2 Chronicles 19-23 Revised Standard Version

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The Prophet Jehu Rebukes Jehoshaphat

19 1  Jehosh'aphat the king of Judah returned in safety to his house in Jerusalem. 2  But Jehu the son of Hana'ni the seer went out to meet him, and said to King Jehosh'aphat, "Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, wrath has gone out against you from the Lord. 3  Nevertheless some good is found in you, for you destroyed the Ashe'rahs out of the land, and have set your heart to seek God."

Jehoshaphat Appoints Judges

4  Jehosh'aphat dwelt at Jerusalem; and he went out again among the people, from Beer-sheba to the hill country of E'phraim, and brought them back to the Lord, the God of their fathers.

5  He appointed judges in the land in all the fortified cities of Judah, city by city, 6  and said to the judges, "Consider what you do, for you judge not for man but for the Lord; he is with you in giving judgment. 7  Now then, let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed what you do, for there is no perversion of justice with the Lord our God, or partiality, or taking bribes." 8  Moreover in Jerusalem Jehosh'aphat appointed certain Levites and priests and heads of families of Israel, to give judgment for the Lord and to decide disputed cases. They had their seat at Jerusalem. 9  And he charged them: "Thus you shall do in the fear of the Lord, in faithfulness, and with your whole heart: 10  whenever a case comes to you from your brethren who live in their cities, concerning bloodshed, law or commandment, statutes or ordinances, then you shall instruct them, that they may not incur guilt before the Lord and wrath may not come upon you and your brethren. Thus you shall do, and you will not incur guilt. 11  And behold, Amari'ah the chief priest is over you in all matters of the Lord; and Zebadi'ah the son of Ish'mael, the governor of the house of Judah, in all the king's matters; and the Levites will serve you as officers. Deal courageously, and may the Lord be with the upright!"

The Victory over Moab and Ammon

20 1  After this the Moabites and Ammonites, and with them some of the Me-u'nites, came against Jehosh'aphat for battle. 2  Some men came and told Jehosh'aphat, "A great multitude is coming against you from Edom, from beyond the sea; and, behold, they are in Haz'azon-ta'mar" (that is, En-ge'di). 3  Then Jehosh'aphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4  And Judah assembled to seek help from the Lord; from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord. 5  And Jehosh'aphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the Lord, before the new court, 6  and said, "O Lord, God of our fathers, art thou not God in heaven? Dost thou not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations? In thy hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee. 7  Didst thou not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and give it for ever to the descendants of Abraham thy friend? 8  And they have dwelt in it, and have built thee in it a sanctuary for thy name, saying, 9  'If evil comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house, and before thee, for thy name is in this house, and cry to thee in our affliction, and thou wilt hear and save.' 10  And now behold, the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Se'ir, whom thou wouldest not let Israel invade when they came from the land of Egypt, and whom they avoided and did not destroy-- 11  behold, they reward us by coming to drive us out of thy possession, which thou hast given us to inherit. 12  O our God, wilt thou not execute judgment upon them? For we are powerless against this great multitude that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon thee." 13  Meanwhile all the men of Judah stood before the Lord, with their little ones, their wives, and their children.

14  And the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jaha'ziel the son of Zechari'ah, son of Benai'ah, son of Je-i'el, son of Mattani'ah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. 15  And he said, "Hearken, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, and King Jehosh'aphat: Thus says the Lord to you, 'Fear not, and be not dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours but God's. 16  Tomorrow go down against them; behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz; you will find them at the end of the valley, east of the wilderness of Jeru'el. 17  You will not need to fight in this battle; take your position, stand still, and see the victory of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.' Fear not, and be not dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you." 18  Then Jehosh'aphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the Lord, worshiping the Lord. 19  And the Levites, of the Ko'hathites and the Kor'ahites, stood up to praise the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice.

20  And they rose early in the morning and went out into the wilderness of Teko'a; and as they went out, Jehosh'aphat stood and said, "Hear me, Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem! Believe in the Lord your God, and you will be established; believe his prophets, and you will succeed." 21  And when he had taken counsel with the people, he appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him in holy array, as they went before the army, and say, "Give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures for ever." 22  And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Se'ir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed. 23  For the men of Ammon and Moab rose against the inhabitants of Mount Se'ir, destroying them utterly, and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Se'ir, they all helped to destroy one another. 24  When Judah came to the watchtower of the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and behold, they were dead bodies lying on the ground; none had escaped. 25  When Jehosh'aphat and his people came to take the spoil from them, they found cattle in great numbers, goods, clothing, and precious things, which they took for themselves until they could carry no more. They were three days in taking the spoil, it was so much. 26  On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Bera'cah, for there they blessed the Lord; therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Bera'cah to this day. 27  Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehosh'aphat at their head, returning to Jerusalem with joy, for the Lord had made them rejoice over their enemies. 28  They came to Jerusalem, with harps and lyres and trumpets, to the house of the Lord. 29  And the fear of God came on all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard that the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. 30  So the realm of Jehosh'aphat was quiet, for his God gave him rest round about.

