Week 36, Day 2 in the LEB

Sep 5, 2023

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The reading for today is 2 Kings 18-19; 2 Chronicles 32; Psalm 67; 1 Corinthians 9.

Scripture quotations are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.

2 Kings 18

It happened in the third year of Hoshea the son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah became king. He was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. The name of his mother was Abi, the daughter of Zechariah. He did right in the eyes of Yahweh according to all that David his ancestor had done. He removed the high places, and he smashed the stone pillars; he cut down the poles of Asherah worship and demolished the bronze serpent which Moses had made, for up to those days the Israelites were offering incense to it and called it Nehushtan. He trusted in Yahweh the God of Israel; there was no one like him, before or after, among all the kings of Judah. He held on to Yahweh; he did not depart from following him, and he kept his commands that Yahweh had commanded Moses. Yahweh was with him; everywhere he went, he succeeded. He rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him. He attacked the Philistines up to Gaza and its territory from the watchtower up to the fortified city.

It happened in the fourth year of King Hezekiah, that is, the seventh year of Hoshea the son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser king of Assyria came against Samaria and laid siege against her. At the end of three years, he captured it in the sixth year of Hezekiah, that is, the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel; Samaria was captured. Then the king of Assyria deported Israel to Assyria and settled them in Halah, in Habor, in the river regions of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, because they did not listen to the voice of Yahweh their God, and they transgressed his covenant; all that he had commanded Moses, the servant of Yahweh, they did not listen to nor did they obey.

In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all of the fortified cities of Judah and captured them. So Hezekiah king of Judah sent word to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, "I have done wrong. Withdraw from me. What you impose on me I will bear." So the king of Assyria imposed on Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. Then Hezekiah gave all of the silver found in the temple of Yahweh and in the storerooms of the house of the king. At that time, Hezekiah cut off the doors of the temple of Yahweh and the doorposts which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and he gave them to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria sent the commander in chief, the chief eunuch, and the chief advisor from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem with a heavy army. They went up and came to Jerusalem, then they went up and came and stood at the aqueduct of the upper pool which is on the main road of the washer’s field. Then they called to the king, so Eliakim the son of Hilkiah who was over the palace, Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, came out to them.

Then the chief advisor said to them, "Please say to Hezekiah: ‘Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: "What is this confidence that you trust? You think only a word of lips, ‘I have advice and power for the war.’ Now, on whom do you trust that you have rebelled against me? Now, look! You rely on the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt, which when a man leans on it, it goes into his hand and pierces it! So is Pharaoh the king of Egypt for all who are trusting on him! But if you say to me, ‘On Yahweh our God we trust,’ is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah removed, and he had said to Judah and to Jerusalem, ‘In the presence of this altar you shall bow down only in Jerusalem?’ So then, please make a wager with my lord, with the king of Assyria, and I will give to you a thousand horses if you are able on your part to put riders on them. How can you repulse a single captain among the least of the servants of my master? Yet you rely for yourself on Egypt for chariots and horsemen! Have I now come up against this place without Yahweh to destroy it? Yahweh has said to me, ‘Go up against this land and destroy it!’"’"

Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah and Shebna and Joah said to the chief commander, "Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we are understanding, but you must not speak Judean with us in the ears of the people who are on the wall." The chief commander said to them, "Is it solely to your master and to you my master has sent me to speak these words? Is it not for the men who sit on the wall to eat their feces and to drink their urine with you?"

Then the chief commander stood and called with a great voice in Judean, and he spoke and said, "Hear the word of the king, the great king of Assyria! Thus says the king, ‘Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to rescue you from my hand. Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in Yahweh, saying, "Certainly Yahweh will rescue us, and this city shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria!"’ Do not listen to Hezekiah; for thus says the king of Assyria, ‘Make with me a treaty of peace and come out to me that each may eat from his vine and each from his fig tree, and each may drink water from his cistern! Until I come and take you to a land like your land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees, olive oil, and honey, that you may live and not die! You must not listen to Hezekiah, for he has misled you by saying, "Yahweh will deliver us!" Did the gods of each of the nations ever rescue the land from the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? For did they rescue Samaria from my hand? Who among all of the gods of the countries have rescued their countries from my hand that Yahweh should rescue Jerusalem from my hand?’"

