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.
Micaiah Prophesies the Defeat of Ahab and Jehoshaphat
18 1 Now Jehoshaphat had riches and honor in abundance; and he joined affinity with Ahab. 2 After certain years he went down to Ahab to Samaria. Ahab killed sheep and cattle for him in abundance, and for the people who were with him, and moved him to go up with him to Ramoth Gilead. 3 Ahab king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat king of Judah, Will you go with me to Ramoth Gilead? He answered him, I am as you are, and my people as your people; and we will be with you in the war.
4 Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, Please inquire first for the word of Yahweh. 5 Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, four hundred men, and said to them, Shall we go to Ramoth Gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? They said, Go up; for God will deliver it into the hand of the king. 6 But Jehoshaphat said, Isn’t there here a prophet of Yahweh besides, 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 Yahweh: but I hate him; for he never prophesies good concerning me, but always evil: the same is Micaiah the son of Imla. Jehoshaphat said, Don’t let the king say so. 8 Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, Get quickly Micaiah the son of Imla. 9 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah sat each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, and they were sitting in an open place at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 10 Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron, and said, Thus says Yahweh, With these you shall push the Syrians, until they be consumed. 11 All the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramoth Gilead, and prosper; for Yahweh will deliver it into the hand of the king. 12 The messenger who went to call Micaiah spoke to him, saying, Behold, the words of the prophets declare good to the king with one mouth: let your word therefore, please be like one of theirs, and speak good. 13 Micaiah said, As Yahweh lives, what my God says, that will I speak. 14 When he was come to the king, the king said to him, Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth Gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? He said, Go up, and prosper; and they shall be delivered into your hand. 15 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 Yahweh? 16 He said, I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd: and Yahweh said, These have no master; let them return every man to his house in peace. 17 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Didn’t I tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil? 18 Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of Yahweh: I saw Yahweh sitting on his throne, and all the army of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. 19 Yahweh said, ‘Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ One spoke saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner. 20 There came forth a spirit, and stood before Yahweh, and said, ‘I will entice him.’ Yahweh said to him, ‘How?’ 21 He said, ‘I will go forth, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ He said, ‘You shall entice him, and shall prevail also: go forth, and do so.’ 22 Now therefore, behold, Yahweh has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these your prophets; and Yahweh has spoken evil concerning you.” 23 Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near, and struck Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of Yahweh from me to speak to you? 24 Micaiah said, Behold, you shall see on that day, when you shall go into an inner chamber to hide yourself. 25 The king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back to Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king’s son; 26 and say, Thus says the king, Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I return in peace. 27 Micaiah said, If you return at all in peace, Yahweh has not spoken by me. He said, Hear, you peoples, all of you.
28 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead. 29 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and go into the battle; but you put on your robes. So the king of Israel disguised himself; and they went into the battle. 30 Now the king of Syria had commanded the captains of his chariots, saying, Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel. 31 It happened, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, It is the king of Israel. Therefore they turned about to fight against him: but Jehoshaphat cried out, and Yahweh helped him; and God moved them to depart from him. 32 It happened, when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him. 33 A certain man drew his bow at a venture, and struck the king of Israel between the joints of the armor. Therefore he said to the driver of the chariot, Turn your hand, and carry me out of the army; for I am sore wounded. 34 The battle increased that day: however the king of Israel stayed himself up in his chariot against the Syrians until the even; and about the time of the going down of the sun he died.