2 Chronicles 19-23 Bible in Basic English

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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.

The Reign of Jehoram of Judah

21 1  And Jehoshaphat went to rest with his fathers, and his body was put into the earth in the town of David. And Jehoram his son became king in his place. 2  And he had brothers, sons of Jehoshaphat, Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariah, Michael, and Shephatiah; all these were sons of Jehoshaphat, king of Israel. 3  And their father gave them much silver and gold and things of great value, as well as walled towns in Judah; but the kingdom he gave to Jehoram, because he was the oldest. 4  Now when Jehoram had taken his place over his father's kingdom, and had made his position safe, he put all his brothers to death with the sword, as well as some of the princes of Israel. 5  Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king; and he was ruling in Jerusalem for eight years. 6  He went in the ways of the kings of Israel, and did as the family of Ahab did, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife; and he did evil in the eyes of the Lord. 7  But it was not the Lord's purpose to send destruction on the family of David, because of the agreement he had made with David, when he said he would give to him and to his sons a light for ever. 8  In his time Edom made themselves free from the rule of Judah, and took a king for themselves. 9  Then Jehoram went over with his captains and all his war-carriages ... made an attack by night on the Edomites, whose forces were all round him ... on the captains of the war-carriages. 10  So Edom made themselves free from the rule of Judah, to this day: and at the same time Libnah made itself free from his rule; because he was turned away from the Lord, the God of his fathers. 11  And more than this, he made high places in the mountains of Judah, teaching the people of Jerusalem to go after false gods, and guiding Judah away from the true way.

12  And a letter came to him from Elijah the prophet, saying, The Lord, the God of your father David, says, Because you have not kept to the ways of your father Jehoshaphat or the ways of Asa, king of Judah, 13  But have gone in the way of the kings of Israel, and have made Judah and the people of Jerusalem go after false gods, as the family of Ahab did: and because you have put to death your father's sons, your brothers, who were better than yourself: 14  Now, truly, the Lord will send a great destruction on your people and your children and your wives and everything which is yours: 15  And you yourself will undergo the cruel pains of a disease in your stomach, so that day by day your inside will be falling out because of the disease. 16  Then the Philistines and the Arabians, who are by Ethiopia, were moved by the Lord to make war on Jehoram; 17  And they came up against Judah, forcing a way into it, and took away all the goods in the king's house, as well as his sons and his wives; so that he had no son but only Jehoahaz, the youngest. 18  And after all this the Lord sent on him a disease of the stomach from which it was impossible for him to be made well. 19  And time went on, and after two years, his inside falling out because of the disease, he came to his death in cruel pain. And his people made no burning for him like the burning made for his fathers. 20  He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he was ruling in Jerusalem for eight years: and at his death he was not regretted; they put his body into the earth in the town of David, but not in the resting-place of the kings.

The Reign of Ahaziah of Judah

22 1  And the people of Jerusalem made Ahaziah, his youngest son, king in his place, for the band of men who came with the Arabians to the army had put all the older sons to death. So Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram, became king. 2  Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he was ruling in Jerusalem for one year. His mother's name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri. 3  He went in the ways of the family of Ahab, for his mother was his teacher in evil-doing. 4  And he did evil in the eyes of the Lord, as the family of Ahab did; for after the death of his father they were his guides to his destruction. 5  Acting on their suggestion, he went with Jehoram, son of Ahab, king of Israel, to make war on Hazael, king of Aram, at Ramoth-gilead: and Joram was wounded by the bowmen. 6  And he went back to Jezreel to get well from the wounds which they had given him at Ramah when he was fighting against Hazael, king of Aram. And Ahaziah, the son of Jehoram, king of Judah, went down to Jezreel to see Jehoram, the son of Ahab, because he was ill.

Jehu Kills Ahaziah

7  Now by the purpose of God, Ahaziah's journey to see Jehoram was the cause of his downfall: for when he came there, he went out with Jehoram against Jehu, the son of Nimshi, who had been marked out by the Lord for the destruction of the family of Ahab. 8  Now when Jehu was effecting the punishment of the family of Ahab, he came to the princes of Judah and the sons of Ahaziah's brothers, the servants of Ahaziah, and put them to death. 9  And he went in search of Ahaziah; and when they came where he was, (for he was in a secret place in Samaria,) they took him to Jehu and put him to death; then they put his body to rest in the earth, for they said, He is the son of Jehoshaphat, whose heart was true to the Lord. So the family of Ahaziah had no power to keep the kingdom.

