The Reign of Abijah
13 1 In the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah. 2 Three years reigned he in Jerusalem: and his mother’s name was Micaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3 Abijah joined battle with an army of valiant men of war, even four hundred thousand chosen men: and Jeroboam set the battle in array against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, who were mighty men of valor. 4 Abijah stood up on Mount Zemaraim, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, and said, Hear me, Jeroboam and all Israel: 5 Ought you not to know that Yahweh, the God of Israel, gave the kingdom over Israel to David forever, even to him and to 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 lord. 7 There were gathered to him worthless men, base fellows, who strengthened themselves against Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them. 8 Now you think to withstand the kingdom of Yahweh in the hand of the sons of David; and you are a great multitude, and there are with you the golden calves which Jeroboam made you for gods. 9 Haven’t you driven out the priests of Yahweh, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and made priests for yourselves after the manner of the peoples of other lands? so that whoever comes to consecrate himself with a young bull and seven rams, the same may be a priest of those who are no gods. 10 But as for us, Yahweh is our God, and we have not forsaken him; and we have priests ministering to Yahweh, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites in their work: 11 and they burn to Yahweh every morning and every evening burnt offerings and sweet incense: the show bread also set they in order on the pure table; and the lampstand of gold with its lamps, to burn every evening: for we keep the instruction of Yahweh our God; but you have forsaken him. 12 Behold, God is with us at our head, and his priests with the trumpets of alarm to sound an alarm against you. Children of Israel, don’t you fight against Yahweh, the God of your fathers; for you shall not prosper.
13 But Jeroboam caused an ambush to come about behind them: so they were before Judah, and the ambush was behind them. 14 When Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind them; and they cried to Yahweh, and the priests sounded with the trumpets. 15 Then the men of Judah gave a shout: and as the men of Judah shouted, it happened, that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 16 The children of Israel fled before Judah; and God delivered them into their hand. 17 Abijah and his people killed them with a great slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men. 18 Thus the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied on Yahweh, the God of their fathers. 19 Abijah pursued after Jeroboam, and took cities from him, Bethel with its towns, and Jeshanah with its towns, and Ephron with its towns. 20 Neither did Jeroboam recover strength again in the days of Abijah: and Yahweh struck him, and he died. 21 But Abijah grew mighty, and took to himself fourteen wives, and became the father of twenty-two sons, and sixteen daughters. 22 The rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways, and his sayings, are written in the commentary 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 Asa his son reigned in his place. In his days the land was quiet ten years. 2 Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of Yahweh his God: 3 for he took away the foreign altars, and the high places, and broke down the pillars, and cut down the Asherim, 4 and commanded Judah to seek Yahweh, the God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment. 5 Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the sun images: and the kingdom was quiet before him. 6 He built fortified cities in Judah; for the land was quiet, and he had no war in those years, because Yahweh had given him rest. 7 For he said to Judah, Let us build these cities, and make about them walls, and towers, gates, and bars; the land is yet before us, because we have sought Yahweh our God; we have sought him, and he has given us rest on every side. So they built and prospered. 8 Asa had an army that bore bucklers and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bore shields and drew bows, two hundred eighty thousand: all these were mighty men of valor.
9 There came out against them Zerah the Ethiopian with an army of a million troops, and three hundred chariots; and he came to Mareshah. 10 Then Asa went out to meet him, and they set the battle in array in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. 11 Asa cried to Yahweh his God, and said, Yahweh, there is none besides you to help, between the mighty and him who has no strength: help us, Yahweh our God; for we rely on you, and in your name are we come against this multitude. Yahweh, you are our God; don’t let man prevail against you. 12 So Yahweh struck the Ethiopians before Asa, and before Judah; and the Ethiopians fled. 13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them to Gerar: and there fell of the Ethiopians so many that they could not recover themselves; for they were destroyed before Yahweh, and before his army; and they carried away very much booty. 14 They struck all the cities around Gerar; for the fear of Yahweh came on them: and they despoiled all the cities; for there was much spoil in them. 15 They struck also the tents of livestock, and carried away sheep in abundance, and camels, and returned to Jerusalem.
15 1 The Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Oded: 2 and he went out to meet Asa, and said to him, Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: Yahweh is with you, while you are with him; and if you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 Now for a long season Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law: 4 But when in their distress they turned to Yahweh, 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, nor to him who came in; but great troubles were on all the inhabitants of the lands. 6 They were broken in pieces, nation against nation, and city against city; for God troubled them with all adversity. 7 But you be strong, and don’t let your hands be slack; for your work shall be rewarded.
