Scripture quotations are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.
2 Chronicles 28
Ahaz was twenty years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. And he did not do what is right in the eyes of Yahweh like David his ancestor. But he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and also made molten idols for the Baals. And he himself burned incense in the valley of Ben-Hinnom and burned his sons in the fire, according to the detestable practices of the nations whom Yahweh drove out before the Israelites. And he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places, on the hilltops, and under every flourishing tree.
Then Yahweh his God gave him into the hand of the king of Aram who defeated him and captured many captives from him and brought them to Damascus. Moreover, he was also given into the hand of the king of Israel, and he defeated him by a great attack. And Pekah, the son of Remaliah, killed in one day one hundred and twenty thousand in Judah, all men of strength, because they forsook Yahweh the God of their ancestors. And Zikri, a mighty warrior of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the son of the king, Azrikam the commander of the house, and Elkanah the second to the king. And the Israelites captured two hundred thousand of their brothers, women, sons, and daughters. And they also plundered much booty from them and brought the booty to Samaria.
Now a prophet of Yahweh was there; Oded was his name. And he went out before the army that was coming to Samaria and said to them, "Look, it is on account of the anger of Yahweh, the God of your ancestors, against Judah that he gave them into your hands, and you killed them in a rage reaching to the heavens. So now, you yourselves plan to subdue people of Judah and Jerusalem as slaves and female servants for yourselves. Is there not also guilt on your part against Yahweh your God? So now, listen to me and return the captives of your brothers whom you have taken captive, for the fierce anger of Yahweh is against you."
Then men from the heads of Ephraim—Azariah the son of Jehohanan, Berekiah the son of Meshillemoth, Hezekiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai—stood against those returning from the fight. And they said to them, "You shall not bring the captives here, for it is as guilt against Yahweh upon us. You yourselves plan to add to our sins and to our guilt, but our guilt is very great, and there is great anger against Israel." So the soldiers left the captives and the plunder before the commanders and all the assembly. Then the men designated by name arose and took the captives and from the plunder clothed all their nakedness. So they clothed them, gave them sandals, gave them food to eat, gave them water to drink, anointed them, and guided them with the donkeys provided for all those who stumbled, and brought them to Jericho, the city of the palm trees, next to their brothers. Then they returned to Samaria.
At that time King Ahaz sent to the king of Assyria to help him, since again the Edomites came and struck against Judah and took captives. And the Philistines sent raids into the cities of the Shephelah and the Negeb of Judah. And they captured Beth-Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Socoh with its villages, Timnah with its villages, and Gimzo with its villages. And they settled there. For Yahweh subdued Judah for the sake of Ahaz, king of Israel, for he created disorder in Judah and acted unfaithfully against Yahweh. Then Tiglath-Pileser the king of Assyria came against him and brought trouble for him, instead of helping him, for Ahaz took a portion from the house of Yahweh and the house of the king and the princes, and he gave it to the king of Assyria, but it was no help to him.
And in the time of his distress, King Ahaz continued to act unfaithfully against Yahweh. He sacrificed to the gods of Damascus that had defeated him and said, "Because the gods of the king of Aram helped them, I will sacrifice to them so that they will help me." But they were a disaster to him and to all Israel. Then Ahaz gathered the objects of the house of God, and he cut the objects of the house of God to pieces. And he shut the doors of the house of Yahweh and made for himself altars in every corner of Jerusalem. And in every city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods, and he provoked Yahweh, the God of his ancestors, to anger.
Now the remainder of his words and all his ways, from the first to the last, behold, they are written upon the scroll of the kings of Judah and Israel. And Ahaz slept with his ancestors, and they buried him in the city, in Jerusalem, for they did not bring him to the burial site of the kings of Israel. And Hezekiah his son became king in his place.
2 Kings 17
In the twelfth year of Ahaz the king of Judah, Hoshea the son of Elah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, reigning nine years. He did evil in the eyes of Yahweh, only not as the kings of Israel who were before him. Shalmaneser the king of Assyria came up against him, and Hoshea became his vassal and paid tribute to him. But the king of Assyria found treachery in Hoshea, for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and he did not offer tribute to the king of Assyria as he had year after year; so the king of Assyria arrested him, and confined him in a house of imprisonment. So the king of Assyria went up in all the land, then he went up to Samaria and besieged it for three years.
