2 Chronicles 18:28-34

Ahab Is Killed at Ramoth Gilead

So the king of Israel went up to Ramoth Gilead. Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, went there too. The king of Israel spoke to Jehoshaphat. He said, “I’ll go into battle wearing different clothes. Then people won’t recognize me. But you wear your royal robes.” So the king of Israel put on different clothes. Then he went into battle.

The king of Aram had given an order to his chariot commanders. He had said, “Fight only against the king of Israel. Don’t fight against anyone else.” The chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat. They thought, “That’s the king of Israel.” So they turned to attack him. But Jehoshaphat cried out. And the Lord helped him. God drew the commanders away from him. They saw he wasn’t the king of Israel after all. So they stopped chasing him.

But someone shot an arrow without taking aim. The arrow hit the king of Israel between the parts of his armor. The king told the chariot driver, “Turn the chariot around. Get me out of this battle. I’ve been wounded.” All day long the battle continued. The king of Israel kept himself standing up by leaning against the inside of his chariot. He kept his face toward the men of Aram until evening. At sunset he died.

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2 Chronicles 19

Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem. Jehu the prophet went out to meet him. He was the son of Hanani. Jehu said to the king, “You shouldn’t help evil people. You shouldn’t love those who hate the Lord. The Lord is angry with you. But there’s some good in you. You have removed all the poles in the land used to worship the female god named Asherah. And you have worshiped God with all your heart.”

Jehoshaphat Appoints Judges

Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem. He went out again among the people. He went from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim. He turned the people back to the Lord, the God of Israel. Jehoshaphat appointed judges in the land. He put them in all the cities of Judah that had high walls around them. He told the judges, “Think carefully about what you do. After all, you aren’t judging for human beings. You are judging for the Lord. He’s with you every time you make a decision. Have respect for the Lord. Judge carefully. He is always right. He treats everyone the same. Our God doesn’t want his judges to take money from people who want special favors.”

In Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat chose some Levites and priests. He also chose some leaders of Israelite families. He appointed all of them to apply the law of the Lord fairly. He wanted them to decide cases. He wanted them to settle matters between people. All those judges lived in Jerusalem. Here are the orders Jehoshaphat gave them. He said, “Have respect for the Lord. Serve him faithfully. Do it with all your heart. Cases will come to you from your people who live in the other cities. The cases might be about murder or other matters dealt with by the law, commands, directions and rules. Warn the people not to sin against the Lord. If you don’t warn them, he will be angry with you and your people. Do what I say. Then you won’t sin.

“Amariah the chief priest will be over you in any matter that concerns the Lord. Zebadiah is the leader of the tribe of Judah. He is the son of Ishmael. Zebadiah will be over you in any matter that concerns the king. The Levites will serve as your officials. Be brave. And may the Lord be with those of you who do well.”

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2 Chronicles 20

Jehoshaphat Wins the Battle Over Moab and Ammon

After that, the Moabites, Ammonites and some Meunites went to war against Jehoshaphat.

Some people came and told him, “A huge army is coming from Edom to fight against you. They have come across the Dead Sea. They are already in Hazezon Tamar.” Hazezon Tamar is also called En Gedi. Jehoshaphat was alarmed. So he decided to ask the Lord for advice. He told all the people of Judah to go without eating. The people came together to ask the Lord for help. In fact, they came from every town in Judah to pray to him.

Then Jehoshaphat stood up among the people of Judah and Jerusalem. He was in front of the new courtyard at the Lord’s temple. He said,

Lord, you are the God of our people who lived long ago. You are the God who is in heaven. You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. You are strong and powerful. No one can fight against you and win. Our God, you drove out the people who lived in this land. You drove them out to make room for your people Israel. You gave this land forever to those who belong to the family line of your friend Abraham. They have lived in this land. They’ve built a temple here for your Name. They have said, ‘Suppose trouble comes on us. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a punishing sword, or plague or hunger. We’ll serve you. We’ll stand in front of this temple where your Name is. We’ll cry out to you when we’re in trouble. Then you will hear us. You will save us.’

