August 5

2 Kings 18

1Now in the third year of Hoshea, son of Elah, king of Israel, Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz, became king of Judah.

2He was twenty-five years old when he became king, ruling in Jerusalem for twenty-nine years; his mother’s name was Abi, the daughter of Zechariah.

3He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord as David his father had done.

4He had the high places taken away, and the stone pillars broken to bits, and the Asherah cut down; and the brass snake which Moses had made was crushed to powder at his order, because in those days the children of Israel had offerings burned before it, and he gave it the name Nehushtan.

5He had faith in the Lord, the God of Israel; so that there was no one like him among all the kings of Judah who were before him.

6For his heart was fixed on the Lord, not turning from his ways, and he did his orders which the Lord gave to Moses.

7And the Lord was with him; he did well in all his undertakings: and he took up arms against the king of Assyria and was his servant no longer.

8He overcame the Philistines as far as Gaza and its limits, from the tower of the watchman to the walled town.

9Now in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea, son of Elah, king of Israel, Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, came up against Samaria, shutting it in with his armies.

10And at the end of three years they took it; in the sixth year of Hezekiah’s rule, which was the ninth year of Hoshea, king of Israel, Samaria was taken.

11And the king of Assyria took Israel away as prisoners into Assyria, placing them in Halah and in Habor on the river Gozan, and in the towns of the Medes;

12Because they did not give ear to the voice of the Lord their God, but went against his agreement, even against everything ordered by Moses, the servant of the Lord, and they did not give ear to it or do it.

13Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, came up against all the walled towns of Judah and took them.

14And Hezekiah, king of Judah, sent to Lachish, to the king of Assyria, saying, I have done wrong; give up attacking me, and whatever you put on me I will undergo. And the payment he was to make was fixed by the king of Assyria at three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold.

15So Hezekiah gave him all the silver in the house of the Lord, and in the king’s store-house.

16And at that time Hezekiah had the gold from the doors of the Lord’s house, and from the door-pillars plated by him, cut off and gave it to the king of Assyria.

17Then the king of Assyria sent the Tartan and the Rab-saris and the Rab-shakeh from Lachish to Jerusalem, to King Hezekiah, with a strong force. And they went up and came to Jerusalem, and took up their position by the stream of the higher pool, by the highway of the washerman’s field.

18And they sent for the king, and Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, who was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, came out to them.

19And the Rab-shakeh said to them, Say now to Hezekiah, These are the words of the great king, the king of Assyria: In what are you placing your hope?

20You say you have a design, and strength for war, but these are only words. Now to whom are you looking for support, that you have gone against my authority?

21See, now, you are basing your hope on that broken rod of Egypt, which will go through a man’s hand if he makes use of it for a support; for so is Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to all who put their faith in him.

22And if you say to me, Our hope is in the Lord our God: is it not he, whose high places and altars Hezekiah has taken away, saying to Judah and Jerusalem that worship may only be given before this altar in Jerusalem?

23And now, take a chance with my master, the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able to put horsemen on them.

24How then may you put to shame the least of my master’s servants? and you have put your hope in Egypt for war-carriages and horsemen:

25And have I now come up to send destruction on this place without the Lord’s authority? It was the Lord himself who said to me, Go up against this land and make it waste.

26Then Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, and Shebna and Joah said to the Rab-shakeh, Will you kindly make use of the Aramaean language in talking to your servants, for we are used to it, and do not make use of the Jews’ language in the hearing of the people on the wall.

27But the Rab-shakeh said to them, Is it to your master or to you that my master has sent me to say these words? has he not sent me to the men seated on the wall? for they are the people who will be short of food with you when the town is shut in.

28Then the Rab-shakeh got up and said with a loud voice in the Jews’ language, Give ear to the words of the great king, the king of Assyria;

29This is what the king says: Do not be tricked by Hezekiah, for there is no salvation for you in him.

30And do not let Hezekiah make you put your faith in the Lord, saying, The Lord will certainly keep us safe, and this town will not be given into the hands of the king of Assyria.

31Do not give ear to Hezekiah, for this is what the king of Assyria says: Make peace with me and come out to me; and everyone will be free to take the fruit of his vine and of his fig-tree, and the water of his spring;

32Till I come and take you away to a land like yours, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vine-gardens, a land of oil-giving olives and of honey, so that life and not death may be your fate. Give no attention to Hezekiah when he says to you, The Lord will keep us safe.

33Has any one of the gods of the nations kept his land from falling into the hands of the king of Assyria?

34Where are the gods of Hamath and of Arpad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim, of Hena and Ivvah? have they kept Samaria out of my hands?

35Who among all the gods of these countries have kept their country from falling into my hands, to give cause for the thought that the Lord will keep Jerusalem from falling into my hands?

36But the people kept quiet and gave him no answer: for the king’s order was, Give him no answer.

