Week #62; Wed, Mar 06: 2 Chronicles 16–23

Week #62; Wed, Mar 06: 2 Chronicles 16:1–23:21

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS:
1. King Asa’s reliance on other kings (Ben-hadad of Syria) rather than the Lord God was a big mistake.
2. Repeatedly, good and evil were the signs of the rulers that came to the throne of Israel and Judah.
3. The actions of the kings were in the sight of the Lord and he judged them according to his commands and the Law.

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:
2 Chronicles 16, King Asa’s Final Years
1. Asa was confronted by Baasha king of Israel who built Ramah that he might permit no one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.
2. Asa’s response was to send silver and gold to Ben-hadad king of Syria to intice him to break his covenant with Baasha so that he would withdraw from his works in Ramah.
3. Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent his armies against the cities of Israel.
4. When Baasha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah and let his work cease.
5. Asa used the stones and timbers to build Geba and Mizpah, but Hanani the seer came to Asa and said, “Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you.”
6. Hanani told Asa that he had done foolishly and that from now on you will have wars; Asa was enraged and put Hanani in stocks in prison.
7. Asa became diseased in his feet and it became severe yet he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians.
8. Asa ruled 41 years and was buried in Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 17, Jehoshaphat Reigns in Judah
1. Jehoshaphat son of Asa, ruled in Judah and strengthened himself against Israel.
2. Jehoshaphat followed the ways of David; he did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father and walked in his commandments, not according to the practices of Israel.
3. Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand; all of Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat, and he had great riches and honor.
4. His heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord and he took the high places and the Asherim out of Judah.
5. He sent officials, Levites, and priests to teach the Book of the Law throughout Judah.
6. The fear of the Lord fell on all the kingdoms around Judah; they stopped making war against Judah.
7. Philistines and Arabians brought presents to Jehoshaphat as a tribute increasing his wealth and honor.
8. Jehoshaphat mustered over 1,000,000 soldiers in his service.

2 Chronicles 18, Jehoshaphat Allies with Ahab King of Israel
1. Jehoshaphat used his great riches to create an alliance with Ahab king of Israel.
2. Ahab induced Jehoshaphat to go up against Ramoth-gilead.
3. Jehoshaphat agreed to go with Ahab after inquiring first for the word of the Lord.
4. 400 prophets of Ahab assembled and said to go up for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.
5. But Jehoshaphat also sought out Micaiah to hear his words but Ahab was unwilling to take the prophecy of Micaiah for he believed his words were evil because of past prophecies.
6. Micaiah said that the other prophets were lying and that the Lord has declared disaster concerning Ramoth-gilead.
7. Micaiah was struck on the cheek by Zedekiah and Ahab had him put in prison and fed bread and water.
8. Ahab died in defeat at Ramoth-gilead after disguising himself during the battle.
9. The Syrians were commanded to fight with only the king of Israel; they believed that to be Jehoshaphat because he wore his robe.
10. Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him; God drew the Syrians away from him and pursued Ahab striking him with an arrow and killing him on that day.

2 Chronicles 19, Jehoshaphat’s Reforms
1. Jehoshaphat returned in safety to Jerusalem, but Jehu the seer went out to meet him and said, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, wrath has gone out against you from the Lord. Nevertheless, some good is found in you, for you destroyed the Asherahs out of the land, and have set your heart to seek God.”
2. Jehoshaphat went out again among the people and brought them back to the Lord, the God of their fathers.
3. He appointed judges in the land telling them they judge not for man but for the Lord who is with you in giving judgment so fear the Lord and be careful what you do.
4. He warned the judges that there is no injustice with the Lord our God, or partiality, or taking bribes.
5. Jehoshaphat appointed Amariah the chief priest over the judges in Jerusalem warning them that they are to judge in the fear of the Lord, in faithfulness, and with their whole heart.

