2 Chronicles 20

Judah Invaded

1 Now it came about after this that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the 1Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat.
2 Then some came and reported to Jehoshaphat, saying, "A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, out of Aram and behold, they are in 2Hazazon-tamar (that is Engedi )."
3 Jehoshaphat was afraid and 3turned his attention to seek the LORD, and 4proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
4 So Judah gathered together to 5seek help from the LORD; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the LORD.

Jehoshaphat's Prayer

5 Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD before the new court,
6 and he said, "O LORD, the God of our fathers, 6are You not God in the heavens? And 7are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You.
7 "Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before * Your people Israel and 8give it to the descendants of 9Abraham Your friend forever?
8 "They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary there for Your name, saying,
9 '10Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for 11Your name is in this house ) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us.'
10 "Now behold, 12the sons of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, 13whom You did not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt (they turned aside from them and did not destroy them),
11 see how they are rewarding us by 14coming to drive us out from Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance.
12 "O our God, 15will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but 16our eyes are on You."
13 All Judah was standing before the LORD, with their infants, their wives and their children.

Jahaziel Answers the Prayer

14 Then in the midst of the assembly 17the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite of the sons of Asaph;
15 and he said, "Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, '18Do not fear or be dismayed because * of this great multitude, for 19the battle is not yours but God's.
16 'Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel.
17 'You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, 20stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.' Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, 21for the LORD is with you."
18 Jehoshaphat 22bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD.
19 The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel, with a very loud voice.

Enemies Destroy Themselves

20 They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, 23put your trust in the LORD your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed."
21 When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who 24praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, "25Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting."
22 When they began singing and praising, the LORD 26set ambushes against the sons of 27Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed.
23 For the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir destroying them completely; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, 28they helped to destroy one another.
24 When Judah came to the lookout of the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude, and behold, they were corpses lying on the ground, and no one had escaped.
25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoil, they found much among them, including goods, garments and valuable things which they took for themselves, more than they could carry. And they were three days taking the spoil because there was so much.

Triumphant Return to Jerusalem

26 Then on the fourth day they assembled in the valley of Beracah, for there they blessed the LORD. Therefore * they have named * that place "The Valley of Beracah " until today.
27 Every man of Judah and Jerusalem returned with Jehoshaphat at their head, returning to Jerusalem with joy, 29for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies.
28 They came to Jerusalem with harps, lyres and trumpets to the house of the LORD.
29 And 30the dread of God was on all the kingdoms of the lands when they heard that the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel.
30 So the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, 31for his God gave him rest on all sides.
31 32Now Jehoshaphat reigned over Judah. He was thirty-five * years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-five * years. And his mother's name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi.
32 He walked in the way of his father Asa and did not depart from it, doing right in the sight of the LORD.
33 33The high places, however, were not removed; 34the people had not yet directed their hearts to the God of their fathers.
34 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoshaphat, first to last, behold, they are written in the annals of 35Jehu the son of Hanani, which is recorded in the Book of the Kings of Israel.

Alliance Displeases God

35 36After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel. He acted wickedly in so doing.
36 So he allied himself with him to make ships to go 37to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion-geber.
37 Then Eliezer the son of Dodavahu of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat saying, "Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the LORD has destroyed your works." So the ships were broken and could not go to Tarshish.

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2 Chronicles 20 Commentary

Chapter 20

The danger and distress of Judah. (1-13) Jahaziel's prophecy of victory. (14-19) The thanksgiving of Judah. (20-30) Jehoshaphat's alliance with Ahaziah. (31-37)

Verses 1-13 In all dangers, public or personal, our first business should be to seek help from God. Hence the advantage of days for national fasting and prayer. From the first to the last of our seeking the Lord, we must approach him with humiliation for our sins, trusting only in his mercy and power. Jehoshaphat acknowledges the sovereign dominion of the Divine Providence. Lord, exert it on our behalf. Whom should we seek to, whom should we trust to for relief, but the God we have chosen and served. Those that use what they have for God, may comfortably hope he will secure it to them. Every true believer is a son of Abraham, a friend of God; with such the everlasting covenant is established, to such every promise belongs. We are assured of God's love, by his dwelling in human nature in the person of the Saviour. Jehoshaphat mentions the temple, as a token of God's favourable presence. He pleads the injustice of his enemies. We may well appeal to God against those that render us evil for good. Though he had a great army, he said, We have no might without thee; we rely upon thee.

