Hezekiah Reigns as King – 2 Chronicles 29-30

Ezechias-Hezekiah was the son of Ahaz and the ...

Ezechias-Hezekiah was the son of Ahaz and the 14th king of Judah. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the death of Ahaz, his son Hezekiah began his reign at the age of 25. Here was a breath of fresh air as far as kings go in the southern kingdom. After the miserable reign of his father, the temple was in poor shape. Hezekiah set about getting the temple cleansed, and he called the Levites together and charged them with consecrating themselves, cleansing the temple, and restoring worship in the temple. They completed the task, and the people celebrated and rejoiced with thank offerings. Notice in verse 17, it took 16 days to cleanse and consecrate the temple. Ahaz had caused all of this.

Hezekiah wrote letters and sent couriers throughout Israel and Judah telling the people to consecrate themselves and come to celebrate the Passover. Some of them laughed and mocked, but many did come. Some did not consecrate themselves, however. Hezekiah prayed on their behalf, saying “May the good Lord pardon everyone who sets his heart to seek God, the Lord, the God of his fathers, even though not according to the sanctuary’s rules of cleanness.” Verse 26 says that God heard him and that He healed the people. The festivities were good for the people and it was a great time of spiritual awakening. Verse 23 says that the whole assembly agreed to keep the feast an extra seven days.

 

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 


 

 

 

 

Paul Invokes His Roman Citizenship – Acts 22

English: Papyrus fragment of the 9th century w...

English: Papyrus fragment of the 9th century written in Serto variant. A passage from the Acts of the Apostles is recognizable. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul , speaking to the mob, then tells them about Ananias restoring his sight and his subsequent baptism in verses 12-16. But when he told them of his encounter with the Lord, and how He had told Paul that He was sending him to the Gentiles (verses 17-21), the crowd became wild with anger again. The tribune ordered him to be flogged in order to find out why they were shouting out against him. But as he was stretched out, Paul told the tribune that he was a Roman citizen by birth (verses 25-28); and the Roman tribune became fearful (Roman law forbade flogging a Roman citizen without a hearing or a formal condemnation). So in verse 30, the chapter ends with the tribune having Paul brought before the Sanhedrin, since scourging was not an option.

Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of this week’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of this weeks selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Paul Speaks to the Mob – Acts 22

English: St. Paul. From the Acts of the Apostl...

English: St. Paul. From the Acts of the Apostles printed in , Georgia, in 1709 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Paul, having been arrested and beaten, had at the close of chapter 22 convinced the Roman tribune to allow him to speak to the mob. When he spoke in Hebrew, it settled them down and they listened. He then gave them a history of himself as a Jew, “educated at the feet of Gamaliel” (a Pharisee and renowned teacher, who was also a member of the Sanhedrin council – see Acts 5:34). He also recounted his own persecution of Christians and the “Way .”

Paul then told of his encounter with the Lord in Acts 9:3-8, in which he was blinded. The re-telling of that event here in verses 6-11 is not contradictory at all, despite what some say. Those who were with Paul on that road could hear what was said, but were not made to understand.

Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of this week’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of this weeks selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Jotham and Ahaz – 2 Chronicles 27-28

English: Ahaz was king of Judah, and the son a...

English: Ahaz was king of Judah, and the son and successor of Jotham. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After Uzziah died, his son Jotham became king at the age of 25. His mother was from the line of Zadok – a priest during David’s reign. He is said in the scriptures to have done right in God’s eyes. He built cities and forts, and he fought successfully against the Ammonites. After his victory, they paid yearly tribute to him, which increased his might and the wealth of the kingdom. His reign lasted 16 years until his death.

His son, Ahaz became king next. His reign also lasted 16 years, but it was a terrible 16 years. Ahaz was one of the most wicked and corrupt of the kings of the southern kingdom. He made idols of the Baals for worship, and even burned his own sons as an offering. God gave him up first to the Syrians and then to the king of Israel. But he did not learn his lesson. He began worship of the gods of Syria, thinking he would enjoy their success as a result. As things continued to get worse (including having thousands killed and thousands more taken captive) he sent for help from the Assyrians, and even paid them tribute. But instead, the Assyrians came against them as well.