2 Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat’s Prayer to the Lord God for Deliverance from a Multitude of Enemies
1. The Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites came against Jehoshaphat for battle and Jehoshaphat gathered all of Judah proclaiming a fast and to seek the Lord in prayer.
2. Jehoshaphat prayed that the Lord God execute judgment on them and protect them.
3. Jahaziel a Levite spoke the Spirit of the Lord that came to him saying not to be afraid for the battle is not yours but God’s.
4. You will not need to fight, go out and stand firm, hold your position and see the salvation of the Lord for he will be with you.
5. Then Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshiping the Lord.
6. They rose early and went out into the wilderness following Jehoshaphat who stood and said for them to believe in the Lord your God and his prophets, and you will be established and succeed.
7. Jehoshaphat instructed some to sing and praise saying, “Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever.”
8. When they began to sing the enemies destroyed one another before the eyes of the people, none had escaped.
9. It took three days for the people of Judah to take the spoil from the enemies.
10. On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah to bless the Lord.
11. Then they returned to their homes with great joy, for the Lord had made them rejoice over their enemies.
12. They came to Jerusalem with harps, lyres, and trumpets to the house of the Lord.
13. The fear of God came on all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel.
14. So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for the Lord God gave him rest all around.
15. Jehoshaphat reigned for 25 years in Jerusalem walking in the way of the Lord, yet the high places were not taken away.
16. Jehoshaphat joined with Ahaziah king of Israel after this to build ships to go to Tarshish.
17. Eliezer prophesied against Jehoshaphat saying the Lord will destroy what you have made; the ships were wrecked and not able to go to Tarshish.

2 Chronicles 21, Jehoram Reigns in Judah
1. Jehoram ruled in the place of his father Jehoshaphat who gave him and his brothers great gifts of silver, gold and valuable possessions together with fortified cities in Judah; because Jehoram was the firstborn, he was make king.
2. When Jehoram became king, he killed all his brothers with the sword, and some of the princes of Israel.
3. He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, like Ahab; the daughter of Ahab was his wife.
4. Jehoram reigned for only eight years but he did evil in the sight of the Lord.
5. The Lord was not willing to destroy the house of David, because of the covenant that he had made with David.
6. Edom revolted from the rule of Judah and set up a king of their own, but they were struck down by Jehoram.
7. Jehoram made high places in the hill country of Judah and led the inhabitants of Jerusalem into whoredom and made Judah go astray.
8. Elijah the prophet informed Jehoram that because he had not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat or Asa, but walked in the way of the kings of Israel and enticed Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem into whoredom, as did the house of Ahab and you have killed your brothers, the Lord will bring a great plague on your people, your children, your wives and all your possessions, and you yourself will have a severe sickness of the bowels daily.
9. The Lord stirred up the Philistines and the Arabians who invaded Judah carrying away all the possessions they found in the king’s house, and also his sons and wives; only Jehoahaz the youngest son was left.
10. Jehoram died in great agony after two years of severe illness of his bowels and he departed with no one’s regret.

2 Chronicles 22, Ahaziah and Athalia Reign in Judah
1. The inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah (youngest son of Jehoram) king in Judah who reigned for one year doing evil in the sight of the lord for Athaliah (wife of Ahab) his mother was his counselor in doing wickedly.
2. Ahaziah followed their counsel and went with Jehoram the son of Ahab and king of Israel to make war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramoth-gilead.
3. Joram son of Ahab was wounded at Ramoth-gilead by the Syrians; Ahaziah went to see him at Jezreel where he was recovering.
4. Because it was ordained by God that the downfall of Ahaziah should come about through his going to visit Joram, Jehu was there destroying the house of Ahab and he killed Ahaziah (among many others).
5. The house of Ahaziah had no one able to rule the kingdom of Judah so Athaliah his mother arose and destroyed all of the royal house of Judah.
6. Joash son of Ahaziah was spared by Jehoshabeath daughter of King Jehoram who hid him in the house of God for six years while Athaliah ruled Judah.

2 Chronicles 23, Joash Made King
1. Jehoiada the priest said to the commanders, the Levites, the priests, and all the assembly at the house of God, “Behold the king’s son! Let him reign, as the Lord spoke concerning the sons of David.”
2. Jehoiada set all the people as armed guards for the king.
3. Then they brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him and gave him the testimony; they then proclaimed him king.
4. Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and they said, “Long live the king.”
5. Athaliah went to the house of the Lord to the people who were rejoicing, where she cried, “Treason! Treason!
6. Then Jehoiada the priest brought out the captains saying, “Bring her out between the ranks, and anyone who follows her will be put to the sword.”
7. Athaliah was taken out of the house of the Lord and put to death at the horse gate of the king’s house.
8. Jehoiada made a covenant between himself and all the people and the king that they should be the Lord’s people.
9. All the people then went to the house of Baal and tore it down; his altars and images they broke in pieces.
10. They killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars.
11. They brought the king down from the house of the Lord and set him on the royal throne and rejoiced.
12. The city was quiet.

