The Reign of Abijah
13 1 In the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah. 2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem; and his mother's name was Michaiah, the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3 And Abijah began the war with an army of men of war, four hundred thousand chosen men; and Jeroboam set the battle in array against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, mighty men of valour. 4 And Abijah stood up on the top of mount Zemaraim, which is in mount Ephraim, and said, Hear me, Jeroboam, and all Israel! 5 Ought ye not to know that Jehovah the God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, to him and to his sons [by] a covenant of salt? 6 But Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, rose up and rebelled against his lord. 7 And vain men, sons of Belial, gathered to him and strengthened themselves against Rehoboam the son of Solomon, and Rehoboam was young and faint-hearted, and did not shew himself strong against them. 8 And now ye think to shew yourselves strong against the kingdom of Jehovah in the hand of the sons of David; and ye are a great multitude, and ye have with you the golden calves that Jeroboam made you for gods. 9 Have ye not cast out the priests of Jehovah, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and made you priests as the peoples of the lands? whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams, he becomes a priest of what is not God. 10 But as for us, Jehovah is our God, and we have not forsaken him; and the priests that serve Jehovah are the sons of Aaron, and the Levites are at their work: 11 and they burn to Jehovah every morning and every evening burnt-offerings and sweet incense; the loaves also are set in order upon the pure table; and the candlestick of gold with its lamps to burn every evening: for we keep the charge of Jehovah our God; but ye have forsaken him. 12 And behold, we have God with us at our head, and his priests, and the loud-sounding trumpets to sound an alarm against you. Children of Israel, do not fight with Jehovah the God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper.
13 But Jeroboam caused an ambush to come about behind them; and they were before Judah, and the ambush behind them. 14 And Judah looked back, and behold, they had the battle in front and behind; and they cried to Jehovah, and the priests sounded with the trumpets. 15 And the men of Judah gave a shout; and as the men of Judah shouted, it came to pass that God smote Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 16 And the children of Israel fled before Judah; and God delivered them into their hand. 17 And Abijah and his people slew them with a great slaughter; and there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men. 18 And the children of Israel were humbled at that time, and the children of Judah were strengthened, because they relied upon Jehovah the God of their fathers. 19 And Abijah pursued after Jeroboam, and took cities from him: Bethel with its dependent villages, and Jeshanah with its dependent villages, and Ephron with its dependent villages. 20 And Jeroboam did not recover strength again in the days of Abijah; and Jehovah smote him, and he died. 21 But Abijah strengthened himself, and took fourteen wives, and begot twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. 22 And the rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways and his sayings, are written in the treatise of the prophet Iddo.
The Reign of Asa
14 1 And Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David. And Asa his son reigned in his stead. In his days the land was quiet ten years. 2 And Asa did what was good and right in the sight of Jehovah his God; 3 and he took away the altars of the strange [gods] and the high places, and broke the columns, and cut down the Asherahs; 4 and commanded Judah to seek Jehovah the God of their fathers, and to practise the law and the commandment. 5 And he removed out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the sun-images; and the kingdom was quiet before him. 6 And he built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest, and he had no war in those years; because Jehovah had given him rest. 7 And he said to Judah, Let us build these cities, and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars, while the land is yet before us; for we have sought Jehovah our God; we have sought him, and he has given us rest on every side. And they built and prospered. 8 And Asa had an army that bore targets and spears: out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bore shields and drew the bow, two hundred and eighty thousand: all these, mighty men of valour.
9 And Zerah the Ethiopian came out against him with a host of a thousand thousand, and three hundred chariots, and he came to Mareshah. 10 And Asa went out against him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah near Mareshah. 11 And Asa cried unto Jehovah his God, and said, Jehovah, it maketh no difference to thee to help, whether there be much or no power: help us, O Jehovah our God, for we rely on thee, and in thy name have we come against this multitude. Jehovah, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee. 12 And Jehovah smote the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled. 13 And Asa and the people that were with him pursued them to Gerar; and the Ethiopians were overthrown, that none of them was left alive; for they were crushed before Jehovah and before his army. And they carried away very much spoil. 14 And they smote all the cities round about Gerar, for the terror of Jehovah came upon them; and they spoiled all the cities, for there was very much spoil in them. 15 They smote also the tents of cattle, and carried away sheep and camels in abundance, and returned to Jerusalem.
15 1 And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. 2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: Jehovah is with you while ye are with him; and if ye seek him he will be found of you, but if ye forsake him he will forsake you. 3 Now for a long while Israel [was] without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law; 4 but in their trouble they turned to Jehovah the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found of them. 5 And in those times there [was] no peace to him that went out nor to him that came in, but great disturbances were amongst all the inhabitants of the countries. 6 And nation was broken against nation, and city against city; for God disturbed them with all manner of distress. 7 But as for you, be firm and let not your hands be weak; for there is a reward for your deeds.
