Daily Bible Reading
Today's reading: 2 Kings 17; Isaiah 10-11
Look for the promises in God’s word. As you read and find them, write them in your journal along with the scripture reference.
2 Kings 17
Hoshea’s Reign over Israel
1. In the twelfth year of King Ahaz’s reign over Judah, Hoshea son of Elah became king over Israel. He reigned in Samaria for nine years.
2. He did evil in the sight of the Lord, but not to the same degree as the Israelite kings who preceded him.
3. King Shalmaneser of Assyria threatened him; Hoshea became his subject and paid him tribute.
4. The king of Assyria discovered that Hoshea was planning a revolt. Hoshea had sent messengers to King So of Egypt and had not sent his annual tribute to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria arrested him and imprisoned him.
5. The king of Assyria marched through the whole land. He attacked Samaria and besieged it for three years.
6. In the ninth year of Hoshea’s reign, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and deported the people of Israel to Assyria. He settled them in Halah, along the Habor (the river of Gozan), and in the cities of the Medes.
A Summary of Israel’s Sinful History
7. This happened because the Israelites sinned against the Lord their God, who brought them up from the land of Egypt and freed them from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They worshiped other gods;
8. they observed the practices of the nations whom the Lord had driven out from before Israel, and followed the example of the kings of Israel.
9. The Israelites said things about the Lord their God that were not right. They built high places in all their cities, from the watchtower to the fortress.
10. They set up sacred pillars and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every green tree.
11. They burned incense on all the high places just like the nations whom the Lord had driven away from before them. Their evil practices made the Lord angry.
12. They worshiped the disgusting idols in blatant disregard of the Lord’s command.
13. The Lord solemnly warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and all the seers, “Turn back from your evil ways; obey my commandments and rules that are recorded in the law. I ordered your ancestors to keep this law and sent my servants the prophets to remind you of its demands.”
14. But they did not pay attention and were as stubborn as their ancestors, who had not trusted the Lord their God.
15. They rejected his rules, the covenant he had made with their ancestors, and the laws he had commanded them to obey. They paid allegiance to worthless idols, and so became worthless to the Lord. They copied the practices of the surrounding nations in blatant disregard of the Lord’s command.
16. They abandoned all the commandments of the Lord their God; they made two metal calves and an Asherah pole, bowed down to all the stars in the sky, and worshiped Baal.
17. They passed their sons and daughters through the fire, and practiced divination and omen reading. They committed themselves to doing evil in the sight of the Lord and made him angry.
18. So the Lord was furious with Israel and rejected them; only the tribe of Judah was left.
19. Judah also failed to keep the commandments of the Lord their God; they followed Israel’s example.
20. So the Lord rejected all of Israel’s descendants; he humiliated them and handed them over to robbers, until he had thrown them from his presence.
21. He tore Israel away from David’s dynasty, and Jeroboam son of Nebat became their king. Jeroboam drove Israel away from the Lord and encouraged them to commit a serious sin.
22. The Israelites followed in the sinful ways of Jeroboam son of Nebat and did not repudiate them.
23. Finally the Lord rejected Israel just as he had warned he would do through all his servants the prophets. Israel was deported from its land to Assyria and remains there to this very day.
The King of Assyria Populates Israel with Foreigners
24. The king of Assyria brought foreigners from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim and settled them in the cities of Samaria in place of the Israelites. They took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities.
25. When they first moved in, they did not worship the Lord. So the Lord sent lions among them and the lions were killing them.
26. The king of Assyria was told, “The nations whom you deported and settled in the cities of Samaria do not know the requirements of the God of the land, so he has sent lions among them. They are killing the people because they do not know the requirements of the God of the land.”
27. So the king of Assyria ordered, “Take back one of the priests whom you deported from there. He must settle there and teach them the requirements of the God of the land.”
28. So one of the priests whom they had deported from Samaria went back and settled in Bethel. He taught them how to worship the Lord.
29. But each of these nations made its own gods and put them in the shrines on the high places that the people of Samaria had made. Each nation did this in the cities where they lived.
30. The people from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, the people from Cuth made Nergal, the people from Hamath made Ashima,
31. the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their sons in the fire as an offering to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.
32. At the same time they worshiped the Lord. They appointed some of their own people to serve as priests in the shrines on the high places.
33. They were worshiping the Lord and at the same time serving their own gods in accordance with the practices of the nations from which they had been deported.
34. To this very day they observe their earlier practices. They do not worship the Lord; they do not obey the rules, regulations, law, and commandments that the Lord gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he renamed Israel.
35. The Lord made an agreement with them and instructed them, “You must not worship other gods. Do not bow down to them, serve them, or offer sacrifices to them.
36. Instead you must worship the Lord, who brought you up from the land of Egypt by his great power and military ability; bow down to him and offer sacrifices to him.
37. You must carefully obey at all times the rules, regulations, law, and commandments he wrote down for you. You must not worship other gods.
38. You must never forget the agreement I made with you, and you must not worship other gods.
39. Instead you must worship the Lord your God; then he will rescue you from the power of all your enemies.”
40. But they pay no attention; instead they observe their earlier practices.
41. These nations are worshiping the Lord and at the same time serving their idols; their sons and grandsons do just as their fathers have done, to this very day.
1. Those who enact unjust policies are as good as dead, those who are always instituting unfair regulations,
2. to keep the poor from getting fair treatment, and to deprive the oppressed among my people of justice, so they can steal what widows own, and loot what belongs to orphans.
3. What will you do on judgment day, when destruction arrives from a distant place? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your wealth?
