1 After these things, and after this manner of truth, Sennacherib, the king of the Assyrians arrived. And entering Judah, he besieged the fortified cities, desiring to seize them.
2 And when Hezekiah had seen this, specifically that Sennacherib had arrived, and that the entire force of the war was turning against Jerusalem,
3 he took counsel with the rulers and with the most valiant men, so that they might obstruct the heads of the springs which were beyond the city. And with everyone discerning the same judgment about this,
4 he gathered together a great multitude, and they obstructed all the springs, and the brook which was flowing through the midst of the land, saying: “Otherwise, the kings of the Assyrians might arrive and find an abundance of water.”
5 Also, acting industriously, he built up the entire wall that had been broken apart. And he constructed towers upon it, and another wall outside it. And he repaired Millo, in the City of David. And he made all kinds of weapons and shields.
6 And he appointed leaders of the warriors within the army. And he summoned them all to the wide street of the gate of the city. And he spoke to their heart, saying:
7 Act manfully and be strengthened. Do not be afraid. Neither should you dread the king of the Assyrians and the entire multitude that is with him. For many more are with us than with him.
8 For with him is an arm of flesh; with us is the Lord our God, who is our helper, and who fights for us.” And the people were strengthened by this type of words from Hezekiah, the king of Judah.
9 After these things, Sennacherib, the king of the Assyrians, sent his servants to Jerusalem, (for he and his entire army were besieging Lachish) to Hezekiah, the king of Judah, and to all the people who were in the city, saying:
10 Thus says Sennacherib, the king of the Assyrians: In whom do you have faith, as you sit besieged in Jerusalem?
11 Does not Hezekiah deceive you, so that he would deliver you to die from hunger and thirst, by affirming that the Lord your God will free you from the hand of the king of the Assyrians?
12 Is this not the same Hezekiah who destroyed his own high places and altars, and who instructed Judah and Jerusalem, saying: ‘You shall worship before one altar, and you shall burn incense upon it?’
13 Do you not know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of the lands? Have the gods of the nations and all the lands prevailed so as to free their region from my hand?
14 Who is there, out of all the gods of the nations that my fathers destroyed, who is able to rescue his people from my hand, so that now also your God would be able to rescue you from this hand?
15 Therefore, let not Hezekiah deceive or delude you with vain persuasion. And you should not believe him. For if no god out of all the nations and kingdoms was able to free his people from my hand, and from the hand of my fathers, consequently neither will your God be able to rescue you from my hand.”
16 Then too, his servants were speaking many other things against the Lord God, and against his servant Hezekiah.
17 Also, he wrote letters full of blasphemy against the Lord God of Israel. And against him he said: “Just as the gods of other nations were unable to free their people from my hand, so also is the God of Hezekiah unable to rescue his people from this hand.”
18 Moreover, he also shouted with a great clamor, in the language of the Jews, toward the people who were sitting upon the walls of Jerusalem, so that he might frighten them and so seize the city.
19 And he was speaking against the God of Jerusalem, just as against the gods of the peoples of the earth, which are works of the hands of men.
20 And Hezekiah the king, and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, prayed against this blasphemy, and they cried out to heaven.
21 And the Lord sent an Angel, who struck all the experienced men and warriors, and the leaders of the army of the king of the Assyrians. And he returned in disgrace to his own land. And when he had entered the house of his god, the sons who had gone forth from his loins killed him with the sword.
22 And the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib, the king of the Assyrians, and from the hand of all. And he presented to them peace on every side.
23 And now many were bringing victims and sacrifices to the Lord in Jerusalem, and gifts to Hezekiah, the king of Judah. And after these things, he was exalted before all the nations.
24 In those days, Hezekiah was sick, even unto death, and he prayed to the Lord. And he heeded him, and gave to him a sign.
25 But he did not repay according to the benefits which he had received, for his heart was lifted up. And so wrath was brought against him, and against Judah and Jerusalem.
26 And after this, he was humbled, because he had exalted his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And therefore the wrath of the Lord did not overwhelm them in the days of Hezekiah.
27 Now Hezekiah was wealthy and very famous. And he gathered for himself many treasures of silver and gold and precious stones, of aromatics, and all kinds of weapons, and vessels of great price,
28 and also repositories of grain, wine, and oil, and stalls for every beast of burden, and fencing for cattle.
