Through the Bible – Day 134

Bible text(s)

King Joash of Judah

1Joash became king of Judah in Jehu's seventh year as king of Israel, and he ruled forty years from Jerusalem. His mother Zibiah was from the town of Beersheba.

2Jehoiada the priest taught Joash what was right, and so for the rest of his life Joash obeyed the LORD. 3But even Joash did not destroy the local shrines, and they were still used as places for offering sacrifices.

4One day, Joash said to the priests, “Collect all the money that has been given to the LORD's temple, whether from taxes or gifts, 5and use it to repair the temple. You priests can contribute your own money too.”

6But the priests never started repairing the temple. So in the twenty-third year of his rule, 7Joash called for Jehoiada and the other priests and said, “Why aren't you using the money to repair the temple? Don't take any more money for yourselves. It is only to be used to pay for the repairs.” 8The priests agreed that they would not collect any more money or be in charge of the temple repairs.

9Jehoiada found a wooden box; he cut a hole in the top of it and set it on the right side of the altar where people went into the temple. Whenever someone gave money to the temple, the priests guarding the entrance would put it into this box. 10When the box was full of money, the king's secretary and the chief priest would count the money and put it in bags. 11Then they would give it to the men supervising the repairs to the temple. Some of the money was used to pay the builders, the woodworkers, 12the stonecutters, and the men who built the walls. And some was used to buy wood and stone and to pay any other costs for repairing the temple.

13While the repairs were being made, the money that was given to the temple was not used to make silver bowls, lamp snuffers, small sprinkling bowls, trumpets, or anything gold or silver for the temple. 14It went only to pay for repairs. 15The men in charge were honest, so no one had to keep track of the money.

16The fines that had to be paid along with the sacrifices to make things right and the sacrifices for sin did not go to the temple. This money belonged only to the priests.

17About the same time, King Hazael of Syria attacked the town of Gath and captured it. Next, he decided to attack Jerusalem. 18So Joash collected everything he and his ancestors Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah had dedicated to the LORD, as well as the gold in the storage rooms in the temple and palace. He sent it all to Hazael as a gift, and when Hazael received it, he ordered his troops to leave Jerusalem.

19Everything else Joash did while he was king is written in The History of the Kings of Judah. 20-21At the end of his rule, some of his officers rebelled against him. Jozabad son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer murdered him in a building where the land was filled in on the east side of Jerusalem, near the road to Silla. Joash was buried beside his ancestors in Jerusalem, and his son Amaziah became king.

King Jehoahaz of Israel

1Jehoahaz son of Jehu became king of Israel in the twenty-third year of Joash's rule in Judah. Jehoahaz ruled seventeen years from Samaria 2and disobeyed the LORD by doing wrong. He never stopped following the example of Jeroboam, who had caused the Israelites to sin.

3The LORD was angry with the Israelites, so he let King Hazael of Syria and his son Benhadad rule over them for a long time. 4Jehoahaz prayed to the LORD for help, and the LORD saw how terribly Hazael was treating the Israelites. He answered Jehoahaz 5by sending Israel a leader who rescued them from the Syrians, and the Israelites lived in peace as they had before. 6-7But Hazael had defeated Israel's army so badly that Jehoahaz had only ten chariots, fifty cavalry troops, and ten thousand regular soldiers left in his army.

The Israelites kept sinning and following the example of Jeroboam's family. They did not tear down the sacred poles that had been set up in Samaria for the worship of the goddess Asherah.

8Everything else Jehoahaz did while he was king, including his brave deeds, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. 9Jehoahaz died and was buried in Samaria, and his son Jehoash became king.

King Jehoash of Israel

10Jehoash became king of Israel in the thirty-seventh year of Joash's rule in Judah, and he ruled sixteen years from Samaria. 11He disobeyed the LORD by doing just like Jeroboam, who had caused the Israelites to sin.

12Everything else Jehoash did while he was king, including his war against King Amaziah of Judah, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. 13Jehoash died and was buried in Samaria beside the other Israelite kings. His son Jeroboam then became king.

Elisha the prophet dies

14Some time before the death of King Jehoash, Elisha the prophet was very sick and about to die. Jehoash went in and stood beside him, crying. He said, “Master, what will Israel's chariots and cavalry be able to do without you?”

15-16“Grab a bow and some arrows,” Elisha told him, “and hold them in your hand.” Jehoash grabbed the bow and arrows and held them. Elisha placed his hand on the king's hand 17and said, “Open the window facing east.” When it was open, Elisha shouted, “Now shoot!” Jehoash shot an arrow and Elisha said, “That arrow is a sign that the LORD will help you completely defeat the Syrian army at Aphek.”

18Elisha said, “Pick up the arrows and hit the ground with them.” Jehoash grabbed the arrows and hit the ground three times, then stopped. 19Elisha became angry with the king and exclaimed, “If you had struck it five or six times, you would completely wipe out the Syrians. Now you will defeat them only three times.”

20Elisha died and was buried.

Every year in the spring, Moab's leaders sent raiding parties into Israel. 21Once, while some Israelites were burying a man's body, they saw a group of Moabites. The Israelites quickly threw the body into Elisha's tomb and ran away. As soon as the man's body touched the bones of Elisha, the man came back to life and stood up.

Israel defeats Syria

22Israel was under the power of King Hazael of Syria during the entire rule of Jehoahaz. 23But the LORD was kind to the Israelites and showed them mercy because of his solemn agreement with their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In fact, he has never turned his back on them or let them be completely destroyed.

24Hazael died, and his son Benhadad then became king of Syria. 25King Jehoash of Israel attacked and defeated the Syrian army three times. He took back from Benhadad all the towns Hazael had captured in battle from his father Jehoahaz.