The people were silent, and they did not answer him a word, for the command of that king was saying, "You shall not answer him." Eliakim the son of Hilkiah who was over the palace, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder came to Hezekiah with torn clothes, and they told him the words of the chief commander.

2 Kings 19

It happened that when King Hezekiah heard, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth and went to the temple of Yahweh. He sent Eliakim who was over the palace, Shebna the secretary, the elders, and the priests, all clothed in sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. They said to him, "Thus says Hezekiah, ‘A day of distress, rebuke, and disgrace is this day, for the children are about to be born, but there is no strength to bear them. Perhaps Yahweh your God will hear all of the words of the chief commander whom his master the king of Assyria has sent to insult the living God, and he will rebuke the words which Yahweh your God has heard. Therefore lift up a prayer for the remainder who are left.’" So the servants of King Hezekiah came to Isaiah, and Isaiah said to them, "Thus you must say to your master, ‘Thus says Yahweh, "You must not be afraid because the face of the words which you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled me. Look, I am putting in him a spirit. He will hear a rumor and return to his land. Then I will cause him to fall by the sword in his land."’"

When the chief commander returned, he found the king of Assyria fighting against Libnah, for he had heard that he had departed from Lachish. He heard about Tirhakah, the king of Cush, saying, "Look, he has set out to fight with you," so he again sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying, "Thus you shall say to Hezekiah the king of Judah, ‘Let not your God whom you are trusting deceive you, by his saying, "Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria!" Look, you have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the lands, by utterly destroying them, and shall you be delivered? Did the gods of the nations that my predecessors destroyed deliver them? Not Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, nor the children of Eden who were in Tel Assar. Where are the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?’"

Hezekiah took the letters from the hand of the messengers and read them. Then he went up to the temple of Yahweh, and Hezekiah spread them out before the presence of Yahweh. Then Hezekiah prayed before the face of Yahweh and said, "O Yahweh, God of Israel who lives above the cherubim. You are God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the world; you have made the heavens and the earth. Incline your ears and hear; open, O Yahweh, your eyes and see and hear the words of Sennacherib which he has sent to insult the living God. Truly, O Yahweh, the kings of Assyria have utterly destroyed the nations and their land. He has hurled their gods in the fire because they are not gods, but the work of the hands of a human made of wood and stone, so they destroyed them. So then, O Yahweh our God, rescue us, please, from his hand, that all of the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Yahweh, you alone are God!"

Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, "Thus says Yahweh the God of Israel, ‘What you have prayed to me about Sennacherib king of Assyria I have heard. This is the word that Yahweh has spoken concerning him:

She despises you, she scorns you,
    the virgin daughter of Zion.
Behind you the daughter of Jerusalem
    shakes her head.
Whom have you mocked and reviled?
    And against whom have you have raised your voice
and have haughtily lifted your eyes?
    Against the Holy One of Israel!
By the hand of your messengers you have mocked the Lord,
    and you have said,
‘With my many chariots I have gone up
    to the height of the mountains.
To the remote areas of Lebanon,
    I have felled the tallest of its cedars,
    the choicest of its cypresses.
I have entered the place of overnight lodging.
    Even to the edge of forest of its fertile land.
I dug wells and I drank foreign water,
    and I dried up with the sole of my steps
    all the canals of Egypt.’
Have you not heard?
    From long ago I have determined it,
    from the days of old I have planned it,
    and now I am bringing it to pass.
It shall be turned into a pile of rocks;
    fortified cities are ruined.
Their inhabitants, short of hand, shall be dismayed;
    and they shall be ashamed.
They have become green plants of the open field,
    and tender grass,
    green grass of the roof
    and blight before the standing grain.
Your sitting, your going out, and your coming in I know,
    and your raging against me.
Because you are raging against me,
    and your arrogance has come up in my ears,
I will put my nose ring in your nose
    and my bridle in your mouth.
And I will turn you back
    on the way that you have come.

