"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" The Call Of Matthew (9:9-13) by Mark Copeland


The Call Of Matthew (9:9-13)


1. Who is a suitable prospect...
   a. For the kingdom of God?
   b. For becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ?

2. Who among your neighbors, friends, etc., do you think are most
   likely to receive the gospel?
   a. Those who are devout, religious, and respectable?
   b. Or those who may be ungodly, irreligious, and socially unacceptable?

3. If any passage ought to give us caution against pre-judging suitable
   prospects for the gospel...
   a. It should be Mt 9:9-13
   b. In which we read of "The Call Of Matthew"

[In this passage we learn lessons by way of precept and example 
regarding discipleship and the mind of Christ that we do well to 
remember.  Let's begin by turning our attention to...]


      1. His name was also Levi - cf. Mt 9:9; Lk 5:27
      2. Mark mentions him as the son of Alphaeus - Mk 2:14
         a. Note that another apostle, James, was also named the son of Alphaeus
 - Mt 10:3 b. This has led some to think they were half-brothers, but many doubt this B. MATTHEW, THE TAX COLLECTOR... 1. His occupation was one of collecting taxes for Rome 2. The term "publican" describes this position, filled by Jews contracted by the Romans to collect taxes from their brethren 3. As such, they were highly despised and equated with sinners - cf. Mt 9:11; 18:17 C. MATTHEW, THE CALLED DISCIPLE... 1. Perhaps to the amazement of many, Jesus tells him to "Follow Me"
- Mt 9:9a a. This was a call to become His disciple - cf. Mt 4:18-22 b. Contrary to what may have been the expectations of many, Jesus saw something in Matthew that made him a suitable prospect 2. Matthew demonstrates that Jesus' estimation of him is not unwarranted a. He accepts the call of Jesus: "he arose and followed Him"- Mt 9:9b b. Just as Peter, Andrew, James and John had done earlier 3. Of course, this same tax collector, despised by his Jewish brethren... a. Became one of the twelve apostles - Mt 10:1-4 b. Wrote this gospel of Matthew attempting to save his own brethren in
 the flesh! [That such a despised tax collector could be a useful disciple to Jesus becomes apparent even more as we read next about...] II. MATTHEW'S FEAST AT HOME A. THE NATURE OF THE GUESTS... 1. Matthew threw a feast in honor of his new Master - Mt 9:10 a. But then..."many tax collectors and sinners came" b. Who "sat down with Him and His disciples" 2. As host, Matthew undoubtedly invited and permitted his ungodly friends to sit and mingle with the Lord and His disciples! -- Didn't Matthew know what social customs he was violating? Of course, but he had already learned a lesson that was about to be taught to others B. THE CHALLENGE OF THE PHARISEES... 1. This religious sect of the Jews are shocked - Mt 9:11 a. The Pharisees were separatists (the name means "separated ones") b. They were strict observers of the traditions of the elders, especially when it came to ceremonial cleanness - Mk 7:3 2. They wonder why Jesus would eat with tax collectors and sinners (the latter likely including prostitutes) a. They inquire of Jesus' disciples b. Likely they did so standing outside, as the disciples themselves went in an out, for it is unlikely the Pharisees would dare go into such a gathering of sinners! C. THE RESPONSE OF THE SAVIOR... 1. An explanation for why it is proper for Him to mingle with sinners
- Mt 9:12-13 a. It is the sick, not those who are well, who need the care of a physician b. So it sinners, not the righteous, who need Someone calling them to repentance 2. A rebuke for what was lacking in their own lives - Mt 9:13 a. Sacrifice without mercy means nothing, as taught in Hos 6:6 b. Implying that their religious devotion lacked the quality of mercy, or they would not have so despised sinners in need of salvation [In the call of Matthew followed by the feast at his house, Jesus by precept and example taught important lessons concerning evangelism and discipleship. To elaborate, let me share...] III. SOME OBSERVATIONS A. DON'T PREJUDGE YOURSELF OR OTHERS... 1. Don't think one is ever too wicked to become a disciple of Jesus a. Either yourself or someone else b. Few could surpass Paul for the sins of which he was guilty, yet the Lord saved him - cf. 1Ti 1:12-16 2. Jesus sees people, not for what they are, but for what they can become a. As in the case of Simon, whom He called Cephas (Peter)- cf. Jn 1:40-42 b. Peter did not live up to his name (a rock), until several years of growth as a disciple 3. We must never forget... a. Jesus died to save sinners b. No Christian is perfect, only forgiven c. A saint is a sinner who keeps on trying d. Churches grow out of weakness, not strength 1) I.e., willing to accept weak, imperfect members, helping to them grow 2) A church never grows by turning away weak people e. What Jesus said to the Pharisees: "...tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you" - Mt 21:31 B. DON'T CONFUSE SEPARATION WITH ISOLATION... 1. It is true that we must be separate - cf. 2Co 6:14-17 a. We cannot have fellowship with sin b. We cannot engage in the wicked deeds of others 2. But we must not isolate ourselves - cf. 1Co 5:9-12 a. We may withdraw from an erring brother, true b. But we cannot withdraw from those in the world 3. While not of the world, we have been sent into world - Jn 17:15-18 a. To be the salt of the earth, we must mingle with the meat - Mt 5:13 b. To be the light of the world, we must shine in the darkness- Mt 5:14-16 -- While we must be concerned about the influence of the wrong kind of friends (1Co 15:33), we must be willing to reach out to those who are lost! C. DON'T FORGET THE IMPORTANCE OF MERCY... 1. We cannot receive forgiveness if we are not merciful - Mt 6:14-15 2. We will be judged by a standard with no mercy if we are not merciful - Jm 2:12-13 3. Religion (sacrifice) without mercy is not pleasing to God! CONCLUSION 1. In "The Call Of Matthew", Jesus demonstrated the transforming power of the gospel... a. Able to take a despised tax collector and turn him into a beloved apostle b. Able to appeal to social outcasts, providing love and hope for a new life 2. By the feast at his house, Matthew demonstrated the transforming power of the gospel... a. Turning one who likely had been motivated by greed into a gracious host b. Making one who may have formerly reveled in the evil conduct of his friends, now concerned about their spiritual well-being If upon honest reflection of this passage we see ourselves more like the Pharisees than Jesus or his new-found disciple, may the words of Jesus move us to repent of our self-righteousness: "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: `I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance." (Mt 9:12-13) Are you in need of the spiritual healing provided by the Great Physician...?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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No Joking Matter by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


No Joking Matter

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

I love being a Christian. I love thinking about, talking about, and singing about Christ and His church. I love to laugh and have fun with God’s people. I enjoy cutting up with my colleagues. I love to interact with non-Christians. I enjoy clean jokes (and find myself occasionally telling ones that are not as humorous as I once thought). Christians can kindly tease about our favorite football team’s most recent loss or our most embarrassing moments. Indeed, there is “a time to laugh” (Ecclesiastes 3:4). After all, “A merry heart does good, like medicine” (Proverbs 17:22).

As enjoyable as it is to joke around and have fun, and as appropriate as it may be to break the ice with an amusing story, Christians must be careful that we don’t make light and joke around about serious, spiritual, eternally important things, especially when such remarks are unnecessarily offensive. Such inappropriate words at inappropriate times can have very unfortunate consequences.

I was 17 years old, playing summer-league baseball in Oklahoma, when I had the opportunity to visit and worship with a church one Sunday morning a few hours from home. I had the privilege that day to be accompanied by two friends who were not members of the Lord’s church. They had graciously come with me because I needed a ride to worship, and they volunteered to drive me and stay with me until the close of the worship service. Only a few minutes after walking into the building, however, the mood was severely darkened when a member of that church greeted us with a joke about some individuals he knew from our hometown who were of a different religion—with the emphasis being on their religion. It just so happened, the two individuals with me that morning were of that same religious persuasion.

