Bible 2015: 2 August Daily Bible Reading
Context and Comment:
Sennacherib, king of Assyria 705 – 681 b.C., is remembered for his military campaigns against Babylon and Judah and for his building programs, notably at his capital Nineveh.
The primary preoccupation of Sennacherib’s reign was the so-called “Babylonian problem”–the refusal of the Babylonians to accept Assyrian rule–culminating in his destruction of the city in 689 b.C. Further campaigns were carried out against Judah. Sennacherib was also a notable builder–it was under him that Assyrian art reached its peak. His building projects included the beautification of Nineveh, a canal 50 kilometers long to bring water to the city, and the “Palace Without Rival”, which included what may have been the prototype of the legendary Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Sennacherib was assassinated in 681 b.C. by his eldest son and succeeded by Esarhaddon.
2 Chronicles 32-33:13
32 After these things, and this faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fortified cities, and thought to win them for himself. 2 When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem, 3 he took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the springs which were outside of the city; and they helped him. 4 So many people gathered together, and they stopped all the springs, and the brook that flowed through the middle of the land, saying, “Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?”
5 He took courage, and built up all the wall that was broken down, and raised it up to the towers, and the other wall outside, and strengthened Millo in David’s city, and made weapons and shields in abundance. 6 He set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the wide place at the gate of the city, and spoke comfortably to them, saying, 7 “Be strong and courageous, don’t be afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude who is with him; for there is a greater with us than with him. 8 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is Yahweh our God to help us, and to fight our battles.” The people rested themselves on the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. 9 After this, Sennacherib king of Assyria sent his servants to Jerusalem, (now he was before Lachish, and all his power with him), to Hezekiah king of Judah, and to all Judah who were at Jerusalem, saying, 10 Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria, “In whom do you trust, that you remain under siege in Jerusalem? 11 Doesn’t Hezekiah persuade you, to give you over to die by famine and by thirst, saying, ‘Yahweh our God will deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria?’ 12 Hasn’t the same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, ‘You shall worship before one altar, and on it you shall burn incense?’ 13 Don’t you know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of the lands? Were the gods of the nations of the lands in any way able to deliver their land out of my hand? 14 Who was there among all the gods of those nations which my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of my hand? 15 Now therefore don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you in this way, neither believe him; for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of my hand, and out of the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you out of my hand?”
16 His servants spoke yet more against Yahweh God, and against his servant Hezekiah. 17 He also wrote letters insulting Yahweh, the God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, “As the gods of the nations of the lands, which have not delivered their people out of my hand, so shall the God of Hezekiah not deliver his people out of my hand.” 18 They cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ language to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city. 19 They spoke of the God of Jerusalem, as of the gods of the peoples of the earth, which are the work of men’s hands. 20 Hezekiah the king, and Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz, prayed because of this, and cried to heaven. 21 Yahweh sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty men of valor, and the leaders and captains, in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. When he had come into the house of his god, those who came out of his own bowels killed him there with the sword. 22 Thus Yahweh saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all others, and guided them on every side. 23 Many brought gifts to Yahweh to Jerusalem, and precious things to Hezekiah king of Judah; so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations from thenceforth. 24 In those days Hezekiah was sick even to death: and he prayed to Yahweh; and he spoke to him, and gave him a sign. 25 But Hezekiah didn’t render again according to the benefit done to him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath on him, and on Judah and Jerusalem. 26 Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that Yahweh’s wrath didn’t come on them in the days of Hezekiah. 27 Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honor: and he provided him treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all kinds of goodly vessels; 28 storehouses also for the increase of grain and new wine and oil; and stalls for all kinds of animals, and flocks in folds. 29 Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance; for God had given him very much substance. 30 This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper spring of the waters of Gihon, and brought them straight down on the west side of David’s city. Hezekiah prospered in all his works. 31 However concerning the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart. 32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his good deeds, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz, in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 33 Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the ascent of the tombs of the sons of David: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honor at his death. Manasseh his son reigned in his place.
33 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. 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 broken down; and he reared up altars for the Baals, and made Asheroth, and worshiped all the army of the sky, and served them. 4 He built altars in Yahweh’s house, of which Yahweh said, “My name shall be in Jerusalem forever.” 5 He built altars for all the army of the sky in the two courts of Yahweh’s house. 6 He also made his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom; and he practiced sorcery, and used enchantments, and practiced sorcery, 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 the idol, which he had made, in God’s house, of which God 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 neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from off the land which I have appointed for your fathers, if only they will observe to do all that I have commanded them, even all the law and the statutes and the ordinances given by Moses.” 9 Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that they did more evil than the nations whom Yahweh destroyed before the children of Israel did. 10 Yahweh spoke to Manasseh, and to his people; but they gave no heed. 11 Therefore Yahweh brought on them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh in chains, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. 12 When he was in distress, he begged Yahweh his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 13 He prayed to him; and he was entreated by him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that Yahweh was God.
23 but now, no longer having any place in these regions, and having these many years a longing to come to you, 24 whenever I travel to Spain, I will come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while. 25 But now, I say, I am going to Jerusalem, serving the saints. 26 For it has been the good pleasure of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are at Jerusalem. 27 Yes, it has been their good pleasure, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, they owe it to them also to serve them in fleshly things. 28 When therefore I have accomplished this, and have sealed to them this fruit, I will go on by way of you to Spain. 29 I know that, when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of the Good News of Christ.
30 Now I beg you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, 31 that I may be delivered from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints; 32 that I may come to you in joy through the will of God, and together with you, find rest. 33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
16 I commend to you Phoebe, our sister, who is a servant of the assembly that is at Cenchreae, 2 that you receive her in the Lord, in a way worthy of the saints, and that you assist her in whatever matter she may need from you, for she herself also has been a helper of many, and of my own self.
3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who for my life, laid down their own necks; to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the assemblies of the Gentiles. 5 Greet the assembly that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first fruits of Achaia to Christ. 6 Greet Mary, who labored much for us. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my relatives and my fellow prisoners, who are notable among the apostles, who were also in Christ before me.
16 Turn to me, and have mercy on me,
for I am desolate and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged.
Oh bring me out of my distresses.
18 Consider my affliction and my travail.
Forgive all my sins.
19 Consider my enemies, for they are many.
They hate me with cruel hatred.
20 Oh keep my soul, and deliver me.
Let me not be disappointed, for I take refuge in you.
21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.
22 Redeem Israel, God,
out all of his troubles.
16 Take the garment of one who puts up collateral for a stranger;
and hold him in pledge for a wayward woman.
17 Fraudulent food is sweet to a man,
but afterwards his mouth is filled with gravel.
18 Plans are established by advice;
by wise guidance you wage war!