So King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came against Jerusalem with his whole army and set up camp outside 1 it. They built siege ramps all around it. He arrived on the tenth day of the tenth month in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign. 2
Saul told his armor bearer, “Draw your sword and stab me with it. Otherwise these uncircumcised people will come and torture me.” 1 But his armor bearer refused to do it, because he was very afraid. So Saul took the sword and fell on it.
David said to the whole Israelite assembly, “If you so desire and the Lord our God approves, 1 let’s spread the word 2 to our brothers who remain in all the regions of Israel, and to the priests and Levites in their cities, 3 so they may join us.
David said to God, “Was I not the one who decided to number the army? I am the one who sinned and committed this awful deed! 1 As for these sheep – what have they done? O Lord my God, attack me and my family, 2 but remove the plague from your people!” 3
The descendants of Eleazar had more leaders than the descendants of Ithamar, so they divided them up accordingly; the descendants of Eleazar had sixteen leaders, while the descendants of Ithamar had eight. 1
God said to Solomon, “Because you desire this, 1 and did not ask for riches, wealth, and honor, or for vengeance on your enemies, 2 and because you did not ask for long life, 3 but requested wisdom and discernment so you can make judicial decisions for my people over whom I have made you king,
As his father David had decreed, Solomon 1 appointed the divisions of the priests to do their assigned tasks, the Levitical orders to lead worship and help the priests with their daily tasks, 2 and the divisions of the gatekeepers to serve at their assigned gates. 3 This was what David the man of God had ordered. 4
Whenever your countrymen who live in the cities bring a case before you 1 (whether it involves a violent crime 2 or other matters related to the law, commandments, rules, and regulations), warn them that they must not sin against the Lord. If you fail to do so, God will be angry with you and your colleagues; but if you obey, you will be free of guilt. 3
You will report to Amariah the chief priest in all matters pertaining to the Lord’s law, and to Zebadiah son of Ishmael, the leader of the family of Judah, in all matters pertaining to the king. 1 The Levites will serve as officials before you. Confidently carry out your duties! 2 May the Lord be with those who do well!”
Jehoshaphat and his men 1 went to gather the plunder; they found a huge amount of supplies, clothing 2 and valuable items. They carried away everything they could. 3 There was so much plunder, it took them three days to haul it off. 4
In the seventh year Jehoiada made a bold move. He made a pact 1 with the officers of the units of hundreds: Azariah son of Jehoram, Ishmael son of Jehochanan, Azariah son of Obed, Maaseiah son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat son of Zikri.
Jehoiada then assigned the duties of the Lord’s temple to the priests, the Levites whom David had assigned to the Lord’s temple. They were responsible for offering burnt sacrifices to the Lord with joy and music, according to 1 the law of Moses and the edict of David.
Whenever the Levites brought the chest to the royal accountant and they saw there was a lot of silver, the royal scribe and the accountant of the high priest emptied the chest and then took it back to its place. They went through this routine every day and collected a large amount of silver.
King Joash of Israel sent this message back to King Amaziah of Judah, “A thorn bush in Lebanon sent this message to a cedar in Lebanon, ‘Give your daughter to my son as a wife.’ Then a wild animal of Lebanon came by and trampled down the thorn bush. 1
In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his ancestor 1 David. In his twelfth year he began ridding 2 Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, Asherah poles, idols, and images.
The king went up to the Lord’s temple, accompanied by all the people of Judah, the residents of Jerusalem, the priests, and the Levites. All the people were there, from the oldest to the youngest. He read aloud all the words of the scroll of the covenant that had been discovered in the Lord’s temple.
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.
1 In the first 2 year of King Cyrus of Persia, in order to fulfill the Lord’s message 3 spoken through 4 Jeremiah, 5 the Lord stirred the mind 6 of King Cyrus of Persia. He disseminated 7 a proclamation 8 throughout his entire kingdom, announcing in a written edict 9 the following: