Today our passages are 2 Kings 10:32–12:21; Acts 18:1-22; Psalm 145:1-21; and Proverbs 18:1. The readings are from the Contemporary English Version. If you find these readings helpful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal by using the link below.
2 Kings 10:32-12:21 (Contemporary English Version)
Jehu Dies32In those days the LORD began to reduce the size of Israel's territory. King Hazael of Syria defeated the Israelites and took control 33of the regions of Gilead and Bashan east of the Jordan River and north of the town of Aroer near the Arnon River. This was the land where the tribes of Gad, Reuben, and Manasseh had once lived. 34Everything else Jehu did while he was king, including his brave deeds, is written in The History of the Kings of Israel. 35Jehu died and was buried in Samaria, and his son Jehoahaz became king. 36Jehu had ruled Israel twenty-eight years from Samaria.
2 Kings 11
Queen Athaliah of Judah
(2 Chronicles 22.10-12)1As soon as Athaliah heard that her son King Ahaziah was dead, she decided to kill any relative who could possibly become king. She would have done that, 2but Jehosheba rescued Joash son of Ahaziah just as he was about to be murdered. Jehosheba, who was Jehoram's [a] daughter and Ahaziah's half sister, hid her nephew Joash and his personal servant in a bedroom in the LORD's temple where he was safe from Athaliah. 3Joash hid in the temple with Jehosheba [b] for six years while Athaliah ruled as queen of Judah.
Jehoiada Makes Joash King of Judah
(2 Chronicles 23.1-21)4Joash son of Ahaziah had hidden in the LORD's temple six years. Then in the seventh year, Jehoiada the priest sent for the commanders of the king's special bodyguards [c] and the commanders of the palace guards. They met him at the temple, and he asked them to make a promise in the name of the LORD. Then he brought out Joash 5and said to them: Here's what I want you to do. Three of your guard units will be on duty on the Sabbath. I want one unit to guard the palace. 6Another unit will guard Sur Gate, and the third unit will guard the palace gate and relieve the palace guards. 7The other two guard units are supposed to be off duty on the Sabbath. But I want both of them to stay here at the temple and protect King Joash. 8Make sure they follow him wherever he goes, and have them keep their swords ready to kill anyone who tries to get near him.
9The commanders followed Jehoiada's orders. Each one called together his guards--those coming on duty and those going off duty. 10Jehoiada brought out the swords and shields that had belonged to King David and gave them to the commanders. 11Then they gave the weapons to their guards, who took their positions around the temple and the altar to protect Joash on every side.
12Jehoiada brought Joash outside, where he placed the crown on his head and gave him a copy of instructions for ruling the nation. Olive oil was poured on his head to show that he was now king, while the crowd clapped and shouted, "Long live the king!"
13Queen Athaliah heard the crowd and went to the temple. 14There she saw Joash standing by one of the columns, which was the usual place for the king. The singers [d] and the trumpet players were standing next to him, and the people were celebrating and blowing trumpets. Athaliah tore her clothes in anger and shouted, "You betrayed me, you traitors!" 15Right away, Jehoiada said to the army commanders, "Kill her! But don't do it anywhere near the LORD's temple. Take her out in front of the troops and kill anyone who is with her!" 16So the commanders dragged her to the gate where horses are led into the palace, and they killed her there.
17Jehoiada the priest asked King Joash and the people to promise that they would be faithful to each other and to the LORD. 18Then the crowd went to the temple built to honor Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols and killed Mattan the priest of Baal right in front of the altars.
After Jehoiada had placed guards around the LORD's temple, 19he called together all the commanders, the king's special bodyguards, [e] the palace guards, and the people. They led Joash from the temple, through the Guards' Gate, and into the palace. He took his place on the throne and became king of Judah. 20Everyone celebrated because Athaliah had been killed and Jerusalem was peaceful again. 21Joash was only seven years old when this happened.
2 Kings 12
King Joash of Judah
(2 Chronicles 24.1-16)1Joash [f] 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, [g] 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." [h] 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 [i] 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, [j] near the road to Silla. Joash was buried beside his ancestors in Jerusalem, [k] and his son Amaziah became king.
- 2 Kings 11:2 Jehoram's: The Hebrew text has "Joram's," another spelling of the name.
- 2 Kings 11:3 Jehosheba: Jehosheba was the wife of Jehoiada the priest (see 2 Chronicles 22.11), which is why she could hide Joash in one of the private bedrooms used only by the priests.
- 2 Kings 11:4 the king's special bodyguards: The Hebrew text has "the Carites," who were probably foreign soldiers hired to serve as royal bodyguards.
- 2 Kings 11:14 singers: Two ancient translations; Hebrew "commanders."
- 2 Kings 11:19 the king's special bodyguards: See the note at verse 4.
- 2 Kings 12:1 Joash: The Hebrew text has "Jehoash," another spelling of the name.
- 2 Kings 12:3 local shrines: The Hebrew text has "high places," which were local places to worship God or foreign gods.
- 2 Kings 12:5 You priests. . . money too: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
- 2 Kings 12:20 Jozabad: Some manuscripts of the Hebrew text; other manuscripts "Jozacar."
- 2 Kings 12:20 where. . . Jerusalem: The Hebrew text has "on the Millo," which probably refers to a landfill to strengthen and extend the hill where the city was built.
- 2 Kings 12:20 Jerusalem: See the note at 8.24.
