2 Kings 20-22 Bible in Basic English

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Hezekiah's Sickness

20 1  In those days Hezekiah was ill and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, came to him, and said to him, The Lord says, Put your house in order, for your death is near. 2  Then, turning his face to the wall, he made his prayer to the Lord, saying, 3  O Lord, keep in mind how I have been true to you with all my heart, and have done what is good in your eyes. And Hezekiah gave way to bitter weeping. 4  Now before Isaiah had gone out of the middle of the town, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 5  Go back and say to Hezekiah, the ruler of my people, The Lord, the God of David your father, says, Your prayer has come to my ears, and I have seen your weeping; see, I will make you well: on the third day you will go up to the house of the Lord. 6  I will give you fifteen more years of life; and I will keep you and this town safe from the hands of the king of Assyria; I will keep this town safe, for my honour, and for the honour of my servant David. 7  Then Isaiah said, Take a cake of figs. So they took it and put it on his wound, and he got better. 8  And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, What is to be the sign that the Lord will make me well, and that I will go up to the house of the Lord on the third day? 9  And Isaiah said, This is the sign the Lord will give you, that he will do what he has said; will the shade go forward ten degrees or back? 10  And Hezekiah said in answer, It is a simple thing for the shade to go forward; but let it go back ten degrees. 11  Then Isaiah the prophet made prayer to the Lord, and he made the shade go back ten degrees from its position on the steps of Ahaz.

Hezekiah Receives Envoys from Babylon

12  At that time, Merodach-baladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters with an offering to Hezekiah, because he had news that Hezekiah had been ill. 13  And Hezekiah was glad at their coming and let them see all his store of wealth, the silver and the gold and the spices and the oil of great price, and the house of his arms, and everything there was in his stores; there was nothing in all his house or his kingdom which Hezekiah did not let them see. 14  Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and said to him, What did these men say and where did they come from? And Hezekiah said, They came from a far country, even from Babylon. 15  And he said, What have they seen in your house? And Hezekiah said in answer, They saw everything in my house: there is nothing among my stores which I did not let them see. 16  And Isaiah said to Hezekiah, Give ear to the word of the Lord. 17  Truly, days are coming when everything in your house, and whatever your fathers have put in store till this day, will be taken away to Babylon: all will be gone, says the Lord. 18  And your sons, the offspring of your body, they will take away to be unsexed servants in the house of the king of Babylon. 19  Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, Good is the word of the Lord which you have said. Then he said, ... if in my time there is peace and righteousness?

The Death of Hezekiah

20  Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his power, and how he made the pool and the stream, to take water into the town, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? 21  And Hezekiah went to rest with his fathers; and Manasseh his son became king in his place.

The Reign of Manasseh

21 1  Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king; for fifty-five years he was ruling in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Hephzi-bah. 2  He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, copying the disgusting ways of those nations whom the Lord had sent out before the children of Israel. 3  He put up again the high places which had been pulled down by Hezekiah his father; he made altars for Baal, and an Asherah, as Ahab, king of Israel, had done; he was a worshipper and servant of all the stars of heaven. 4  And he put up altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, In Jerusalem will I put my name. 5  And he put up altars for all the stars of heaven in the two outer squares of the house of the Lord. 6  And he made his son go through the fire, and made use of secret arts and signs for reading the future; he gave positions to those who had control of spirits and to wonder-workers; he did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, moving him to wrath. 7  He put the image of Asherah which he had made in the house of which the Lord had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, the town which I have made mine out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name for ever. 8  And never again will I send the feet of Israel wandering from the land which I gave to their fathers; if only they will take care to do all my orders, and keep all the law which my servant Moses gave them. 9  But they did not give ear; and Manasseh made them do more evil than those nations did, whom the Lord gave up to destruction before the children of Israel.

