2 Chronicles 15-18 Bible in Basic English

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Asa's Reforms

15 1  And the spirit of God came on Azariah, the son of Oded; 2  And he came face to face with Asa and said to him, Give ear to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin: the Lord is with you while you are with him; if your heart's desire is for him, he will be near you, but if you give him up, he will give you up. 3  Now for a long time Israel has been without the true God, and without a teaching priest and without the law; 4  But when in their trouble they were turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, searching after him, he let their search be rewarded. 5  In those times there was no peace for him who went out or for him who came in, but great trouble was on all the people of the lands. 6  And they were broken by divisions, nation against nation and town against town, because God sent all sorts of trouble on them. 7  But be you strong and let not your hands be feeble, for your work will be rewarded.

8  And Asa, hearing these words of Azariah, the son of Oded the prophet, took heart and put away all the disgusting things out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the towns which he had taken from the hill-country of Ephraim; and he made new again the altar of the Lord in front of the covered way of the Lord's house. 9  And he got together all Judah and Benjamin and those of Ephraim and Manasseh and Simeon who were living with them; for numbers of them came to him out of Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. 10  So they came together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the rule of Asa. 11  And that day they made offerings to the Lord of the things they had taken in war, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep. 12  And they made an agreement to be true to the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and all their soul; 13  And that anyone, small or great, man or woman, who was not true to the Lord, the God of Israel, would be put to death. 14  And they made an oath to the Lord, with a loud voice, sounding wind-instruments and horns. 15  And all Judah was glad because of the oath, for they had taken it with all their heart, turning to the Lord with all their desire; and he was with them and gave them rest on every side. 16  And Asa would not let Maacah, his mother, be queen, because she had made a disgusting image for Asherah; and Asa had her image cut down and broken up and burned by the stream Kidron. 17  But the high places were not taken away out of Israel; but still the heart of Asa was true to the Lord all his life. 18  He took into the house of God all the things which his father had made holy and those which he himself had made holy, silver and gold and vessels. 19  And there was no more war till the thirty-fifth year of the rule of Asa.

Asa's League with Ben-hadad

16 1  In the thirty-sixth year of the rule of Asa, Baasha, king of Israel, went up against Judah, building Ramah so that no one was able to go out or in to Asa, king of Judah. 2  Then Asa took silver and gold out of the stores of the Lord's house and of the king's store-house, and sent to Ben-hadad, king of Aram, at Damascus, saying, 3  Let there be an agreement between me and you as there was between my father and your father: see, I have sent you silver and gold; go and put an end to your agreement with Baasha, king of Israel, so that he may give up attacking me. 4  And Ben-hadad did as King Asa said, and sent the captains of his armies against the towns of Israel, attacking Ijon and Dan and Abel-maim, and all the store-towns of Naphtali. 5  Then Baasha, hearing of it, put a stop to the building of Ramah, and let his work come to an end. 6  Then King Asa, with all Judah, took away the stones and wood with which Baasha was building Ramah, and he made use of them for building Geba and Mizpah.

7  At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa, king of Judah, and said to him, Because you have put your faith in the king of Aram and not in the Lord your God, the army of the king of Aram has got away out of your hands. 8  Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubim a very great army, with war-carriages and horsemen more than might be numbered? but because your faith was in the Lord, he gave them up into your hands. 9  For the eyes of the Lord go this way and that, through all the earth, letting it be seen that he is the strong support of those whose hearts are true to him. In this you have done foolishly, for from now you will have wars. 10  Then Asa was angry with the seer, and put him in prison, burning with wrath against him because of this thing. And at the same time Asa was cruel to some of the people. 11  Now the acts of Asa, first and last, are recorded in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 12  In the thirty-ninth year of his rule, Asa had a very bad disease of the feet; but he did not go to the Lord for help in his disease, but to medical men. 13  So Asa went to rest with his fathers, and death came to him in the forty-first year of his rule. 14  And they put him into the resting-place which he had made for himself in the town of David, in a bed full of sweet perfumes of all sorts of spices, made by the perfumer's art, and they made a great burning for him.

Jehoshaphat's Kingdom Established

17 1  And Jehoshaphat his son became king in his place, and made himself strong against Israel. 2  He put forces in all the walled towns of Judah, and responsible chiefs in the land of Judah and in the towns of Ephraim, which Asa his father had taken. 3  And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he went in the early ways of his father, not turning to the Baals, 4  But turning to the God of his father and keeping his laws, and not doing as Israel did. 5  So the Lord made his kingdom strong; and all Judah gave offerings to Jehoshaphat, and he had great wealth and honour. 6  His heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord; and he went so far as to take away the high places and the wood pillars out of Judah. 7  In the third year of his rule he sent Benhail and Obadiah and Zechariah and Nethanel and Micaiah, his captains, as teachers into the towns of Judah; 8  And with them, Shemaiah and Nethaniah and Zebadiah and Asahel and Shemiramoth and Jehonathan and Adonijah and Tobijah and Tob-adonijah, the Levites; and Elishama and Jehoram the priests. 9  And they gave teaching in Judah and had the book of the law of the Lord with them; they went through all the towns of Judah teaching the people.

