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Dr. Shawn Zelig Aster

Dr. Shawn Zelig Aster

Dr. Shawn Zelig Aster is an assistant professor of Bible at Yeshiva University and has written several articles for

II Chronicles – Chapter 32

November 30, 2013, by

Some time later, Sancheriv (Sennacherib), king of Assyria, invaded the land of Judah. Chizkiyahu, in consultation with his advisors, decided to cut off the Assyrians’ water supply. After stopping the wells and even the river, Chizkiyahu built up the city defenses. He raised arms and appointed military leaders over the populace. He told the people […]

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II Chronicles – Chapter 31

November 29, 2013, by

After all this rejoicing in G-d, the people went out through the land and dismantled all the altars and other idolatrous things in Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim and Menashe. The people returned to their own cities, while the kohanim and Leviim returned to their usual duties. Chizkiyahu personally saw to the expense of the communal offerings, […]

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II Chronicles – Chapter 30

November 28, 2013, by

Chizkiyahu sent letters throughout both Judah and the northern kingdom inviting the people to come celebrate Passover at the Temple. They decided to make the year a “leap year” (with the second month of Adar) so Passover fell a month later, giving the kohanim and the people adequate time to prepare. (See Talmud Sanhedrin 12a-b […]

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II Chronicles – Chapter 29

November 27, 2013, by

Chizkiyahu (Hezekiah) was a righteous king, hearkening back to the likes of David and Solomon. One of his first acts was to reopen the Temple and to repair the gates. He had the kohanim and Leviim repair the Temple and remove the vestiges of idolatry. Earlier kings had disrupted the Temple service, which led to […]

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II Chronicles – Chapter 28

November 26, 2013, by

As far as kings go, Achaz was not one of the good ones. He served idols and even passed his children through fire in the service of Molech, one of the most reprehensible forms of idolatry, right up there with human sacrifice. Achaz was remarkably prolific in his idol worship, offering sacrifices all over the […]

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II Chronicles – Chapter 27

November 25, 2013, by

Yosam was a righteous king, who emulated his father’s good qualities. He did not, however, try to insert himself into the Temple service as his father had done. Even though Yosam was righteous, the people did not make him a role model. Instead, they persisted in their evil ways. Yosam fortified the city and built […]

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II Chronicles – Chapter 26

November 24, 2013, by

The people installed Amatzyahu’s son Uziyahu to rule in his stead. Uziyahu’s reign got off to a good start. He emulated his father’s good qualities and always sought G-d’s word in his actions, inquiring of the prophet Zecharyahu. G-d caused Uziyahu to be successful and he thrived against his enemies. Uziyahu built towers and wells, […]

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II Chronicles – Chapter 25

November 23, 2013, by

Amatzyahu, who succeeded Yoash, was a righteous king. When he was securely established in his role, he executed those who had killed his father, but he did not avenge himself on their families. (Apparently, he would have been able to do so in the case of a rebel, but he declined to exercise this option, […]

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II Chronicles – Chapter 24

November 22, 2013, by

Yoash was hidden as a baby, so he was only seven years old when he assumed the throne. He remained righteous so long as his mentor Yehoyada was alive. King Yoash decided to repair the Temple, which was long overdue. He told the priests and Levites to go fundraise the necessary capital to make the […]

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II Chronicles – Chapter 23

November 21, 2013, by

In the seventh year of Atalyahu’s illegal reign, Yehoyada gathered a faction dedicated to placing the rightful king on the throne. He planned the coup for a Shabbos because that was the day on which the kohanim and Leviim changed their weekly duty rotation. This meant that there would be twice as many on hand […]

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