“But here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir. You wouldn’t allow Israel to march in and attack their territory when the Israelites came from Egypt. So Israel turned away from them. They didn’t destroy them. See how they are paying us back. They are coming to drive us out. They want to take over the land you gave us as our share. Our God, won’t you please judge them? We don’t have the power to face this huge army that’s attacking us. We don’t know what to do. But we’re looking to you to help us.”

All the men of Judah stood there in front of the Lord. Their wives, children and little ones were with them.

Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel. He was standing among the people of Israel. He was the son of Zechariah. Zechariah was the son of Benaiah. Benaiah was the son of Jeiel. Jeiel was the son of Mattaniah. Jahaziel was a Levite. He was from the family line of Asaph.

Jahaziel said, “King Jehoshaphat, listen! All you who live in Judah and Jerusalem, listen! The Lord says to you, ‘Do not be afraid. Do not lose hope because of this huge army. The battle is not yours. It is God’s. Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the valley in the Desert of Jeruel. You will not have to fight this battle. Take your positions. Stand firm. You will see how the Lord will save you. Judah and Jerusalem, do not be afraid. Do not lose hope. Go out and face them tomorrow. The Lord will be with you.’ ”

Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face toward the ground. All the people of Judah and Jerusalem also bowed down. They worshiped the Lord. Then some Levites from the families of Kohath and Korah stood up. They praised the Lord, the God of Israel. They praised him with very loud voices.

Early in the morning all the people left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they started out, Jehoshaphat stood up. He said, “Judah, listen to me! People of Jerusalem, listen to me! Have faith in the Lord your God. He’ll take good care of you. Have faith in his prophets. Then you will have success.” Jehoshaphat asked the people for advice. Then he appointed men to sing to the Lord. He wanted them to praise the Lord because of his glory and holiness. They marched out in front of the army. They said,

“Give thanks to the Lord.
    His faithful love continues forever.”

They began to sing and praise him. Then the Lord hid some men and told them to wait. He wanted them to attack the people of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir. They had gone into Judah and attacked it. But they lost the battle. The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir. They destroyed them. They put an end to them. When they finished killing the men from Seir, they destroyed one another.

The men of Judah came to the place that looks out over the desert. They turned to look down at the huge army. But all they saw was dead bodies lying there on the ground. No one had escaped. So Jehoshaphat and his men went down there to carry off anything of value. Among the dead bodies they found a large amount of supplies, clothes and other things of value. There was more than they could take away. There was so much it took three days to collect all of it. On the fourth day they gathered together in the Valley of Berakah. There they praised the Lord. That’s why it’s called the Valley of Berakah to this day.

Then all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned to Jerusalem. They were filled with joy. Jehoshaphat led them. The Lord had made them happy because all their enemies were dead. They entered Jerusalem and went to the Lord’s temple. They were playing harps, lyres and trumpets.

All the surrounding kingdoms began to have respect for God. They had heard how the Lord had fought against Israel’s enemies. The kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace. His God had given him peace and rest on every side.

Jehoshaphat’s Rule Comes to an End

So Jehoshaphat ruled over Judah. He was 35 years old when he became Judah’s king. He ruled in Jerusalem for 25 years. His mother’s name was Azubah. She was the daughter of Shilhi. Jehoshaphat followed the ways of his father Asa. He didn’t wander away from them. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. But the high places weren’t removed. The people still hadn’t worshiped the God of Israel with all their hearts.

The other events of Jehoshaphat’s rule from beginning to end are written down. They are written in the official records of Jehu, the son of Hanani. They are written in the records of the kings of Israel.

Jehoshaphat king of Judah and Ahaziah king of Israel agreed to be friends. Ahaziah did what was evil. Jehoshaphat agreed with him to build a lot of ships. They were built at Ezion Geber. They carried goods that were traded for other goods. Eliezer was the son of Dodavahu from Mareshah. Eliezer prophesied against Jehoshaphat. He said, “You have joined forces with Ahaziah. So the Lord will destroy what you have made.” The ships were wrecked. They were never able to sail or trade goods.

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