2Kings Chapter 25 (Bible Marathon Day 169)

2Kings Chapter 25 (Bible Marathon Day 169)

1
In the tenth month of the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar,
king of Babylon, and his whole army advanced against Jerusalem, encamped around it, and built siege
walls on every side.
2
The siege of the city continued until the eleventh year of Zedekiah.
3
On the ninth day of the month,* when famine had gripped the city, and the people of the land had no more
food,
4
the city walls were breached. That night, all the soldiers came to the gate between the two walls near the
king’s garden (the Chaldeans had the city surrounded), while the king went toward the Arabah.*
5
But the Chaldean army pursued the king and overtook him in the desert near Jericho, abandoned by his
whole army.
6
The king was therefore arrested and brought to Riblah to the king of Babylon, who pronounced sentence on
him.
7
They slew Zedekiah’s sons before his eyes; then they put out his eyes, bound him with fetters, and brought
him to Babylon.
8
On the seventh day of the fifth month (this was in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon),
Nebuzaradan, captain of the bodyguard, came to Jerusalem as the agent of the king of Babylon.
9
He burned the house of the LORD, the house of the king, and all the houses of Jerusalem (every noble
house); he destroyed them by fire.a
10
The Chaldean troops who were with the captain of the guard tore down the walls that surrounded
Jerusalem,
11
and Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, led into exile the last of the army remaining in the city, and those
who had deserted* to the king of Babylon, and the last of the commoners.
12
But some of the country’s poor the captain of the guard left behind as vinedressers and farmers.
13
The bronze columns that belonged to the house of the LORD, and the stands and the bronze sea in the
house of the LORD, the Chaldeans broke into pieces; they carried away the bronze to Babylon.b
14
They took also the pots, the shovels, the snuffers, the cups and all the bronze articles used for service.c
15
The fire pans and the bowls that were of solid gold or silver the captain of the guard also carried off.d
16
The two columns, the one bronze sea, and the stands, which Solomon had made for the house of the
LORD—the weight in bronze of all these articles was never calculated.e
17
Each of the columns was eighteen cubits high; a bronze capital three cubits high surmounted each column,
and a netting with pomegranates encircled the capital, all of bronze; and they were duplicated on the other
column, on the netting.f
18
The captain of the guard also took Seraiah, the chief priest, Zephaniah, an assistant priest, and the three
doorkeepers.
19
And from the city he took one officer who was a commander of soldiers, five courtiers in the personal service
of the king who were still in the city, the scribe in charge of the army who mustered the people of the land,*
and sixty of the people of the land still remaining in the city.
20
The captain of the guard, Nebuzaradan, arrested these and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah,
and
21
the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death in Riblah, in the land of Hamath. And thus
Judah went into exile from their native soil.

Governorship of Gedaliah.
22
g As for the people whom he had allowed to remain in the land of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon,
appointed Gedaliah, son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, over them.
23
Hearing that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah over them, all the army commanders and the
troops came to him at Mizpah: Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, Johanan, son of Kareah, Seraiah, son of
Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah, son of the Maakite, each with his troops.
24
Gedaliah gave the commanders and their troops his oath. He said to them, “Do not be afraid of the
Chaldean officials. Remain in the country and serve the king of Babylon, so that all will be well with you.”
25
But in the seventh month Ishmael, son of Nethaniah, son of Elishama, of royal descent, came with ten others,
attacked Gedaliah and killed him, along with the Judahites and Chaldeans who were in Mizpah with him.
26
Then all the people, great and small, left with the army commanders and went to Egypt for fear of the
Chaldeans.

Release of Jehoiachin.
27
In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth
month, Evil-merodach, king of Babylon, in the inaugural year of his own reign, raised up Jehoiachin, king of
Judah, from prison.
28
He spoke kindly to him and gave him a throne higher than that of the other kings who were with him in
Babylon.
29
Jehoiachin took off his prison garb; he ate regularly in the king’s presence as long as he lived;
30
and for his allowance the king granted him a regular allowance, in fixed daily amounts, for as long as he
lived.

* [25:3] Ninth day of the month: the text does not say which month, but Jer 39:2 and 52:6 set the breaching of
the city walls in the fourth month; in later times that was the date of a fast commemorating the event (cf. Zec
8:19). People of the land: the influential citizens (see note on 11:14); even they, whose resources went
beyond those of the ordinary people, were starving.

* [25:4] The Hebrew text of this verse is missing some words. The present translation is based on a likely
reconstruction.

* [25:11] Those who had deserted: perhaps on the advice of Jeremiah; cf. Jer 38:2–3.

* [25:19] People of the land: see note on 11:14.

a. [25:9] Ps 74:2–7.

b. [25:13] 2 Kgs 16:17; 1 Kgs 7:15–39; Jer 27:19–23.

c. [25:14] 1 Kgs 7:40–45.

d. [25:15] 1 Kgs 7:50.

e. [25:16] 1 Kgs 7:47.

f. [25:17] 1 Kgs 7:15–20; Jer 52:21–23.

g. [25:22–26] Jer 40:7–41:18.

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2Kings Chapter 24 (Bible Marathon Day 168)

2Kings Chapter 24 (Bible Marathon Day 168)

1
During Jehoiakim’s reign Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, attacked, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. Then Jehoiakim turned and rebelled against him.
2
The LORD loosed against him bands of Chaldeans, Arameans, Moabites, and Ammonites; he unleashed them against Judah to destroy him, according to the LORD’s word spoken through his servants the prophets.
3
This befell Judah because the LORD had stated that he would put them out of his sight for the sins Manasseh had committed in all that he did,
4
and especially because of the innocent blood he shed; he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the LORD would not forgive.a
5
The rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, with all that he did, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah.
6
Jehoiakim rested with his ancestors, and his son Jehoiachin succeeded him as king.
7
The king of Egypt did not again leave his own land, for the king of Babylon had taken all that belonged to the king of Egypt from the wadi of Egypt to the Euphrates River.

