God Himself Is Judge
A Psalm of nAsaph.
50 oThe Mighty One, God the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
pfrom the rising of the sun to its setting.
2 Out of Zion, qthe perfection of beauty,
rGod shines forth.
before him is a devouring tfire,
around him a mighty tempest.
4 uHe calls to the heavens above
and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 “Gather to me my faithful ones,
who made va covenant with me by sacrifice!”
6 wThe heavens declare his righteousness,
for xGod himself is judge! Selah
7 y“Hear, O my people, and I will speak;
O Israel, I will testify against you.
zI am God, your God.
8 Not for your sacrifices ado I rebuke you;
your burnt offerings are continually before me.
9 I will not accept a bull from your house
or goats from your folds.
10 For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 bI know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
cfor the world and its fullness are mine.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
and eperform your vows to the Most High,
15 and fcall upon me in the day of trouble;
16 But to the wicked God says:
“What right have you to recite my statutes
or take my covenant on your lips?
17 iFor you hate discipline,
jand you cast my words behind you.
18 If you see a thief, kyou are pleased with him,
land you keep company with adulterers.
19 “You give your mouth free rein for evil,
mand your tongue frames deceit.
20 You sit and speak against your brother;
you slander your own mother’s son.
21 These things you have done, and I nhave been silent;
you thought that I3 was one like yourself.
22 “Mark this, then, you who qforget God,
lest I tear you apart, and there be rnone to deliver!
23 The one who soffers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
to one who torders his way rightly
I will show the usalvation of God!”
Ahaz Reigns in Judah
28 fAhaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And he did not do what was right in the eyes of the Lord, as his father David had done, 2 but he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. He even made gmetal images for hthe Baals, 3 and ihe made offerings in the jValley of the Son of Hinnom and kburned his sons as an offering,1 according to lthe abominations of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. 4 And he sacrificed and imade offerings on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.
5 mTherefore the Lord his God gave him into the hand of the king of Syria, who defeated him and took captive a great number of his people and brought them to Damascus. He was also given into the hand of the king of Israel, who struck him with great force. 6 For nPekah the son of Remaliah killed 120,000 from Judah in one day, all of them men of valor, because they had forsaken the Lord, the God of their fathers. 7 And Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king’s son and Azrikam the commander of the palace and Elkanah the next in authority to the king.
8 The men of Israel took captive 200,000 oof their relatives, women, sons, and daughters. They also took much spoil from them and brought the spoil to Samaria. 9 But a prophet of the Lord was there, whose name was Oded, and he went out to meet the army that came to Samaria and said to them, “Behold, because the Lord, the God of your fathers, pwas angry with Judah, he gave them into your hand, but you have killed them in a rage qthat has reached up to heaven. 10 And now you intend to subjugate the people of Judah and Jerusalem, male and female, as your slaves. Have you not sins of your own against the Lord your God? 11 Now hear me, and send back the captives ofrom your relatives whom you have taken, for the fierce wrath of the Lord is upon you.”
12 Certain chiefs also of the men of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against those who were coming from the war 13 and said to them, “You shall not bring the captives in here, for you propose to bring upon us guilt against the Lord in addition to our present sins and guilt. For our guilt is already great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel.” 14 So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the assembly. 15 And rthe men who have been mentioned by name rose and took the captives, and with the spoil they clothed all who were naked among them. They clothed them, gave them sandals, sprovided them with food and drink, and anointed them, and carrying all the feeble among them on donkeys, they brought them to their kinsfolk at Jericho, tthe city of palm trees. Then they returned to Samaria.
16 uAt that time King Ahaz sent to the king2 of Assyria for help. 17 For the Edomites had again invaded and defeated Judah and carried away captives. 18 vAnd the Philistines had made raids on wthe cities in the Shephelah and the Negeb of Judah, and had taken Beth-shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco xwith its villages, Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo with its villages. And they settled there. 19 For the Lord humbled Judah because of Ahaz king of Israel, for he had made yJudah act sinfully3 and had been very unfaithful to the Lord. 20 So zTiglath-pileser4 king of Assyria came against him and afflicted him instead of strengthening him. 21 aFor Ahaz took a portion from the house of the Lord and the house of the king and of the princes, and gave tribute to the king of Assyria, but it did not help him.
22 In the time of his distress he became yet more faithless to the Lord—this same King Ahaz. 23 For bhe sacrificed to the gods of Damascus that had defeated him and said, c“Because the gods of the kings of Syria helped them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me.” But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel. 24 And Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God and dcut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and he shut up the doors of the house of the Lord, and he made himself ealtars in every corner of Jerusalem. 25 In every city of Judah he made high places to fmake offerings to other gods, provoking to anger the Lord, the God of his fathers. 26 gNow the rest of his acts and all his ways, from first to last, behold, they are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 27 And Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, in Jerusalem, for hthey did not bring him into the tombs of the kings of Israel. And Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.