Table of Contents
The Chronicles of the Kings of Juda(Part Five)
The Second Book
The 32nd Chapter
After these deeds and truth, Sennaherib king of Assur came and entered into Juda and pitched against the strong cities and thought to draw them to him. And when Hezekiah saw that Sennaherib was come and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem: he took counsel with his captains and men of might, to stop the water of the fountains that were without the city: and they were content to help him. And so there gathered much people together and stopped all the wells and the brook that ran through the midst of the land, intending that the kings of Assur should not find much water when they came? And he went to lustily and built up the wall where it was broken, and made towers above upon, and yet another wall without, and repaired Mello the city of David, and made many darts and shields.
And he set Captains of war over the people and gathered them together unto the large street of the gate of the city and spoke gently to them saying: Pluck up your hearts and be strong: Be not afraid or in any wise discouraged for dread of the king of Assur, and of the great multitude that is with him: for there is one greater with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh: But with us is the Lord our God for to help us and to fight our battles. And the people were well couraged with the words of Hezekiah king of Juda.
After that Sennaherib king of Assur sent of his servants to Jerusalem (he himself lying before Lachis, and all his kingdom with him) unto Hezekiah king of Juda and unto all Juda that were at Jerusalem saying. Thus says Sennaherib king of Assur: wherein do you trust, O you that are besieged in Jerusalem? Hezekiah deceives you, to deliver you to death, hunger and thirst, saying: the Lord our God shall rid us out of the hand of the king of Assur. Is it not that Hezekiah that put down his hillaltars and his other altars, and commanded Juda and Jerusalem saying: before one altar you shall bow yourselves and upon that offer also.
Moreover have you not heard what I and my fathers have done unto the people of all lands? were the Gods of the people of other lands able to save their lands out of my hand? which of all the Gods of those nations that my fathers destroyed was it, that could deliver his people out of mine hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of mine hand? Wherefore now let not Hezekiah deceive you either persuade you of this fashion, nor yet believe him. For as no God among so many nations and kingdoms, was able to rid his people out of mine hand and the hands of my fathers: even so much less shall your God keep you out of mine hand. And yet more did his servants speak against the Lord God and against his servant Hezekiah. And thereto he wrote a letter to rail on the Lord God of Israel and spoke therein saying: as the Gods of the nations of other lands have not delivered their people out of mine hand, no more shall the God of Hezekiah deliver his people out of mine hand. And they cried with a loud voice in the Jews speech unto the people of Jerusalem that were on the walls, to fear them and to dismay them, that they might have taken the city. And they spoke against the God of Jerusalem, as against the Gods of the nations of the earth, which are the work of the hands of men.
But Hezekiah the king and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz prayed concerning the thing and cried up to heaven. And the Lord sent an angel and destroyed all the men of war and the Lords and captains of the host of the king of Assur, that he turned his face with shame towards his own land. And when he was come into the house of his God, he was there overthrown with the sword even by them that issued out of his bowels. And so the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabiters at Jerusalem out of the hands of Sennaherib king of Assur and of all other, and maintained them on all sides. In so much that many brought presents unto the Lord to Jerusalem and precious gifts to Hezekiah king of Juda: so that he was magnified in the sight of all nations from that time.
In those days Hezekiah was sick unto the death and besought the Lord: which answered him and showed him a wonderful miracle: But Hezekiah did not according to the courtesy showed him, for his heart arose: and therefore came there wrath upon him and upon Juda and Jerusalem. Notwithstanding Hezekiah meeked himself for the arising of his heart, both he and the inhabiters of Jerusalem. Wherefore the wrath of the Lord fell not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.
And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honor. And he gathered him treasure of silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields and of all manner pleasant Jewels: and made store houses for the fruits of corn, wine and oil: and stables for all manner of beasts, and folds for sheep. And he made him towns because he had cattle of sheep and oxen great abundance. For God had given him substance exceeding much. And the said Hezekiah stopped the upper water springs of Eihon and brought them down to the West side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works. But when the ambassadors of the Lords of Babilon were sent to him to enquire of the wonder that chanced in the land, God left him: to tempt him that all that was in his heart might be known.
The rest of the deeds of Hezekiah and his goodness are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz in the book of the kings of Juda and Israel. And then Hezekiah laid him to rest with his fathers, and they buried him in the highest sepulcher of the sons of David: and Juda and the inhabiters of Jerusalem did him worship at his death. And Manasseh his son reigned in his stead.
