Hoshea Reigns in Israel
17 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah, xHoshea the son of Elah began to reign in Samaria over Israel, and he reigned nine years. 2 And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, yet not as the kings of Israel who were before him. 3 yAgainst him came up zShalmaneser king of Assyria. And Hoshea became his vassal and paid him tribute. 4 But the king of Assyria found treachery in Hoshea, for he had sent messengers to So, king of Egypt, and offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year. Therefore the king of Assyria shut him up and bound him in prison. 5 Then the king of Assyria invaded all the land and came to Samaria, and for three years he besieged it.
The Fall of Israel
6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria acaptured Samaria, band he carried the Israelites away to Assyria cand placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of dGozan, and in the cities of ethe Medes.
Exile Because of Idolatry
7 And this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, fwho had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods 8 gand walked in the customs of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel, hand in the customs that the kings of Israel had practiced. 9 And the people of Israel did secretly against the Lord their God things that were not right. They built for themselves high places in all their towns, ifrom watchtower to fortified city. 10 They set up for themselves jpillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, 11 and there they made offerings on all the high places, as the nations did whom the Lord carried away before them. And they did wicked things, provoking the Lord to anger, 12 and they served idols, kof which the Lord had said to them, “You shall not do this.” 13 Yet the Lord lwarned Israel and Judah mby every prophet nand every seer, saying, o“Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets.”
14 But they would not listen, pbut were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the Lord their God. 15 They despised his statutes qand his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after rfalse idols sand became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the tLord had commanded them that they should not do like them. 16 And they abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made for themselves metal images of utwo calves; and they vmade an Asherah and wworshiped all the host of heaven and served xBaal. 17 yAnd they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings1 and used zdivination and aomens and bsold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. 18 Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight. None was left but cthe tribe of Judah only.
19 dJudah also did not keep the commandments of the Lord their God, but walked in the customs that Israel had introduced. 20 And the Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel and afflicted them eand gave them into the hand of plunderers, until he had cast them out of his sight.
21 fWhen he had torn Israel from the house of David, gthey made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king. And Jeroboam drove Israel from following the Lord hand made them commit great sin. 22 The people of Israel walked in all the sins that Jeroboam did. They did not depart from them, 23 until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, ias he had spoken by all his servants the prophets. jSo Israel was exiled from their own land to Assyria until this day.
Assyria Resettles Samaria
24 kAnd the king of Assyria brought people from lBabylon, Cuthah, mAvva, nHamath, and oSepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the people of Israel. And they took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities. 25 And at the beginning of their dwelling there, they did not fear the Lord. Therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them. 26 So the king of Assyria was told, “The nations that you have carried away and placed in the cities of Samaria do not know the law of the god of the land. Therefore he has sent lions among them, and behold, they are killing them, because they do not know the law of the god of the land.” 27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, “Send there one of the priests whom you carried away from there, and let him2 go and dwell there and teach them the law of the god of the land.” 28 So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and lived in pBethel and taught them how they should fear the Lord.
29 But every nation still made gods of its own and put them qin the shrines of the high places that the Samaritans had made, every nation in the cities in which they lived. 30 The men of rBabylon made Succoth-benoth, the men of Cuth made Nergal, the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31 and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites sburned their children in the fire to tAdrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of uSepharvaim. 32 vThey also feared the Lord wand appointed from among themselves all sorts of people as priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the shrines of xthe high places. 33 So they feared the Lord but also served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away.
34 To this day they do according to the former manner. They do not fear the Lord, and they do not follow the statutes or the rules or the law or the commandment that the Lord commanded the children of Jacob, ywhom he named Israel. 35 The Lord made a covenant with them and commanded them, z“You shall not fear other gods aor bow yourselves to them or serve them or sacrifice to them, 36 but byou shall fear the Lord, cwho brought you out of the land of Egypt with great power and dwith an outstretched arm. You shall bow yourselves to him, and to him you shall sacrifice. 37 And the statutes and the rules and the law and the commandment that he wrote for you, eyou shall always be careful to do. zYou shall not fear other gods, 38 and fyou shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you. zYou shall not fear other gods, 39 but byou shall fear the Lord your God, and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.” 40 However, they would not listen, but they did according to their former manner.
41 gSo these nations feared the Lord and also served their carved images. Their children did likewise, and their children’s children—as their fathers did, so they do to this day.
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. 2 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. 3 lAnd he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done. 4 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).3 5 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. 6 sFor he held fast to the Lord. He did not depart from following him, but kept the commandments that the Lord commanded Moses. 7 tAnd the Lord was with him; wherever he went out, uhe prospered. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and would not serve him. 8 vHe struck down the Philistines as far as Gaza and its territory, wfrom watchtower to fortified city.
9 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 talents4 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 my5 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 me6 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.
19 pAnd this is the judgment: qthe light has come into the world, and rpeople loved the darkness rather than the light because stheir works were evil. 20 tFor everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, ulest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever vdoes what is true wcomes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
John the Baptist Exalts Christ
22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and xwas baptizing. 23 John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized 24 (for yJohn had not yet been put in prison).
25 Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over zpurification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, a“Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, bto whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and call are going to him.” 27 John answered, d“A person cannot receive even one thing eunless it is given him ffrom heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, g‘I am not the Christ, but hI have been sent before him.’ 29 iThe one who has the bride is the bridegroom. jThe friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, krejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. 30 lHe must increase, but I must decrease.”1
31 mHe who comes from above nis above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and ospeaks in an earthly way. pHe who comes from heaven nis above all. 32 qHe bears witness to what he has seen and heard, ryet no one receives his testimony. 33 Whoever receives his testimony ssets his seal to this, tthat God is true. 34 For he whom uGod has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit vwithout measure. 35 wThe Father loves the Son and xhas given all things into his hand. 36 yWhoever believes in the Son has eternal life; zwhoever does not obey the Son shall not asee life, but the wrath of God remains on him.