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When the Arameans realized they had been defeated by Israel, they sent for reinforcements from beyond the Euphrates River, 1 led by Shophach the commanding general of Hadadezer’s army. 2
Lawless good-for-nothing men 1 gathered around him and conspired 2 against Rehoboam son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was an inexperienced young man 3 and could not resist them.
Now the king of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah were sitting on their respective thrones, dressed in their royal robes, at the threshing floor at 1 the entrance of the gate of Samaria. All the prophets were prophesying before them.
You will not fight in this battle. Take your positions, stand, and watch the Lord deliver you, 1 O Judah and Jerusalem. Don’t be afraid and don’t panic! 2 Tomorrow march out toward them; the Lord is with you!’”
Their descendants 1 entered and possessed the land. You subdued before them the Canaanites who were the inhabitants of the land. You delivered them into their hand, together with their kings and the peoples of the land, to deal with as they pleased.
Even when they were in their kingdom and benefiting from your incredible 1 goodness that you had lavished 2 on them in the spacious and fertile land you had set 3 before them, they did not serve you, nor did they turn from their evil practices.
The Jews assembled themselves in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to strike out against those who were seeking their harm. No one was able to stand before them, for dread of them fell on all the peoples.
There is no end to all the people 1 nor to the past generations, 2 yet future generations 3 will not rejoice in him. This also is profitless and like 4 chasing the wind.
So I reflected on all this, 1 attempting to clear 2 it all up. I concluded that 3 the righteous and the wise, as well as their works, are in the hand of God; whether a person will be loved or hated 4 – no one knows what lies ahead. 5
I will lead the blind along an unfamiliar way; 1 I will guide them down paths they have never traveled. 2 I will turn the darkness in front of them into light, and level out the rough ground. 3 This is what I will do for them. I will not abandon them.
“You have surely noticed what these people are saying, haven’t you? They are saying, 1 ‘The Lord has rejected the two families of Israel and Judah 2 that he chose.’ So they have little regard that my people will ever again be a nation. 3
Seventy men from the elders of the house of Israel 1 (with Jaazaniah son of Shaphan standing among them) were standing in front of them, each with a censer in his hand, and fragrant 2 vapors from a cloud of incense were swirling upward.
Yet they will be ministers in my sanctuary, having oversight at the gates of the temple, and serving the temple. They will slaughter the burnt offerings and the sacrifices for the people, and they will stand before them to minister to them.
On that day the Lord himself will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the weakest among them will be like mighty David, and the dynasty of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord before them. 1