Queen Athaliah Rules in Judah
11 When Athaliah, the mother of King Ahaziah of Judah, learned that her son was dead, she began to destroy the rest of the royal family. 2 But Ahaziah’s sister Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram,[a] took Ahaziah’s infant son, Joash, and stole him away from among the rest of the king’s children, who were about to be killed. She put Joash and his nurse in a bedroom, and they hid him from Athaliah, so the child was not murdered. 3 Joash remained hidden in the Temple of the Lord for six years while Athaliah ruled over the land.
Revolt against Athaliah
4 In the seventh year of Athaliah’s reign, Jehoiada the priest summoned the commanders, the Carite mercenaries, and the palace guards to come to the Temple of the Lord. He made a solemn pact with them and made them swear an oath of loyalty there in the Lord’s Temple; then he showed them the king’s son.
5 Jehoiada told them, “This is what you must do. A third of you who are on duty on the Sabbath are to guard the royal palace itself. 6 Another third of you are to stand guard at the Sur Gate. And the final third must stand guard behind the palace guard. These three groups will all guard the palace. 7 The other two units who are off duty on the Sabbath must stand guard for the king at the Lord’s Temple. 8 Form a bodyguard around the king and keep your weapons in hand. Kill anyone who tries to break through. Stay with the king wherever he goes.”
9 So the commanders did everything as Jehoiada the priest ordered. The commanders took charge of the men reporting for duty that Sabbath, as well as those who were going off duty. They brought them all to Jehoiada the priest, 10 and he supplied them with the spears and small shields that had once belonged to King David and were stored in the Temple of the Lord. 11 The palace guards stationed themselves around the king, with their weapons ready. They formed a line from the south side of the Temple around to the north side and all around the altar.
12 Then Jehoiada brought out Joash, the king’s son, placed the crown on his head, and presented him with a copy of God’s laws.[b] They anointed him and proclaimed him king, and everyone clapped their hands and shouted, “Long live the king!”
The Death of Athaliah
13 When Athaliah heard the noise made by the palace guards and the people, she hurried to the Lord’s Temple to see what was happening. 14 When she arrived, she saw the newly crowned king standing in his place of authority by the pillar, as was the custom at times of coronation. The commanders and trumpeters were surrounding him, and people from all over the land were rejoicing and blowing trumpets. When Athaliah saw all this, she tore her clothes in despair and shouted, “Treason! Treason!”
15 Then Jehoiada the priest ordered the commanders who were in charge of the troops, “Take her to the soldiers in front of the Temple,[c] and kill anyone who tries to rescue her.” For the priest had said, “She must not be killed in the Temple of the Lord.” 16 So they seized her and led her out to the gate where horses enter the palace grounds, and she was killed there.
Jehoiada’s Religious Reforms
17 Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people that they would be the Lord’s people. He also made a covenant between the king and the people. 18 And all the people of the land went over to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They demolished the altars and smashed the idols to pieces, and they killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars.
Jehoiada the priest stationed guards at the Temple of the Lord. 19 Then the commanders, the Carite mercenaries, the palace guards, and all the people of the land escorted the king from the Temple of the Lord. They went through the gate of the guards and into the palace, and the king took his seat on the royal throne. 20 So all the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was peaceful because Athaliah had been killed at the king’s palace.
21 [d]Joash[e] was seven years old when he became king.
Joash Repairs the Temple
12 [f]Joash[g] began to rule over Judah in the seventh year of King Jehu’s reign in Israel. He reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother was Zibiah from Beersheba. 2 All his life Joash did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight because Jehoiada the priest instructed him. 3 Yet even so, he did not destroy the pagan shrines, and the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there.
4 One day King Joash said to the priests, “Collect all the money brought as a sacred offering to the Lord’s Temple, whether it is a regular assessment, a payment of vows, or a voluntary gift. 5 Let the priests take some of that money to pay for whatever repairs are needed at the Temple.”
