2 Chronicles 18-20 Bible in Basic English

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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.

The Prophet Jehu Rebukes Jehoshaphat

19 1  And Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, went back to his house in Jerusalem in peace. 2  And Jehu, the son of Hanani the seer, went to King Jehoshaphat and said to him, Is it right for you to go to the help of evil-doers, loving the haters of the Lord? because of this, the wrath of the Lord has come on you. 3  But still there is some good in you, for you have put away the wood pillars out of the land, and have given your heart to the worship of God.

Jehoshaphat Appoints Judges

4  And Jehoshaphat was living in Jerusalem; and he went out again among the people, from Beer-sheba to the hill-country of Ephraim, guiding them back to the Lord, the God of their fathers.

5  And he put judges through all the land, in every walled town of Judah, 6  And said to the judges, Take care what you do, for you are judging not for man but for the Lord, and he is with you in the decisions you give. 7  So now let the fear of the Lord be in you; do your work with care; for in the Lord our God there is no evil, or respect for high position, or taking of payment to do wrong. 8  Then in Jerusalem he gave authority to certain of the Levites and the priests and the heads of families of Israel to give decisions for the Lord, and in the causes of those living in Jerusalem. 9  And he gave them their orders, saying, You are to do your work in the fear of the Lord, in good faith and with a true heart. 10  And if any cause comes before you from your brothers living in their towns, where the death punishment is in question, or where there are questions of law or order, or rules or decisions, make them take care that they are not in the wrong before the Lord, so that wrath may not come on you and on your brothers; do this and you yourselves will not be in the wrong. 11  And now, Amariah, the chief priest, is over you in all questions to do with the Lord; and Zebadiah the son of Ishmael, the head of the family of Judah, in everything to do with the king's business; and the Levites will be overseers for you. Be strong to do the work; and may the Lord be with the upright.

The Victory over Moab and Ammon

20 1  Now after this, the children of Moab and the children of Ammon, and with them some of the Meunim, made war against Jehoshaphat. 2  And they came to Jehoshaphat with the news, saying, A great army is moving against you from Edom across the sea; and now they are in Hazazon-tamar (which is En-gedi). 3  Then Jehoshaphat, in his fear, went to the Lord for directions, and gave orders all through Judah for the people to go without food. 4  And Judah came together to make prayer for help from the Lord; from every town of Judah they came to give worship to the Lord. 5  And Jehoshaphat took his place in the meeting of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord in front of the new open space, 6  And said, O Lord, the God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? are you not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? and in your hands are power and strength so that no one is able to keep his place against you. 7  Did you not, O Lord our God, after driving out the people of this land before your people Israel, give it to the seed of Abraham, your friend, for ever? 8  And they made it their living-place, building there a holy house for your name, and saying, 9  If evil comes on us, the sword, or punishment, or disease, or need of food, we will come to this house and to you, (for your name is in this house,) crying to you in our trouble, and you will give us salvation in answer to our cry. 10  And now, see, the children of Ammon and Moab and the people of Mount Seir, whom you kept Israel from attacking when they came out of Egypt, so that turning to one side they did not send destruction on them: 11  See now, how as our reward they have come to send us out of your land which you have given us as our heritage. 12  O our God, will you not be their judge? for our strength is not equal to this great army which is coming against us; and we are at a loss what to do: but our eyes are on you. 13  And all Judah were waiting before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.

14  Then, before all the meeting, the spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel, the son of Zechariah, son of Benaiah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite and one of the family of Asaph; 15  And he said, Give ear, O Judah, and you people of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat: the Lord says to you, Have no fear and do not be troubled on account of this great army; for the fight is not yours but God's. 16  Go down against them tomorrow: see, they are coming up by the slope of Ziz; at the end of the valley, before the waste land of Jeruel, you will come face to face with them. 17  There will be no need for you to take up arms in this fight; put yourselves in position, and keep where you are, and you will see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: have no fear and do not be troubled: go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you. 18  Then Jehoshaphat went down with his face to the earth, and all Judah and the people of Jerusalem gave worship to the Lord, falling down before him. 19  And the Levites, the children of the Kohathites and the Korahites, got to their feet and gave praise to the Lord, the God of Israel, with a loud voice.

20  And early in the morning they got up and went out to the waste land of Tekoa: and when they were going out, Jehoshaphat took his station and said to them, Give ear to me, O Judah and you people of Jerusalem: have faith in the Lord your God and you will be safe; have faith in his prophets and all will go well for you. 21  And after discussion with the people, he put in their places those who were to make melody to the Lord, praising him in holy robes, while they went at the head of the army, and saying, May the Lord be praised, for his mercy is unchanging for ever. 22  And at the first notes of song and praise the Lord sent a surprise attack against the children of Ammon and Moab and the people of Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were overcome. 23  And the children of Ammon and Moab made an attack on the people of Mount Seir with a view to their complete destruction; and when they had put an end to the people of Seir, everyman's hand was turned against his neighbour for his destruction. 24  And Judah came to the watchtower of the waste land, and looking in the direction of the army, they saw only dead bodies stretched on the earth; no living man was to be seen. 25  And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their goods from them, they saw beasts in great numbers, and wealth and clothing and things of value, more than they were able to take away; all this they took for themselves, and they were three days getting it away, there was so much. 26  On the fourth day they all came together in the Valley of Blessing, and there they gave blessing to the Lord; for which cause that place has been named the Valley of Blessing to this day. 27  Then all the men of Judah and Jerusalem went back, with Jehoshaphat at their head, coming back to Jerusalem with joy; for the Lord had made them glad over their haters. 28  So they came to Jerusalem with corded instruments and wind-instruments into the house of the Lord. 29  And the fear of God came on all the kingdoms of the lands, when they had news of how the Lord made war on those who came against Israel. 30  So the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was quiet, for the Lord gave him rest on every side.

The Reign of Jehoshaphat

31  And Jehoshaphat was king over Judah: he was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he was ruling for twenty-five years in Jerusalem: his mother's name was Azubah, the daughter of Shilhi. 32  He went in the ways of his father Asa, not turning away, but doing right in the eyes of the Lord. 33  The high places, however, were not taken away, and the hearts of the people were still not true to the God of their fathers. 34  Now as for the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first and last, they are recorded in the words of Jehu, the son of Hanani, which were put in the book of the kings of Israel. 35  After this Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, became friends with Ahaziah, king of Israel, who did much evil: 36  Together they made ships to go to Tarshish, building them in Ezion-geber. 37  Then the word of Eliezer the prophet, the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah, came against Jehoshaphat, saying, Because you have let yourself be joined with Ahaziah, the Lord has sent destruction on your works. And the ships were broken and were not able to go to Tarshish.

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