2 Chronicles 19; 2 Chronicles 20; 2 Chronicles 21

1 Upon the safe arrival of Judah's King Jehoshaphat to his palace in Jerusalem, 2 Jehu son of Hanani the seer came out to meet him and said, "Why did you help the wicked? Why have you loved those who hate the LORD? This is why the LORD is angry with you. 3 Nevertheless, there is some good to be found in you, in that you have removed the sacred poles from the land and set your mind to seek God." 4 Though Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, he regularly went out among the people between Beer-sheba and Ephraim's highlands, and encouraged them to return to the LORD, the God of their ancestors. 5 He appointed judges throughout the land in each of the fortified cities of Judah, 6 instructing them, "Be careful when you pass judgment. You aren't dispensing justice by merely human standards but for the LORD, who is with you. 7 Therefore, respect the LORD and act accordingly, because there can be no injustice, playing favorites, or taking bribes when it comes to the LORD our God." 8 Jehoshaphat also appointed judges in Jerusalem from among the Levites, the priests, and the family heads of Israel to administer the LORD's Instruction and to settle disputes among those living in Jerusalem. 9 He instructed them, "You must respect the LORD at all times, in truth, and with complete integrity. 10 In any case that comes before you from a fellow citizen in an outlying town, whether it involves bloodshed or is an issue of instruction, commandment, regulations, or case laws, you must warn them not to sin against the LORD, consequently making him angry with both you and your fellow citizen. Do this, and you won't sin. 11 Amariah the chief priest will be in charge of all religious matters, and Zebadiah, Ishmael's son, the leader of Judah's house, will be in charge of all civil matters. The Levites will serve as your officers of the court. Carry out your duties with confidence, and may the LORD be with those who do good."
1 Some time later, the Moabites and the Ammonites, along with some of the Meunites, attacked Jehoshaphat. 2 Jehoshaphat was told, "A large army from beyond the sea, from Edom, is coming to attack you. They are already at Hazazon-tamar!" (that is, En-gedi). 3 Frightened, Jehoshaphat decided to seek the LORD's help and proclaimed a fast for all Judah. 4 People from all of Judah's cities came to ask the LORD for help. 5 Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem in the LORD's temple in front of the new courtyard. 6 "LORD, the God of our ancestors, you alone are God in heaven. You rule all the kingdoms of the nations. You are so powerful that no one can oppose you. 7 You, our God, drove out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and gave this land to the descendants of your friend Abraham forever. 8 They have lived in it and have built a sanctuary in honor of your name in it, saying, 9 ‘If calamity, sword, flood, plague, or famine comes upon us, we will stand before this temple, before you, because your name is in this temple. We will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.' 10 So look here! The Ammonites, the Moabites, and those from Mount Seir—the people you wouldn't let Israel invade when they came out of Egypt's land, so Israel avoided them and didn't destroy them— 11 here they are, returning the favor by coming to drive us out of your possession that you gave to us! 12 Our God, won't you punish them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We don't know what to do, and so we are looking to you for help." 13 All Judah was standing before the LORD, even their little ones, wives, and children. 14 Then the LORD's spirit came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah son of Benaiah son of Jeiel son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the line of Asaph, as he stood in the middle of the assembly. 15 "Pay attention, all of Judah, every inhabitant of Jerusalem, and King Jehoshaphat," Jahaziel said. "This is what the LORD says to you: Don't be afraid or discouraged by this great army because the battle isn't yours. It belongs to God! 16 March out against them tomorrow. Since they will be coming through the Ziz pass, meet them at the end of the valley that opens into the Jeruel wilderness. 17 You don't need to fight this battle. Just take your places, stand ready, and watch how the LORD, who is with you, will deliver you, Judah and Jerusalem. Don't be afraid or discouraged! Go out tomorrow and face them. The LORD will be with you." 18 Then Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD in worship. 19 Levites from the lines of Kohath and Korah stood up to loudly praise the LORD, the God of Israel. 20 Early the next morning they went into the Tekoa wilderness. When they were about to go out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Listen to me, Judah and every inhabitant of Jerusalem! Trust the LORD your God, and you will stand firm; trust his prophets and succeed!" 21 After consulting with the people, Jehoshaphat appointed musicians to play for the LORD, praising his majestic holiness. They were to march out before the warriors, saying, "Give thanks to the LORD because his faithful love lasts forever!" 22 As they broke into joyful song and praise, the LORD launched a surprise attack against the Ammonites, the Moabites, and those from Mount Seir who were invading Judah, so that they were defeated. 