2 Kings 23-25 Bible in Basic English

23 1  Then the king sent and got together all the responsible men of Judah and of Jerusalem. 2  And the king went up to the house of the Lord, with all the men of Judah and all the people of Jerusalem, and the priests and the prophets and all the people, small and great; and they were present at his reading of the book of the law which had come to light in the house of the Lord. 3  And the king took his place by the pillar, and made an agreement before the Lord, to go in the way of the Lord, and keep his orders and his decisions and his rules with all his heart and all his soul, and to keep the words of the agreement recorded in the book; and all the people gave their word to keep the agreement.

Josiah's Reforms

4  Then the king gave orders to Hilkiah, the chief priest, and to the priests of the second order, and to the keepers of the door, to take out of the house of the Lord all the vessels made for Baal and for the Asherah and for all the stars of heaven; and he had them burned outside Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and took the dust of them to Beth-el. 5  And he put an end to the false priests, who had been put in their positions by the kings of Judah to see to the burning of offerings in the high places in the towns of Judah and the outskirts of Jerusalem, and all those who made offerings to Baal and to the sun and the moon and the twelve signs and all the stars of heaven. 6  And he took the Asherah from the house of the Lord, outside Jerusalem to the stream Kidron, burning it by the stream and crushing it to dust, and he put the dust on the place where the bodies of the common people were put to rest. 7  And he had the houses pulled down of those who were used for sex purposes in the house of the Lord, where women were making robes for the Asherah. 8  And he made all the priests from the towns of Judah come into Jerusalem, and he made unclean the high places where the priests had been burning offerings, from Geba to Beer-sheba; and he had the high places of the evil spirits pulled down which were by the doorway of Joshua, the ruler of the town, on the left side of the way into the town. 9  Still the priests of the high places never came up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem; but they took their food of unleavened bread among their brothers. 10  And Topheth, in the valley of the sons of Hinnom, he made unclean, so that no man might make his son or his daughter go through the fire to Molech. 11  And he took away the horses which the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the way into the house of the Lord, by the room of Nathan-melech, the unsexed servant, which was in the outer part of the building, and the carriages of the sun he put on fire. 12  And the altars on the roof of the high room of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two outer squares of the house of the Lord, were pulled down and crushed to bits, and the dust of them was put into the stream Kidron. 13  And the high places before Jerusalem, on the south side of the mountain of destruction, which Solomon, king of Israel, had made for Ashtoreth, the disgusting god of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh, the disgusting god of Moab, and for Milcom, the disgusting god of the children of Ammon, the king made unclean. 14  The stone pillars were broken to bits and the wood pillars cut down, and the places where they had been were made full of the bones of the dead. 15  And the altar at Beth-el, and the high place put up by Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel do evil, that altar and that high place were pulled down; and the high place was burned and crushed to dust and the Asherah was burned. 16  Then Josiah, turning round, saw on the mountain the places of the dead, and he sent and had the bones taken out of their places and burned on the altar, so making it unclean, as the Lord had said by the man of God when Jeroboam was in his place by the altar on that feast-day. And he, turning his eyes to the resting-place of the man of God who had given word of these things, said: 17  What is that headstone I see over there? And the men of the town said to him, It is the resting-place of the man of God who came from Judah and gave word of all these things which you have done to the altar of Beth-el. 18  So he said, Let him be; let not his bones be moved. So they let his bones be with the bones of the prophet who came from Samaria. 19  Then Josiah took away all the houses of the high places in the towns of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had put up, moving the Lord to wrath, and he did with them as he had done in Beth-el. 20  And all the priests of the high places there he put to death on the altars, burning the bones of the dead on them; and then he went back to Jerusalem.

The Passover Kept

21  And the king gave orders to all the people, saying, Keep the Passover to the Lord your God, as it says in this book of the law. 22  Truly, such a Passover had not been kept in all the days of the judges of Israel or of the kings of Israel or the kings of Judah; 23  In the eighteenth year of the rule of King Josiah this Passover was kept to the Lord in Jerusalem.

