August 8

2 Kings 22

1Josiah was eight years old when he became king; and he was ruling in Jerusalem for thirty-one years; his mother’s name was Jedidah, daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath.

2He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, walking in the ways of David his father, without turning to the right hand or to the left.

3Now in the eighteenth year after he became king, Josiah sent Shaphan, the son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of the Lord, saying to him,

4Go up to Hilkiah, the chief priest, and let him give out the money which is taken into the house of the Lord, which the keepers of the door have got together from the people;

5And let it be given to the overseers of the work of the Lord’s house, to give to the workmen who are making good what was damaged in the house of the Lord;

6To the woodworkers and the builders and the stone-cutters; and for getting wood and cut stones for the building up of the house.

7They did not have to give any account of the money which was handed to them, for they made use of it with good faith.

8Then Hilkiah, the chief priest, said to Shaphan the scribe, I have made discovery of the book of the law in the house of the Lord. So Hilkiah gave it to Shaphan;

9Then, after reading it, Shaphan the scribe went in to the king and gave him an account of what had been done, saying, Your servants have given out the money which was in the house, and have given it to the overseers of the work of the house of the Lord.

10Then Shaphan the scribe said to the king, Hilkiah the priest has given me a book; and he was reading it before the king.

11And the king, hearing the words of the book of the law, took his robe in his hands, violently parting it as a sign of his grief;

12And he gave orders to Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, and Achbor, the son of Micaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king’s servant, saying,

13Go and get directions from the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah, about the words of this book which has come to light; for great is the wrath of the Lord which is burning against us, because our fathers have not given ear to the words of this book, to do all the things which are recorded in it.

14So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam and Achbor and Shaphan and Asaiah, went to Huldah the woman prophet, the wife of Shallum, the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the robes, (now she was living in Jerusalem, in the second part of the town;) and they had talk with her.

15And she said to them, The Lord, the God of Israel, says, Say to the man who sent you to me,

16These are the words of the Lord: See, I will send evil on this place and on its people, even everything which the king of Judah has been reading in the book;

17Because they have given me up, burning offerings to other gods and moving me to wrath by all the work of their hands; so my wrath will be on fire against this place, and will not be put out.

18But to the king of Judah who sent you to get directions from the Lord, say, This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, has said: As to the words which have come to your ears,

19Because your heart was soft, and you made yourself low before me, when you had word of what I said against this place and its people, that they would become a waste and a curse, and you gave signs of grief, weeping before me: truly, I have given ear to you, says the Lord.

20For this cause I will let you go to your fathers and be put in your last resting-place in peace, and your eyes will not see all the evil which I will send on this place. So they took this news back to the king.

2 Kings 23:1-35

1Then the king sent and got together all the responsible men of Judah and of Jerusalem.

2And the king went up to the house of the Lord, with all the men of Judah and all the people of Jerusalem, and the priests and the prophets and all the people, small and great; and they were present at his reading of the book of the law which had come to light in the house of the Lord.

3And the king took his place by the pillar, and made an agreement before the Lord, to go in the way of the Lord, and keep his orders and his decisions and his rules with all his heart and all his soul, and to keep the words of the agreement recorded in the book; and all the people gave their word to keep the agreement.

4Then the king gave orders to Hilkiah, the chief priest, and to the priests of the second order, and to the keepers of the door, to take out of the house of the Lord all the vessels made for Baal and for the Asherah and for all the stars of heaven; and he had them burned outside Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and took the dust of them to Beth-el.

5And he put an end to the false priests, who had been put in their positions by the kings of Judah to see to the burning of offerings in the high places in the towns of Judah and the outskirts of Jerusalem, and all those who made offerings to Baal and to the sun and the moon and the twelve signs and all the stars of heaven.

6And he took the Asherah from the house of the Lord, outside Jerusalem to the stream Kidron, burning it by the stream and crushing it to dust, and he put the dust on the place where the bodies of the common people were put to rest.

7And he had the houses pulled down of those who were used for sex purposes in the house of the Lord, where women were making robes for the Asherah.

