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II Kings 19, 20, 21

Hezekiah Consults Isaiah

19When King Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the Lord. 2And he sent Eliakim, who was in charge of the palace, and Shebna the secretary, and the senior priests, covered with sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz. 3They said to him, ‘Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of distress, of rebuke, and of disgrace; children have come to birth, and there is no strength to bring them forth. 4It may be that the Lord your God heard all the words of the Rabshakeh, whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to mock the living God, and will rebuke the words that the Lord your God has heard; therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.’ 5When the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, 6Isaiah said to them, ‘Say to your master, “Thus says the Lord: Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. 7I myself will put a spirit in him, so that he shall hear a rumour and return to his own land; I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.”

Sennacherib’s Threat

8 The Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah; for he had heard that the king had left Lachish. 9When the king* heard concerning King Tirhakah of Ethiopia,* ‘See, he has set out to fight against you’, he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying, 10‘Thus shall you speak to King Hezekiah of Judah: Do not let your God on whom you rely deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. 11See, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, destroying them utterly. Shall you be delivered? 12Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my predecessors destroyed, Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, the king of Hena, or the king of Ivvah?’

Hezekiah’s Prayer

14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; then Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord. 15And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said: ‘O Lord the God of Israel, who are enthroned above the cherubim, you are God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 16Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 17Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, 18and have hurled their gods into the fire, though they were no gods but the work of human hands—wood and stone—and so they were destroyed. 19So now, O Lord our God, save us, I pray you, from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Lord, are God alone.’

20 Then Isaiah son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I have heard your prayer to me about King Sennacherib of Assyria. 21This is the word that the Lord has spoken concerning him:
She despises you, she scorns you—
   virgin daughter Zion;
she tosses her head—behind your back,
   daughter Jerusalem.


22 ‘Whom have you mocked and reviled?
   Against whom have you raised your voice
and haughtily lifted your eyes?
   Against the Holy One of Israel!
23 By your messengers you have mocked the Lord,
   and you have said, “With my many chariots
I have gone up the heights of the mountains,
   to the far recesses of Lebanon;
I felled its tallest cedars,
   its choicest cypresses;
I entered its farthest retreat,
   its densest forest.
24 I dug wells
   and drank foreign waters,
I dried up with the sole of my foot
   all the streams of Egypt.”


25 ‘Have you not heard
   that I determined it long ago?
I planned from days of old
   what now I bring to pass,
that you should make fortified cities
   crash into heaps of ruins,
26 while their inhabitants, shorn of strength,
   are dismayed and confounded;
they have become like plants of the field
   and like tender grass,
like grass on the housetops,
   blighted before it is grown.


27 ‘But I know your rising* and your sitting,
   your going out and coming in,
   and your raging against me.
28 Because you have raged against me
   and your arrogance has come to my ears,
I will put my hook in your nose
   and my bit in your mouth;
I will turn you back on the way
   by which you came.

29 ‘And this shall be the sign for you: This year you shall eat what grows of itself, and in the second year what springs from that; then in the third year sow, reap, plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 30The surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall again take root downwards, and bear fruit upwards; 31for from Jerusalem a remnant shall go out, and from Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

32 ‘Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city, shoot an arrow there, come before it with a shield, or cast up a siege-ramp against it. 33By the way that he came, by the same he shall return; he shall not come into this city, says the Lord. 34For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.’

Sennacherib’s Defeat and Death

35 That very night the angel of the Lord set out and struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians; when morning dawned, they were all dead bodies. 36Then King Sennacherib of Assyria left, went home, and lived at Nineveh. 37As he was worshipping in the house of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped into the land of Ararat. His son Esar-haddon succeeded him.

Hezekiah’s Illness

20In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.’ 2Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord: 3‘Remember now, O Lord, I implore you, how I have walked before you in faithfulness with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.’ Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4Before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him: 5‘Turn back, and say to Hezekiah prince of my people, Thus says the Lord, the God of your ancestor David: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; indeed, I will heal you; on the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. 6I will add fifteen years to your life. I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David’s sake.’ 7Then Isaiah said, ‘Bring a lump of figs. Let them take it and apply it to the boil, so that he may recover.’

