2 Chronicles 21-24 Bible in Basic English

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The Reign of Jehoram of Judah

21 1  And Jehoshaphat went to rest with his fathers, and his body was put into the earth in the town of David. And Jehoram his son became king in his place. 2  And he had brothers, sons of Jehoshaphat, Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariah, Michael, and Shephatiah; all these were sons of Jehoshaphat, king of Israel. 3  And their father gave them much silver and gold and things of great value, as well as walled towns in Judah; but the kingdom he gave to Jehoram, because he was the oldest. 4  Now when Jehoram had taken his place over his father's kingdom, and had made his position safe, he put all his brothers to death with the sword, as well as some of the princes of Israel. 5  Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king; and he was ruling in Jerusalem for eight years. 6  He went in the ways of the kings of Israel, and did as the family of Ahab did, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife; and he did evil in the eyes of the Lord. 7  But it was not the Lord's purpose to send destruction on the family of David, because of the agreement he had made with David, when he said he would give to him and to his sons a light for ever. 8  In his time Edom made themselves free from the rule of Judah, and took a king for themselves. 9  Then Jehoram went over with his captains and all his war-carriages ... made an attack by night on the Edomites, whose forces were all round him ... on the captains of the war-carriages. 10  So Edom made themselves free from the rule of Judah, to this day: and at the same time Libnah made itself free from his rule; because he was turned away from the Lord, the God of his fathers. 11  And more than this, he made high places in the mountains of Judah, teaching the people of Jerusalem to go after false gods, and guiding Judah away from the true way.

12  And a letter came to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, The Lord, the God of your father David, says, Because you have not kept to the ways of your father Jehoshaphat or the ways of Asa, king of Judah, 13  But have gone in the way of the kings of Israel, and have made Judah and the people of Jerusalem go after false gods, as the family of Ahab did: and because you have put to death your father's sons, your brothers, who were better than yourself: 14  Now, truly, the Lord will send a great destruction on your people and your children and your wives and everything which is yours: 15  And you yourself will undergo the cruel pains of a disease in your stomach, so that day by day your inside will be falling out because of the disease. 16  Then the Philistines and the Arabians, who are by Ethiopia, were moved by the Lord to make war on Jehoram; 17  And they came up against Judah, forcing a way into it, and took away all the goods in the king's house, as well as his sons and his wives; so that he had no son but only Jehoahaz, the youngest. 18  And after all this the Lord sent on him a disease of the stomach from which it was impossible for him to be made well. 19  And time went on, and after two years, his inside falling out because of the disease, he came to his death in cruel pain. And his people made no burning for him like the burning made for his fathers. 20  He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he was ruling in Jerusalem for eight years: and at his death he was not regretted; they put his body into the earth in the town of David, but not in the resting-place of the kings.

The Reign of Ahaziah of Judah

22 1  And the people of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, his youngest son, king in his place, for the band of men who came with the Arabians to the army had put all the older sons to death. So Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram, became king. 2  Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he was ruling in Jerusalem for one year. His mother's name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri. 3  He went in the ways of the family of Ahab, for his mother was his teacher in evil-doing. 4  And he did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as the family of Ahab did; for after the death of his father they were his guides to his destruction. 5  Acting on their suggestion, he went with Jehoram, son of Ahab, king of Israel, to make war on Hazael, king of Aram, at Ramoth-gilead: and Joram was wounded by the bowmen. 6  And he went back to Jezreel to get well from the wounds which they had given him at Ramah when he was fighting against Hazael, king of Aram. And Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, went down to Jezreel to see Jehoram, the son of Ahab, because he was ill.

Jehu Kills Ahaziah

7  Now by the purpose of God, Ahaziah's journey to see Jehoram was the cause of his downfall: for when he came there, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu, the son of Nimshi, who had been marked out by the Lord for the destruction of the family of Ahab. 8  Now when Jehu was effecting the punishment of the family of Ahab, he came to the princes of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah's brothers, the servants of Ahaziah, and put them to death. 9  And he went in search of Ahaziah; and when they came where he was, (for he was in a secret place in Samaria,) they took him to Jehu and put him to death; then they put his body to rest in the earth, for they said, He is the son of Jehoshaphat, whose heart was true to the Lord. So the family of Ahaziah had no power to keep the kingdom.