6 But by the twenty-third year of Joash’s reign, the priests still had not repaired the Temple. 7 So King Joash called for Jehoiada and the other priests and asked them, “Why haven’t you repaired the Temple? Don’t use any more money for your own needs. From now on, it must all be spent on Temple repairs.” 8 So the priests agreed not to accept any more money from the people, and they also agreed to let others take responsibility for repairing the Temple.
9 Then Jehoiada the priest bored a hole in the lid of a large chest and set it on the right-hand side of the altar at the entrance of the Temple of the Lord. The priests guarding the entrance put all of the people’s contributions into the chest. 10 Whenever the chest became full, the court secretary and the high priest counted the money that had been brought to the Lord’s Temple and put it into bags. 11 Then they gave the money to the construction supervisors, who used it to pay the people working on the Lord’s Temple—the carpenters, the builders, 12 the masons, and the stonecutters. They also used the money to buy the timber and the finished stone needed for repairing the Lord’s Temple, and they paid any other expenses related to the Temple’s restoration.
13 The money brought to the Temple was not used for making silver bowls, lamp snuffers, basins, trumpets, or other articles of gold or silver for the Temple of the Lord. 14 It was paid to the workmen, who used it for the Temple repairs. 15 No accounting of this money was required from the construction supervisors, because they were honest and trustworthy men. 16 However, the money that was contributed for guilt offerings and sin offerings was not brought into the Lord’s Temple. It was given to the priests for their own use.
The End of Joash’s Reign
17 About this time King Hazael of Aram went to war against Gath and captured it. Then he turned to attack Jerusalem. 18 King Joash collected all the sacred objects that Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah, the previous kings of Judah, had dedicated, along with what he himself had dedicated. He sent them all to Hazael, along with all the gold in the treasuries of the Lord’s Temple and the royal palace. So Hazael called off his attack on Jerusalem.
19 The rest of the events in Joash’s reign and everything he did are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah.
20 Joash’s officers plotted against him and assassinated him at Beth-millo on the road to Silla. 21 The assassins were Jozacar[h] son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer—both trusted advisers. Joash was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. Then his son Amaziah became the next king.
Jehoahaz Rules in Israel
13 Jehoahaz son of Jehu began to rule over Israel in the twenty-third year of King Joash’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria seventeen years. 2 But he did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He followed the example of Jeroboam son of Nebat, continuing the sins that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit. 3 So the Lord was very angry with Israel, and he allowed King Hazael of Aram and his son Ben-hadad to defeat them repeatedly.
4 Then Jehoahaz prayed for the Lord’s help, and the Lord heard his prayer, for he could see how severely the king of Aram was oppressing Israel. 5 So the Lord provided someone to rescue the Israelites from the tyranny of the Arameans. Then Israel lived in safety again as they had in former days.
6 But they continued to sin, following the evil example of Jeroboam. They also allowed the Asherah pole in Samaria to remain standing. 7 Finally, Jehoahaz’s army was reduced to 50 charioteers, 10 chariots, and 10,000 foot soldiers. The king of Aram had killed the others, trampling them like dust under his feet.
8 The rest of the events in Jehoahaz’s reign—everything he did and the extent of his power—are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. 9 When Jehoahaz died, he was buried in Samaria. Then his son Jehoash[i] became the next king.
Jehoash Rules in Israel
10 Jehoash son of Jehoahaz began to rule over Israel in the thirty-seventh year of King Joash’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria sixteen years. 11 But he did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel to commit.
12 The rest of the events in Jehoash’s reign and everything he did, including the extent of his power and his war with King Amaziah of Judah, are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. 13 When Jehoash died, he was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. Then his son Jeroboam II became the next king.
Elisha’s Final Prophecy
14 When Elisha was in his last illness, King Jehoash of Israel visited him and wept over him. “My father! My father! I see the chariots and charioteers of Israel!” he cried.