Reign of Jehoiachin.
8
Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Nehushta, daughter of Elnathan, from Jerusalem.
9
He did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, just as his father had done.
10
b At that time officers of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, attacked Jerusalem, and the city came under siege.
11
Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, himself arrived at the city while his officers were besieging it.
12
Then Jehoiachin, king of Judah, together with his mother, his ministers, officers, and functionaries, surrendered to the king of Babylon, who, in the eighth year of his reign,* took him captive.
13
He carried off all the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king’s house, and broke up all the gold utensils that Solomon, king of Israel, had provided in the house of the LORD, as the LORD had decreed.c
14
He deported all Jerusalem: all the officers and warriors of the army, ten thousand in number, and all the artisans and smiths. Only the lowliest of the people of the land* were left.
15
He deported Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king’s mother, his wives, his functionaries, and the chiefs of the land he led captive from Jerusalem to Babylon.d
16
All seven thousand soldiers of the army, and a thousand artisans and smiths, all of them trained warriors, these too the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.
17
In place of Jehoiachin the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king; he changed his name to Zedekiah.e
Reign of Zedekiah.
18
* Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah, from Libnah.f
19
He did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, just as Jehoiakim had done.
20
This befell Jerusalem and Judah because the LORD was so angry that he cast them out of his sight.
Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

* [24:12] The eighth year of his reign: that is, of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, not Jehoiachin’s. The year was 597 B.C.

* [24:14] People of the land: see note on 11:14.

* [24:18–25:30] Much of this material closely parallels Jer 52; some of the events are also recounted in Jer 39.

a. [24:4] 2 Kgs 21:16.

b. [24:10–17] Dn 1:1–2.

c. [24:13] 2 Kgs 20:17.

d. [24:15] Est A:3; 2:6.

e. [24:17] Jer 37:1.

f. [24:18] 2 Kgs 23:31.

2Kings Chapter 23 (Bible Marathon Day 168)

2Kings Chapter 23 (Bible Marathon Day 168)

1
The king then had all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem summoned before him.
2
The king went up to the house of the LORD with all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: priests, prophets, and all the people, great and small. He read aloud to them all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the house of the LORD.a
3
The king stood by the column and made a covenant in the presence of the LORD to follow the LORD and to observe his commandments, statutes, and decrees with his whole heart and soul, and to re-establish the words of the covenant written in this book. And all the people stood by the covenant.

Josiah’s Religious Reform.
4
Then the king commanded the high priest Hilkiah, his assistant priests, and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the LORD all the objects that had been made for Baal, Asherah, and the whole host of heaven. These he burned outside Jerusalem on the slopes of the Kidron; their ashes were carried to Bethel.b
5
He also put an end to the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had appointed to burn incense on the high places in the cities of Judah and in the vicinity of Jerusalem, as well as those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, moon, and signs of the zodiac, and to the whole host of heaven.c
6
From the house of the LORD he also removed the Asherah to the Wadi Kidron, outside Jerusalem; he burned it and beat it to dust, in the Wadi Kidron, and scattered its dust over the graveyard of the people of the land.* d
7
He tore down the apartments of the cult prostitutes in the house of the LORD, where the women wove garments for the Asherah.e
8
He brought in all the priests from the cities of Judah, and then defiled, from Geba to Beer-sheba, the high places where they had offered incense. He also tore down the high places of the gates, which were at the entrance of the Gate of Joshua, governor of the city, north of the city gate.
9
(The priests of the high places could not function at the altar of the LORD in Jerusalem; but they, along with their relatives, ate the unleavened bread.)
10
The king also defiled Topheth in the Valley of Ben-hinnom, so that there would no longer be any immolation of sons or daughters by fire* in honor of Molech.f
11
He did away with the horses which the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun; these were at the entrance of the house of the LORD, near the chamber of Nathan-melech the official, which was in the large building. The chariots of the sun he destroyed by fire.
12
He also demolished the altars made by the kings of Judah on the roof (the roof terrace of Ahaz), and the altars made by Manasseh in the two courts of the LORD’s house. He pulverized them and threw the dust into the Wadi Kidron.g
13
The king defiled the high places east of Jerusalem, south of the Mount of the Destroyer,* which Solomon, king of Israel, had built in honor of Astarte, the Sidonian horror, of Chemosh, the Moabite horror, and of Milcom, the Ammonites’ abomination.h
14
He broke to pieces the pillars, cut down the asherahs, and filled the places where they had been with human bones.i
15
Likewise the altar which was at Bethel, the high place built by Jeroboam, son of Nebat, who caused Israel to sin—this same altar and high place he tore down and burned, grinding the high place to powder and burning the asherah.j
16
When Josiah turned and saw the graves there on the mountainside, he ordered the bones taken from the graves and burned on the altar, and thus defiled it, according to the LORD’s word proclaimed by the man of God as Jeroboam stood by the altar on the feast day. When the king looked up and saw the grave of the man of God who had proclaimed these words,
17
he asked, “What is that marker I see?” The people of the city replied, “The grave of the man of God who came from Judah and proclaimed the very things you have done to the altar in Bethel.”
18
“Let him be,” he said, “let no one move his bones.” So they left his bones undisturbed together with the bones of the prophet who had come from Samaria.*
19
Josiah also removed all the temples on the high places in the cities of Samaria which the kings of Israel had built, provoking the LORD; he did the very same to them as he had done in Bethel.
20
He slaughtered upon the altars all the priests of the high places that were there, and burned human bones upon them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.
21
The king issued a command to all the people: “Observe the Passover of the LORD, your God, as it is written in this book of the covenant.”k
22
No Passover such as this had been observed during the period when the judges ruled Israel, or during the entire period of the kings of Israel and the kings of Judah,
23
until the eighteenth year of King Josiah, when this Passover of the LORD was kept in Jerusalem.
24
Further, Josiah purged the consultation of ghosts and spirits, with the household gods, idols,* and all the other horrors to be seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, so that he might carry out the words of the law that were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest had found in the house of the LORD.l
25
Before him there had been no king who turned to the LORD as he did, with his whole heart, his whole being, and his whole strength, in accord with the entire law of Moses; nor did any king like him arise after him.m
26
Yet the LORD did not turn from his fiercely burning anger against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had given.
27
The LORD said: Even Judah will I put out of my sight as I did Israel. I will reject this city, Jerusalem, which I chose, and the house of which I said: There shall my name be.
28
The rest of the acts of Josiah, with all that he did, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah.
29
In his time Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, went up toward the Euphrates River against the king of Assyria.* King Josiah set out to meet him, but was slain at Megiddo at the first encounter.
30
His servants brought his body on a chariot from Megiddo to Jerusalem, where they buried him in his own grave. Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz, son of Josiah, anointed him, and proclaimed him king to succeed his father.
Reign of Jehoahaz.
31
Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah, from Libnah.n
32
He did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, just as his ancestors had done.
33
Pharaoh Neco took him prisoner at Riblah in the land of Hamath, thus ending his reign in Jerusalem. He imposed a fine upon the land of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.*
34
Pharaoh Neco then made Eliakim, son of Josiah, king in place of Josiah his father; he changed his name to Jehoiakim. Jehoahaz he took away with him to Egypt, where he died.
35
Jehoiakim gave the silver and gold to Pharaoh, but taxed the land to raise the amount Pharaoh demanded. He exacted the silver and gold from the people of the land, from each proportionately, to pay Pharaoh Neco.
Reign of Jehoiakim.
36
Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zebidah, daughter of Pedaiah, from Rumah.
37
He did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, just as his ancestors had done.
* [23:6] People of the land: see note on 11:14.

