July 31st, 2022

July 31, 2022

Today's Reading:

New Testament & Psalms Plan: Acts 23:12–35, Psalm 89:12–20
Entire Bible Plan: Acts 23:12–35, Psalm 89:12–20, 2 Chronicles 35–36

Download NT & Psalms Plan Download Entire Bible Plan

The Plot against Paul

When it was morning, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves under a curse not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. There were more than forty who had formed this plot. These men went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have bound ourselves under a solemn curse that we won’t eat anything until we have killed Paul. So now you, along with the Sanhedrin, make a request to the commander that he bring him down to you as if you were going to investigate his case more thoroughly. But, before he gets near, we are ready to kill him.”

But the son of Paul’s sister, hearing about their ambush, came and entered the barracks and reported it to Paul. Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander, because he has something to report to him.”

So he took him, brought him to the commander, and said, “The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, because he has something to tell you.”

The commander took him by the hand, led him aside, and inquired privately, “What is it you have to report to me?”

“The Jews,” he said, “have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the Sanhedrin tomorrow, as though they are going to hold a somewhat more careful inquiry about him. Don’t let them persuade you, because there are more than forty of them lying in ambush—men who have bound themselves under a curse not to eat or drink until they have killed him. Now they are ready, waiting for your consent.”

So the commander dismissed the young man and instructed him, “Don’t tell anyone that you have informed me about this.”

To Caesarea by Night

He summoned two of his centurions and said, “Get two hundred soldiers ready with seventy cavalry and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at nine tonight. Also provide mounts to ride so that Paul may be brought safely to Felix the governor.”

He wrote the following letter:

Claudius Lysias,

To the most excellent governor Felix:

Greetings.

When this man had been seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them, I arrived with my troops and rescued him because I learned that he is a Roman citizen. Wanting to know the charge they were accusing him of, I brought him down before their Sanhedrin. I found out that the accusations were concerning questions of their law, and that there was no charge that merited death or imprisonment. When I was informed that there was a plot against the man, I sent him to you right away. I also ordered his accusers to state their case against him in your presence.

So the soldiers took Paul during the night and brought him to Antipatris as they were ordered. The next day, they returned to the barracks, allowing the cavalry to go on with him. When these men entered Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they also presented Paul to him. After he read it, he asked what province he was from. When he learned he was from Cilicia, he said, “I will give you a hearing whenever your accusers also get here.” He ordered that he be kept under guard in Herod’s palace.


Scripture quotations have been taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Scripture quotations have been taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
Josiah’s Passover Observance

Josiah observed the Lord’s Passover and slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the first month. He appointed the priests to their responsibilities and encouraged them to serve in the Lord’s temple. He said to the Levites who taught all Israel the holy things of the Lord, “Put the holy ark in the temple built by Solomon son of David king of Israel. Since you do not have to carry it on your shoulders, now serve the Lord your God and his people Israel.

“Organize your ancestral families by your divisions according to the written instruction of King David of Israel and that of his son Solomon. Serve in the holy place by the groupings of the ancestral families for your brothers, the lay people, and according to the division of the Levites by family. Slaughter the Passover lambs, consecrate yourselves, and make preparations for your brothers to carry out the word of the Lord through Moses.”

Then Josiah donated thirty thousand sheep, lambs, and young goats, plus three thousand cattle from his own possessions, for the Passover sacrifices for all the lay people who were present.

His officials also donated willingly for the people, the priests, and the Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, chief officials of God’s temple, gave twenty-six hundred Passover sacrifices and three hundred cattle for the priests. Conaniah and his brothers Shemaiah and Nethanel, and Hashabiah, Jeiel, and Jozabad, officers of the Levites, donated five thousand Passover sacrifices for the Levites, plus five hundred cattle.

So the service was established; the priests stood at their posts and the Levites in their divisions according to the king’s command. Then they slaughtered the Passover lambs, and while the Levites were skinning the animals, the priests splattered the blood they had been given. They removed the burnt offerings so that they might be given to the groupings of the ancestral families of the lay people to offer to the Lord, according to what is written in the book of Moses; they did the same with the cattle. They roasted the Passover lambs with fire according to regulation. They boiled the holy sacrifices in pots, kettles, and bowls; and they quickly brought them to the lay people. Afterward, they made preparations for themselves and for the priests, since the priests, the descendants of Aaron, were busy offering up burnt offerings and fat until night. So the Levites made preparations for themselves and for the priests, the descendants of Aaron.