The LORD's Persistent Anger against Judah

24  And all those who had control of spirits, and the wonder-workers, and the images, and the false gods, and all the disgusting things which were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, Josiah put away, so that he might give effect to the words of the agreement recorded in the book which Hilkiah the priest made discovery of in the house of the Lord.

25  Never before had there been a king like him, turning to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his power, as the law of Moses says; and after him there was no king like him. 26  But still the heat of the Lord's wrath was not turned back from Judah, because of all Manasseh had done in moving him to wrath. 27  And the Lord said, I will send Judah away from before my face, as I have sent Israel; I will have nothing more to do with this town, which I had made mine, even Jerusalem, and the holy house of which I said, My name will be there.

The Death of Josiah

28  Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? 29  In his days, Pharaoh-necoh, king of Egypt, sent his armies against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates; and King Josiah went out against him; and he put him to death at Megiddo, when he had seen him. 30  And his servants took his body in a carriage from Megiddo to Jerusalem, and put him into the earth there. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz, the son of Josiah, and put the holy oil on him and made him king in place of his father.

The Reign and Dethronement of Jehoahaz

31  Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, ruling in Jerusalem for three months; his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 32  He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as his fathers had done. 33  And Pharaoh-necoh put him in chains at Riblah in the land of Hamath, so that he might not be king in Jerusalem; and took from the land a tax of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. 34  Then Pharaoh-necoh made Eliakim, the son of Josiah, king in place of Josiah his father, changing his name to Jehoiakim; but Jehoahaz he took away to Egypt, where he was till his death. 35  And Jehoiakim gave the silver and gold to Pharaoh, taxing the land by his orders to get the money; the people of the land had to give silver and gold, everyone as he was taxed, to make the payment to Pharaoh-necoh.

The Reign of Jehoiakim

36  Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king; he was ruling in Jerusalem for eleven years; his mother's name was Zebidah, the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. 37  He did evil in the eyes of the Lord as his fathers had done.

24 1  In his days, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came up and Jehoiakim was his servant for three years; then he took up arms against him. 2  And the Lord sent against him bands of the Chaldaeans and of the Edomites and of the Moabites and of the children of Ammon; sending them against Judah for its destruction, as he had said by his servants the prophets. 3  Only by the word of the Lord did this fate come on Judah, to take them away from before his face; because of the sins of Manasseh and all the evil he did; 4  And because of the death of those who had done no wrong, for he made Jerusalem full of the blood of the upright; and the Lord had no forgiveness for it. 5  Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah? 6  So Jehoiakim went to rest with his fathers; and Jehoiachin his son became king in his place. 7  And the king of Egypt did not come out of his land again, for the king of Babylon had taken all his country, from the stream of Egypt to the river Euphrates.

Jehoiachin and the Nobles Taken Captive to Babylon

8  Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, he was ruling in Jerusalem for three months, and his mother's name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. 9  He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as his father had done. 10  At that time the armies of Nebuchadnezzar came up to Jerusalem and the town was shut in on every side. 11  And Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came there, while his servants were shutting in the town; 12  Then Jehoiachin, king of Judah, went out to the king of Babylon, with his mother and his servants and his chiefs and his unsexed servants; and in the eighth year of his rule the king of Babylon took him. 13  And he took away all the stored wealth of the Lord's house, and the goods from the king's store-house, cutting up all the gold vessels which Solomon, king of Israel, had made in the house of the Lord, as the Lord had said. 14  And he took away all the people of Jerusalem and all the chiefs and all the men of war, ten thousand prisoners; and all the expert workmen and the metal-workers; only the poorest sort of the people of the land were not taken away. 15  He took Jehoiachin a prisoner to Babylon, with his mother and his wives and his unsexed servants and the great men of the land; he took them all as prisoners from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16  And all the men of war, seven thousand of them, and a thousand expert workmen and metal-workers, all of them strong and able to take up arms, the king of Babylon took away as prisoners into Babylon. 17  And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, his father's brother, king in place of Jehoiachin, changing his name to Zedekiah.