* [23:10] Topheth…by fire: Topheth was a cultic site probably in the Hinnom Valley just west of Jerusalem where, apparently, children were immolated to the deity Molech (Hebrew melek, “king,” deformed in the biblical tradition to “Molech”). The practice was condemned by Deuteronomic law and denounced by Jeremiah (Dt 12:31; Jer 7:29–31). In Jer 19 the deity is identified as the Canaanite god Baal.

* [23:13] Mount of the Destroyer: the name of the mountain in Hebrew is a wordplay. “The Mount of the mashchit” means “the Mount of the Destroyer” or perhaps “the Mount of Destruction.” The word plays on mishchah, “anointment,” and on mashiach, “anointed one,” both of which are references to the ceremony that consecrated the king. The mountain in question was the Mount of Olives, whose trees produced oil for the royal anointing. In the present context, both sides of the wordplay allude to Solomon, the anointed king (mashiach), whose building of non-Yahwistic shrines on this very mountain resulted in the destruction (mashchit) of the Davidic realm (see 1 Kgs 11:4–13). Horror…abomination: all three idols are described with pejorative terms.

* [23:18] From Samaria: an anachronistic use of the name of the later capital city for the whole region. The prophet was from Bethel; cf. 1 Kgs 13:11.

* [23:24] Household gods, idols: teraphim. See note on Gn 31:19.

* [23:29] Against the king of Assyria: the narrator depicts Neco’s advance as an attack on Assyrian forces. The Babylonian record of the event, however, implies that Neco intended to support the remnant of Assyrian forces against a Babylonian onslaught in order to prop up a buffer state between Egypt and Babylon and assure Egyptian control of the Syro-Palestinian region.

* [23:33] A talent of gold: unless the fine imposed was a mere token, this figure seems too low; cf. 18:14. A number may have dropped from the Hebrew text; various ancient translations read “ten” or “one hundred” here.

a. [23:2] Dt 17:18–19.

b. [23:4] Sir 49:3.

c. [23:5] Dt 4:19; 17:2–7.

d. [23:6] Dt 16:21.

e. [23:7] Dt 23:18–19.

f. [23:10] Lv 18:21; Dt 18:10–12.

g. [23:12] 2 Kgs 20:11; 21:5.

h. [23:13] 1 Kgs 11:4–8.

i. [23:14] Dt 16:21; 1 Kgs 14:23.

j. [23:15–20] 1 Kgs 12:26–13:34.

k. [23:21] Dt 16:1–8.

l. [23:24] 2 Kgs 21:6; Gn 31:19; Dt 18:10–14; Jgs 18:14.

m. [23:25] Dt 6:5; Sir 49:1–3.

n. [23:31] 2 Kgs 24:18.

2Kings Chapter 22 (Bible Marathon Day 167)

2Kings Chapter 22 (Bible Marathon Day 167)

Reign of Josiah.
1
Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His
mother’s name was Jedidah, daughter of Adaiah, from Bozkath.
2
He did what was right in the LORD’s sight, walking in the way of David his father, not turning right or left.

The Book of the Law.
3
a In his eighteenth year, King Josiah sent the scribe Shaphan,* son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, to the
house of the LORD with these orders:
4
“Go to the high priest Hilkiah and have him calculate the valuables that have been brought to the house of
the LORD, which the doorkeepers have collected from the people.
5
Then have him turn them over to the master workers in the house of the LORD, and have them give them to
the ordinary workers who are in the house of the LORD to repair its breaches:
6
to the carpenters, the builders, and the masons, and to purchase wood and hewn stone.
7
No reckoning shall be asked of them regarding the funds provided to them, because they hold positions of
trust.”
8
The high priest Hilkiah informed the scribe Shaphan, “I have found the book of the law* in the temple of the
LORD.” Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, who read it.
9
Then the scribe Shaphan went to the king and reported, “Your servants have smelted down the silver
deposited in the temple and have turned it over to the master workers in the house of the LORD.”
10
The scribe Shaphan also informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book,” and then Shaphan
read it in the presence of the king.
11
When the king heard the words of the book of the law, he tore his garments.
12
The king then issued this command to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, son of Shaphan, Achbor, son of Micaiah,
Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king’s servant:
13
“Go, consult the LORD for me, for the people, and for all Judah, about the words of this book that has been
found, for the rage of the LORD has been set furiously ablaze against us, because our ancestors did not
obey the words of this book, nor do what is written for us.”
14
So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophet, wife of Shallum,
son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; she lived in Jerusalem, in the Second Quarter. When
they had spoken to her,
15
she said to them, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: Say to the man who sent you to me,
16
Thus says the LORD: I am about to bring evil upon this place and upon its inhabitants—all the words of the
book which the king of Judah has read.
17
Because they have abandoned me and have burned incense to other gods, provoking me by all the works
of their hands, my rage is ablaze against this place and it cannot be extinguished.
18
“But to the king of Judah who sent you to consult the LORD, give this response: Thus says the LORD, the
God of Israel: As for the words you have heard,
19
because you were heartsick and have humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I have
spoken concerning this place and its inhabitants, that they would become a desolation and a curse; and
because you tore your garments and wept before me, I in turn have heard, oracle of the LORD.
20
I will therefore gather you to your ancestors; you shall go to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see
all the evil I am about to bring upon this place.” This they reported to the king.

