‘If disaster comes on us in the form of military attack, 1 judgment, plague, or famine, we will stand in front of this temple before you, for you are present in this temple. 2 We will cry out to you for help in our distress, so that you will 3 hear and deliver us.’
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!’”
Early the next morning they marched out to the Desert of Tekoa. When they were ready to march, Jehoshaphat stood up and said: “Listen to me, you people of Judah 1 and residents of Jerusalem! Trust in the Lord your God and you will be safe! 2 Trust in the message of his prophets and you will win.”
Jehoiada the priest sent out the officers of the units of hundreds, who were in charge of the army, and ordered them, “Bring her outside the temple to the guards. 1 Put the sword to anyone who follows her.” The priest gave this order because he had decided she should not be executed in the Lord’s temple. 2
He assembled the priests and Levites and ordered them, “Go out to the cities of Judah and collect the annual quota of silver from all Israel for repairs on the temple of your God. Be quick about it!” But the Levites delayed.
The following Levites prepared to carry out the king’s orders: 1 From the Kohathites: Mahath son of Amasai and Joel son of Azariah; from the Merarites: Kish son of Abdi and Azariah son of Jehallelel; from the Gershonites: Joah son of Zimmah and Eden son of Joah;
When all this was over, the Israelites 1 who were in the cities of Judah went out and smashed the sacred pillars, cut down the Asherah poles, and demolished 2 all the high places and altars throughout Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh. 3 Then all the Israelites returned to their own homes in their cities. 4
The Lord sent a messenger 1 and he wiped out all the soldiers, princes, and officers in the army of the king of Assyria. So Sennacherib 2 returned home humiliated. 3 When he entered the temple of his god, some of his own sons 4 struck him down with the sword.
He put an idolatrous image he had made in God’s temple, about which God had said to David and to his son Solomon, “This temple in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will be my permanent home. 1
“Go, seek an oracle from 1 the Lord for me and those who remain in Israel and Judah. Find out about 2 the words of this scroll that has been discovered. For the Lord’s fury has been ignited against us, 3 because our ancestors 4 have not obeyed the word of the Lord by doing all that this scroll instructs!” 5
The king stood by his pillar 1 and renewed 2 the covenant before the Lord, agreeing to follow 3 the Lord and to obey his commandments, laws, and rules with all his heart and being, 4 by carrying out the terms 5 of this covenant recorded on this scroll.
So his servants took him out of the chariot, put him in another chariot that he owned, and brought him to Jerusalem, 1 where he died. He was buried in the tombs of his ancestors; 2 all the people of Judah and Jerusalem mourned Josiah.
“I hereby give orders that if anyone changes this directive a beam is to be pulled out from his house and he is to be raised up and impaled 1 on it, and his house is to be reduced 2 to a rubbish heap 3 for this indiscretion. 4
On the fourth day we weighed out the silver, the gold, and the vessels in the house of our God into the care 1 of Meremoth son of Uriah, the priest, and Eleazar son of Phinehas, who were accompanied by Jozabad son of Jeshua and Noadiah son of Binnui, who were Levites.
So the people went out and brought these things 1 back and constructed temporary shelters for themselves, each on his roof and in his courtyard and in the courtyards of the temple 2 of God and in the plaza of the Water Gate and the plaza of the Ephraim Gate.
“Then, when they were at rest again, they went back to doing evil before you. Then you abandoned them to 1 their enemies, and they gained dominion over them. When they again cried out to you, in your compassion you heard from heaven and rescued them time and again.
At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, 1 they sought out the Levites from all the places they lived 2 to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication joyfully with songs of thanksgiving and songs accompanied by cymbals, harps, and lyres.
So I entered a complaint with them. I called down a curse on them, and I struck some of the men and pulled out their hair. I had them swear by God saying, “You will not marry off 1 your daughters to their sons, and you will not take any of their daughters as wives for your sons or for yourselves!
But the thought of striking out against 1 Mordecai alone was repugnant to him, for he had been informed 2 of the identity of Mordecai’s people. 3 So Haman sought to destroy all the Jews (that is, the people of Mordecai) 4 who were in all the kingdom of Ahasuerus.
In the first month (that is, the month of Nisan), in the twelfth year 1 of King Ahasuerus’ reign, pur 2 (that is, the lot) was cast before Haman in order to determine a day and a month. 3 It turned out to be the twelfth month (that is, the month of Adar). 4