4 July 2017 Bible Reading
Paul references Exodus 22:28, “You shall not blaspheme God, nor curse a ruler of your people.”
2 Kings 23:31-25:30
31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 32 He did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight, according to all that his fathers had done. 33 Pharaoh Necoh put him in bonds at Riblah in the land of Hamath, that he might not reign in Jerusalem; and put the land to a tribute of one hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold. 34 Pharaoh Necoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the place of Josiah his father, and changed his name to Jehoiakim; but he took Jehoahaz away, and he came to Egypt and died there. 35 Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh. He exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, from everyone according to his assessment, to give it to Pharaoh Necoh. 36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zebidah the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. 37 He did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight, according to all that his fathers had done.
24 In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years. Then he turned and rebelled against him. 2 Yahweh sent against him bands of the Chaldeans, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to Yahweh’s word, which he spoke by his servants the prophets. 3 Surely at the commandment of Yahweh this came on Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did, 4 and also for the innocent blood that he shed; for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and Yahweh would not pardon. 5 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and all that he did, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 6 So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers, and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place.
7 The king of Egypt didn’t come out of his land any more; for the king of Babylon had taken, from the brook of Egypt to the river Euphrates, all that belonged to the king of Egypt.
8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother’s name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. 9 He did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight, according to all that his father had done. 10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up to Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. 11 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to the city while his servants were besieging it, 12 and Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers; and the king of Babylon captured him in the eighth year of his reign. 13 He carried out from there all the treasures of Yahweh’s house, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold, which Solomon king of Israel had made in Yahweh’s temple, as Yahweh had said. 14 He carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valor, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and the smiths. No one remained, except the poorest people of the land. 15 He carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, with the king’s mother, the king’s wives, his officers, and the chief men of the land. He carried them into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 All the men of might, even seven thousand, and the craftsmen and the smiths one thousand, all of them strong and fit for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon. 17 The king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s father’s brother, king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah. 18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 19 He did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 20 For through the anger of Yahweh, this happened in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence. Then Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
25 In the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, and encamped against it; and they built forts against it around it. 2 So the city was besieged until the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. 3 On the ninth day of the fourth month, the famine was severe in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land. 4 Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king’s garden (now the Chaldeans were against the city around it); and the king went by the way of the Arabah. 5 But the Chaldean army pursued the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him. 6 Then they captured the king, and carried him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they passed judgment on him. 7 They killed Zedekiah’s sons before his eyes, then put out Zedekiah’s eyes, bound him in fetters, and carried him to Babylon.
8 Now in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. 9 He burnt Yahweh’s house, the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, even every great house, he burnt with fire. 10 All the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down the walls around Jerusalem. 11 Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive the residue of the people who were left in the city, and those who fell away, who fell to the king of Babylon, and the residue of the multitude. 12 But the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to work the vineyards and fields. 13 The Chaldeans broke up the pillars of brass that were in Yahweh’s house and the bases and the bronze sea that were in Yahweh’s house, and carried the brass pieces to Babylon. 14 They took away the pots, the shovels, the snuffers, the spoons, and all the vessels of brass with which they ministered. 15 The captain of the guard took away the fire pans, the basins, that which was of gold, in gold, and that which was of silver, in silver. 16 The two pillars, the one sea, and the bases, which Solomon had made for Yahweh’s house, the brass of all these vessels was not weighed. 17 The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and a capital of brass was on it. The height of the capital was three cubits, with network and pomegranates on the capital around it, all of brass; and the second pillar with its network was like these.
18 The captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the threshold; 19 and out of the city he took an officer who was set over the men of war; and five men of those who saw the king’s face, who were found in the city; and the scribe, the captain of the army, who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land, who were found in the city. 20 Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah. 21 The king of Babylon attacked them, and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away captive out of his land. 22 As for the people who were left in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, even over them he made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, governor. 23 Now when all the captains of the forces, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor, they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of the Maacathite, they and their men. 24 Gedaliah swore to them and to their men, and said to them, “Don’t be afraid because of the servants of the Chaldeans. Dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it will be well with you.”