In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported Israel to Assyria. He placed them in Halah, in Habor, in the river regions of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. Now this happened because the Israelites had sinned against Yahweh their God when he brought them up from the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh the king of Egypt and they feared other gods. They walked in the statutes of the nations whom Yahweh had driven out from before the Israelites, which the kings of Israel had introduced. The Israelites secretly did things which were not right, against Yahweh their God; they built high places for themselves in all their towns, from the watchtower up to the fortified city. They set up for themselves stone pillars and poles of Asherah worship on every high hill and under every green tree. They burned incense there on all the high places, like the nations which Yahweh deported before them, and they did evil things to provoke Yahweh. They served idols which Yahweh had said to them, "You shall not do this thing!" Yahweh warned Israel and Judah by the hand of his every prophet, with every seer saying, "Turn from all of your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my ordinances, according to all the law which I commanded your ancestors, which I sent to you by the hand of my servants the prophets." But they did not listen and they stiffened their necks, like the necks of their ancestors who did not believe in Yahweh their God. They rejected his statutes, his covenant which he made with their ancestors, and his warnings which he gave to them; and they went after the idols, became vain, and went after all the nations which were all around them, which Yahweh had commanded them not to do as they did. They abandoned all the commands of Yahweh their God and made for themselves two molten calf-shaped idols; they made a pole of Asherah worship and bowed down to the army of the heavens and served Baal. They made their sons and their daughters pass through the fire, they practiced divination and read omens, and they sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of Yahweh to provoke him. So Yahweh was very angry with Israel and he removed them from his presence; none remained except the tribe of Judah alone.
Even Judah did not keep the commands of Yahweh their God, and they walked in the customs of Israel which they introduced, so Yahweh rejected all the offspring of Israel and punished them, and he gave them into the hand of the plunderers until he banished them from his presence. For he had torn Israel from the house of David, and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king, but Jeroboam detached Israel from following Yahweh, and he made them sin a great sin. The Israelites walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he committed, and they did not depart from it, until Yahweh removed Israel from his presence as he had foretold by the hand of all his servants, the prophets. And so he deported Israel from upon his land to Assyria until this day.
The king of Assyria brought from Babylonia, from Cush, from Arva, from Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and he settled them in the cities of Samaria in place of the Israelites, so they took possession of Samaria and lived in her cities. It happened that when they began living there, they did not fear Yahweh, so Yahweh sent lions among them, and they were killing them. So they said to the king of Assyria, "The nations whom you deported and settled in the cities of Samaria do not know the customs of the God of the land, so he sent lions among them, and now they are killing them because they do not know the customs of the God of the land." Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, "Release one of the priests whom you deported from there, and let him go and settle there. Let him teach them the customs of the God of the land." So one of the priests went, whom they had deported from Samaria, and he settled in Bethel and was teaching them how they should fear Yahweh.
Yet every nation was making their gods, and they put them in the shrine of the high places that the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities in which they were living. The men of Babylonia made Succoth Benoth; the men of Cush made Nergal; the men of Hamath made Ashima. The Arvites made Nibhaz and Tartak; the Sepharvites were burning their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech the gods of Sepharvaim. Those who were fearing Yahweh made priests of the high places from among themselves, and they were sacrificing for them in the shrines of the high places. Yahweh they were fearing, but their gods they were serving, according to the customs of the nations from which they were deported.
Until this day they are doing according to their former customs; none of them are fearing Yahweh, and none of them are doing according to their statutes, to their decisions, to the law, or to the commands that Yahweh commanded the descendants of Jacob to which he had given the name Israel. Yahweh had made a covenant with them and commanded them, "You shall not fear other gods, nor shall you bow down to them, nor shall you serve them, nor shall you sacrifice to them. Rather, Yahweh, who brought you out from the land of Egypt with great strength and with an outstretched arm—him you shall fear, and to him you shall bow down, and to him you shall sacrifice. The statutes, the decisions, the law, and the commands that he wrote to you, you shall observe to do always, and you shall not fear other gods. The covenant that I have made with you, you shall not forget, and you shall not fear other gods. But Yahweh your God you shall fear, and he will deliver you from the hand of all of your enemies." They did not listen but kept on doing according to their former customs. So these nations were fearing Yahweh, but they were serving their idols, as were their children and their children’s children; as their ancestors did, they are doing until this day.
