On the fifteenth day of the eighth month (a date he had arbitrarily chosen) 1 Jeroboam 2 offered sacrifices on the altar he had made in Bethel. 3 He inaugurated a festival for the Israelites and went up to the altar to offer sacrifices.
“I want to make a treaty with you, like the one our fathers made. 1 See, I have sent you silver and gold as a present. Break your treaty with King Baasha of Israel, so he will retreat from my land.” 2
while he went a day’s journey into the desert. He went and sat down under a shrub 1 and asked the Lord to take his life: 2 “I’ve had enough! Now, O Lord, take my life. After all, I’m no better than my ancestors.” 3
They confronted 1 King Uzziah and said to him, “It is not proper for you, Uzziah, to offer incense to the Lord. That is the responsibility of the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who are consecrated to offer incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have disobeyed 2 and the Lord God will not honor you!”
But she is unique! 1 My dove, my perfect one! She is the special daughter 2 of her mother, she is the favorite 3 of the one who bore her. The maidens 4 saw her and complimented her; 5 the queens and concubines praised her:
You are my witnesses,” says the Lord, “my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may consider 1 and believe in me, and understand that I am he. No god was formed before me, and none will outlive me. 2
This is what the Lord says: “The profit 1 of Egypt and the revenue 2 of Ethiopia, along with the Sabeans, those tall men, will be brought to you 3 and become yours. They will walk behind you, coming along in chains. 4 They will bow down to you and pray to you: 5 ‘Truly God is with 6 you; he has no peer; 7 there is no other God!’”
“Look up at the hilltops and consider this. 1 You have had sex with other gods on every one of them. 2 You waited for those gods like a thief lying in wait in the desert. 3 You defiled the land by your wicked prostitution to other gods. 4
Then you will know that I am the Lord – when their dead lie among their idols around their altars, on every high hill and all the mountaintops, under every green tree and every leafy oak, 1 the places where they have offered fragrant incense to all their idols.
I will not punish your daughters when they commit prostitution, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery. For the men consort with harlots, they sacrifice with temple prostitutes. It is true: 1 “A people that lacks understanding will come to ruin!”
They will not pour out drink offerings of wine to the Lord; they will not please him with their sacrifices. Their sacrifices will be like bread eaten while in mourning; all those who eat them will make themselves ritually unclean. For their bread will be only to satisfy their appetite; it will not come into the temple of the Lord.
These men are 1 dangerous reefs 2 at your love feasts, 3 feasting without reverence, 4 feeding only themselves. 5 They are 6 waterless 7 clouds, carried along by the winds; autumn trees without fruit 8 – twice dead, 9 uprooted;
Asa prayed 1 to the Lord his God: “O Lord, there is no one but you who can help the weak when they are vastly outnumbered. 2 Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you and have marched on your behalf against this huge army. 3 O Lord our God, don’t let men prevail against you!” 4