The Reign of Zedekiah

18  Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he was king in Jerusalem for eleven years; his mother's name was Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 19  He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as Jehoiakim had done. 20  And because of the wrath of the Lord, this came about in Jerusalem and Judah, till he had sent them all away from before him: and Zedekiah took up arms against the king of Babylon.

The Fall of Jerusalem

25 1  Now in the ninth year of his rule, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came against Jerusalem with all his army and took up his position before it, building earthworks all round the town. 2  And the town was shut in by their forces till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 3  Now on the ninth day of the fourth month, the store of food in the town was almost gone, so that there was no food for the people of the land. 4  So an opening was made in the wall of the town, and all the men of war went in flight by night through the doorway between the two walls which was by the king's garden; (now the Chaldaeans were stationed round the town:) and the king went by the way of the Arabah. 5  But the Chaldaean army went after the king, and overtook him in the lowlands of Jericho, and all his army went in flight from him in every direction. 6  And they made the king a prisoner and took him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah to be judged. 7  And they put the sons of Zedekiah to death before his eyes, and then they put out his eyes, and chaining him with iron bands, took him to Babylon.

The Captivity of Judah

8  Now in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the armed men, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem; 9  And he had the house of the Lord and the king's house and all the houses of Jerusalem, even every great house, burned with fire; 10  And the walls round Jerusalem were broken down by the Chaldaean army which was with the captain. 11  And the rest of the people who were still in the town, and all those who had given themselves up to the king of Babylon, and all the rest of the workmen, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the armed men, took away as prisoners; 12  But he let the poorest of the land go on living there, to take care of the vines and the fields. 13  And the brass pillars in the house of the Lord, and the wheeled bases, and the great brass water-vessel in the house of the Lord, were broken up by the Chaldaeans, who took the brass to Babylon. 14  And the pots and the spades and the scissors for the lights and the spoons, and all the brass vessels used in the Lord's house, they took away. 15  And the fire-trays and the basins; the gold of the gold vessels and the silver of the silver vessels, were all taken away by the captain of the armed men. 16  The two pillars, the great water-vessel and the wheeled bases, which Solomon had made for the house of the Lord: the brass of all these vessels was without weight. 17  One of the pillars was eighteen cubits high, with a crown of brass on it; the crown was three cubits high, circled with a network and apples all of brass; and the second pillar had the same. 18  And the captain of the armed men took Seraiah, the chief priest, and Zephaniah, the second priest, and the three door-keepers; 19  And from the town he took the unsexed servant who was over the men of war, and five of the king's near friends who were in the town, and the scribe of the captain of the army, who was responsible for getting the people of the land together in military order, and sixty men of the people of the land who were in the town. 20  These Nebuzaradan, the captain of the armed men, took with him to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21  And the king of Babylon put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was taken away prisoner from his land.

The Remnant Flee to Egypt

22  As for the people who were still living in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, did not take away, he made Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, ruler over them. 23  Now the captains of the armed forces, hearing that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah ruler, came with their men to Gedaliah at Mizpah; Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan, the son of Kareah, and Seraiah, the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah, the son of the Maacathite, came with all their men. 24  Then Gedaliah gave his oath to them and their men, saying, Have no fear because of the servants of the Chaldaeans; go on living in the land under the rule of the king of Babylon, and all will be well. 25  But in the seventh month, Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the king's seed, came with ten men and made an attack on Gedaliah, causing his death and the death of the Jews and the Chaldaeans who were with him at Mizpah. 26  Then all the people, small and great, and the captains of the forces, got up and went away to Egypt, for fear of the Chaldaeans.

Jehoiachin Released and Honored in Babylon

27  And in the thirty-seventh year after Jehoiachin, king of Judah, had been taken prisoner, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, Evil-merodach, king of Babylon, in the first year of his rule, took Jehoiachin, king of Judah, out of prison; 28  And said kind words to him, and put his seat higher than the seats of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. 29  And his prison clothing was changed, and he was a guest at the king's table every day for the rest of his life. 30  And for his food, the king gave him a regular amount every day for the rest of his life.


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