2 Kings 18; Philemon; Hosea 11; Psalms 132–134

Hezekiah Reigns in Judah

18 hIn the third year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, iHezekiah the son of Ahaz, king of Judah, began to reign. He was jtwenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was kAbi the daughter of Zechariah. lAnd he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done. mHe removed the high places and broke the npillars and cut down othe Asherah. And he broke in pieces pthe bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it (it was called Nehushtan).1 qHe trusted in the Lord, the God of Israel, rso that there was none like him among all the kings of Judah after him, nor among those who were before him. sFor he held fast to the Lord. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses. tAnd the Lord was with him; wherever he went out, uhe prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him. vHe struck down the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, wfrom watchtower to fortified city.

In the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah, king of Israel, xShalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it, 10 and at the end of three years he took it. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11 The king of Assyria carried the Israelites away to Assyria and put them in yHalah, and on the yHabor, ythe river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, 12 because they did not obey the voice of the Lord their God but transgressed his covenant, even all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded. They neither listened nor obeyed.

Sennacherib Attacks Judah

13 zIn the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. 14 And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, I have done wrong; withdraw from me. Whatever you impose on me I will bear. aAnd the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents2 of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 And Hezekiah bgave him all the silver that was found in the house of the Lord and in the treasuries of the king's house. 16 At that time Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord and from the doorposts that Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid and gave it to the king of Assyria. 17 And the king of Assyria sent the cTartan, the Rab-saris, and the Rabshakeh with a great army from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem. And they went up and came to Jerusalem. When they arrived, they came and stood by dthe conduit of the upper pool, which is on the highway to the Washer's Field. 18 And when they called for the king, there came out to them eEliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and fShebnah the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder.

19 And the Rabshakeh said to them, Say to Hezekiah, Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? 20 Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me? 21 Behold, you are trusting now in Egypt, that broken reed of ga staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. 22 But if you say to me, We trust in the Lord our God, is it not he hwhose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem? 23 Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. 24 How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master's servants, when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? 25 Moreover, is it without the Lord that I have come up against this place to destroy it? The Lord said to me, Go up against this land and destroy it.

26 Then eEliakim the son of Hilkiah, and fShebnah, and Joah, said to the Rabshakeh, Please speak to your servants in iAramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall. 27 But the Rabshakeh said to them, Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and to drink their own urine?

28 Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria! 29 Thus says the king: Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you out of my3 hand. 30 Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord by saying, The Lord will surely deliver us, and this city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 31 Do not listen to Hezekiah, for thus says the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me4 and come out to me. Then jeach one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern, 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, ka land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and lhoney, that you may live, and not die. And do not listen to Hezekiah when he misleads you by saying, The Lord will deliver us. 33 mHas any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 34 nWhere are the gods of oHamath and pArpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and qIvvah? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, rthat the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?

36 But the people were silent and answered him not a word, for the king's command was, Do not answer him. 37 Then sEliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah twith their clothes torn and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.


Philemon Illustration

Philemon

Greeting

Paul, aa prisoner for Christ Jesus, and bTimothy our brother,

To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and cArchippus our dfellow soldier, and ethe church in your house:

fGrace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philemon's Love and Faith

gI thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hhear of your love and iof the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full jknowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.1 For I have derived much joy and kcomfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints lhave been refreshed through you.

Paul's Plea for Onesimus

Accordingly, mthough I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do nwhat is required, yet for love's sake I prefer to appeal to youI, Paul, an old man and now oa prisoner also for Christ Jesus 10 I appeal to you for pmy child, qOnesimus,2 rwhose father I became in my imprisonment. 11 (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) 12 I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. 13 I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me son your behalf tduring my imprisonment for the gospel, 14 but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be uby compulsion but of your own accord. 15 For this perhaps is why vhe was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 wno longer as a bondservant3 but more than a bondservant, as xa beloved brotherespecially to me, but how much more to you, yboth in the flesh and in the Lord.

17 So if you consider me zyour partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19 aI, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay itto say nothing of your owing me even your own self. 20 Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. bRefresh my heart in Christ.

