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Bible 2015: 2 July Daily Bible Reading

Context and Comment:

Hezekiah assumed the throne of Judah at the age of 25 and reigned for 29 years. Hezekiah served as co-regent with his father Ahaz for about 14 years. His sole reign is dated by William F. Albright as 715–687 b.C., and by Edwin R. Thiele as 716–687 b.C., the last ten years being a co-regency with his son, Manasseh.

Hezekiah purified and repaired the Temple, purged its idols, and reformed the priesthood. He centralized the worship of God at the Jerusalem Temple. Hezekiah also resumed the Passover pilgrimage and the tradition of inviting the scattered tribes of Israel to take part in a Passover festival. He sent messengers to Ephraim and Manasseh inviting them to Jerusalem for the celebration of the Passover.

Isaiah and Micah prophesied during Hezekiah’s reign.

2 Kings 20-22:2
20 In those days Hezekiah was sick and dying. Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Yahweh says, ‘Set your house in order; for you will die, and not live.’”
2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed to Yahweh, saying, 3 “Remember now, Yahweh, I beg you, how I have walked before you in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly.
4 Before Isaiah had gone out into the middle part of the city, Yahweh’s word came to him, saying, 5 “Turn back, and tell Hezekiah the prince of my people, ‘Yahweh, the God of David your father, says, “I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you. On the third day, you will go up to Yahweh’s house. 6 I will add to your days fifteen years. 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.”’”
7 Isaiah said, “Take a cake of figs.”
They took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered. 8 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What will be the sign that Yahweh will heal me, and that I will go up to Yahweh’s house the third day?”
9 Isaiah said, “This will be the sign to you from Yahweh, that Yahweh will do the thing that he has spoken: should the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?”
10 Hezekiah answered, “It is a light thing for the shadow to go forward ten steps. No, but let the shadow return backward ten steps.”
11 Isaiah the prophet cried to Yahweh; and he brought the shadow ten steps backward, by which it had gone down on the sundial of Ahaz.
12 At that time Berodach Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah; for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 13 Hezekiah listened to them, and showed them all the storehouse of his precious things, the silver, the gold, the spices, and the precious oil, and the house of his armor, and all that was found in his treasures. There was nothing in his house, or in all his dominion, that Hezekiah didn’t show them.
14 Then Isaiah the prophet came to king Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say? From where did they come to you?”
Hezekiah said, “They have come from a far country, even from Babylon.”
15 He said, “What have they seen in your house?”
Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house. There is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.”
16 Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear Yahweh’s word. 17 ‘Behold, the days come that all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have laid up in store to this day, will be carried to Babylon. Nothing will be left,’ says Yahweh. 18 ‘They will take away some of your sons who will issue from you, whom you will father; and they will be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’”
19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “Yahweh’s word which you have spoken is good.” He said moreover, “Isn’t it so, if peace and truth will be in my days?”
20 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and all his might, and how he made the pool, and the conduit, and brought water into the city, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 21 Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and Manasseh his son reigned in his place.
21 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. 2 He did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight, after the abominations of the nations whom Yahweh cast out before the children of Israel. 3 For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he raised up altars for Baal, and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel did, and worshiped all the army of the sky, and served them. 4 He built altars in Yahweh’s house, of which Yahweh said, “I will put my name in Jerusalem.” 5 He built altars for all the army of the sky in the two courts of Yahweh’s house. 6 He made his son to pass through the fire, practiced sorcery, used enchantments, and dealt with those who had familiar spirits, and with wizards. He did much evil in Yahweh’s sight, to provoke him to anger. 7 He set the engraved image of Asherah that he had made in the house of which Yahweh said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name forever; 8 I will not cause the feet of Israel to wander any more out of the land which I gave their fathers, if only they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that my servant Moses commanded them.” 9 But they didn’t listen, and Manasseh seduced them to do that which is evil more than the nations did whom Yahweh destroyed before the children of Israel. 10 Yahweh spoke by his servants the prophets, saying, 11 “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations, and has done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, who were before him, and has also made Judah to sin with his idols; 12 therefore Yahweh the God of Israel says, ‘Behold, I bring such evil on Jerusalem and Judah that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle. 13 I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of Ahab’s house; and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 I will cast off the remnant of my inheritance, and deliver them into the hands of their enemies. They will become a prey and a plunder to all their enemies, 15 because they have done that which is evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came out of Egypt, even to this day.’”
16 Moreover Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; besides his sin with which he made Judah to sin, in doing that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight. 17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and all that he did, and his sin that he sinned, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 18 Manasseh slept with his fathers, and was buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza; and Amon his son reigned in his place.
19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. 20 He did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight, as Manasseh his father did. 21 He walked in all the ways that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshiped them; 22 and he abandoned Yahweh, the God of his fathers, and didn’t walk in the way of Yahweh. 23 The servants of Amon conspired against him, and put the king to death in his own house. 24 But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place. 25 Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 26 He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza, and Josiah his son reigned in his place.
22 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. 2 He did that which was right in Yahweh’s eyes, and walked in all the way of David his father, and didn’t turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

Acts 21:17-36
17 When we had come to Jerusalem, the brothers received us gladly. 18 The day following, Paul went in with us to James; and all the elders were present. 19 When he had greeted them, he reported one by one the things which God had worked among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20 They, when they heard it, glorified God. They said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law. 21 They have been informed about you, that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children neither to walk after the customs. 22 What then? The assembly must certainly meet, for they will hear that you have come. 23 Therefore do what we tell you. We have four men who have taken a vow. 24 Take them, and purify yourself with them, and pay their expenses for them, that they may shave their heads. Then all will know that there is no truth in the things that they have been informed about you, but that you yourself also walk keeping the law. 25 But concerning the Gentiles who believe, we have written our decision that they should observe no such thing, except that they should keep themselves from food offered to idols, from blood, from strangled things, and from sexual immorality.”
26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purified himself and went with them into the temple, declaring the fulfillment of the days of purification, until the offering was offered for every one of them. 27 When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the multitude and laid hands on him, 28 crying out, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, and the law, and this place. Moreover, he also brought Greeks into the temple, and has defiled this holy place!” 29 For they had seen Trophimus, the Ephesian, with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple.
30 All the city was moved, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple. Immediately the doors were shut. 31 As they were trying to kill him, news came up to the commanding officer of the regiment that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32 Immediately he took soldiers and centurions, and ran down to them. They, when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, stopped beating Paul. 33 Then the commanding officer came near, arrested him, commanded him to be bound with two chains, and inquired who he was and what he had done. 34 Some shouted one thing, and some another, among the crowd. When he couldn’t find out the truth because of the noise, he commanded him to be brought into the barracks.
35 When he came to the stairs, he was carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the crowd; 36 for the multitude of the people followed after, crying out, “Away with him!”

Psalm 150:1-6
150 Praise Yah!
Praise God in his sanctuary!
Praise him in his heavens for his acts of power!
2 Praise him for his mighty acts!
Praise him according to his excellent greatness!
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet!
Praise him with harp and lyre!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dancing!
Praise him with stringed instruments and flute!
5 Praise him with loud cymbals!
Praise him with resounding cymbals!
6 Let everything that has breath praise Yah!
Praise Yah!

Proverbs 18:9-10
9 One who is slack in his work
is brother to him who is a master of destruction.
10 Yahweh’s name is a strong tower:
the righteous run to him, and are safe.

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