4. You will have no place to go, except to kneel with the prisoners, or to fall among those who have been killed. Despite all this, his anger does not subside, and his hand is ready to strike again.
The Lord Turns on Arrogant Assyria
5. Assyria, the club I use to vent my anger, is as good as dead, a cudgel with which I angrily punish.
6. I sent him against a godless nation, I ordered him to attack the people with whom I was angry, to take plunder and to carry away loot, to trample them down like dirt in the streets.
7. But he does not agree with this, his mind does not reason this way, for his goal is to destroy, and to eliminate many nations.
8. Indeed, he says: “Are not my officials all kings?
9. Is not Calneh like Carchemish? Hamath like Arpad? Samaria like Damascus?
10. I overpowered kingdoms ruled by idols, whose carved images were more impressive than Jerusalem’s or Samaria’s.
11. As I have done to Samaria and its idols, so I will do to Jerusalem and its idols.”
12. But when the sovereign master finishes judging Mount Zion and Jerusalem, then I will punish the king of Assyria for what he has proudly planned and for the arrogant attitude he displays.
13. For he says: “By my strong hand I have accomplished this, by my strategy that I devised. I invaded the territory of nations, and looted their storehouses. Like a mighty conqueror, I brought down rulers.
14. My hand discovered the wealth of the nations, as if it were in a nest, as one gathers up abandoned eggs, I gathered up the whole earth. There was no wing flapping, or open mouth chirping.”
15. Does an ax exalt itself over the one who wields it, or a saw magnify itself over the one who cuts with it? As if a scepter should brandish the one who raises it, or a staff should lift up what is not made of wood!
16. For this reason the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies, will make his healthy ones emaciated. His majestic glory will go up in smoke.
17. The light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One will become a flame; it will burn and consume the Assyrian king’s briers and his thorns in one day.
18. The splendor of his forest and his orchard will be completely destroyed, as when a sick man’s life ebbs away.
19. There will be so few trees left in his forest, a child will be able to count them.
20. At that time those left in Israel, those who remain of the family of Jacob, will no longer rely on a foreign leader that abuses them. Instead they will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.
21. A remnant will come back, a remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.
22. For though your people, Israel, are as numerous as the sand on the seashore, only a remnant will come back. Destruction has been decreed; just punishment is about to engulf you.
23. The sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies, is certainly ready to carry out the decreed destruction throughout the land.
24. So here is what the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies, says: “My people who live in Zion, do not be afraid of Assyria, even though they beat you with a club and lift their cudgel against you as Egypt did.
25. For very soon my fury will subside, and my anger will be directed toward their destruction.”
26. The Lord who commands armies is about to beat them with a whip, similar to the way he struck down Midian at the rock of Oreb. He will use his staff against the sea, lifting it up as he did in Egypt.
27. At that time the Lord will remove their burden from your shoulders, and their yoke from your neck; the yoke will be taken off because your neck will be too large.
28. They attacked Aiath, moved through Migron, depositing their supplies at Micmash.
29. They went through the pass, spent the night at Geba. Ramah trembled, Gibeah of Saul ran away.
30. Shout out, daughter of Gallim! Pay attention, Laishah! Answer her, Anathoth!
31. Madmenah flees, the residents of Gebim have hidden.
32. This very day, standing in Nob, they shake their fist at Daughter Zion’s mountain – at the hill of Jerusalem.
33. Look, the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies, is ready to cut off the branches with terrifying power. The tallest trees will be cut down, the loftiest ones will be brought low.
34. The thickets of the forest will be chopped down with an ax, and mighty Lebanon will fall.
An Ideal King Establishes a Kingdom of Peace
1. A shoot will grow out of Jesse’s root stock, a bud will sprout from his roots.
2. The Lord’s spirit will rest on him – a spirit that gives extraordinary wisdom, a spirit that provides the ability to execute plans, a spirit that produces absolute loyalty to the Lord.
3. He will take delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by mere appearances, or make decisions on the basis of hearsay.
4. He will treat the poor fairly, and make right decisions for the downtrodden of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and order the wicked to be executed.
5. Justice will be like a belt around his waist, integrity will be like a belt around his hips.
6. A wolf will reside with a lamb, and a leopard will lie down with a young goat; an ox and a young lion will graze together, as a small child leads them along.
7. A cow and a bear will graze together, their young will lie down together. A lion, like an ox, will eat straw.
8. A baby will play over the hole of a snake; over the nest of a serpent an infant will put his hand.
9. They will no longer injure or destroy on my entire royal mountain. For there will be universal submission to the Lord’s sovereignty, just as the waters completely cover the sea.
Israel is Reclaimed and Reunited
10. At that time a root from Jesse will stand like a signal flag for the nations. Nations will look to him for guidance, and his residence will be majestic.
11. At that time the sovereign master will again lift his hand to reclaim the remnant of his people from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and the seacoasts.
12. He will lift a signal flag for the nations; he will gather Israel’s dispersed people and assemble Judah’s scattered people from the four corners of the earth.
13. Ephraim’s jealousy will end, and Judah’s hostility will be eliminated. Ephraim will no longer be jealous of Judah, and Judah will no longer be hostile toward Ephraim.
14. They will swoop down on the Philistine hills to the west; together they will loot the people of the east. They will take over Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites will be their subjects.
15. The Lord will divide the gulf of the Egyptian Sea; he will wave his hand over the Euphrates River and send a strong wind, he will turn it into seven dried-up streams, and enable them to walk across in their sandals.
16. There will be a highway leading out of Assyria for the remnant of his people, just as there was for Israel, when they went up from the land of Egypt.