Week #63; Wed, Mar 13: 2 Chronicles 24–29

Week #63; Wed, Mar 13: 2 Chronicles 24:1–29:36

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS:
1. The repair and restoration of the house of the Lord by King Joash was short lived.
2. Amaziah’s pride turned him away from the Lord resulting in his demise.
3. Likewise Uzziah’s pride turned him away from the Lord and he became a leper for the rest of his life.
4. Ahaz was an idolator and turned away too, but the service of the house of the Lord was restored by Hezekiah.

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:
2 Chronicles 24, Joash Repairs the Temple, His Treachery, and Assination
1. Joash was only 7 years old when he began to reign and he reigned for 40 years in Jerusalem doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord.
2. Joash decided to restore the house of the Lord telling the priests and the Levites to go out to all the cities of Judah to gather money to repair the house of God quickly.
3. However, the Levites did not go out quickly so Joash commanded that a chest be made and set outside the gate of the house of the Lord for the people to bring in their taxes.
4. A proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem to bring in the tax that Moses laid on Israel in the wilderness.
5. Money was collected in abundance and it was given to those who had charge of the work until the house of the Lord was restored.
6. When the house of God was finished, they brought the rest of the money before the king and Jehoiada and they made utensils for the house of the Lord both for the service and for the burnt offerings, and dishes for incense, and vessels of gold and silver.
7. They offered burnt offerings in the house of the Lord regularly all the days of Jehoiada, the chief.
8. When Jehoiada was 130 years old he died and was buried with the kings in the city of David, having done good in Israel.
9. The princes came to King Joash to pay homage but they abandoned the house of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and the idols.
10. Wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for this guilt of theirs, yet he sent prophets among them to bring them back to the Lord but it was of no avail.
11. The Spirit of God clothed Zechariah the son of Jehoiada saying, “Why do you break the commandments of the Lord, so that you cannot prosper? Because you have forsaken the Lord, he has forsaken you.”
12. But Zechariah was rejected and King Joash commanded Zechariah to be stoned.
13. Zechariah said, “May the Lord see and avenge!” before he died.
14. Syria came up against Joash destroying all the princes, and they sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus.
15. The Syrians also executed judgment on Joash severely wounding him and his servants finished killing him because of the blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest.
16. Then Amaziah his son reigned in his place.

2 Chronicles 25, Amaziah Reigns in Judah, His Victories, His Idolatry, and Defeat
1. Amaziah was 25 when he began to reign, and he reigned for 29 years doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord, yet not with his whole heart.
2. As soon as he was firmly in power, he struck down the servants who had struck down the king his father, but he did not kill their children.
3. Amaziah’s 300,000 man army was victorious over Seir killing 20,000 Edomites; but he had hired another 100,000 men from Israel that he returned because of a message from a man from God.
4. The men of Israel were very angry and while Amaziah was at war, the Israelites struck down 3,000 in the cities of Judah and took much spoil.
5. When Amaziah returned from striking the Edomites, he brought back the gods of Seir and set them up as his gods and worshiped them, making offerings to them.
6. The Lord was angry with Amaziah and sent him a prophet who said to him, “Why have you sought the gods of a people who did not deliver their own people form your hand? I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel.”
8. When Amaziah challenged Israel, He sent to Joash saying, “Come, let us look one another in the face.”
9. Amaziah threw caution from Joash to the wind and he went up to him at Bethshemesh in Judah where Judah was defeated (for it was of God in order that he might give them into the hand of their enemies because they had sought the gods of Edom).
10. Joash king of Israel captured Amaziah king of Judah and brought him to Jerusalem and broke down the wall of Jerusalem for 400 cubits; he seized all the gold and silver and all the vessels that were found in the house of God and the treasuries in the king’s house, plus hostages and returned to Samaria.
11. Joash fled to Lachish where he was put to death by conspirators in Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 26, Uzzah Reigns in Judah, His Pride, and His Punishment
1. Uzziah was made king at 16 reigning for 52 years in Jerusalem doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord seeking God in the days of Zechariah and prospering.
2. Uzziah made war against the Philistines, Arabians, and the Meunites; he became strong and famous.
3. He built towers in Jerusalem and in the wilderness and fortified them; he had 310,100 in his army and many devices of war were invented to sling stones and arrows.
4. But when Uzziah grew strong, he grew proud to his destruction for he was unfaithful to the Lord and entered the temple to burn incense on the altar of incense.
5. Azariah and 80 priests went in after him and rebuked him, but Uzziah became angry and as his anger flared, he broke out in leprosy because the Lord had struck him.
6. He remained a leper until he died and Jotham his son reigned in his place.