* [22:3] Shaphan: head of a prominent family in the reign of Josiah, secretary to the king, bearer and reader
of the newly found book of the law (vv. 3–13; 25:22). He and his sons favored the reform of King Josiah and
supported the prophet Jeremiah; cf. Jer 26:24; 29:1–3; 36:10–12; 39:14.

* [22:8] Book of the law: probably an early edition of material now found in the Book of Deuteronomy.

a. [22:3–7] 2 Kgs 12:11–16.

2Kings Chapter 21 (Bible Marathon Day 167)

2Kings Chapter 21 (Bible Marathon Day 167)

Reign of Manasseh.
1
Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His
mother’s name was Hephzibah.

2
He did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, following the abominable practices of the nations whom the LORD
had dispossessed before the Israelites.
3
He rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed. He set up altars to Baal and also made
an asherah, as Ahab, king of Israel, had done. He bowed down to the whole host of heaven and served
them.a
4
He built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD had said: In Jerusalem I will set my name.
5
And he built altars for the whole host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.
6
He immolated his child by fire. He practiced soothsaying and divination, and reintroduced the consulting of
ghosts and spirits.
He did much evil in the LORD’s sight and provoked him to anger.b
7
The Asherah idol he had made, he placed in the LORD’s house, of which the LORD had said to David and
to his son Solomon: In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I shall
set my name forever.c
8
I will no longer make Israel step out of the land I gave their ancestors, provided that they are careful to
observe all I have commanded them and the entire law which Moses my servant enjoined upon them.
9
But they did not listen.
Manasseh misled them into doing even greater evil than the nations the LORD had destroyed at the coming
of the Israelites.
10
Then the LORD spoke through his servants the prophets:
11
“Because Manasseh, king of Judah, has practiced these abominations, and has done greater evil than all
that was done by the Amorites before him, and has led Judah into sin by his idols,d
12
therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: I am about to bring such evil on Jerusalem and Judah that,
when any hear of it, their ears shall ring:
13
I will measure Jerusalem with the same cord as I did Samaria, and with the plummet I used for the house of
Ahab. I will wipe Jerusalem clean as one wipes a dish, wiping it inside and out.e
14
I will cast off the survivors of my inheritance. I will deliver them into enemy hands, to become prey and booty
for all their enemies,
15
because they have done what is evil in my sight and provoked me from the day their ancestors came forth
from Egypt until this very day.”
16
Manasseh shed so much innocent blood that it filled the length and breadth of Jerusalem, in addition to the
sin he caused Judah to commit by doing what was evil in the LORD’s sight.
17
The rest of the acts of Manasseh, with all that he did and the sin he committed, are recorded in the book of
the chronicles of the kings of Judah.
18
Manasseh rested with his ancestors; he was buried in his palace garden, the garden of Uzza, and his son
Amon succeeded him as king.

Reign of Amon.
19
Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. His
mother’s name was Meshullemeth, daughter of Haruz, from Jotbah.
20
He did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, as his father Manasseh had done.
21
He walked in all the ways of his father; he served the idols his father had served, and bowed down to them.
22
He abandoned the LORD, the God of his ancestors, and did not walk in the way of the LORD.
23
Officials of Amon plotted against him and killed the king in his palace,
24
but the people of the land* then slew all who had plotted against King Amon, and the people of the land
made his son Josiah king in his stead.
25
The rest of the acts of Amon, which he did, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah.
26
He was buried in his own grave in the garden of Uzza, and his son Josiah succeeded him as king.

* [21:24] People of the land: see note on 11:14.

a. [21:3] 2 Kgs 17:16; 1 Kgs 16:31–33.

b. [21:6] Lv 18:21; 19:26; Dt 18:10–14; 1 Sm 28:3.

c. [21:7] 2 Sm 7:13; 1 Kgs 8:16; 9:3.

d. [21:11] Jer 15:4.

e. [21:13] Is 34:11; Lam 2:8; Am 7:7–9.

2Kings Chapter 20 (Bible Marathon Day 166)

2Kings Chapter 20 (Bible Marathon Day 166)

End of Hezekiah’s Reign.
1
a In those days, when Hezekiah was mortally ill, the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz, came and said to him:
“Thus says the LORD: Put your house in order, for you are about to die; you shall not recover.”
2
He turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD:
3
“Ah, LORD, remember how faithfully and wholeheartedly I conducted myself in your presence, doing what
was good in your sight!” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4
Before Isaiah had left the central courtyard, the word of the LORD came to him:
5
Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people: “Thus says the LORD, the God of David your father:
I have heard your prayer;
I have seen your tears.
Now I am healing you.
On the third day you shall go up
to the house of the LORD.
6
I will add to your life fifteen years.
I will rescue you and this city
from the hand of the king of Assyria;
I will be a shield to this city
for my own sake and the sake of David my servant.”
7
Then Isaiah said, “Bring a poultice of figs and apply it to the boil for his recovery.”
8
Hezekiah asked Isaiah, “What is the sign that the LORD will heal me and that I shall go up to the house of the
LORD on the third day?”
9
Isaiah replied, “This will be the sign for you from the LORD that he will carry out the word he has spoken:
Shall the shadow go forward or back ten steps?”
10
“It is easy for the shadow to advance ten steps,” Hezekiah answered. “Rather, let it go back ten steps.”
11
So Isaiah the prophet invoked the LORD. He made the shadow go back the ten steps it had descended on
the staircase to the terrace of Ahaz.
12
At that time, Berodach-baladan,* son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and gifts to Hezekiah when he
heard that he had been ill.
13
Hezekiah listened to the envoys and then showed off his whole treasury: his silver, gold, spices and
perfumed oil, his armory, and everything in his storerooms; there was nothing in his house or in all his realm
that Hezekiah did not show them.
14
Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and asked him: “What did these men say to you? Where
did they come from?” Hezekiah replied, “They came from a distant land, from Babylon.”
15
He asked, “What did they see in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They saw everything in my house.
There is nothing in my storerooms that I did not show them.”
16
Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah: “Hear the word of the LORD:
17
The time is coming when all that is in your house, everything that your ancestors have stored up until this
day, shall be carried off to Babylon; nothing shall be left, says the LORD.
18
Some of your own descendants, your offspring, your progeny, shall be taken and made attendants in the
palace of the king of Babylon.”
19
Hezekiah replied to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There
will be peace and stability in my lifetime.”
20
The rest of the acts of Hezekiah, with all his valor, and how he constructed the pool and conduit* and
brought water into the city, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah.b
21
Hezekiah rested with his ancestors, and his son Manasseh succeeded him as king.

