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
But there were not enough priests to skin all the animals, 1 so their brothers, the Levites, helped them until the work was finished and the priests could consecrate themselves. (The Levites had been more conscientious about consecrating themselves than the priests.) 2
He brought against them the king of the Babylonians, who slaughtered 1 their young men in their temple. 2 He did not spare 3 young men or women, or even the old and aging. God 4 handed everyone over to him.
Letters were sent by the runners to all the king’s provinces stating that 1 they should destroy, kill, and annihilate all the Jews, from youth to elderly, both women and children, 2 on a particular day, namely the thirteenth day 3 of the twelfth month (that is, the month of Adar), and to loot and plunder their possessions.
The king thereby allowed the Jews who were in every city to assemble and to stand up for themselves – to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any army of whatever people or province that should become their adversaries, including their women and children, 1 and to confiscate their property.
For the Lord says, ‘I will make both you and your friends terrified of what will happen to you. 1 You will see all of them die by the swords of their enemies. 2 I will hand all the people of Judah over to the king of Babylon. He will carry some of them away into exile in Babylon and he will kill others of them with the sword.
Now the cistern where Ishmael threw all the dead bodies of those he had killed was a large one 1 that King Asa had constructed as part of his defenses against King Baasha of Israel. 2 Ishmael son of Nethaniah filled it with dead bodies. 3
But that day belongs to the Lord God who rules over all. 1 It is the day when he will pay back his enemies. 2 His sword will devour them until its appetite is satisfied! It will drink their blood until it is full! 3 For the Lord God who rules over all 4 will offer them up as a sacrifice in the land of the north by the Euphrates River.
I will direct 1 my jealous anger against you, and they will deal with you in rage. They will cut off your nose and your ears, 2 and your survivors will die 3 by the sword. They will seize your sons and daughters, and your survivors will be consumed by fire.
Say to the house of Israel, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: Realize I am about to desecrate my sanctuary – the source of your confident pride, 1 the object in which your eyes delight, 2 and your life’s passion. 3 Your very own sons and daughters whom you have left behind will die 4 by the sword.
“I sent against you a plague like one of the Egyptian plagues. 1 I killed your young men with the sword, along with the horses you had captured. I made the stench from the corpses 2 rise up into your nostrils. Still you did not come back to me.” The Lord is speaking!
I saw the sovereign One 1 standing by the altar 2 and he said, “Strike the tops of the support pillars, 3 so the thresholds shake! Knock them down on the heads of all the people, 4 and I will kill the survivors 5 with the sword. No one will be able to run away; 6 no one will be able to escape. 7
Indeed, I am about to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not take heed to the sheep headed to slaughter, will not seek the scattered, and will not heal the injured. 1 Moreover, he will not nourish the one that is healthy but instead will eat the meat of the fat sheep 2 and tear off their hooves.
But God turned away from them and gave them over 1 to worship the host 2 of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: ‘It was not to me that you offered slain animals and sacrifices 3 forty years in the wilderness, was it, 4 house of Israel?
So Jehoshabeath, 1 the daughter of King Jehoram, 2 took Ahaziah’s son Joash and sneaked him away 3 from the rest of the royal descendants who were to be executed. She hid him and his nurse in the room where the bed covers were stored. So Jehoshabeath the daughter of King Jehoram, wife of Jehoiada the priest and sister of Ahaziah, hid him from Athaliah so she could not execute him.
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