Needless to say, my friends were highly offended by such a greeting from someone who called himself a Christian. And, sadly, they did not get over the insensitive “welcome” very quickly. In fact, it seems they have never gotten over it. Nearly 20 years later I ran into one of these men while visiting family back in Oklahoma. One of the first things he said to me was: “So-and-so was just talking the other day about that time you invited us to come to church with you and that guy greeted us by jokingly condemning our religion.”

By no means am I suggesting that Christians should not unashamedly teach the truth, or that we should not defend the faith whenever given the opportunity. Nor am I suggesting that I have always said things the right ways at the right times. (I’ve certainly failed miserably on this account more times than I like to remember.) What I do know is that God has instructed us to teach “the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). He has commanded us to defend the faith “with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15). Paul taught the saints in Colosse: “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (4:6). Similarly, the wise man taught: “The words of a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but the lips of a fool shall swallow him up” (Ecclesiastes 10:12).

We should never be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16); we should never pass up an opportunity to teach the Word of God—but may God help us to do so with “all longsuffering” (2 Timothy 4:2, NKJV), and “with great patience” (NASB). Remember, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

Myth and the Claims of the Bible Writers by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Myth and the Claims of the Bible Writers

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

In academic circles these days it is not unusual to hear a person suggest that the events recorded in the Bible are myths. The word myth is given various meanings, but one that is commonly understood in modern parlance is the idea that the person or event being discussed has “only an imaginary or unverifiable existence” (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary). Thus, the listener or reader is led to believe that the stories found in the Bible do not have a “verifiable” historic base, and are founded on little more than the imagination of the authors. This allegation describing the Bible stories as myth, however, falls woefully short of the truth on a number of grounds.

First, the Bible has been proven to be the most accurate, historically verifiable book that has ever been produced. Years of archaeological finds have unearthed enough evidence verifying the Bible’s accuracy to bury the claim of myth a thousand times over (see Butt, “Archaeology and the Old Testament,” 2004a and “Archaeology and the New Testament,” 2004b).

Second, not a single, legitimate contradiction has been found that would suggest that the biblical writers falsified information. For years, skeptics have found alleged contradictions between the biblical texts. These alleged “contradictions” have been proven to be false, and adequate answers proving the noncontradictory nature of the Bible texts have been given (see Alleged Discrepancies, n.d.).

The list of other evidences that silence the allegation of myth could get quite lengthy. Such aspects as the scientific foreknowledge of the Bible, its predictive prophecy, and its unity over hundreds of years of writing are just a few of these powerful evidences.

It is important to note that along with these various evidences, the testimony of the writers themselves must be added to the material that points overwhelmingly away from the idea that the Bible is mythical. The Bible writers insisted that their writings were not based on imaginary, nonverifiable people and events, but were instead grounded on solid historical facts. The apostle Peter, in his second epistle to the Christians in the first century, wrote: “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty” (1:16). In a similar statement, the apostle John insisted: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life.... [T]hat which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us” (1 John 1:1,3).

When Luke wrote his account of the gospel of Christ, he specifically and intentionally crafted his introduction to ensure that his readers understood that his account was historical and factual:

Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed (Luke 1:1-4).

In a similar line of reasoning, Luke included in his introduction to the book of Acts the idea that Jesus, “presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).

In addition, when the apostle Paul was arguing the case that Jesus Christ had truly been raised from the dead, he wrote that the resurrected Jesus

was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time (1 Corinthians 15:5-8).

This handful of verses by Peter, Paul, John, and Luke, reveal that the Bible writers insisted with conviction that their writings were not mythical, but were indeed based on factual events. Furthermore, they specifically documented many of the eye-witnesses who could testify to the accuracy of their statements. The claim that the Bible is filled with myths can be made, but it cannot be reasonably maintained. The evidence is overwhelming that the Bible writers understood and insisted that their information was accurate and factual. Their claim of factual accuracy has been verified by the discipline of archaeology as well as by refutations of alleged contradictions between the various writings and history. The Bible is not a book of myth that belongs beside the likes of Mary Poppins or Peter Pan. It is a book of inspired, factual, historically accurate information that deserves its rightful place in the annals of history as the most amazing book ever written—bar none.


Alleged Discrepancies: Apologetics Press, (no date), [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/allegeddiscrepancies/.

Butt, Kyle (2004a), “Archaeology and the Old Testament,” Reason and Revelation, 24[3]:17-23, March, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2502.

Butt, Kyle (2004b), “Archaeology and the New Testament,” Reason and Revelation, 24[10]:89-95, October, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2591.

“Myth,” 2005, Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, [On-line], URL: http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=Myth.

Must the Children Suffer? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Must the Children Suffer?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Arriving at the border of the Promised Land, the Israelites sent out 12 spies to reconnoiter the areas. When 10 of the 12 spies brought back an “evil”(Numbers 13:32) analysis of Canaan’s conditions and the people accepted their faithless assessment. God condemned the population to 40 years of desert meandering until all those 20 years and older had died (Numbers 14:29). God would only permit the next generation to enter the land (Numbers 14:30-31).

But what, in the meantime, were these children, the younger generation, to do? Must they actually suffer for their parents’ sin and wander in the desert for 40 years as well? Notice God’s answer: “And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity…” (Numbers 14:33). Other translations render the last phrase “suffer for your unfaithfulness” (NASB, NIV; cf. ESV, RSV). The children would suffer for the unfaithfulness of their parents. Many people simply do not accept this biblical principle. They cannot see how the innocent can suffer for the sins of others. This misconception easily leads to further error: seeking to offset the unavoidable consequences of man’s disobedience to God (cf. Numbers 14:40-45).

When parents forsake the assembly (Hebrews 10:25), their sin takes its toll on their children in the form of lost teaching, poor parental example, absence of Christian association, etc. The children suffer for their parents’ sin.

When parents abuse their bodies by taking drugs, drinking alcohol, smoking, contracting venereal disease, etc., their children experience physical problems at birth and later hardships in the form of inadequate nutrition, insufficient finances, neglect, etc. The children suffer for their parents’ sin.

When parents hypocritically instruct their children to conduct themselves in certain ways, but then fail to follow their own advice and excuse their behavior by telling their children to “do as I say, not as I do,” the children grow up rejecting the parents’ good instruction. The children suffer for their parents’ sin.

When parents divorce and remarry in violation of God’s law, forming an adulterous union that, in God’s sight, cannot continue, the children experience rejection, loneliness, bewilderment. If the parents obey God and terminate the unlawful marriage, the children will live in a home environment that’s not all it could have been. The children will suffer for their parents’ sin. But such is no justification for encouraging the parents to continue committing adultery in order to minimize the children’s suffering.

Must the children suffer? Sadly, tragically, yes—when parents sin. But rather than change God’s law, doubt God’s mercy, or dodge the consequences of sin, put the blame where it belongs: man’s defiance of God. Then, obey God—no matter what.

The Moon Doesn’t Care About You! by Jim McGuiggan


The Moon Doesn’t Care About You!

We need to get this straight: The sun doesn’t care for us nor does the rain! The moon has absolutely no interest in our romance, the stars don’t care whether you’re devastatingly lonely or your senses are filled at the thought of someone who loves you. The fire that welcomes and warms you on a bitterly cold evening will burn and destroy you and all those you love more than you love yourself and the water that marvelously quenches your thirst when your throat has turned to dust will ruin everything you’ve built or suffocate all you love.

It is living self-conscious beings that invest these mindless, purposeless things with ‘meaning’ and loveliness, making them sources of joy, comfort and life and they can only do that because….

Jesus in Matthew 5, with His own agenda, makes it known that the sun and the rain are God’s gifts to the human family. Paul in Acts 14:16-17 follows the Lord Jesus. In Matthew 11:25 Christ claims the endless dark passages of space, the massive quasar clusters, the supernovas, the immense galaxies and numberless stars—the entire mindless universe belongs to His Father who is the Lord of it all. It is God, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ who gives meaning and purpose to everything—including humankind.

Humankind rejected God and began to worship these created things and finally came to worship humans—the humans God gifted with healing skill, creative capacity, intellectual brilliance and the sources of joy and gladness (Romans 1:18-32; Acts 14.16-17; 17:24-31).