15 Elisha told him, “Get a bow and some arrows.” And the king did as he was told. 16 Elisha told him, “Put your hand on the bow,” and Elisha laid his own hands on the king’s hands.
17 Then he commanded, “Open that eastern window,” and he opened it. Then he said, “Shoot!” So he shot an arrow. Elisha proclaimed, “This is the Lord’s arrow, an arrow of victory over Aram, for you will completely conquer the Arameans at Aphek.”
18 Then he said, “Now pick up the other arrows and strike them against the ground.” So the king picked them up and struck the ground three times. 19 But the man of God was angry with him. “You should have struck the ground five or six times!” he exclaimed. “Then you would have beaten Aram until it was entirely destroyed. Now you will be victorious only three times.”
20 Then Elisha died and was buried.
Groups of Moabite raiders used to invade the land each spring. 21 Once when some Israelites were burying a man, they spied a band of these raiders. So they hastily threw the corpse into the tomb of Elisha and fled. But as soon as the body touched Elisha’s bones, the dead man revived and jumped to his feet!
22 King Hazael of Aram had oppressed Israel during the entire reign of King Jehoahaz. 23 But the Lord was gracious and merciful to the people of Israel, and they were not totally destroyed. He pitied them because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And to this day he still has not completely destroyed them or banished them from his presence.
24 King Hazael of Aram died, and his son Ben-hadad became the next king. 25 Then Jehoash son of Jehoahaz recaptured from Ben-hadad son of Hazael the towns that had been taken from Jehoash’s father, Jehoahaz. Jehoash defeated Ben-hadad on three occasions, and he recovered the Israelite towns.
Amaziah Rules in Judah
14 Amaziah son of Joash began to rule over Judah in the second year of the reign of King Jehoash[j] of Israel. 2 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother was Jehoaddin from Jerusalem. 3 Amaziah did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, but not like his ancestor David. Instead, he followed the example of his father, Joash. 4 Amaziah did not destroy the pagan shrines, and the people still offered sacrifices and burned incense there.
5 When Amaziah was well established as king, he executed the officials who had assassinated his father. 6 However, he did not kill the children of the assassins, for he obeyed the command of the Lord as written by Moses in the Book of the Law: “Parents must not be put to death for the sins of their children, nor children for the sins of their parents. Those deserving to die must be put to death for their own crimes.”[k]
7 Amaziah also killed 10,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt. He also conquered Sela and changed its name to Joktheel, as it is called to this day.
8 One day Amaziah sent messengers with this challenge to Israel’s king Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz and grandson of Jehu: “Come and meet me in battle!”[l]
9 But King Jehoash of Israel replied to King Amaziah of Judah with this story: “Out in the Lebanon mountains, a thistle sent a message to a mighty cedar tree: ‘Give your daughter in marriage to my son.’ But just then a wild animal of Lebanon came by and stepped on the thistle, crushing it!
10 “You have indeed defeated Edom, and you are proud of it. But be content with your victory and stay at home! Why stir up trouble that will only bring disaster on you and the people of Judah?”
11 But Amaziah refused to listen, so King Jehoash of Israel mobilized his army against King Amaziah of Judah. The two armies drew up their battle lines at Beth-shemesh in Judah. 12 Judah was routed by the army of Israel, and its army scattered and fled for home. 13 King Jehoash of Israel captured Judah’s king, Amaziah son of Joash and grandson of Ahaziah, at Beth-shemesh. Then he marched to Jerusalem, where he demolished 600 feet[m] of Jerusalem’s wall, from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate. 14 He carried off all the gold and silver and all the articles from the Temple of the Lord. He also seized the treasures from the royal palace, along with hostages, and then returned to Samaria.
15 The rest of the events in Jehoash’s reign and everything he did, including the extent of his power and his war with King Amaziah of Judah, are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. 16 When Jehoash died, he was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel. And his son Jeroboam II became the next king.
17 King Amaziah of Judah lived for fifteen years after the death of King Jehoash of Israel. 18 The rest of the events in Amaziah’s reign are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Judah.
