May 21
     2 Chronicles 19:1 — 22:12

19 Then Jehoshaphat the king of Judah returned in peace to his own house at Jerusalem. 2 Jehu the son of Hanani the visionary now went out before him and said to King Jehoshaphat: “Is it to the wicked that help is to be given, and is it for those hating Jehovah that you should have love? And for this there is indignation against you from the person of Jehovah. 3 Nevertheless, there are good things that have been found with you, because you have cleared out the sacred poles from the land and you have prepared your heart to search for the [true] God.”

4 And Jehoshaphat continued dwelling in Jerusalem; and he began to go out again among the people from Beer-sheba to the mountainous region of Ephraim, that he might bring them back to Jehovah the God of their forefathers. 5 And he proceeded to station judges throughout the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city. 6 And he went on to say to the judges: “See what YOU are doing, because it is not for man that YOU judge but it is for Jehovah; and he is with YOU in the matter of judgment. 7 And now let the dread of Jehovah come to be upon YOU. Be careful and act, for with Jehovah our God there is no unrighteousness or partiality or taking of a bribe.”

8 And in Jerusalem also Jehoshaphat stationed some of the Levites and the priests and some of the heads of the paternal houses of Israel for the judgment of Jehovah and for the legal cases of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 9 Further, he laid a command upon them, saying: “This is how YOU should do in the fear of Jehovah with faithfulness and with a complete heart. 10 As for every legal case that will come to YOU of YOUR brothers who are dwelling in their cities, involving the shedding of blood, involving law and commandment and regulations and judicial decisions, YOU must warn them that they may not do wrong against Jehovah and indignation may not have to take place against YOU and against YOUR brothers. This is how YOU should do that YOU may not incur guilt. 11 And here is Amariah the chief priest over YOU for every matter of Jehovah; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael the leader of the house of Judah for every matter of the king; and as officers the Levites are available for YOU. Be strong and act, and let Jehovah prove to be with what is good.”

20 And it came about afterward that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon and with them some of the Ammonim came against Jehoshaphat in war. 2 So people came and told Jehoshaphat, saying: “There has come against you a large crowd from the region of the sea, from Edom; and there they are in Hazazon-tamar, that is to say, En-gedi.” 3 At that Jehoshaphat became afraid and set his face to search for Jehovah. So he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. 4 Eventually those of Judah were collected together to inquire of Jehovah. Even from all the cities of Judah they came to consult Jehovah.

5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the congregation of Judah and of Jerusalem in the house of Jehovah before the new courtyard, 6 and he proceeded to say:

“O Jehovah the God of our forefathers, are you not God in the heavens, and are you not dominating over all the kingdoms of the nations, and are there not in your hand power and mightiness, with no one to hold his ground against you? 7 Did not you yourself, O God of ours, drive away the inhabitants of this land from before your people Israel and then give it to the seed of Abraham, your lover, to time indefinite? 8 And they took up dwelling in it, and they proceeded to build in it for you a sanctuary for your name, saying, 9 ‘If there should come upon us calamity, sword, adverse judgment, or pestilence or famine, let us stand before this house and before you (for your name is in this house), that we may call to you for aid out of our distress, and may you hear and save.’ 10 And now here the sons of Ammon, and Moab and the mountainous region of Seir, whom you did not allow Israel to invade when they were coming out of the land of Egypt, but they turned away from them and did not annihilate them, 11 yes, here they are rewarding us by coming in to drive us out from your possession that you caused us to possess. 12 O our God, will you not execute judgment upon them? For in us there is no power before this large crowd that is coming against us; and we ourselves do not know what we ought to do, but our eyes are toward you.”

13 All the while all those of Judah were standing before Jehovah, even their little ones, their wives and their sons.

14 Now as for Jahaziel the son of Zechariah the son of Benaiah the son of Jeiel the son of Mattaniah the Levite of the sons of Asaph, the spirit of Jehovah came to be upon him in the middle of the congregation. 15 Consequently he said: “Pay attention, all Judah and YOU inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat! Here is what Jehovah has said to YOU, ‘Do not YOU be afraid or be terrified because of this large crowd; for the battle is not YOURS, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. There they are coming up by the pass of Ziz; and YOU will be certain to find them at the end of the torrent valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 YOU will not need to fight in this instance. Take YOUR position, stand still and see the salvation of Jehovah in YOUR behalf. O Judah and Jerusalem, do not be afraid or be terrified. Tomorrow go out against them, and Jehovah will be with YOU.’”