* [20:12] Berodach-baladan: this famous king’s name is more correctly recorded in Is 39:1 as “Merodach-
baladan.” The Babylonian form, Marduk-apal-idinna, means “Marduk has granted a son.” Historically, any
embassy from him to Hezekiah must have been aimed at establishing an anti-Assyrian strategy of
cooperation.

* [20:20] Pool and conduit: Hezekiah’s tunnel is described in more detail in 2 Chr 32:30.

a. [20:1–11] Sir 48:23.

b. [20:20] Sir 48:17.

2Kings Chapter 19 (Bible Marathon Day 166)

2Kings Chapter 19 (Bible Marathon Day 166)

Hezekiah and Isaiah.
1
When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his garments, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the
house of the LORD.
2
He sent Eliakim, the master of the palace, Shebnah the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with
sackcloth, to tell the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz,
3
“Thus says Hezekiah:
A day of distress and rebuke,
a day of disgrace is this day!
Children are due to come forth,
but the strength to give birth is lacking.*
4
Perhaps the LORD, your God, will hear all the words of the commander, whom his lord, the king of Assyria,
sent to taunt the living God, and will rebuke him for the words which the LORD, your God, has heard. So lift
up a prayer for the remnant that is here.”
5
When the servants of King Hezekiah had come to Isaiah,
6
he said to them, “Tell this to your lord: Thus says the LORD: Do not be frightened by the words you have
heard, by which the deputies of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.a
7
I am putting in him such a spirit that when he hears a report he will return to his land. I will make him fall by
the sword in his land.”
8
When the commander, on his return, heard that the king of Assyria had withdrawn from Lachish, he found
him besieging Libnah.

Sennacherib, Hezekiah, and Isaiah.
9
The king of Assyria heard a report: “Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia, has come out to fight against you.” Again he
sent messengers to Hezekiah to say:
10
“Thus shall you say to Hezekiah, king of Judah: Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by
saying, ‘Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.’
11
You, certainly, have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the lands: they put them under the ban!
And are you to be rescued?
12
b Did the gods of the nations whom my fathers destroyed deliver them—Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, or the
Edenites in Telassar?
13
Where are the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, or the kings of the cities Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah?”
14
Hezekiah took the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; then he went up to the house of the
LORD, and spreading it out before the LORD,
15
Hezekiah prayed in the LORD’s presence: “LORD, God of Israel, enthroned on the cherubim! You alone are
God over all the kingdoms of the earth. It is you who made the heavens and the earth.c
16
Incline your ear, LORD, and listen! Open your eyes, LORD, and see! Hear the words Sennacherib has sent
to taunt the living God.
17
Truly, O LORD, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands.
18
They gave their gods to the fire—they were not gods at all, but the work of human hands—wood and stone,
they destroyed them.
19
Therefore, LORD, our God, save us from this man’s power, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that
you alone, LORD, are God.”d
20
Then Isaiah, son of Amoz, sent this message to Hezekiah: “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, to whom
you have prayed concerning Sennacherib, king of Assyria: I have listened!
21
* This is the word the LORD has spoken concerning him:
She despises you, laughs you to scorn,
the virgin daughter Zion!
Behind you she wags her head,
daughter Jerusalem.
22
Whom have you insulted and blasphemed,
at whom have you raised your voice
And lifted up your eyes on high?
At the Holy One of Israel!
23
Through the mouths of your messengers
you insulted the Lord when you said,
‘With my many chariots I went up
to the tops of the peaks,
to the recesses of Lebanon,
To cut down its lofty cedars,
its choice cypresses;
I reached to the farthest shelter,
the forest ranges.
24
I myself dug wells
and drank foreign waters,
Drying up all the rivers of Egypt
beneath the soles of my feet.’
25
“Have you not heard?
A long time ago I prepared it,
from days of old I planned it.
Now I have brought it about:
You are here to reduce
fortified cities to heaps of ruins,
26
Their people powerless,
dismayed and distraught.
They are plants of the field,
green growth,
thatch on the rooftops,
Grain scorched by the east wind.
27
I know when you stand or sit,
when you come or goe
and how you rage against me.
28
Because you rage against me,
and your smugness has reached my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
and my bit in your mouth,
And make you leave by the way you came.
29
“This shall be a sign for you:
This year you shall eat the aftergrowth,
next year, what grows of itself;
But in the third year, sow and reap,
plant vineyards and eat their fruit!
30
The remaining survivors of the house of Judah
shall again strike root below
and bear fruit above.
31
For out of Jerusalem shall come a remnant,
and from Mount Zion, survivors.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts shall do this.
32
“Therefore, thus says the LORD about the king:
He shall not come as far as this city,
nor shoot there an arrow,
nor confront it with a shield,
Nor cast up a siege-work against it.
33
By the way he came he shall leave,
never coming as far as this city,
oracle of the LORD.
34
I will shield and save this city
for my own sake and the sake of David my servant.”f
35
That night the angel of the LORD went forth and struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand men in
the Assyrian camp. Early the next morning, there they were, dead, all those corpses!g
36
So Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, broke camp, departed, returned home, and stayed in Nineveh.
37
When he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him
down with the sword and fled into the land of Ararat. His son Esarhaddon reigned in his place.

* [19:3] See note on Is 37:3.

* [19:21–31] Verses 21–28 are addressed to Sennacherib, vv. 29–31 to Judah.

a. [19:6] Is 10:5–14.

b. [19:12–13] 2 Kgs 17:6, 24; 18:34.

c. [19:15] Ex 25:17–22; 1 Kgs 6:23–28; 8:6–7.

d. [19:19] 1 Kgs 18:36.

e. [19:27] Ps 139:2–3.

f. [19:34] 2 Sm 7:12.

g. [19:35] 1 Mc 7:41; 2 Mc 8:19.