For the music director. A song. A psalm.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth.
Sing the glory of his name.
Set forth his glorious praise.
Say to God, "How awesome are your works!
Because of the greatness of your strength,
your enemies will cringe before you.
All the earth will bow in worship to you,
and sing praise to you.
They will sing the praise of your name." Selah
Come and consider the works of God;
he is awesome in his dealings with the children of humankind.
He turned the sea into dry ground;
they passed through the river on foot.
There we rejoiced in him.
He rules by his might forever;
his eyes keep watch on the nations.
Do not let the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah
Bless our God, O peoples,
and cause the sound of his praise to be heard,
the one who has kept our soul among the living,
and has not allowed our foot to slip.
For you have tested us, O God;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
You brought us into the net;
you placed a heavy burden on our backs.
You let men ride over our heads.
We went through fire and through water,
but you have brought us out to the place of abundance.
I will come into your house with burnt offerings.
I will pay to you my vows
that my lips uttered,
and my mouth spoke in my distress.
Burnt offerings of fat animals I will offer to you,
with the smoke of rams.
I will do cattle with rams. Selah
Come and hear, all you God-fearers, and I will tell
what he has done for me.
I called to him with my mouth,
and he was extolled with my tongue.
If I had considered evil in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
However, God has listened;
he has attended to the sound of my prayer.
Blessed be God,
who has not turned aside my prayer,
or his loyal love from me.
1 Corinthians 7
Now concerning the things about which you wrote: "It is good for a man not to touch a woman." But because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife and let each woman have her own husband. The husband must fulfill his obligation to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but her husband does. And likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but his wife does. Do not defraud one another, except perhaps by agreement, for a time, in order that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and then you should be together again, lest Satan tempt you because of your lack of self control. But I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish all people could be like myself, but each one has his own gift from God, one in this way and another in that way.
Now I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with sexual desire.
To the married I command—not I, but the Lord—a wife must not separate from her husband. But if indeed she does separate, she must remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
Now to the rest I say—not the Lord—if any brother has an unbelieving wife and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if any wife has an unbelieving husband and he consents to live with her, she must not divorce her husband. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the brother, since otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave. The brother or the sister is not bound in such cases. But God has called us in peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
But to each one as the Lord has apportioned. As God has called each one, thus let him live—and thus I order in all the churches. Was anyone called after being circumcised? He must not undo his circumcision. Was anyone called in uncircumcision? He must not become circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God. Each one in the calling in which he was called—in this he should remain. Were you called while a slave? Do not let it be a concern to you. But if indeed you are able to become free, rather make use of it. For the one who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedperson. Likewise the one who is called while free is a slave of Christ. You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. Each one in the situation in which he was called, brothers—in this he should remain with God.
Now concerning virgins I do not have a command from the Lord, but I am giving an opinion as one shown mercy by the Lord to be trustworthy. Therefore, I consider this to be good because of the impending distress, that it is good for a man to be thus. Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek release. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you marry, you have not sinned, and if the virgin marries, she has not sinned. But such people will have affliction in the flesh, and I would spare you. But I say this, brothers: the time is shortened, that from now on even those who have wives should be as if they do not have wives, and those who weep as if they do not weep, and those who rejoice as if they do not rejoice, and those who buy as if they do not possess, and those who make use of the world as if they do not make full use of it. For the present form of this world is passing away.
But I want you to be free from care. The unmarried person cares for the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord. But the one who is married cares for the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and he is divided. And the unmarried woman or the virgin cares for the things of the Lord, in order that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But the married woman cares for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. Now I am saying this for your own benefit, not that I may put a restriction on you, but to promote appropriate and devoted service to the Lord without distraction.
But if anyone thinks he is behaving dishonorably concerning his virgin, if she is past her prime and it ought to be thus, let him do what he wishes. He does not sin. Let them marry. But he who stands firm in his heart, not having necessity, but has authority concerning his own will, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own virgin, he will do well. So then, the one who marries his own virgin does well, and the one who does not marry her will do better.
A wife is bound for as long a time as her husband lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to marry whomever she wishes, only in the Lord. But she is happier if she remains thus, according to my opinion—and I think I have the Spirit of God.