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Azariah ; Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.

Then let our countenance be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king's meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.

So he consented to them in this matter, and proved them ten days. And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.

Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink : and gave them pulse.

As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learni ag, and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king communed with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore stood they before the king.

And in all matters of wisdom and understanding that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm. And Daniel continued even unto the first year of king Cyrus.

LESSON CXX. 2 Kings, CHAP. XXIV. JEHOIACHIN, the son of Jehoiakim, reigned in the stead of his father. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his fathers had done.

And at that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it.

And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers : and the king of Babylon took him, in the eighth year of his reign.

And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king's house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord, as the Lord had said.

And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes

and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.

And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty men of the land : these carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.

And all the men of might even seven thousand, and craftsmen, and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.

Jehoiachin reigned three months in Jerusalem, and the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, the brother of Jehoiakim, the uncle of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

LESSON CXXI. 2 CHRONICLES, CHAP. XXXVI. 2 Kings, CHAP. XXV. AND Zedekiah stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the Lord God of Israel. Moreover, all the chief of the priests and the people transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen ; and polluted the house of the Lord which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.

And the Lord God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes, and sending, because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place :

But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy.

And it came to pass, in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it: and they built forts against it round about.

And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. And on the ninth day of the fourth month, the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land.

And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night, by the way of the gate, between two walls, which is by the king's garden : (now the Chaldees were against

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the city round about :) and the king went the way toward the plain.

And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him.

So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah ; and they gave judgment upon him. And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and carried him to Babylon.

And the king of Babylon's army slew the young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion upon young man or maiden, old man, or him that stooped for age; he gave them all into his hand.

And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, (which is the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,) came Nebuzar-adan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem :

And he burnt the house of the Lord, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house burnt he with fire. And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about.

Now the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the fugitives that fell away to the king of Babylon, with the remnant of the multitude, did Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard carry away. But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vine-dressers and husbandmen.

And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door:

And out of the city he took an officer that was set over the men of war, and five men of them that were in the king's presence, which were found in the city, and the principal scribe of the host, which mustered the people of the land, and three-score men of the people of the land, that were found in the city.

And Nebuzar-adan captain of the guard took these, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah. And the king of Babylon smote them, and slew them at Riblah, in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away out of their land.

And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away unto Babylon; where they were servants to him and

his sons, until the reign of the kingdom of Persia ; to fulfil the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths : for as long as she lay desolate she kept the sabbath, to fulfil three-score and ten years.

LESSON CXXII. JEREMIAH, XXXIX. XL. XLI. XLII.

Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard, saying, Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall tell thee. · So Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard sent, and Nebushasban, Rab-saris, and Nergal-sharezer, Rab-mag, and all the king of Babylon's princes :

Even they sent, and took Jeremiah out of the court of the prison, where he had been shut up by the prince of Israel, and committed him unto Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, that he should carry him home; so he dwelt among the people.

And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah and said unto him, The Lord thy God hath pronounced this evil upon this place. Now the Lord hath brought it, and done according as he hath said: Because ye have sinned against the Lord, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore this thing is come upon you.

And now, behold, I loose thee this day from the chains which were upon thine hand. If it seem good unto thee to come with me into Babylon, come, and I will look well unto thee; but if it seem ill unto thee to come with me into Babylon, forbear: behold, all the land is before thee; whither it seemeth good and convenient for thee to go, thither go.

Now, while he was not yet gone back, he said, Go back also to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon hath made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people: or go wheresoever it seemeth convenient unto thee to go. So the captain of the guard gave him victuals and a reward, and let him go. • Then went Jeremiah unto Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, to Mizpah; and dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land. But it came to pass, that Ishmael and ten other persons, who were of kin to the king, treacherously killed Gedaliah, and others with him.

Then took Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, from Mizpah, after that he had slain Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam ; even mighty men of war, and the women, and the children, and the eunuchs, whom he had brought again from Gibeon :

And they departed, and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham, which is by Bethlehem, to go to enter into Egypt, because of the Chaldeans: for they were afraid of thens, because Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, had slain Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon made governor in the land.

Then all the captains of the forces, and Johanan, the son of Kareah, Jazaniah, the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people, from the least even to the greatest, came near,

And said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the Lord thy God, even for all this remnant (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us :)

That the Lord thy God may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do.

Then Jeremiah the prophet said unto them, I have heard you; behold, I will pray unto the Lord your God, according to your words; and it shall come to pass, that whatsoever thing the Lord shall answer you, I will declare it unto you ; I will keep nothing back from you.

Then they said to Jeremiah, The Lord be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the Lord thy God shall send thee to us.

Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God, to whom we send thee: that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.

LESSON CXXIII. JEREMIAH, CHAP. XLII. XLIII. And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah. Then called he Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces which

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