8And he made all the priests from the towns of Judah come into Jerusalem, and he made unclean the high places where the priests had been burning offerings, from Geba to Beer-sheba; and he had the high places of the evil spirits pulled down which were by the doorway of Joshua, the ruler of the town, on the left side of the way into the town.

9Still the priests of the high places never came up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem; but they took their food of unleavened bread among their brothers.

10And Topheth, in the valley of the sons of Hinnom, he made unclean, so that no man might make his son or his daughter go through the fire to Molech.

11And he took away the horses which the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the way into the house of the Lord, by the room of Nathan-melech, the unsexed servant, which was in the outer part of the building, and the carriages of the sun he put on fire.

12And the altars on the roof of the high room of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two outer squares of the house of the Lord, were pulled down and crushed to bits, and the dust of them was put into the stream Kidron.

13And the high places before Jerusalem, on the south side of the mountain of destruction, which Solomon, king of Israel, had made for Ashtoreth, the disgusting god of the Zidonians, and for Chemosh, the disgusting god of Moab, and for Milcom, the disgusting god of the children of Ammon, the king made unclean.

14The stone pillars were broken to bits and the wood pillars cut down, and the places where they had been were made full of the bones of the dead.

15And the altar at Beth-el, and the high place put up by Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, who made Israel do evil, that altar and that high place were pulled down; and the high place was burned and crushed to dust and the Asherah was burned.

16Then Josiah, turning round, saw on the mountain the places of the dead, and he sent and had the bones taken out of their places and burned on the altar, so making it unclean, as the Lord had said by the man of God when Jeroboam was in his place by the altar on that feast-day. And he, turning his eyes to the resting-place of the man of God who had given word of these things, said:

17What is that headstone I see over there? And the men of the town said to him, It is the resting-place of the man of God who came from Judah and gave word of all these things which you have done to the altar of Beth-el.

18So he said, Let him be; let not his bones be moved. So they let his bones be with the bones of the prophet who came from Samaria.

19Then Josiah took away all the houses of the high places in the towns of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had put up, moving the Lord to wrath, and he did with them as he had done in Beth-el.

20And all the priests of the high places there he put to death on the altars, burning the bones of the dead on them; and then he went back to Jerusalem.

21And the king gave orders to all the people, saying, Keep the Passover to the Lord your God, as it says in this book of the law.

22Truly, such a Passover had not been kept in all the days of the judges of Israel or of the kings of Israel or the kings of Judah;

23In the eighteenth year of the rule of King Josiah this Passover was kept to the Lord in Jerusalem.

24And all those who had control of spirits, and the wonder-workers, and the images, and the false gods, and all the disgusting things which were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, Josiah put away, so that he might give effect to the words of the agreement recorded in the book which Hilkiah the priest made discovery of in the house of the Lord.

25Never before had there been a king like him, turning to the Lord with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his power, as the law of Moses says; and after him there was no king like him.

26But still the heat of the Lord’s wrath was not turned back from Judah, because of all Manasseh had done in moving him to wrath.

27And the Lord said, I will send Judah away from before my face, as I have sent Israel; I will have nothing more to do with this town, which I had made mine, even Jerusalem, and the holy house of which I said, My name will be there.

28Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all he did, are they not recorded in the book of the history of the kings of Judah?

29In his days, Pharaoh-necoh, king of Egypt, sent his armies against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates; and King Josiah went out against him; and he put him to death at Megiddo, when he had seen him.

30And his servants took his body in a carriage from Megiddo to Jerusalem, and put him into the earth there. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz, the son of Josiah, and put the holy oil on him and made him king in place of his father.

31Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, ruling in Jerusalem for three months; his mother’s name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.

32He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as his fathers had done.

33And Pharaoh-necoh put him in chains at Riblah in the land of Hamath, so that he might not be king in Jerusalem; and took from the land a tax of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.

34Then Pharaoh-necoh made Eliakim, the son of Josiah, king in place of Josiah his father, changing his name to Jehoiakim; but Jehoahaz he took away to Egypt, where he was till his death.

35And Jehoiakim gave the silver and gold to Pharaoh, taxing the land by his orders to get the money; the people of the land had to give silver and gold, everyone as he was taxed, to make the payment to Pharaoh-necoh.