18 At once Jehoshaphat bowed low with his face to the earth, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem themselves fell down before Jehovah to do obeisance to Jehovah. 19 Then the Levites of the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites rose up to praise Jehovah the God of Israel with an extraordinarily loud voice.

20 And they proceeded to rise early in the morning and go out to the wilderness of Tekoa. And as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood up and then said: “Hear me, O Judah and YOU inhabitants of Jerusalem! Put faith in Jehovah YOUR God that YOU may prove yourselves of long duration. Put faith in his prophets and so prove successful.”

21 Further, he took counsel with the people and stationed singers to Jehovah and those offering praise in holy adornment as they went out ahead of the armed men, and saying: “GIVE praise to Jehovah, for to time indefinite is his loving-kindness.”

22 And at the time that they started off with the joyful cry and praise, Jehovah set men in ambush against the sons of Ammon, Moab and the mountainous region of Seir who were coming into Judah, and they went smiting one another. 23 And the sons of Ammon and Moab proceeded to stand up against the inhabitants of the mountainous region of Seir to devote them to destruction and annihilate them; and as soon as they finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped each one to bring his own fellow to ruin.

24 But as for Judah, it came to the watchtower of the wilderness. When they turned their faces toward the crowd, why, there they were, their carcasses fallen to the earth without anyone escaping. 25 So Jehoshaphat and his people came to plunder the spoil on them, and they got to find among them in abundance both goods and clothing and desirable articles; and they went stripping them off for themselves until they could carry no more. And it came to be three days that they were plundering the spoil, for it was abundant. 26 And on the fourth day they congregated together at the low plain of Beracah, for there they blessed Jehovah. That is why they called the name of that place Low Plain of Beracah—until today.

27 Then all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned, with Jehoshaphat at their head, to return to Jerusalem with rejoicing, for Jehovah had made them rejoice over their enemies. 28 So they came to Jerusalem with stringed instruments and with harps and with trumpets to the house of Jehovah. 29 And the dread of God came to be upon all the kingdoms of the lands when they heard that Jehovah had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 Thus the royal realm of Jehoshaphat had no disturbance, and his God continued to give him rest all around.

31 And Jehoshaphat went on reigning over Judah. Thirty-five years old he was when he began to reign, and for twenty-five years he reigned in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 32 And he kept walking in the way of his father Asa, and he did not turn aside from it, by doing what was right in Jehovah’s eyes. 33 Only the high places themselves did not disappear; and the people themselves had not yet prepared their heart for the God of their forefathers.

34 As for the rest of the affairs of Jehoshaphat, the first and the last, there they are written among the words of Jehu the son of Hanani, which were inserted in the Book of the Kings of Israel. 35 And after this Jehoshaphat the king of Judah had partnership with Ahaziah the king of Israel, who acted wickedly. 36 So he made him a partner with himself in making ships to go to Tarshish and they made ships in Ezion-geber. 37 However, Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Maresha spoke prophetically against Jehoshaphat, saying: “Inasmuch as you have had partnership with Ahaziah, Jehovah will certainly break down your works.” Accordingly the ships were wrecked, and they did not retain strength to go to Tarshish.

21 Finally Jehoshaphat lay down with his forefathers and was buried with his forefathers in the City of David; and Jehoram his son began to reign in place of him. 2 And he had brothers, Jehoshaphat’s sons, Azariah and Jehiel and Zechariah and Azariah and Michael and Shephatiah, all these being the sons of Jehoshaphat the king of Israel. 3 Consequently their father gave them many gifts in silver and in gold and in choice things along with fortified cities in Judah; but the kingdom he gave to Jehoram, for he was the firstborn.

4 When Jehoram rose up over the kingdom of his father he proceeded to make his position strong, and so he killed all his brothers with the sword and also some of the princes of Israel. 5 Thirty-two years old was Jehoram when he began to reign, and for eight years he reigned in Jerusalem. 6 And he went on walking in the way of the kings of Israel, just as those of the house of Ahab had done; for Ahab’s own daughter had become his wife, and he continued to do what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes. 7 And Jehovah did not want to bring the house of David to ruin, for the sake of the covenant that he had concluded with David, and just as he had said he would give him and his sons a lamp always.