It would thankless insolence to dismiss all those humans (Christians and non-Christians) who devote themselves to the blessing of fellow-humans (an insult to God and to those devoted people) but no one! nothing! is to be worshiped but God whose self-revelation and purpose is seen in the Person of the immortal and glorified Jesus Christ, the Son of Man who shows us what God has purposed for all who will trust themselves to Him. (See Revelation 19:10; 22:9)

On a coming day, the creation will be glorified, and freed from the futility to which it has been subjected. The jury is still out on what precisely that will mean (1 John 3:1-2; Philippians 3:20-21; Romans 8:18-22) and it will be the home of glorified, deathless humans who will live in ceaseless adventure, joy righteousness as God’s companions.

A new world and a new humanity is coming and Jesus is the model and assurance of that as both the Son of God and the Son of humankind.




The prevailing thought of many is that since the Bible was not canonized until sometime between 300 and 400 A.D. that the church of Christ did not have New Covenant Scriptures as their guide for faith and practice. That is simply factually incorrect.

The Lord's church of the first 400 years did not rely on the man-made traditions of men for New Testament guidance.

Jesus gave the terms for pardon 33 A.D. after His death and resurrecting. (Mark 16:16) All the words of Jesus were Scripture.Jesus did not have to wait for canonization of the New Testament in order for His word to be authorized.

The terms for pardon were repeated by the apostle Peter 33 A.D. on the Day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:22-42) The teachings of the apostles were Scripture. The words of the apostles were Scripture before they were canonized.

The apostle Peter said the apostle Paul's words were Scripture. (2 Peter 3:15-16...just as also our beloved brother Paul , according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand,which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures...

The apostle Paul's letters and words were Scriptures when he wrote and spoke them. Paul did not have to wait for canonization to authorize his doctrine.

John 14:25-26 'These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to you remembrance all that I said to you.

The words and writings of the apostles were Scripture and they did not have to wait for canonization to be deemed authoritative. The apostle did not use man-made creed books of the church or man-made oral traditions to teach the gospel of the New Covenant.

Did the early church have written New testament Scriptures? Yes, and they were shared among the different congregations. (Colossians 4:16 When the letter is read among you, have it read in the church of the Laodiceans and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodica.) Paul's letters were Scripture and they were read in different churches.

They were New Testament Scriptures long before they were canonized.


Matthew A.D. 70
Mark A.D. 55
Luke  between A.D. 59 and 63
John A.D. 85
Acts A.D. 63
Romans A.D. 57
1 Corinthians A.D. 55
2 Corinthians A.D. 55
Galatians A.D. 50
Ephesians A.D. 60
Philippians A.D. 61
Colossians A. D. 60
1 Thessalonians A.D. 51
2 Thessalonians A.D. 51 or 52
1 Timothy A.D. 64
2 Timothy A.D. 66
Titus A.D. 64
Philemon A.D. 64
Hebrews A.D. 70
James A.D. 50
1 Peter A.D. 64
2 Peter A.D. 66
1 John A.D. 90
2 John A.d. 90
3 John A.D. 90
Jude A.D. 65
Revelation A.D. 95
All 27 books of the New Testament were Scripture when they were written. They did not have wait until they were canonized before they became God's word to mankind.

Jesus told the eleven disciples make disciples and teach them all that He commanded. (Matthew 28:16-19) That was A.D. 33, They were teaching New Covenant Scripture from A.D. 33 forward. The apostles did not wait to preach the gospel until canonization occurred 300 to 400 years later.



AS A MATTER OF FACT! When God said "Let Us make man in Our image, (Genesis 1:27) it was God's Word.  God's creation of  man was true before it  was canonized 4450 years later.  The book of Genesis was Scripture the moment it was written.  Man-Made oral tradition was not, nor will it ever be Scripture.

Let us be sober by Roy Davison


Let us be sober

“Let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8).

What does it mean to be sober? Sobriety is the opposite of intoxication or drunkenness. In the New Testament, the word for ‘be sober’ means to be free from all forms of intoxication, both physical and spiritual. Someone who is intoxicated is befuddled in his thinking. He does not think straight, and he underestimates risks and dangers. There are degrees of intoxication, but being sober is absolute. Sobriety is an absence of intoxication.

“Gird up the loins of your mind, be sober” (1 Peter 1:13). The expression ‘gird up your loins’ means ‘be ready for action’. Thus, we must be ready for mental action, we must be mentally alert, which requires sobriety.

The command to be sober is part of sound doctrine. Paul wrote to Timothy: “But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things” (Titus 2:1-3).

Older men must be sober and older women may not be enslaved to much wine. Although this verse is directed to the elderly, it applies for all. To be enslaved, is to be overpowered by something. Someone who is enslaved to alcohol must have a certain amount each day. Alcohol is a habit-forming drug that depresses bodily functions and dulls the mind.

To be appointed as an elder, a man may not be addicted to wine (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7). With addiction there is an overpowering urge to use the drug because the body has developed a chemical dependence on it, often accompanied by a psychological dependence. Painful and distressing withdrawal symptoms occur if the habitual amount is not obtained.

A habit-forming drug causes changes in body chemistry which trigger compensating reactions in an attempt to restore the degraded facilities. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system and slows down bodily functions, including heart-rate and general sensitivity. Thus, the body counteracts this by speeding up the heart and increasing sensitivity. Even after the alcohol is removed by the liver, the compensation remains for some time. This causes the person to be tense, anxious and hypersensitive. Thus, he craves alcohol to counteract the hypersensitivity.

Alcohol is also a mood-changing drug. It has a calming effect, reduces inhibitions and causes an artificial feeling of security and well-being. Because of the body’s compensation, however, one must continually have more alcohol to get the same buzz. Since the pleasant effect only occurs while the alcohol content in the blood is rising, and reverses as the alcohol level drops, the use of alcohol can easily become a vicious circle of increasing compulsive use. “Wine and new wine enslave the heart” (Hosea 4:11). Different substances have different levels of addictiveness, and different people react to addictive substances in a different way.

Christians are commanded to be sober, thus we must avoid intoxication and addiction to alcohol. Does this mean that a Christian may never drink something that contains even a small amount of alcohol?

According to the New Testament, Jesus drank wine: “For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’” (Luke 7:33-35 // Matthew 11:18, 19). These accusations were, of course, false. Jesus was neither a glutton nor a tippler, but He did drink wine.

Wine was a staple food in Biblical times. The word ‘wine’ described both fermented and unfermented grape juice. Grape juice was preserved both by fermentation and by boiling down to half or one third its original volume to obtain an unfermented concentrated juice that would keep for years.

In our day, most wines have the alcohol content artificially increased by adding sugar during fermentation, and fortified wines (such as Port and Sherry) have extra alcohol added outright.

In Biblical times it was customary to decrease the strength of wine by adding two or three parts water to one part wine. By doing this, Jews observed Old Testament warnings against strong drink (Proverbs 20:1; Isaiah 5:11).

The wording in Revelation 14:10 relates to this practice: “He himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation.” The original has “poured out unmixed”.

The wisdom of diluting wine is substantiated by modern research. Alcohol damages the skin, brain, liver, heart and other parts of the body, and causes death when the alcohol content in the blood reaches 0.4 percent.

Mnesitheus, an Athenian medical doctor in the forth century BC, wrote of wine*: “In daily life, to those who mix and drink it moderately, it gives good cheer. But if you overstep the bounds, it brings violence. Mix it half and half, and you get madness! Unmixed, bodily collapse!” Eubulus, an Athenian writer and statesman who lived about the same time, wrote that harm comes to those who drink wine stronger than three parts wine to nine-parts water.

Thus, the wine that Jesus used had much less alcohol than most wine sold today.

They who wish to follow Jesus’ example must remember that He never sinned: “We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Since we are told to be sober, and both drunkenness and addiction are condemned in Scripture, Jesus  never drank too much, not even once, and He was not addicted to wine.

Timothy, who previously drank no wine, was encouraged by Paul to use a little wine for medicinal purposes: “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities” (1 Timothy 5:23).