Athaliah Usurps the Throne

10  Now when Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, saw that her son was dead, she had all the rest of the seed of the kingdom of Judah put to death. 11  But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, secretly took Joash, the son of Ahaziah, away from among the king's sons who were put to death, and put him and the woman who took care of him in a bedroom. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest and sister of Ahaziah, kept him safe from Athaliah, so that she did not put him to death. 12  And she kept him safe with her in the house of God for six years, while Athaliah was ruling the land.

23 1  In the seventh year, Jehoiada made himself strong, and made an agreement with the captains of hundreds, Azariah, the son of Jeroham, Ishmael, the son of Jehohanan, Azariah, the son of Obed, Maaseiah, the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat, the son of Zichri. 2  And they went through Judah, getting together the Levites and the heads of families in Israel from all the towns of Judah, and they came to Jerusalem. 3  And all the people made an agreement with the king in the house of God. And he said to them, Truly, the king's son will be king, as the Lord has said about the sons of David. 4  This is what you are to do: let a third of you, of the priests and Levites, who come in on the Sabbath, keep the doors; 5  And a third are to be stationed at the king's house; and a third at the doorway of the horses: while all the people are waiting in the open spaces round the house of the Lord. 6  But let no one come into the house of the Lord but only the priests and those of the Levites who have work to do there; they may go in for they are holy; but the rest of the people are to keep the orders of the Lord. 7  And the Levites are to make a circle round the king, every man being armed; and any man who comes into the house is to be put to death; you are to keep with the king when he comes in and when he goes out. 8  So the Levites and all Judah did as Jehoiada the priest had given them orders: every one took with him his men, those who were to come in and those who were to go out on the Sabbath; for Jehoiada had not sent away the divisions. 9  Then Jehoiada the priest gave to the captains of hundreds the spears and body-covers which had been King David's and which were kept in the house of God. 10  And he put all the people in position, every man with his instruments of war in his hand, from the right side of the house to the left, by the altar and the house and all round the king. 11  Then they made the king's son come out, and they put the crown on his head and gave him the arm-bands and made him king: and Jehoiada and his sons put the holy oil on him and said, Long life to the king.

12  Now Athaliah, hearing the noise of the people running and praising the king, came to the people in the house of the Lord: 13  And looking, she saw the king in his place by the pillar at the doorway, and the captains and the horns by his side; and all the people of the land were giving signs of joy and sounding the horns; and the makers of melody were playing on instruments of music, taking the chief part in the song of praise. Then Athaliah, violently parting her robes, said, Broken faith, broken faith! 14  Then Jehoiada the priest gave orders to the captains of hundreds who had authority over the army, saying, Take her outside the lines, and let anyone who goes after her be put to death with the sword. For the priest said, Let her not be put to death in the house of the Lord. 15  So they put their hands on her, and she went to the king's house by the doorway of the king's horses; and there she was put to death. 16  And Jehoiada made an agreement between the Lord and all the people and the king, that they would be the Lord's people. 17  Then all the people went to the house of Baal and had it pulled down, and its altars and images broken up; and Mattan, the priest of Baal, they put to death before the altars. 18  And Jehoiada put the work and the care of the house of the Lord into the hands of the priests and the Levites, who had been grouped in divisions by David to make burned offerings to the Lord, as it is recorded in the law of Moses, with joy and song as David had said. 19  And he put door-keepers at the doors of the Lord's house, to see that no one who was unclean in any way might come in. 20  Then he took the captains of hundreds and the chiefs and the rulers of the people and all the people of the land, and they came down with the king from the house of the Lord through the higher doorway into the king's house, and put the king on the seat of the kingdom. 21  So all the people of the land were glad and the town was quiet, for they had put Athaliah to death with the sword.

