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Thoughts and Reflection

Today we learn about Athaliah. While reigning over Judah she kills all of the descendants of Ahaziah except for Joash also called Jehoash. The prophet Amos calls the people higher. He speaks the truth of the Lord to those who need to hear it. Amos says the Lord takes no delight in the people’s solemn assemblies because they are not taking care of the poor. Many of us live in indulgence and extravagance. In doing so we can neglect the needs of the poor and not see the injustice around us.

How do you serve those in need better?

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

2 Kings 11

1 When Athaliah mother of Ahaziah learned that her son was dead, she promptly murdered all those of royal stock.

2 But Jehosheba, daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah, surreptitiously rescued Jehoash son of Ahaziah from among the princes who were to be murdered, and put him with his nurse in the sleeping quarters; in this way she hid him from Athaliah, and he was not killed.

3 He stayed, hidden with her in the Temple of Yahweh for six years, while Athaliah governed the country.

4 In the seventh year, Jehoiada sent for the regimental commanders of the Carians and the guards, and had them brought to him in the Temple of Yahweh. He made a pact with them, put them on oath, then showed them the king’s son. He gave them this order,

5 ‘This is what you must do: a third of 

6 you who come on duty on the Sabbath must mount guard at the royal palace,

7 and your two other sections who come off duty on the Sabbath and mount guard at the Temple of Yahweh

8 must surround the king, each man with his weapons in his hand; anyone forcing his way through the ranks is to be killed. And you willescort the king as he leaves and as he comes in.’

9 The regimental commanders did everything as Jehoiada the priest had ordered, and each one brought his men, those coming on dutyon the Sabbath and those going off duty on the Sabbath, and reported to Jehoiada the priest.

10 The priest then issued the regimental commanders with King David’s spears and shields, which were kept in the Temple of Yahweh.

11 The guards then took position, each man with his weapons in his hand, from the south corner of the Temple to the north corner of the Temple, all round the altar and the Temple.

12 Then Jehoiada brought the king’s son out — crowned him and gave him a copy of the covenant; and they made him king and anointed him, and they clapped their hands and shouted, ‘Long live the king!’

13 On hearing the people shouting, Athaliah joined the people in the Temple of Yahweh.

14 When she looked, there stood the king on a dais, as the custom was, with the officers and trumpeters at the king’s side, and all the people of the country rejoicing and blowing the trumpets; then Athaliah tore her clothes and shouted, ‘Treason, treason!’

15 Jehoiada the priest then gave the orders to the commanders in charge of the troops, ‘Take her out under guard and put to death anyone who follows her.’ ‘For’, the priest had already said, ‘she must not be killed inside the Temple of Yahweh.’

16 They seized her, and when she reached the horses’ entry to the palace, she was killed there.

17 Jehoiada made a covenant between Yahweh, the king and the people that they would remain Yahweh’s people; and another one between the king and the people.

18 All the people of the country then went to the temple of Baal and demolished it; they smashed its altars and its images and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars. The priest made arrangements for the security of the Temple of Yahweh.

19 He then took the regimental commanders, the Carians, the guards and all the people of the country, and they escorted the king down from the Temple of Yahweh, entering the palace through the Gate of the Guards. Jehoash took his seat on the throne of the kings.

20 All the people of the country were delighted; the city, however, made no move. And Athaliah was put to death inside the palace.

2 Kings 12

1 Jehoash was seven years old when he came to the throne.

2 Jehoash became king in the seventh year of Jehu, and reigned for forty years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba.

3 All his life Jehoash did what Yahweh regards as right, having been instructed by Jehoiada the priest.

4 The high places, however, were not abolished, and the people still offered sacrifices and incense on the high places.

5 Jehoash said to the priests, ‘All the money from the sacred revenues brought to the Temple of Yahweh, the money from personal taxes, and all the money voluntarily offered to the Temple-

6 the priests are to receive this individually from people of their acquaintance and will carry out all the repairs to the Temple which need to be made.’

7 Now in the twenty-third year of King Jehoash the priests had done no repairs to the Temple;

8 so King Jehoash summoned Jehoiada the priest and the other priests. ‘Why are you not repairing the Temple?’ he asked. ‘You are no longer to accept money from people of your acquaintance but are to hand it over for the Temple repairs.’

9 The priests agreed to accept no money from the people and no longer to be responsible for repairs to the Temple.

10 Jehoiada the priest took a chest, bored a hole in the lid and placed it beside the pillar, to the right of the entry to the Temple of Yahweh; in it the priests who guarded the threshold put all the money which was given for the Temple of Yahweh.