19 There was a conspiracy against Amaziah’s life in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish. But his enemies sent assassins after him, and they killed him there. 20 They brought his body back to Jerusalem on a horse, and he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David.
21 All the people of Judah had crowned Amaziah’s sixteen-year-old son, Uzziah,[n] as king in place of his father, Amaziah. 22 After his father’s death, Uzziah rebuilt the town of Elath and restored it to Judah.
Jeroboam II Rules in Israel
23 Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, began to rule over Israel in the fifteenth year of King Amaziah’s reign in Judah. He reigned in Samaria forty-one years. 24 He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam son of Nebat had led Israel to commit. 25 Jeroboam II recovered the territories of Israel between Lebo-hamath and the Dead Sea,[o] just as the Lord, the God of Israel, had promised through Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath-hepher.
26 For the Lord saw the bitter suffering of everyone in Israel, and that there was no one in Israel, slave or free, to help them. 27 And because the Lord had not said he would blot out the name of Israel completely, he used Jeroboam II, the son of Jehoash, to save them.
28 The rest of the events in the reign of Jeroboam II and everything he did—including the extent of his power, his wars, and how he recovered for Israel both Damascus and Hamath, which had belonged to Judah—are recorded in The Book of the History of the Kings of Israel. 29 When Jeroboam II died, he was buried in Samaria[q] with the kings of Israel. Then his son Zechariah became the next king.
11:2 Hebrew Joram, a variant spelling of Jehoram.
11:12 Or a copy of the covenant.
11:15 Or Bring her out from between the ranks; or Take her out of the Temple precincts. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
11:21a Verse 11:21 is numbered 12:1 in Hebrew text.
11:21b Hebrew Jehoash, a variant spelling of Joash.
12:1a Verses 12:1-21 are numbered 12:2-22 in Hebrew text.
12:1b Hebrew Jehoash, a variant spelling of Joash; also in 12:2, 4, 6, 7, 18.
12:21 As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads Jozabad.
13:9 Hebrew Joash, a variant spelling of Jehoash; also in 13:10, 12, 13, 14, 25.
14:1 Hebrew Joash, a variant spelling of Jehoash; also in 14:13, 23, 27.
14:6 Deut 24:16.
14:8 Hebrew Come, let us look one another in the face.
14:13 Hebrew 400 cubits [180 meters].
14:21 Hebrew Azariah, a variant spelling of Uzziah.
14:25 Hebrew the sea of the Arabah.
14:28 Or to Yaudi. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
14:29 As in some Greek manuscripts; Hebrew lacks he was buried in Samaria.
A psalm of David.
1 I will sing of your love and justice, Lord.
I will praise you with songs.
2 I will be careful to live a blameless life—
when will you come to help me?
I will lead a life of integrity
in my own home.
3 I will refuse to look at
anything vile and vulgar.
I hate all who deal crookedly;
I will have nothing to do with them.
4 I will reject perverse ideas
and stay away from every evil.
5 I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.
I will not endure conceit and pride.
6 I will search for faithful people
to be my companions.
Only those who are above reproach
will be allowed to serve me.
7 I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house,
and liars will not stay in my presence.
8 My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked
and free the city of the Lord from their grip.
22 “Brothers and esteemed fathers,” Paul said, “listen to me as I offer my defense.” 2 When they heard him speaking in their own language,[a] the silence was even greater.
3 Then Paul said, “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, and I was brought up and educated here in Jerusalem under Gamaliel. As his student, I was carefully trained in our Jewish laws and customs. I became very zealous to honor God in everything I did, just like all of you today. 4 And I persecuted the followers of the Way, hounding some to death, arresting both men and women and throwing them in prison. 5 The high priest and the whole council of elders can testify that this is so. For I received letters from them to our Jewish brothers in Damascus, authorizing me to bring the followers of the Way from there to Jerusalem, in chains, to be punished.
