11And Josias held the feast of the passover in Jerusalem unto his Lord, and offered the passover the fourteenth day of the first month;
2Having set the priests according to their daily courses, being arrayed in long garments, in the temple of the Lord.
3And he spake unto the Levites, the holy ministers of Israel, that they should hallow themselves unto the Lord, to set the holy ark of the Lord in the house that king Solomon the son of David had built:
4And said, Ye shall no more bear the ark upon your shoulders: now therefore serve the Lord your God, and minister unto his people Israel, and prepare you after your families and kindreds,
5According as David the king of Israel prescribed, and according to the magnificence of Solomon his son: and standing in the temple according to the several dignity of the families of you the Levites, who minister in the presence of your brethren the children of Israel,
6Offer the passover in order, and make ready the sacrifices for your brethren, and keep the passover according to the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto Moses.
7And unto the people that was found there Josias gave thirty thousand lambs and kids, and three thousand calves: these things were given of the king’s allowance, according as he promised, to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites.
8And Helkias, Zacharias, and Syelus, the governors of the temple, gave to the priests for the passover two thousand and six hundred sheep, and three hundred calves.
9And Jeconias, and Samaias, and Nathanael his brother, and Assabias, and Ochiel, and Joram, captains over thousands, gave to the Levites for the passover five thousand sheep, and seven hundred calves.
10And when these things were done, the priests and Levites, having the unleavened bread, stood in very comely order according to the kindreds,
11And according to the several dignities of the fathers, before the people, to offer to the Lord, as it is written in the book of Moses: and thus did they in the morning.
12And they roasted the passover with fire, as appertaineth: as for the sacrifices, they sod them in brass pots and pans with a good savour,
13And set them before all the people: and afterward they prepared for themselves, and for the priests their brethren, the sons of Aaron.
14For the priests offered the fat until night: and the Levites prepared for themselves, and the priests their brethren, the sons of Aaron.
15The holy singers also, the sons of Asaph, were in their order, according to the appointment of David, to wit, Asaph, Zacharias, and Jeduthun, who was of the king’s retinue.
16Moreover the porters were at every gate; it was not lawful for any to go from his ordinary service: for their brethren the Levites prepared for them.
17Thus were the things that belonged to the sacrifices of the Lord accomplished in that day, that they might hold the passover,
18And offer sacrifices upon the altar of the Lord, according to the commandment of king Josias.
19So the children of Israel which were present held the passover at that time, and the feast of sweet bread seven days.
20And such a passover was not kept in Israel since the time of the prophet Samuel.
21Yea, all the kings of Israel held not such a passover as Josias, and the priests, and the Levites, and the Jews, held with all Israel that were found dwelling at Jerusalem.
22In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josias was this passover kept.
23And the works or Josias were upright before his Lord with an heart full of godliness.
24As for the things that came to pass in his time, they were written in former times, concerning those that sinned, and did wickedly against the Lord above all people and kingdoms, and how they grieved him exceedingly, so that the words of the Lord rose up against Israel.
25Now after all these acts of Josias it came to pass, that Pharaoh the king of Egypt came to raise war at Carchamis upon Euphrates: and Josias went out against him.
26But the king of Egypt sent to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, O king of Judea?
27I am not sent out from the Lord God against thee; for my war is upon Euphrates: and now the Lord is with me, yea, the Lord is with me hasting me forward: depart from me, and be not against the Lord.
28Howbeit Josias did not turn back his chariot from him, but undertook to fight with him, not regarding the words of the prophet Jeremy spoken by the mouth of the Lord:
29But joined battle with him in the plain of Magiddo, and the princes came against king Josias.
30Then said the king unto his servants, Carry me away out of the battle; for I am very weak. And immediately his servants took him away out of the battle.
31Then gat he up upon his second chariot; and being brought back to Jerusalem died, and was buried in his father’s sepulchre.
32And in all Jewry they mourned for Josias, yea, Jeremy the prophet lamented for Josias, and the chief men with the women made lamentation for him unto this day: and this was given out for an ordinance to be done continually in all the nation of Israel.
33These things are written in the book of the stories of the kings of Judah, and every one of the acts that Josias did, and his glory, and his understanding in the law of the Lord, and the things that he had done before, and the things now recited, are reported in the book of the kings of Israel and Judea.
34And the people took Joachaz the son of Josias, and made him king instead of Josias his father, when he was twenty and three years old.
35And he reigned in Judea and in Jerusalem three months: and then the king of Egypt deposed him from reigning in Jerusalem.
