The Reign of Abijah
13 1 In the eighteenth e year of King Jeroboam , Abijah became king over Judah . 2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem ; and his mother's name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah . Now there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam . 3 Abijah began the battle with an army of valiant warriors , 400,000 e e chosen men , while Jeroboam drew up in battle formation against him with 800,000 e e chosen men who were valiant warriors . 4 Then Abijah stood on Mount Zemaraim , which is in the hill country of Ephraim , and said , "Listen to me, Jeroboam and all Israel : 5 "Do you not know that the Lord God of Israel gave the rule over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt ? 6 "Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat , the servant of Solomon the son of David , rose up and rebelled against his master , 7 and worthless men gathered about him, scoundrels e , who proved too strong for Rehoboam , the son of Solomon , when he was young and timid e and could not hold his own against them. 8 "So now you intend to resist the kingdom of the Lord through the sons of David , being a great multitude and having with you the golden calves which Jeroboam made for gods for you. 9 " Have you not driven out the priests of the Lord , the sons of Aaron and the Levites , and made for yourselves priests like the peoples of other lands ? Whoever comes to consecrate e himself with a young bull and seven rams , even he may become a priest of what are no gods . 10 "But as for us, the Lord is our God , and we have not forsaken Him; and the sons of Aaron are ministering to the Lord as priests , and the Levites attend to their work . 11 "Every morning and evening they burn to the Lord burnt offerings and fragrant incense , and the showbread e is set on the clean table , and the golden lampstand with its lamps is ready to light every evening ; for we keep the charge of the Lord our God , but you have forsaken Him. 12 "Now behold , God is with us at our head and His priests with the signal trumpets to sound the alarm against you. O sons of Israel , do not fight against the Lord God of your fathers , for you will not succeed ."
13 But Jeroboam had set an ambush to come from the rear , so that Israel was in front of Judah and the ambush was behind e them. 14 When Judah turned around , behold , they were attacked both front and rear ; so they cried to the Lord , and the priests blew the trumpets . 15 Then the men of Judah raised a war cry , and when the men of Judah raised the war cry , then it was that God routed Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah . 16 When the sons of Israel fled before e Judah , God gave them into their hand . 17 Abijah and his people defeated them with a great slaughter , so that 500,000 e e chosen men of Israel fell slain . 18 Thus the sons of Israel were subdued at that time , and the sons of Judah conquered because they trusted in the Lord , the God of their fathers . 19 Abijah pursued Jeroboam and captured from him several cities , Bethel with its villages , Jeshanah with its villages and Ephron with its villages . 20 Jeroboam did not again recover strength in the days of Abijah ; and the Lord struck him and he died . 21 But Abijah became powerful ; and took fourteen e wives to himself, and became the father of twenty-two e sons and sixteen e daughters . 22 Now the rest of the acts of Abijah , and his ways and his words are written in the treatise of the prophet Iddo .
The Reign of Asa
14 1 So Abijah slept with his fathers , and they buried him in the city of David , and his son Asa became king in his place . The land was undisturbed for ten years during his days . 2 Asa did good and right in the sight of the Lord his God , 3 for he removed the foreign altars and high places , tore down the sacred pillars , cut down the Asherim , 4 and commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers and to observe the law and the commandment . 5 He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah . And the kingdom was undisturbed under him. 6 He built fortified cities in Judah , since the land was undisturbed , and there was no one at war with him during those years , because the Lord had given him rest . 7 For he said to Judah , " Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers , gates and bars . The land is still ours because we have sought the Lord our God ; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side ." So they built and prospered . 8 Now Asa had an army of 300,000 e e from Judah , bearing large shields and spears , and 280,000 e e from Benjamin , bearing shields and wielding bows ; all of them were valiant warriors .
9 Now Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and 300 e chariots , and he came to Mareshah . 10 So Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up in battle formation in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah . 11 Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said , "Lord , there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength ; so help us, O Lord our God , for we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude . O Lord , You are our God ; let not man prevail against You." 12 So the Lord routed the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah , and the Ethiopians fled . 13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as Gerar ; and so many Ethiopians fell that they could not recover , for they were shattered before the Lord and before His army . And they carried away very much plunder . 14 They destroyed all the cities around Gerar , for the dread of the Lord had fallen on them; and they despoiled all the cities , for there was much plunder in them. 15 They also struck down those who owned livestock , and they carried away large numbers of sheep and camels . Then they returned to Jerusalem .
15 1 Now the Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Oded , 2 and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, "Listen to me, Asa , and all Judah and Benjamin : the Lord is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. 3 " For many days Israel was without the true God and without a teaching priest and without law . 4 "But in their distress they turned to the Lord God of Israel , and they sought Him, and He let them find Him. 5 " In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for many disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands . 6 " Nation was crushed by nation , and city by city , for God troubled them with every kind of distress . 7 "But you, be strong and do not lose e courage e , for there is reward for your work ."