Athaliah Usurps the Throne

10  Now when Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, saw that her son was dead, she had all the rest of the seed of the kingdom of Judah put to death. 11  But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, secretly took Joash, the son of Ahaziah, away from among the king's sons who were put to death, and put him and the woman who took care of him in a bedroom. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest and sister of Ahaziah, kept him safe from Athaliah, so that she did not put him to death. 12  And she kept him safe with her in the house of God for six years, while Athaliah was ruling the land.

23 1  In the seventh year, Jehoiada made himself strong, and made an agreement with the captains of hundreds, Azariah, the son of Jeroham, Ishmael, the son of Jehohanan, Azariah, the son of Obed, Maaseiah, the son of Adaiah, and Elishaphat, the son of Zichri. 2  And they went through Judah, getting together the Levites and the heads of families in Israel from all the towns of Judah, and they came to Jerusalem. 3  And all the people made an agreement with the king in the house of God. And he said to them, Truly, the king's son will be king, as the Lord has said about the sons of David. 4  This is what you are to do: let a third of you, of the priests and Levites, who come in on the Sabbath, keep the doors; 5  And a third are to be stationed at the king's house; and a third at the doorway of the horses: while all the people are waiting in the open spaces round the house of the Lord. 6  But let no one come into the house of the Lord but only the priests and those of the Levites who have work to do there; they may go in for they are holy; but the rest of the people are to keep the orders of the Lord. 7  And the Levites are to make a circle round the king, every man being armed; and any man who comes into the house is to be put to death; you are to keep with the king when he comes in and when he goes out. 8  So the Levites and all Judah did as Jehoiada the priest had given them orders: every one took with him his men, those who were to come in and those who were to go out on the Sabbath; for Jehoiada had not sent away the divisions. 9  Then Jehoiada the priest gave to the captains of hundreds the spears and body-covers which had been King David's and which were kept in the house of God. 10  And he put all the people in position, every man with his instruments of war in his hand, from the right side of the house to the left, by the altar and the house and all round the king. 11  Then they made the king's son come out, and they put the crown on his head and gave him the arm-bands and made him king: and Jehoiada and his sons put the holy oil on him and said, Long life to the king.

12  Now Athaliah, hearing the noise of the people running and praising the king, came to the people in the house of the Lord: 13  And looking, she saw the king in his place by the pillar at the doorway, and the captains and the horns by his side; and all the people of the land were giving signs of joy and sounding the horns; and the makers of melody were playing on instruments of music, taking the chief part in the song of praise. Then Athaliah, violently parting her robes, said, Broken faith, broken faith! 14  Then Jehoiada the priest gave orders to the captains of hundreds who had authority over the army, saying, Take her outside the lines, and let anyone who goes after her be put to death with the sword. For the priest said, Let her not be put to death in the house of the Lord. 15  So they put their hands on her, and she went to the king's house by the doorway of the king's horses; and there she was put to death. 16  And Jehoiada made an agreement between the Lord and all the people and the king, that they would be the Lord's people. 17  Then all the people went to the house of Baal and had it pulled down, and its altars and images broken up; and Mattan, the priest of Baal, they put to death before the altars. 18  And Jehoiada put the work and the care of the house of the Lord into the hands of the priests and the Levites, who had been grouped in divisions by David to make burned offerings to the Lord, as it is recorded in the law of Moses, with joy and song as David had said. 19  And he put door-keepers at the doors of the Lord's house, to see that no one who was unclean in any way might come in. 20  Then he took the captains of hundreds and the chiefs and the rulers of the people and all the people of the land, and they came down with the king from the house of the Lord through the higher doorway into the king's house, and put the king on the seat of the kingdom. 21  So all the people of the land were glad and the town was quiet, for they had put Athaliah to death with the sword.

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