1 Esdras 1

1And Josias held the passover in Jerusalem unto his Lord, and offered the passover the fourteenth day of the first month; having set the priests according to their daily courses, being arrayed in their vestments, in the temple of the Lord. And he spake unto the Levites, the temple-servants 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: and said, Ye shall no more have need to bear it upon your shoulders: now therefore serve the Lord your God, and minister unto his people Israel, and prepare you after your fathers’ houses and kindreds, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the magnificence of Solomon his son: and standing in the holy place according to the several divisions of the families of you the Levites, who minister in the presence of your brethren the children of Israel, offer 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. And unto the people which were present Josias gave thirty thousand lambs and kids, and three thousand calves: these things were given of the king’s substance, according as he promised, to the people, and to the priests and Levites. And Helkias, and Zacharias, and Esyelus, the rulers of the temple, gave to the priests for the passover two thousand and six hundred sheep, and three hundred calves. And Jeconias, and Samaias, and Nathanael his brother, and Sabias, and Ochielus, and Joram, captains over thousands, gave to the Levites for the passover five thousand sheep, and seven hundred calves. 10 And when these things were done, the priests and Levites, having the unleavened bread, stood in comely order according to the kindreds, 11 and according to the several divisions by fathers’ houses, before the people, to offer to the Lord, as it is written in the book of Moses: and thus did they in the morning. 12 And they roasted the passover with fire, as appertaineth: and the sacrifices they sod in the brasen vessels and caldrons with a good savour, 13 and set them before all the people: and afterward they prepared for themselves, and for the priests their brethren, the sons of Aaron. 14 For the priests offered the fat until night: and the Levites prepared for themselves, and for the priests their brethren, the sons of Aaron. 15 The holy singers also, the sons of Asaph, were in their order, according to the appointment of David, to wit, Asaph, Zacharias, and Eddinus, who was of the king’s retinue. 16 Moreover the porters were at every gate; none had need to depart from his daily course: for their brethren the Levites prepared for them. 17 Thus were the things that belonged to the sacrifices of the Lord accomplished in that day, 18 in holding the passover, and offering sacrifices upon the altar of the Lord, according to the commandment of king Josias. 19 So the children of Israel which were present at that time held the passover, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days. 20 And such a passover was not held in Israel since the time of the prophet Samuel. 21 Yea, 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 present in their dwelling place at Jerusalem. 22 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josias was this passover held. 23 And the works of Josias were upright before his Lord with a heart full of godliness. 24 Moreover the things that came to pass in his days have been written in times past, concerning those that sinned, and did wickedly against the Lord above every people and kingdom, and how they grieved him exceedingly, so that the words of the Lord were confirmed against Israel.

25 Now after all these acts of Josias it came to pass, that Pharaoh the king of Egypt came to raise war at Carchemish upon Euphrates: and Josias went out against him. 26 But the king of Egypt sent to him, saying, What have I to do with thee, O king of Judæa? 27 I 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. 28 Howbeit Josias did not turn back unto his chariot, but undertook to fight with him, not regarding the words of the prophet Jeremy spoken by the mouth of the Lord: 29 but joined battle with him in the plain of Megiddo, and the princes came down against king Josias. 30 Then said the king unto his servants, Carry me away out of the battle; for I am very weak. And immediately his servants carried him away out of the host. 31 Then gat he up upon his second chariot; and being brought back to Jerusalem he died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his fathers. 32 And in all Jewry they mourned for Josias; and 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. 33 These things are written in the book of the histories of the kings of Judæa, 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 Judah.

34 And 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. 35 And he reigned in Judah and in Jerusalem three months: and then the king of Egypt deposed him from reigning in Jerusalem. 36 And he set a tax upon the people of a hundred talents of silver and one talent of gold. 37 The king of Egypt also made king Joakim his brother king of Judæa and Jerusalem. 38 And Joakim bound the nobles: but Zarakes his brother he apprehended, and brought him up out of Egypt.

39 Five and twenty years old was Joakim when he began to reign in Judæa and Jerusalem; and he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord. 40 And against him Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon came up, and bound him with a chain of brass, and carried him unto Babylon. 41 Nabuchodonosor also took of the holy vessels of the Lord, and carried them away, and set them up in his own temple at Babylon. 42 But those things that are reported of him, and of his uncleanness and impiety, are written in the chronicles of the kings.

43 And Joakim his son reigned in his stead: for when he was made king he was eighteen years old; 44 and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem; and did that which was evil before the Lord.

45 So after a year Nabuchodonosor sent and caused him to be brought unto Babylon with the holy vessels of the Lord; 46 and made Sedekias king of Judæa and Jerusalem, when he was one and twenty years old; and he reigned eleven years: 47 and he also did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, and cared not for the words that were spoken by Jeremy the prophet from the mouth of the Lord. 48 And 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, the God of Israel. 49 Moreover the governors of the people and of the priests did many things wickedly, and passed all the pollutions of all nations, and defiled the temple of the Lord, which was sanctified in Jerusalem. 50 And the God of their fathers sent by his messenger to call them back, because he had compassion on them and on his dwelling place. 51 But they mocked his messengers; and in the day when the Lord spoke unto them, they scoffed at his prophets: 52 so far forth, that he, being wroth with his people for their great ungodliness, commanded to bring up the kings of the Chaldeans against them; 53 who slew their young men with the sword, round about their holy temple, and spared neither young man nor maid, old man nor child; but he delivered all into their hands. 54 And they took all the holy vessels of the Lord, both great and small, with the vessels of the ark of the Lord, and the king’s treasures, and carried them away unto Babylon. 55 And they burnt the house of the Lord, and brake down the walls of Jerusalem, and burnt the towers thereof with fire: 56 and as for her glorious things, they never ceased till they had brought them all to nought: and the people that were not slain with the sword he carried unto Babylon: 57 and they were servants unto him and to his children, till the Persians reigned, to fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremy: 58 Until the land hath enjoyed her sabbaths, the whole time of her desolation shall she keep sabbath, to fulfil three-score and ten years.

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