11 Whenever they saw that there was a great deal of money in the chest, the king’s secretary would come, and they would empty it out and reckon the money then in the Temple of Yahweh.

12 Once checked, they paid this money over to the masters of works attached to the Temple of Yahweh, and these in turn spent it on carpenters and builders working on the Temple of Yahweh,

13 on masons and stonecutters, and on buying timber and dressed stone to be used for repairs to the Temple of Yahweh; in short, for all the costs of the Temple repairs.

14 But no silver basins, knives, sprinkling bowls, trumpets or gold or silver objects were made for the Temple of Yahweh out of the money presented,

15 which was all given to the masters of works for repairing the Temple of Yahweh.

16 No accounts were kept with the men to whom the money was paid over to be spent on the workmen, since they were honest in their work.

17 Money offered in expiation of an offence or of a sin was not given to the Temple of Yahweh; that was for the priests.

18 At that time Hazael king of Aram went to war against Gath, and captured it; he then prepared to attack Jerusalem.

19 Jehoash king of Judah took all the sacred offerings dedicated by his ancestors, the kings of Judah, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram and Ahaziah, with those which he himself had dedicated, and all the gold which was to be found in the treasuries of the Temple of Yahweh and of the palace; he sen it all to Hazael king of Aram, who retired from Jerusalem. 

20 The rest of the history of Joash, his entire career, is this not recorded in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah?

21 His own retainers rebelled and hatched a plot; they murdered Joash in the palace of the Millo . . .

22 Jozacar son of Shimeath and Jehozabad son of Shomer were the retainers who struck the blows from which he died. He was buried with his ancestors in the City of David; his son Amaziah succeeded him.

Amos 4

1 Listen to this saying, you cows of Bashan living on the hill of Samaria, exploiting the weak and ill-treating the poor, saying to your husbands, ‘Bring us something to drink!’

2 The Lord God has sworn by his holiness: Look, the days will soon be on you when he will use hooks to drag you away and fish-hooks for the very last of you;

3 through the breaches in the wall you will leave, each one straight ahead, and be herded away towards Hermon -declares Yahweh.

4 Go to Bethel, and sin, to Gilgal, and sin even harder! Bring your sacrifices each morning, your tithes every third day,

5 burn your thank-offering of leaven and widely publicise your free-will offerings, for this, children of Israel, is what makes you happy -declares the Lord Yahweh.

6 I even gave you clean teeth in all your towns and a shortage of food in all your villages and still you would not come back to me -declares Yahweh.

7 I even withheld the rain from you full three months before harvest-time; I caused rain to fall in one town and caused no rain to fall in another; one field was rained on and the next for want of rain dried up;

8 two towns, three towns went tottering to one town for water to drink but went unsatisfied, and still you would not come back to me -declares Yahweh.

9 I struck you with blight and mildew, I dried up your gardens and vineyards; the locust devoured your fig trees and olive trees and still you would not come back to me -declares Yahweh.

10 I sent plague on you like Egypt’s plague, I slaughtered your young men with the sword and at the same time your horses were captured; I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camps and still you would not come back to me -declares Yahweh.

11 I overturned you as God overturned Sodom and Gomorrah; you were like a brand snatched from the blaze and still you would not come back to me -declares Yahweh.

12 So this, Israel, is what I plan to do to you. Because I am going to do this to you, Israel, prepare to meet your God!

13 For look, he it is who forges the mountains, creates the wind, who reveals his mind to humankind, changes the dawn into darkness and strides on the heights of the world: Yahweh, God Sabaoth, is his name.

Amos 5

1 Listen to this word which I utter against you, it is a dirge, House of Israel:

2 She has fallen down, never to rise again, the virgin Israel. There she lies on her own soil, with no one to lift her up.

3 For Lord Yahweh says this: The town which used to put a thousand in the field will be left with a hundred, and the one which used to put a hundred will be left with ten, to fight for the House of Israel.

4 For Yahweh says this to the House of Israel: Seek me out and you will survive,

5 but do not seek out Bethel, do not go to Gilgal, do not journey to Beersheba, for Gilgal is going into captivity and Bethel will be brought to nothing.

6 Seek out Yahweh and you will survive or else he will sweep like fire upon the House of Joseph and burn it down, with no one at Bethelable to quench the flames.

7 They turn justice into wormwood and throw uprightness to the ground.

8 He it is who makes the Pleiades and Orion, who turns shadow dark as death into morning and day to darkest night, who summons the waters of the sea and pours them over the surface of the land. Yahweh is his name.

