2 Chronicles 19; 2 Chronicles 20; 2 Chronicles 21

1 Jehoshaphat king of Judah came back safely to his palace in Jerusalem. 2 Jehu son of Hanani, a seer, went out to meet him and said to the king, "Why did you help evil people? Why do you love those who hate the Lord? That is the reason the Lord is angry with you. 3 But there is some good in you. You took the Asherah idols out of this country, and you have tried to obey God." 4 Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem. He went out again to be with the people, from Beersheba to the mountains of Ephraim, and he turned them back to the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 5 Jehoshaphat appointed judges in all the land, in each of the strong, walled cities of Judah. 6 Jehoshaphat said to them, "Watch what you do, because you are not judging for people but for the Lord. He will be with you when you make a decision. 7 Now let each of you fear the Lord. Watch what you do, because the Lord our God wants people to be fair. He wants all people to be treated the same, and he doesn't want decisions influenced by money." 8 And in Jerusalem Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites, priests, and leaders of Israelite families to be judges. They were to decide cases about the law of the Lord and settle problems between the people who lived in Jerusalem. 9 Jehoshaphat commanded them, "You must always serve the Lord completely, and you must fear him. 10 Your people living in the cities will bring you cases about killing, about the teachings, commands, rules, or some other law. In all these cases you must warn the people not to sin against the Lord. If you don't, he will be angry with you and your people. But if you warn them, you won't be guilty. 11 "Amariah, the leading priest, will be over you in all cases about the Lord. Zebadiah son of Ishmael, a leader in the tribe of Judah, will be over you in all cases about the king. Also, the Levites will serve as officers for you. Have courage. May the Lord be with those who do what is right."
1 Later the Moabites, Ammonites, and some Meunites came to start a war with Jehoshaphat. 2 Messengers came and told Jehoshaphat, "A large army is coming against you from Edom, from the other side of the Dead Sea. They are already in Hazazon Tamar!" (Hazazon Tamar is also called En Gedi.) 3 Jehoshaphat was afraid, so he decided to ask the Lord what to do. He announced that no one in Judah should eat during this special time of prayer to God. 4 The people of Judah came together to ask the Lord for help; they came from every town in Judah. 5 The people of Judah and Jerusalem met in front of the new courtyard in the Temple of the Lord. Then Jehoshaphat stood up, 6 and he said, "Lord, God of our ancestors, you are the God in heaven. You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. You have power and strength, so no one can stand against you. 7 Our God, you forced out the people who lived in this land as your people Israel moved in. And you gave this land forever to the descendants of your friend Abraham. 8 They lived in this land and built a Temple for you. They said, 9 'If trouble comes upon us, or war, punishment, sickness, or hunger, we will stand before you and before this Temple where you have chosen to be worshiped. We will cry out to you when we are in trouble. Then you will hear and save us.' 10 "But now here are men from Ammon, Moab, and Edom. You wouldn't let the Israelites enter their lands when the Israelites came from Egypt. So the Israelites turned away and did not destroy them. 11 But see how they repay us for not destroying them! They have come to force us out of your land, which you gave us as our own. 12 Our God, punish those people. We have no power against this large army that is attacking us. We don't know what to do, so we look to you for help." 13 All the men of Judah stood before the Lord with their babies, wives, and children. 14 Then the Spirit of the Lord entered Jahaziel. (Jahaziel was Zechariah's son. Zechariah was Benaiah's son. Benaiah was Jeiel's son, and Jeiel was Mattaniah's son.) Jahaziel, a Levite and a descendant of Asaph, stood up in the meeting. 15 He said, "Listen to me, King Jehoshaphat and all you people living in Judah and Jerusalem. The Lord says this to you: 'Don't be afraid or discouraged because of this large army. The battle is not your battle, it is God's. 16 Tomorrow go down there and fight those people. They will come up through the Pass of Ziz. You will find them at the end of the ravine that leads to the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You won't need to fight in this battle. Just stand strong in your places, and you will see the Lord save you. Judah and Jerusalem, don't be afraid or discouraged, because the Lord is with you. So go out against those people tomorrow.'" 18 Jehoshaphat bowed facedown on the ground. All the people of Judah and Jerusalem bowed down before the Lord and worshiped him. 19 Then some Levites from the Kohathite and Korahite people stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with very loud voices. 20 Jehoshaphat's army went out into the Desert of Tekoa early in the morning. As they were starting out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, "Listen to me, people of Judah and Jerusalem. Have faith in the Lord your God, and you will stand strong. Have faith in his prophets, and you will succeed." 21 Jehoshaphat listened to the people's advice. Then he chose men to be singers to the Lord, to praise him because he is holy and wonderful. As they marched in front of the army, they said, "Thank the Lord, because his love continues forever." 