The singers, the descendants of Asaph, were at their stations according to the command of David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s seer. Also, the gatekeepers were at each temple gate. None of them left their tasks because their Levite brothers had made preparations for them.

So all the service of the Lord was established that day for observing the Passover and for offering burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord, according to the command of King Josiah. The Israelites who were present in Judah also observed the Passover at that time and the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days. No Passover had been observed like it in Israel since the days of the prophet Samuel. None of the kings of Israel ever observed a Passover like the one that Josiah observed with the priests, the Levites, all Judah, the Israelites who were present in Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. In the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign, this Passover was observed.

Josiah’s Last Deeds and Death

After all this that Josiah had prepared for the temple, King Neco of Egypt marched up to fight at Carchemish by the Euphrates, and Josiah went out to confront him. But Neco sent messengers to him, saying, “What is the issue between you and me, king of Judah? I have not come against you today but I am fighting another dynasty. God told me to hurry. Stop opposing God who is with me; don’t make him destroy you!”

But Josiah did not turn away from him; instead, in order to fight with him he disguised himself. He did not listen to Neco’s words from the mouth of God, but went to the Valley of Megiddo to fight. The archers shot King Josiah, and he said to his servants, “Take me away, for I am severely wounded!” So his servants took him out of the war chariot, carried him in his second chariot, and brought him to Jerusalem. Then he died, and they buried him in the tomb of his ancestors. All Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. Jeremiah chanted a dirge over Josiah, and all the male and female singers still speak of Josiah in their dirges today. They established them as a statute for Israel, and indeed they are written in the Dirges.

The rest of the events of Josiah’s reign, along with his deeds of faithful love according to what is written in the law of the Lord, and his words, from beginning to end, are written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah.

Judah’s King Jehoahaz

Then the common people took Jehoahaz son of Josiah and made him king in Jerusalem in place of his father.

Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. The king of Egypt deposed him in Jerusalem and fined the land seventy-five hundred pounds of silver and seventy-five pounds of gold.

Judah’s King Jehoiakim

Then King Neco of Egypt made Jehoahaz’s brother Eliakim king over Judah and Jerusalem and changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim. But Neco took his brother Jehoahaz and brought him to Egypt.

Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God. Now King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked him and bound him in bronze shackles to take him to Babylon. Also Nebuchadnezzar took some of the articles of the Lord’s temple to Babylon and put them in his temple in Babylon.

The rest of the deeds of Jehoiakim, the detestable actions he committed, and what was found against him, are written in the Book of Israel’s Kings. His son Jehoiachin became king in his place.

Judah’s King Jehoiachin

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the Lord’s sight. In the spring Nebuchadnezzar sent for him and brought him to Babylon along with the valuable articles of the Lord’s temple. Then he made Jehoiachin’s brother Zedekiah king over Judah and Jerusalem.

Judah’s King Zedekiah

Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord his God and did not humble himself before the prophet Jeremiah at the Lord’s command. He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar who had made him swear allegiance by God. He became obstinate and hardened his heart against returning to the Lord, the God of Israel. All the leaders of the priests and the people multiplied their unfaithful deeds, imitating all the detestable practices of the nations, and they defiled the Lord’s temple that he had consecrated in Jerusalem.

The Destruction of Jerusalem

But the Lord, the God of their ancestors sent word against them by the hand of his messengers, sending them time and time again, for he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place. But they kept ridiculing God’s messengers, despising his words, and scoffing at his prophets, until the Lord’s wrath was so stirred up against his people that there was no remedy. So he brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their fit young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary. He had no pity on young men or young women, elderly or aged; he handed them all over to him. He took everything to Babylon—all the articles of God’s temple, large and small, the treasures of the Lord’s temple, and the treasures of the king and his officials. Then the Chaldeans burned God’s temple. They tore down Jerusalem’s wall, burned all its palaces, and destroyed all its valuable articles.

He deported those who escaped from the sword to Babylon, and they became servants to him and his sons until the rise of the Persian kingdom. This fulfilled the word of the Lord through Jeremiah, and the land enjoyed its Sabbath rest all the days of the desolation until seventy years were fulfilled.

The Decree of Cyrus

In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken through Jeremiah, the Lord roused the spirit of King Cyrus of Persia to issue a proclamation throughout his entire kingdom and also to put it in writing:

This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: The Lord, the God of the heavens, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and has appointed me to build him a temple at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the Lord his God be with him.


Scripture quotations have been taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Leave a Comment:

Name:

Comment:


More from Daily Bible Reading

Previous Page