8 And when Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominations out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities that he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of Jehovah, that was before the porch of Jehovah. 9 And he assembled all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon; for they fell away to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that Jehovah his God was with him. 10 And they assembled themselves at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11 And they sacrificed to Jehovah in that day, of the spoil that they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep. 12 And they entered into a covenant to seek Jehovah the God of their fathers, with all their heart, and with all their soul, 13 and that whoever would not seek Jehovah the God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. 14 And they swore to Jehovah with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets. 15 And all Judah rejoiced at the oath; for they took the oath with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them. And Jehovah gave them rest round about. 16 And also Maachah, the mother of Asa the king, he removed from being queen, because she had made an idol for the Asherah; and Asa cut down her idol, and stamped it, and burned it in the valley Kidron. 17 But the high places were not removed from Israel; only, Asa's heart was perfect all his days. 18 And he brought into the house of God the things which his father had dedicated, and the things which he himself had dedicated, silver, and gold, and vessels. 19 And there was no war until the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Asa.
Asa's League with Ben-hadad
16 1 In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah, and built Ramah, in order to let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. 2 And Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of Jehovah and of the king's house, and sent to Ben-hadad king of Syria, who dwelt at Damascus, saying, 3 There is a league between me and thee, and between my father and thy father: behold, I send thee silver and gold; go, break thy league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me. 4 And Ben-hadad hearkened to king Asa, and sent the captains of his forces against the cities of Israel; and they smote Ijon and Dan and Abelmaim, and all the store-magazines of the cities of Naphtali. 5 And it came to pass when Baasha heard of it, that he left off building Ramah, and let his work cease. 6 And king Asa took all Judah; and they carried away the stones and the timber from Ramah, with which Baasha had been building, and he built with them Geba and Mizpah.
7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and hast not relied on Jehovah thy God, therefore has the army of the king of Syria escaped out of thy hand. 8 Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army, with very many chariots and horsemen? but when thou didst rely on Jehovah, he delivered them into thy hand. 9 For the eyes of Jehovah run to and fro through the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly; for from henceforth thou shalt have wars. 10 And Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in the prison; for he was enraged with him because of this. And Asa oppressed some of the people at the same time. 11 And behold the acts of Asa, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 12 And Asa in the thirty-ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was extremely great; yet in his disease he did not seek Jehovah, but the physicians. 13 And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one-and-fortieth year of his reign. 14 And they buried him in his own sepulchre, which he had excavated for himself in the city of David, and laid him in a bed filled with spices, a mixture of divers kinds prepared by the perfumer's art; and they made a very great burning for him.
Jehoshaphat's Kingdom Established
17 1 And Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his stead, and strengthened himself against Israel. 2 And he placed forces in all the fortified cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of Ephraim that Asa his father had taken. 3 And Jehovah was with Jehoshaphat, for he walked in the first ways of his father David, and sought not unto the Baals; 4 but he sought the God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel. 5 And Jehovah established the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah gave gifts to Jehoshaphat; and he had riches and honour in abundance. 6 And he took courage in the ways of Jehovah; moreover, he removed the high places and Asherahs out of Judah. 7 And in the third year of his reign he sent his princes, Ben-hail, and Obadiah, and Zechariah, and Nethaneel, and Micah, to teach in the cities of Judah; 8 and with them the Levites: Shemaiah, and Nethaniah, and Zebadiah, and Asahel, and Shemiramoth, and Jonathan, and Adonijah, and Tobijah, and Tob-Adonijah, Levites; and with them Elishama and Jehoram, the priests. 9 And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of Jehovah with them; and they went about through all the cities of Judah, and taught among the people.
10 And the terror of Jehovah was upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, and they made no war against Jehoshaphat. 11 And some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat gifts and tribute-silver. The Arabians also brought him flocks, seven thousand seven hundred rams, and seven thousand seven hundred he-goats. 12 And Jehoshaphat waxed exceeding great; and he built in Judah castles and store-cities. 13 And he had much business in the cities of Judah; and men of war, strong and valiant, in Jerusalem. 14 And these are the numbers of them according to their fathers' houses. Of Judah the captains of thousands: Adnah the captain, and with him three hundred thousand mighty men of valour; 15 and next to him was Johanan the captain, and with him two hundred and eighty thousand; 16 and next to him, Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself to Jehovah; and with him two hundred thousand mighty men of valour. 17 And of Benjamin: Eliada, a mighty man of valour, and with him two hundred thousand, armed with bow and shield; 18 and next to him was Jehozabad, and with him a hundred and eighty thousand ready prepared for war. 19 These were they that waited on the king, besides those that the king had put in the fortified cities throughout Judah.