2 Chronicles 13; 2 Chronicles 14; 2 Chronicles 15; 2 Chronicles 16; 2 Chronicles 17

1 In the eighteenth year of the reign of King Jeroboam of Israel, Abijah became king of Judah, 2 and he ruled three years in Jerusalem. His mother was Micaiah daughter of Uriel, from the city of Gibeah. War broke out between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3 Abijah raised an army of 400,000 soldiers, and Jeroboam opposed him with an army of 800,000. 4 The armies met in the hill country of Ephraim. King Abijah went up Mount Zemaraim and called out to Jeroboam and the Israelites: "Listen to me!" he said. 5 "Don't you know that the Lord, the God of Israel, made an unbreakable covenant with David, giving him and his descendants kingship over Israel forever? 6 Jeroboam son of Nebat rebelled against Solomon, his king. 7 Later he gathered together a group of worthless scoundrels, and they forced their will on Rehoboam son of Solomon, who was too young and inexperienced to resist them. 8 Now you propose to fight against the royal authority that the Lord gave to David's descendants. You have a huge army and have with you the gold bull-calves that Jeroboam made to be your gods. 9 You drove out the Lord's priests, the descendants of Aaron, and you drove out the Levites. In their place you appointed priests in the same way that other nations do. Anybody who comes along with a bull or seven sheep can get himself consecrated as a priest of those so-called gods of yours. 10 "But we still serve the Lord our God and have not abandoned him. Priests descended from Aaron perform their duties, and Levites assist them. 11 Every morning and every evening they offer him incense and animal sacrifices burned whole. They present the offerings of bread on a table that is ritually clean, and every evening they light the lamps on the gold lampstand. We do what the Lord has commanded, but you have abandoned him. 12 God himself is our leader and his priests are here with trumpets, ready to blow them and call us to battle against you. People of Israel, don't fight against the Lord, the God of your ancestors! You can't win!" 13 Meanwhile Jeroboam had sent some of his troops to ambush the Judean army from the rear, while the rest faced them from the front. 14 The Judeans looked around and saw that they were surrounded. They cried to the Lord for help, and the priests blew the trumpets. 15 The Judeans gave a loud shout, and led by Abijah, they attacked; God defeated Jeroboam and the Israelite army. 16 The Israelites fled from the Judeans, and God let the Judeans overpower them. 17 Abijah and his army dealt the Israelites a crushing defeat - half a million of Israel's best soldiers were killed. 18 And so the people of Judah were victorious over Israel, because they relied on the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 19 Abijah pursued Jeroboam's army and occupied some of his cities: Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephron, and the villages near each of these cities. 20 Jeroboam never regained his power during Abijah's reign. Finally the Lord struck him down, and he died. 21 Abijah, however, grew more powerful. He had fourteen wives and fathered twenty-two sons and sixteen daughters. 22 The rest of the history of Abijah, what he said and what he did, is written in [The History of Iddo the Prophet.]
1 King Abijah died and was buried in the royal tombs in David's City. His son Asa succeeded him as king, and under Asa the land enjoyed peace for ten years. 2 Asa pleased the Lord, his God, by doing what was right and good. 3 He removed the foreign altars and the pagan places of worship, broke down the sacred stone columns, and cut down the symbols of the goddess Asherah. 4 He commanded the people of Judah to do the will of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his teachings and commands. 5 Because he abolished the pagan places of worship and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah, the kingdom was at peace under his rule. 6 He built fortifications for the cities of Judah during this time, and for several years there was no war, because the Lord gave him peace. 7 He told the people of Judah, "Let us fortify the cities by building walls and towers, and gates that can be shut and barred. We have control of the land because we have done the will of the Lord our God. He has protected us and given us security on every side." And so they built and prospered. 8 King Asa had an army of 300,000 men from Judah, armed with shields and spears, and 280,000 men from Benjamin, armed with shields and bows. All of them were brave, well-trained men. 9 An Ethiopian named Zerah invaded Judah with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots and advanced as far as Mareshah. 10 Asa went out to fight him, and both sides took up their positions at Zephathah Valley near Mareshah. 11 Asa prayed to the Lord his God, "O Lord, you can help a weak army as easily as a powerful one. Help us now, O Lord our God, because we are relying on you, and in your name we have come out to fight against this huge army. Lord, you are our God; no one can hope to defeat you." 12 The Lord defeated the Ethiopian army when Asa and the Judean army attacked them. They fled, 13 and Asa and his troops pursued them as far as Gerar. So many of the Ethiopians were killed that the army was unable to rally and fight. They were overpowered by the Lord and his army, and the army took large amounts of loot. 14 Then they were able to destroy the cities in the area around Gerar, because the people there were terrified of the Lord. The army plundered all those cities and captured large amounts of loot. 15 They also attacked the camps of some shepherds, capturing large numbers of sheep and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.