36And he set a tax upon the land of an hundred talents of silver and one talent of gold.
37The king of Egypt also made king Joacim his brother king of Judea and Jerusalem.
38And he bound Joacim and the nobles: but Zaraces his brother he apprehended, and brought him out of Egypt.
39Five and twenty years old was Joacim when he was made king in the land of Judea and Jerusalem; and he did evil before the Lord.
40Wherefore against him Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon came up, and bound him with a chain of brass, and carried him into Babylon.
41Nabuchodonosor also took of the holy vessels of the Lord, and carried them away, and set them in his own temple at Babylon.
42But those things that are recorded of him, and of his uncleaness and impiety, are written in the chronicles of the kings.
43And Joacim his son reigned in his stead: he was made king being eighteen years old;
44And reigned but three months and ten days in Jerusalem; and did evil before the Lord.
45So after a year Nabuchodonosor sent and caused him to be brought into Babylon with the holy vessels of the Lord;
46And made Zedechias king of Judea and Jerusalem, when he was one and twenty years old; and he reigned eleven years:
47And he did evil also in the sight of the Lord, and cared not for the words that were spoken unto him by the prophet Jeremy from the mouth of the Lord.
48And after that king Nabuchodonosor had made him to swear by the name of the Lord, he forswore himself, and rebelled; and hardening his neck, and his heart, he transgressed the laws of the Lord God of Israel.
49The governors also of the people and of the priests did many things against the laws, and passed all the pollutions of all nations, and defiled the temple of the Lord, which was sanctified in Jerusalem.
50Nevertheless the God of their fathers sent by his messenger to call them back, because he spared them and his tabernacle also.
51But they had his messengers in derision; and, look, when the Lord spake unto them, they made a sport of his prophets:
52So far forth, that he, being wroth with his people for their great ungodliness, commanded the kings of the Chaldees to come up against them;
53Who slew their young men with the sword, yea, even within the compass of their holy temple, and spared neither young man nor maid, old man nor child, among them; for he delivered all into their hands.
54And they took all the holy vessels of the Lord, both great and small, with the vessels of the ark of God, and the king’s treasures, and carried them away into Babylon.
55As for the house of the Lord, they burnt it, and brake down the walls of Jerusalem, and set fire upon her towers:
56And as for her glorious things, they never ceased till they had consumed and brought them all to nought: and the people that were not slain with the sword he carried unto Babylon:
57Who became servants to him and his children, till the Persians reigned, to fulfil the word of the Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremy:
58Until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths, the whole time of her desolation shall she rest, until the full term of seventy years.
21In the first year of Cyrus king of the Persians, that the word of the Lord might be accomplished, that he had promised by the mouth of Jeremy;
2The Lord raised up the spirit of Cyrus the king of the Persians, and he made proclamation through all his kingdom, and also by writing,
3Saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of the Persians; The Lord of Israel, the most high Lord, hath made me king of the whole world,
4And commanded me to build him an house at Jerusalem in Jewry.
5If therefore there be any of you that are of his people, let the Lord, even his Lord, be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem that is in Judea, and build the house of the Lord of Israel: for he is the Lord that dwelleth in Jerusalem.
6Whosoever then dwell in the places about, let them help him, those, I say, that are his neighbours, with gold, and with silver,
7With gifts, with horses, and with cattle, and other things, which have been set forth by vow, for the temple of the Lord at Jerusalem.
8Then the chief of the families of Judea and of the tribe of Benjamin stood up; the priests also, and the Levites, and all they whose mind the Lord had moved to go up, and to build an house for the Lord at Jerusalem,
9And they that dwelt round about them, and helped them in all things with silver and gold, with horses and cattle, and with very many free gifts of a great number whose minds were stirred up thereto.
10King Cyrus also brought forth the holy vessels, which Nabuchodonosor had carried away from Jerusalem, and had set up in his temple of idols.
11Now when Cyrus king of the Persians had brought them forth, he delivered them to Mithridates his treasurer:
12And by him they were delivered to Sanabassar the governor of Judea.
13And this was the number of them; A thousand golden cups, and a thousand of silver, censers of silver twenty nine, vials of gold thirty, and of silver two thousand four hundred and ten, and a thousand other vessels.
14So all the vessels of gold and of silver, which were carried away, were five thousand four hundred threescore and nine.
15These were brought back by Sanabassar, together with them of the captivity, from Babylon to Jerusalem.