9 He brings destruction on the strong and ruin comes on the fortress.

10 They hate the man who teaches justice at the city gate and detest anyone who declares the truth.

11 For trampling on the poor man and for extorting levies on his wheat: although you have built houses of dressed stone, you will not live in them; although you have planted pleasant vineyards, you will not drink wine from them:

12 for I know how many your crimes are and how outrageous your sins, you oppressors of the upright, who hold people to ransom and thrust the poor aside at the gates.

13 That is why anyone prudent keeps silent now, since the time is evil.

14 Seek good and not evil so that you may survive, and Yahweh, God Sabaoth, be with you as you claim he is.

15 Hate evil, love good, let justice reign at the city gate: it may be that Yahweh, God Sabaoth, will take pity on the remnant of Joseph.

16 Therefore Yahweh Sabaoth, the Lord, says this: In every public square there will be lamentation, in every street they will cry out, ‘Alas! Alas!’ The farmer will be called on to mourn, the professional mourners to lament,

17 and there will be wailing in every vineyard, for I mean to pass through among you, Yahweh says.

18 Disaster for you who long for the Day of Yahweh! What will the Day of Yahweh mean for you? It will mean darkness, not light,

19 as when someone runs away from a lion, only to meet a bear; he goes into his house and puts his hand on the wall, only for a snake to bite him.

20 Will not the Day of Yahweh be darkness, not light, totally dark, without a ray of light?

21 I hate, I scorn your festivals, I take no pleasure in your solemn assemblies.

22 When you bring me burnt offerings . . . your oblations, I do not accept them and I do not look at your communion sacrifices of fat cattle.

23 Spare me the din of your chanting, let me hear none of your strumming on lyres,

24 but let justice flow like water, and uprightness like a never-failing stream!

25 Did you bring me sacrifices and oblations those forty years in the desert, House of Israel?

26 Now you must shoulder Sakkuth your king and the star of your God, Kaiwan, those idols you made for yourselves;

27 for I am about to drive you into captivity beyond Damascus, Yahweh says — God Sabaoth is his name.

Amos 6

1 Disaster for those so comfortable in Zion and for those so confident on the hill of Samaria, the notables of this first of nations, those to whom the House of Israel has recourse!

2 Travel to Calneh and look, go on from there to Hamath the great, then go down to Gath in Philistia. Are they more powerful than these kingdoms? Is their territory larger than yours?

3 Thinking to defer the evil day, you are hastening the reign of violence.

4 Lying on ivory beds and sprawling on their divans, they dine on lambs from the flock, and stall-fattened veal;

5 they bawl to the sound of the lyre and, like David, they invent musical instruments;

6 they drink wine by the bowlful, and lard themselves with the finest oils, but for the ruin of Joseph they care nothing.

7 That is why they will now go into captivity, heading the column of captives. The sprawlers’ revelry is over.

8 Lord Yahweh has sworn by his own self -declares Yahweh, God Sabaoth: I detest the pride of Jacob, I hate his palaces, I shall hand over the city and all in it.

9 If ten people are left in a single house, they will die

10 and a few will be left to carry the bones from the house, and they will say to anyone deep inside the house, ‘Any more there?’ and he will answer, ‘No.’ Then he will say, ‘Hush!-Yahweh’s name must not be mentioned.’

11 For look, Yahweh gives the command: as he strikes, the great house falls to pieces and the small house is in fragments.

12 Can horses gallop over rocks? Can the sea be ploughed with oxen? Yet you have changed justice into poison, and the fruit of uprightness into wormwood,

13 while rejoicing over Lo-Debar and saying, ‘Wasn’t it by our own strength that we captured Karnaim?’

14 But look, House of Israel, against you -declares Yahweh, God Sabaoth- I am raising a nation to oppress you from the Pass of Hamath to the Gorge of the Arabah.

Psalm 122

1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of Yahweh.’

2 At last our feet are standing at your gates, Jerusalem!

3 Jerusalem, built as a city, in one united whole,

4 there the tribes go up, the tribes of Yahweh, a sign for Israel to give thanks to the name of Yahweh.

5 For there are set the thrones of judgement, the thrones of the house of David.

6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, prosperity for your homes!

7 Peace within your walls, prosperity in your palaces!

8 For love of my brothers and my friends I will say, ‘Peace upon you!’

9 For love of the house of Yahweh our God I will pray for your well-being.

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