1 Now Azariah, the son of Oded, had the Spirit of God within him.
2 And he went out to meet Asa, and he said to him: “Listen to me, Asa and all of Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you, because you have been with him. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you.
3 Then many days will pass in Israel, apart from the true God, and apart from a learned priest, and apart from the law.
4 And when, in their anguish, they will have returned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and will have sought him, they shall find him.
5 In that time, there will be no peace for those who depart and those who enter. Instead, there will be terror on every side, among all the inhabitants of the lands.
6 For nation will fight against nation, and city against city. For the Lord will disturb them with every anguish.
7 But as for you, be strengthened, and do not let your hands be weakened. For there will be a reward for your work.”
8 And when Asa had heard these particular words, and the prophecy of the prophet Azariah, the son of Oded, he was strengthened, and he took away the idols from the entire land of Judah, and from Benjamin, and from the cities that he had seized of mount Ephraim, and he dedicated the altar of the Lord, which was before the portico of the Lord.
9 And he gathered together all of Judah and Benjamin, and with them the new arrivals from Ephraim and Manasseh and Simeon. For many had fled to him from Israel, seeing that the Lord his God was with him.
10 And when they had arrived in Jerusalem, in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa,
11 they immolated to the Lord on that day, from the best of the spoils and from the plunder that they had brought: seven hundred oxen and seven thousand rams.
12 And he entered, according to custom, in order to confirm the covenant, so that they would seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with their whole heart and with their whole soul.
13 But if anyone, he said, “will not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, let him die, from the least even to the greatest, from man even to woman.”
14 And they swore to the Lord, with a great voice, in jubilation, and with the blare of trumpets, and with the sound of horns,
15 all who were in Judah swore with a curse. For with all their heart they swore, and with all their will they sought and found him. And the Lord granted rest on all sides to them.
16 Then too, Maacah, the mother of king Asa, he deposed from the august authority, because she had made an idol of Priapus within a sacred grove. And he entirely crushed it, breaking it into pieces, and he burned it at the torrent Kidron.
17 But some high places were left in Israel. Even so, the heart of Asa was perfect during all his days.
18 And whatever his father or he himself had vowed, he brought into the house of the Lord: silver and gold, and vessels for various uses.
19 Truly, there was no war, until the thirty-fifth year of the kingdom of Asa.
1 Then, in the thirty-sixth year of his reign, Baasha, the king of Israel, ascended against Judah. And he encircled Ramah with a wall, so that no one could safely depart or enter from the kingdom of Asa.
2 Therefore, Asa brought forth silver and gold from the treasuries of the house of the Lord, and from the treasuries of the king. And he sent to Benhadad, the king of Syria, who was living in Damascus, saying:
3 There is a pact between me and you. Also, my father and your father had an agreement. For this reason, I have sent silver and gold to you, so that you may break the pact that you have with Baasha, the king of Israel, and so that you may cause him to withdraw from me.
4 And when he verified this, Benhadad sent the leaders of his armies to the cities of Israel. And they struck Ahion, and Dan, and Abelmaim, and all the walled cities of Naphtali.
5 And when Baasha had heard of it, he ceased to build around Ramah, and he interrupted his work.
6 Then king Asa took all of Judah, and they carried away from Ramah the stones and the wood that Baasha had prepared for the things to be built. And he built up Gibeah and Mizpah with them.
7 In that time, the prophet Hanani went to Asa, the king of Judah, and he said to him: “Because you have faith in the king of Syria, and not in the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand.
8 Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans much more numerous in chariots, and horsemen, and an exceedingly great multitude? Yet when you believed in the Lord, he delivered them into your hand.
9 For the eyes of the Lord contemplate the entire earth, and offer fortitude to those who believe in him with a perfect heart. And so, you acted foolishly. And so, because of this, from the present time wars shall rise up against you.”
10 And Asa was angry against the seer, and he ordered him to be sent into prison. For indeed, he had been very indignant over this. And in that time, he put to death very many of the people.
11 But the works of Asa, the first and the last, have been written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
12 And now Asa became ill, in the thirty-ninth year of his reign, with a very severe pain in his feet. And yet, in his infirmity, he did not seek the Lord. Instead, he trusted more in the skill of physicians.