Acts 18:1-22 (Contemporary English Version)
Paul in Corinth1Paul left Athens and went to Corinth, 2where he met Aquila, a Jewish man from Pontus. Not long before this, Aquila had come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Emperor Claudius had ordered the Jewish people to leave Rome. [a] Paul went to see Aquila and Priscilla 3and found out that they were tent makers. Paul was a tent maker too. So he stayed with them, and they worked together. 4Every Sabbath, Paul went to the Jewish meeting place. He spoke to Jews and Gentiles [b] and tried to win them over. 5But after Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, he spent all his time preaching to the Jews about Jesus the Messiah. 6Finally, they turned against him and insulted him. So he shook the dust from his clothes [c] and told them, "Whatever happens to you will be your own fault! I am not to blame. From now on I am going to preach to the Gentiles." 7Paul then moved into the house of a man named Titius Justus, who worshiped God and lived next door to the Jewish meeting place. 8Crispus was the leader of the meeting place. He and everyone in his family put their faith in the Lord. Many others in Corinth also heard the message, and all the people who had faith in the Lord were baptized. 9One night, Paul had a vision, and in it the Lord said, "Don't be afraid to keep on preaching. Don't stop! 10I am with you, and you won't be harmed. Many people in this city belong to me." 11Paul stayed on in Corinth for a year and a half, teaching God's message to the people.
12While Gallio was governor of Achaia, some of the Jewish leaders got together and grabbed Paul. They brought him into court 13and said, "This man is trying to make our people worship God in a way that is against our Law!"
14Even before Paul could speak, Gallio said, "If you were charging this man with a crime or some other wrong, I would have to listen to you. 15But since this concerns only words, names, and your own law, you will have to take care of it. I refuse to judge such matters." 16Then he sent them out of the court. 17The crowd grabbed Sosthenes, the Jewish leader, and beat him up in front of the court. But none of this mattered to Gallio.
Paul Returns to Antioch in Syria18After Paul had stayed for a while with the Lord's followers in Corinth, he told them good-by and sailed on to Syria with Aquila and Priscilla. But before he left, he had his head shaved [d] at Cenchreae because he had made a promise to God. 19The three of them arrived in Ephesus, where Paul left Priscilla and Aquila. He then went into the Jewish meeting place to talk with the people there. 20They asked him to stay longer, but he refused. 21He told them good-by and said, "If God lets me, I will come back." 22Paul sailed to Caesarea, where he greeted the church. Then he went on to Antioch.
- Acts 18:2 Emperor Claudius had ordered all the Jewish people to leave Rome: Probably A.D. 49, though it may have been A.D. 41.
- Acts 18:4 Gentiles: Here the word is "Greeks." But see the note at 14.1.
- Acts 18:6 shook the dust from his clothes: This means the same as shaking dust from the feet (see the note at 13.51).
- Acts 18:18 he had his head shaved: Paul had promised to be a "Nazirite" for a while. This meant that for the time of the promise, he could not cut his hair or drink wine. When the time was over, he would have to cut his hair and offer a sacrifice to God.
Psalm 145:1-21 (Contemporary English Version)
(By David for praise.)
The LORD Is Kind and Merciful1I will praise you, my God and King,
and always honor your name.
2I will praise you each day
and always honor your name.
3You are wonderful, LORD,
and you deserve all praise,
because you are much greater
than anyone can understand.
4Each generation will announce
to the next
and powerful deeds.
5I will keep thinking about
your marvelous glory
and your mighty miracles. [a] 6Everyone will talk about
your fearsome deeds,
and I will tell all nations
how great you are.
7They will celebrate and sing
about your matchless mercy
and your power to save.
8You are merciful, LORD!
You are kind and patient
and always loving.
9You are good to everyone,
and you take care
of all your creation.
10All creation will thank you,
and your loyal people
will praise you.
11They will tell about
your marvelous kingdom
and your power.
12Then everyone will know about
the mighty things you do
and your glorious kingdom.
13Your kingdom will never end,
and you will rule forever.
Our LORD, you keep your word
and do everything you say. [b] 14When someone stumbles or falls,
you give a helping hand.
15Everyone depends on you,
and when the time is right,
you provide them with food.
16By your own hand
the desires of all who live.
17Our LORD, everything you do
is kind and thoughtful,
18and you are near to everyone
whose prayers are sincere.
19You satisfy the desires
of all your worshipers,
and you come to save them
when they ask for help.
20You take care of everyone
who loves you,
but you destroy the wicked.
21I will praise you, LORD,
and everyone will respect
your holy name forever.
Proverbs 18:1 (Contemporary English Version)
It's Wrong to Favor the Guilty1It's selfish and stupid to think only of yourself
and to sneer at people
who have sense. [a]
- Proverbs 18:1 sense: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 1.
Verse of the Day
Thought for the Day
Polish art-house film director and screenwriter, Krzysztof Kieślowski wrote, “If there is anything worthwhile doing for the sake of culture, then it is touching on subject matters and situations which link people, and not those that divide people. There are too many things in the world which divide people, such as religion, politics, history, and nationalism. If culture is capable of anything, then it is finding that which unites us all. And there are so many things which unite people. It doesn't matter who you are or who I am, if your tooth aches or mine, it's still the same pain. Feelings are what link people together, because the word "love" has the same meaning for everybody. Or "fear", or "suffering". We all fear the same way and the same things. And we all love in the same way. That's why I tell about these things, because in all other things I immediately find division.”
A Joke for Today
An old-time pastor was riding furiously down the road, hurrying to get to church on time. Suddenly, his horse stumbled and threw him to the ground.
Lying in the dirt, his body wracked with pain, the pastor called out, “All you angels in heaven, help me get up on my horse!”
With extraordinary strength, he leaped onto the horse’s back—and fell off the other side.
From the ground again, he called out, “All right, just half of you angels this time!”