2 Chronicles 27, Jotham Reigns in Judah
1. Jotham was 25 when he began to reign in Jerusalem; he reigned for 16 years doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord according to all his father Uzziah had done, except he did not enter the temple of the Lord and the people still followed corrupt practices.
2. Jotham built the upper gate to the house of the Lord and did much building on the wall of Ophel.
3. He built cities in the hill country of Judah, and forts and towers on the wooded hills.
4. He fought with the king of the Ammonites and prevailed against them; receiving silver, wheat, and barley in abundance each year.
5. Jotham became mighty, because he ordered his ways before the Lord his God.
6. Ahaz his son reigned in his place.

2 Chronicles 28, Ahaz Reigns in Judah, Judah is Defeated, Ahaz’s Idolatry
1. Ahaz was 20 when he began to reign, and he reigned 16 years in Jerusalem doing evil in the sight of the Lord walking in the ways of the kings of Israel.
2. He made metal images for the Baals, he made offerings in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and burned his sons as an offering, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel.
3. He sacrificed by making offerings on the high places, the hills, and under every green tree.
4. So, the Lord used the king of Syria to defeat Ahaz bringing large numbers of his people to Damascus.
5. Ahaz was given to the king of Israel; he lost 120,000 in one day because he had forsaken the Lord.
6. Ahaz’s son Maaseiah was killed along with Azrikam the commander and Elkanah the next in authority to the king.
7. Israel took 200,000 captives from the relatives, women, sons, and daughters along with much spoil back to Samaria.
8. Oded, a prophet met the men of Israel telling them to send the captives back to Judah because the wrath of the Lord is against you for these sins.
9. Many of the chiefs stood up against those who were coming from war and said to them, “You shall not bring the captives in here, for you propose to bring upon us guilt against the Lord in addition to our present sins and guilt.”
10. The captives were brought to their kinsfolk at Jericho and the men of Israel returned to Samaria.
11. King Ahaz sent to the king of Assyria for help for the Edomites and Philistines again had invaded and defeated Judah and carried away captives.
12. Instead of strengthening Ahaz, the Assyrians came against him and although Ahaz gave tribute to the king of Assyria; it did not help him.
13. Ahaz became more faithless to the Lord for he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus that had defeated him.
14. Ahaz converted the vessels of the house of the Lord into altars, locked the doors, and made high places for sacrifices provoking the Lord to anger.
15. Ahaz’s son Hezekiah reigned in his place.

2 Chronicles 29, Hezekiah Reigns in Judah, Hezekiah Cleanses the Temple, and He Restores Temple Worship
1. Hezekiah was 25 when he began to rule in Judah; he reigned for 29 years doing right in the eyes of the Lord.
2. Hezekiah opened the doors to the temple and cleansed and repaired all that was in it removing all filth.
3. Hezekiah brought in the priests and the Levites instructing them to consecrate themselves and the house of the Lord and to minister to him and make offerings to him.
4. Hezekiah made a covenant with the Lord in order that his fierce anger would turn away.
5. The priests and the Levites consecrated themselves and went in to cleans the house of the Lord as he had commanded.
6. After 16 days the priest and the Levites reported that the house of the Lord was fully consecrated and all vessels had been restored.
7. The King Hezekiah ordered sacrifices on the altar of the Lord for burnt offering and sin offering for all of Israel.
8. The Levites stood in the house of the Lord with symbols, harps, and lyres along with the priests with trumpets and the whole assembly worshiped, the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded until the burnt offering was finished.
9. Then Hezekiah and the officials commanded the Levites to sing praises to the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer.
10. Thus the service of the house of the Lord was restored.