From this, we may conclude that it is not a sin to drink small amounts of wine as long as one remains completely sober and is not addicted.

The Scriptures also teach, however, that there are circumstances under which one should not drink at all. Priests under the Old Covenant were to drink no wine when they were on duty. “Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean, and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them by the hand of Moses” (Leviticus 10:9-11). “No priest shall drink wine when he enters the inner court” (Ezekiel 44:21).

Although this no longer applies as law, we should consider the extent to which the reasoning and principles behind this Old-Testament restriction might still apply to church leaders under the New Covenant.

People in important positions should not drink. “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes intoxicating drink; lest they drink and forget the law, and pervert the justice of all the afflicted” (Proverbs 31:4, 5).

In our age, this applies to anyone who operates a vehicle. Even worldly people encourage drivers not to drink at all with the slogan: “If you’ve had a drink, let someone else drive.”

There are also health considerations. The American Medical Association advises expectant mothers not to drink alcoholic beverages at all because even small amounts of alcohol in the mother’s blood can cause brain damage to an unborn child. It must also be taken into consideration that because of the lower blood volume, women are more sensitive to alcohol than men. On average, half a glass of wine puts the same percentage of alcohol into a woman’s blood as a whole glass for a man. Some studies indicate that alcohol-use by a father can cause brain damage to his children.

Because their brains are still developing, alcohol can also cause brain-damage to children and adolescents. Thus, the American Medical Association recommends that no one under 21 should drink alcohol at all.

Certain medications, including many pain killers, may not be combined with alcohol. Even small amounts of alcohol trigger migraines and panic attacks in some people, after the alcohol wears off.

An alcoholic may not drink alcohol at all. Anyone can become addicted to alcohol. Certain people, however, are extremely susceptible to alcohol addiction. This incurable condition is called alcoholism. It is estimated that from 5 to 7% of the population are active alcoholics. The percentage that are latent alcoholics is difficult to estimate, but it is believed to also be from 5 to 7%. Although latent alcoholics have never used alcohol, because of their make-up, they would become enslaved if they did.

It has been discovered that an alcoholic’s body quickly compensates for alcohol, which means that he can drink alcohol without appearing drunk. But precisely because his body adjusts to alcohol so fast, he also becomes quickly dependent and enslaved, and cannot get along without alcohol once he starts drinking. He gradually needs more and more to keep from having distressing withdrawal symptoms. Thus he is locked into a vicious circle, and alcohol eventually destroys his health and ruins his life unless he can accept the reality that for him the only solution is not to drink at all.

Alcoholism manifests itself in different ways. Compulsive use of alcohol can be either continuous or periodic.

Some alcoholics start by drinking a small amount of alcohol every day, and although they never appear drunk at first, the amount they need daily gradually increases until the alcohol in their blood finally starts disrupting their personal, family, social and professional activities.

Other alcoholics do not drink every day, but are unable to stop after one drink: one drink leads to another, and another. After drinking too much, the bad consequences can cause them to refrain from drinking for a while. But the next time they have an alcoholic beverage, the same thing happens.

The causes of alcoholism are complex. The various underlying factors include a genetic element. Studies have shown that (whereas in the general population the chance of being an alcoholic is between 10 and 15%) the child of an alcoholic has a 25% chance of being highly susceptible to alcohol addiction. It is not dishonorable to have this hereditary susceptibility, but someone who does, must be able to accept the fact that he must avoid alcohol entirely to keep from becoming enslaved.

Some of the early warning signs of alcoholism are: needing a certain amount of alcohol every day; planning to take just one drink but ending up taking several; having a craving and enthusiasm for alcoholic beverages; having a drink before stressful situations; having a drink to calm one’s nerves; drinking alone; having a drink in the morning; neglecting responsibilities to buy alcohol; becoming more accident prone; hiding the amount drunk from family and friends; denying that there is a problem when others suggest that too much is being drunk.

Denial is common even in extremely advanced stages of alcoholism! The addict does not think straight about his use of alcohol. Even close family members can also be in denial and make excuses for the alcoholic!

Christians must be sober. We may not befuddle our minds with alcohol or be addicted to alcohol.

“Thus be alert in your thinking, be sober” (1 Peter 1:13 RD).

Avoidance of alcohol-abuse is a matter of life and death, both physically and spiritually. Through alcohol, Satan destroys many lives, and turns many homes into hell on earth. In addition to the thousands of deaths each year from alcohol poisoning and alcohol-related illnesses such as liver failure, alcohol is involved in 50% of arrests, in 40% of traffic fatalities, in 30% of fire fatalities, in 30% of drownings and in 20% of suicides. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Let us be sober. “Let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8). Amen.

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive


* Quoted by Athenaeus in The Deipnosophists or The Banquet of the Learned. The original, in a different translation, can be found on page 59 at this web address of the University of Wisconsin, followed by a quotation from Eubulus with similar content:

Bible Reading July 10 - 12 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading July 10 - 12

World  English  Bible

July 10

2 Kings 16-18

2Ki 16:1 In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign.

2Ki 16:2 Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign; and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: and he didn't do that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh his God, like David his father.

2Ki 16:3 But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yes, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the nations, whom Yahweh cast out from before the children of Israel.

2Ki 16:4 He sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.

2Ki 16:5 Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to war: and they besieged Ahaz, but could not overcome him.

2Ki 16:6 At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drove the Jews from Elath; and the Syrians came to Elath, and lived there, to this day.

2Ki 16:7 So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria, saying, I am your servant and your son: come up, and save me out of the hand of the king of Syria, and out of the hand of the king of Israel, who rise up against me.

2Ki 16:8 Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in the house of Yahweh, and in the treasures of the king's house, and sent it for a present to the king of Assyria.

2Ki 16:9 The king of Assyria listened to him; and the king of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried the people of it captive to Kir, and killed Rezin.

2Ki 16:10 King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria, and saw the altar that was at Damascus; and king Ahaz sent to Urijah the priest the fashion of the altar, and its pattern, according to all its workmanship.

2Ki 16:11 Urijah the priest built an altar: according to all that king Ahaz had sent from Damascus, so did Urijah the priest make it against the coming of king Ahaz from Damascus.

2Ki 16:12 When the king was come from Damascus, the king saw the altar: and the king drew near to the altar, and offered thereon.

2Ki 16:13 He burnt his burnt offering and his meal offering, and poured his drink offering, and sprinkled the blood of his peace offerings, on the altar.

2Ki 16:14 The bronze altar, which was before Yahweh, he brought from the forefront of the house, from between his altar and the house of Yahweh, and put it on the north side of his altar.

2Ki 16:15 King Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, On the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening meal offering, and the king's burnt offering, and his meal offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their meal offering, and their drink offerings; and sprinkle on it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice: but the bronze altar shall be for me to inquire by.

2Ki 16:16 Urijah the priest did so, according to all that king Ahaz commanded.

2Ki 16:17 King Ahaz cut off the panels of the bases, and removed the basin from off them, and took down the sea from off the bronze oxen that were under it, and put it on a pavement of stone.

2Ki 16:18 The covered way for the Sabbath that they had built in the house, and the king's entry outside, turned he to the house of Yahweh, because of the king of Assyria.

2Ki 16:19 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaz which he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

2Ki 16:20 Ahaz slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.

2Ki 17:1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah began Hoshea the son of Elah to reign in Samaria over Israel, and reigned nine years.

2Ki 17:2 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, yet not as the kings of Israel who were before him.

2Ki 17:3 Against him came up Shalmaneser king of Assyria; and Hoshea became his servant, and brought him tribute.

2Ki 17:4 The king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea; for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and offered no tribute to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year: therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison.

2Ki 17:5 Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years.

2Ki 17:6 In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away to Assyria, and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

2Ki 17:7 It was so, because the children of Israel had sinned against Yahweh their God, who brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods,

2Ki 17:8 and walked in the statutes of the nations, whom Yahweh cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they made.