29 And he built for himself cities. For indeed, he had innumerable herds and flocks of sheep. For the Lord had given to him an exceedingly great substance.
30 This same Hezekiah was the one who blocked the upper font of the waters of Gihon, and who diverted them down to the western part of the City of David. In all his works, he prosperously accomplished whatever he willed.
31 Yet still, concerning the legates from the leaders of Babylon, who had been sent to him so that they might inquire about the portent which had happened upon the earth, God permitted him to be tempted, so that everything might be made known which was in his heart.
32 Now the rest of the words of Hezekiah, and his mercies, have been written in the vision of the prophet Isaiah, the son of Amos, and in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
33 And Hezekiah slept with his fathers. And they buried him above the sepulchers of the sons of David. And all of Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, celebrated his funeral. And his son, Manasseh, reigned in his place.
1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he had begun to reign, and he reigned for fifty-five years in Jerusalem.
2 But he did evil before the Lord, in accord with all the abominations of the nations which the Lord overturned before the sons of Israel.
3 And turning away, he repaired the high places, which had been demolished by his father, Hezekiah. And he constructed altars to the Baals, and made sacred groves. And he adored the entire army of heaven, and he served them.
4 Also, he built altars in the house of the Lord, about which the Lord had said, “My name shall be in Jerusalem forever.”
5 But he built these for the entire army of heaven, in the two courts of the house of the Lord.
6 And he caused his sons to pass through fire in the Valley of the son of Hinnom. He observed dreams, followed divinations, served the occult arts, had with him magicians and enchanters, and worked many evils before the Lord, so that he provoked him.
7 Also, he set up a graven image and molten statue in the house of God, about which God said to David, and to his son Solomon: “In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, I will place my name forever.
8 And I will not cause the foot of Israel to be moved from the land which I delivered to their fathers. Yet this is so, only if they will take care to do what I have instructed them, by the hand of Moses, with the entire law and the ceremonies and the judgments.”
9 And so Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that they did evil, more so than all the nations which the Lord had overturned before the face of the sons of Israel.
10 And the Lord spoke to him and to his people, but they were not willing to pay attention.
11 Therefore, he led over them the leaders of the army of the king of the Assyrians. And they captured Manasseh, and they led him, bound with chains and fetters, to Babylon.
12 And after this, being in great anguish, he prayed to the Lord his God. And he did penance greatly before the God of his fathers.
13 And he petitioned and begged him intently. And he heeded his prayer, and led him back to Jerusalem, into his kingdom. And Manasseh realized that the Lord himself was God.
14 After these things, he built a wall outside the City of David, to the west of Gihon, at the steep valley, from the entrance to the fish gate, circling around as far as Ophel. And he raised it up greatly. And he appointed leaders of the army in all the fortified cities of Judah.
15 And he took away the foreign gods, and the idol from the house of the Lord, and also the altars which he had made on the mount of the house of the Lord and in Jerusalem. And he cast all these things outside the city.
16 Then he repaired the altar of the Lord, and he immolated upon it victims, and peace offerings, with praise. And he instructed Judah to serve the Lord, the God of Israel.
17 Yet still the people were immolating on the high places, to the Lord their God.
18 But the rest of the deeds of Manasseh, and his prayer to his God, and also the words of the seers who were speaking to him in the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, are contained in the words of the kings of Israel.
19 Also, his prayer and its heeding, and all his sins and contempt, and the sites on which he built high places and made sacred groves and statues, before he repented, have been written in the words of Hozai.
20 Then Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house. And his son, Amon, reigned in his place.
21 Amon was twenty-two years old when he had begun to reign, and he reigned for two years in Jerusalem.
22 And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, just as his father Manasseh had done. And he immolated to all the idols that Manasseh had fabricated, and he served them.
23 But he did not turn his face to the Lord, as his father Manasseh had turned himself. And he sinned much more grievously.
24 And when his servants had conspired against him, they killed him in his own house.
25 But the rest of the multitude of the people, having slain those who had struck down Amon, appointed his son, Josiah, as king in his place.
1 Do not choose to rejoice, Israel; do not celebrate as the crowds do. For you have been committing fornication against your God; you have loved a prize upon every threshing floor of wheat.