The Reign of Jehoshaphat

31  Thus Jehosh'aphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Azu'bah the daughter of Shilhi. 32  He walked in the way of Asa his father and did not turn aside from it; he did what was right in the sight of the Lord. 33  The high places, however, were not taken away; the people had not yet set their hearts upon the God of their fathers. 34  Now the rest of the acts of Jehosh'aphat, from first to last, are written in the chronicles of Jehu the son of Hana'ni, which are recorded in the Book of the Kings of Israel. 35  After this Jehosh'aphat king of Judah joined with Ahazi'ah king of Israel, who did wickedly. 36  He joined him in building ships to go to Tarshish, and they built the ships in E'zion-ge'ber. 37  Then Elie'zer the son of Do-dav'ahu of Mare'shah prophesied against Jehosh'aphat, saying, "Because you have joined with Ahazi'ah, the Lord will destroy what you have made." And the ships were wrecked and were not able to go to Tarshish.

The Reign of Jehoram of Judah

21 1  Jehosh'aphat slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David; and Jeho'ram his son reigned in his stead. 2  He had brothers, the sons of Jehosh'aphat: Azari'ah, Jehi'el, Zechari'ah, Azari'ah, Michael, and Shephati'ah; all these were the sons of Jehosh'aphat king of Judah. 3  Their father gave them great gifts, of silver, gold, and valuable possessions, together with fortified cities in Judah; but he gave the kingdom to Jeho'ram, because he was the first-born. 4  When Jeho'ram had ascended the throne of his father and was established, he slew all his brothers with the sword, and also some of the princes of Israel. 5  Jeho'ram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 6  And he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done; for the daughter of Ahab was his wife. And he did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 7  Yet the Lord would not destroy the house of David, because of the covenant which he had made with David, and since he had promised to give a lamp to him and to his sons for ever. 8  In his days Edom revolted from the rule of Judah, and set up a king of their own. 9  Then Jeho'ram passed over with his commanders and all his chariots, and he rose by night and smote the E'domites who had surrounded him and his chariot commanders. 10  So Edom revolted from the rule of Judah to this day. At that time Libnah also revolted from his rule, because he had forsaken the Lord, the God of his fathers. 11  Moreover he made high places in the hill country of Judah, and led the inhabitants of Jerusalem into unfaithfulness, and made Judah go astray.

12  And a letter came to him from Eli'jah the prophet, saying, "Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father, 'Because you have not walked in the ways of Jehosh'aphat your father, or in the ways of Asa king of Judah, 13  but have walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and have led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem into unfaithfulness, as the house of Ahab led Israel into unfaithfulness, and also you have killed your brothers, of your father's house, who were better than yourself; 14  behold, the Lord will bring a great plague on your people, your children, your wives, and all your possessions, 15  and you yourself will have a severe sickness with a disease of your bowels, until your bowels come out because of the disease, day by day.'" 16  And the Lord stirred up against Jeho'ram the anger of the Philistines and of the Arabs who are near the Ethiopians; 17  and they came up against Judah, and invaded it, and carried away all the possessions they found that belonged to the king's house, and also his sons and his wives, so that no son was left to him except Jeho'ahaz, his youngest son. 18  And after all this the Lord smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease. 19  In course of time, at the end of two years, his bowels came out because of the disease, and he died in great agony. His people made no fire in his honor, like the fires made for his fathers. 20  He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem; and he departed with no one's regret. They buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.

The Reign of Ahaziah of Judah

22 1  And the inhabitants of Jerusalem made Ahazi'ah his youngest son king in his stead; for the band of men that came with the Arabs to the camp had slain all the older sons. So Ahazi'ah the son of Jeho'ram king of Judah reigned. 2  Ahazi'ah was forty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Athali'ah, the granddaughter of Omri. 3  He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother was his counselor in doing wickedly. 4  He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done; for after the death of his father they were his counselors, to his undoing. 5  He even followed their counsel, and went with Jeho'ram the son of Ahab king of Israel to make war against Haz'ael king of Syria at Ramoth-gilead. And the Syrians wounded Joram, 6  and he returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which he had received at Ramah, when he fought against Haz'ael king of Syria. And Ahazi'ah the son of Jeho'ram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.