2Ki 17:9 The children of Israel did secretly things that were not right against Yahweh their God: and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fortified city;

2Ki 17:10 and they set them up pillars and Asherim on every high hill, and under every green tree;

2Ki 17:11 and there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the nations whom Yahweh carried away before them; and they worked wicked things to provoke Yahweh to anger;

2Ki 17:12 and they served idols, of which Yahweh had said to them, You shall not do this thing.

2Ki 17:13 Yet Yahweh testified to Israel, and to Judah, by every prophet, and every seer, saying, Turn from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets.

2Ki 17:14 Notwithstanding, they would not hear, but hardened their neck, like the neck of their fathers, who didn't believe in Yahweh their God.

2Ki 17:15 They rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified to them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the nations that were around them, concerning whom Yahweh had commanded them that they should not do like them.

2Ki 17:16 They forsook all the commandments of Yahweh their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made an Asherah, and worshiped all the army of the sky, and served Baal.

2Ki 17:17 They caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, to provoke him to anger.

2Ki 17:18 Therefore Yahweh was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only.

2Ki 17:19 Also Judah didn't keep the commandments of Yahweh their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made.

2Ki 17:20 Yahweh rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight.

2Ki 17:21 For he tore Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drove Israel from following Yahweh, and made them sin a great sin.

2Ki 17:22 The children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they didn't depart from them;

2Ki 17:23 until Yahweh removed Israel out of his sight, as he spoke by all his servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away out of their own land to Assyria to this day.

2Ki 17:24 The king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Avva, and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they possessed Samaria, and lived in the cities of it.

2Ki 17:25 So it was, at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they didn't fear Yahweh: therefore Yahweh sent lions among them, which killed some of them.

2Ki 17:26 Therefore they spoke to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which you have carried away, and placed in the cities of Samaria, don't know the law of the god of the land: therefore he has sent lions among them, and behold, they kill them, because they don't know the law of the god of the land.

2Ki 17:27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry there one of the priests whom you brought from there; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the law of the god of the land.

2Ki 17:28 So one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and lived in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear Yahweh.

2Ki 17:29 However every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities in which they lived.

2Ki 17:30 The men of Babylon made Succoth Benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima,

2Ki 17:31 and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; and the Sepharvites burnt their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.

2Ki 17:32 So they feared Yahweh, and made to them from among themselves priests of the high places, who sacrificed for them in the houses of the high places.

2Ki 17:33 They feared Yahweh, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations from among whom they had been carried away.

2Ki 17:34 To this day they do after the former manner: they don't fear Yahweh, neither do they after their statutes, or after their ordinances, or after the law or after the commandment which Yahweh commanded the children of Jacob, whom he named Israel;

2Ki 17:35 with whom Yahweh had made a covenant, and commanded them, saying, You shall not fear other gods, nor bow yourselves to them, nor serve them, nor sacrifice to them:

2Ki 17:36 but Yahweh, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm, him you shall fear, and to him you shall bow yourselves, and to him you shall sacrifice:

2Ki 17:37 and the statutes and the ordinances, and the law and the commandment, which he wrote for you, you shall observe to do forevermore; and you shall not fear other gods:

2Ki 17:38 and you shall not forget the covenant that I have made with you; neither shall you fear other gods:

2Ki 17:39 but you shall fear Yahweh your God; and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.

2Ki 17:40 However they did not listen, but they did after their former manner.

2Ki 17:41 So these nations feared Yahweh, and served their engraved images; their children likewise, and their children's children, as did their fathers, so do they to this day.

2Ki 18:1 Now it happened in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.

2Ki 18:2 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah.

2Ki 18:3 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that David his father had done.

2Ki 18:4 He removed the high places, and broke the pillars, and cut down the Asherah: and he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made; for to those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it; and he called it Nehushtan.

2Ki 18:5 He trusted in Yahweh, the God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor among them that were before him.

2Ki 18:6 For he joined with Yahweh; he didn't depart from following him, but kept his commandments, which Yahweh commanded Moses.

2Ki 18:7 Yahweh was with him; wherever he went forth he prospered: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and didn't serve him.

2Ki 18:8 He struck the Philistines to Gaza and its borders, from the tower of the watchmen to the fortified city.

2Ki 18:9 It happened in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, which was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Shalmaneser king of Assyria came up against Samaria, and besieged it.

2Ki 18:10 At the end of three years they took it: in the sixth year of Hezekiah, which was the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken.

2Ki 18:11 The king of Assyria carried Israel away to Assyria, and put them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes,

2Ki 18:12 because they didn't obey the voice of Yahweh their God, but transgressed his covenant, even all that Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded, and would not hear it, nor do it.

2Ki 18:13 Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fortified cities of Judah, and took them.

2Ki 18:14 Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended; return from me: that which you put on me will I bear. The king of Assyria appointed to Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold.

2Ki 18:15 Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of Yahweh, and in the treasures of the king's house.

2Ki 18:16 At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of Yahweh, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.

2Ki 18:17 The king of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and Rabshakeh from Lachish to king Hezekiah with a great army to Jerusalem. They went up and came to Jerusalem. When they were come up, they came and stood by the conduit of the upper pool, which is in the highway of the fuller's field.

2Ki 18:18 When they had called to the king, there came out to them Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebnah the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder.

2Ki 18:19 Rabshakeh said to them, Say now to Hezekiah, Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this in which you trust?

2Ki 18:20 You say (but they are but vain words), There is counsel and strength for the war. Now on whom do you trust, that you have rebelled against me?

2Ki 18:21 Now, behold, you trust in the staff of this bruised reed, even in Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust on him.

2Ki 18:22 But if you tell me, We trust in Yahweh our God; isn't that he whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and has said to Judah and to Jerusalem, You shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem?

2Ki 18:23 Now therefore, Please give pledges to my master the king of Assyria, and I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them.

2Ki 18:24 How then can you turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants, and put your trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?

2Ki 18:25 Am I now come up without Yahweh against this place to destroy it? Yahweh said to me, Go up against this land, and destroy it.

2Ki 18:26 Then said Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, and Shebnah, and Joah, to Rabshakeh, Please speak to your servants in the Syrian language; for we understand it: and don't speak with us in the Jews' language, in the ears of the people who are on the wall.

2Ki 18:27 But Rabshakeh said to them, Has my master sent me to your master, and to you, to speak these words? Hasn't he sent me to the men who sit on the wall, to eat their own dung, and to drink their own water with you?

2Ki 18:28 Then Rabshakeh stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language, and spoke, saying, Hear the word of the great king, the king of Assyria.

2Ki 18:29 Thus says the king, Don't let Hezekiah deceive you; for he will not be able to deliver you out of his hand:

2Ki 18:30 neither let Hezekiah make you trust in Yahweh, saying, Yahweh will surely deliver us, and this city shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.

2Ki 18:31 Don't listen to Hezekiah: for thus says the king of Assyria, Make your peace with me, and come out to me; and everyone of you eat of his vine, and everyone of his fig tree, and everyone drink the waters of his own cistern;

2Ki 18:32 Until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and of honey, that you may live, and not die: and don't listen to Hezekiah, when he persuades you, saying, Yahweh will deliver us.

2Ki 18:33 Has any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?

2Ki 18:34 Where are the gods of Hamath, and of Arpad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivvah? have they delivered Samaria out of my hand?

2Ki 18:35 Who are they among all the gods of the countries, that have delivered their country out of my hand, that Yahweh should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?

2Ki 18:36 But the people held their peace, and answered him not a word; for the king's commandment was, saying, Don't answer him.

2Ki 18:37 Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.

July 11

2 Kings 19-21

2Ki 19:1 It happened, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he tore his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of Yahweh.

2Ki 19:2 He sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.

2Ki 19:3 They said to him, Thus says Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of rejection; for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.

2Ki 19:4 It may be Yahweh your God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master has sent to defy the living God, and will rebuke the words which Yahweh your God has heard. Therefore lift up your prayer for the remnant that is left.

2Ki 19:5 So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah.

2Ki 19:6 Isaiah said to them, Thus you shall tell your master, Thus says Yahweh, Don't be afraid of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.