2Kings Chapter 18 (Bible Marathon Day 165)

2Kings Chapter 18 (Bible Marathon Day 165)

Reign of Hezekiah.
1
In the third year of Hoshea, son of Elah, king of Israel, Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, king of Judah, became king.
2
He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His
mother’s name was Abi, daughter of Zechariah.
3
He did what was right in the LORD’s sight, just as David his father had done.
4
It was he who removed the high places, shattered the pillars, cut down the asherah,* and smashed the
bronze serpent Moses had made, because up to that time the Israelites were burning incense to it. (It was
called Nehushtan.)a
5
He put his trust in the LORD, the God of Israel; and neither before nor after him was there anyone like him
among all the kings of Judah.
6
Hezekiah held fast to the LORD and never turned away from following him, but observed the
commandments the LORD had given Moses.
7
The LORD was with him, and he succeeded in all he set out to do. He rebelled against the king of Assyria
and did not serve him.
8
It was he who struck the Philistines as far as Gaza, and all its territory from guard post to garrisoned town.
9
* In the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea, son of Elah, king of Israel,
Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, attacked Samaria and laid siege to it,
10
b and after three years they captured it. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, the ninth year of Hoshea, king of Israel,
Samaria was taken.
11
The king of Assyria then deported the Israelites to Assyria and led them off to Halah, and the Habor, a river of
Gozan, and the cities of the Medes.
12
This happened because they did not obey the LORD, their God, but violated his covenant; they did not obey
nor do all that Moses, the servant of the LORD, commanded.c

Sennacherib and Hezekiah.
13
* In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib, king of Assyria,* attacked all the fortified cities of
Judah and captured them.d
14
Hezekiah, king of Judah, sent this message to the king of Assyria at Lachish: “I have done wrong. Leave
me, and whatever you impose on me I will bear.” The king of Assyria exacted three hundred talents of silver
and thirty talents of gold from Hezekiah, king of Judah.
15
Hezekiah gave him all the funds there were in the house of the LORD and in the treasuries of the king’s
house.
16
At the same time, Hezekiah removed the nave doors and the uprights of the house of the LORD, which the
king of Judah had ordered to be overlaid with gold, and gave them to the king of Assyria.e
17
The king of Assyria sent the general, the lord chamberlain, and the commander* from Lachish with a great
army to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. They went up and came to Jerusalem, to the conduit of the upper pool
on the highway of the fuller’s field, where they took their stand.
18
They called for the king, but Eliakim, son of Hilkiah, the master of the palace, came out, along with Shebnah
the scribe and the chancellor Joah, son of Asaph.f
19
The commander said to them, “Tell Hezekiah, ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you
base this trust of yours?
20
Do you think mere words substitute for strategy and might in war? In whom, then, do you place your trust, that
you rebel against me?
21
Do you trust in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which pierces the hand of anyone who leans on it? That is
what Pharaoh, king of Egypt, is to all who trust in him.g
22
Or do you people say to me, “It is in the LORD our God we trust!”? Is it not he whose high places and altars
Hezekiah has removed, commanding Judah and Jerusalem, “Worship before this altar in Jerusalem”?’
23
“Now, make a wager with my lord, the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses if you are able to
put riders on them.
24
How then can you turn back even a captain, one of the least servants of my lord, trusting, as you do, in Egypt
for chariots and horses?
25
Did I come up to destroy this place without the LORD? The LORD himself said to me: Go up and destroy that
land!”
26
Then Eliakim, son of Hilkiah, and Shebnah and Joah said to the commander: “Please speak to your
servants in Aramaic; we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within earshot of the
people who are on the wall.”
27
But the commander replied: “Was it to your lord and to you that my lord sent me to speak these words? Was
it not rather to those sitting on the wall, who, with you, will have to eat their own excrement and drink their
urine?”*
28
Then the commander stepped forward and cried out in a loud voice in the language of Judah, “Listen to the
words of the great king, the king of Assyria.
29
Thus says the king: Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he cannot rescue you from my hand.
30
And do not let Hezekiah induce you to trust in the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD will surely rescue us, and this
city will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.’
31
Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria: Make peace with me, and surrender to me! Eat,
each of you, from your vine, each from your own fig tree. Drink water, each from your own well,
32
until I arrive and take you to a land like your own, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a
land of rich olives and honey. Live, and do not die! And do not listen to Hezekiah when he would incite you
by saying, ‘The LORD will rescue us.’
33
Has any of the gods of the nations ever rescued his land from the power of the king of Assyria?
34
Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Did they
indeed rescue Samaria from my power?*
35
Which of the gods for all these lands ever rescued his land from my power? Will the LORD then rescue
Jerusalem from my power?”
36
But the people remained silent and did not answer at all, for the king’s command was, “Do not answer him.”
37
Then the master of the palace, Eliakim, son of Hilkiah, Shebnah the scribe, and the chancellor Joah, son of
Asaph, came to Hezekiah with their garments torn, and reported to him the words of the commander.

* [18:1–25:30] The Books of Kings end, as they began, with the people of the Lord in a single kingdom,
Judah, centered on the capital, Jerusalem, and the Solomonic Temple. The reigns of two reformer kings,
both praised, are recounted at length: Hezekiah (chaps. 18–20) and Josiah (22:1–23:30). Each is followed
by shorter accounts of two kings who are condemned: Manasseh and Amon (chap. 21) and Jehoahaz and
Jehoiakim (23:31–24:7). The book ends with the last days of Judah under Jehoiachin and Zedekiah and
the beginning of the Babylonian exile.

* [18:4] Asherah: see note on Ex 34:13. Nehushtan: the name nehushtan contains several wordplays in
Hebrew. It recalls the word “serpent” (nahash), the word “bronze” (nehoshet), and the word “to read omens”
(nihesh). The sentence is also unclear about who named the bronze serpent “Nehushtan”—whether Moses
when he made it, or the people when they venerated it, or Hezekiah when he destroyed it.

* [18:9] The correlations between the reigns of Hezekiah and Hoshea in vv. 9–10 conflict with other biblical
data and with the date for the fall of Samaria, 722/721 B.C. (see note on 16:1–20). Since Sennacherib’s
invasion in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah (v. 13) took place in 701, Hezekiah cannot have been on the
throne twenty years earlier. Various solutions have been proposed: scribal errors in writing the numbers; a
Hezekian co-regency with his father Ahaz beginning in 729; etc. None of the solutions has won a
consensus among historians.

* [18:13–20:19] This material is found also in Is 36–39, with one long addition (Is 38:9–20) and only a few
other changes.

* [18:13] Sennacherib succeeded Sargon II as king of Assyria. His Judean campaign was waged in 701
B.C. See notes on 16:1–20 and 18:9.