Week #64; Wed, Mar 20: 2 Chronicles 30–35

Week #64; Wed, Mar 20: 2 Chronicles 30:1–35:27

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS:
1. It appears that once the temple was consecrated by the priests and the Levites, Hezekiah reached out to Israel and Judah to return to the Lord at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover together.
2. While kings came to the house of the Lord during their reign, some abandoned it at great expense to them and their kingdom.
3. When the Book of the Law of the Lord was found by Hilkiah the priest in the house of the Lord it was given to Shaphan who brought it to the king who realized that the wrath of the Lord that is poured out on them was due to not keeping the word of the Lord, to do all that is written in the book.

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:
2 Chronicles 30, Passover Celebrated
1. Couriers were sent to all Israel and Judah by King Hezekiah saying that all should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem to keep the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel.
2. Desolation was still evident among the people of Israel even though many had escaped from the hand of the kings of Assyria.
3. King Hezekiah urged all not to “be stiff-necked, but to return and yield themselves to the Lord that his fierce anger may turn away from them for the Lord is gracious and merciful and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him.”
4. Some of the couriers were laughed, scorned, and mocked except in Asher and Zebulun; Judah also was given the heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the Lord.
5. The Passover lamb was slaughtered on the 14th day of the second month yet many there were not clean but still ate the Passover other than as prescribed.
6. Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the good Lord pardon everyone who sets his heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his fathers, even though not according to the sanctuary’s rules of cleanness.”
7. The Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.
8. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was extended from 7 days to 14 days with gladness and joy.
9. All in Israel and Judah rejoiced with great joy for nothing like this was seen in Jerusalem since the time of Solomon.
10. When the priests and the Levites arose and blessed the people, their voice was heard, and their prayer came to his holy habitation in heaven.

2 Chronicles 31, Hezekiah Organizes the Priests
1. Following the Passover, “all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah and broke in pieces the pillars and cut down the Asherim and broke down the high places and the altars throughout all Judah and Benjamin, and in Ephraim and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all.”
2. Hezekiah commanded chambers to be prepared to hold excess heaps of contributions when he discovered that the tithes of the people satisfied all.
3. Hezekiah organized throughout all Judah, and he did what was good and right and faithful before the Lord his God.
4. Every work Hezekiah undertook, he did with all his heart, and prospered.

2 Chronicles 32, Sennacherib Invades Judah, He Blasphemes, The Lord Delivers Jerusalem, and Hezekiah’s Pride and Achievements
1. Following the previous acts of faithfulness, Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib the king of Assyria invaded Judah encamping against the fortified cities to win them for himself.
2. Hezekiah stopped all the springs from flowing, repaired the wall that was broken, and built towers.
3. He built a second wall outside the inner wall and strengthened the Millo in the city of David.
4. He made weapons and shields in abundance and assigned combat commanders over the people.
5. He gathered the people together and encouraged them to be strong and courageous, not to be afraid for the Lord our God, is with us to help us and to fight our battles.
6. The people took confidence from Hezekiah king of Judah.
7. Sennacherib besieged Lachish on his way to Jerusalem and notified Hezekiah in that the God of Israel could not stop him from taking Jerusalem.
8. Sennacherib compared the God of Israel with all the other gods that could not protect other nations from the Assyrian forces; he identified the “one” altar for the God of Israel as nothing more than that of the other gods.
9. Sennacherib cautioned the people of Jerusalem not to trust Hezekiah and he casted contempt on the Lord, the God of Israel.
10. Sennacherib taunted defenders on the wall and sent letters of contempt for the God of Israel.
11. Then Hezekiah the king and Isaiah the prophet, prayed because of the threat from Sennacherib.
12. The Lord sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty warriors and commanders and officers in the camp of the king of Assyria.
13. Sennacherib returned to Assyria in shame where some of his own sons struck him down with the sword in the house of his own god.
14. The Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from Sennacherib and from the hand of all his enemies.
15. Many brought gifts to the Lord to Jerusalem and precious things to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations from that time onward.
16. Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death, and he prayed to the Lord; the Lord answered him and gave him a sign.
17. Hezekiah’s heart became proud and the Lord caused wrath to come upon him, Judah, and Jerusalem.
18. But Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride in his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.
19. After that, Hezekiah had very great riches and honor, and he made for himself treasuries for silver, for gold, for precious stones, for spices, for shields, and for all kinds of costly vessels; he had storehouses for grain, wine, and oil, stalls for cattle and sheep.
20. God had given him very great possessions.
21. Manasseh son of Hezekiah reigned in his place.