8 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, ‘What shall be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord on the third day?’ 9Isaiah said, ‘This is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that he has promised: the shadow has now advanced ten intervals; shall it retreat ten intervals?’ 10Hezekiah answered, ‘It is normal for the shadow to lengthen ten intervals; rather let the shadow retreat ten intervals.’ 11The prophet Isaiah cried to the Lord; and he brought the shadow back the ten intervals, by which the sun* had declined on the dial of Ahaz.

Envoys from Babylon

12 At that time King Merodach-baladan son of Baladan of Babylon sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 13Hezekiah welcomed them;* he showed them all his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his armoury, all that was found in his storehouses; there was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. 14Then the prophet Isaiah came to King Hezekiah, and said to him, ‘What did these men say? From where did they come to you?’ Hezekiah answered, ‘They have come from a far country, from Babylon.’ 15He said, ‘What have they seen in your house?’ Hezekiah answered, ‘They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.’

16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, ‘Hear the word of the Lord: 17Days are coming when all that is in your house, and that which your ancestors have stored up until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left, says the Lord. 18Some of your own sons who are born to you shall be taken away; they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’ 19Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, ‘The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.’ For he thought, ‘Why not, if there will be peace and security in my days?’

Death of Hezekiah

20 The rest of the deeds of Hezekiah, all his power, how he made the pool and the conduit and brought water into the city, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah? 21Hezekiah slept with his ancestors; and his son Manasseh succeeded him.

Manasseh Reigns over Judah

21Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign; he reigned for fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. 2He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, following the abominable practices of the nations that the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. 3For he rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he erected altars for Baal, made a sacred pole,* as King Ahab of Israel had done, worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. 4He built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, ‘In Jerusalem I will put my name.’ 5He built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. 6He made his son pass through fire; he practised soothsaying and augury, and dealt with mediums and with wizards. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. 7The carved image of Asherah that he had made he set in the house of which the Lord said to David and to his son Solomon, ‘In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name for ever; 8I will not cause the feet of Israel to wander any more out of the land that I gave to their ancestors, if only they will be careful to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that my servant Moses commanded them.’ 9But they did not listen; Manasseh misled them to do more evil than the nations had done that the Lord destroyed before the people of Israel.

10 The Lord said by his servants the prophets, 11‘Because King Manasseh of Judah has committed these abominations, has done things more wicked than all that the Amorites did, who were before him, and has caused Judah also to sin with his idols; 12therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, I am bringing upon Jerusalem and Judah such evil that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 13I will stretch over Jerusalem the measuring line for Samaria, and the plummet for the house of Ahab; I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14I will cast off the remnant of my heritage, and give them into the hand of their enemies; they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies, 15because they have done what is evil in my sight and have provoked me to anger, since the day their ancestors came out of Egypt, even to this day.’

16 Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides the sin that he caused Judah to sin so that they did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.

17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, all that he did, and the sin that he committed, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah? 18Manasseh slept with his ancestors, and was buried in the garden of his house, in the garden of Uzza. His son Amon succeeded him.

Amon Reigns over Judah

19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign; he reigned for two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. 20He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done. 21He walked in all the way in which his father walked, served the idols that his father served, and worshipped them; 22he abandoned the Lord, the God of his ancestors, and did not walk in the way of the Lord. 23The servants of Amon conspired against him, and killed the king in his house. 24But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and the people of the land made his son Josiah king in place of him. 25Now the rest of the acts of Amon that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah? 26He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza; then his son Josiah succeeded him.

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Psalm 112

Blessings of the Righteous


1 Praise the Lord!
   Happy are those who fear the Lord,
   who greatly delight in his commandments.
2 Their descendants will be mighty in the land;
   the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in their houses,
   and their righteousness endures for ever.
4 They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright;
   they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.
5 It is well with those who deal generously and lend,
   who conduct their affairs with justice.
6 For the righteous will never be moved;
   they will be remembered for ever.
7 They are not afraid of evil tidings;
   their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord.
8 Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid;
   in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
9 They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor;
   their righteousness endures for ever;
   their horn is exalted in honour.
10 The wicked see it and are angry;
   they gnash their teeth and melt away;
   the desire of the wicked comes to nothing.