King Amaziah of Judah

1Amaziah son of Joash became king of Judah in the second year of Jehoash's rule in Israel. 2Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he ruled twenty-nine years from Jerusalem, which was also the home town of his mother Jehoaddin.

3Amaziah followed the example of his father Joash by obeying the LORD and doing right. But he was not as faithful as his ancestor David. 4Amaziah did not destroy the local shrines, and they were still used as places for offering sacrifices.

5As soon as Amaziah had control of Judah, he arrested and killed the officers who had murdered his father. 6But the children of those officers were not killed. The LORD had commanded in the Law of Moses that only the people who sinned were to be punished, not their parents or children.

7While Amaziah was king, he killed ten thousand Edomite soldiers in Salt Valley. He captured the town of Sela and renamed it Joktheel, which is still its name.

8One day, Amaziah sent a message to King Jehoash of Israel: “Come out and face me in battle!”

9Jehoash sent back this reply:

Once upon a time, a small thorn bush in Lebanon announced that his son was going to marry the daughter of a large cedar tree. But a wild animal came along and trampled the small bush.

10Amaziah, you think you're so powerful because you defeated Edom. Go ahead and celebrate—but stay at home. If you cause any trouble, both you and your kingdom of Judah will be destroyed.

11But Amaziah refused to listen. So Jehoash and his troops marched to the town of Beth-Shemesh in Judah to attack Amaziah and his troops. 12During the battle, Judah's army was crushed. Every soldier from Judah ran back home, 13and Jehoash captured Amaziah.

Jehoash then marched to Jerusalem and broke down the city wall from Ephraim Gate to Corner Gate, a section nearly two hundred metres long. 14He took the gold and silver, as well as everything of value from the LORD's temple and the king's treasury. He took hostages, then returned to Samaria.

15Everything else Jehoash did while he was king, including his brave deeds and how he defeated King Amaziah of Judah, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. 16Jehoash died and was buried in Samaria beside the other Israelite kings. His son Jeroboam then became king.

17Fifteen years after Jehoash died, 18-20some people in Jerusalem plotted against Amaziah. He was able to escape to the town of Lachish, but another group of people caught him and killed him there. His body was taken back to Jerusalem on horseback and buried beside his ancestors.

Everything else Amaziah did while he was king is written in The History of the Kings of Judah. 21After his death the people of Judah made his son Azariah king, even though he was only sixteen at the time. 22Azariah was the one who later recaptured and rebuilt the town of Elath.

King Jeroboam the Second of Israel

23Jeroboam son of Jehoash became king of Israel in the fifteenth year of Amaziah's rule in Judah. Jeroboam ruled forty-one years from Samaria. 24He disobeyed the LORD by following the evil example of Jeroboam son of Nebat, who had caused the Israelites to sin.

25Jeroboam extended the boundaries of Israel from Lebo-Hamath in the north to the Dead Sea in the south, just as the LORD had promised his servant Jonah son of Amittai, who was a prophet from Gath-Hepher. 26The LORD helped Jeroboam do this because he had seen how terribly the Israelites were suffering, whether slave or free, and no one was left to help them. 27And since the LORD had promised that he would not let Israel be completely destroyed, he helped Jeroboam rescue them.

28Everything else Jeroboam did while he was king, including his brave deeds and how he recaptured the towns of Damascus and Hamath, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. 29Jeroboam died and was buried, and his son Zechariah became king.

2 Kings 12:1-14:29CEVOpen in Bible reader

Jesus and Nicodemus

1There was a man named Nicodemus who was a Pharisee and a Jewish leader. 2One night he went to Jesus and said, “Sir, we know that God has sent you to teach us. You could not perform these miracles, unless God were with you.”

3Jesus replied, “I tell you for certain that you must be born from above before you can see God's kingdom!”

4Nicodemus asked, “How can a grown man ever be born a second time?”

5Jesus answered:

I tell you for certain that before you can get into God's kingdom, you must be born not only by water, but by the Spirit. 6Humans give life to their children. Yet only God's Spirit can change you into a child of God. 7Don't be surprised when I say that you must be born from above. 8Only God's Spirit gives new life. The Spirit is like the wind that blows wherever it wants to. You can hear the wind, but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going.

9“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.

10Jesus replied:

How can you be a teacher of Israel and not know these things? 11I tell you for certain that we know what we are talking about because we have seen it ourselves. But none of you will accept what we say. 12If you don't believe when I talk to you about things on earth, how can you possibly believe if I talk to you about things in heaven?

13No one has gone up to heaven except the Son of Man, who came down from there. 14And the Son of Man must be lifted up, just as that metal snake was lifted up by Moses in the desert. 15Then everyone who has faith in the Son of Man will have eternal life.

16God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. 17God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them! 18No one who has faith in God's Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn't have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God's only Son.

19The light has come into the world, and people who do evil things are judged guilty because they love the dark more than the light. 20People who do evil hate the light and won't come to the light, because it clearly shows what they have done. 21But everyone who lives by the truth will come to the light, because they want others to know that God is really the one doing what they do.

Jesus and John the Baptist

22Later, Jesus and his disciples went to Judea, where he stayed with them for a while and was baptizing people.

23-24John had not yet been put in jail. He was at Aenon near Salim, where there was a lot of water, and people were coming there for John to baptize them.

25John's followers got into an argument with a Jewish man about a ceremony of washing. 26They went to John and said, “Rabbi, you spoke about a man when you were with him east of the Jordan. He is now baptizing people, and everyone is going to him.”

27John replied:

No one can do anything unless God in heaven allows it. 28Surely you remember how I told you that I am not the Messiah. I am only the one sent ahead of him.

29At a wedding the groom is the one who gets married. The best man is glad just to be there and to hear the groom's voice. That's why I am so glad. 30Jesus must become more important, while I become less important.

John 3:1-30CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
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