21 cConfident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for dI am hoping that ethrough your prayers fI will be graciously given to you.

Final Greetings

23 gEpaphras, my hfellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, 24 and so do iMark, iAristarchus, jDemas, and jLuke, my fellow workers.

25 kThe grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.


The Lord's Love for Israel

11  uWhen Israel was a child, vI loved him,

and out of Egypt I wcalled xmy son.

yThe more they were called,

the more they went away;

zthey kept sacrificing to the Baals

and burning offerings to idols.

Yet it was aI who taught Ephraim to walk;

I took them up by their arms,

but they did not know that bI healed them.

cI led them with cords of kindness,1

with the bands of love,

and dI became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,

and eI bent down to them and fed them.

fThey shall not2 return to the land of Egypt,

but gAssyria shall be their king,

hbecause ithey have refused to return to me.

jThe sword shall rage against their cities,

consume the bars of their gates,

and devour them kbecause of their own counsels.

My people are bent lon turning away from me,

and though mthey call out to the Most High,

he shall not raise them up at all.

How can I give you up, O Ephraim?

How can I hand you over, O Israel?

nHow can I make you olike Admah?

How can I treat you olike Zeboiim?

pMy heart recoils within me;

my compassion grows warm and tender.

I will not execute my burning anger;

I will not again destroy Ephraim;

qfor I am God and not a man,

rthe Holy One in your midst,

and I will not come in wrath.3

10  sThey shall go after the Lord;

the will roar like a lion;

when he roars,

his children shall come trembling ufrom the west;

11  they shall come trembling like birds vfrom Egypt,

and wlike doves xfrom the land of Assyria,

and I will return them to their homes, declares the Lord.

12  4 Ephraim yhas surrounded me with lies,

and the house of Israel with deceit,

but Judah still walks with God

and is faithful to the Holy One.


The Lord Has Chosen Zion

A Song of mAscents.

132  Remember, O Lord, in David's favor,

all ythe hardships he endured,

how he swore to the Lord

and zvowed to athe Mighty One of Jacob,

I will not enter my house

or get into my bed,

I will not bgive sleep to my eyes

or slumber to my eyelids,

until I cfind a place for the Lord,

a dwelling place for athe Mighty One of Jacob.

Behold, we heard of it in dEphrathah;

we found it in ethe fields of Jaar.

Let us go to his dwelling place;

let us fworship at his gfootstool!

hArise, O Lord, and go to your iresting place,

you and the ark of your jmight.

Let your kpriests be lclothed with righteousness,

and let your msaints shout for joy.

10  For the sake of your servant David,

ndo not turn away the face of oyour anointed one.

11  pThe Lord swore to David a sure oath

qfrom which he will not turn back:

rOne of the sons of your body1

I will set on your throne.

12  If your sons keep my covenant

and my testimonies that I shall teach them,

their sons also forever

shall ssit on your throne.

13  For the Lord has tchosen Zion;

he has udesired it for his dwelling place:

14  This is my vresting place forever;

here I will wdwell, for I have desired it.

15  I will abundantly xbless her provisions;

I will ysatisfy her poor with bread.

16  Her zpriests I will clothe with salvation,

and her zsaints will shout for joy.

17  There I will make aa horn to sprout for David;

I have prepared ba lamp for cmy anointed.

18  His enemies I will dclothe with shame,

but on him his crown will shine.

When Brothers Dwell in Unity

A Song of mAscents. Of David.

133  Behold, how good and pleasant it is

when ebrothers dwell in unity!2

It is like the precious foil on gthe head,

running down on the beard,

on the beard of Aaron,

running down on hthe collar of his robes!

It is like ithe dew of jHermon,

which falls on kthe mountains of Zion!

For there the Lord lhas commanded the blessing,

life forevermore.

Come, Bless the Lord

A Song of mAscents.

134  Come, bless the Lord, all you mservants of the Lord,

who nstand oby night in the house of the Lord!

pLift up your hands to qthe holy place

and bless the Lord!

May the Lord rbless you sfrom Zion,

he who tmade heaven and earth!