Asa's Religious Reforms
15 yThe Spirit of God came1 upon Azariah the son of Oded, 2 and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: zThe Lord is with you while you are with him. aIf you seek him, he will be found by you, bbut if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 cFor a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without law, 4 dbut when in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. 5 In those times there was no peace eto him who went out or to him who came in, for great disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. 6 They were broken in pieces. Nation was crushed by nation and city by city, for God troubled them with every sort of distress. 7 fBut you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, gfor your work shall be rewarded.”
8 As soon as Asa heard these words, hthe prophecy of Azariah the son of Oded, he took courage and put away the detestable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from ithe cities that he had taken in jthe hill country of Ephraim, and he repaired the altar of the Lord kthat was in front of the vestibule of the house of the Lord.2 9 And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, land those from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who were residing with them, for great numbers had deserted to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. 10 They were gathered at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11 They sacrificed to the Lord on that day mfrom the spoil that they had brought 700 oxen and 7,000 sheep. 12 nAnd they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul, 13 but that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, oshould be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman. 14 They swore an oath to the Lord with a loud voice and with shouting and with trumpets and with horns. 15 And all Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them, pand the Lord gave them rest all around.
16 qEven Maacah, rhis mother, King Asa removed from being queen mother because she had made a detestable image sfor Asherah. Asa cut down her image, tcrushed it, and burned it at the brook Kidron. 17 uBut the high places were not taken out of Israel. Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true all his days. 18 And he brought into the house of God the sacred gifts of his father and his own sacred gifts, silver, and gold, and vessels. 19 And there was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Asa.
Asa's Last Years
16 vIn the wthirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and built Ramah, xthat he might permit no one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. 2 Then Asa took silver and gold from the treasures of the house of the Lord and the king's house and sent them to Ben-hadad king of Syria, who lived in Damascus, saying, 3 “There is a covenant3 between me and you, as there was between my father and your father. Behold, I am sending to you silver and gold. Go, break your covenant with Baasha king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me.” 4 And Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and they conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel-maim, and all the ystore cities of Naphtali. 5 And when Baasha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah and let his work cease. 6 Then King Asa took all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber, with which Baasha had been building, and with them he built Geba and Mizpah.
7 At that time zHanani athe seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, b“Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you. 8 Were not cthe Ethiopians and dthe Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet ebecause you relied on the Lord, he gave them into your hand. 9 fFor the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those gwhose heart is blameless4 toward him. hYou have done foolishly in this, for from now on iyou will have wars.” 10 Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him jin the stocks in prison, for he was in a rage with him because of this. And Asa inflicted cruelties upon some of the people at the same time.
11 kThe acts of Asa, from first to last, are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians. 13 And Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign. 14 They buried him in the tomb that he had cut for himself in the city of David. They laid him on a bier lthat had been filled with various kinds of spices prepared by the perfumer's art, mand they made a very great fire in his honor.
31 “To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,
“‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’
33 For John the Baptist has come peating no bread and qdrinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man has come reating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, sa friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35 Yet twisdom is justified by all her children.”
A Sinful Woman Forgiven
36 uOne of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee's house and reclined at table. 37 vAnd behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wwiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If xthis man were ya prophet, he zwould have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.” 40 And Jesus answering said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he answered, “Say it, Teacher.”
41 “A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred adenarii, and the other fifty. 42 bWhen they could not pay, he ccancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered, “The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt.” And he said to him, “You have judged rightly.” 44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; dyou gave me no water for my feet, but eshe has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 fYou gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to gkiss my feet. 46 hYou did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. 47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, iwhich are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, j“Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among1 themselves, k“Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, l“Your faith has saved you; mgo in peace.”