2 Chronicles 33, Manasseh Reigns in Judah, His Repentance, and Amon’s Reign and Death
1. Manasseh was 12 when he began to reign and he reigned 55 years in Jerusalem doing evil in the sight of the Lord.
2. He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had broken down, and erected altars to the Baals, and made Asherahs, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.
3. He burned his sons as an offering in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, and used fortune-telling and omens and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and necromancers.
4. He made a carved image and he set it in the house of God.
5. Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray, to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the people of Israel.
6. When the Lord spoke to Manasseh, he paid no attention.
7. Therefore the Lord brought upon them the commanders of the army of Assyria who captured him with hooks and bound him in chains of bronze and brought him to Babylon.
8. Manasseh prayed to the Lord and humbled himself greatly.
9. God was moved by his prayer and brought him again to Jerusalem; then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.
10. Manasseh built an outer wall for the city of David and raised it to a great height.
11. He put commanders of the army in all the fortified cities in Judah.
12. He took away the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the Lord, and all the altars that he had built on the mountain of the house of the Lord and in Jerusalem.
13. He restored the altar of the Lord and offered on it sacrifices of peace offerings and of thanksgiving.
14. He commanded Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel.
15. But the people still sacrificed at the high places, but only to the Lord their God.
16. Amon his son reigned in his place beginning when he was 22; he reigned for 2 years doing evil in the sight of the Lord, like Manasseh his father.
17. Amon sacrificed to all the images that Manasseh his father had made, and served them.
18. Amon did not humble himself before the Lord but incurred guilt more and more.
19. His servants conspired against him and put him to death in his house, but the people of the land struck down all those who had conspired against King Amon.
20. The people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place.

2 Chronicles 34, Josiah Reigns in Judah, The Book of the Law Found, and Huldah Prophesies Disaster
1. Josiah was 8 when he began to reign and he reigned 31 years in Jerusalem doing what was right in the eyes of the Lord.
2. In the 12th year of his reign, he began to seek the God of David and in the 20th year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherim, and the carved and metal images.
3. They chopped down the altars of the Baals in his presence and he cut down the incense altars that stood above them.
4. He broke in pieces the Asherim and the carved and metal images and he made dust of them and scattered it over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them.
5. He burned the bones of the priests on their altars and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem.
6. He broke down the altars and beat the Asherim and the images into powder and cut down all the incense altars throughout all the land of Israel before returning to Jerusalem.
7. When the Book of the Law of the Lord was found by Hilkiah the priest during repairs to the house of the Lord, King Josiah sent Hilkiah, Ahikam, Abdon, Shaphan, and Asaiah to go inquire of the Lord for him and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that has been found.
8. It was feared that the wrath of the Lord that was poured out on them because their fathers did not keep the word of the Lord, to do according to all that is written in the book.
9. They went to Huldah the prophetess in Jerusalem and she said to them, “Behold, I will bring disaster upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all the curses that are written in the book that was read before the king of Judah.”
10. Upon hearing the words of Huldah, Josiah gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem where he read all the words of the Book of the Covenant that had been found in the house of the Lord.
11. The king then made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book.
12. He made all who were present in Jerusalem and in Benjamin join in it.
13. Josiah took away all the abominations from all the territory that belonged to the people of Israel and made all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God.