8 Now when Asa heard these words and the prophecy which Azariah the son of Oded the prophet spoke, he took courage and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim . He then restored the altar of the Lord which was in front of the porch of the Lord . 9 He gathered all Judah and Benjamin and those from Ephraim , Manasseh and Simeon who resided with them, for many defected to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. 10 So they assembled at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth e year of Asa's reign . 11 They sacrificed to the Lord that day 700 e oxen and 7,000 e sheep from the spoil they had brought . 12 They entered into the covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and soul ; 13 and whoever e would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death , whether small or great , man or woman . 14 Moreover, they made an oath to the Lord with a loud voice , with shouting , with trumpets and with horns . 15 All Judah rejoiced concerning the oath , for they had sworn with their whole heart and had sought Him earnestly e , and He let them find Him. So the Lord gave them rest on every side . 16 He also removed Maacah , the mother of King Asa , from the position of queen mother , because she had made a horrid image as an Asherah , and Asa cut down her horrid image , crushed it and burned it at the brook Kidron . 17 But the high places were not removed from Israel ; nevertheless Asa's heart was blameless all his days . 18 He brought into the house of God the dedicated things of his father and his own dedicated things : silver and gold and utensils . 19 And there was no more war until the thirty-fifth e year of Asa's reign .
Asa's League with Ben-hadad
16 1 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa's reign Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah and fortified Ramah in order to prevent e anyone from going out or coming in to Asa king of Judah . 2 Then Asa brought out silver and gold from the treasuries of the house of the Lord and the king's house , and sent them to Ben-hadad king of Aram , who lived in Damascus , saying , 3 "Let there be a treaty between you and me, as between my father and your father . Behold , I have sent you silver and gold ; go , break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so that he will withdraw from me." 4 So Ben-hadad listened to King Asa and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel , and they conquered Ijon , Dan , Abel-maim and all the store cities of Naphtali . 5 When Baasha heard of it, he ceased fortifying Ramah and stopped his work . 6 Then King Asa brought all Judah , and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber with which Baasha had been building , and with them he fortified Geba and Mizpah .
7 At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, " Because you have relied on the king of Aram and have not relied on the Lord your God , therefore e the army of the king of Aram has escaped out of your hand . 8 "Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubim an immense army with very many chariots and horsemen ? Yet because you relied on the Lord , He delivered them into your hand . 9 "For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this . Indeed , from now on you will surely have wars ." 10 Then Asa was angry with the seer and put him in prison e , for he was enraged at him for this . And Asa oppressed some of the people at the same time . 11 Now , the acts of Asa from first to last , behold , they are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel . 12 In the thirty-ninth e year of his reign Asa became diseased in his feet . His disease was severe , yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord , but the physicians . 13 So Asa slept with his fathers , having died in the forty-first e year of his reign . 14 They buried him in his own tomb which he had cut out for himself in the city of David , and they laid him in the resting place which he had filled with spices of various kinds blended by the perfumers' e art ; and they made a very e great fire for him.
Jehoshaphat's Kingdom Established
17 1 Jehoshaphat his son then became king in his place , and made his position over Israel firm . 2 He placed troops in all the fortified cities of Judah , and set garrisons in the land of Judah and in the cities of Ephraim which Asa his father had captured . 3 The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because he followed the example of his father David's earlier days and did not seek the Baals , 4 but sought the God of his father , followed His commandments , and did not act as Israel did . 5 So the Lord established the kingdom in his control , and all Judah brought tribute to Jehoshaphat , and he had great riches and honor . 6 He took great pride e in the ways of the Lord and again removed the high places and the Asherim from Judah . 7 Then in the third year of his reign he sent his officials , Ben-hail , Obadiah , Zechariah , Nethanel and Micaiah , to teach in the cities of Judah ; 8 and with them the Levites , Shemaiah , Nethaniah , Zebadiah , Asahel , Shemiramoth , Jehonathan , Adonijah , Tobijah and Tobadonijah , the Levites ; and with them Elishama and Jehoram , the priests . 9 They taught in Judah , having the book of the law of the Lord with them; and they went throughout all the cities of Judah and taught among the people .
10 Now the dread of the Lord was on all the kingdoms of the lands which were around Judah , so that they did not make war against Jehoshaphat . 11 Some of the Philistines brought gifts and silver as tribute to Jehoshaphat ; the Arabians also brought him flocks , 7,700 e e e rams and 7,700 e e e male goats . 12 So Jehoshaphat grew greater and greater , and he built fortresses and store cities in Judah . 13 He had large supplies in the cities of Judah , and warriors , valiant e men , in Jerusalem . 14 This was their muster according to their fathers' households : of Judah , commanders of thousands , Adnah was the commander , and with him 300,000 e e valiant warriors ; 15 and next e to him was Johanan the commander , and with him 280,000 e e ; 16 and next e to him Amasiah the son of Zichri , who volunteered for the Lord , and with him 200,000 e valiant warriors ; 17 and of Benjamin , Eliada a valiant warrior , and with him 200,000 e armed with bow and shield ; 18 and next e to him Jehozabad , and with him 180,000 e e equipped for war . 19 These are they who served the king , apart from those whom the king put in the fortified cities through all Judah .