Verses 14-19 The Spirit of prophecy came upon a Levite in the midst of the congregation. The Spirit, like the wind, blows where and on whom He listeth. He encouraged them to trust in God. Let the Christian soldier go out against his spiritual enemies, and the God of peace will make him more than a conqueror. Our trials will prove our gain. The advantage will be all our own, but the whole glory must be given to God.

Verses 20-30 Jehoshaphat exhorted his troops to firm faith in God. Faith inspires a man with true courage; nor will any thing help more to the establishing of the heart in shaking times, than a firm belief of the power, and mercy, and promise of God. In all our trust in the Lord, and our praises of him, let us especially look at his everlasting mercy to sinners through Jesus Christ. Never was an army so destroyed as that of the enemy. Thus God often makes wicked people destroy one another. And never was a victory celebrated with more solemn thanksgivings.

Verses 31-37 Jehoshaphat kept close to the worship of God, and did what he could to keep his people close to it. But after God had done such great things for him, given him not only victory, but wealth; after this, to go and join himself with a wicked king, was very ungrateful. What could he expect but that God would be angry with him? Yet it seems, he took the warning; for when Ahaziah afterward pressed him to join him, he would not, 1Ki. 22:49 . Thus the alliance was broken, and the Divine rebuke had its effect, at least for a season. Let us be thankful for any losses which may have prevented the loss of our immortal souls. Let us praise the Lord, who sought after us, and left us not to perish in our sins.

Cross References 37

  • 1. 1 Chronicles 4:41; 2 Chronicles 26:7
  • 2. Genesis 14:7
  • 3. 2 Chronicles 19:3
  • 4. 1 Samuel 7:6; Ezra 8:21
  • 5. Joel 1:14
  • 6. Deuteronomy 4:39
  • 7. 1 Chronicles 29:11
  • 8. Isaiah 41:8
  • 9. James 2:23
  • 10. 2 Chronicles 6:28-30
  • 11. 2 Chronicles 6:20
  • 12. 2 Chronicles 20:1, 22
  • 13. Numbers 20:17-21
  • 14. Psalms 83:12
  • 15. Judges 11:27
  • 16. Psalms 25:15; Psalms 121:1, 2
  • 17. 2 Chronicles 15:1; 2 Chronicles 24:20
  • 18. Exodus 14:13; Deuteronomy 20:1-4; 2 Chronicles 32:7, 8
  • 19. 1 Samuel 17:47
  • 20. Exodus 14:13
  • 21. 2 Chronicles 15:2
  • 22. Exodus 4:31
  • 23. Isaiah 7:9
  • 24. 1 Chronicles 16:29; Psalms 29:2
  • 25. 1 Chronicles 16:34
  • 26. 2 Chronicles 13:13
  • 27. 2 Chronicles 20:10
  • 28. Judges 7:22; 1 Samuel 14:20
  • 29. Nehemiah 12:43
  • 30. 2 Chronicles 14:14; 2 Chronicles 17:10
  • 31. 2 Chronicles 14:6, 7; 2 Chronicles 15:15
  • 32. 1 Kings 22:41-43
  • 33. 2 Chronicles 17:6
  • 34. 2 Chronicles 19:3
  • 35. 2 Chronicles 19:2
  • 36. 1 Kings 22:48, 49
  • 37. 2 Chronicles 9:21

Footnotes 10

Chapter Summary


Jehoshaphat having notice of a numerous army coming against him, 2Ch 20:1,2, betakes himself to fasting and prayer with his people, 2Ch 20:3-13, when they were immediately assured of victory by a prophet, which filled them with joy and thankfulness, 2Ch 20:14-21, and accordingly their enemies destroyed one another, and Jehoshaphat and his people returned to Jerusalem rejoicing and praising God, 2Ch 20:22-30, and the chapter is closed with an account of the latter part of Jehoshaphat's reign, 2Ch 20:31-37.

2 Chronicles 20 Commentaries

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