When the army 1 came back to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why did the Lord let us be defeated today by 2 the Philistines? Let’s take with us the ark of the covenant of the Lord from Shiloh. When it is with us, it will save us 3 from the hand of our enemies.
Saul replied, “Here is what you should say to David: ‘There is nothing that the king wants as a price for the bride except a hundred Philistine foreskins, so that he can be avenged of his 1 enemies.’” (Now Saul was thinking that he could kill David by the hand of the Philistines.)
So they took a bull, as he had suggested, 1 and prepared it. They invoked the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “Baal, answer us.” But there was no sound and no answer. They jumped 2 around on the altar they had made. 3
So he said to the messengers of Ben Hadad, “Say this to my master, the king, ‘I will give you everything you demanded at first from your servant, but I am unable to agree to this latest demand.’” 1 So the messengers went back and gave their report.
But the officer replied to the prophet, “Look, even if the Lord made it rain by opening holes in the sky, could this happen so soon?” 1 Elisha 2 said, “Look, you will see it happen with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of the food!” 3
So the palace supervisor, 1 the city commissioner, 2 the leaders, 3 and the guardians sent this message to Jehu, “We are your subjects! 4 Whatever you say, we will do. We will not make anyone king. Do what you consider proper.” 5
So King Jehoash summoned Jehoiada the priest along with the other priests, and said to them, “Why have you not repaired the damage to the temple? Now, take no more silver from your treasurers unless you intend to use it to repair the damage.” 1
“Go, seek an oracle from 1 the Lord for me and the people – for all Judah. Find out about 2 the words of this scroll that has been discovered. For the Lord’s fury has been ignited against us, 3 because our ancestors have not obeyed the words of this scroll by doing all that it instructs us to do.” 4
‘You displayed a sensitive spirit 1 and humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard how I intended to make this place and its residents into an appalling example of an accursed people. 2 You tore your clothes and wept before me, and I have heard you,’ says the Lord.
From the city he took a eunuch who was in charge of the soldiers, five 1 of the king’s advisers 2 who were discovered in the city, an official army secretary who drafted citizens 3 for military service, and sixty citizens from the people of the land who were discovered in the city.
But the Lord said to me: 1 ‘You have spilled a great deal of blood and fought many battles. You must not build a temple to honor me, 2 for you have spilled a great deal of blood on the ground before me.
David assembled in Jerusalem 1 all the officials of Israel, including the commanders of the tribes, the commanders of the army divisions that served the king, the commanders of units of a thousand and a hundred, the officials who were in charge of all the property and livestock of the king and his sons, the eunuchs, and the warriors, including the most skilled of them.
Whenever your countrymen who live in the cities bring a case before you 1 (whether it involves a violent crime 2 or other matters related to the law, commandments, rules, and regulations), warn them that they must not sin against the Lord. If you fail to do so, God will be angry with you and your colleagues; but if you obey, you will be free of guilt. 3
Jehoiada then assigned the duties of the Lord’s temple to the priests, the Levites whom David had assigned to the Lord’s temple. They were responsible for offering burnt sacrifices to the Lord with joy and music, according to 1 the law of Moses and the edict of David.
They confronted 1 King Uzziah and said to him, “It is not proper for you, Uzziah, to offer incense to the Lord. That is the responsibility of the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who are consecrated to offer incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have disobeyed 2 and the Lord God will not honor you!”
Hezekiah said, “Now you have consecrated yourselves 1 to the Lord. Come and bring sacrifices and thank offerings 2 to the Lord’s temple.” So the assembly brought sacrifices and thank offerings, and whoever desired to do so 3 brought burnt sacrifices.
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
“Go, seek an oracle from 1 the Lord for me and those who remain in Israel and Judah. Find out about 2 the words of this scroll that has been discovered. For the Lord’s fury has been ignited against us, 3 because our ancestors 4 have not obeyed the word of the Lord by doing all that this scroll instructs!” 5
‘You displayed a sensitive spirit 1 and humbled yourself before God when you heard his words concerning this place and its residents. You humbled yourself before me, tore your clothes and wept before me, and I have heard you,’ says the Lord.