Nahum 3

1A curse is on the town of blood; it is full of deceit and violent acts; and there is no end to the taking of life.

2The noise of the whip, and the noise of thundering wheels; horses rushing and war-carriages jumping,

3Horsemen driving forward, and the shining sword and the bright spear: and a great number of wounded, and masses of dead bodies; they are falling over the bodies of the dead:

4Because of all the false ways of the loose woman, expert in attraction and wise in secret arts, who takes nations in the net of her false ways, and families through her secret arts.

5See, I am against you, says the Lord of armies, and I will have your skirts pulled over your face, and let the nations see you unclothed, and the kingdoms your shame.

6I will make you completely disgusting and full of shame, and will put you up to be looked at by all.

7And it will come about that all who see you will go in flight from you and say, Nineveh is made waste: who will be weeping for her? where am I to get comforters for her?

8Are you better than No-amon, seated on the Nile streams, with waters all round her; whose wall was the sea and her earthwork the waters?

9Ethiopia was her strength and Egyptians without number; Put and Lubim were her helpers.

10But even she has been taken away, she has gone away as a prisoner: even her young children are smashed to bits at the top of all the streets: the fate of her honoured men is put to the decision of chance, and all her great men are put in chains.

11And you will be overcome with wine, you will become feeble; you will be looking for a safe place from those who are fighting against you.

12All your walled places will be like fig-trees and your people like the first figs, falling at a shake into the mouth which is open for them.

13See, the people who are in you are women; the doorways of your land are wide open to your attackers: the locks of your doors have been burned away in the fire.

14Get water for the time when you are shut in, make strong your towns: go into the potter’s earth, stamping it down with your feet, make strong the brickworks.

15There the fire will make you waste; you will be cut off by the sword: make yourself as great in number as the worms, as great in number as the locusts.

16Let your traders be increased more than the stars of heaven:

17Your crowned ones are like the locusts, and your scribes like the clouds of insects which take cover in the walls on a cold day, but when the sun comes up they go in flight, and are seen no longer in their place.

18Sorrow! how are the keepers of your flock sleeping, O king of Assyria! your strong men are at rest; your people are wandering on the mountains, and there is no one to get them together.

19Your pain may not be made better; you are wounded to death: all those hearing the news about you will be waving their hands in joy over you: for who has not undergone the weight of your evil-doing again and again?

2 Corinthians 9

1But there is no need for me to say anything in my letter about the giving to the saints:

2For I have before made clear to those of Macedonia my pride in your ready mind, saying to them that Achaia has been ready for a year back; and a great number have been moved to do the same by your example.

3But I have sent the brothers, so that the good things we said about you may be seen to be true, and that, as I said, you may be ready:

4For fear that, if any from Macedonia come with me, and you are not ready, we (not to say, you) might be put to shame in this thing.

5So it seemed to me wise for the brothers to go before, and see that the amount which you had undertaken to give was ready, so that it might be a cause for praise, and not as if we were making profit out of you.

6But in the Writings it says, He who puts in only a small number of seeds, will get in the same; and he who puts them in from a full hand, will have produce in full measure from them.

7Let every man do after the purpose of his heart; not giving with grief, or by force: for God takes pleasure in a ready giver.

8And God is able to give you all grace in full measure; so that ever having enough of all things, you may be full of every good work:

9As it is said in the Writings, He has sent out far and wide, he has given to the poor; his righteousness is for ever.

10And he who gives seed for putting into the field and bread for food, will take care of the growth of your seed, at the same time increasing the fruits of your righteousness;

11Your wealth being increased in everything, with a simple mind, causing praise to God through us.

12For this work of giving not only takes care of the needs of the saints, but is the cause of much praise to God;

13For when, through this work of giving, they see what you are, they give glory to God for the way in which you have given yourselves to the good news of Christ, and for the wealth of your giving to them and to all;

14While their hearts go out to you in love and in prayer for you, because of the great grace of God which is in you.

15Praise be to God for what he has given, which words have no power to say.

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