* [18:17] General, the lord chamberlain…commander: the text lists three major functionaries by their
Assyrian titles, of which only the first, more nearly “lord lieutenant,” is military in origin; the commander was
technically the king’s chief butler.

* [18:27] Excrement…urine: the reference is to the famine that results from a prolonged siege (compare
6:24–25; Dt 28:53–57). For public reading, ancient tradition (e.g., the Qere reading of the Masoretic text)
softened the terms to “eat their own waste and drink their own bodies’ water.”

* [18:34] Did they indeed…power?: some time after the fall of Samaria in 722/721 B.C., Hamath, Arpad, and
other small states in the region formed an anti-Assyrian coalition. If the coalition had succeeded, it could
have broken Assyrian control over the whole region, including Samaria, and allowed the kingdom of Israel to
free itself. When Assyria crushed the coalition, it also crushed Israel’s hopes for liberation.

a. [18:4] Ex 23:24; 34:13; Nm 21:4–9; Dt 12:2; Wis 16:5–7; Jn 3:14.

b. [18:10–11] 2 Kgs 17:5–6; Tb 1:2.

c. [18:12] 2 Kgs 17:6–23; Ex 24:7.

d. [18:13–19:36] Sir 48:18–21.

e. [18:16] 1 Kgs 6:31–35.

f. [18:18] Is 22:15–25.

g. [18:21] Is 30:1–7; 31:1–3; Ez 29:6–7.

2Kings Chapter 17 (Bible Marathon Day 165)

2Kings Chapter 17 (Bible Marathon Day 165)

Reign of Hoshea of Israel.
1
In the twelfth year of Ahaz, king of Judah, Hoshea, son of Elah, became king in Samaria over Israel for nine
years.
2
He did what was evil in the LORD’s sight, yet not to the extent of the kings of Israel before him.
3
Shalmaneser,* king of Assyria, advanced against him, and Hoshea became his vassal and paid him
tribute.a
4
But the king of Assyria found Hoshea guilty of conspiracy for sending messengers to the king of Egypt at
Sais, and for failure to pay the annual tribute to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria arrested and
imprisoned him.
5
Then the king of Assyria* occupied the whole land and attacked Samaria, which he besieged for three
years.

Israelites Deported.
6
In Hoshea’s ninth year, the king of Assyria took Samaria, deported the Israelites to Assyria, and settled them
in Halah, and at the Habor, a river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.b
7
This came about because the Israelites sinned against the LORD, their God, who had brought them up from
the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. They venerated other gods,
8
c they followed the rites of the nations whom the LORD had dispossessed before the Israelites and those
that the kings of Israel had practiced.
9
They adopted unlawful practices toward the LORD, their God. They built high places in all their cities, from
guard post to garrisoned town.
10
They set up pillars and asherahs* for themselves on every high hill and under every green tree.
11
They burned incense there, on all the high places, like the nations whom the LORD had sent into exile at
their coming. They did evil things that provoked the LORD,
12
and served idols, although the LORD had told them: You must not do this.
13
d The LORD warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and seer: Give up your evil ways and keep my
commandments and statutes, in accordance with the entire law which I enjoined on your ancestors and
which I sent you by my servants the prophets.
14
But they did not listen. They grew as stiff-necked as their ancestors, who had not believed in the LORD, their
God.e
15
They rejected his statutes, the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and the warnings he had given
them. They followed emptiness and became empty; they followed the surrounding nations whom the LORD
had commanded them not to imitate.f
16
They abandoned all the commandments of the LORD, their God: they made for themselves two molten
calves; they made an asherah; they bowed down to all the host of heaven; they served Baal.g
17
h They immolated their sons and daughters by fire. They practiced augury and divination. They surrendered
themselves to doing what was evil in the LORD’s sight, and provoked him.
18
i The LORD became enraged, and removed them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left.
19
Even the people of Judah did not keep the commandments of the LORD, their God, but followed the rites
practiced by Israel.
20
So the LORD rejected the entire people of Israel: he afflicted them and delivered them over to plunderers,
finally casting them from his presence.j
21
When he tore Israel away from the house of David, they made Jeroboam, son of Nebat, king; but Jeroboam
lured the Israelites away from the LORD, causing them to commit a great sin.k
22
The Israelites imitated Jeroboam in all the sins he committed; they would not depart from them.
23
Finally, the LORD removed Israel from his presence, just as he had declared through all his servants, the
prophets. Thus Israel went into exile from their native soil to Assyria until this very day.

Foreigners Deported to Israel.
24
The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and settled them
in the cities of Samaria in place of the Israelites. They took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its cities.
25
When they first settled there, they did not venerate the LORD, so he sent lions among them that killed some
of them.
26
A report reached the king of Assyria: “The nations you deported and settled in the cities of Samaria do not
know the proper worship of the god of the land, so he has sent lions among them that are killing them, since
they do not know the law of the god of the land.”
27
The king of Assyria gave the order, “Send back some of the priests you deported, to go there and settle, to
teach them the proper worship of the god of the land.”
28
So one of the priests who had been deported from Samaria returned and settled in Bethel, and began to
teach them how to venerate the LORD.
29
Thus each of these nations continued to make its own gods, setting them up in the shrines of the high
places the Samarians had made: each nation in the cities in which they dwelt.
30
The Babylonians made Sukkot-Benot;* the people of Cuth made Nergal; those from Hamath made Ashima;
31
those from Avva made Nibhaz and Tartak; and those from Sepharvaim immolated their children by fire to
their city gods, King Hadad and King Anu.
32
At the same time, they were venerating the LORD, appointing from their own number priests for the high
places to officiate for them in the shrines on the high places.
33
They were both venerating the LORD and serving their own gods. They followed the custom of the nations
from among whom they had been deported.
34
To this very day they continue to act according to their former customs, not venerating the LORD nor
observing the statutes and regulations, the law and commandment, that the LORD enjoined on the
descendants of Jacob, whom he had named Israel.l
35
When the LORD made a covenant with them, he commanded them: You must not venerate other gods, nor
bow down to them, nor serve them, nor offer sacrifice to them,m
36
but only to the LORD, who brought you up from the land of Egypt with great power and outstretched arm. Him
shall you venerate, to him shall you bow down, and to him shall you offer sacrifice.
37
You must be careful always to observe the statutes and ordinances, the law and commandment, which he
wrote for you; you must not venerate other gods.
38
The covenant I made with you, you must not forget; you must not venerate other gods.
39
You must venerate only the LORD, your God; it is he who will deliver you from the power of all your enemies.
40
But they did not listen; they continued to act according to their former customs.
41
But these nations were both venerating the LORD and serving their own idols. Their children and children’s
children are still acting like their ancestors, to this very day.