"‘This will be the sign for you: Eat the volunteer plants for the year, and in the second year, the volunteer plants that spring up from that. But in the third year, sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. The remainder of the house of Judah which survives will again take root below and bear fruit above. For from Jerusalem a remnant shall go out and survivors from Mount Zion; the zeal of Yahweh will do this.

"‘Therefore thus says Yahweh to the king of Assyria, "He shall not come to this city, nor shall he shoot an arrow there, nor shall he bring a small shield near her, nor shall he cast a siege ramp against her. By the way that he came to her he shall return; but to this city, he shall not come," declares Yahweh. And I will defend this city to save her for my sake and for the sake of David my servant.’"

It happened in that night that an angel of Yahweh went out, and he struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of Assyria. When they got up early in the morning, look! All of them were dead corpses. Then Sennacherib king of Assyria set out and went and returned and lived in Nineveh. It happened that he was worshiping in the temple of Nisroch his god, and Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him with the sword. Then they escaped into the land of Ararat, and Esarhaddon his son became king in his place.

2 Chronicles 32

After these things and these acts of faithfulness, Sennacherib the king of Assyria came, and he came against Judah. And he encamped against the fortified cities and planned to break them down for himself. When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that his face was set for battle against Jerusalem, he took counsel with his commanders and his mighty warriors to block off the waters of the springs that came from outside the city, and they helped him. Then many people were gathered, and they blocked off all the springs and the river that flowed through the midst of the land, saying, "Why should the kings of Assyria come and find much water?" Then he strengthened himself and built up all the walls that were broken down, and raised towers upon them and another wall outside. And he strengthened the Millo of the city of David and made much weaponry and small shields. And he appointed commanders for battle over the people and gathered them to himself into the public square of the gate of the city. And he spoke to their hearts, saying, "Be strong! Be courageous! Do not fear and do not be dismayed before the king of Assyria and before all the crowd that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. With him is the arm of flesh, and with us is Yahweh our God, to help us and to fight our battles." And the people took confidence with the words of Hezekiah, king of Judah.

After this Sennacherib the king of Assyria sent his servants to Jerusalem (now he and all his armies with him were against Lachish) to Hezekiah king of Judah and to all of Judah that was in Jerusalem, saying, "Thus says Sennacherib the king of Assyria: ‘On what are you relying that you are dwelling in siege works in Jerusalem? Is not Hezekiah urging you to give you up to die by starvation and thirst, saying, "Yahweh our God will save us from the hand of the king of Assyria"? Has not Hezekiah himself removed his high places and his altars and said to Judah and to Jerusalem, saying, "You must bow down before one altar and upon it you must make offerings"? Do you not know what I have done, I and my ancestors, to all the peoples of the lands? Were the gods of the nations of all the lands at all able to save their land from my hand? Who among all the gods of those nations whom my ancestors utterly destroyed was able to save his people from my hand, that your God will be able to save you from my hand? So now, do not let Hezekiah deceive you. Do not let him urge you according to this. Do not put trust in him, for no god of any nation and kingdom has been able to save his people from my hand and from the hand of my ancestors. Surely then your God will not save you from my hand!’"

And still more his servants said against Yahweh God and against Hezekiah his servant. And he wrote letters to treat Yahweh the God of Israel with contempt and spoke against him, saying, "As the gods of the nations of the earth who did not save their people from my hand, so likewise the God of Hezekiah will not save his people from my hand." Then they called with a great voice in Judean to the people of Jerusalem who were upon the wall to frighten them and terrify them, so that they could take the city captive. And they spoke about the God of Jerusalem as about the gods of the peoples of the earth, the works of the hands of humankind.

Then King Hezekiah and Isaiah the son of Amoz, the prophet, prayed concerning this. And they cried to the heavens. Then Yahweh sent an angel, and he destroyed every mighty warrior of strength, commander, and officer in the camp of the king of Assyria. And he returned with shamed face to his land and went into the house of his god. And some of the offspring of his loins fell upon him there with the sword. So Yahweh saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib, king of Assyria, and from the all their enemies, and gave them rest all around. And many brought tribute to Yahweh, to Jerusalem, and precious things to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the eyes of all the nations thereafter.

