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First Reading: Isaiah Chapter 37 and 38
1 And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of Jehovah.
2 And he sent Eliakim, who was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, unto Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.
3 And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and of contumely; for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.
4 It may be Jehovah thy God will hear the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to defy the living God, and will rebuke the words which Jehovah thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that is left.
5 So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah.
6 And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith Jehovah, Be not afraid of the words that thou hast heard, wherewith the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.
7 Behold, I will put a spirit in him, and he shall hear tidings, and shall return unto his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.
8 So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah; for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish.
9 And he heard say concerning Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, He is come out to fight against thee. And when he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah, saying,
10 Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God in whom thou trustest deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.
11 Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly: and shalt thou be delivered?
12 Have the gods of the nations delivered them, which my fathers have destroyed, Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden that were in Telassar?
13 Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivvah?
14 And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up unto the house of Jehovah, and spread it before Jehovah.
15 And Hezekiah prayed unto Jehovah, saying,
16 O Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, that sittest `above' the cherubim, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth.
17 Incline thine ear, O Jehovah, and hear; open thine eyes, O Jehovah, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, who hath sent to defy the living God.
18 Of a truth, Jehovah, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the countries, and their land,
19 and have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone; therefore they have destroyed them.
20 Now therefore, O Jehovah our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art Jehovah, even thou only.
21 Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent unto Hezekiah, saying, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel, Whereas thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib king of Assyria,
22 this is the word which Jehovah hath spoken concerning him: The virgin daughter of Zion hath despised thee and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.
23 Whom hast thou defied and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice and lifted up thine eyes on high? `even' against the Holy One of Israel.
24 By thy servants hast thou defied the Lord, and hast said, With the multitude of my chariots am I come up to the height of the mountains, to the innermost parts of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, and the choice fir-trees thereof; and I will enter into its farthest height, the forest of its fruitful field;
25 I have digged and drunk water, and with the sole of my feet will I dry up all the rivers of Egypt.
26 Hast thou not heard how I have done it long ago, and formed it of ancient times? now have I brought it to pass, that it should be thine to lay waste fortified cities into ruinous heaps.
27 Therefore their inhabitants were of small power, they were dismayed and confounded; they were as the grass of the field, and as the green herb, as the grass on the housetops, and as a field `of grain' before it is grown up.
28 But I know thy sitting down, and thy going out, and thy coming in, and thy raging against me.
29 Because of thy raging against me, and because thine arrogancy is come up into mine ears, therefore will I put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.
30 And this shall be the sign unto thee: ye shall eat this year that which groweth of itself, and in the second year that which springeth of the same; and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof.
31 And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward.
32 For out of Jerusalem shall go forth a remnant, and out of mount Zion they that shall escape. The zeal of Jehovah of hosts will perform this.
33 Therefore thus saith Jehovah concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come unto this city, nor shoot an arrow there, neither shall he come before it with shield, nor cast up a mound against it.
34 By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and he shall not come unto this city, saith Jehovah.
35 For I will defend this city to save it, for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.
36 And the angel of Jehovah went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand; and when men arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.
37 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.
38 And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword; and they escaped into the land of Ararat. And Esar-haddon his son reigned in his stead.
1 In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith Jehovah, Set thy house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live.
2 Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto Jehovah,
3 and said, Remember now, O Jehovah, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
4 Then came the word of Jehovah to Isaiah, saying,
5 Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years.
6 And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city.
7 And this shall be the sign unto thee from Jehovah, that Jehovah will do this thing that he hath spoken:
8 behold, I will cause the shadow on the steps, which is gone down on the dial of Ahaz with the sun, to return backward ten steps. So the sun returned ten steps on the dial whereon it was gone down.
9 The writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, when he had been sick, and was recovered of his sickness.
10 I said, In the noontide of my days I shall go into the gates of Sheol: I am deprived of the residue of my years.
11 I said, I shall not see Jehovah, `even' Jehovah in the land of the living: I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world.
12 My dwelling is removed, and is carried away from me as a shepherd's tent: I have rolled up, like a weaver, my life; he will cut me off from the loom: From day even to night wilt thou make an end of me.
13 I quieted `myself' until morning; as a lion, so he breaketh all my bones: From day even to night wilt thou make an end of me.
14 Like a swallow `or' a crane, so did I chatter; I did moan as a dove; mine eyes fail `with looking' upward: O Lord, I am oppressed, be thou my surety.
15 What shall I say? he hath both spoken unto me, and himself hath done it: I shall go softly all my years because of the bitterness of my soul.
16 O Lord, by these things men live; And wholly therein is the life of my spirit: Wherefore recover thou me, and make me to live.
17 Behold, `it was' for `my' peace `that' I had great bitterness: But thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption; For thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.
18 For Sheol cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee: They that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.
19 The living, the living, he shall praise thee, as I do this day: The father to the children shall make known thy truth.
20 Jehovah is `ready' to save me: Therefore we will sing my songs with stringed instruments All the days of our life in the house of Jehovah.
21 Now Isaiah had said, Let them take a cake of figs, and lay it for a plaster upon the boil, and he shall recover.
22 Hezekiah also had said, What is the sign that I shall go up to the house of Jehovah?
Second Reading: Colossians Chapter 2
1 For I would have you know how greatly I strive for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;
2 that their hearts may be comforted, they being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, that they may know the mystery of God, `even' Christ,
3 in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden.
4 This I say, that no one may delude you with persuasiveness of speech.
5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ.
6 As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, `so' walk in him,
7 rooted and builded up in him, and established in your faith, even as ye were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
8 Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ:
9 for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily,
10 and in him ye are made full, who is the head of all principality and power:
11 in whom ye were also circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, in the putting off of the body of the flesh, in the circumcision of Christ;
12 having been buried with him in baptism, wherein ye were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.
13 And you, being dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, you, `I say', did he make alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses;
14 having blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us: and he hath taken it out that way, nailing it to the cross;
15 having despoiled the principalities and the powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a feast day or a new moon or a sabbath day:
17 which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ's.
18 Let no man rob you of your prize by a voluntary humility and worshipping of the angels, dwelling in the things which he hath seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
19 and not holding fast the Head, from whom all the body, being supplied and knit together through the joints and bands, increasing with the increase of God.
20 If ye died with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, do ye subject yourselves to ordinances,
21 Handle not, nor taste, nor touch
22 (all which things are to perish with the using), after the precepts and doctrines of men?
23 Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will-worship, and humility, and severity to the body; `but are' not of any value against the indulgence of the flesh.
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Part 2 of 2
Paul consistently started his letters with the gospel message of salvation in Jesus. He usually ended his letters with exhortations to believers on the impact of faith in Jesus on their individual lives in practical terms. This same sequence can be found in Colossians:
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)
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