37Then Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, who was over the house, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah, the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah, with their clothing parted as a sign of grief, and gave him an account of what the Rab-shakeh had said.

Micah 7

1Sorrow is mine! for I am as when they have got in the summer fruits, like the last of the grapes: there is nothing for food, not even an early fig for my desire.

2The good man is gone from the earth, there is no one upright among men: they are all waiting secretly for blood, every man is going after his brother with a net.

3Their hands are made ready to do evil; the ruler makes requests for money, and the judge is looking for a reward; and the great man gives decisions at his pleasure, and the right is twisted.

4The best of them is like a waste plant, and their upright ones are like a wall of thorns. Sorrow! the day of their fate has come; now will trouble come on them.

5Put no faith in a friend, do not let your hope be placed in a relation: keep watch on the doors of your mouth against her who is resting on your breast.

6For the son puts shame on his father, the daughter goes against her mother and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s haters are those of his family.

7But as for me, I am looking to the Lord; I am waiting for the God of my salvation: the ears of my God will be open to me.

8Do not be glad because of my sorrow, O my hater: after my fall I will be lifted up; when I am seated in the dark, the Lord will be a light to me.

9I will undergo the wrath of the Lord, because of my sin against him; till he takes up my cause and does what is right for me: when he makes me come out into the light, I will see his righteousness;

10And my hater will see it and be covered with shame; she who said to me, Where is the Lord your God? my eyes will see their desire effected on her, now she will be crushed under foot like the dust of the streets.

11A day for building your walls! in that day will your limits be stretched far and wide.

12In that day they will come to you from Assyria and the towns of Egypt, and from Egypt even to the River, and from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain.

13But the land will become a waste because of its people, as the fruit of their works.

14Keep your people safe with your rod, the flock of your heritage, living by themselves in the woods in the middle of Carmel: let them get their food in Bashan and Gilead as in the past.

15As in the days when you came out from the land of Egypt, let us see things of wonder.

16The nations will see and be shamed because of all their strength; they will put their hands on their mouths, their ears will be stopped.

17They will take dust as their food like a snake, like the things which go flat on the earth; they will come shaking with fear out of their secret places: they will come with fear to the Lord our God, full of fear because of you.

18Who is a God like you, offering forgiveness for evil-doing and overlooking the sins of the rest of his heritage? he does not keep his wrath for ever, because his delight is in mercy.

19He will again have pity on us; he will put our sins under his feet: and you will send all our sins down into the heart of the sea.

20You will make clear your good faith to Jacob and your mercy to Abraham, as you gave your oath to our fathers from times long past.

2 Corinthians 5:11-21

11Having in mind, then, the fear of the Lord, we put these things before men, but God sees our hearts; and it is my hope that we may seem right in your eyes.

12We are not again requesting your approval, but we are giving you the chance of taking pride in us, so that you may be able to give an answer to those whose glory is in seeming, and not in the heart.

13For if we are foolish, it is to God; or if we are serious, it is for you.

14For it is the love of Christ which is moving us; because we are of the opinion that if one was put to death for all, then all have undergone death;

15And that he underwent death for all, so that the living might no longer be living to themselves, but to him who underwent death for them and came back from the dead.

16For this reason, from this time forward we have knowledge of no man after the flesh: even if we have had knowledge of Christ after the flesh, we have no longer any such knowledge.

17So if any man is in Christ, he is in a new world: the old things have come to an end; they have truly become new.

18But all things are of God, who has made us at peace with himself through Christ, and has given to us the work of making peace;

19That is, that God was in Christ making peace between the world and himself, not putting their sins to their account, and having given to us the preaching of this news of peace.

20So we are the representatives of Christ, as if God was making a request to you through us: we make our request to you, in the name of Christ, be at peace with God.

21For him who had no knowledge of sin God made to be sin for us; so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

2 Corinthians 6:1-13

1We then, working together with God, make our request to you not to take the grace of God to no purpose.

2(For he says, I have given ear to you at a good time, and I have been your helper in a day of salvation: see, now is the good time; now is the day of salvation):

3Giving no cause for trouble in anything, so that no one may be able to say anything against our work;

4But in everything making it clear that we are the servants of God, in quiet strength, in troubles, in need, in sorrow,

5In blows, in prisons, in attacks, in hard work, in watchings, in going without food;

6In a clean heart, in knowledge, in long waiting, in being kind, in the Holy Spirit, in true love,

7In the true word, in the power of God; with the arms of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,

8By glory and by shame, by an evil name and a good name; as untrue, and still true;

9Unnoted, but still kept fully in mind; as near to death, but still living; as undergoing punishment, but not put to death;

10As full of sorrow, but ever glad; as poor, but giving wealth to others; as having nothing, but still having all things.

11Our mouth is open to you, O Corinthians, our heart is wide.

12It is not our feelings to you which are narrow, but yours to us.

13Now to give me back payment of the same sort (I am talking as to my children), let your hearts be wide open to me.

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