2Ki 19:7 Behold, I will put a spirit in him, and he shall hear news, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.

2Ki 19:8 So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah; for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish.

2Ki 19:9 When he heard say of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, Behold, he is come out to fight against you, he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying,

2Ki 19:10 Thus you shall speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Don't let your God in whom you trust deceive you, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.

2Ki 19:11 Behold, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly: and shall you be delivered?

2Ki 19:12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them, which my fathers have destroyed, Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden that were in Telassar?

2Ki 19:13 Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivvah?

2Ki 19:14 Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of Yahweh, and spread it before Yahweh.

2Ki 19:15 Hezekiah prayed before Yahweh, and said, Yahweh, the God of Israel, who sit above the cherubim, you are the God, even you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth.

2Ki 19:16 Incline your ear, Yahweh, and hear; open your eyes, Yahweh, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, with which he has sent him to defy the living God.

2Ki 19:17 Of a truth, Yahweh, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands,

2Ki 19:18 and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone; therefore they have destroyed them.

2Ki 19:19 Now therefore, Yahweh our God, save us, I beg you, out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you Yahweh are God alone.

2Ki 19:20 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, Whereas you have prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria, I have heard you.

2Ki 19:21 This is the word that Yahweh has spoken concerning him: The virgin daughter of Zion has despised you and ridiculed you; the daughter of Jerusalem has shaken her head at you.

2Ki 19:22 Whom have you defied and blasphemed? and against whom have you exalted your voice and lifted up your eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel.

2Ki 19:23 By your messengers you have defied the Lord, and have said, With the multitude of my chariots am I come up to the height of the mountains, to the innermost parts of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars of it, and the choice fir trees of it; and I will enter into his farthest lodging place, the forest of his fruitful field.

2Ki 19:24 I have dug and drunk strange waters, and with the sole of my feet will I dry up all the rivers of Egypt.

2Ki 19:25 Haven't you heard how I have done it long ago, and formed it of ancient times? now have I brought it to pass, that it should be yours to lay waste fortified cities into ruinous heaps.

2Ki 19:26 Therefore their inhabitants were of small power, they were dismayed and confounded; they were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb, as the grass on the housetops, and as grain blasted before it is grown up.

2Ki 19:27 But I know your sitting down, and your going out, and your coming in, and your raging against me.

2Ki 19:28 Because of your raging against me, and because your arrogance is come up into my ears, therefore will I put my hook in your nose, and my bridle in your lips, and I will turn you back by the way by which you came.

2Ki 19:29 This shall be the sign to you: You shall eat this year that which grows of itself, and in the second year that which springs of the same; and in the third year sow, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat its fruit.

2Ki 19:30 The remnant that has escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.

2Ki 19:31 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and out of Mount Zion those who shall escape: the zeal of Yahweh shall perform this.

2Ki 19:32 Therefore thus says Yahweh concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come to this city, nor shoot an arrow there, neither shall he come before it with shield, nor cast up a mound against it.

2Ki 19:33 By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and he shall not come to this city, says Yahweh.

2Ki 19:34 For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake, and for my servant David's sake.

2Ki 19:35 It happened that night, that the angel of Yahweh went forth, and struck in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred eighty-five thousand: and when men arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.

2Ki 19:36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and lived at Nineveh.

2Ki 19:37 It happened, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Ararat. Esar Haddon his son reigned in his place.

2Ki 20:1 In those days was Hezekiah sick to death. Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, Thus says Yahweh, Set your house in order: for you shall die, and not live.

2Ki 20:2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed to Yahweh, saying,

2Ki 20:3 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. Hezekiah wept sore.

2Ki 20:4 It happened, before Isaiah was gone out into the middle part of the city, that the word of Yahweh came to him, saying,

2Ki 20:5 Turn back, and tell Hezekiah the prince of my people, Thus says Yahweh, the God of David your father, I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears: behold, I will heal you; on the third day you shall go up to the house of Yahweh.

2Ki 20:6 I will add to your days fifteen years; and I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for my own sake, and for my servant David's sake.

2Ki 20:7 Isaiah said, Take a cake of figs. They took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.

2Ki 20:8 Hezekiah said to Isaiah, What shall be the sign that Yahweh will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of Yahweh the third day?

2Ki 20:9 Isaiah said, This shall be the sign to you from Yahweh, that Yahweh will do the thing that he has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?

2Ki 20:10 Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to decline ten steps: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten steps.

2Ki 20:11 Isaiah the prophet cried to Yahweh; and he brought the shadow ten steps backward, by which it had gone down on the dial of Ahaz.

2Ki 20:12 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.

2Ki 20:13 Hezekiah listened to them, and showed them all the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and 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, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah didn't show them.

2Ki 20:14 Then came Isaiah the prophet to king Hezekiah, and said to him, What did these men say? and from where did they come to you? Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country, even from Babylon.

2Ki 20:15 He said, What have they seen in your house? Hezekiah answered, All that is in my house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.

2Ki 20:16 Isaiah said to Hezekiah, Hear the word of Yahweh.

2Ki 20:17 Behold, the days come, that all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have laid up in store to this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, says Yahweh.

2Ki 20:18 Of your sons who shall issue from you, whom you shall father, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.

2Ki 20:19 Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of Yahweh which you have spoken. He said moreover, Isn't it so, if peace and truth shall be in my days?

2Ki 20:20 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?

2Ki 20:21 Hezekiah slept with his fathers; and Manasseh his son reigned in his place.

2Ki 21:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Hephzibah.

2Ki 21:2 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, after the abominations of the nations whom Yahweh cast out before the children of Israel.

2Ki 21:3 For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made an Asherah, as did Ahab king of Israel, and worshiped all the army of the sky, and served them.

2Ki 21:4 He built altars in the house of Yahweh, of which Yahweh said, In Jerusalem will I put my name.

2Ki 21:5 He built altars for all the army of the sky in the two courts of the house of Yahweh.

2Ki 21:6 He made his son to pass through the fire, and practiced sorcery, and used enchantments, and dealt with those who had familiar spirits, and with wizards: he worked much evil in the sight of Yahweh, to provoke him to anger.

2Ki 21:7 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;

2Ki 21:8 neither will I 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.

2Ki 21:9 But they didn't listen: and Manasseh seduced them to do that which is evil more than did the nations whom Yahweh destroyed before the children of Israel.

2Ki 21:10 Yahweh spoke by his servants the prophets, saying,

2Ki 21:11 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 made Judah also to sin with his idols;

2Ki 21:12 therefore thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, Behold, I bring such evil on Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears shall tingle.

2Ki 21:13 I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab; and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down.

2Ki 21:14 I will cast off the remnant of my inheritance, and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they shall become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies;

2Ki 21:15 because they have done that which is evil in my sight, and have provoked me to anger, since the day their fathers came forth out of Egypt, even to this day.

2Ki 21:16 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 the sight of Yahweh.

2Ki 21:17 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?

2Ki 21:18 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.

2Ki 21:19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned two years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah.

2Ki 21:20 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, as did Manasseh his father.

2Ki 21:21 He walked in all the way that his father walked in, and served the idols that his father served, and worshiped them:

2Ki 21:22 and he forsook Yahweh, the God of his fathers, and didn't walk in the way of Yahweh.

2Ki 21:23 The servants of Amon conspired against him, and put the king to death in his own house.

2Ki 21:24 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.

2Ki 21:25 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?

2Ki 21:26 He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza: and Josiah his son reigned in his place.

July 12

2 Kings 22-25

2Ki 22:1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign; and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath.

2Ki 22:2 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, and walked in all the way of David his father, and didn't turn aside to the right hand or to the left.

2Ki 22:3 It happened in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, that the king sent Shaphan, the son of Azaliah the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to the house of Yahweh, saying,

2Ki 22:4 Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the money which is brought into the house of Yahweh, which the keepers of the threshold have gathered of the people:

2Ki 22:5 and let them deliver it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of Yahweh; and let them give it to the workmen who are in the house of Yahweh, to repair the breaches of the house,

2Ki 22:6 to the carpenters, and to the builders, and to the masons, and for buying timber and cut stone to repair the house.