2 Chronicles 35, Josiah Keeps the Passover and Josiah is Killed in Battle
1. Josiah kept a Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem.
2. He had the Levites put the holy ark in the house that Solomon built.
3. They were to prepare themselves and stand in the Holy Place and slaughter the Passover lamb, and consecrate themselves and their brothers to do according to the word of the Lord by Moses.
4. Vast amounts of goats and bulls were contributed for Passover offerings for all who were present.
5. When the service had been prepared, the priests stood in their place, and the Levites in their divisions slaughtered the Passover lamb throwing blood on the altar.
6. No Passover like it had been kept in Israel since the days of Samuel the prophet; it was the 18th year of the reign of Josiah.
7. Neco king of Egypt went up to fight at Carchemish on the Euphrates and Josiah went out to meet him.
8. Neco told Josiah he was not coming against him but against the house with which he was at war.
9. But Josiah did not turn aside and disguised himself in order to fight with him.
10. Neco’s archers shot Josiah at the plain of Megiddo and he was taken to Jerusalem where he died.

Week #65; Wed, Mar 27: 2 Chronicles 36–Ezra 7

Week #65; Wed, Mar 27: 2 Chronicles 36:1–Ezra 7:27

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS:
1. When the “people of the land” took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah and made him king, it appears that the will of the Lord moved the people to that action.
2. However, Neco the king of Egypt deposed Jehoahaz and took him to Egypt.
3. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon then came up against Jehoiakim binding him in chains and carrying him off to Babylon along with part of the vessels of the house of the Lord and Nebuchadnezzar put them in his palace.
4. Cyrus’ proclamation to rebuild the house of the Lord in Jerusalem resulted in all who were about them aiding them with gifts of vessels of silver and gold and with goods and beasts plus costly wares and freewill gifts.

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:
2 Chronicles 36, Judah’s Decline, Jerusalem Captured and Burned, and the Proclamation of Cyrus
1. Jehoahaz became king at 23 and ruled for only three months in Jerusalem before Neco deposed him and replaced him with Eliakim his 25 year old brother; Neco renamed Eliakim to Jehoiakim.
2. Jehoiakim reigned 11 years and did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.
3. Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim reigned in his place when he was 18 and he reigned three months in Jerusalem doing evil in the sight of the Lord.
4. Nebuchadnezzar sent and brought Jehoiachin to Babylon along with the vessels of the house of the Lord and made his brother Zedekiah king over Judah and Jerusalem.
5. Zedekiah was 21 when he began to reign, and he reigned 11 years in Jerusalem doing evil in the sight of the Lord; his pride resulted in mocking against the prophet Jeremiah.
6. Zedekiah rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar and he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the Lord.
7. All the officers and the priests were unfaithful and followed the abominations of the nations; they polluted the house of the Lord.
8. They mocked the messengers of God despising their words and scoffed at his prophets; but the wrath of the Lord rose against his people, until there was no remedy.
9. Jerusalem was captured and burned by the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword and no compassion on anyone.
10. The Lord gave them all into their hands.
11. They burned the house of God and broke down the wall of Jerusalem while burning all of the palaces and destroying precious vessels.
12. Survivors were exiled to Babylon until the establishment of the kingdom of Persia to fulfill the prophesy of Jeremiah for 70 years.
13. In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom in writing.
14. He wrote: ” The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the Lord his God be with him. Let him go up.”

Ezra 1, The Proclamation of Cyrus
1. In the words of Cyrus’ proclamation, “And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.”
2. 5,400 vessels were taken out of the house of Nebuchadnezzar and counted out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah.
6. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up, when the exiles were brought up from Babylonia to Jerusalem.

Ezra 2, The Exiles Return
1. The exiles that Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried captive to Babylonia were returned to Judah and Jerusalem.
2. The whole assembly was 42,360 besides their male and female servants.
3. The house of the Lord was rebuilt on its site.

Ezra 3, Rebuilding of the Altar and the Temple
1. Jeshua, with his fellow priests and Zerubbabel with his kinsmen built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings on it, as it is written in the Law of Moses the man of God.
2. They set the altar in its place, and they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord morning and evening while keeping the Feasts of Booths and all of the burnt offerings in keeping with all the appointed feasts of the Lord.
3. When Jeshua and Zerubbabel oversaw the completion of the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments came forward with trumpets, and the Levites with cymbals, to praise the Lord with song and thanksgiving.