23 The Ammonites and the Moabites turned on those from Mount Seir, completely destroying them. Once they had finished off the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy each other! 24 When Judah arrived at the point overlooking the wilderness, all they could see were corpses lying all over the ground. There were no survivors. 25 When Jehoshaphat and his army came to take the loot, they found a great amount of cattle, goods, clothing, and other valuables—much more than they could carry. In fact, there was so much it took three days to haul it away. 26 On the fourth day they assembled in Blessing Valley, where they blessed the LORD. That's why it is called Blessing Valley to this day. 27 Then everyone from Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat at their head, joyfully returned home to Jerusalem because the LORD had given them reason to rejoice over their enemies. 28 They entered Jerusalem accompanied by harps, lutes, and trumpets, and they went to the LORD's temple. 29 The fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the LORD had fought against Israel's enemies. 30 As a result, Jehoshaphat's rule was peaceful because his God gave him rest on all sides. 31 Jehoshaphat ruled over Judah. He was 35 years old when he became king, and he ruled for twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Azubah; she was Shilhi's daughter. 32 Jehoshaphat walked in the way of his father Asa and didn't turn aside from it, doing what was right in the LORD's eyes, 33 with the exception that he didn't remove the shrines. The people were still not committed with all their hearts to the God of their ancestors. 34 The rest of Jehoshaphat's deeds, from beginning to end, are written in the records of Jehu, Hanani's son, which are included in the records of Israel's kings. 35 Sometime later, Judah's King Jehoshaphat formed an alliance with Israel's King Ahaziah, which caused him to sin. 36 They agreed to build a fleet of Tarshish-styled ships, and they built them in Ezion-geber. 37 Eliezer, Dodavahu's son from Mareshah, prophesied against Jehoshaphat: "Because you have formed an alliance with Ahaziah, the LORD will destroy what you have made." The ships were wrecked and couldn't sail to Tarshish.
1 Jehoshaphat died and was buried with his ancestors in David's City. His son Jehoram succeeded him as king. 2 Jehoram's brothers, the other sons of Jehoshaphat, were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariah, Michael, and Shephatiah. All of these were the sons of Israel's King Jehoshaphat. 3 Their father had given them many gifts of silver, gold, and other valuables, along with fortified cities in Judah, but he gave the kingdom to Jehoram because he was the oldest son. 4 When Jehoram had taken control of his father's kingdom, he established his rule by killing all his brothers, along with some other leaders of Israel. 5 Jehoram was 32 years old when he became king, and he ruled for eight years in Jerusalem. 6 He walked in the ways of Israel's kings, just as Ahab's dynasty had done, because he married Ahab's daughter. He did what was evil in the LORD's eyes. 7 Nevertheless, because of the covenant he had made with David, the LORD wasn't willing to destroy David's dynasty. He had promised to preserve a lamp for David and his sons forever. 8 During Jehoram's rule, Edom rebelled against Judah's power and appointed its own king. 9 Jehoram, along with all his chariots, crossed over to Zair. The Edomites, who had surrounded him, attacked at night, defeating him and his chariot officers. 10 So Edom has been independent of Judah to this day. Libnah rebelled against Jehoram's rule at the same time because he had abandoned the LORD, the God of his ancestors. 11 As if that wasn't enough, Jehoram constructed shrines throughout Judah's highlands, encouraged Jerusalem's citizens to be unfaithful, and led Judah astray. 12 A letter from the prophet Elijah came to Jehoram that read, "This is what the LORD, the God of your ancestor David, says: Because you haven't walked in the ways of your father Jehoshaphat or the ways of Judah's King Asa, 13 but have walked in the ways of Israel's kings and have encouraged Judah and Jerusalem's citizens to be unfaithful, just as the house of Ahab did, and because you have even murdered your own brothers, your father's family, who were better than you, 14 the LORD will now strike your family, your children, your wives, and all your possessions with a heavy blow. 15 You yourself will become deathly ill with a chronic disease that will cause your intestines to fall out." 16 Then the LORD made the Philistines and the Arabs, who lived near the Cushites, angry with Jehoram. 17 They attacked Judah, broke down its defenses, and hauled off all the goods that were found in the royal palace, along with the king's children and wives. Only Jehoahaz, Jehoram's youngest son, was spared. 18 After all this, the LORD struck Jehoram with an incurable intestinal disease. 19 For almost two years he grew steadily worse, until two days before his death, when his intestines fell out, causing him to die in horrible pain. His people didn't make a fire in his honor as they had done for his ancestors. 20 He was 32 years old when he became king, and he ruled for eight years in Jerusalem. No one was sorry he died. He was buried in David's City but not in the royal cemetery.
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