1 The spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded, 2 and he went to meet King Asa. He called out, "Listen to me, King Asa, and all you people of Judah and Benjamin! The Lord is with you as long as you are with him. If you look for him, he will let you find him, but if you turn away, he will abandon you. 3 For a long time Israel lived without the true God, without priests to teach them, and without a law. 4 But when trouble came, they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel. They searched for him and found him. 5 In those days no one could come and go in safety, because there was trouble and disorder in every land. 6 One nation oppressed another nation, and one city oppressed another city, because God was bringing trouble and distress on them. 7 But you must be strong and not be discouraged. The work that you do will be rewarded." 8 When Asa heard the prophecy that Azariah son of Oded had spoken, he was encouraged. He did away with all the idols in the land of Judah and Benjamin and all the idols in the cities he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. He also repaired the altar of the Lord that stood in the Temple courtyard. 9 Many people had come over to Asa's side from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon, and were living in his kingdom, because they had seen that the Lord was with him. Asa summoned all of them and the people of Judah and Benjamin. 10 They assembled in Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year that Asa was king. 11 On that day they offered sacrifices to the Lord from the loot they had brought back: seven hundred head of cattle and seven thousand sheep. 12 They made a covenant in which they agreed to worship the Lord, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul. 13 Anyone, young or old, male or female, who did not worship him was to be put to death. 14 In a loud voice they took an oath in the Lord's name that they would keep the covenant, and then they shouted and blew trumpets. 15 All the people of Judah were happy because they had made this covenant with all their heart. They took delight in worshiping the Lord, and he accepted them and gave them peace on every side. 16 King Asa removed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother, because she had made an obscene idol of the fertility goddess Asherah. Asa cut down the idol, chopped it up, and burned the pieces in Kidron Valley. 17 Even though Asa did not destroy all the pagan places of worship in the land, he remained faithful to the Lord all his life. 18 He placed in the Temple all the objects his father Abijah had dedicated to God, as well as the gold and silver objects that he himself dedicated. 19 There was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of his reign.
1 In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of King Asa of Judah, King Baasha of Israel invaded Judah and started to fortify Ramah in order to cut off all traffic in and out of Judah. 2 So Asa took silver and gold from the treasuries of the Temple and the palace and sent it to Damascus, to King Benhadad of Syria, with this message: 3 "Let us be allies, as our fathers were. This silver and gold is a present for you. Now break your alliance with King Baasha of Israel so that he will have to pull his troops out of my territory." 4 Benhadad agreed to Asa's proposal and sent his commanding officers and their armies to attack the cities of Israel. They captured Ijon, Dan, Abel Beth Maacah, and all the cities of Naphtali where supplies were stored. 5 When King Baasha heard what was happening, he stopped fortifying Ramah and abandoned the work. 6 Then King Asa gathered men from throughout Judah and had them carry off the stones and timbers that Baasha had been using at Ramah, and they used them to fortify the cities of Geba and Mizpah. 7 At that time the prophet Hanani went to King Asa and said, "Because you relied on the king of Syria instead of relying on the Lord your God, the army of the king of Israel has escaped from you. 8 Didn't the Ethiopians and the Libyans have large armies with many chariots and cavalry troops? But because you relied on the Lord, he gave you victory over them. 9 The Lord keeps close watch over the whole world, to give strength to those whose hearts are loyal to him. You have acted foolishly, and so from now on you will always be at war." 10 This made Asa so angry with the prophet that he had him put in chains. It was at this same time that Asa began treating some of the people cruelly. 11 All the events of Asa's reign from beginning to end are recorded in [The History of the Kings of Judah and Israel.] 12 In the thirty-ninth year that Asa was king, he was crippled by a severe foot disease; but even then he did not turn to the Lord for help, but to doctors. 13 Two years later he died 14 and was buried in the rock tomb which he had carved out for himself in David's City. They used spices and perfumed oils to prepare his body for burial, and they built a huge bonfire to mourn his death.
1 Jehoshaphat succeeded his father Asa as king and strengthened his position against Israel. 2 He stationed troops in the fortified cities of Judah, in the Judean countryside, and in the cities which Asa had captured in the territory of Ephraim. 3 The Lord blessed Jehoshaphat because he followed the example of his father's early life and did not worship Baal. 4 He served his father's God, obeyed God's commands, and did not act the way the kings of Israel did. 5 The Lord gave Jehoshaphat firm control over the kingdom of Judah, and all the people brought him gifts, so that he became wealthy and highly honored. 6 He took pride in serving the Lord and destroyed all the pagan places of worship and the symbols of the goddess Asherah in Judah. 7 In the third year of his reign he sent out the following officials to teach in the cities of Judah: Benhail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah. 8 They were accompanied by nine Levites and two priests. The Levites were Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tobadonijah; and the priests were Elishama and Jehoram. 9 They took the book of the Law of the Lord and went through all the towns of Judah, teaching it to the people. 10 The Lord made all the surrounding kingdoms afraid to go to war against King Jehoshaphat. 11 Some of the Philistines brought Jehoshaphat a large amount of silver and other gifts, and some Arabs brought him 7,700 sheep and 7,700 goats. 12 So Jehoshaphat continued to grow more and more powerful. Throughout Judah he built fortifications and cities, 13 where supplies were stored in huge amounts. In Jerusalem he stationed outstanding officers, 14 according to their clans. Adnah was the commander of the troops from the clans of Judah, and he had 300,000 soldiers under him. 15 Second in rank was Jehohanan, with 280,000 soldiers, 16 and third was Amasiah son of Zichri, with 200,000. (Amasiah had volunteered to serve the Lord.) 17 The commander of the troops from the clans of Benjamin was Eliada, an outstanding soldier, in command of 200,000 men armed with shields and bows. 18 His second in command was Jehozabad with 180,000 men, well-equipped for battle. 19 These soldiers served the king in Jerusalem, and in addition he stationed others in the other fortified cities of Judah.
California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information  California - CCPA Notice