2Ki 22:7 However there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand; for they dealt faithfully.

2Ki 22:8 Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of Yahweh. Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan, and he read it.

2Ki 22:9 Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of Yahweh.

2Ki 22:10 Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest has delivered me a book. Shaphan read it before the king.

2Ki 22:11 It happened, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he tore his clothes.

2Ki 22:12 The king commanded 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,

2Ki 22:13 Go inquire of Yahweh for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found; for great is the wrath of Yahweh that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to all that which is written concerning us.

2Ki 22:14 So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asaiah, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in the second quarter); and they talked with her.

2Ki 22:15 She said to them, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you to me,

2Ki 22:16 Thus says Yahweh, Behold, I will bring evil on this place, and on its inhabitants, even all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read.

2Ki 22:17 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the work of their hands, therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place, and it shall not be quenched.

2Ki 22:18 But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of Yahweh, thus you shall tell him, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: As touching the words which you have heard,

2Ki 22:19 because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before Yahweh, when you heard what I spoke against this place, and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and have torn your clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard you, says Yahweh.

2Ki 22:20 Therefore, behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, neither shall your eyes see all the evil which I will bring on this place. They brought the king word again.

2Ki 23:1 The king sent, and they gathered to him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem.

2Ki 23:2 The king went up to the house of Yahweh, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of Yahweh.

2Ki 23:3 The king stood by the pillar, and made a covenant before Yahweh, to walk after Yahweh, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and all his soul, to confirm the words of this covenant that were written in this book: and all the people stood to the covenant.

2Ki 23:4 The king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the threshold, to bring forth out of the temple of Yahweh all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the Asherah, and for all the army of the sky, and he burned them outside of Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried the ashes of them to Bethel.

2Ki 23:5 He put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places around Jerusalem; those also who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the army of the sky.

2Ki 23:6 He brought out the Asherah from the house of Yahweh, outside of Jerusalem, to the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and beat it to dust, and cast its dust on the graves of the common people.

2Ki 23:7 He broke down the houses of the sodomites, that were in the house of Yahweh, where the women wove hangings for the Asherah.

2Ki 23:8 He brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and defiled the high places where the priests had burned incense, from Geba to Beersheba; and he broke down the high places of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Joshua the governor of the city, which were on a man's left hand at the gate of the city.

2Ki 23:9 Nevertheless the priests of the high places didn't come up to the altar of Yahweh in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread among their brothers.

2Ki 23:10 He defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.

2Ki 23:11 He took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of the house of Yahweh, by the chamber of Nathan Melech the officer, who was in the court; and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire.

2Ki 23:12 The altars that were on the roof of the upper chamber of Ahaz, which the kings of Judah had made, and the altars which Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of Yahweh, did the king break down, and beat them down from there, and cast the dust of them into the brook Kidron.

2Ki 23:13 The high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mountain of corruption, which Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the abomination of the Sidonians, and for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Milcom the abomination of the children of Ammon, did the king defile.

2Ki 23:14 He broke in pieces the pillars, and cut down the Asherim, and filled their places with the bones of men.

2Ki 23:15 Moreover the altar that was at Bethel, and the high place which Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, had made, even that altar and the high place he broke down; and he burned the high place and beat it to dust, and burned the Asherah.

2Ki 23:16 As Josiah turned himself, he spied the tombs that were there in the mountain; and he sent, and took the bones out of the tombs, and burned them on the altar, and defiled it, according to the word of Yahweh which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these things.

2Ki 23:17 Then he said, What monument is that which I see? The men of the city told him, It is the tomb of the man of God, who came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that you have done against the altar of Bethel.

2Ki 23:18 He said, Let him be; let no man move his bones. So they let his bones alone, with the bones of the prophet who came out of Samaria.

2Ki 23:19 All the houses also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke Yahweh to anger, Josiah took away, and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Bethel.

2Ki 23:20 He killed all the priests of the high places that were there, on the altars, and burned men's bones on them; and he returned to Jerusalem.

2Ki 23:21 The king commanded all the people, saying, Keep the Passover to Yahweh your God, as it is written in this book of the covenant.

2Ki 23:22 Surely there was not kept such a Passover from the days of the judges who judged Israel, nor in all the days of the kings of Israel, nor of the kings of Judah;

2Ki 23:23 but in the eighteenth year of king Josiah was this Passover kept to Yahweh in Jerusalem.

2Ki 23:24 Moreover those who had familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the teraphim, and the idols, and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, did Josiah put away, that he might confirm the words of the law which were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in the house of Yahweh.

2Ki 23:25 Like him was there no king before him, who turned to Yahweh with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.

2Ki 23:26 Notwithstanding, Yahweh didn't turn from the fierceness of his great wrath, with which his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocation with which Manasseh had provoked him.

2Ki 23:27 Yahweh said, I will remove Judah also out of my sight, as I have removed Israel, and I will cast off this city which I have chosen, even Jerusalem, and the house of which I said, My name shall be there.

2Ki 23:28 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and all that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?

2Ki 23:29 In his days Pharaoh Necoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and Pharaoh Necoh killed him at Megiddo, when he had seen him.

2Ki 23:30 His servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own tomb. The people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father's place.

2Ki 23:31 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.

2Ki 23:32 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, according to all that his fathers had done.

2Ki 23:33 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.

2Ki 23:34 Pharaoh Necoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the room of Josiah his father, and changed his name to Jehoiakim: but he took Jehoahaz away; and he came to Egypt, and died there.

2Ki 23:35 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, of everyone according to his taxation, to give it to Pharaoh Necoh.

2Ki 23:36 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Zebidah the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah.

2Ki 23:37 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, according to all that his fathers had done.

2Ki 24:1 In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him.

2Ki 24:2 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 the word of Yahweh, which he spoke by his servants the prophets.

2Ki 24:3 Surely at the commandment of Yahweh came this on Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did,

2Ki 24:4 and also for the innocent blood that he shed; for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood: and Yahweh would not pardon.

2Ki 24:5 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?

2Ki 24:6 So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers; and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place.

2Ki 24:7 The king of Egypt didn't come again out of his land any more; for the king of Babylon had taken, from the brook of Egypt to the river Euphrates, all that pertained to the king of Egypt.

2Ki 24:8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign; and he reigned in Jerusalem three months: and his mother's name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.

2Ki 24:9 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, according to all that his father had done.

2Ki 24:10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up to Jerusalem, and the city was besieged.

2Ki 24:11 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to the city, while his servants were besieging it;

2Ki 24:12 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 took him in the eighth year of his reign.

2Ki 24:13 He carried out there all the treasures of the house of Yahweh, 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 the temple of Yahweh, as Yahweh had said.

2Ki 24:14 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; none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.

2Ki 24:15 He carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon; and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the chief men of the land, carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.

2Ki 24:16 All the men of might, even seven thousand, and the craftsmen and the smiths one thousand, all of them strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.

2Ki 24:17 The king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin's father's brother, king is his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

2Ki 24:18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.

2Ki 24:19 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, according to all that Jehoiakim had done.

2Ki 24:20 For through the anger of Yahweh did it happen in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

2Ki 25:1 It happened in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, and encamped against it; and they built forts against it around it.

2Ki 25:2 So the city was besieged to the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.

2Ki 25:3 On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land.

2Ki 25:4 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.

2Ki 25:5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him.

2Ki 25:6 Then they took the king, and carried him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment on him.

2Ki 25:7 They killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him in fetters, and carried him to Babylon.

2Ki 25:8 Now in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, to Jerusalem.

2Ki 25:9 He burnt the house of Yahweh, and the king's house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, even every great house, burnt he with fire.

2Ki 25:10 All the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down the walls around Jerusalem.

2Ki 25:11 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, did Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carry away captive.

2Ki 25:12 But the captain of the guard left of the poorest of the land to work the vineyards and fields.