The Reign of Joash of Judah

24 1  Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he was ruling for forty years in Jerusalem: his mother's name was Zibiah of Beer-sheba. 2  And Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord as long as Jehoiada the priest was living. 3  And Jehoiada took two wives for him, and he became the father of sons and daughters. 4  Now after this Joash had a desire to put the house of the Lord into good order again; 5  And getting together the priests and Levites, he said to them, Go out into the towns of Judah year by year, and get from all Israel money to keep the house of your God in good condition; and see that this is done without loss of time. The Levites, however, were slow in doing so. 6  Then the king sent for Jehoiada, the chief priest, and said to him, Why have you not given the Levites orders that the tax fixed by Moses, the servant of the Lord, and by the meeting of Israel, for the Tent of witness, is to be got in from Judah and Jerusalem and handed over? 7  For the house of the Lord had been broken up by Athaliah, that evil woman, and her sons; and all its holy things they had given to the Baals. 8  So at the king's order they made a chest and put it outside the doorway of the house of the Lord. 9  And an order was sent out through all Judah and Jerusalem that payment was to be made to the Lord of the tax which Moses, the servant of God, had put on Israel in the waste land. 10  And all the chiefs and all the people came gladly and put their money into the chest, till they had all given. 11  So when the chest was taken to the king's servants by the Levites, and they saw that there was much money in it, the king's scribe and the chief priest's servant took the money out, and put the chest back in its place. They did this day by day, and got together a great amount of money. 12  Then the king and Jehoiada gave it to those who were responsible for getting the work done on the Lord's house, and with it they got wall-builders and woodworkers and metal-workers to put the house of the Lord in good order again. 13  So the workmen did their work, making good what was damaged and building up the house of God till it was strong and beautiful again. 14  And when the work was done, they took the rest of the money to the king and Jehoiada, and it was used for making the vessels for the house of the Lord, all the vessels needed for the offerings, the spoons and the vessels of gold and silver. And as long as Jehoiada was living, the regular burned offerings were offered in the house of the Lord.

15  But Jehoiada became old and full of days, and he came to his end; he was a hundred and thirty years old at the time of his death. 16  And they put him into his last resting-place in the town of David, among the kings, because he had done good in Israel for God and for his house. 17  Now after the death of Jehoiada, the chiefs of Judah came and went down on their faces before the king. Then the king gave ear to them. 18  And they gave up the house of the Lord God of their fathers, and became worshippers of pillars of wood and of the images; and because of this sin of theirs, wrath came on Judah and Jerusalem. 19  And the Lord sent them prophets to make them come back to him; and they gave witness against them, but they would not give ear. 20  Then the spirit of God came on Zechariah, the son of Jehoiada the priest, and, getting up before the people, he said to them, God has said, Why do you go against the orders of the Lord, so that everything goes badly for you? because you have given up the Lord, he has given you up. 21  But when they had made a secret design against him, he was stoned with stones, by the king's order, in the outer square of the Lord's house. 22  So King Joash did not keep in mind how good Jehoiada his father had been to him, but put his son to death. And in the hour of his death he said, May the Lord see it and take payment! 23  Now in the spring, the army of the Aramaeans came up against him; they came against Judah and Jerusalem, putting to death all the great men of the people and sending all the goods they took from them to the king of Damascus. 24  For though the army of Aram was only a small one, the Lord gave a very great army into their hands, because they had given up the Lord, the God of their fathers. So they put into effect the punishment of Joash. 25  And when they had gone away from him, (for he was broken with disease,) his servants made a secret design against him because of the blood of the son of Jehoiada the priest, and they put him to death on his bed; and they put his body into the earth in the town of David, but not in the resting-place of the kings. 26  Those who made designs against him were Zabad, the son of Shimeath, an Ammonite woman, and Jehozabad, the son of Shimrith, a Moabite woman. 27  Now the story of his sons, and all the words said by the prophet against him, and the building up again of the Lord's house, are recorded in the account in the book of the kings. And Amaziah his son became king in his place.

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