* [17:3] Shalmaneser: son and successor of the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III. Vassal: lit., “servant”; cf.
16:7; so also in 24:1.

* [17:5] The king of Assyria: Shalmaneser was succeeded by Sargon II, who usurped the Assyrian throne in
722/721 B.C. In his inscriptions, Sargon claims to have captured Samaria during the first year of his reign.

* [17:6–41] This brief section is the Deuteronomistic historian’s theological reflection on the causes and
aftermath of Assyria’s conquest of the Northern Kingdom. The text contrasts the Israelites, who were
deported (v. 6) because they abandoned the worship of the Lord (vv. 7–23), with the foreigners who were
brought into the land (v. 24) and undertook, however imperfectly, to worship the Lord alongside their own
traditional deities (vv. 25–34a). The last verses recapitulate the apostasy of the Israelites (vv. 34b–40) and
the syncretism of the foreigners (v. 41). This is a deliberately disparaging, and not wholly accurate, account
of the origin of the Samaritans; it reflects the hostility the Judahites continued to hold toward the inhabitants of
the northern territories.

* [17:10] Asherahs: see note on Ex 34:13.

* [17:30] Sukkot-Benot: several of the divine names in vv. 30–31 are problematic or conjectural. Sukkot-
Benot is unknown, but the name may have been corrupted from that of Sarpanitu, the consort of the
Babylonian god Marduk.

a. [17:3] 2 Kgs 18:9.

b. [17:6] 2 Kgs 18:10–11; Tb 1:2.

c. [17:8–12] Ex 23:24; 34:13; Dt 12:2.

d. [17:13] Jer 25:5.

e. [17:14] Dt 9:13.

f. [17:15] Jer 2:5.

g. [17:16] Ex 34:13; Dt 4:19; 17:2–3; 1 Kgs 12:28; 16:33.

h. [17:17] Lv 18:21; Dt 18:10.

i. [17:18] Sir 48:15.

j. [17:20] Jer 25:9.

k. [17:21] 1 Kgs 12:20, 26–33; 13:34.

l. [17:34] Gn 32:29; 35:10.

m. [17:35–38] Ex 20:3–6.

2Kings Chapter 16 (Bible Marathon Day 164)

2Kings Chapter 16 (Bible Marathon Day 164)

Reign of Ahaz of Judah.*
1
In the seventeenth year of Pekah, son of Remaliah, Ahaz, son of Jotham, king of Judah, became king.
2
Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem.

He did not do what was right in the sight of the LORD his God, as David his father had done.
3
He walked in the way of the kings of Israel; he even immolated his child by fire, in accordance with the abominable practices of the nations whom the LORD had dispossessed before the Israelites.a
4
Further, he sacrificed and burned incense on the high places, on hills, and under every green tree.b
5
Then Rezin, king of Aram, and Pekah, son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to Jerusalem to attack it. Although they besieged Ahaz, they were unable to do battle.
6
(In those days Rezin, king of Aram, recovered Elath for Aram, and drove the Judahites out of it. The Edomites then entered Elath, which they have occupied until the present.)
7
Meanwhile, Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, with the plea: “I am your servant and your son. Come up and rescue me from the power of the king of Aram and the king of Israel, who are attacking me.”
8
Ahaz took the silver and gold that were in the house of the LORD and in the treasuries of the king’s house and sent them as a present to the king of Assyria.
9
The king of Assyria listened to him and moved against Damascus, captured it, deported its inhabitants to Kir, and put Rezin to death.
10
King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria. When he saw the altar in Damascus, King Ahaz sent to Uriah the priest a model of the altar and a detailed design of its construction.
11
Uriah the priest built an altar according to the plans which King Ahaz sent him from Damascus, and had it completed by the time King Ahaz returned from Damascus.
12
On his arrival from Damascus, the king inspected the altar; the king approached the altar, went up
13
and sacrificed his burnt offering and grain offering, pouring out his libation, and sprinkling the blood of his communion offerings on the altar.
14
The bronze altar that stood before the LORD he brought from the front of the temple—that is, from the space between the new altar and the house of the LORD—and set it on the north side of his altar.
15
c King Ahaz commanded Uriah the priest, “Upon the large altar sacrifice the morning burnt offering and the evening grain offering, the king’s burnt offering and grain offering, and the burnt offering and grain offering of the people of the land.* Their libations you must sprinkle on it along with all the blood of burnt offerings and sacrifices. But the old bronze altar shall be mine for consultation.”
16
Uriah the priest did just as King Ahaz had commanded.
17
King Ahaz detached the panels from the stands and removed the basins from them; he also took down the bronze sea from the bronze oxen that supported it, and set it on a stone pavement.
18
In deference to the king of Assyria he removed the sabbath canopy that had been set up in the house of the LORD and the king’s outside entrance* to the temple.
19
The rest of the acts of Ahaz, with what he did, are recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah.
20
Ahaz rested with his ancestors; he was buried with his ancestors in the City of David, and his son Hezekiah succeeded him as king.

* [16:1–20] Firmly dated events bearing on chaps. 16–20 are: the fall of Damascus (16:9) in 732 B.C., the fall of Samaria (18:9–11) in 722/721 B.C., and Sennacherib’s invasion of Judah (18:13) in 701 B.C., which both in Kings and in Is 36:1 occurs in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah. These data make it possible to connect the chronology of Israel and Judah to the larger chronology of ancient Near Eastern history, but they also complicate further the already vexed problem of inconsistencies in the biblical data about accession years and lengths of reign.

* [16:15] People of the land: see note on 11:14. For consultation: perhaps the introduction into Judah of the Babylonian practice of reading omens from animal sacrifices; cf. Ez 21:26.

* [16:18] Sabbath canopy…outside entrance: the Hebrew is obscure, but as a vassal Ahaz must have had to divest himself of signs of sovereignty.

a. [16:3] Lv 18:21; Dt 18:10.

b. [16:4] Dt 12:2.

c. [16:15] Ex 29:38–41; Nm 28:3–8.