2Ki 25:13 The pillars of brass that were in the house of Yahweh, and the bases and the bronze sea that were in the house of Yahweh, did the Chaldeans break in pieces, and carried the brass of them to Babylon.

2Ki 25:14 The pots, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass with which they ministered, took they away.

2Ki 25:15 The fire pans, and the basins, that which was of gold, in gold, and that which was of silver, in silver, the captain of the guard took away.

2Ki 25:16 The two pillars, the one sea, and the bases, which Solomon had made for the house of Yahweh, the brass of all these vessels was without weight.

2Ki 25:17 The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and a capital of brass was on it; and the height of the capital was three cubits, with network and pomegranates on the capital around it, all of brass: and like to these had the second pillar with network.

2Ki 25:18 The captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the threshold:

2Ki 25:19 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.

2Ki 25:20 Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah.

2Ki 25:21 The king of Babylon struck them, and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away captive out of his land.

2Ki 25:22 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.

2Ki 25:23 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.

2Ki 25:24 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 shall be well with you.

2Ki 25:25 But it happened in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the royal seed came, and ten men with him, and struck Gedaliah, so that he died, and the Jews and the Chaldeans that were with him at Mizpah.

2Ki 25:26 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.

2Ki 25:27 It happened in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, that Evilmerodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, did lift up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah out of prison;

2Ki 25:28 and he spoke kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings who were with him in Babylon,

2Ki 25:29 and changed his prison garments. Jehoiachin ate bread before him continually all the days of his life:

2Ki 25:30 and for his allowance, there was a continual allowance given him of the king, every day a portion, all the days of his life.

Jul. 10, 11

Acts 8

Act 8:1 Saul was consenting to his death. A great persecution arose against the assembly which was in Jerusalem in that day. They were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except for the apostles.

Act 8:2 Devout men buried Stephen, and lamented greatly over him.

Act 8:3 But Saul ravaged the assembly, entering into every house, and dragged both men and women off to prison.

Act 8:4 Therefore those who were scattered abroad went around preaching the word.

Act 8:5 Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and proclaimed to them the Christ.

Act 8:6 The multitudes listened with one accord to the things that were spoken by Philip, when they heard and saw the signs which he did.

Act 8:7 For unclean spirits came out of many of those who had them. They came out, crying with a loud voice. Many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed.

Act 8:8 There was great joy in that city.

Act 8:9 But there was a certain man, Simon by name, who used to practice sorcery in the city, and amazed the people of Samaria, making himself out to be some great one,

Act 8:10 to whom they all listened, from the least to the greatest, saying, "This man is that great power of God."

Act 8:11 They listened to him, because for a long time he had amazed them with his sorceries.

Act 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching good news concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

Act 8:13 Simon himself also believed. Being baptized, he continued with Philip. Seeing signs and great miracles occurring, he was amazed.

Act 8:14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,

Act 8:15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit;

Act 8:16 for as yet he had fallen on none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of Christ Jesus.

Act 8:17 Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

Act 8:18 Now when Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money,

Act 8:19 saying, "Give me also this power, that whoever I lay my hands on may receive the Holy Spirit."

Act 8:20 But Peter said to him, "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!

Act 8:21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart isn't right before God.

Act 8:22 Repent therefore of this, your wickedness, and ask God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.

Act 8:23 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity."

Act 8:24 Simon answered, "Pray for me to the Lord, that none of the things which you have spoken happen to me."

Act 8:25 They therefore, when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the Good News to many villages of the Samaritans.

Act 8:26 But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, "Arise, and go toward the south to the way that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. This is a desert."

Act 8:27 He arose and went; and behold, there was a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was over all her treasure, who had come to Jerusalem to worship.

Act 8:28 He was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah.

Act 8:29 The Spirit said to Philip, "Go near, and join yourself to this chariot."

Act 8:30 Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?"

Act 8:31 He said, "How can I, unless someone explains it to me?" He begged Philip to come up and sit with him.

Act 8:32 Now the passage of the Scripture which he was reading was this, "He was led as a sheep to the slaughter. As a lamb before his shearer is silent, so he doesn't open his mouth.

Act 8:33 In his humiliation, his judgment was taken away. Who will declare His generation? For his life is taken from the earth."

Act 8:34 The eunuch answered Philip, "Who is the prophet talking about? About himself, or about someone else?"

Act 8:35 Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture, preached to him Jesus.

Act 8:36 As they went on the way, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, "Behold, here is water. What is keeping me from being baptized?"

Act 8:37 "Philip said, 'If you believe with all your heart, you may.' He answered, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.' "

Act 8:38 He commanded the chariot to stand still, and they both went down into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.

Act 8:39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, and the eunuch didn't see him any more, for he went on his way rejoicing.

Act 8:40 But Philip was found at Azotus. Passing through, he preached the Good News to all the cities, until he came to Caesarea.

Jul. 12

Acts 9

Act 9:1 But Saul, still breathing threats and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest,

Act 9:2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

Act 9:3 As he traveled, it happened that he got close to Damascus, and suddenly a light from the sky shone around him.

Act 9:4 He fell on the earth, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"

Act 9:5 He said, "Who are you, Lord?" The Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.

Act 9:6 But rise up, and enter into the city, and you will be told what you must do."

Act 9:7 The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the sound, but seeing no one.

Act 9:8 Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened, he saw no one. They led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.

Act 9:9 He was without sight for three days, and neither ate nor drank.

Act 9:10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, "Ananias!" He said, "Behold, it's me, Lord."

Act 9:11 The Lord said to him, "Arise, and go to the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judah for one named Saul, a man of Tarsus. For behold, he is praying,

Act 9:12 and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in, and laying his hands on him, that he might receive his sight."

Act 9:13 But Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he did to your saints at Jerusalem.

Act 9:14 Here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name."

Act 9:15 But the Lord said to him, "Go your way, for he is my chosen vessel to bear my name before the nations and kings, and the children of Israel.

Act 9:16 For I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name's sake."

Act 9:17 Ananias departed, and entered into the house. Laying his hands on him, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord, who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me, that you may receive your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit."

Act 9:18 Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he received his sight. He arose and was baptized.

Act 9:19 He took food and was strengthened. Saul stayed several days with the disciples who were at Damascus.

Act 9:20 Immediately in the synagogues he proclaimed the Christ, that he is the Son of God.

Act 9:21 All who heard him were amazed, and said, "Isn't this he who in Jerusalem made havoc of those who called on this name? And he had come here intending to bring them bound before the chief priests!"

Act 9:22 But Saul increased more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived at Damascus, proving that this is the Christ.

Act 9:23 When many days were fulfilled, the Jews conspired together to kill him,

Act 9:24 but their plot became known to Saul. They watched the gates both day and night that they might kill him,

Act 9:25 but his disciples took him by night, and let him down through the wall, lowering him in a basket.

Act 9:26 When Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join himself to the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple.

Act 9:27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared to them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus.

Act 9:28 He was with them entering into Jerusalem,

Act 9:29 preaching boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus. He spoke and disputed against the Hellenists, but they were seeking to kill him.

Act 9:30 When the brothers knew it, they brought him down to Caesarea, and sent him off to Tarsus.

Act 9:31 So the assemblies throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace, and were built up. They were multiplied, walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit.

Act 9:32 It happened, as Peter went throughout all those parts, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda.

Act 9:33 There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, because he was paralyzed.

Act 9:34 Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed!" Immediately he arose.

Act 9:35 All who lived at Lydda and in Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.

Act 9:36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which when translated, means Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and acts of mercy which she did.

Act 9:37 It happened in those days that she fell sick, and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper chamber.

Act 9:38 As Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them.

Act 9:39 Peter got up and went with them. When he had come, they brought him into the upper chamber. All the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them.

Act 9:40 Peter put them all out, and kneeled down and prayed. Turning to the body, he said, "Tabitha, get up!" She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.

Act 9:41 He gave her his hand, and raised her up. Calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive.

Act 9:42 And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.

Act 9:43 It happened, that he stayed many days in Joppa with one Simon, a tanner.