The king pled with 1 the prophet, 2 “Seek the favor of 3 the Lord your God and pray for me, so that my hand may be restored.” So the prophet sought the Lord’s favor 4 and the king’s hand was restored to its former condition. 5
Solomon moved Pharaoh’s daughter up from the City of David 1 to the palace he had built for her, for he said, “My wife must not live in the palace of King David of Israel, for the places where the ark of the Lord has entered are holy.”
When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he was encouraged. 1 He removed the detestable idols from the entire land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities he had seized in the Ephraimite hill country. He repaired the altar of the Lord in front of the porch of the Lord’s temple. 2
In the first year of his reign, 1 King Cyrus gave orders concerning the temple of God in Jerusalem: 2 ‘Let the temple be rebuilt as a place where sacrifices are offered. Let its foundations be set in place. 3 Its height is to be ninety feet and its width ninety 4 feet, 5
“But now briefly 1 we have received mercy from the Lord our God, in that he has left us a remnant and has given us a secure position 2 in his holy place. Thus our God has enlightened our eyes 3 and has given us a little relief in our time of servitude.
“‘Say to them: This is what the sovereign Lord says: “‘Will it prosper? Will he not rip out its roots and cause its fruit to rot 1 and wither? All its foliage 2 will wither. No strong arm or large army will be needed to pull it out by its roots. 3
All the trees of the field will know that I am the Lord. I make the high tree low; I raise up the low tree. I make the green tree wither, and I make the dry tree sprout. I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it!’”
Sheba and Dedan and the traders of Tarshish with all its young warriors 1 will say to you, “Have you come to loot? Have you assembled your armies to plunder, to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to haul away a great amount of spoils?”’
I also wanted to know 1 the meaning of the ten horns on its head, and of that other horn which came up and before which three others fell. This was the horn that had eyes 2 and a mouth speaking arrogant things, whose appearance was more formidable than the others. 3
Twist and strain, 1 Daughter Zion, as if you were in labor! For you will leave the city and live in the open field. You will go to Babylon, but there you will be rescued. There the Lord will deliver 2 you from the power 3 of your enemies.
Edom 1 says, “Though we are devastated, we will once again build the ruined places.” So the Lord who rules over all 2 responds, “They indeed may build, but I will overthrow. They will be known as 3 the land of evil, the people with whom the Lord is permanently displeased.
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?
Also some of the Epicurean 1 and Stoic 2 philosophers were conversing 3 with him, and some were asking, 4 “What does this foolish babbler 5 want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods.” 6 (They said this because he was proclaiming the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.) 7
So if perfection had in fact been possible through the Levitical priesthood – for on that basis 1 the people received the law – what further need would there have been for another priest to arise, said to be in the order of Melchizedek and not in Aaron’s order?
For the law possesses a shadow of the good things to come but not the reality itself, and is therefore completely unable, by the same sacrifices offered continually, year after year, to perfect those who come to worship. 1
You must 1 observe the Sabbath 2 rather than doing anything you please on my holy day. 3 You must look forward to the Sabbath 4 and treat the Lord’s holy day with respect. 5 You must treat it with respect by refraining from your normal activities, and by refraining from your selfish pursuits and from making business deals. 6
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
As for the king seeing a holy sentinel coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its taproot in the ground, with a band of iron and bronze around it, surrounded by the grass of the field. Let it become damp with the dew of the sky, and let it live with the wild animals, until seven periods of time go by for him’ –