10  And the fear of the Lord was on all the kingdoms of the lands round Judah, so that they made no wars against Jehoshaphat. 11  And some of the Philistines took offerings to Jehoshaphat, and made him payments of silver; and the Arabians gave him flocks, seven thousand, seven hundred sheep, and seven thousand, seven hundred he-goats. 12  Jehoshaphat became greater and greater, and made strong towers and store-towns in Judah. 13  He had much property in the towns of Judah; he had forces of armed men, great and strong, in Jerusalem. 14  This is the number of them, listed by their families, the captains of thousands of Judah: Adnah, the captain, and with him three hundred thousand men of war; 15  Second to him Jehohanan, the captain, and with him two hundred and eighty thousand; 16  After him Amasiah, the son of Zichri, who freely gave himself to the Lord, and with him two hundred thousand men of war; 17  And the captains of Benjamin: Eliada, a great man of war, and with him two hundred thousand armed with bows and body-covers; 18  And after him Jehozabad, and with him a hundred and eighty thousand trained for war. 19  These were the men who were waiting on the king, in addition to those placed by the king in the walled towns through all Judah.

Micaiah Prophesies the Defeat of Ahab and Jehoshaphat

18 1  Now Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honour, and his son was married to Ahab's daughter. 2  And after some years he went down to Samaria to see Ahab. And Ahab made a feast for him and the people who were with him, putting to death great numbers of sheep and oxen; and he got Jehoshaphat to go with him to Ramoth-gilead. 3  For Ahab, king of Israel, said to Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead? And he said, I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will be with you in the war.

4  Then Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, Let us now get directions from the Lord. 5  So the king of Israel got together all the prophets, four hundred men, and said to them, Am I to go to Ramoth-gilead to make war or not? And they said, Go up: for God will give it into the hands of the king. 6  But Jehoshaphat said, Is there no other prophet of the Lord here from whom we may get directions? 7  And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, There is still one man by whom we may get directions from the Lord, but I have no love for him, because he has never been a prophet of good to me, but only of evil: he is Micaiah, the son of Imla. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so. 8  Then the king of Israel sent for one of his unsexed servants and said, Go quickly and come back with Micaiah, the son of Imla. 9  Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, were seated on their seats of authority, dressed in their robes, by the doorway into Samaria; and all the prophets were acting as prophets before them. 10  And Zedekiah, the son of Chenaanah, made himself iron horns and said, The Lord says, Pushing back the Aramaeans with these, you will put an end to them completely. 11  And all the prophets said the same thing, saying, Go up to Ramoth-gilead, and it will go well for you, for the Lord will give it into the hands of the king. 12  Now the servant who had gone to get Micaiah said to him, See now, all the prophets with one voice are saying good things to the king; so let your words be like theirs, and say good things. 13  And Micaiah said, By the living Lord, whatever the Lord says to me I will say. 14  When he came to the king, the king said to him, Micaiah, are we to go to Ramoth-gilead to make war or not? And he said, Go up, and it will go well for you; and they will be given up into your hands. 15  And the king said to him, Have I not, again and again, put you on your oath to say nothing to me but what is true in the name of the Lord? 16  Then he said, I saw all Israel wandering on the mountains like sheep without a keeper; and the Lord said, These have no master: let them go back, every man to his house in peace. 17  And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Did I not say that he would not be a prophet of good to me, but of evil? 18  Then he said, Give ear now to the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord seated on his seat of power, and all the army of heaven in their places, at his right hand and at his left. 19  And the Lord said, How may Ahab, king of Israel, be tricked into going up to Ramoth-gilead to his death? And one said one thing and one another. 20  Then a spirit came forward and took his place before the Lord and said, I will get him to do it by a trick. And the Lord said to him, How? 21  And he said, I will go out and be a spirit of deceit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, Your trick will have its effect on him: go out and do so. 22  And now, see, the Lord has put a spirit of deceit in the mouth of these prophets of yours; and the Lord has said evil against you. 23  Then Zedekiah, the son of Chenaanah, came near and gave Micaiah a blow on the side of his face, saying, Where is the spirit of the Lord whose word is in you? 24  And Micaiah said, Truly, you will see on that day when you go into an inner room to keep yourself safe. 25  And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon, the ruler of the town, and to Joash, the king's son; 26  And say, By the king's order this man is to be put in prison, and given prison food till I come back in peace. 27  And Micaiah said, If you come back at all in peace, the Lord has not sent his word by me.

28  So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, went up to Ramoth-gilead. 29  And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, I will make a change in my clothing, so that I do not seem to be the king, and will go into the fight; but do you put on your robes. So the king of Israel made a change in his dress, and they went to the fight. 30  Now the king of Aram had given orders to the captains of his war-carriages, saying, Make no attack on small or great, but only on the king of Israel. 31  So when the captains of the war-carriages saw Jehoshaphat, they said, It is the king of Israel. And turning about, they came round him, but Jehoshaphat gave a cry, and the Lord came to his help, and God sent them away from him. 32  Now when the captains of the war-carriages saw that he was not the king of Israel, they went back from going after him. 33  And a certain man sent an arrow from his bow without thought of its direction, and gave the king of Israel a wound where his breastplate was joined to his clothing; so he said to the driver of his war-carriage, Go to one side and take me away out of the army, for I am badly wounded. 34  But the fight became more violent while the day went on; and the king of Israel was supported in his war-carriage facing the Aramaeans till the evening; and by sundown he was dead.

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