22 As they began to sing and praise God, the Lord set ambushes for the people of Ammon, Moab, and Edom who had come to attack Judah. And they were defeated. 23 The Ammonites and Moabites attacked the Edomites, destroying them completely. After they had killed the Edomites, they killed each other. 24 When the men from Judah came to a place where they could see the desert, they looked at the enemy's large army. But they only saw dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 25 When Jehoshaphat and his army came to take their valuables, they found many supplies, much clothing, and other valuable things. There was more than they could carry away; there was so much it took three days to gather it all. 26 On the fourth day Jehoshaphat and his army met in the Valley of Beracah and praised the Lord. That is why that place has been called the Valley of Beracahn to this day. 27 Then Jehoshaphat led all the men from Judah and Jerusalem back to Jerusalem. The Lord had made them happy because their enemies were defeated. 28 They entered Jerusalem with harps, lyres, and trumpets and went to the Temple of the Lord. 29 When all the kingdoms of the lands around them heard how the Lord had fought Israel's enemies, they feared God. 30 So Jehoshaphat's kingdom was not at war. His God gave him peace from all the countries around him. 31 Jehoshaphat ruled over the country of Judah. He was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he ruled in Jerusalem for twenty-five years. His mother's name was Azubah daughter of Shilhi. 32 Jehoshaphat was good like his father Asa, and he did what the Lord said was right. 33 But the places where gods were worshiped were not removed, and the people did not really want to follow the God of their ancestors. 34 The other things Jehoshaphat did as king, from the beginning to the end, are written in the records of Jehu son of Hanani, which are in the book of the kings of Israel. 35 Later, Jehoshaphat king of Judah made a treaty with Ahaziah king of Israel, which was a wrong thing to do. 36 Jehoshaphat agreed with Ahaziah to build trading ships, which they built in the town of Ezion Geber. 37 Then Eliezer son of Dodavahu from the town of Mareshah spoke against Jehoshaphat. He said, "Jehoshaphat, because you joined with Ahaziah, the Lord will destroy what you have made." The ships were wrecked so they could not sail out to trade.
1 Jehoshaphat died and was buried with his ancestors in Jerusalem, the city of David. Then his son Jehoram became king in his place. 2 Jehoram's brothers were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael, and Shephatiah. They were the sons of Jehoshaphat king of Judah. 3 Jehoshaphat gave his sons many gifts of silver, gold, and valuable things, and he gave them strong, walled cities in Judah. But Jehoshaphat gave the kingdom to Jehoram, because he was the first son. 4 When Jehoram took control of his father's kingdom, he killed all his brothers with a sword and also killed some of the leaders of Judah. 5 He was thirty-two years old when he began to rule, and he ruled eight years in Jerusalem. 6 He followed in the ways of the kings of Israel, just as the family of Ahab had done, because he married Ahab's daughter. Jehoram did what the Lord said was wrong. 7 But the Lord would not destroy David's family because of the agreement he had made with David. He had promised that one of David's descendants would always rule. 8 In Jehoram's time, Edom broke away from Judah's rule and chose their own king. 9 So Jehoram went to Edom with all his commanders and chariots. The Edomites surrounded him and his chariot commanders, but Jehoram got up and attacked the Edomites at night. 10 From then until now the country of Edom has fought against the rule of Judah. At the same time the people of Libnah also broke away from Jehoram because Jehoram left the Lord, the God of his ancestors. 11 Jehoram also built places to worship gods on the hills in Judah. He led the people of Jerusalem to sin, and he led the people of Judah away from the Lord. 12 Then Jehoram received this letter from Elijah the prophet: This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says, "Jehoram, you have not lived as your father Jehoshaphat lived and as Asa king of Judah lived. 13 But you have lived as the kings of Israel lived, leading the people of Judah and Jerusalem to sin against God, as Ahab and his family did. You have killed your brothers, and they were better than you. 14 So now the Lord is about to punish your people, your children, wives, and everything you own. 15 You will have a terrible disease in your intestines that will become worse every day. Finally it will cause your intestines to come out." 16 The Lord caused the Philistines and the Arabs who lived near the Cushites to be angry with Jehoram. 17 So the Philistines and Arabs attacked Judah and carried away all the wealth of Jehoram's palace, as well as his sons and wives. Only Jehoram's youngest son, Ahaziah, was left. 18 After these things happened, the Lord gave Jehoram a disease in his intestines that could not be cured. 19 After he was sick for two years, Jehoram's intestines came out because of the disease, and he died in terrible pain. The people did not make a fire to honor Jehoram as they had done for his ancestors. 20 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he ruled eight years in Jerusalem. No one was sad when he died. He was buried in Jerusalem, but not in the graves for the kings.
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