The 33rd Chapter
Manasseh was twelve years old when he was made king, and reigned fifty five years in Jerusalem. And he did wickedly in the sight of the Lord, like unto the abominations of the heathen which the Lord cast out before the children of Israel. For he went to and built again the hillaltars which Hezekiah his father had broken down. And he reared up altars unto Baals and made groves and bowed himself unto all the host of heaven and served them. And he built altars in the house of the Lord: of which the Lord has said in Jerusalem shall my name be for ever. And he made altars unto all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. And he burnt his children in fire in the valley of the sons of Hennon. And he observed dismal days and occupied witchcraft and sorcery, and maintained workers with spirits and sears of fortunes: and wrought much evil in the sight of the Lord, to anger him withal.
And he put the carved Image of an Idol which he had made, in the house of God. Of which house God said to David and to Salomon his son, in this house here in Jerusalem which I have chosen out of all the tribes, I will put my name for ever, and no more bring the seat of Israel from the land which I have ordained for your fathers. If so be they shall be diligent to do all I have commanded by Moses in all the law ordinances and manners. But Manasseh made Juda and the inhabiters of Jerusalem to error and to do worse than the heathen which the Lord destroyed before the children of Israel. And when the Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, they attended not to him.
Wherefore the Lord brought upon them the Captains of the host of the King of Assur, which took Manasseh in an hold and bound him with chains and carried him to Babylon. And when he was in tribulation he besought the Lord his God, and humbled himself exceedingly before the God of his fathers, and made intercession to him: and he was entreated of him and heard his prayer and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. And then Manasseh knew how that the Lord was very God.
After that he built a wall without the city of David on the west side of Gihon in the brook and so forth to fish gate and round about Ophel and brought it up of a very great height, and put captains of war in all the strong cities of Juda. And he took away strange Gods and the Idol out of the house of God, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of God and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city. And he made an altar unto the Lord and sacrificed thereon peaceofferings and thankofferings, and charged Juda to serve the Lord God of Israel. Nevertheless the people did offer still in the hillaltars, how be it unto the Lord their God only. The rest of the acts of Manasseh and his prayer unto his God, and the words of the sears of visions that spoke to him in the name of the Lord God of Israel, are written among the deeds of the kings of Israel. And his prayer and how he was heard, and all his sin and trespass, and the places where he made hillaltars and set up groves and carved Images before he was meeked, are written among the deeds of the sears of visions. And when Manasseh was laid to rest with his fathers, they buried him in his own house: and Amon his son reigned in his room. Amon was twenty two years old, when he began to reign, and reigned two years in Jerusalem. And he did that displeased the Lord like unto Manasseh his father, for Amon sacrificed to all the carved Images which Manasseh his father made, and served them, and meeked not himself before the Lord as Manasseh his father had meeked himself: But Amon trespassed greatly. Wherefore his own servants conspired against him and slew him in his own house. And the people of the land slew all that had conspired against king Amon. And thereto the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his room.
The 34th Chapter
Josiah was made king when he was eight years old, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty one years. And he did that pleased the Lord, and walked in the ways of David his father bowing neither to the right hand or to the left. In so much that the eighth year of his reign, when he was yet a lad, he began to seek after the God of David his father. And in the twelfth year he began to purge Juda and Jerusalem of hillaltars, groves, carved Images, and Images of metal: so that they brake down the altars of Baals even in his presence, and the Idols that were upon them, he caused to be destroyed. And the groves, carved Images, and Images of metal he brake and made dust of them, and strewed it upon the graves of them that had offered to them. And he burnt the bones of the priests upon the altars, and cleansed Juda and Jerusalem. And even so did he in the cities of Manasse, Ephraim, Simeon and Nephthali thereto. And in the wildernesses of them round about he plucked asunder altars and the groves and did beat them and stamp them to powder, and beat down the idols throughout all the land of Israel: and then returned to Jerusalem again.
And in the eighteenth year of his reign when he had purged the land and the temple, he sent Saphan the son of Azaliah, and Maasiah the governor of the city and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of the Lord his God. And when they came to Helkiah the high priest, men delivered them the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites that kept the entries had gathered of the hands of Manasse and Ephraim and of all that yet remained in Israel and of all Juda and Benjamin and of the inhabiters of Jerusalem. And they put it in the hands of the workmen that had the oversight of the house of the Lord. which gave it to the laborers that wrought on the house of the Lord, to repair and mend it, and to masons and carpenters to buy hewed stone and timber for to make couples and beams for the houses which the kings of Juda had destroyed: And the men wrought in the work of fidelity.
