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. 8 From watchtower to fortified city,(p) he defeated the Philistines, as far as Gaza and its territory.

9 In King Hezekiah's fourth year,(q) which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria marched against Samaria and laid siege to it. 10 At the end of three years the Assyrians took it. So Samaria was captured in Hezekiah's sixth year, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel. 11 The king(r) of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and settled them in Halah, in Gozan on the Habor River and in towns of the Medes.(s) 12 This happened because they had not obeyed the Lord their God, but had violated his covenant(t)—all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded.(u) They neither listened to the commands(v) nor carried them out.

13 In the fourteenth year(w) of King Hezekiah's reign, Sennacherib king of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah(x) and captured them. 14 So Hezekiah king of Judah sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish:(y) "I have done wrong.(z) Withdraw from me, and I will pay whatever you demand of me." The king of Assyria exacted from Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents[c] of silver and thirty talents[d] of gold. 15 So Hezekiah gave(aa) him all the silver that was found in the temple of the Lord and in the treasuries of the royal palace.

16 At this time Hezekiah king of Judah stripped off the gold with which he had covered the doors(ab) and doorposts of the temple of the Lord , and gave it to the king of Assyria.

Sennacherib Threatens Jerusalem(ac)(ad)

17 The king of Assyria sent his supreme commander,(ae) his chief officer and his field commander with a large army, from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. They came up to Jerusalem and stopped at the aqueduct of the Upper Pool,(af) on the road to the Washerman's Field. 18 They called for the king; and Eliakim(ag) son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna(ah) the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went out to them.

19 The field commander said to them, "Tell Hezekiah:

"‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: On what are you basing this confidence(ai) of yours? 20 You say you have the counsel and the might for war—but you speak only empty words. On whom are you depending, that you rebel against me? 21 Look, I know you are depending on Egypt,(aj) that splintered reed of a staff,(ak) which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it! Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who depend on him. 22 But if you say to me, "We are depending on the Lord our God"—isn't he the one whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, "You must worship before this altar in Jerusalem"?

23 "‘Come now, make a bargain with my master, the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses—if you can put riders on them! 24 How can you repulse one officer(al) of the least of my master's officials, even though you are depending on Egypt for chariots and horsemen[e]? 25 Furthermore, have I come to attack and destroy this place without word from the Lord ?(am) The Lord himself told me to march against this country and destroy it.'"

26 Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah, and Shebna and Joah said to the field commander, "Please speak to your servants in Aramaic,(an) since we understand it. Don't speak to us in Hebrew in the hearing of the people on the wall."

27 But the commander replied, "Was it only to your master and you that my master sent me to say these things, and not to the people sitting on the wall—who, like you, will have to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?"

28 Then the commander stood and called out in Hebrew, "Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! 29 This is what the king says: Do not let Hezekiah deceive(ao) you. He cannot deliver you from my hand. 30 Do not let Hezekiah persuade you to trust in the Lord when he says, ‘The Lord will surely deliver us; this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.'

31 "Do not listen to Hezekiah. This is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me and come out to me. Then each of you will eat fruit from your own vine and fig tree(ap) and drink water from your own cistern,(aq) 32 until I come and take you to a land like your own—a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Choose life(ar) and not death!

"Do not listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, ‘The Lord will deliver us.' 33 Has the god(as) of any nation ever delivered his land from the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath(at) and Arpad?(au) Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah? Have they rescued Samaria from my hand? 35 Who of all the gods of these countries has been able to save his land from me? How then can the Lord deliver Jerusalem from my hand?"(av)

36 But the people remained silent and said nothing in reply, because the king had commanded, "Do not answer him."

37 Then Eliakim(aw) son of Hilkiah the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary, and Joah son of Asaph the recorder went to Hezekiah, with their clothes torn,(ax) and told him what the field commander had said.

Chapter 19

Jerusalem's Deliverance Foretold(a)

1 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore(b) his clothes and put on sackcloth and went into the temple of the Lord . 2 He sent Eliakim(c) the palace administrator, Shebna the secretary and the leading priests,(d) all wearing sackcloth,(e) to the prophet Isaiah(f) son of Amoz. 3 They told him, "This is what Hezekiah says: This day is a day of distress and rebuke and disgrace, as when children come to the moment(g) of birth and there is no strength to deliver them. 4 It may be that the Lord your God will hear all the words of the field commander, whom his master, the king of Assyria, has sent to ridicule(h) the living God, and that he will rebuke(i) him for the words the Lord your God has heard. Therefore pray for the remnant(j) that still survives."

5 When King Hezekiah's officials came to Isaiah, 6 Isaiah said to them, "Tell your master, ‘This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid(k) of what you have heard—those words with which the underlings of the king of Assyria have blasphemed(l) me. 7 Listen! When he hears a certain report,(m) I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with the sword.(n)'"

8 When the field commander heard that the king of Assyria had left Lachish,(o) he withdrew and found the king fighting against Libnah.(p)

9 Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakah, the king of Cush,[a] was marching out to fight against him. So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word: 10 "Say to Hezekiah king of Judah: Do not let the god you depend(q) on deceive(r) you when he says, ‘Jerusalem will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.' 11 Surely you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the countries, destroying them completely. And will you be delivered? 12 Did the gods of the nations that were destroyed by my predecessors deliver(s) them—the gods of Gozan,(t) Harran,(u) Rezeph and the people of Eden who were in Tel Assar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath or the king of Arpad? Where are the kings of Lair, Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah?"(v)

Hezekiah's Prayer(w)

14 Hezekiah received the letter(x) from the messengers and read it. Then he went up to the temple of the Lord and spread it out before the Lord . 15 And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord : " Lord , the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim,(y) you alone(z) are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Give ear,(aa) Lord , and hear;(ab) open your eyes,(ac) Lord , and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God.

17 "It is true, Lord , that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods(ad) but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands.(ae) 19 Now, Lord our God, deliver(af) us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms(ag) of the earth may know(ah) that you alone, Lord , are God."

Isaiah Prophesies Sennacherib's Fall(ai)(aj)

20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent a message to Hezekiah: "This is what the Lord , the God of Israel, says: I have heard(ak) your prayer concerning Sennacherib king of Assyria. 21 This is the word that the Lord has spoken against(al) him:

"‘Virgin Daughter(am) Zion
     despises(an) you and mocks(ao) you.
Daughter Jerusalem
     tosses her head(ap) as you flee.
22 Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed?(aq)
     Against whom have you raised your voice
and lifted your eyes in pride?
     Against the Holy One(ar) of Israel!
23 By your messengers
     you have ridiculed the Lord.
And you have said,(as)
     "With my many chariots(at)
I have ascended the heights of the mountains,
     the utmost heights of Lebanon.
I have cut down(au) its tallest cedars,
     the choicest of its junipers.
I have reached its remotest parts,
     the finest of its forests.
24 I have dug wells in foreign lands
     and drunk the water there.
With the soles of my feet
     I have dried up all the streams of Egypt."

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