In those days Hezekiah fell ill unto death, and he prayed to Yahweh. And he answered him and gave him a sign. But Hezekiah did not reciprocate according to the benefit placed upon him, because his heart became proud. So wrath was upon him and upon Judah and Jerusalem. But Hezekiah humbled himself with respect to the arrogance of his heart, he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of Yahweh did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah.

And Hezekiah had very much wealth and honor, and he made storehouses for himself for silver, gold, precious stones, spices, small shields, and all sorts of desirable objects; and storage buildings for the yield of grain, new wine, and olive oil; and animal stalls for all kinds of animals, and animals and herds for animal stalls. And he made cities for himself, and livestock of sheep and abundant cattle, for God had given to him very abundant possessions. And this same Hezekiah blocked off the flow of the waters of the upper Gihon, and directed them down the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works. And thus in the matter of the envoys of the commanders of Babylon who had been sent to him to seek the sign that had happened in the land, God forsook him, to test him and to know all that was in his heart.

Now the remainder of the words of Hezekiah and his loyal love, behold, they are written in the visions of Isaiah the son of Amoz, the prophet, upon the scroll of the kings of Judah and Israel. And Hezekiah slept with his ancestors, and they buried him in the upper part of the burial sites of the descendants of David. And all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honor at his death. And Manasseh his son became king in his place.

Psalm 67

For the music director, with stringed instruments. A psalm. A song.

May God be gracious to us and bless us.
May he cause his face to shine toward us, Selah
that your way may be known on the earth,
your salvation among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all of the peoples praise you.
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
because you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations on the earth. Selah
Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you.
The earth has yielded its produce.
God, our God, will bless us.
God will bless us,
and all the ends of the earth will fear him.

1 Corinthians 9

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, yet indeed I am to you, for you are my seal of apostleship in the Lord. My defense to those who examine me is this: Do we not have the right to eat and drink? Do we not have the right to take along a sister as wife, like the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? Or do only I and Barnabas not have the right to refrain from working? Who ever serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Who shepherds a flock and does not drink from the milk of the flock? I am not saying these things according to a human perspective. Or does the law not also say these things? For in the law of Moses it is written, "You must not muzzle an ox while it is threshing." It is not about oxen God is concerned, is it? Or doubtless does he speak for our sake? For it is written for our sake, because the one who plows ought to plow in hope and the one who threshes ought to do so in hope of a share. If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too great a thing if we reap material things from you? If others share this right over you, do we not do so even more? Yet we have not made use of this right, but we endure all things, in order that we may not cause any hindrance to the gospel of Christ.

Do you not know that those performing the holy services eat the things from the temple, and those attending to the altar have a share with the altar? In the same way also the Lord ordered those who proclaim the gospel to live from the gospel. But I have not made use of any of these rights. And I am not writing these things in order that it may be thus with me. For it would be better to me rather to die than for anyone to deprive me of my reason for boasting. For if I proclaim the gospel, it is not to me a reason for boasting, for necessity is imposed on me. For woe is to me if I do not proclaim the gospel. For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward, but if I do so unwillingly, I have been entrusted with a stewardship. What then is my reward? That when I proclaim the gospel, I may offer the gospel free of charge, in order not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

For although I am free from all people, I have enslaved myself to all, in order that I may gain more. I have become like a Jew to the Jews, in order that I may gain the Jews. To those under the law I became as under the law (although I myself am not under the law) in order that I may gain those under the law. To those outside the law I became as outside the law (although I am not outside the law of God, but subject to the law of Christ) in order that I may gain those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, in order that I may gain the weak. I have become all things to all people, in order that by all means I may save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, in order that I may become a participant with it.

Do you not know that those who run in the stadium all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. And everyone who competes exercises self-control in all things. Thus those do so in order that they may receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Therefore I run in this way, not as running aimlessly; I box in this way, not as beating the air. But I discipline my body and subjugate it, lest somehow after preaching to others, I myself should become disqualified.