2 Chronicles 15-18 New American Standard Bible

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Asa's Reforms

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 .

Micaiah Prophesies the Defeat of Ahab and Jehoshaphat

18 1  Now Jehoshaphat had great riches and honor ; and he allied himself by marriage with Ahab . 2  Some years later he went down to visit Ahab at Samaria . And Ahab slaughtered many sheep and oxen for him and the people who were with him, and induced him to go up against Ramoth-gilead . 3  Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah , "Will you go with me against Ramoth-gilead ?" And he said to him, "I am as you are, and my people as your people , and we will be with you in the battle ."

4  Moreover, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel , "Please inquire first for the word of the Lord ." 5  Then the king of Israel assembled the prophets , four hundred men , and said to them, "Shall we go against Ramoth-gilead to battle , or shall I refrain ?" And they said , "Go up, for God will give it into the hand of the king ." 6  But Jehoshaphat said , "Is there not yet a prophet of the Lord here that we may inquire of him?" 7  The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat , "There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord , but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me but always e evil . He is Micaiah , son of Imla ." But Jehoshaphat said , "Let not the king say so ." 8  Then the king of Israel called an officer and said , "Bring quickly Micaiah , Imla's son ." 9  Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting each on his throne , arrayed in their robes , and they were sitting at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria ; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 10  Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made horns of iron for himself and said , "Thus says the Lord , 'With these you shall gore the Arameans until they are consumed .' " 11  All the prophets were prophesying thus , saying , "Go up to Ramoth-gilead and succeed , for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king ." 12  Then the messenger who went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying , "Behold , the words of the prophets are uniformly e favorable to the king . So please let your word be like one of them and speak favorably ." 13  But Micaiah said , "As the Lord lives , what my God says , that I will speak ." 14  When he came to the king , the king said to him, "Micaiah , shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle , or shall I refrain ?" He said , "Go up and succeed , for they will be given into your hand ." 15  Then the king said to him, "How e many e times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord ?" 16  So he said , "I saw all Israel Scattered on the mountains , Like sheep which have no shepherd ; And the Lord said , 'These have no master . Let each of them return to his house in peace .' " 17  Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat , "Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil ?" 18  Micaiah said , "Therefore , hear the word of the Lord . I saw the Lord sitting on His throne , and all the host of heaven standing on His right and on His left . 19  "The Lord said , 'Who will entice Ahab king of Israel to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead ?' And one said this while another said that. 20  "Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord and said , 'I will entice him.' And the Lord said to him, 'How ?' 21  "He said , 'I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets .' Then He said , 'You are to entice him and prevail also . Go and do so .' 22  "Now therefore, behold , the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of these your prophets , for the Lord has proclaimed disaster against you." 23  Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said , "How e did the Spirit of the Lord pass from me to speak to you?" 24  Micaiah said , "Behold , you will see on that day when you enter an inner room to hide yourself." 25  Then the king of Israel said , " Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king's son ; 26  and say , 'Thus says the king , " Put this man in prison e and feed him sparingly with bread and water until I return safely .""' 27  Micaiah said , "If you indeed return safely , the Lord has not spoken by me." And he said , " Listen , all you people ."

28  So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up against Ramoth-gilead . 29  The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat , "I will disguise myself and go into battle , but you put on your robes ." So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle . 30  Now the king of Aram had commanded the captains of his chariots , saying , "Do not fight with small or great , but with the king of Israel alone ." 31  So when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat , they said , "It is the king of Israel ," and they turned aside to fight against him. But Jehoshaphat cried out, and the Lord helped him, and God diverted them from him. 32  When the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel , they turned back from pursuing him. 33  A certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel in a joint of the armor . So he said to the driver of the chariot , "Turn around and take me out of the fight , for I am severely wounded ." 34  The battle raged that day , and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot in front of the Arameans until the evening ; and at sunset e he died .

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