1a So Abijah slept with his ancestors, and they buried him in the city of David. His son Asa succeeded him. In his days the land had rest for ten years.
2b Asa did what was good and right in the sight of the Lord his God.
He took away the foreign altars and the high places, broke down the pillars, hewed down the sacred poles, c4
and commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to keep the law and the commandment.
He also removed from all the cities of Judah the high places and the incense altars. And the kingdom had rest under him.
He built fortified cities in Judah while the land had rest. He had no war in those years, for the Lord gave him peace.
He said to Judah, "Let us build these cities, and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars; the land is still ours because we have sought the Lord our God; we have sought him, and he has given us peace on every side." So they built and prospered.
Asa had an army of three hundred thousand from Judah, armed with large shields and spears, and two hundred eighty thousand troops from Benjamin who carried shields and drew bows; all these were mighty warriors.
Zerah the Ethiopian d came out against them with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots, and came as far as Mareshah.
Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up their lines of battle in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.
Asa cried to the Lord his God, "O Lord, there is no difference for you between helping the mighty and the weak. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this multitude. O Lord, you are our God; let no mortal prevail against you."
So the Lord defeated the Ethiopians e before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians f fled.
Asa and the army with him pursued them as far as Gerar, and the Ethiopians g fell until no one remained alive; for they were broken before the Lord and his army. The people of Judah h carried away a great quantity of booty.
They defeated all the cities around Gerar, for the fear of the Lord was on them. They plundered all the cities; for there was much plunder in them.
They also attacked the tents of those who had livestock, i and carried away sheep and goats in abundance, and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard Bible Version Online)