6 “As I was on the road, approaching Damascus about noon, a very bright light from heaven suddenly shone down around me. 7 I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’
8 “‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked.
“And the voice replied, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene,[b] the one you are persecuting.’ 9 The people with me saw the light but didn’t understand the voice speaking to me.
10 “I asked, ‘What should I do, Lord?’
“And the Lord told me, ‘Get up and go into Damascus, and there you will be told everything you are to do.’
11 “I was blinded by the intense light and had to be led by the hand to Damascus by my companions. 12 A man named Ananias lived there. He was a godly man, deeply devoted to the law, and well regarded by all the Jews of Damascus. 13 He came and stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, regain your sight.’ And that very moment I could see him!
14 “Then he told me, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak. 15 For you are to be his witness, telling everyone what you have seen and heard. 16 What are you waiting for? Get up and be baptized. Have your sins washed away by calling on the name of the Lord.’
17 “After I returned to Jerusalem, I was praying in the Temple and fell into a trance. 18 I saw a vision of Jesus[c] saying to me, ‘Hurry! Leave Jerusalem, for the people here won’t accept your testimony about me.’
19 “‘But Lord,’ I argued, ‘they certainly know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you. 20 And I was in complete agreement when your witness Stephen was killed. I stood by and kept the coats they took off when they stoned him.’
21 “But the Lord said to me, ‘Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles!’”
22 The crowd listened until Paul said that word. Then they all began to shout, “Away with such a fellow! He isn’t fit to live!” 23 They yelled, threw off their coats, and tossed handfuls of dust into the air.
Paul Reveals His Roman Citizenship
24 The commander brought Paul inside and ordered him lashed with whips to make him confess his crime. He wanted to find out why the crowd had become so furious. 25 When they tied Paul down to lash him, Paul said to the officer[d] standing there, “Is it legal for you to whip a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been tried?”
26 When the officer heard this, he went to the commander and asked, “What are you doing? This man is a Roman citizen!”
27 So the commander went over and asked Paul, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?”
“Yes, I certainly am,” Paul replied.
28 “I am, too,” the commander muttered, “and it cost me plenty!”
Paul answered, “But I am a citizen by birth!”
29 The soldiers who were about to interrogate Paul quickly withdrew when they heard he was a Roman citizen, and the commander was frightened because he had ordered him bound and whipped.
Paul before the High Council
30 The next day the commander ordered the leading priests into session with the Jewish high council.[e] He wanted to find out what the trouble was all about, so he released Paul to have him stand before them.
22:2 Greek in Aramaic, or in Hebrew.
22:8 Or Jesus of Nazareth.
22:18 Greek him.
22:25 Greek the centurion; also in 22:26.
22:30 Greek Sanhedrin.
A psalm of David.
1 O Lord, I give my life to you.
2 I trust in you, my God!
Do not let me be disgraced,
or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
3 No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.
4 Show me the right path, O Lord;
point out the road for me to follow.
5 Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you.
6 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
which you have shown from long ages past.
7 Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
for you are merciful, O Lord.
8 The Lord is good and does what is right;
he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
9 He leads the humble in doing right,
teaching them his way.
10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.
11 For the honor of your name, O Lord,
forgive my many, many sins.
12 Who are those who fear the Lord?
He will show them the path they should choose.
13 They will live in prosperity,
and their children will inherit the land.
14 The Lord is a friend to those who fear him.
He teaches them his covenant.
15 My eyes are always on the Lord,
for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.
16 Turn to me and have mercy,
for I am alone and in deep distress.
17 My problems go from bad to worse.
Oh, save me from them all!
18 Feel my pain and see my trouble.
Forgive all my sins.
19 See how many enemies I have
and how viciously they hate me!
20 Protect me! Rescue my life from them!
Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge.
21 May integrity and honesty protect me,
for I put my hope in you.
22 O God, ransom Israel
from all its troubles.
25 This psalm is a Hebrew acrostic poem; each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.