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Jehoshaphat’s victory

20 Some time later, the Moabites and the Ammonites, along with some of the Meunites,[a] attacked Jehoshaphat. Jehoshaphat was told, “A large army from beyond the sea, from Edom,[b] is coming to attack you. They are already at Hazazon-tamar!” (that is, En-gedi). Frightened, Jehoshaphat decided to seek the Lord’s help and proclaimed a fast for all Judah. People from all of Judah’s cities came to ask the Lord for help. Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem in the Lord’s temple in front of the new courtyard. Lord, the God of our ancestors, you alone are God in heaven. You rule all the kingdoms of the nations. You are so powerful that no one can oppose you. You, our God, drove out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and gave this land to the descendants of your friend Abraham forever. They have lived in it and have built a sanctuary in honor of your name in it, saying, ‘If calamity, sword, flood,[c] plague, or famine comes upon us, we will stand before this temple, before you, because your name is in this temple. We will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’ 10 So look here! The Ammonites, the Moabites, and those from Mount Seir—the people you wouldn’t let Israel invade when they came out of Egypt’s land, so Israel avoided them and didn’t destroy them— 11 here they are, returning the favor by coming to drive us out of your possession that you gave to us! 12 Our God, won’t you punish them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We don’t know what to do, and so we are looking to you for help.”

13 All Judah was standing before the Lord, even their little ones, wives, and children. 14 Then the Lord’s spirit came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah son of Benaiah son of Jeiel son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the line of Asaph, as he stood in the middle of the assembly.

15 “Pay attention, all of Judah, every inhabitant of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat,” Jahaziel said. “This is what the Lord says to you: Don’t be afraid or discouraged by this great army because the battle isn’t yours. It belongs to God! 16 March out against them tomorrow. Since they will be coming through the Ziz pass, meet them at the end of the valley that opens into the Jeruel wilderness. 17 You don’t need to fight this battle. Just take your places, stand ready, and watch how the Lord, who is with you, will deliver you, Judah and Jerusalem. Don’t be afraid or discouraged! Go out tomorrow and face them. The Lord will be with you.”

18 Then Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the Lord in worship. 19 Levites from the lines of Kohath and Korah stood up to loudly praise the Lord, the God of Israel.

20 Early the next morning they went into the Tekoa wilderness. When they were about to go out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and every inhabitant of Jerusalem! Trust the Lord your God, and you will stand firm; trust his prophets and succeed!”

21 After consulting with the people, Jehoshaphat appointed musicians to play for the Lord, praising his majestic holiness. They were to march out before the warriors, saying, “Give thanks to the Lord because his faithful love lasts forever!” 22 As they broke into joyful song and praise, the Lord launched a surprise attack against the Ammonites, the Moabites, and those from Mount Seir who were invading Judah, so that they were defeated. 23 The Ammonites and the Moabites turned on those from Mount Seir, completely destroying them. Once they had finished off the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy each other!

24 When Judah arrived at the point overlooking the wilderness, all they could see were corpses lying all over the ground. There were no survivors. 25 When Jehoshaphat and his army came to take the loot, they found a great amount of cattle,[d] goods, clothing,[e] and other valuables—much more than they could carry. In fact, there was so much it took three days to haul it away. 26 On the fourth day they assembled in Blessing Valley, where they blessed the Lord. That’s why it is called Blessing Valley to this day. 27 Then everyone from Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat at their head, joyfully returned home to Jerusalem because the Lord had given them reason to rejoice over their enemies. 28 They entered Jerusalem accompanied by harps, lutes, and trumpets, and they went to the Lord’s temple.

29 The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had fought against Israel’s enemies. 30 As a result, Jehoshaphat’s rule was peaceful because his God gave him rest on all sides.