8 In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah and then made a king to reign over them. 9 So Jehoram together with his chiefs passed over and also all the chariots with him. And it came about that he rose up by night and went striking down the Edomites that were surrounding him and also the chiefs of the chariots. 10 But Edom kept up its revolt from under the hand of Judah down to this day. It was then that Libnah began to revolt at the same time from under his hand, because he had left Jehovah the God of his forefathers. 11 He himself also had made high places on the mountains of Judah, that he might cause the inhabitants of Jerusalem to have immoral intercourse, and that he might drive Judah away.

12 Eventually there came a writing to him from Elijah the prophet, saying: “This is what Jehovah the God of David your forefather has said, ‘Due to the fact that you have not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat your father or in the ways of Asa the king of Judah, 13 but you walk in the way of the kings of Israel and cause Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to have immoral intercourse the same way that the house of Ahab caused the having of immoral intercourse, and even your own brothers, the household of your father, who were better than you, you have killed; 14 look! Jehovah is dealing a great blow to your people and to your sons and to your wives and to all your goods. 15 And you will be with many sicknesses, with a malady of your intestines, until your intestines have come out because of the sickness day by day.’”

16 Accordingly Jehovah aroused against Jehoram the spirit of the Philistines and the Arabs that were by the side of the Ethiopians. 17 So they came up into Judah and forced it open and took captive all the goods that were to be found in the king’s house and also his sons and his wives, and there was not left to him a son but Jehoahaz, his youngest son. 18 And after all this Jehovah plagued him in his intestines with a sickness for which there was no healing. 19 And it came about that in the days to come, even when the term of two full years had expired, his intestines came out during his sickness, and he gradually died in his bad maladies; and his people did not make a burning for him like the burning for his forefathers. 20 Thirty-two years old he happened to be when he began to reign, and for eight years he reigned in Jerusalem. Finally he went away without being desired. So they buried him in the City of David, but not in the burial places of the kings.

22 Then the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahaziah his youngest son king in place of him, (for the marauder band that came with the Arabs to the camp had killed all the older ones,) and Ahaziah the son of Jehoram began to reign as king of Judah. 2 Twenty-two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and for one year he reigned in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Athaliah the granddaughter of Omri.

3 He himself also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother herself became his counselor in doing wickedly. 4 And he went on doing what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes, the same as the house of Ahab, for they themselves became counselors to him after the death of his father, to his ruination. 5 It was also in their counsel that he walked, so that he went with Jehoram the son of Ahab the king of Israel to the war against Hazael the king of Syria at Ramoth-gilead, at which the shooters got to strike Jehoram. 6 Hence he returned to get healed at Jezreel from the wounds that they had inflicted upon him at Ramah when he fought Hazael the king of Syria.

As for Azariah the son of Jehoram the king of Judah, he went down to see Jehoram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, for he was sick. 7 But it was from God that the downfall of Ahaziah occurred by [his] coming to Jehoram; and when he came, he went out with Jehoram to Jehu the grandson of Nimshi, whom Jehovah had anointed to cut off the house of Ahab. 8 And it came about that as soon as Jehu had entered into controversy with the house of Ahab, he got to find the princes of Judah and the sons of the brothers of Ahaziah, ministers of Ahaziah, and he proceeded to kill them. 9 Then he went looking for Ahaziah, and they finally captured him, as he was hiding in Samaria, and brought him to Jehu. Then they put him to death and buried him, for they said: “He is the grandson of Jehoshaphat, who searched for Jehovah with all his heart.” And there was no one of the house of Ahaziah to retain power for the kingdom.

10 As regards Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah, she saw that her son had died. So she rose up and destroyed all the royal offspring of the house of Judah. 11 However, Jehoshabeath the daughter of the king took Jehoash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the sons of the king that were to be put to death, and put him and his nursing woman in the inner room for the couches. And Jehoshabeath the daughter of King Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest, (for she herself happened to be the sister of Ahaziah,) kept him concealed because of Athaliah, and she did not put him to death. 12 And he continued with them in the house of the [true] God hidden for six years, while Athaliah was ruling as queen over the land.