The Lord God of Israel chose me out of my father’s entire family to become king over Israel and have a permanent dynasty. 1 Indeed, 2 he chose Judah as leader, and my father’s family within Judah, and then he picked me out from among my father’s sons and made me king over all Israel. 3
He said to the people of Judah: 1 “Let’s build these cities and fortify them with walls, towers, and barred gates. 2 The land remains ours because we have followed 3 the Lord our God and he has made us secure on all sides.” 4 So they built the cities 5 and prospered.
Asa prayed 1 to the Lord his God: “O Lord, there is no one but you who can help the weak when they are vastly outnumbered. 2 Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you and have marched on your behalf against this huge army. 3 O Lord our God, don’t let men prevail against you!” 4
Amaziah assembled the people of Judah 1 and assigned them by families to the commanders of units of a thousand and the commanders of units of a hundred for all Judah and Benjamin. He counted those twenty years old and up and discovered there were 300,000 young men of fighting age 2 equipped with spears and shields. 3
It read: “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: ‘The Lord God of the heavens has given to me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build for him a temple in Jerusalem 1 in Judah. May the Lord your God energize you who belong to his people, so you may be able to go back there!” 2
“If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and becomes another man’s wife, he may not take her back again. 1 Doing that would utterly defile the land. 2 But you, Israel, have given yourself as a prostitute to many gods. 3 So what makes you think you can return to me?” 4 says the Lord.
Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him led off all the people who had been left alive at Mizpah. They had rescued them from Ishmael son of Nethaniah after he killed Gedaliah son of Ahikam. They led off the men, women, children, soldiers, and court officials whom they had brought away from Gibeon.
Instead we will do everything we vowed we would do. 1 We will sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the goddess called the Queen of Heaven 2 just as we and our ancestors, our kings, and our leaders previously did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and had no troubles. 3
When the prince provides a freewill offering, a burnt offering, or peace offerings as a voluntary offering to the Lord, the gate facing east will be opened for him, and he will provide his burnt offering and his peace offerings just as he did on the Sabbath. Then he will go out, and the gate will be closed after he goes out. 1
Then Daniel (whose name is also Belteshazzar) was upset for a brief time; 1 his thoughts were alarming him. The king said, “Belteshazzar, don’t let the dream and its interpretation alarm you.” But Belteshazzar replied, “Sir, 2 if only the dream were for your enemies and its interpretation applied to your adversaries!
So they approached the king and said to him, 1 “Did you not issue an edict to the effect that for the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human other than to you, O king, would be thrown into a den of lions?” The king replied, “That is correct, 2 according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be changed.”
“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?’