Ezra 4, Adversaries Oppose the Rebuilding, Letter to King Artaxerxes, The King Orders the Work to Cease
1. While foreign adversaries of Judah and Benjamin offered to build alongside the returned exiles, Jeshua and Zerubbabel refused their help.
2. These people of the land discouraged the people of Judah and made them afraid to build and they frustrated their purpose all during the days of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes.
3. They wrote a letter to Artaxerxes against the Jews predicting that the Jews would again rebel against Artaxerxes and his kingdom.
4. King Artaxerxes searched the history and realized that rebellion and sedition have been made by Jews so he stopped the rebuilding of the city and the temple.

Ezra 5, Rebuilding Begins Anew, and Tattenai’s Letter to King Darius
1. Then Haggai and Zechariah prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of God.
2. The rebuilding began again and the prophets were with them, supporting them.
3. Local officials challenged the resumption of the building and wanted to know the names of the leaders overseeing the work and by what decree.
4. The local leaders sent King Darius a letter reporting on the construction by the Jews; they wanted confirmation that Cyrus originally authorized the rebuilding of the temple and Jerusalem.
5. They awaited the reply from King Darius.

Ezra 6, The Decree of Darius, The Temple Completed and Dedicated, and the Passover Celebrated
1. Darius the king made a new decree revealing that the original decree by Cyrus was found and it showed that he authorized the return of the exiles with ample resources to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, even identifying the dimensions and using gold and silver from the treasury to cover the cost.
2. The decree also commanded to “let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that is in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be restored and brought back to the temple that is in Jerusalem, each to its place. You shall put them in the house of God.”
3. Darius told the local governors to keep away and to supply the Jews with materials for the rebuilding of this house of God with the costs paid in full without delay.
4. And whatever is needed for burnt offerings to the God of heaven as the priests in Jerusalem require, let that be given to them day by day without fail, that they may offer pleasing sacrifices to the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and his sons.
5. He cautioned if anyone alters his edict, a beam shall be pulled out of his house, and he shall be impaled on it.
6. Darius’ decree was to be done with all diligence.
7. Darius’ decree was done with all diligence by the local governors of the land and the building was finished while Darius was still king.
8. All of the exiles celebrated the dedication of the house of God with joy.
9. The exiles also celebrated the Passover; the priest and the Levites had purified themselves together, all of them were clean.
10. And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread, thankful that the Lord had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them by having him aid the people of Israel in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.

Ezra 7, Ezra Sent to Teach the People
1. Ezra went up from Babylonia where he was a scribe skilled in the Law of Moses that the Lord had given and the king granted him all that he asked, for the hand of the Lord his God was on him.
2. Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.
3. Artaxerxes gave Ezra the priest, the scribe, a decree that “anyone of the people of Israel or their priests or Levites in my kingdom, who freely offer to go to Jerusalem, may go with you.”
4. Artaxerxes’ decree included instructions to Ezra to inquire about Judah and Jerusalem and to carry the silver and gold that the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel.
5. Artaxerxes’ decree allowed Ezra to use the money to buy livestock, grain, and drink offering to offer on the altar of the house of his God that is in Jerusalem.
6. Artaxerxes’ decree made provision for Ezra to use the remaining money according to the will of his God.
7. Artaxerxes’ decree instructed that the vessels that have been given for the service of the house of your God, shall be delivered before the God of Jerusalem and whatever else is required for the house of your God shall come out of the king’s treasury.
8. Artaxerxes’ decree dictated that all the treasurers in the province Beyond the River provide whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the Law of the God of heaven requires.
9. Artaxerxes’ decree prohibited imposing tribute, custom, or toll on anyone of the priests, the Levites, singers, doorkeepers, temple servants, or other servants of this house of God.
10. Artaxerxes’ placed responsibility on Ezra to appoint magistrates and judges who may judge all the people in the province Beyond the River, all such as know the laws of your God; those who do not know them you shall teach.
11. Artaxerxes’ also placed responsibility on Ezra to strictly judge all who do not obey the laws of his God with death, banishment, confiscation of goods or imprisonment.
12. Ezra blessed the Lord, the God of his fathers, who put things into the heart of the king to beautify the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem and who extended him his steadfast love before the king and his counselors and before the king’s mighty officers.
13. Ezra took courage, for the hand of the Lord his God was on him, and he gathered leading men from Israel to go up with him.