2 Kings 23-25 World English Bible

23 1  The king sent, and they gathered to him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. 2  The king went up to the house of Yahweh, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of Yahweh. 3  The king stood by the pillar, and made a covenant before Yahweh, to walk after Yahweh, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and all his soul, to confirm the words of this covenant that were written in this book: and all the people stood to the covenant.

Josiah's Reforms

4  The king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the threshold, to bring forth out of the temple of Yahweh all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the Asherah, and for all the army of the sky, and he burned them outside of Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried the ashes of them to Bethel. 5  He put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places around Jerusalem; those also who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the army of the sky. 6  He brought out the Asherah from the house of Yahweh, outside of Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and beat it to dust, and cast its dust on the graves of the common people. 7  He broke down the houses of the sodomites, that were in the house of Yahweh, where the women wove hangings for the Asherah. 8  He brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba; and he broke down the high places of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on a man’s left hand at the gate of the city. 9  Nevertheless the priests of the high places didn’t come up to the altar of Yahweh in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread among their brothers. 10  He defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech. 11  He took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of Yahweh, by the chamber of Nathan Melech the officer, who was in the court; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire. 12  The altars that were on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of Yahweh, did the king break down, and beat them down from there, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron. 13  The high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mountain of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile. 14  He broke in pieces the pillars, and cut down the Asherim, and filled their places with the bones of men. 15  Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, even that altar and the high place he broke down; and he burned the high place and beat it to dust, and burned the Asherah. 16  As Josiah turned himself, he spied the tombs that were there in the mountain; and he sent, and took the bones out of the tombs, and burned them on the altar, and defiled it, according to the word of Yahweh which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these things. 17  Then he said, “What monument is that which I see?”

The men of the city told him, “It is the tomb of the man of God, who came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that you have done against the altar of Bethel.” 18  He said, “Let him be! Let no man move his bones.” So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet who came out of Samaria. 19  All the houses also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke Yahweh to anger, Josiah took away, and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Bethel. 20  He killed all the priests of the high places that were there, on the altars, and burned men’s bones on them; and he returned to Jerusalem.

The Passover Kept

21  The king commanded all the people, saying, “Keep the Passover to Yahweh your God, as it is written in this book of the covenant.” 22  Surely there was not kept such a Passover from the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah; 23  but in the eighteenth year of king Josiah was this Passover kept to Yahweh in Jerusalem.

The LORD's Persistent Anger against Judah

24  Moreover those who had familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the teraphim, and the idols, and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might confirm the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of Yahweh.

25  Like him was there no king before him, who turned to Yahweh with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him. 26  Notwithstanding, Yahweh didn’t turn from the fierceness of his great wrath, with which his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocation with which Manasseh had provoked him. 27  Yahweh said, “I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city which I have chosen, even Jerusalem, and the house of which I said, ‘My name shall be there.’”

The Death of Josiah

28  Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all that he did, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 29  In his days Pharaoh Necoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and Pharaoh Necoh killed him at Megiddo, when he had seen him. 30  His servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own tomb. The people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father’s place.

The Reign and Dethronement of Jehoahaz

31  Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 32  He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, according to all that his fathers had done. 33  Pharaoh Necoh put him in bonds at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and put the land to a tribute of one hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold. 34  Pharaoh Necoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the room of Josiah his father, and changed his name to Jehoiakim: but he took Jehoahaz away; and he came to Egypt, and died there. 35  Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh: he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of everyone according to his taxation, to give it to Pharaoh Necoh.

The Reign of Jehoiakim

36  Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Zebidah the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. 37  He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, according to all that his fathers had done.

24 1  In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him. 2  Yahweh sent against him bands of the Chaldeans, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of Yahweh, which he spoke by his servants the prophets. 3  Surely at the commandment of Yahweh came this on Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did, 4  and also for the innocent blood that he shed; for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood: and Yahweh would not pardon. 5  Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and all that he did, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 6  So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers; and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place. 7  The king of Egypt didn’t come again out of his land any more; for the king of Babylon had taken, from the brook of Egypt to the river Euphrates, all that pertained to the king of Egypt.

Jehoiachin and the Nobles Taken Captive to Babylon

8  Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign; and he reigned in Jerusalem three months: and his mother’s name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. 9  He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, according to all that his father had done. 10  At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up to Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. 11  Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to the city, while his servants were besieging it; 12  and Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign. 13  He carried out there all the treasures of the house of Yahweh, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold, which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of Yahweh, as Yahweh had said. 14  He carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valor, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and the smiths; none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land. 15  He carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon; and the king’s mother, and the king’s wives, and his officers, and the chief men of the land, carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16  All the men of might, even seven thousand, and the craftsmen and the smiths one thousand, all of them strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon. 17  The king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s father’s brother, king is his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

The Reign of Zedekiah

18  Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 19  He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 20  For through the anger of Yahweh did it happen in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

The Fall of Jerusalem

25 1  It happened in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, and encamped against it; and they built forts against it around it. 2  So the city was besieged to the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. 3  On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land. 4  Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king’s garden (now the Chaldeans were against the city around it); and the king went by the way of the Arabah. 5  But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him. 6  Then they took the king, and carried him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment on him. 7  They killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him in fetters, and carried him to Babylon.

The Captivity of Judah

8  Now in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, to Jerusalem. 9  He burnt the house of Yahweh, and the king’s house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, even every great house, burnt he with fire. 10  All the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down the walls around Jerusalem. 11  The residue of the people who were left in the city, and those who fell away, who fell to the king of Babylon, and the residue of the multitude, did Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carry away captive. 12  But the captain of the guard left of the poorest of the land to work the vineyards and fields. 13  The pillars of brass that were in the house of Yahweh, and the bases and the bronze sea that were in the house of Yahweh, did the Chaldeans break in pieces, and carried the brass of them to Babylon. 14  The pots, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass with which they ministered, took they away. 15  The fire pans, and the basins, that which was of gold, in gold, and that which was of silver, in silver, the captain of the guard took away. 16  The two pillars, the one sea, and the bases, which Solomon had made for the house of Yahweh, the brass of all these vessels was without weight. 17  The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and a capital of brass was on it; and the height of the capital was three cubits, with network and pomegranates on the capital around it, all of brass: and like to these had the second pillar with network. 18  The captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the threshold: 19  and out of the city he took an officer who was set over the men of war; and five men of those who saw the king’s face, who were found in the city; and the scribe, the captain of the army, who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land, who were found in the city. 20  Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah. 21  The king of Babylon struck them, and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away captive out of his land.

The Remnant Flee to Egypt

22  As for the people who were left in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, even over them he made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, governor. 23  Now when all the captains of the forces, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor, they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even 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, they and their men. 24  Gedaliah swore to them and to their men, and said to them, “Don’t be afraid because of the servants of the Chaldeans. Dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.” 25  But it happened in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the royal seed came, and ten men with him, and struck Gedaliah, so that he died, and the Jews and the Chaldeans that were with him at Mizpah. 26  All the people, both small and great, and the captains of the forces, arose, and came to Egypt; for they were afraid of the Chaldeans.

Jehoiachin Released and Honored in Babylon

27  It happened in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evilmerodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison; 28  and he spoke kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings who were with him in Babylon, 29  and changed his prison garments. Jehoiachin ate bread before him continually all the days of his life: 30  and for his allowance, there was a continual allowance given him of the king, every day a portion, all the days of his life.

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