And the overseers of them to courage them forward, were Jahas and Obadiah Levites of the children of Merari: and Sechariah and Mesulam of the children of the Cahasites, and as many other of the Levites as could skill of instruments of Music. And over the bearers of burdens and over all that wrought, in whatsoever workmanship it were, were there scribes, officers and porters of the Levites.
And as they brought out the money that was brought into the house, Helkiah the priest found the book of the law of the Lord given by Moses. And Helkiah answered and said to Saphan the scribe: I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord, and gave the book to Saphan. And Saphan carried the book to the king, and brought the king word again, saying: all that was committed to your servants, that do they. And they have poured out the money that was found in the house of the Lord and have delivered into the hands of the overseers of the workmen. And then Saphan the scribe showed the king, saying: Helkiah the priest has given me a book, and he read it before the king.
And when the king had heard the words of the law, he tare his clothes, and commanded Helkiah and Ahikam the son of Saphan and Abadon the son of Micah and the said Saphan the scribe and Asaia a servant of the kings, saying: go and enquire of the Lord for me and for them that are left in Israel and Juda concerning the words of the book that is found. For great is the wrath of the Lord that is fallen upon us, because our fathers kept not the word of the Lord, to do after all that is written in this book.
And Helkiah with them that pertained to the king went to Holdah a prophetess wife of Selum the son of Thekohas the son of Masarah keeper of the wardrobe (which prophetess dwelt in Jerusalem in the second ward) and they communed so with her. And she said unto them: thus says the Lord God of Israel, tell you the man that sent you to me. Even thus says the Lord: see, I will bring evil upon this place and upon the inhabiters thereof, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Juda, because they have forsaken me and have offered unto other Gods to anger me with all manner works of their hands, therefore is my wrath set on fire against this place and shall not be quenched.
And as for the king of Juda which sent you to enquire of the Lord, so shall you say unto him: thus says the Lord God of Israel concerning the words which you have heard. Because your heart did melt and you did meek yourself before God, when you heard his words against this place and against the inhabiters thereof: and humble yourself before me, and tear your clothes and weep before me, that have I heard also says the Lord. Behold I will take you to your fathers and you shall be put in your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the mischief that I will bring upon this place and upon the inhabiters of the same, And they brought the king word again. Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Juda and Jerusalem. And the king went up into the house of the Lord, and all the men of Juda and the inhabiters of Jerusalem and the Priests and Levites and all the people great and small: and read all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the Lord. And the King stood at his standing and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord and to keep his commandments, his witnesses and his statutes with all his heart and with all his soul and to fulfil the words of the appointment written in the said book.
And he made to come forth all that were found in Jerusalem and Benjamin, and the inhabiters of Jerusalem promised to keep the covenant of the God which was the God of their fathers. And Josiah put away all manner of abominations out of all lands that pertained to the children of Israel, and brought all that were found in Israel, to serve the Lord their God. And they turned not aside from after the Lord God of their fathers as long as he lived.
The 35th Chapter
And Josiah held the feast of passover unto the Lord in Jerusalem, and they slew passover in the fourteenth day of the first month. And he set the priests in their offices and aided them in the service of the house of the Lord. And he said to the Levites that taught throughout all Israel and were sanctified unto the Lord: put the holy ark in the house which Salomon the son of David king of Israel did build, you need not to bear it upon your shoulders. Wherefore now serve the Lord your God and his people Israel. And prepare yourselves by your ancient households and companies, according to the writing of David King of Israel, and the writing of Salomon his son. And stand in the holy place according to the divisions of the ancient households of your brethren the children of the people, and after the division of the ancient households of the Levites, and kill passover, sanctify and prepare your brethren that they may do according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses.
And Josiah gave to the common people in lambs and kids, for passoverofferings only, unto all that were present thirty thousand by tale, and three thousand oxen, even of the kings substance. And his Lords gave willingly both unto the people and also unto the priests and unto the Levites. Helkiah, Zachariah and Jehiel, rulers of the house of God, gave unto the priests for passoverofferings two thousand and six hundred lambs and kids, and three hundred oxen. And Conaniah with Semeiah and Nathaneel his brethren, and Hasabiah and Jaiel and Josabad Lords of the Levites, gave unto the Levites five thousand passover offerings, and five hundred oxen. And so the service went forward: and the priests stood in their places, and the Levites in their companies at the kings commandment. And they slew passover: and the priests sprinkled the blood receiving it of the Levites, and the Levites stripped the beasts. And they fetched away the burntofferings, to give them unto the common people as they were divided by ancient houses, for to offer unto the Lord, like as it is written in the book of Moses. And so did they with the oxen too. And they dressed the passover with fire as the manner was. But the other hallowed dedicate beasts they sod (boiled) in pots, cauldrons and pans and divided them quickly among all the common people. And afterward they made ready for themselves and for the priests and for the children of Aaron, which were busied in offering of burntofferings and the fat until night. And therefore the Levites prepared for themselves and for the priests the sons of Aaron. And the singers the children of Asaph stood in their standing according to the commandment of David and Asaph, Heman and Jduthun the kings sear of visions: and the porters waited at every gate, and might not depart from their service: But their brethren the Levites prepared for them. And so all the service of the Lord went forward the said day, in offering passover of burntofferings upon the altar of the Lord, according to the commandment of king Josiah.