13 And he slept with his fathers. And he died in the forty-first year of his reign.
14 And they buried him in his own sepulcher, which he had made for himself in the City of David. And they placed him upon his bed, full of the aromatics and ointments of courtesans, which were composed with the skill of the perfumers. And they burned these over him with very great ostentation.
1 Then Jehoshaphat, his son, reigned in his place. And he grew strong against Israel.
2 And he appointed numbers of soldiers in all the cities of Judah that had been fortified with walls. And he placed garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim that his father Asa had seized.
3 And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father, David. And he did not trust in the Baals,
4 but in the God of his father. And he advanced in his precepts, and not according to the sins of Israel.
5 And the Lord confirmed the kingdom in his hand. And all of Judah gave gifts to Jehoshaphat. And innumerable riches were brought to him, and much glory.
6 And when his heart had taken courage because of the ways of the Lord, he now also took away the high places and the sacred groves from Judah.
7 Then, in the third year of his reign, he sent Benhail, and Obadiah, and Zechariah, and Nethanel, and Micaiah, from among his leaders, so that they might teach in the cites of Judah.
8 And with them were the Levites Shemaiah and Nethaniah and Zebadiah, and also Asahel and Shemiramoth and Jehonathan, and the Levites Adonijah and Tobijah and Tobadonijah. And with them were the priests Elishama and Jehoram.
9 And they were teaching the people in Judah, having with them the book of the law of the Lord. And they were traveling through all the cities of Judah, and were instructing the people.
10 And so, the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands which were around Judah. And they did not dare to make war against Jehoshaphat.
11 Moreover, the Philistines carried gifts to Jehoshaphat, and a tribute in silver. Also, the Arabians brought cattle: seven thousand seven hundred rams, and the same number of he-goats.
12 Therefore, Jehoshaphat increased and was magnified, even on high. And in Judah, he built houses in the likeness of towers, and walled cities.
13 And he prepared many works in the cities of Judah. Also, there were men experienced in warfare in Jerusalem,
14 and this is the number of them, by each of the houses and families. In Judah, the leader of the army was Adnah, the commander; and with him were three hundred thousand very experienced men.
15 After him, Jehohanan was the leader; and with him were two hundred eighty thousand.
16 Also after him, there was Amasiah, the son of Zichri, who was consecrated to the Lord; and with him were two hundred thousand strong men.
17 Following him, there was Eliada, who was experienced in battle; and with him were two hundred thousand, holding bow and shield.
18 Then too, after him, there was Jehozabad; and with him were one hundred eighty thousand lightly-armed solders.
19 All these were at the hand of the king, aside from the others, whom he had positioned in the walled cities, in all of Judah.
1 And so Daniel was living with the king, and he was honored above all his friends.
2 Now there was an idol with the Babylonians named Bel. And each day there was expended on him twelve great measures of fine flour, and forty sheep, and six vessels of wine.
3 The king likewise worshipped him and went each day to adore him, but Daniel adored his God. And the king said to him, “Why do you not adore Bel?”
4 And answering, he said to him, “Because I do not worship idols made with hands, but the living God, who created heaven and earth, and who holds power over all flesh.”
5 And the king said to him, “Does not Bel seem to you to be a living god? Do you not see how much he eats and drinks every day?”
6 Then Daniel said, smiling, “O king, do not make a mistake, for this one is clay on the inside and brass on the outside, and he has never eaten.”
7 And the king, being angry, called for his priests and said to them, “If you do not tell me who it is that has eaten these expenses, you will die.
8 But if you can show that Bel has eaten these, Daniel will die, because he has blasphemed against Bel.” And Daniel said to the king, “Let it be according to your word.”
9 Now the priests of Bel were seventy, besides their wives, and little ones, and sons. And the king went with Daniel into the temple of Bel.
10 And the priests of Bel said, “Behold, we are going out, and you, O king, set out the meats, and mix the wine, and close the door, and seal it with your ring.
11 And when you have entered in the morning, if you have not found that Bel has consumed all, we will suffer death, or else Daniel will, who has lied against us.”
12 But they had no concern because they had made a secret entrance under the table, and they always went in through it and devoured those things.