Jehu Kills Ahaziah

7  But it was ordained by God that the downfall of Ahazi'ah should come about through his going to visit Joram. For when he came there he went out with Jeho'ram to meet Jehu the son of Nimshi, whom the Lord had anointed to destroy the house of Ahab. 8  And when Jehu was executing judgment upon the house of Ahab, he met the princes of Judah and the sons of Ahazi'ah's brothers, who attended Ahazi'ah, and he killed them. 9  He searched for Ahazi'ah, and he was captured while hiding in Sama'ria, and he was brought to Jehu and put to death. They buried him, for they said, "He is the grandson of Jehosh'aphat, who sought the Lord with all his heart." And the house of Ahazi'ah had no one able to rule the kingdom.

Athaliah Usurps the Throne

10  Now when Athali'ah the mother of Ahazi'ah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family of the house of Judah. 11  But Jeho-shab'e-ath, the daughter of the king, took Jo'ash the son of Ahazi'ah, and stole him away from among the king's sons who were about to be slain, and she put him and his nurse in a bedchamber. Thus Jeho-shab'e-ath, the daughter of King Jeho'ram and wife of Jehoi'ada the priest, because she was a sister of Ahazi'ah, hid him from Athali'ah, so that she did not slay him; 12  and he remained with them six years, hid in the house of God, while Athali'ah reigned over the land.

23 1  But in the seventh year Jehoi'ada took courage, and entered into a compact with the commanders of hundreds, Azari'ah the son of Jero'ham, Ish'mael the son of Jehoha'nan, Azari'ah the son of Obed, Ma-asei'ah the son of Adai'ah, and Elisha'phat the son of Zichri. 2  And they went about through Judah and gathered the Levites from all the cities of Judah, and the heads of fathers' houses of Israel, and they came to Jerusalem. 3  And all the assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. And Jehoi'ada said to them, "Behold, the king's son! Let him reign, as the Lord spoke concerning the sons of David. 4  This is the thing that you shall do: of you priests and Levites who come off duty on the sabbath, one third shall be gatekeepers 5  and one third shall be at the king's house and one third at the Gate of the Foundation; and all the people shall be in the courts of the house of the Lord. 6  Let no one enter the house of the Lord except the priests and ministering Levites; they may enter, for they are holy, but all the people shall keep the charge of the Lord. 7  The Levites shall surround the king, each with his weapons in his hand; and whoever enters the house shall be slain. Be with the king when he comes in, and when he goes out." 8  The Levites and all Judah did according to all that Jehoi'ada the priest commanded. They each brought his men, who were to go off duty on the sabbath, with those who were to come on duty on the sabbath; for Jehoi'ada the priest did not dismiss the divisions. 9  And Jehoi'ada the priest delivered to the captains the spears and the large and small shields that had been King David's, which were in the house of God; 10  and he set all the people as a guard for the king, every man with his weapon in his hand, from the south side of the house to the north side of the house, around the altar and the house. 11  Then he brought out the king's son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they proclaimed him king, and Jehoi'ada and his sons anointed him, and they said, "Long live the king."

12  When Athali'ah heard the noise of the people running and praising the king, she went into the house of the Lord to the people; 13  and when she looked, there was the king standing by his pillar at the entrance, and the captains and the trumpeters beside the king, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets, and the singers with their musical instruments leading in the celebration. And Athali'ah rent her clothes, and cried, "Treason! Treason!" 14  Then Jehoi'ada the priest brought out the captains who were set over the army, saying to them, "Bring her out between the ranks; any one who follows her is to be slain with the sword." For the priest said, "Do not slay her in the house of the Lord. 15  So they laid hands on her; and she went into the entrance of the horse gate of the king's house, and they slew her there. 16  And Jehoi'ada made a covenant between himself and all the people and the king that they should be the Lord's people. 17  Then all the people went to the house of Ba'al, and tore it down; his altars and his images they broke in pieces, and they slew Mattan the priest of Ba'al before the altars. 18  And Jehoi'ada posted watchmen for the house of the Lord under the direction of the Levitical priests and the Levites whom David had organized to be in charge of the house of the Lord, to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, as it is written in the law of Moses, with rejoicing and with singing, according to the order of David. 19  He stationed the gatekeepers at the gates of the house of the Lord so that no one should enter who was in any way unclean 20  And he took the captains, the nobles, the governors of the people, and all the people of the land; and they brought the king down from the house of the Lord, marching through the upper gate to the king's house. And they set the king upon the royal throne. 21  So all the people of the land rejoiced; and the city was quiet, after Athali'ah had been slain with the sword

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