His blasphemy and idolatry continued still until his death. He “cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and he shut up the doors of the house of the Lord, and he made himself altars in every corner of Jerusalem.” His reign was certainly one of the most miserable of times for God’s people.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 


 

 

 

 

Paul Arrested in Jerusalem – Acts 21

English: Saint paul arrested

English: Saint paul arrested (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After arriving in Jerusalem, Paul went to see James and told him and the elders about his travels and the many Gentile conversions, for which they glorified God. They then asked Paul to demonstrate that he was not preaching that Jews had to become like Gentiles and give up all of their customs in order to be a Christian, as many were falsely reporting. So Paul participated with four men under a vow in a purification ritual. This event is the subject of much confusion and controversy. But it does not have to be. Paul never preached that Jews had to give up their entire way of life or never participate in any ritual or feast (remember Romans 14 and 15), nor that they should not circumcise their young. Remember that he circumcised Timothy to avoid offending the Jews they were going to visit in Acts 16:3.

But still Paul was arrested, having been dragged from the temple first and beaten by a mob that had gone wild with accusations and fervor. Until Paul spoke Greek to him, the tribune that arrested him was under the impression that he was an Egyptian revolutionary (verse 38). The event he mentions in that verse was written about by the historian, Josephus. At Paul’s urging, the tribune allows him to speak to the mob; and he does so in Hebrew, as the chapter closes.


Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of this week’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of this weeks selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Paul Prepares to Go to Jerusalem – Acts 21

Ruins of the Roman theater at Caesarea

Ruins of the Roman theater at Caesarea

We left the book of Acts after chapter 20, as Paul was in Miletus, with his tearful goodbye to the Ephesian elders. While in that area, Paul wrote the letters to the Corinthians and to the Romans. Now, as he said in his letter to the latter, he is leaving for Jerusalem. They sailed past Cos, Rhodes, Patera, Cyprus and landed at Tyre, where they remained for seven days, then on to Ptolemais and finally Caesarea before setting off on foot to Jerusalem. While in Caesarea, they stayed at the house of Philip, who Luke says was “one of the seven.” Most likely he means that he was one of the seven chosen to serve in Acts 6:1-6, and was the same Philip who converted the Ethiopian eunuch. And after that event, he did end up in Caesarea (Acts 8:40).

Agabus (the prophet who predicted the famine in Acts 11:2-28) came from Judea to tell how the Jews at Jerusalem will bind and deliver Paul into the hands of the Gentiles (verses 10-14). Luke and the others present tried to persuade Paul not to go, but he told them that he was not only ready for prison, but even to die for the Lord Jesus. Notice though, that the words from the prophet were not quoted in these verses as a warning to prevent him from going – but as a statement of fact (verse 11); and Luke and the others finally said “Let the will of the Lord be done.”


Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of this week’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of this weeks selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Uzziah Becomes King of Judah – 2 Chronicles 26

English: Ozias(Uzziah), King of Judah (809-759...

English: Ozias(Uzziah), King of Judah (809-759 B. C.) son and successor of Amazias. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After Amaziah’s death, the people took his son, Uzziah, as king at the age of 16 years. He did battle with the Philistines, and verse 6 says that he “broke through the wall of Gath and the wall of Jabneh and the wall of Ashdod, and he built cities in the territory of Ashdod and elsewhere among the Philistines.” He walked with God, and God was with him in his battles against the Philistines, the Arabians, and the Meunites. The Ammonites, seeing all this, paid him tribute to keep from being defeated themselves.

Uzziah built cities in the territory of Ashdod and “elsewhere among the Philistines.” He also built towers in the wilderness, and in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate and elsewhere (verse 9).  His army grew strong and he armed and prepared them well. His fame spread far and wide because God was with him until he became strong.

But in becoming strong, he became proud, and this was his downfall. He entered the temple where he was not supposed to be and wanted to light the incense there. The Law of Moses forbade him to be where he had gone, but his pride and his exposure to the privileges of kings of other nations brought about his destruction. he became angry when Azariah, the chief priest, confronted him and told him what evil it was for him to be doing this. Uzziah was struck with leprosy there, and he remained a leper until he died.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 


 

 

 

 

Paul’s Emotional Goodbye to the Elders of Ephesus – Acts 20

English: Photograph of the Theater at Ephesus

English: Photograph of the Theater at Ephesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While at Miletus, Paul called the elders at Ephesus to come to him, a journey of perhaps 30 miles or so. Verses 18-37 end with a tearful goodbye, as he tells them that he knows he will never see their faces again. He tells them that he is going to Jerusalem and that he does not know what will happen to him “except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me.” He recounts his faithfulness to preaching and teaching the word in the three years that he had spent with them, declaring that he was “innocent of the blood of all.”