1 The prayer of the poor man, when he was anxious, and poured out his supplication before the Lord.
2 Hear, O Lord, my prayer: and let my cry come to thee.
3 Turn not away thy face from me: in the day when I am in trouble, incline thy ear to me. In what day soever I shall call upon thee, hear me speedily.
4 For my days are vanished like smoke: and my bones are grown dry like fuel for the fire.
5 I am smitten as grass, and my heart is withered: because I forgot to eat my bread.
6 Through the voice of my groaning, my bone hath cleaved to my flesh.
7 I am become like to a pelican of the wilderness: I am like a night raven in the house.
8 I have watched, and am become as a sparrow all alone on the housetop.
9 All the day long my enemies reproached me: and they that praised me did swear against me.
1 But we who are stronger must bear with the feebleness of the weak, and not so as to please ourselves.
2 Each one of you should please his neighbor unto good, for edification.
3 For even Christ did not please himself, but as it was written: “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell upon me.”
4 For whatever was written, was written to teach us, so that, through patience and the consolation of the Scriptures, we might have hope.
5 So may the God of patience and solace grant you to be of one mind toward one another, in accord with Jesus Christ,
6 so that, together with one mouth, you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 For this reason, accept one another, just as Christ also has accepted you, in the honor of God.
8 For I declare that Christ Jesus was the minister of circumcision because of the truth of God, so as to confirm the promises to the fathers,
9 and that the Gentiles are to honor God because of his mercy, just as it was written: “Because of this, I will confess you among the Gentiles, O Lord, and I will sing to your name.”
10 And again, he says: “Rejoice, O Gentiles, along with his people.”
11 And again: “All Gentiles, praise the Lord; and all peoples, magnify him.”
12 And again, Isaiah says: “There shall be a root of Jesse, and he shall rise up to rule the Gentiles, and in him the Gentiles shall hope.”
13 So may the God of hope fill you with every joy and with peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope and in the virtue of the Holy Spirit.
14 But I am also certain about you, my brothers, that you also have been filled with love, completed with all knowledge, so that you are able to admonish one another.
15 But I have written to you, brothers, more boldly than to the others, as if calling you to mind again, because of the grace which has been given to me from God,
16 so that I may be a minister of Christ Jesus among the Gentiles, sanctifying the Gospel of God, in order that the oblation of the Gentiles may be made acceptable and may be sanctified in the Holy Spirit.
17 Therefore, I have glory in Christ Jesus before God.
18 So I dare not speak of any of those things which Christ does not effect through me, unto the obedience of the Gentiles, in word and deed,
19 with the power of signs and wonders, by power of the Holy Spirit. For in this way, from Jerusalem, throughout its surroundings, as far as Illyricum, I have replenished the Gospel of Christ.
20 And so I have preached this Gospel, not where Christ was known by name, lest I build upon the foundation of another,
21 but just as it was written: “Those to whom he was not announced shall perceive, and those who have not heard shall understand.”
22 Because of this also, I was greatly hindered in coming to you, and I have been prevented until the present time.
23 Yet truly now, having no other destination in these regions, and having already had a great desire to come to you over the past many years,
24 when I begin to set out on my journey to Spain, I hope that, as I pass by, I may see you, and I may be guided from there by you, after first having borne some fruit among you.
25 But next I will set out for Jerusalem, to minister to the saints.
26 For those of Macedonia and Achaia have decided to make a collection for those of the poor among the saints who are at Jerusalem.
27 And this has pleased them, because they are in their debt. For, since the Gentiles have become partakers of their spiritual things, they also ought to minister to them in worldly things.
28 Therefore, when I have completed this task, and have consigned to them this fruit, I shall set out, by way of you, to Spain.
29 And I know that when I come to you I shall arrive with an abundance of the blessings of the Gospel of Christ.
30 Therefore, I beg you, brothers, through our Lord Jesus Christ and though the love of the Holy Spirit, that you assist me with your prayers to God on my behalf,
31 so that I may be freed from the unfaithful who are in Judea, and so that the oblation of my service may be acceptable to the saints in Jerusalem.
32 So may I come to you with joy, through the will of God, and so may I be refreshed with you.
33 And may the God of peace be with you all. Amen.