King Ahaz ordered Uriah the priest, “On the large altar 1 offer the morning burnt sacrifice, the evening grain offering, the royal burnt sacrifices and grain offering, the burnt sacrifice for all the people of Israel, their grain offering, and their libations. Sprinkle all the blood of the burnt sacrifice and other sacrifices on it. The bronze altar will be for my personal use.” 2
But a spirit 1 empowered 2 Amasai, the leader of the thirty warriors, and he said: 3 “We are yours, O David! We support 4 you, O son of Jesse! May you greatly prosper! 5 May those who help you prosper! 6 Indeed 7 your God helps you!” So David accepted them and made them leaders of raiding bands.
Now, O Lord God of Israel, keep the promise you made to your servant, my father David, when you said, ‘You will never fail to have a successor ruling before me on the throne of Israel, 1 provided that your descendants watch their step and obey my law as you have done.’ 2
Oded, a prophet of the Lord, was there. He went to meet the army as they arrived in Samaria and said to them: “Look, because the Lord God of your ancestors was angry with Judah he handed them over to you. You have killed them so mercilessly that God has taken notice. 1
In the second year after they had come to the temple of God in Jerusalem, 1 in the second month, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak initiated the work, 2 along with the rest of their associates, 3 the priests and the Levites, and all those who were coming to Jerusalem from the exile. They appointed 4 the Levites who were at least twenty years old 5 to take charge of the work on the Lord’s temple.
“So now, our God – the great, powerful, and awesome God, who keeps covenant fidelity 1 – do not regard as inconsequential 2 all the hardship that has befallen us – our kings, our leaders, our priests, our prophets, our ancestors, and all your people – from the days of the kings of Assyria until this very day!
Once again there will be sounds 1 of joy and gladness and the glad celebrations of brides and grooms. 2 Once again people will bring their thank offerings to the temple of the Lord and will say, “Give thanks to the Lord who rules over all. For the Lord is good and his unfailing love lasts forever.” 3 For I, the Lord, affirm 4 that I will restore the land to what it was 5 in days of old.’ 6
The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, ‘You women 1 have confirmed by your actions what you vowed with your lips! You said, “We will certainly carry out our vows to sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven.” Well, then fulfill your vows! Carry them out!’ 2
“‘When the people of the land come before the Lord at the appointed feasts, whoever enters by way of the north gate to worship will go out by way of the south gate; whoever enters by way of the south gate will go out by way of the north gate. No one will return by way of the gate they entered but will go out straight ahead.
“A son naturally honors his father and a slave respects 1 his master. If I am your 2 father, where is my honor? If I am your master, where is my respect? The Lord who rules over all asks you this, you priests who make light of my name! But you reply, ‘How have we made light of your name?’