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.
The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up
27 s“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, tsave me from uthis hour’? But vfor this purpose I have come to uthis hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then wa voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, x“An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, y“This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 zNow is the judgment of this world; now will athe ruler of this world bbe cast out. 32 And I, cwhen I am lifted up from the earth, dwill draw eall people to myself.” 33 He said this fto show by what kind of death he was going to die. 34 So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that gthe Christ remains forever. How can you say that hthe Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 So Jesus said to them, i“The light is among you jfor a little while longer. kWalk while you have the light, lest darkness lovertake you. mThe one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become nsons of light.”
The Unbelief of the People
When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. 37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 oso that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
p“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”
39 Therefore they qcould not believe. For again Isaiah said,
40 r“He has blinded their eyes
and shardened their heart,
lest they see with their eyes,
and understand with their heart, and turn,
and I would heal them.”
41 Isaiah said these things because the saw his glory and uspoke of him. 42 Nevertheless, vmany even of the authorities believed in him, but wfor fear of the Pharisees they did not xconfess it, so that they would not be xput out of the synagogue; 43 yfor they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
Jesus Came to Save the World
44 And Jesus cried out and said, z“Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but ain him who sent me. 45 And bwhoever csees me sees him who sent me. 46 dI have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone ehears my words and does not keep them, fI do not judge him; for gI did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 hThe one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; ithe word that I have spoken will judge him jon the last day. 49 For kI have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father lwho sent me has himself given me ma commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”