2 Chronicles 15-18 Revised Standard Version

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Asa's Reforms

15 1  The Spirit of God came upon Azari'ah the son of Oded, 2  and he went out to meet Asa, and said to him, "Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The Lord is with you, while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3  For a long time Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law; 4  but when in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them. 5  In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for great disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands. 6  They were broken in pieces, nation against nation and city against city, for God troubled them with every sort of distress. 7  But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded."

8  When Asa heard these words, the prophecy of Azari'ah the son of Oded, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had taken in the hill country of E'phraim, and he repaired the altar of the Lord that was in front of the vestibule of the house of the Lord. 9  And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those from E'phraim, Manas'seh, and Simeon who were sojourning with them, for great numbers had deserted to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. 10  They were gathered at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11  They sacrificed to the Lord on that day, from the spoil which they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep. 12  And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul; 13  and that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman. 14  They took oath to the Lord with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with horns. 15  And all Judah rejoiced over the oath; for they had sworn with all their heart, and had sought him with their whole desire, and he was found by them, and the Lord gave them rest round about. 16  Even Ma'acah, his mother, King Asa removed from being queen mother because she had made an abominable image for Ashe'rah. Asa cut down her image, crushed it, and burned it at the brook Kidron. 17  But the high places were not taken out of Israel. Nevertheless the heart of Asa was blameless all his days. 18  And he brought into the house of God the votive gifts of his father and his own votive gifts, silver, and gold, and vessels. 19  And there was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of the reign of Asa.

Asa's League with Ben-hadad

16 1  In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Ba'asha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might permit no one to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. 2  Then Asa took silver and gold from the treasures of the house of the Lord and the king's house, and sent them to Ben-ha'dad king of Syria, who dwelt in Damascus, saying, 3  "Let there be a league between me and you, as between my father and your father; behold, I am sending to you silver and gold; go, break your league with Ba'asha king of Israel, that he may withdraw from me." 4  And Ben-ha'dad hearkened to King Asa, and sent the commanders of his armies against the cities of Israel, and they conquered I'jon, Dan, A'bel-ma'im, and all the store-cities of Naph'tali. 5  And when Ba'asha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah, and let his work cease. 6  Then King Asa took all Judah, and they carried away the stones of Ramah and its timber, with which Ba'asha had been building, and with them he built Geba and Mizpah.

7  At that time Hana'ni the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him, "Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you. 8  Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with exceedingly many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the Lord, he gave them into your hand. 9  For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show his might in behalf of those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this; for from now on you will have wars." 10  Then Asa was angry with the seer, and put him in the stocks, in prison, for he was in a rage with him because of this. And Asa inflicted cruelties upon some of the people at the same time. 11  The acts of Asa, from first to last, are written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 12  In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe; yet even in his disease he did not seek the Lord, but sought help from physicians. 13  And Asa slept with his fathers, dying in the forty-first year of his reign. 14  They buried him in the tomb which he had hewn out for himself in the city of David. They laid him on a bier which had been filled with various kinds of spices prepared by the perfumer's art; and they made a very great fire in his honor.

Jehoshaphat's Kingdom Established

17 1  Jehosh'aphat his son reigned in his stead, and strengthened himself against Israel. 2  He placed forces in all the fortified cities of Judah, and set garrisons in the land of Judah, and in the cities of E'phraim which Asa his father had taken. 3  The Lord was with Jehosh'aphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father; he did not seek the Ba'als, 4  but sought the God of his father and walked in his commandments, and not according to the ways of Israel. 5  Therefore the Lord established the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought tribute to Jehosh'aphat; and he had great riches and honor. 6  His heart was courageous in the ways of the Lord; and furthermore he took the high places and the Ashe'rim out of Judah. 7  In the third year of his reign he sent his princes, Ben-hail, Obadi'ah, Zechari'ah, Nethan'el, and Micai'ah, to teach in the cities of Judah; 8  and with them the Levites, Shemai'ah, Nethani'ah, Zebadi'ah, As'ahel, Shemi'ramoth, Jehon'athan, Adoni'jah, Tobi'jah, and Tobadoni'jah; and with these Levites, the priests Eli'shama and Jeho'ram. 9  And they taught in Judah, having the book of the law of the Lord with them; they went about through all the cities of Judah and taught among the people.