25 But in the seventh month, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the royal offspring came, and ten men with him, and struck Gedaliah, so that he died, with the Jews and the Chaldeans that were with him at Mizpah. 26 All the people, both small and great, and the captains of the forces, arose, and came to Egypt; for they were afraid of the Chaldeans. 27 In the thirty-seventh year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, Evilmerodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison; 28 and he spoke kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings who were with him in Babylon, 29 and changed his prison garments. Jehoiachin ate bread before him continually all the days of his life; 30 and for his allowance, there was a continual allowance given him from the king, every day a portion, all the days of his life.
17 “When I had returned to Jerusalem, and while I prayed in the temple, I fell into a trance, 18 and saw him saying to me, ‘Hurry and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not receive testimony concerning me from you.’ 19 I said, ‘Lord, they themselves know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue those who believed in you. 20 When the blood of Stephen, your witness, was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting to his death, and guarding the cloaks of those who killed him.’
21 “He said to me, ‘Depart, for I will send you out far from here to the Gentiles.’”
22 They listened to him until he said that; then they lifted up their voice, and said, “Rid the earth of this fellow, for he isn’t fit to live!”
23 As they cried out, and threw off their cloaks, and threw dust into the air, 24 the commanding officer commanded him to be brought into the barracks, ordering him to be examined by scourging, that he might know for what crime they shouted against him like that. 25 When they had tied him up with thongs, Paul asked the centurion who stood by, “Is it lawful for you to scourge a man who is a Roman, and not found guilty?”
26 When the centurion heard it, he went to the commanding officer and told him, “Watch what you are about to do, for this man is a Roman!”
27 The commanding officer came and asked him, “Tell me, are you a Roman?”
He said, “Yes.”
28 The commanding officer answered, “I bought my citizenship for a great price.”
Paul said, “But I was born a Roman.”
29 Immediately those who were about to examine him departed from him, and the commanding officer also was afraid when he realized that he was a Roman, because he had bound him. 30 But on the next day, desiring to know the truth about why he was accused by the Jews, he freed him from the bonds, and commanded the chief priests and all the council to come together, and brought Paul down and set him before them.
23 Paul, looking steadfastly at the council, said, “Brothers, I have lived before God in all good conscience until today.”
2 The high priest, Ananias, commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth.
3 Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! Do you sit to judge me according to the law, and command me to be struck contrary to the law?”
4 Those who stood by said, “Do you malign God’s high priest?”
5 Paul said, “I didn’t know, brothers, that he was high priest. For it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’” 6 But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Men and brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. Concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!”
7 When he had said this, an argument arose between the Pharisees and Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor angel, nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess all of these. 9 A great clamor arose, and some of the scribes of the Pharisees part stood up, and contended, saying, “We find no evil in this man. But if a spirit or angel has spoken to him, let’s not fight against God!”
10 When a great argument arose, the commanding officer, fearing that Paul would be torn in pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him by force from among them, and bring him into the barracks.
2 Why do the nations rage,
and the peoples plot a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth take a stand,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against Yahweh, and against his Anointed, saying,
3 “Let’s break their bonds apart,
and cast their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens will laugh.
The Lord will have them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his anger,
and terrify them in his wrath:
6 “Yet I have set my King on my holy hill of Zion.”
7 I will tell of the decree.
Yahweh said to me, “You are my son.
Today I have become your father.
8 Ask of me, and I will give the nations for your inheritance,
the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron.
You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
10 Now therefore be wise, you kings.
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
11 Serve Yahweh with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
12 Give sincere homage to the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish on the way,
for his wrath will soon be kindled.
Blessed are all those who take refuge in him.
13 He who gives answer before he hears,
that is folly and shame to him.