1Now it happened after this that the Moabites and the Ammonites, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat. 2 Then it was reported to Jehoshaphat, “A great multitude has come against you from beyond the [Dead] Sea, out of [a]Aram (Syria); and behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar (that is, Engedi).” 3 Then Jehoshaphat was afraid and set himself [determinedly, as his vital need] to seek the Lord; and he proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 So [the people of] Judah gathered together to seek help from the Lord; indeed they came from all the cities of Judah to seek the Lord [longing for Him with all their heart].
5 Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord in front of the new courtyard, 6 and said, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven? And do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand, there is no one able to take a stand against You. 7 O our God, did You not drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Your friend Abraham? 8 They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your Name, saying, 9 ‘If evil comes on us, or the sword of judgment, or plague, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your Name and Your Presence is in this house) and we will cry out to You in our distress, and You will hear and save us.’ 10 Now behold, the sons of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom You would not allow Israel to invade when they came from the land of Egypt (for they turned away from them and did not destroy them), 11 here they are, rewarding us by coming to drive us out of Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance. 12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless against this great multitude which is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”
13 So all Judah stood before the Lord, with their infants, their wives, and their children.
Jahaziel Answers the Prayer
14 Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph. 15 He said, “Listen carefully, all [you people of] Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat. The Lord says this to you: ‘Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Go down against them tomorrow. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the river valley, in front of the Wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You need not fight in this battle; take your positions, stand and witness the salvation of the Lord who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.’”
18 Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshiping Him. 19 The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel, with a very loud voice.
Enemies Destroy Themselves
20 So they got up early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah, and you inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe and trust in the Lord your God and you will be established (secure). Believe and trust in His prophets and succeed.” 21 When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the Lord and those who praised Him in their holy (priestly) attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Praise and give thanks to the Lord, for His mercy and lovingkindness endure forever.” 22 When they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were struck down [in defeat]. 23 For the sons of Ammon and Moab [suspecting betrayal] rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir, completely destroying them; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
24 When [the men of] Judah came to the lookout tower of the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude, and behold, they were dead bodies lying on the ground, and no one had escaped. 25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoil, they found much among them, including equipment, garments, and valuable things which they took for themselves, more than they could carry away; so much that they spent three days gathering the spoil.
Triumphant Return to Jerusalem
26 Then on the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Beracah, for it was there that they blessed the Lord. For that reason they named that place “The Valley of Beracah (blessing)” until today. 27 Then they returned to Jerusalem with joy, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, led by Jehoshaphat, for the Lord had made them rejoice over their enemies. 28 They came to Jerusalem with harps, lyres, and trumpets to the house (temple) of the Lord. 29 And the fear of God came on all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 So the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest on all sides.
31 Now Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem for twenty-five years. His mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 32 He walked in the way of his father Asa and did not depart from it, doing what was right in the sight of the Lord. 33 Only the high places [for pagan sacrifices] were not removed, for the people had not yet set their hearts firmly on the God of their fathers.
34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, from the first to the last, behold, they are written in the records of Jehu the son of Hanani, which are recorded in the Book of the Kings of Israel.
Alliance Displeases God
35 After [all] this Jehoshaphat king of Judah made an alliance with Ahaziah king of Israel, and he acted wickedly in doing so. 36 He joined him in building ships to go to Tarshish [for trade], and they built them in Ezion-geber. 37 Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the Lord has broken down what you have built.” So the ships were wrecked and were unable to go to Tarshish.
- 2 Chronicles 20:2 Another reading is Edom.