Jehoshaphat’s last days

31 Jehoshaphat ruled over Judah. He was 35 years old when he became king, and he ruled for twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah; she was Shilhi’s daughter. 32 Jehoshaphat walked in the way of his father Asa and didn’t turn aside from it, doing what was right in the Lord’s eyes, 33 with the exception that he didn’t remove the shrines. The people were still not committed with all their hearts to the God of their ancestors. 34 The rest of Jehoshaphat’s deeds, from beginning to end, are written in the records of Jehu, Hanani’s son, which are included in the records of Israel’s kings.

35 Sometime later, Judah’s King Jehoshaphat formed an alliance with Israel’s King Ahaziah, which caused him to sin. 36 They agreed to build a fleet of Tarshish-styled ships, and they built them in Ezion-geber. 37 Eliezer, Dodavahu’s son from Mareshah, prophesied against Jehoshaphat: “Because you have formed an alliance with Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy what you have made.” The ships were wrecked and couldn’t sail to Tarshish.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 20:1 LXX; MT Ammonites
  2. 2 Chronicles 20:2 OL; MT Aram
  3. 2 Chronicles 20:9 LXX; MT judgment
  4. 2 Chronicles 20:25 LXX; MT among them
  5. 2 Chronicles 20:25 Vulg; MT corpses

Jehoshaphat Defeats Moab and Ammon

20 After this, the Moabites(A) and Ammonites with some of the Meunites[a](B) came to wage war against Jehoshaphat.

Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army(C) is coming against you from Edom,[b] from the other side of the Dead Sea. It is already in Hazezon Tamar(D)” (that is, En Gedi).(E) Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast(F) for all Judah. The people of Judah(G) came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.

Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard and said:

Lord, the God of our ancestors,(H) are you not the God who is in heaven?(I) You rule over all the kingdoms(J) of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.(K) Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land(L) before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?(M) They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary(N) for your Name, saying, ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine,(O) we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’

10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt;(P) so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. 11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession(Q) you gave us as an inheritance. 12 Our God, will you not judge them?(R) For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.(S)

13 All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the Lord.

14 Then the Spirit(T) of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah,(U) a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.

15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged(V) because of this vast army. For the battle(W) is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see(X) the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”

18 Jehoshaphat bowed down(Y) with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. 19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.

20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith(Z) in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.(AA) 21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his[c] holiness(AB) as they went out at the head of the army, saying:

“Give thanks to the Lord,
    for his love endures forever.”(AC)

22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes(AD) against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 23 The Ammonites(AE) and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir(AF) to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another.(AG)

24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing[d] and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. 26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the Lord. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah[e] to this day.

27 Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. 28 They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the Lord with harps and lyres and trumpets.

29 The fear(AH) of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had fought(AI) against the enemies of Israel. 30 And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest(AJ) on every side.

The End of Jehoshaphat’s Reign(AK)

31 So Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king of Judah, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five years. His mother’s name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi. 32 He followed the ways of his father Asa and did not stray from them; he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. 33 The high places,(AL) however, were not removed, and the people still had not set their hearts on the God of their ancestors.

34 The other events of Jehoshaphat’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the annals of Jehu(AM) son of Hanani, which are recorded in the book of the kings of Israel.

35 Later, Jehoshaphat king of Judah made an alliance(AN) with Ahaziah king of Israel, whose ways were wicked.(AO) 36 He agreed with him to construct a fleet of trading ships.[f] After these were built at Ezion Geber, 37 Eliezer son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have made an alliance with Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy what you have made.” The ships(AP) were wrecked and were not able to set sail to trade.[g]

Footnotes

  1. 2 Chronicles 20:1 Some Septuagint manuscripts; Hebrew Ammonites
  2. 2 Chronicles 20:2 One Hebrew manuscript; most Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Vulgate Aram
  3. 2 Chronicles 20:21 Or him with the splendor of
  4. 2 Chronicles 20:25 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Vulgate; most Hebrew manuscripts corpses
  5. 2 Chronicles 20:26 Berakah means praise.
  6. 2 Chronicles 20:36 Hebrew of ships that could go to Tarshish
  7. 2 Chronicles 20:37 Hebrew sail for Tarshish

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