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Acts 27

Paul Sails for Rome

27When it was decided that we were to sail for Italy, they transferred Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion of the Augustan Cohort, named Julius. 2Embarking on a ship of Adramyttium that was about to set sail to the ports along the coast of Asia, we put to sea, accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica. 3The next day we put in at Sidon; and Julius treated Paul kindly, and allowed him to go to his friends to be cared for. 4Putting out to sea from there, we sailed under the lee of Cyprus, because the winds were against us. 5After we had sailed across the sea that is off Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra in Lycia. 6There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship bound for Italy and put us on board. 7We sailed slowly for a number of days and arrived with difficulty off Cnidus, and as the wind was against us, we sailed under the lee of Crete off Salmone. 8Sailing past it with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, near the city of Lasea.

9 Since much time had been lost and sailing was now dangerous, because even the Fast had already gone by, Paul advised them, 10saying, ‘Sirs, I can see that the voyage will be with danger and much heavy loss, not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives.’ 11But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said. 12Since the harbour was not suitable for spending the winter, the majority was in favour of putting to sea from there, on the chance that somehow they could reach Phoenix, where they could spend the winter. It was a harbour of Crete, facing south-west and north-west.

The Storm at Sea

13 When a moderate south wind began to blow, they thought they could achieve their purpose; so they weighed anchor and began to sail past Crete, close to the shore. 14But soon a violent wind, called the northeaster, rushed down from Crete.* 15Since the ship was caught and could not be turned with its head to the wind, we gave way to it and were driven. 16By running under the lee of a small island called Cauda* we were scarcely able to get the ship’s boat under control. 17After hoisting it up they took measures* to undergird the ship; then, fearing that they would run on the Syrtis, they lowered the sea-anchor and so were driven. 18We were being pounded by the storm so violently that on the next day they began to throw the cargo overboard, 19and on the third day with their own hands they threw the ship’s tackle overboard. 20When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small tempest raged, all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.

21 Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul then stood up among them and said, ‘Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and thereby avoided this damage and loss. 22I urge you now to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23For last night there stood by me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, 24and he said, “Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before the emperor; and indeed, God has granted safety to all those who are sailing with you.” 25So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. 26But we will have to run aground on some island.’

27 When the fourteenth night had come, as we were drifting across the sea of Adria, about midnight the sailors suspected that they were nearing land. 28So they took soundings and found twenty fathoms; a little farther on they took soundings again and found fifteen fathoms. 29Fearing that we might run on the rocks, they let down four anchors from the stern and prayed for day to come. 30But when the sailors tried to escape from the ship and had lowered the boat into the sea, on the pretext of putting out anchors from the bow, 31Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, ‘Unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved.’ 32Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the boat and set it adrift.

33 Just before daybreak, Paul urged all of them to take some food, saying, ‘Today is the fourteenth day that you have been in suspense and remaining without food, having eaten nothing. 34Therefore I urge you to take some food, for it will help you survive; for none of you will lose a hair from your heads.’ 35After he had said this, he took bread; and giving thanks to God in the presence of all, he broke it and began to eat. 36Then all of them were encouraged and took food for themselves. 37(We were in all two hundred and seventy-six* persons in the ship.) 38After they had satisfied their hunger, they lightened the ship by throwing the wheat into the sea.

The Shipwreck

39 In the morning they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, on which they planned to run the ship ashore, if they could. 40So they cast off the anchors and left them in the sea. At the same time they loosened the ropes that tied the steering-oars; then hoisting the foresail to the wind, they made for the beach. 41But striking a reef,* they ran the ship aground; the bow stuck and remained immovable, but the stern was being broken up by the force of the waves. 42The soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, so that none might swim away and escape; 43but the centurion, wishing to save Paul, kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and make for the land, 44and the rest to follow, some on planks and others on pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land.

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10 February 2011

From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.7 10 February 2011.