8 When Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominations out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from the hill country of Ephraim; and he renewed the altar of Yahweh, that was before the porch of Yahweh. 9 He gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those who sojourned with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that Yahweh his God was with him. 10 So they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. 11 They sacrificed to Yahweh in that day, of the spoil which they had brought, seven hundred head of cattle and seven thousand sheep. 12 They entered into the covenant to seek Yahweh, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul; 13 and that whoever would not seek Yahweh, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. 14 They swore to Yahweh with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets. 15 All Judah rejoiced at the oath; for they had sworn with all their heart, and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found of them: and Yahweh gave them rest all around. 16 Also Maacah, the mother of Asa the king, he removed from being queen, because she had made an abominable image for an Asherah; and Asa cut down her image, and made dust of it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron. 17 But the high places were not taken away out of Israel: nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days. 18 He brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated, and that he himself had dedicated, silver, and gold, and vessels. 19 There was no more war to the five and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa.
Asa's League with Ben-hadad
16 1 In the six and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not allow anyone to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. 2 Then Asa brought out silver and gold out of the treasures of the house of Yahweh and of the king’s house, and sent to Ben Hadad king of Syria, who lived at Damascus, saying, 3 There is a league between me and you, as there was between my father and your father: behold, I have sent you silver and gold; go, break your league with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me. 4 Ben Hadad listened to king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel; and they struck Ijon, and Dan, and Abel Maim, and all the storage cities of Naphtali. 5 It happened, when Baasha heard of it, that he left off building Ramah, and let his work cease. 6 Then Asa the king took all Judah; and they carried away the stones of Ramah, and its timber, with which Baasha had built; and he built therewith 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 Syria, and have not relied on Yahweh your God, therefore is the army of the king of Syria escaped out of your hand. 8 Weren’t the Ethiopians and the Lubim a huge army, with chariots and horsemen exceeding many? yet, because you relyed on Yahweh, he delivered them into your hand. 9 For the eyes of Yahweh run back and forth throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein you have done foolishly; for from henceforth you shall have wars. 10 Then Asa was angry with the seer, and put him in the prison; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. Asa oppressed some of the people at the same time. 11 Behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, behold, they 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; his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he didn’t seek Yahweh, but to the physicians. 13 Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign. 14 They buried him in his own tombs, which he had dug out for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odors and various kinds of spices prepared by the perfumers’ art: and they made a very great burning for him.
Jehoshaphat's Kingdom Established
17 1 Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place, 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 Ephraim, which Asa his father had taken. 3 Yahweh was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David, and didn’t seek the Baals, 4 but sought to the God of his father, and walked in his commandments, and not after the doings of Israel. 5 Therefore Yahweh established the kingdom in his hand; and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat tribute; and he had riches and honor in abundance. 6 His heart was lifted up in the ways of Yahweh: and furthermore he took away the high places and the Asherim out of Judah. 7 Also in the third year of his reign he sent his princes, even Ben Hail, and Obadiah, and Zechariah, and Nethanel, and Micaiah, to teach in the cities of Judah; 8 and with them the Levites, even Shemaiah, and Nethaniah, and Zebadiah, and Asahel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehonathan, and Adonijah, and 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 Yahweh with them; and they went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught among the people.
10 The fear of Yahweh fell on all the kingdoms of the lands that were around Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat. 11 Some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents, and silver for tribute; the Arabians also brought him flocks, seven thousand and seven hundred rams, and seven thousand and seven hundred male goats. 12 Jehoshaphat grew great exceedingly; and he built in Judah castles and cities of store. 13 He had many works in the cities of Judah; and men of war, mighty men of valor, in Jerusalem. 14 This was the numbering of them according to their fathers’ houses: Of Judah, the captains of thousands: Adnah the captain, and with him mighty men of valor three hundred thousand; 15 and next to him Jehohanan the captain, and with him two hundred eighty thousand; 16 and next to him Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself to Yahweh; and with him two hundred thousand mighty men of valor. 17 Of Benjamin: Eliada a mighty man of valor, and with him two hundred thousand armed with bow and shield; 18 and next to him Jehozabad and with him one hundred eighty thousand ready prepared for war. 19 These were those who waited on the king, besides those whom the king put in the fortified cities throughout all Judah.