These very emotional parting words have an important point besides the obvious. In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul had stressed the importance of the local church members having respect for those who had been appointed as elders of their congregation (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13). Here in Acts 20, he is making it clear to these elders – and to all elders of the church everywhere – that they have the responsibility to shepherd the flock among them. Fierce wolves, he says, will come in “not sparing the flock,” and that “from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.” The elders of the local church everywhere have an awesome responsibility, and must always be on guard for the souls of those in their midst. It was true then, as it is now.

In the middle of all this, Paul quotes to these elders one of Jesus’ most famous sayings in verse 35 “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” The words are actually not found in any of the gospels. But it is good to remember the words that John wrote in John 21:25. Jesus did and said so much more in His time on earth than what was written in the gospels. It is appropriate that some words the Lord used in His teachings are reported to us by Paul – who wrote so much of the Bible!


Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of this week’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of this weeks selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Paul Preaches at Troas – Acts 20

Deutsch: Aleaxandria Troas Therme

Deutsch: Aleaxandria Troas Therme (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After the riot in Ephesus had passed, Paul said his farewells and went to Macedonia, then to Greece where he spent three months until a plot against him by the Jews was discovered. So he headed back to Macedonia accompanied by others, including Timothy, Aristarchus and Gaius (two victims of the riot from Acts 19:29), all of whom were sent on to Troas. It is in verse 5 that Luke again begins speaking in the first person plural, indicating he accompanied Paul as they sailed from Philippi to meet the others at Troas. The seaport of Troas was located near the site of the ancient city of Troy, and was rebuilt by Alexander the Great’s successors and renamed Alexandria Troas.

It is there that Paul broke bread with them on the first day of the week and, preaching to midnight, a young man named Eutychus fell asleep and fell from a third-story window. But Paul took him in his arms, and in verse 12 “they took the youth away alive, and were not a little comforted.” Indeed, excitement over this resurrection would no doubt have contributed to their staying up until daybreak (verse 11). Then, Luke says that he and the others set sail for Assos, while Paul went by land and met them there. From there, they sailed to To Chios, Samos and Miletus, as Luke says that Paul had decided not to stop at Ephesus because he wanted to get to Jerusalem by Pentecost.


Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of this week’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of this weeks selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

Amaziah’s Rise and Fall – 2 Chronicles 25

English: Amasias was the king of Judah, the so...

English: Amasias was the king of Judah, the son and successor of Joash. Русский: Амасия — царь Иудеи (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After Joash was executed, his son Amaziah took over as king at the age of 25. Once in power, he avenged his father’s death by executing his servants who had participated. The text says that he did not kill their children, citing Deuteronomy 24:16. he assembled a large army and then recruited warriors from Israel, paying them in advance. But a prophet came and told him not to kllet them fight with his men because God was not with the Israelites. So he sent them home, and they were angry because of it.

 Amaziah took his men from Judah and Benjamin and they went down to the Valley of Salt and struck down 10, 000 men of Seir, capturing 10,000 more (who they subsequently executed). But while they were gone, the Israelites he had sent home raided Judah, killing 3,000 and taking much spoil.  Meanwhile, Amaziah had brought back idols from the Edomites he had defeated at Seir; and he became guilty of idolatry. When a prophet came to chastise him, Amaziah threatened him. The prophet then told him that God would destroy him for his iniquity.
Amaziah sent word to the king of Israel that they should meet face to face in battle. The king, also named Joash tried to dissuade him, saying “Why should you provoke trouble so that you fall, you and Judah with you?” They did do battle, and Israel defeated them, capturing Amaziah and looting Jerusalem. Amaziah escaped to Lachish after a time, but was killed and brought back to be buried.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

/Bob’s boy
___________________

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please visit this site’s menu item “The Author’s Books” for info on the author’s books, website, and Facebook page.

All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.