And so the children of Israel that could be found, offered passover the same time and kept the feast of sweet bread seven days. And there was no passover like to that, kept in Israel from the time of Samuel the prophet: neither did any of the kings of Israel hold such a passover feast as did Josiah and the priests and Levites and all Juda, and as much of Israel as could be had, and the inhabiters of Jerusalem. And this passover was holden in the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah.
After all this, when Josiah had finished the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carcamis upon Euphrates, and Josiah went out against him. And the other sent messengers to him saying: what have I to do with you king of Juda? I came not against you now at this time, but against an house with whom I have war, and God bade me haste. Leave off therefore and meddle not with God which is with me, least he destroy you. Nevertheless Josiah turned not his face from him, but made him ready to fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Necho out of the mouth of God. And when he was come to fight in the valley of Magedo, the shooters shot against the king Josiah. And the king said to his servants: carry me away for I am sore hurt. And his servants had him out of the chariot and put him in another, and brought him to Jerusalem where he died and was buried in the sepulcher of his fathers. And all Juda and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. And Jeremiah lamented Josiah, and all singing men and singing women speak of Josiah to this day, and made it an ordinance in Israel: and they be written in lamentations. The rest of the acts of Josiah and his goodness in following the writing of the law, and his deeds first and last are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Juda.
The 36th Chapter
And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah and made him king for his father in Jerusalem. And Jehoahaz was twenty three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. For the king of Egypt put him down at Jerusalem and merced the land in an hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. And the king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king upon Juda and Jerusalem, and turned his name unto Jehoiakim, but Jehoahaz his brother Necho took and carried him to Egypt. And Jehoakim was twenty five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned an eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did that displeased the Lord his God. Against him came Nabuchodonozor king of Babylon and bound him in fetters to carry him to Babylon. Thereto the king Nabuchodonozor carried off the vessels of the house of the Lord to Babylon and put them in his temple at Babylon. The rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and his Abominations, and that was laid to his charge, are written in the book of the Kings of Israel: and Jehoiacin his son reigned in his stead. Jehoiacin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and did that displeased the Lord. And when the year was out, king Nabuchodonozor sent and fetched him to Babylon with the goodly vessels of the house of the Lord, and made Zedekiah his brother king over Juda and Jerusalem.
And Zedekiah was twenty one years old when he began to reign, and reigned a eleven years in Jerusalem. And he did that displeased the Lord his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet at the mouth of the Lord. And thereto he rebelled against Nabuchodonozor which had received an oath of him by God, and was too stiff necked and too hard hearted to turn unto the Lord God of Israel. Thereto all the rulers of the priests with the people trespassed apace after all manner of abominations of the heathen and polluted the house of the Lord which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.
And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, sending them betimes: for he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God and despised their words and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord so arose against his people that it was past remedy. And so he brought upon them the king of Caldeye and slew their young men with the sword in their holy temple, and neither spared young man nor maiden, neither old man, neither so much as him that stooped for age: But gave all into his hand.
And all the vessels of the house of God both great and small, and the treasures of the house of God, and the treasures of the king and his lords he carried to Babylon every whit. And they burnt the house of God and brake down the walls of Jerusalem and burnt all the palaces thereof with fire with all the goodly stuff thereof, and marred it. And he carried away them that had escaped the sword, to Babylon, where they were servants to him and his children, until the kingdom of Persia began to rule, to fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had her pleasure of her Sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate, she kept Sabbath until she had fulfilled seventy years.
And the first year of Cyrus king of Persia to finish the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all this kingdom, and thereto to set it up in writing, saying: Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, all the kingdoms of the earth has the Lord God of heaven given me, which has charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem that is in the land of Juda. Wherefore whosoever is among you of all his people, the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up.
The end of the second book of the Chronicles
of the kings of Juda
Table of Contents