2 The threshing floor and the oil press will not feed them, and the wine will deceive them.
3 They will not dwell in the land of the Lord. Ephraim has been returned to Egypt, and he has eaten polluted things among the Assyrians.
4 They will not offer a libation of wine to the Lord, and they will not please him. Their sacrifices will be like the bread of mourners. All those who eat it will be defiled. For their bread is of their soul; it will not enter into the house of the Lord.
5 What will you do on the solemn day, on the day of the feast of the Lord?
6 For, behold, they have been sent away by devastation. Egypt will gather them together; Memphis will bury them. Nettles will inherit their desired silver; the burr will be in their tabernacles.
7 The days of visitation have arrived; the days of retribution are here. Know this, Israel: that the prophet was foolish, the spiritual man was mad, because of the multitude of your iniquities and the great extent of your foolishness.
8 The watcher of Ephraim was with my God. The prophet has become a snare of ruin over all his ways; insanity is in the house of his God.
9 They have sinned profoundly, just as in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their iniquity, and he will repay their sin.
10 I discovered Israel like grapes in the desert. Like the first fruits of the fig tree, I saw their fathers on the end of its branches. But they went in to Baal-peor, and they have been estranged by intermingling, and they have became abominable, just like the things that they chose to love.
11 Ephraim has chased away their glory like a bird: from birth, and from the womb, and from conception.
12 And even if they should nurture their sons, I will make them without children among men. Yes, and woe to them, when I have withdrawn from them.
13 Ephraim, as I see it, was a Tyre, founded by beauty. And Ephraim will lead his sons to execution.
14 Give them, O Lord. What will you give them? Give them a womb without children, and dry breasts.
15 All their wickedness is in Gilgal, for I held them there, in their hatred. Because of the malice of their inventions, I will expel them from my house. I will no longer say that I love them; all their leaders have retreated.
16 Ephraim has been struck; their root has been dried out: by no means will they yield fruit. And even if they should conceive, I will execute the most beloved of their womb.
17 My God will cast them aside because they have not listened to him; and they will be wanderers among the nations.
9 Thou hast set a bound which they shall not pass over; neither shall they return to cover the earth.
10 Thou sendest forth springs in the vales: between the midst of the hills the waters shall pass.
11 All the beasts of the field shall drink: the wild asses shall expect in their thirst.
12 Over them the birds of the air shall dwell: from the midst of the rocks they shall give forth their voices.
13 Thou waterest the hills from thy upper rooms: the earth shall be filled with the fruit of thy works:
14 Bringing forth grass for cattle, and herb for the service of men. That thou mayst bring bread out of the earth:
15 And that wine may cheer the heart of man. That he may make the face cheerful with oil: and that bread may strengthen man’s heart.
1 Now concerning the things about which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
2 But, because of fornication, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.
3 A husband should fulfill his obligation to his wife, and a wife should also act similarly toward her husband.
4 It is not the wife, but the husband, who has power over her body. But, similarly also, it is not the husband, but the wife, who has power over his body.
5 So, do not fail in your obligations to one another, except perhaps by consent, for a limited time, so that you may empty yourselves for prayer. And then, return together again, lest Satan tempt you by means of your abstinence.
6 But I am saying this, neither as an indulgence, nor as a commandment.
7 For I would prefer it if you were all like myself. But each person has his proper gift from God: one in this way, yet another in that way.
8 But I say to the unmarried and to widows: It is good for them, if they would remain as they are, just as I also am.
9 But if they cannot restrain themselves, they should marry. For it is better to marry, than to be burned.
10 But to those who have been joined in matrimony, it is not I who commands you, but the Lord: a wife is not to separate from her husband.
11 But if she has separated from him, she must remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband should not divorce his wife.
12 Concerning the rest, I am speaking, not the Lord. If any brother has an unbelieving wife, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her.
13 And if any woman has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce her husband.
14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through the believing wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through the believing husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean, whereas instead they are holy.
15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart. For a brother or sister cannot be made subject to servitude in this way. For God has called us to peace.
16 And how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
17 However, let each one walk just as the Lord has distributed to him, each one just as God has called him. And thus do I teach in all the churches.
18 Has any circumcised man been called? Let him not cover his circumcision. Has any uncircumcised man been called? Let him not be circumcised.
19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; there is only the observance of the commandments of God.
20 Let each and every one remain in the same calling to which he was called.