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King Asa Rules in Judah

14 Abijah died and they buried him in the city of David. His son Asa became king in his place. In his days the land had peace ten years.

Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. For he put away the strange altars and high places. He tore down the pillars used in worship of false gods. And he cut down the false goddesses, the Asherim. He told Judah to follow the Lord God of their fathers, and to obey the Laws. He put the high places and the altars of special perfume away from all the cities of Judah. And the nation had rest under his rule. He built strong cities in Judah, since the land had rest. No one fought a war with him during those years, because the Lord had given him rest. So he said to the people of Judah, “Let us build these cities. And let us build walls and towers around them, with iron gates. The land is still ours, because we have followed the Lord our God. We have followed Him, and He has given us rest on every side.” So they built and did well. Asa had an army of 300,000 men from Judah, with large battle-coverings and spears. And he had 280,000 men from Benjamin, with battle-coverings and bows. All of them were powerful soldiers.

Zerah the Ethiopian came out to fight against them with an army of 1,000,000 men and 300 war-wagons. He came as far as Mareshah. 10 So Asa went out to meet him. They made themselves ready for battle in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11 Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one but You to help in the battle between the powerful and the weak. So help us, O Lord God. For we trust in You. In Your name we have come against these many people. O Lord, You are our God. Do not let any man win the fight against You.” 12 So the Lord began to destroy the Ethiopians in front of Asa and the people of Judah, and the Ethiopians ran away. 13 Asa and the people with him went after them as far as Gerar. The Ethiopians were killed until none were left alive. They were destroyed before the Lord and His army. And they carried away many things that had belonged to the Ethiopians. 14 Then they destroyed all the cities around Gerar, for the fear of the Lord had come upon them. And they took everything of worth that was in the cities, for there was much left. 15 They destroyed the tents of the animals. And they took away many sheep and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.

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