10  And the fear of the Lord fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, and they made no war against Jehosh'aphat. 11  Some of the Philistines brought Jehosh'aphat presents, and silver for tribute; and the Arabs also brought him seven thousand seven hundred rams and seven thousand seven hundred he-goats. 12  And Jehosh'aphat grew steadily greater. He built in Judah fortresses and store-cities, 13  and he had great stores in the cities of Judah. He had soldiers, mighty men of valor, in Jerusalem. 14  This was the muster of them by fathers' houses: Of Judah, the commanders of thousands: Adnah the commander, with three hundred thousand mighty men of valor, 15  and next to him Jehoha'nan the commander, with two hundred and eighty thousand, 16  and next to him Amasi'ah the son of Zichri, a volunteer for the service of the Lord, with two hundred thousand mighty men of valor. 17  Of Benjamin: Eli'ada, a mighty man of valor, with two hundred thousand men armed with bow and shield, 18  and next to him Jeho'zabad with a hundred and eighty thousand armed for war. 19  These were in the service of the king, besides those whom the king had placed in the fortified cities throughout all Judah.

Micaiah Prophesies the Defeat of Ahab and Jehoshaphat

18 1  Now Jehosh'aphat had great riches and honor; and he made a marriage alliance with Ahab. 2  After some years he went down to Ahab in Sama'ria. And Ahab killed an abundance of sheep and oxen for him and for the people who were with him, and induced him to go up against Ramoth-gilead. 3  Ahab king of Israel said to Jehosh'aphat king of Judah, "Will you go with me to Ramoth-gilead?" He answered him, "I am as you are, my people as your people. We will be with you in the war."

4  And Jehosh'aphat said to the king of Israel, "Inquire first for the word of the Lord." 5  Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, four hundred men, and said to them, "Shall we go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I forbear?" And they said, "Go up; for God will give it into the hand of the king." 6  But Jehosh'aphat said, "Is there not here another prophet of the Lord of whom we may inquire?" 7  And the king of Israel said to Jehosh'aphat, "There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, Micai'ah the son of Imlah; but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil." And Jehosh'aphat said, "Let not the king say so." 8  Then the king of Israel summoned an officer and said, "Bring quickly Micai'ah the son of Imlah." 9  Now the king of Israel and Jehosh'aphat the king of Judah were sitting on their thrones, arrayed in their robes; and they were sitting at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Sama'ria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 10  And Zedeki'ah the son of Chena'anah made for himself horns of iron, and said, "Thus says the Lord, 'With these you shall push the Syrians until they are destroyed.'" 11  And all the prophets prophesied so, and said, "Go up to Ramoth-gilead and triumph; the Lord will give it into the hand of the king." 12  And the messenger who went to summon Micai'ah said to him, "Behold, the words of the prophets with one accord are favorable to the king; let your word be like the word of one of them, and speak favorably." 13  But Micai'ah said, "As the Lord lives, what my God says, that I will speak." 14  And when he had come to the king, the king said to him, "Micai'ah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear?" And he answered, "Go up and triumph; they will be given into your hand." 15  But the king said to him, "How many times shall I adjure you that you speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?" 16  And he said, "I saw all Israel scattered upon the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd; and the Lord said, 'These have no master; let each return to his home in peace.'" 17  And the king of Israel said to Jehosh'aphat, "Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?" 18  And Micai'ah 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 hand and on his left; 19  and the Lord said, 'Who will entice Ahab the king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?' And one said one thing, and another said another. 20  Then a spirit came forward and stood before the Lord, saying, 'I will entice him.' And the Lord said to him, 'By what means?' 21  And he said, 'I will go forth, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' And he said, 'You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go forth and do so.' 22  Now therefore behold, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these your prophets; the Lord has spoken evil concerning you." 23  Then Zedeki'ah the son of Chena'anah came near and struck Micai'ah on the cheek, and said, "Which way did the Spirit of the Lord go from me to speak to you?" 24  And Micai'ah said, "Behold, you shall see on that day when you go into an inner chamber to hide yourself." 25  And the king of Israel said, "Seize Micai'ah, and take him back to Amon the governor of the city and to Jo'ash the king's son; 26  and say, 'Thus says the king, Put this fellow in prison, and feed him with scant fare of bread and water, until I return in peace.'" 27  And Micai'ah said, "If you return in peace, the Lord has not spoken by me." And he said, "Hear, all you peoples!"

28  So the king of Israel and Jehosh'aphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead. 29  And the king of Israel said to Jehosh'aphat, "I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you wear your robes." And the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went into battle. 30  Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of his chariots, "Fight with neither small nor great, but only with the king of Israel." 31  And when the captains of the chariots saw Jehosh'aphat, they said, "It is the king of Israel." So they turned to fight against him; and Jehosh'aphat cried out, and the Lord helped him. God drew them away from him, 32  for when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him. 33  But a certain man drew his bow at a venture, and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate; therefore he said to the driver of his chariot, "Turn about, and carry me out of the battle, for I am wounded." 34  And the battle grew hot that day, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot facing the Syrians until evening; then at sunset he died.

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