10  And the Lord said, by his servants the prophets, 11  Because Manasseh, king of Judah, has done these disgusting things, doing more evil than all the Amorites before him, and making Judah do evil with his false gods, 12  For this cause, says the Lord, the God of Israel, I will send such evil on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of all to whom the news comes will be burning. 13  And over Jerusalem will be stretched the line of Samaria and the weight of Ahab; Jerusalem will be washed clean as a plate is washed, and turned over on its face. 14  And I will put away from me the rest of my heritage, and give them up into the hands of their haters, who will take their property and their goods for themselves; 15  Because they have done evil in my eyes, moving me to wrath, from the day when their fathers came out of Egypt till this day. 16  More than this, Manasseh took the lives of upright men, till Jerusalem from one end to the other was full of blood; in addition to his sin in making Judah do evil in the eyes of the Lord. 17  Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and all he did, and his sins, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? 18  So Manasseh went to rest with his fathers, and was put into the earth in the garden of his house, in the garden of Uzza; and Amon his son became king in his place.

The Reign of Amon

19  Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, ruling in Jerusalem for two years; his mother's name was Meshullemeth, the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. 20  He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as Manasseh his father had done. 21  He went in all the ways of his father, being a servant and worshipper of the false gods to which his father had been a servant; 22  Turning away from the Lord, the God of his fathers, and not walking in his ways. 23  And the servants of Amon made a secret design against him, and put the king to death in his house. 24  But the people of the land put to death all those who had taken part in the design against the king, and made Josiah his son king in his place. 25  Now the rest of the acts which Amon did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? 26  He was put in his last resting-place in the garden of Uzza, and Josiah his son became king in his place.

The Reign of Josiah

22 1  Josiah was eight years old when he became king; and he was ruling in Jerusalem for thirty-one years; his mother's name was Jedidah, daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. 2  He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, walking in the ways of David his father, without turning to the right hand or to the left.

The Book of the Law Discovered

3  Now in the eighteenth year after he became king, Josiah sent Shaphan, the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of the Lord, saying to him, 4  Go up to Hilkiah, the chief priest, and let him give out the money which is taken into the house of the Lord, which the keepers of the door have got together from the people; 5  And let it be given to the overseers of the work of the Lord's house, to give to the workmen who are making good what was damaged in the house of the Lord; 6  To the woodworkers and the builders and the stone-cutters; and for getting wood and cut stones for the building up of the house. 7  They did not have to give any account of the money which was handed to them, for they made use of it with good faith. 8  Then Hilkiah, the chief priest, said to Shaphan the scribe, I have made discovery of the book of the law in the house of the Lord. So Hilkiah gave it to Shaphan; 9  Then, after reading it, Shaphan the scribe went in to the king and gave him an account of what had been done, saying, Your servants have given out the money which was in the house, and have given it to the overseers of the work of the house of the Lord. 10  Then Shaphan the scribe said to the king, Hilkiah the priest has given me a book; and he was reading it before the king.

11  And the king, hearing the words of the book of the law, took his robe in his hands, violently parting it as a sign of his grief; 12  And he gave orders to Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, and Achbor, the son of Micaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king's servant, saying, 13  Go and get directions from the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah, about the words of this book which has come to light; for great is the wrath of the Lord which is burning against us, because our fathers have not given ear to the words of this book, to do all the things which are recorded in it. 14  So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam and Achbor and Shaphan and Asaiah, went to Huldah the woman prophet, the wife of Shallum, the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the robes, (now she was living in Jerusalem, in the second part of the town;) and they had talk with her. 15  And she said to them, The Lord, the God of Israel, says, Say to the man who sent you to me, 16  These are the words of the Lord: See, I will send evil on this place and on its people, even everything which the king of Judah has been reading in the book; 17  Because they have given me up, burning offerings to other gods and moving me to wrath by all the work of their hands; so my wrath will be on fire against this place, and will not be put out. 18  But to the king of Judah who sent you to get directions from the Lord, say, This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, has said: As to the words which have come to your ears, 19  Because your heart was soft, and you made yourself low before me, when you had word of what I said against this place and its people, that they would become a waste and a curse, and you gave signs of grief, weeping before me: truly, I have given ear to you, says the Lord. 20  For this cause I will let you go to your fathers and be put in your last resting-place in peace, and your eyes will not see all the evil which I will send on this place. So they took this news back to the king.

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