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
King Joash of Israel captured King Amaziah of Judah, son of Joash son of Jehoahaz, in Beth Shemesh and brought him to Jerusalem. He broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the Gate of Ephraim to the Corner Gate – a distance of about six hundred feet. 1
After this Manasseh 1 built up the outer wall of the City of David 2 on the west side of the Gihon in the valley to the entrance of the Fish Gate and all around the terrace; he made it much higher. He placed army officers in all the fortified cities in Judah.
so that he may initiate a search of the records 1 of his predecessors 2 and discover in those records 3 that this city is rebellious 4 and injurious to both kings and provinces, producing internal revolts 5 from long ago. 6 It is for this very reason that this city was destroyed.
Furthermore let the gold and silver vessels of the temple of God, which Nebuchadnezzar brought from the temple in Jerusalem and carried to Babylon, be returned and brought to their proper place in the temple in Jerusalem. Let them be deposited in the temple of God.’
“Now you, Ezra, in keeping with the wisdom of your God which you possess, 1 appoint judges 2 and court officials who can arbitrate cases on behalf of all the people who are in Trans-Euphrates who know the laws of your God. Those who do not know this law should be taught.
Let our leaders take steps 1 on behalf of all the assembly. Let all those in our towns who have married foreign women come at an appointed time, and with them the elders of each town and its judges, until the hot anger of our God is turned away from us in this matter.”
Please, 1 O Lord, listen attentively 2 to the prayer of your servant and to the prayer of your servants who take pleasure in showing respect 3 to your name. Grant your servant success today and show compassion to me 4 in the presence of this man.” Now 5 I was cupbearer for the king.
The Levites – Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah – said, “Stand up and bless the LORD your God!” “May you be blessed, O LORD our God, from age to age. 1 May your glorious name 2 be blessed; may it be lifted up above all blessing and praise.
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
Harbona, 1 one of the king’s eunuchs, said, “Indeed, there is the gallows that Haman made for Mordecai, who spoke out in the king’s behalf. It stands near Haman’s home and is seventy-five feet 2 high.” The king said, “Hang him on it!”
The Lover to His Beloved: O my dove, 1 in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places of the mountain crags, let me see your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.
The Beloved about Her Lover: I was asleep, but my mind 1 was dreaming. 2 Listen! 3 My lover 4 is knocking 5 at the door! 6 The Lover to His Beloved: “Open 7 for me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my flawless one! My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night.”
He built a hedge around it, 1 removed its stones, and planted a vine. He built a tower in the middle of it, and constructed a winepress. He waited for it to produce edible grapes, but it produced sour ones instead. 2
At that time tribute will be brought to the Lord who commands armies, by a people that are tall and smooth-skinned, a people that are feared far and wide, a nation strong and victorious, whose land rivers divide. 1 The tribute 2 will be brought to the place where the Lord who commands armies has chosen to reside, on Mount Zion. 3
For 1 the burial place is already prepared; 2 it has been made deep and wide for the king. 3 The firewood is piled high on it. 4 The Lord’s breath, like a stream flowing with brimstone, will ignite it.
But the chief adviser said, “My master did not send me to speak these words only to your master and to you. 1 His message is also for the men who sit on the wall, for they will eat their own excrement and drink their own urine along with you!” 2
Who decreed this from the beginning, so we could know? Who announced it 1 ahead of time, so we could say, ‘He’s correct’? Indeed, none of them decreed it! Indeed, none of them announced it! Indeed, no one heard you say anything!
Tell me! Present the evidence! 1 Let them consult with one another! Who predicted this in the past? Who announced it beforehand? Was it not I, the Lord? I have no peer, there is no God but me, a God who vindicates and delivers; 2 there is none but me.