16But in the time of Artexerxes king of the Persians Belemus, and Mithridates, and Tabellius, and Rathumus, and Beeltethmus, and Semellius the secretary, with others that were in commission with them, dwelling in Samaria and other places, wrote unto him against them that dwelt in Judea and Jerusalem these letters following;
17To king Artexerxes our lord, Thy servants, Rathumus the storywriter, and Semellius the scribe, and the rest of their council, and the judges that are in Celosyria and Phenice.
18Be it now known to the lord king, that the Jews that are come up from you to us, being come into Jerusalem, that rebellious and wicked city, do build the marketplaces, and repair the walls of it and do lay the foundation of the temple.
19Now if this city and the walls thereof be made up again, they will not only refuse to give tribute, but also rebel against kings.
20And forasmuch as the things pertaining to the temple are now in hand, we think it meet not to neglect such a matter,
21But to speak unto our lord the king, to the intent that, if it be thy pleasure it may be sought out in the books of thy fathers:
22And thou shalt find in the chronicles what is written concerning these things, and shalt understand that that city was rebellious, troubling both kings and cities:
23And that the Jews were rebellious, and raised always wars therein; for the which cause even this city was made desolate.
24Wherefore now we do declare unto thee, O lord the king, that if this city be built again, and the walls thereof set up anew, thou shalt from henceforth have no passage into Celosyria and Phenice.
25Then the king wrote back again to Rathumus the storywriter, to Beeltethmus, to Semellius the scribe, and to the rest that were in commission, and dwellers in Samaria and Syria and Phenice, after this manner;
26I have read the epistle which ye have sent unto me: therefore I commanded to make diligent search, and it hath been found that that city was from the beginning practising against kings;
27And the men therein were given to rebellion and war: and that mighty kings and fierce were in Jerusalem, who reigned and exacted tributes in Celosyria and Phenice.
28Now therefore I have commanded to hinder those men from building the city, and heed to be taken that there be no more done in it;
29And that those wicked workers proceed no further to the annoyance of kings.
30Then king Artexerxes his letters being read, Rathumus, and Semellius the scribe, and the rest that were in commission with them, removing in haste toward Jerusalem with a troop of horsemen and a multitude of people in battle array, began to hinder the builders; and the building of the temple in Jerusalem ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king of the Persians.
31Now when Darius reigned, he made a great feast unto all his subjects, and unto all his household, and unto all the princes of Media and Persia,
2And to all the governors and captains and lieutenants that were under him, from India unto Ethiopia, of an hundred twenty and seven provinces.
3And when they had eaten and drunken, and being satisfied were gone home, then Darius the king went into his bedchamber, and slept, and soon after awaked.
4Then three young men, that were of the guard that kept the king’s body, spake one to another;
5Let every one of us speak a sentence: he that shall overcome, and whose sentence shall seem wiser than the others, unto him shall the king Darius give great gifts, and great things in token of victory:
6As, to be clothed in purple, to drink in gold, and to sleep upon gold, and a chariot with bridles of gold, and an headtire of fine linen, and a chain about his neck:
7And he shall sit next to Darius because of his wisdom, and shall be called Darius his cousin.
8And then every one wrote his sentence, sealed it, and laid it under king Darius his pillow;
9And said that, when the king is risen, some will give him the writings; and of whose side the king and the three princes of Persia shall judge that his sentence is the wisest, to him shall the victory be given, as was appointed.
10The first wrote, Wine is the strongest.
11The second wrote, The king is strongest.
12The third wrote, Women are strongest: but above all things Truth beareth away the victory.
13Now when the king was risen up, they took their writings, and delivered them unto him, and so he read them:
14And sending forth he called all the princes of Persia and Media, and the governors, and the captains, and the lieutenants, and the chief officers;
15And sat him down in the royal seat of judgment; and the writings were read before them.
16And he said, Call the young men, and they shall declare their own sentences. So they were called, and came in.
17And he said unto them, Declare unto us your mind concerning the writings. Then began the first, who had spoken of the strength of wine;
18And he said thus, O ye men, how exceeding strong is wine! it causeth all men to err that drink it:
19It maketh the mind of the king and of the fatherless child to be all one; of the bondman and of the freeman, of the poor man and of the rich:
20It turneth also every thought into jollity and mirth, so that a man remembereth neither sorrow nor debt:
21And it maketh every heart rich, so that a man remembereth neither king nor governor; and it maketh to speak all things by talents:
22And when they are in their cups, they forget their love both to friends and brethren, and a little after draw out swords:
23But when they are from the wine, they remember not what they have done.
24O ye men, is not wine the strongest, that enforceth to do thus? And when he had so spoken, he held his peace.